Here is the 32nd installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not to Do by Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at http://1writeway.com and John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at http://johnwhowell.com. These lists are simu-published on our blogs each Monday. We hope you enjoy. Happy Valentine’s Day!
10. For Valentine’s Day, do not get your sweetheart a 10-pound box of chocolates or a case of craft brew when you know your sweetheart made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. At best, your sweetheart will accept the gift in the spirit in which it was given and just be grateful you even remembered Valentine’s Day. At worst, your sweetheart will eat or drink the whole thing and then make you pay for a new wardrobe when your sweetheart’s pants no longer fit due to the chocolate or beer-fed waistline.
9. For Valentine’s Day, do not send your sweetheart a Charlie Brown kind of rose bouquet or a pound of grass seed as a joke because you think of Valentine’s Day as just another “Hallmark holiday.” At best, your sweetheart has a private office where the offending gift can be hidden until it’s safe to throw it out and you will only be out the price and perhaps one chilly night in the bedroom. At worst, your sweetheart works in a “bullpen” where all coworkers and even middle management can see the pathetic offering and tease about it, resulting in your sweetheart coming home that evening and using the grass seed as porridge or bouquet, thorns and all, to teach you some lessons in respect.
8. For Valentine’s Day, do not take your sweetheart to a restaurant that claims to model itself on Chez Panisse unless you have plenty of cash on hand. At best, the restaurant will have an ATM in its lobby so when you get the bill and realize you had underestimated it by $300, you can quickly and discretely obtain more money. At worst, the nearest ATM is on the other side of town and, to “pay” the bill, you and your sweetheart wind up washing dishes at the restaurant for the rest of your “romantic” evening out.
7. For Valentine’s Day, do not think that Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to attract a certain member of the opposite sex by leaving Valentine’s Day cards and Valentine’s Day candy hearts that say “BE MINE” in every possible place that your adored one chances to be. At best, your adored one will simply think you are nuts, but maybe a little cute. At worst, an officer with an order to cease and desist will show up at your place of business, embarrassing you in front of your coworkers and your boss and getting you typed as a stalker.
6. For Valentine’s Day, do not get your sweetheart sexy underwear or silk boxers with hearts unless you are certain of the size that your sweetheart wears. If you’re lucky, the sexy underwear or boxers are too small and that will be fine since neither of you expect the underwear to stay on for very long anyway. If you’re unlucky, the sexy underwear or boxers will be too large, and you might be forced to wear it yourself while standing outside on your front lawn in the bright light of day.
5. For Valentine’s Day, do not think that a romantic stay-at-home dinner will be that romantic if you expect your sweetheart to do the cooking and/or cleaning up alone. If you’re lucky, your sweetheart will gently suggest that you cook and clean together and extend the romance to nightcaps in the bedroom. If you’re unlucky, your sweetheart will make a reservation for one at a fancy restaurant and leave you home to enjoy your “romantic” dinner by yourself.
4. For Valentine’s Day, do not allow your sweetheart to see or hear advertisements for expensive jewelry and watches for at least one month before Valentine’s Day. At best, your sweetheart will at first resent being kept from the TV and radio, but eventually come to appreciate the extra time for reading. At worst, if you are unsuccessful, your sweetheart might be tempted to go to the local mall on Valentine’s Day, with your credit card, and buy the most expensive Valentine’s Day gift avalable.
3. For Valentine’s Day, do not wait until the last minute to buy roses or a tie if you know that’s what your sweetheart likes (and expects). If you’re lucky, you’ll only need to pay twice the cost to get a lovely bunch of roses or tie to your sweetheart before you meet for a romantic dinner. If you’re unlucky with the roses, they will be so far past their bloom that by the time you meet your sweetheart for dinner, most of the petals will have fallen off and you’ll only have some green stems to offer, which your sweetheart will likely plant in your water glass before storming out of the restaurant. If you’re unlucky with the tie, it will not go with the suit your sweetheart planned to wear and you’ll never see it again.
2. For Valentine’s Day, do not think that an otherwise practical gift with hearts attached or in the color red will suffice for your lack of romantic feeling. At best, your sweetheart will have always wanted a heart-shaped waffle iron or hip flask and will just drop heavy hints for you to do better next year. At worst, your sweetheart will take the heart-shaped waffle iron or flask back to the store and use the refund as well as your credit card to go on a shopping spree, which you will be paying off for many Valentine’s Days to come.
1. For Valentine’s Day, even if you and your sweetheart mutually agree to not participate in the whole gift-giving extravaganza that is also known as VD Day, do not think that making a point to say “I love you” or leave notes to that effect around the house or in your sweetheart’s car will go unappreciated. At worst, your sweetheart will respond in kind. At best, your sweetheart will show appreciation in such ways to make Valentine’s Day your favorite holiday.