The SC&A Idiot’s Guide To Valentine’s Day
We at the SC&A Institute are pleased to republish this short primer that is guaranteed to make your Valentine's Day dinner and subsequent festivities memorable- in a good way.
Most of you understand that Valentine's Day is a commercial adaption of a meaningful idea, employed in a cynical attempt to extract your hard earned dollars. Flowers and candy are overpriced. Restaurants adjust their menus to include higher priced items and wines and from today forward, florists will remain in a state of arousal until Mother's Day.
Nevertheless, some of you will be sucked into the Valentine's Day vortex, never to escape. It is for you that we offer this advice.
Firstly, unless you have done this before and have learned your lesson, do not seek to cut Valentine's Day expenses by getting your flowers from a cometary or funeral home. Nothing puts a damper on romance more than an arrangement that is bedecked with a 'Next Time, Vinny Two-Toes, We Get Your Kids' or 'Off to That Big Saloon in the Sky' message printed in gold on a black ribbon.
If you insist on funerary arrangements, as a rule, avoid all arrangements that are horseshoe shaped or are creatively arranged with the image of Jesus, depicted with outstretched and welcoming arms.
Valentine's Day is not the time to be politically correct or overly multicultural. Threatening a loved one with a beating because he or she wanted to give you roses, teddy bears or gifts wrapped in red to show your solidarity with Muslims in Saudi Arabia is probably going to send the wrong message.
If you're going out for dinner with a sans burqa, chadour or niqab lovely thing, remember that the experience entails more than just food. Do not park too far away from the restaurant, to save on parking fees. If you are in an area that has high parking fees, chances are you can't really afford dinner in that neighborhood, either. If your date by some miracle, is actually accompanying you because she wants to, as opposed to going out with you because you were her last shot at free food, there are a few things you need to consider.
As soon as you close her car door (if that isn't in your reality, 'lucky' will not be a word in your evening's vocabulary), be sure to compliment her entire outfit. Start with your date's shoes. More than likely your date is wearing sexy shoes. Of course, you don't really know they are sexy, as all shoes tend to classified in the same way- covering for feet. The proper response is : 'Yes, those shoes are really great (add points if you say, 'Perfect!'). You must say that. Women do not understand that to a man, the primary definition of 'sexy,' means underwear and anything else that may come off- and no matter what it is, as long as it's coming off, it's really great.
OK, back to VDay dinner.
If you park too far from the restaurant, her feet will hurt later on. Feet that ache always leads to heads that ache. To repeat: That means you will be reading (or rather, in your case, looking at the pictures) a sports or handyman magazine after you date insists she has a headache that 'just came on' after the free food.
Onwards. Assuming you have actually paid for parking and managed to get her and her delicate feet into the restaurant, assume that she expects more than a fine meal and meaningful, loving conversation. She wants you to demonstrate how much you love her and how much she means to you. This means she wants you to spend money. There is no other way you can prove to her that you love her. It's about money. Now, she may say she doesn't want you to spend the money- she may even insist on it, leaving you with the carefully crafted illusion and impression that she means it.
You are being tested. It is imperative that you be smart about it all and adamantly disagree. Make a scene, if you must, but leave her with the impression that your entire existence depends on her allowing you to be extravagant. Like her birthday and Mother's Day, VDay is going to cost you and hurt you. When you are in pain, she will be happy, because you have demonstrated that you love her (and you have proved that she can indeed outsmart you). The more pain you are in, the happier she will be.
Your date will order something off the menu. Of course, it won't be anything reasonably priced, but rather a variation of something she likes that she has not tasted before. It is being ordered because 'it sounds interesting.' As a rule if food 'sounds interesting,' it means one of two things: It is the most expensive item on the menu or she hopes to later on chat with friends about her selection of dining fare and will remark on your Neanderthal tastes and question your mother's origins.
Ordering wine is a tricky issue. If she enjoys wine and can keep her clothes on in public if she has quite a bit to drink, order a cheap house wine. She won't remember. If she does not drink, bite the bullet and order the expensive bottle, as she will remember that and in the end, that may serve you well, later on.
The worst case scenario is if you order the expensive wine and she chugs down glass after glass down like a sailor on his first night of shore leave. If she then attempts to remove her clothes in the restaurant, do not take that as a sign you have lucked out.
There is no happy ending because by the time you break every speed limit and plow through every red light in town to get home, she will be fast asleep and won't awaken till 4:00 PM the nest day, or even worse, she will be sober enough to remember what did transpire and she will be horrified. In fact, she will too furious to even to pass out (just so you understand, that means you won't be 'getting any') She will lash out at you for any one of a myriad of reasons, selected from that bottomless well that serves as her storage space for the contempt she has for you and all men.
Now, we will assume that you are hanging on by a thread, and that the only thing that separates you from utter frustration (that you have bought and paid for) are a few words.
Here are a few remarks that are entirely inappropriate and must be avoided at all costs.
"A man can be happy with any woman, as longf as he does not love her."- Oscar Wilde
"A woman can be happy with any man, as long as he has money"- P. Santy
"You look like a million dollars, after taxes.- Anonymous
"When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure."- Alice Hoffman
"There is no love sincerer than the love of food"- George Bernard Shaw
"Think about a woman. Doesn't know you're thinking about her. Makes you think about her even more."- Martin Sage and Sybil Adelman, Northern Exposure, 'The Bumpy Road To Love,' 1991
Happy Valentine's Day and Good Luck.
Be sure to see Six Reasons To Make This Valentine's Day A Safe One.