Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Valentine's Day Gift That Could Give Something Back.

I'm just going to come out and say it. I don't like Valentine's Day. There! I said it. I know you might disagree and this will probably be a topic of some controversy, but that's just how I feel about it.
Why, you ask? I have several reasons:

First, whatever Valentine's Day started off as in the beginning, it has basically become a day set aside for jewelry/perfume/chocolate sellers to convince people that they can show someone the extent of their romantic interest by how much they're willing to spend. If it wasn't for the great food around that time of year, Christmas would by on my list for the same reason.

But it's on notice.

The next thing is that guys usually get the short end of the stick on Valentine's Day. We're usually the ones that have to spend most of the money on February 14 to impress the ladies. Well, at least that's how it is here in the western world. I recently learned that, in Japan, men are the ones who receive gifts on that date (I discuss this further in my post last week on Sprocket Ink). Another reason for me to love that country! Sadly, I'm not in Japan, so this doesn't affect me.

Third, I'm of the belief that Valentine's Day is for amateurs in the ways of love. Sure, it's alright for those puppy love stages of a budding romance, but after a few years, you just need to accept the fact that person actually stuck around so, yeah, it probably means he or she may still be into you, even a little bit.

However, my biggest peeve about Valentine's Day is that my wife, Mrs. C, does not agree with me on any of my previous points. She wants the flowers, she wants the candy and she'll never say no to jewelry, if she can get them. And she expects this materialistic show of affection. Every. freakin. year.


She isn't unreasonable, though. After my being unemployed for nine months and only just getting back into the workforce, she knows finances are tight. I've known her long enough, though, to not get caught in the trap of a false sense of security. Just because she hasn't asked doesn't mean she doesn't want but, like I said she isn't unreasonable. Sure enough, she did say this to me just a few days ago.

Mrs. C: If you're going to buy me something, I'm interested in those 50 Shades books.

Me: Really? Why?

Mrs. C: I just want to see what all the fuss is about.

While I question her choice of literature, it's what she wants, so I agreed. She didn't set a date. She doesn't actually expect me to buy her a book by Valentine's Day since I've still to receive my first month's salary, but she expects it soon.

Little does she know...

When I lost my job at Soul Suck Int'l - A Division of the Ninth Circle, the place I worked at before The Paper, I also lost the bank account I had because, if you leave them inactive and empty for up to three months, they automatically get closed. When I got the job at The Paper I had to go through the hassle of opening a new one and, that time around, I chose the bank with the reputation for having the best online facilities and services. I didn't want that one closed off after losing my job at The Paper so, without her knowing, I left enough cash in to take care of service charges and keep it going for a few months. Added to that, any time I wound up with any extra cash, I put it in my account.

Now, I'm employed again and there's a very small amount I can do something with. It's nothing much, but my plan was to get her something as a small "thank you" for putting up with my being unemployed again and, by coincidence, the dreaded Valentine's Day was just around the corner so I decided, "What the hell? Why not?"

I feel safe telling you this here because right now she's so focused on her studying, she almost never takes a break and I'm 100% certain she won't be reading this.

Still, one thing did bother me. As popular as they are, I've avoided the 50 Shades series of books due to the reviews about the quality of the writing, but I heard and read enough to have an idea what they're about. They're "lit porn", as one person I know described them.
I've had more than my fair share of porn in my day, but I chose to pass on this one. You could say that, with certain things, I prefer to leave as little to the imagination as possible. My wife, on the other hand, has never been the lit porn type (or any other type, really). She knows about my history with the genre, but she never got into it, herself. A side effect of being raised by her uncle, the evangelist and being the lead singer in her church's worship team before she developed the ability form full sentences, I guess. Naturally, she has an idea what the series is about too. So why was she really interested in them, all of a sudden? Tonight, I asked her again.

Mrs. C: Well... You know how I'm always trying to get you to read books to help you understand me better, right? I decided I'd follow my own advice and try to develop my knowledge in an area of interest to you.

Me: *blink*

At first, when she said this, I thought:

That's kinda sweet...

Which was immediately followed by:


She is getting one of those books for Valentine's Day. That much is certain. I just can't resist the urge to see how this all turns out. If the results are funny and at least PG rated, I probably also won't be able to resist the urge to share the adventure. If you don't hear from me for a while, that probably means things went horribly wrong.
In that case, I'm counting on you to send help. If not and things go great, I'll let you know. The details, though... well... I'll just have to leave that to up to your imagination.


  1. Replies
    1. You’re rooting for me to end up chained & whipped, aren’t you?

  2. Well, I um, ahem hope you both enjoy the gift.

    1. I hope we both do too. If things go south, she’ll probably enjoy things more than I will.

  3. Good luck! I hope you both enjoy the day.

  4. I also take issue with V-day, but I'm lucky that my spouse agrees. Usually we get each other things that are cheap and that we've needed/wanted for a long time. This year she got me "Contagion" and I got her shoes and water pitchers for the fridge.

    Hope things turn out well with her finding out what interests you. :)

    1. Me too. Especially since what the book is supposed to cover is way beyond the scope of my experience.

    2. 50 Shades of what the hell was that!? :)

  5. 50 shades of bad writing, really? Dude, I'm sorry.

    This is how we do it and it works. No prescribed commercialized day. Chocolate and coffee are always available. Random small gifts for no reason.

    1. We have the coffee and chocolates. Can't give gifts as frequently as we'd like but it doesn't matter. For Mrs. C, when it comes to Valentine's Day, it's the principle of the thing. The day is special & should be honored. At, least, that's her excuse.

  6. What doesn't destroy you will only make you stronger.

    1. Or leave you unable to walk for a few days.

      Hopefully in a good way.

  7. I hope the quality of the writing doesn't cancel out the other potential effects of reading those books, for her (and, by the transitive property, for you). I shouldn't say that, having not yet actually set my eyes on them, but guys talk - you hear things.

    Mainly, I'm frustrated that one of my favorite descriptors of my political and world views has been hijacked and utterly ruined. Now I have to find another way to say that I'm cursed with the ability to see shades of grey in a black-and-white world. (mutter darkly)

    1. Now that I have access to a copy, I'm sure I'll thumb through a few pages myself & see if it's as bad as everyone says.

      As for your other point, I never even considered it, but you're right. How can I possibly try to describe a situation as not being either black or white without that darned book title distracting from my own point?

      Of course, thanks for following.


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