Valentines day better with effort

It is not too late, recalcitrant one. It is not too late for, if you hide this newspaper from your wife, you can still claim truthfully that you did not forget it was Valentine’s Day. She need not know, and really should not care, that it was prompted by this column.

Dates are hard remembering for some. Just over a month ago, the only reason I remembered my mother’s birthday was that, as I do every morning, I wrote the date on the whiteboard for my students. At that juncture, something clicked and I realized there was something significant about Jan. 10.

Valentine’s Day is easy for me to remember. It is the day on which I first laid eyes on the lovely woman who became my wife. While performing a home wedding, or any kind of wedding, one is probably not supposed to be paying attention to the single women who enter the room. However, I was, I was, and she did.

What have you done for your beloved this Valentine’s Day?

Last year, I gave a series of coupons. The largest of these was for 2000 Waves Spa in Santa Fe; the smallest was for Bahama Buck’s.

There is probably a lot to be said for this approach. You need to know, and pay attention to, what he or she will appreciate. Most of us know these things, at least I hope we do, about our spouses; many, however, will take the easy way out and get a last minute box of chocolates or flowers.

As they say to a person standing on the edge of a bridge — Don’t do it. There is a better way.

My wife, for example, began last year, for Valentine’s Day, to put many of my favorite songs on an iPod. Since there is a lot of room on an iPod, she is still in that process.

There are certain things to avoid, in most cases. Unless you are in junior high, remember that most women do not desire a stuffed animal. Aside from a few beanie babies of a certain genre — those that resemble humans, such as monkeys and lemurs — my wife has never responded positively to a stuffed animal. Well, there was the tiny stuffed greyhound from the bookstore of her alma mater. But by and large, stuffed animals, I learned early, were met with a polite smile.

If your spouse is like mine, she would prefer the experience to another “thing” that takes up space in the house. You may be at the stage of life where you are still in need of many daily objects and household items. But if your wife, like mine, is not a junk collector, she will not be excited about receiving “stuff.”

The only thing she collects is Christmas ornaments, and those have little meaning unless we either go to the place where it comes from together, or it is a really exotic place.

Normally speaking, I do not go to exotic places without my wife.

The issue of flowers is a sensitive one, for many. It helps to remember that Valentine’s Day, this year, is on a Monday. This matters because part of the excitement of flowers is having them delivered in such a manner that the entire place where she works realizes that she got flowers.

With any kind of luck, this column has gotten your creative gears turning and you will find or possibly create the appropriate present.