Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Flowers for Your Valentine: Get a Clue, Guys

Chris McLaughlin, author of the new book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Heirloom Vegetables, offers some tips at her latest blog post for the Real Idiots: guys shopping for Valentine's Day gifts.

For a funeral or horse race. Not Valentine's Day.

Especially guys whose idea of upping the ante on Valentine's Day is limited to a card or nothing at all. 

More regressive: a card and something thin and nearly transparent from Victoria's Secret (that's a gift to himself!). 

Or worst of all: a card, a restaurant dinner and then holding up the negligee for all to see in the restaurant. 

Especially if that bright red silky thing looks like it was made for Calista Flockhart...and your wife can pass for Roseanne Barr.

Guys, it's hard to go wrong with flowers. 
But you have to do it right.

After decades of reflection on this topic, I have come to this conclusion about male-female relationships, especially on February 14: Women want more romance and passion. Men want more sex.
What Women Want For Valentine's Day

What Men Want
And that's where Chris steps in, offering flower-giving suggestions that would make the most practical (and unromantic) guy say, "Yeah, that'll work!" 

Among her suggestions for placating both parties:

• Send the flowers to where she works or where she's around other people. (Guys, if you haven't noticed: women may claim gender solidarity, but they play rough with each other). I like to send a blooming, living plant to my wife's office. That way, there's a good chance the plant will die in a couple of months due to negligence as well as wildly fluctuating office light and temperatures. Then, when the bad news comes out...well, there's nothing wrong with instigating guilt-fueled sex.

• A tough but effective Valentine's Day ploy: send your wife the same flowers she carried down the aisle on your wedding day. I know: your first reaction is, "Huh. She was carrying flowers?" Yeah, dumbass. She was. Check your wedding photos. Then, e-mail a picture of that bouquet-carrying bride to a florist. Let them figure out what they were. 

All I remember about our wedding floral arrangements is that my mother insisted, at the last minute, on a Mlle Cecile Brunner rose for her own lapel. Three people were dispatched on a Saturday morning to find one...by 2 p.m. (Mission Accomplished).

• Chris mentions one tactic that will either get you around the bases...or sent back to the dugout. Also send flowers to her mother, thanking her "for bringing your lady-love into this world". After reading that last sentence, women are saying "Awwww, isn't that sweet!" Many men, on the other hand, are fighting back the urge to vomit. The question you have to ask yourself before employing this nuclear option: "Is my wife on good terms with her mother?" If not, that bouquet for your mother-in-law may look to your wife as if you are taking sides. The wrong side.

Flowers are a good Valentine's gift for a woman. They look nice, smell nice, low in calories (0) and romantic. Best of all, you can get them ordered and delivered online or over the phone. Suck it up, guys. You can do this.


  1. Thank you, Farmer Fred ~ I'm so glad you liked the tips I had for the guys, LOL! I'll be anxious to hear about the creative techniques that guys will use to get that little extra somethin'-somethin' this Valentine's Day!

  2. First off - great ideas ! If my husband sent me a bouquet of the flowers I carried in our wedding ... wow ! But if he chopped down that ugly tree in the front yard & replaced it with a pluot, that would be good, too.

    Second, keep in mind that if women get what they want (more romance), their men are much more likely to get what they want (wink,wink).

    Third, aside from the transparent little scraps of cloth & all that suggests - what do men want for Valentine's Day ?