Males of all ages still fear Valentine’s Day

February 5, 2013

I really hate it when I look at my week-by-week day planner and right next to the date is a time, but nothing else. There are pages of dates that have meaningless hours: 10 a.m. Friday with only a question mark, 4 p.m. Tuesday with a happy face and 9 a.m. Wednesday with a huge explanation point in red. I don’t know whether that 11a.m. on a Monday means I am having surgery or being audited by the IRS, or I had a mini stroke and never finished writing in the activity.

Anyway, this has been happening to me more and more lately, probably the result of the slow deterioration of my mind due to those foot x-rays I had as a kid in the shoe store in the 1950s.

But I am giving a fair warning, especially to the guys. There is one date that needs no explanation in the upcoming month. That red circle around Feb. 14 has nothing to do with an oil change for your car. Nor does it have anything to do with the opening day of baseball’s spring training. No, that date only means one thing, Valentine’s Day.

As far back as kindergarten, males developed a healthy dislike for this revolting day. They can’t remember their wives’ middle names, but they can vividly recall the frightening Valentine’s Day box in their classroom, all done up in red crepe paper hearts and frilly white doilies.

It was enough to make you puke, or certainly put forth a good healthy burp, which they practiced all the time after school and on camping trips.

Back then, kindergarten was presided over by a teacher, in my case a Miss Frost, who wore corrective shoes, the same gray suit all year and sucked orange peels through her teeth while she was in the back of the room.

If that wasn’t enough, their own mothers betrayed them by standing over the boys and forcing them to write their name on all those Valentines to put in that frilly sissy girlish box, when they could be outside doing really important guy things like rolling boulders down an embankment.

They wrote in big block letters, much like a ransom note demanding a getaway car. One thing that dogged them forever was they could never get that letter “S” to go the right way. In fact, it wasn’t until they were married, divorced and remarried that they could actually learn to turn it around, what with all the dollar signs in front of so many alimony payments and attorney fees. These are the same youngsters with no early social skills who would go on later in life to careers as computer geeks, where they would make enough money to retire at the age of 14. There was some consolation that there were Valentine’s Day cards that had cowboys and lassos on them. Sure, they said, “Be my little Buckaroo,” but sometimes a guy has to make the best of it.

Now girls have had that date circled for a long time, actually since before birth. They actually come out of the womb screaming for chocolates and flowers. Valentine’s Day is the ultimate romantic holiday. But there are two requirements for a woman to make it a successful, fulfilling day, at least according to the greeting cards folks, who attached an amendment to a bill that was part of the funding for the Department of Transportation package, and later this became law and that was No. 1, you had to have a date; and No. 2, that date could not be a Dalmatian.

There are differences as to what constitutes a Valentine’s Day sentiment. Women will want that box of candy or maybe flowers. Of course, dinner is always a hit. Sure, the younger metro guy will think texting is enough. But the real pros know that the way to a woman’s heart is that red rose. And, more importantly, that the 7-Eleven convenience store is open all night. Semper Fi.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

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