Helping Men Survive Valentine’s Day

More helpful advice from Stan Kegel.

Men often have a difficult time figuring out what to do on Valentine’s Day — and if they expect to get any …uh, make the women in their lives happy, they need to know the basics. Here it is, guys, hours before you need it — that’s plenty of time.

Step One: Remember. The minimum requirement is to let the woman know you care. The least expensive way is to look at her — preferably somewhere on her face — and say, “I love you, [her name here].” If you forget her name, don’t bother with the rest of the steps — you already lack the skill to survive.

Step Two: Cards. A Valentine’s card is an acceptable nonverbal token of appreciation. Best of all, it’s cheap. Good Valentines are pink with lots of lace and have cute words such as “I’ll love my sugar bunny forever and ever and ever and …”. Bad Valentine cards say, “Good for one free quart of motor oil.”

Step Three: Candy. While a handful of M&Ms is OK, women tend to expect something a bit nicer. It should be in a box for starters, and wrapped in nice paper for that extra touch. The best way to explain why you must do this is: women regard chocolate the same way men view beer. Enough said?

Step Four: Jewelry. A bit pricier, but essential if you did not bother with Steps 1-3. If you did, you might get by with a small but hideously expensive ring, necklace, or tiara. Note: most women, even in Arkansas, do not consider aluminum, tin or a mylar balloon to be a precious metal.

Step Five: Lingerie. Caution! Not only does it have to be the right size and caliber, it must also match any of the 8 billion feelings she currently has about herself. To be safe, tell the clerk you’re looking for something that can’t be used to strangle you in your sleep.

Step Six: Romantic Getaways. These are only good for couples with more than .2 children. Studies prove that not even bacteria can reproduce when a toddler is beating on the bedroom door with a Fisher-Price toy. Depending on the size of your family, a sufficient getaway may range from a motel in town to crossing at least three international boundaries.

The Most Important Thing to Know: Unlike men, women give points for trying. So do something — anything is better than nothing. Every year, emergency rooms fill with men who didn’t understand this simple point.

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