FB conversion pixel

Thursday, February 6, 2014

An "Authoritative" Guide to the Meaning Behind Your Valentine's Gift....from a Male Perspective


One of my dear female friends and I were having coffee once, and she said, “Do you want to know what women really want?  Do you want me to really tell you, because I will.”  I expressed interest, and she then proceeded to decode for me some of the mysteries of the feminine world.  Which I am NOT going to do for you today.  I figure the women would either not like that I did it, or decide it was malarkey, and the guys wouldn't believe me anyway, so….

What I AM going to do is respond to another round of recent headlines.  I saw today (as I seem to see every year) a headline proclaiming the article will help women be able to decode the meaning behind the Valentine’s gift their man gives them this year.  I didn't read the article.  A) I’m a guy, so I already know, right?  B) I've read it thousands of times before.  C)  They’re wrong.

So I am going to take it upon myself to offer to any women who want to read this, the real meaning behind the gifts.   And if you get frustrated reading along, please, please, please, skip to the last paragraph before you quit reading, because it IS the essential key to the whole matter. 

(Ladies, as the big day approaches, you will want to print off this guide, make copies for all your friends, and have it handy when you receive your Valentine’s Day present so you will properly interpret the mysteries of your man!  You may have a hard time explaining to your friends why the author of a book called “Finding God in the Seasons of Divorce” would be helping interpret Valentine’s Day presents….but I’m sure you’ll think of something.)

The first tip in decoding your man’s gift is this:  it isn't coded to begin with, we men are not that deep.  But there are clear messages, and they are:

1)  He gave you candy:   candy is sold everywhere, so it is really convenient, and every Valentine’s ad or aisle in the world tells us that candy is what we are supposed to give a woman for Valentine’s Day.  Since we want to be good guys and for our women to be happy, we buy you candy.  If there is a box that looks especially yummy, fancy, or something we would like if it was us, we’ll buy that one (maybe even hoping you will share a few with us).  If we happen to have noticed that you especially like pecans (for which you should really give us credit, we’re kind of oblivious beings), then we will buy candy that has pecans in it. 

1B)  He DIDN'T give you candy:  that means we actually believed you when you told us not to do so because it would make you fat.  However, if you told us that and we bought it anyway, it means we are afraid that if we don’t you will decide that we think you are fat. 

2)  He gave you flowers:  that means that flowers are sold lots of places, can be ordered over the phone or internet, and every Valentine’s ad or aisle in the world tells us that flowers are what we are supposed to give a woman for Valentine’s Day.  If they are roses, it is because roses look pretty, and since they are more expensive than carnations, we assume that means they must be a nicer flower for some unknown reason, and the fragrance is nice.  But it might also be that they had a Valentine’s Special on roses.  But then, the fragrance is nice for carnations, and iris and almost any other flower because we can’t really tell the difference anyway.   However we DID notice that the last time we bought you roses you were really nice to us and thought we were wonderful and gave us a great big kiss, so we learned it IS a good thing to give you roses once in a while.  BUT, every woman knows that the COLOR of roses matters, so…
                       a)  red---means everything at Valentine’s is red.  And, red is always the color of roses you see in movies and commercials.
                             b)  yellow—means yellow seems pretty.  And it breaks the routine of the boring red, and we don’t want you to think we are boring...And maybe they were on special.  Or maybe we like that yellow dress you wear.  But basically, the yellow ones looked pretty at the shop.  (or we might have been too late and they were out of red!)
                             c)     pink—means pink seems pretty.  And it breaks the routine of the boring red, and we don’t want you to think we are boring....And maybe they were on special.  Or maybe we like that pink sweater you wear.  But basically, the pink ones looked pretty at the shop.  (or we might have been too late and they were out of red!) 
                             d)     white—means the white ones were very striking.  And, red is always—just see yellow and pink.
                             e)     white with pink edging—they were REALLY pretty at the shop.  And red is always—just see yellow and pink.
                             f)     some other color—that means we got them from the guy who sells them on the street corner at the traffic signal.  Especially if the color is brown.  That is the ONLY reason.

2B)  He did NOT give you flowers:  that means we believed you when you told us last time that you didn't think we should waste money on flowers.  Or the budget is tight and we really struggled not getting them because we didn't think we could afford them, and hate to have disappointed you.

3)  He gave you lingerie:   means that we find you attractive, like how you look in lingerie, and every Valentine’s ad or aisle in the world tells us that lingerie is what we are supposed to give a woman for Valentine’s Day.  We also probably hope it will lead to something more.  The exception to this, of course, is if he bought you “jammies.”  If he did that, it is probably because he wonders if those stupid commercials about pajamas and teddy bears really are true, and decided maybe he’d take a chance just in case you were disappointed that he hadn't ever done that before.  Really.

3B)  He didn't give you lingerie:  means that you already have tons of it, much of which you don’t wear anymore, or you told us to stop wasting money on it.  It could also be we already like the lingerie you are already wearing, and would rather spend the money on flowers.

4)  He gave you jewelry:  means that we know you like jewelry, had enough money to be able to get something, found something that was in our price range, and every Valentine’s ad or aisle in the world tells us that jewelry is what we are supposed to give a woman for Valentine’s Day.  As for the choice and meaning behind WHAT KIND of jewelry we bought (excepting engagement rings), it is based on what we think is pretty, what reminds us of you, what we think you would like, what the jeweler had marked as a “Great Valentine’s Day gift,” and, probably, what we could afford.  If it is heart shaped, it is because we remembered that the candy comes in heart shaped boxes, so probably hearts have something to do with Valentine’s Day and it would be a good choice. Especially if it is a RED heart, then we have the best of both worlds!

4B)  He didn't give you jewelry:  means that either money is tight, OR, we think you already have more jewelry than you can wear, OR it didn't occur to us.  Besides, the parking lot at the mall was probably pretty full that day, cause it gets really crowded around the 13th and 14th of February when most guys remember that Valentine’s Day is coming soon.

5) He gave you fancy bath soapy bubbly spray smelly oily make your skin soft kinds of stuff in bottles and gift packs: means we passed one of those stores in the mall, and their signs told us that you would really love it, and since we figured they probably knew better than we do, we bought it.

5B)  He didn't give you the fancy bath blah blah gift packs—don’t ask why not, just be glad we didn't, because it wouldn't have been the right fragrance anyway.

6) He gave you a toaster, socks, a superhero DVD, a smelly stickup for your car, a pretty candle, a set of steak knives, anything with camouflage and ducks on it:  means, we know it is Valentine’s Day, and we know you are the woman we care about, but that’s about all.  Give us credit for that much.

6B)  He didn't give you a toaster, socks, blah, blah, ducks:  don’t ask why not, just be glad we didn't.

7)  He gave you a new Ferrari—means we have way too much money and are probably trying to impress you with it, OR, it means your old Ferrari is broken beyond repair (or maybe the ashtrays just got too full).

7B)  He didn't give you a new Ferrari---really, you’re seriously going to ask why?

8)  He gave you a Valentine’s card:  that is what you should pay attention to most of all.  Of everything a man buys for his wife for Valentine’s Day, the card is probably the biggest issue.  We probably read 50 before he picked it, or, in the case of some men, he grabbed the first one he saw (and you already know which way it happened, if not because you know him, then because the card says or does not say on the front, “My sympathy at this time of sorrow”).  BUT, women know that the KIND of card, and the WORDS on the card have secret meanings, too, so….
a)     The card is funny---means we laughed when we read it, and that we like laughing with you.
b)    The card is serious—means we laughed at the other one, but were afraid you wouldn’t find it funny or romantic enough.
c)     The card is sappy—means it says the kind of things we would say if we knew how to use words well, and it expresses how we think we would describe our feelings if we knew we had feelings and could describe them.
d)     The card seems to be just right—means that it says exactly what we wished we could say, but are glad there are cards that can say it for us.  Especially if we underlined or starred anything on the card.

8B)  He gave you ONLY a card:  means that we actually believe you understand our love for you without the need for lots of expensive gifts.  It may also mean that our wallet was pretty empty this year.  It probably also means that all the ads are way too confusing and we didn't know what to give you for Valentine’s Day.  In some cases, it could simply mean the guy’s a jerk, but you have to decide that for yourself.

9)  He gave you an engagement ring:  Okay, if you don’t know what that means, then even this blog won’t help you.

9B)  He didn't give you an engagement ring:  Okay, sometimes I know women do stew over this, especially if they are thinking this might be the day.   So if we didn't, what it means is that we haven’t decided to ask you to marry us yet.  And that’s ALL it means.  Anybody who tells you otherwise is just writing articles to sell magazines.

10)  He gave you ANYTHING ELSE:  means we have taken on the challenge of trying to come up with something unique and special, or something that we think YOU would really, really like, which we may or may not do effectively (like I’m questioning the whole name a star after somebody sort of thing).  On the other hand, it COULD mean that everybody was out of candy, flowers, lingerie, jewelry, bath soap, cards, and anything else that is normally given on Valentine’s Day because we made the mistake of waiting until 10 p.m. on February 14th to go shopping.  Even that doesn't mean we don’t love you, it simply means our brains, hearts and watches aren't always connected very well.

Bottom line, the core of the whole matter for decoding what a guy gives you for Valentine’s Day is this:  we know that Valentine’s Day is a day somebody decided we are supposed to make sure the women in our lives know that we care about them.  Depending on the relationship, that can mean anything from being attracted to being in love to simply caring about somebody.  But the point is, we guys give a woman some kind of Valentine’s present because we want her to know that we are thinking of her, that we care for her, and that she is important to us.  Even if we buy a toaster, those are the things we are trying to express.  (And remember, there are countless people in our world who long for someone to give them ANYTHING for Valentine’s Day.) 

So if the man in your life has a romantic flair that you cherish, then you are truly blessed.  If not, then perhaps over time he will learn those notions that mean so much to you, or you may learn to appreciate the other characteristics that endear him to you, whether he learns to be a romantic or not!  And unless he gives you divorce papers for Valentine’s, don’t try to decode messages that aren't there.  Instead, say, “thank you” and, “I love you, too” and for heaven’s sake, whatever you choose to give HIM, DO NOT buy it in pink!



  1. Richard you still make me chuckle! Thanks!

    1. Really? Did I say something funny? Are you implying that this blog Isn't a serious exposition???? Well, then, chuckle away!