Dear Tell All: I know this isn't going to be popular, but I'm going to come right out and say it: I hate Valentine's Day. The two weeks leading up to Valentine's Day have to be the worst weeks of the year.
I feel like I can't win no matter what I do. If I buy a box of chocolates for my wife, or have flowers delivered to her office, then I'm just buying into the system. Plus, it won't be anything special, because I'll just be doing what's expected of me. But if I ignore the holiday as a protest, then I'll be in even worse trouble.
Valentine's Day is just another excuse for greeting-card companies to make money. I had a hard enough time coming up with a Christmas gift for my wife this year. Then in a few months it'll be Mother's Day. I'm lucky my wife doesn't work for me, or I'd have to buy her something for Secretary's Day. Hallmark has got us by the balls.
Dear Romeo: Hold on to your hearts, ladies; Mr. Romance has arrived!
Actually, I can understand your angst. Valentine's Day can be very stressful. There's a lot of pressure to spend and impress. You remind me of Jim Carrey's character in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, who said Valentine's Day is "a holiday invented by greeting-card companies to make people feel like crap."
But if you take the focus off poor, miserable you for a moment, you'll see a more positive side. Valentine's Day is just a gentle reminder - or in your case, a gentle tug on the balls - to do something special to show your wife how much you care about her. Unless you're doing other romantic things throughout the year - and something tells me you're not - then you need this little reminder.
The beauty is that you don't have to spend a lot of money or "buy into the system" to make an impression. All you have to do is be creative. Instead of sending flowers or buying chocolates, do something original. Serve your wife cookies and champagne in bed. Buy a box of cheap, grade-school valentines and hide them throughout the house. Not racy enough? Fill an extra-large condom with chocolate kisses. Or deliver yourself to your wife's office wearing nothing but red Post-It notes.
In other words, create some hallmark moments, minus Hallmark.