Today is Sunday February 14th, Valentine’s Day! What does that mean? For those of you who are single and dating, or perhaps recently engaged, it’s a wondrous day of love, chocolate, roses, and a memorable date at a highly regarded restaurant, or a day of adventure and amour.
For those of you who are hopelessly single (which I was for many a year before meeting my wife), it’s an agonizing day of loneliness and longing, searching through whatever channels are available to find that special someone with whom to share this most romantic of days. So, Tinder.
What about those of you who, like me, are married with children? What kind of joyous wonders await us? Well, if you’re like me, with your hands full with precocious toddlers tearing around the house from the wee early hours of the morning until the late hours of the night, with nary any rest in between, having anything remotely resembling a romantic Valentine’s Day can be a serious challenge.
For my wife and I, our Valentine’s Days for the past years have been full of such joys as potty-training children leaving their “marks” on the carpet, children with ear infections being sick and vomiting throughout the home, children not taking their much needed naps, having food and drink spilled and smeared in every direction possible, having phone and tablet screens shattered, and many more such similar shots from Cupid‘s oddly aimed arrows.
So here, for my fellow beleaguered fathers and husbands, is a series of my own personally designed hacks that are crafted to assure you and your wives a truly romantic Valentine’s Day, but without breaking the bank, and without the need to leave your kids with an expensive babysitter or ship them off to grandma’s to be able to enjoy the day.
Ladies, while I appreciate your support of my blog, and your interest in reading the steps I have delineated below, please avert your eyes now, so that the gifts I am instructing your husbands to give you are not diminished by your foreknowledge of them. Okay? No, really, I insist. Please. Why don’t we… Umm how about you… JUST STOP READING, WOMAN!
Okay guys, now that your wives have stopped reading this Valentine’s Day Guide for Husbands and Fathers, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Here’s what you need to do, and you need to do it pronto. Follow these instructions to the letter!
VALENTINE’S DAY HACK #1: FLOWERS
Flowers are a must, guys. If you don’t your wife get flowers on Valentine’s Day, be prepared to go straight to the dog house. Here’s how to get flowers that are sure to impress, but without breaking the bank. If you’ve already ordered by phone or online, 2 points for you! Here’s what you do. Let your wife enjoy the flowers all day today, and make sure they’re displayed in a prominent location.
Tomorrow, call the flower company and complain that the wrong flowers arrived, that they were dead, that the vase was broken, or that the chocolates that came with the flowers made your wife vomit, and completely ruined your Valentine’s Day. Threaten to sue or to bash them on social media. They will hurriedly credit you for your order, and maybe even send you another set of flowers to make up for the error. Boom! Free flowers!
Alternately, if you’re a complete moron and waited till half way through Valentine’s Day itself to realize you need flowers, you can achieve the same thing by getting your dumb ass down to Costco, buying her some last minute flowers pronto, and returning them to Costco later in the week. It requires more leg work and an explanation as to why her Valentine’s Day flowers have suddenly disappeared, but it’s still free, and will save your hide if your hide needs saving.
VALENTINE’S DAY HACK #2: DINNER
Okay, let’s face it guys, you need to treat your wife to a great dinner on Valentine’s Day. Chances are, though, that the restaurants you want to take her to are either already booked solid, or out of your budget. Here’s what you do.
You tell your wife that you want to show her how much you appreciate all the home-cooked meals she’s made for you and your family throughout the year, and that it’s her turn to relax, kick her feet up, and let you do the cooking.
At this point, she will laugh at you because you have no ability to cook anything whatsoever, and can barely boil water without her assistance. Be brave, hold firm, don’t panic, and insist that you’re serious, and that you’ve been secretly planning to do this for weeks, and have really been practicing. Assure her it will be great, and to leave the kids with you, and to go enjoy an hour of time to herself.
When she finally, reluctantly leaves you in charge of both the kitchen and the children, take a deep breath, and if necessary, take a shot of something strong. Then, bring your kids to the table, and let them help you start mixing flour, eggs, and water in a bowl. That’s it. No other ingredients. And no smocks or drop cloths, either.
Let this mixing go on for a ridiculously long time, until your children have become tired and have lost interest in it, you are all covered in flour and egg, and the kitchen is completely destroyed.
At this point, and this part is very important, say loudly enough for your wife to hear, “Great job kids, we really did it! Together! As a family!”
Your wife will instinctively sense that nothing good can be happening in the kitchen, but will be so overtaken with pride and respect that you actually tried to do something that included the kids in a safe and healthy way, that she will be momentarily blinded to the huge mess in front of her.
Start to put whatever atrocity you’ve created in the mixing bowl in the oven, no matter what it looks like. She’ll stop you, take one look, throw it right in the garbage, and send you off to clean all the flour, egg and water off your children.
She will be disgusted by the mess you’ve made, which she will finally notice, but will have been so touched by your effort to actually do something for her on your own, that she will insist on making something for dinner by herself.
At this point, make a half-spirited offer to take her out to dinner, and say she shouldn’t be cooking on Valentine’s Day of all days. She will say no, thank you for your attempt at cooking, and whip up something amazing.
So there you go, dinner is taken care of, at no cost to you, except maybe the loss of your pride! Easy! And your kids will be so worn out from the hour of mixing and kneading your Frankenstein-like food creation that they’ll be tuckered out and ready for bed.
Two birds, one stone. You’re welcome.
VALENTINE’S DAY HACK #3: MOVIE
Okay, now that you’ve taken care of your wife with the free flowers and conned her into staying home and making you dinner, all while exhausting your children and getting them to fall asleep, the next big step is choosing the entertainment for the rest of the evening.
It being Valentine’s Day, you must of course watch a romantic comedy, and in most cases, a chick flick. Pay close attention, because these next steps require precision.
If by some chance you still watch movies via DVD, you have the best chances here, because you can take your copy of The Notebook and put it in the DVD player upside down, or scratch the bottom of the disc so it won’t play properly. When the disc doesn’t work, start fiddling with the DVD player and disconnecting and reconnecting all the wires, and use some nonsense technical jargon to explain why this particular DVD will no longer work with your system.
If you are using Netflix, are streaming online, or are watching a movie on demand, it’s really the same thing as with the DVD, but without the steps listed above. Let your wife choose whatever chick flick she wants to watch, and then make up an excuse using some technical lingo about why that particular movie isn’t compatible with your system, or isn’t available for download, or has some buffering issues that simply can’t be resolved with your system’s limited RAM, etc.
Here’s the point. At this critical juncture, you tell your wife about a whimsical new romantic comedy that would be absolutely perfect for Valentine’s Day, but you tell her to trust you and let you surprise her. The trust and surprise card may be limited by how well you handled the dinner-making fiasco, but regardless, the goal is to turn on the ultimate romantic comedy, Avengers: The Age of Ultron.
Once it’s on, you really don’t have to do much to justify how it could possibly be classified as a romantic comedy. Your wife will be so mesmerized by the movie’s outrageously handsome cast, including Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Jeremy Renner, and she will be so swept up in the Beauty and the Beast love story between The Hulk and The Scarlett Witch, that she won’t even notice it’s really a superhero movie you wanted to watch but that she’s been vetoing for weeks. Everyone wins!!!
[Editor’s note: X-Men: The Days of Future Past is an equally good alternative with an equally handsome cast, and can be substituted safely for the Avengers here.]
VALENTINE’S DAY HACK #4: DESSERT
The last step to making your Valentine’s Day both memorable and affordable is to cap things off with a great dessert. This is the most crucial part to pull off successfully, and absolutely the most important. Why? Because no matter how badly you might have screwed up all the other parts of the day, if you do this last step right, it will redeem you, and will end your night on a positive note.
The answer is two-fold, but not difficult to accomplish, relative to the other steps delineated above. It requires these two non-negotiable elements:
- ICE CREAM
Make sure you know what kind of chocolate and what flavor of ice cream your wife likes. DO NOT MESS THAT PART UP. You might have to part with a few shekels at the grocery store to get this part right, but MAKE SURE YOU DO GET THE RIGHT ONES.
At some point during the viewing of the chick flick romantic comedy, The Avengers: The Age of Ultron [or X-Men: The Days of Future Past], discreetly excuse yourself to the other room. When you return, bring the chocolate and the ice cream with you, with only one spoon.
Your wife will be excited about the dessert, and impressed with your thoughtfulness, but may be reluctant to indulge in the sweets.
This is where this most essential of steps has the potential to go off the rails. Make sure you convince your wife that it’s okay to share in the chocolates and ice cream with you, that she’s beautiful and will always be beautiful, and that the important thing is that you indulge in the sweet treats TOGETHER, AS ONE. That’s when you lift up the one spoon, and you give her the first spoonful of the delectable goodness.
From there, as long as you don’t start coasting and letting all your hard work from the day get wasted by forgetting yourself and starting to burp, fart, or otherwise ruin the mood, you should be good to go for one of the best Valentine’s Day ever!!!
That is, unless your wife is smart. Like mine. In that case, absolutely none of this hogwash will work. You will be deeper in the dog house than ever if you try any of this nonsense, and will end up working twice as hard to dig yourself out of the hole you’ve just dug.
In that case, check back here for next week’s blog about HACKS TO GET YOURSELF OUT OF THE DOG HOUSE FROM WHEN YOU MESSED UP VALENTINE’S DAY, which I will be devising this week as I try to figure out how to clean up this mess…