Valentine’s Day is fraught with problems for Southern men- a veritable minefield for them. Why? Because the South is a matriarchal society. Southern mommas take care of all the holidays- the gift buyin’, the decoratin’, the meal plannin’, the teacher gifts, the cookies and cupcakes- even perfect cellophane goodie bags for – Every. Single. Occasion known to mankind. We might let men think they are in charge of a deep fried turkey for Thanksgiving but it’s a woman who has a back up roast turkey just in case his fryer catches on fire. Valentine’s Day is the exceptional holiday- she may have done everything for the children’s parties but Southern women don’t think it’s asking too much for Billy Bob to turn into a Sugah Daddy on Valentine’s Day. Billy Bob is expected to become William Robert Smith the fourth, master of all things romantic on just one little bitty day of the year! Is it any wonder that Every. Single. Year- men manage to blow it? They need Valentine’s Help.
Knowing the average male attention span is short, this is the short list-
- Avoid anything fuzzy, filled with helium, or a good deal, like boxes of chocolate you forgot to remove the sticker ‘buy one get one free’.
- Southern women think of Hurricanes when we hear the word Frederick and we tend to think of certain Secrets as our gift to you not the other way around, if you get my drift.
Now that I have your attention gentlemen, remember Valentine’s Day is for her, not you. Please don’t go in a store and buy lingerie– you are going to bomb on this one because just when the sales clerk asks the size you will fall into the trap of saying ‘Well darlin’ she’s about your size’ and boom! Too big or too little will not be forgiven any time soon!
- Do not- I repeat- do not buy her a digital bathroom scale, sign her up for a membership in a gym, buy sugar free candy or a trial membership in a weight reduction program even if she has been asking you if you think she needs to lose weight- that is a trap.
- Dinner and a movie is a safe bet- unless dinner is fast food and the movie is ‘Chainsaw Massacre’, Jaws, or ‘Walking Tall part 2’.
- Please don’t complain about the prices at dinner or at the movies.
- Whatever you do- don’t have photo booth pictures blown up into framed 8×10’s, she may have thought it was cute at the time but on her desk? probably not.
- And speaking of desks, you might want to check and see if the florist has multiple orders going to her workplace, you wouldn’t want her to be mortified if she is the only lady there with no flowers! I have known women who have called the local florists and had her own flowers sent to cover for you! You will never live this down.
- Speaking of flowers, we do know the difference in florist flowers and those bought at a big box store or the grocery store, and whatever you do, please do not buy a neon blue orchid.
- Also, going to look at trucks, tractors, single wide trailers or pre-fab storage buildings is not her idea of a romantic outing.
- Neither is taking her car for an oil change, new brake shoes or having the tires rotated even if they throw in the Valentine Special of hot pink fuzzy seat covers- this is your duty to see about her safety and welfare-not a gift. If you’re thinking automotive- buy her a new car.
- Please don’t buy household appliances of any kind, a new vacuum, a toaster, a leaf blower, or an electric drill.
- Do not buy her an apron, oven mitts or dish towels, in fact do not even think of buying her a trinket of any kind that you saw at a truck stop or restaurant gift shop.
- A shirt with an arrow that points your direction and says- ‘I’m His’ or matching Tshirts is to be avoided at all costs for Valentine’s Day.
A beautiful card is a nice touch unless you have neglected to read the inside of the card- it may look good on the outside with romantic wording ‘You are so beautiful to me…’– but on the inside- a picture of an orangutan- sayin’ ‘A face only a mother could love’ – Even if you read it and got a big kick out of it all; believe me, this will not be well received, any more than:
- Wrinkle, hair removal, anti-aging products or the perfect shade of nail polish which you think will save on manicures.
- Hand written coupons for anything will not read Sugah Daddy- no matter how nice your handwriting is, that’s just for cheapskates.
- Candy is always a nice touch as long as it isn’t a fun-size bag, a quarter pound chocolate heart or a cheap store brand with four pieces in it, go for broke here and get the kind of candy sold in free standing stores, even if the price is ridiculous.
- And if you’ve been dating a while, please don’t buy a hard candy diamond shaped plastic ring, a big old fake diamond keychain, a heavily over advertised open heart or a boxed set of jewelry on the sale aisle- listen up! She’s wants a real diamond not a friendship ring!
- Married or not-Diamonds are actually a man’s best friend!
Southern men need help on Valentine’s Day. No matter how hard you’ve worked that day- she’s expecting you to show the same energy and enthusiasm you had for the SEC Football Games. When you pick her up, please don’t say-
- ‘Are you wearing that?’ no matter what she has on.
- If she asks you if her shoes look funny please don’t say ‘Well honey, they aren’t hilarious’
- If she says her hair looks awful – refrain from saying- ‘It doesn’t look any worse than usual’ .
Some final advice: If she’s over the age of five, she does not want a bouquet of lollipops, a stuffed animal of any kind – no matter what size it is, or a bunch of helium filled balloons! And remember above all else- Valentine’s Day is for her, gentleman, not you. If you can’t remember anything else, remember that, or believe me darlin’, you won’t forget it for a whole year or maybe a lifetime…
Love y’all, Camellia
*These helpful hints were taken from an informal poll of Southern ladies who have experienced some frankly disappointing Valentine’s Days. The poll was non-scientific of course and based solely on the horror factor of it all. The photographs are mine.