When V-day becomes D-day

Jacob Barron

Florists are rolling in cash, sweat is beading on men’s brows, and there’s a pink glow emanating from aisle two in Kroger: What could it be? Stubborn rose farmers causing inflation? Global warming? Nuclear spill in aisle two?

That’s right. It’s Valentine’s Day! Of course, now that I’ve told, at least half of you are probably thinking about how much better it would’ve been to have either of the latter two aforementioned options rather than the dreaded V-day.

But hey, it’s February and Hallmark needs to make money somehow. They’re depending on us all to go out and buy cards, teddy bears and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. So if you want Hallmark to go out of business, forcing you to make your own cards for the rest of your life, then go ahead and sit this one out. I’ll be doing my part though. From a guy’s perspective, Valentine’s Day, it seems, is more like D-Day than anything else. We hit the sand and we’re not sure of what awaits us, we’re not entirely certain if what we’re doing is going to work, and we can’t quite remember exactly how we got here. We’re very aware that the guys next to us might not make it. We just forgot everything we learned in basic training. We want our mothers.

It’s a difficult holiday for guys because what’s required of us is a bit foggy. Take the following example:

“What do you want to do for Valentine’s Day?”

“Oh, well . . . I don’t really care.”

This simple answer, depending on the girl, could mean any number of things. For some girls it means “No seriously, I really don’t care.” For others it means “I don’t want to do anything too big but let’s at least do something.” In some extreme cases it might mean “Boy, I’d better break up with this guy before Tuesday” or “If he doesn’t get me dinner, wine and diamonds then I’m leaving.”

Guys have millions of questions to answer when it comes to Valentine’s: Should we go out? Can we stay in? What if she doesn’t like chocolate? Jewelry or no jewelry? Doesn’t everyone get jewelry? Roses? What about other flowers? Daisies? Should I make reservations? Does Hooters take reservations? Would going there be bad? What about a loud, smoky bar? Some place with a television?

The list goes on and on.

Valentine’s Day has also become grossly complicated by the fact that most women would rather have their partner do something creative instead of the standard jewelry, flowers, chocolates, dinner, goodnight, fade out, roll credits, the end. The truth is that most guys don’t want to stay traditional either, but we also know not to ask for alternative ideas, because you’re not going to tell us.

Of course, the reason that girls won’t tell us is that for Feb. 14, all they want is to know that their significant other cares.

When you think about it this way, Valentine’s Day is easy. It’s a 24-hour monument to your affection; the outward expression of your inner feelings for this person. It’s not an excuse to be a big jerk the other 364 days of the year.

It’s not meant to be a hassle. It’s just a chance to crack the shell a bit and let the other person know exactly where you both stand still in a constantly fluctuating world.

So here’s the solution. Get your scissors ready for clipping.

Guys, open up a little. Be creative but also honest. No one’s watching you. I swear.

Ladies, we’re not always great with expressing our feelings, so we might resort to flowers or some other cliched gift, but know that the only reason that most guys do something for Valentine’s Day is because they like you.

There you go. It’s not like D-Day after all.

See you on the beach.