Why Men HATE #ValentinesDay

Category: Weekly Columns

Valentine's Day cartoon

No one could ever accuse me of being too PC (politically correct). Just listen to my rant about PC lies! I’m always willing to also address the inherent differences between the sexes, in honest and frank ways. Just read my Men vs. Women blog series. Not only do I hate Valentines Day, I hate using the word, “gender” in place of “sex” when referring to men and women. Sometimes I use “gender” just to avoid the letters I’m bound to receive from the PC police, but since I’m taking on Valentine’s Day, I might as well go for it all at once.

The Evolution of Man towards Valentine's Day

Men and Women ARE Different

The reality is that men and women are different. Most married couples learn this pretty quickly. Then, if they have children, that learning process speeds up ever so much faster.  If they are blessed with having boys and girls, they graduate to a full understanding of how much the sexes are inherently different unless, of course, they’ve attended a women’s studies graduate program. Then, they actually might believe that if you give a little girl a toy truck she’ll enjoy it as much as a little boy would a toy doll.

But, those parents I referred to earlier know exactly what happens when you do that. The little boy will tear off the toy doll’s head, while the little girls will name the toy truck some cute name and take very good care of it.

Now, while I’m making these gross generalities and potentially irritating some readers, I’ll acknowledge that there are obviously exceptions to everything I’ve just written. But generalities, just like clichés, become generalities because they are generally true, just as clichés become clichés because of their ubiquity. I just love that word.

The Reason We HATE Valentine’s Day

The reason that men hate Valentine’s Day, “generally,” is very much because of the inherent differences between men and women, which is why women love Valentine’s Day so much. There is no day that more dramatizes our differences than Valentine’s Day. The pressure men feel is so intense that most men would rather go to war than face the wrath of choosing the wrong gift, making the wrong plans, or in any way messing up on what we know is this extra special day to our women.

The fact that we don’t get it is irrelevant. We are smart enough to know “they” do. The bombardment from Madison Avenue most certainly doesn’t help. We just survived the Christmas and New Year’s holidays when the jewelers start torturing us with their commercials. And those guys in those commercials seem to know exactly what to do!

Hallmark begins with their treacle commercials that nauseate many men. Then, our women begin with the hints. The problem is that our women’s hints are so subtle that they go over our heads. Women, pay attention, please. If you don’t hit us over the head, we won’t get the hint. Trust me on this, I beg you!

Jay Leno on Valentine's Day

Ugh, Choosing a Card and Buying Flowers

The fun continues for us in the card shop. Do we get a funny one; do we get a serious one? Do we get one of those musical cards, but what is her favorite song of the moment?  Flowers? I don’t remember which color rose is her favorite! Does she even like roses? Flowers just make no sense to me. They die in a few days. What kind of sense does that make? Besides, the vacuum is on its last legs. Wouldn’t that make more sense?

Okay, I’m not that lame. I wish that would work, as it is practical. But, it won’t. I think she gave me a hint about something, the other day, but I’m not so sure. It probably was jewelry as it usually is, but I can’t tell the difference between a good piece of jewelry and cubic zirconium. Heck, for the price of a good diamond, we could get a new flat screen TV and spend hours watching Monday Night Football or even those silly romantic comedies my wife loves so much. What’s wrong with that?

Everything, and I know it. And, it’s those differences that make the sexes work, those differences that make it all so interesting, so much fun, and so frustrating at times.  Jewelry. What is it good for…absolutely nothing. Where is Edwin Starr* when I need him?

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 9.42.07 AM

I really do hate Valentine’s Day, as do most men. But, when I get it right, I’m  happy, because then my wife’s happy, then she makes my life pretty happy and, to quote her, “Happy wife, happy life.”

So, this coming Valentine’s Day, maybe I’ll be off the hook as we’re going to be on vacation AND I invited her parents to come with us! Shouldn’t that be good enough?

BUT, It Makes Her Happy

Okay, which jewelry store should I go to first? Actually, I’ve learned better than even going to a jewelry story as I learned this past Christmas, which happens to coincide with our wedding anniversary. We went to the mall. I brought my laptop. My wife went shopping.  She came back and told me what I’d bought her for our anniversary and Christmas. I was smart enough not to ask the price. She was happy. Happy wife, Happy life….

*Edwin Starr performed the song “War” with the lyrics, “War, huh, what is it good for…absolutely nothing…” in 1969.

  • http://moondustwriter.com Leslie Moon

    I guess most women buy their own gifts (after marriage.) So Bruce why is it that men get the right gift while we are dating??? I do understand the Valentine Day thing it’s another day to blow a wad of cash. Enjoy the vacation that should make for one happy wife.l

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @moondustwriter:disqus – we struggle with the gift thing ALL the time – even when we’re dating but I will acknowledge that we try harder during “the chase!”

  • Dariel Raye

    Human nature tainted by socialization is always fun to talk about, and your articles, no matter how “politically incorrect,” are hilarious. You might be surprised by how many women aren’t particularly fond of the forced public displays of affection, or the commercialism of Valentine’s Day – some of us just like the presents, and we don’t have a problem hitting you over the head with what we want 😉 Hope you and your wife enjoy Valentine’s Day.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      WHERE WERE YOU @dariel_raye:disqus when I was single!?

      • Dariel Raye

        Bruce Sallan, I was probably the same place I was when you responded to this comment – writing another romantic fantasy 😀 Wishing you and your wife a wonderful Valentines Day!

        • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

          My wife left town @dariel_raye:disqus (family emergency) so it’s just me and the pups this #ValentinesDay! #DadChat

  • David Weber

    I dislike Valentine’s Day, for all the obvious reasons. I don’t get the inclusion of the Starr lyric here. I did not know that sex and gender were synonyms.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus – but NOW you have a TRUE LOVE, Professor – you gotta do something (for her for VD)?!

      Most people used to use the word “sex” when referring to a man or a woman – their sex was male or female. That is what I meant.

      • David Weber

        In fact, this subject came up at dinner yesterday. Both of us expressed our indifference toward ValDay. I said, “I will still ‘Valentine’ you,” and will probably get her a card plus the traditional dozen roses, which I’ve done since we first got involved. As for sex vs. gender, I am unfamiliar with anyone who knows what the term gender means use it as a synonym for the concept of a person’s sex.

  • Michelle Stinson Ross

    I giggled my way through the whole piece. And I’m an over-the-top romantic! But I’m also a mom of 3 teens who has been married to their dad for almost 20 years. At some point practicality over rules my fairy tale fantasies 🙂 I love flowers and chocolates and he is welcome to purchase them ANY time of the year. Better still, if he will wait until the day after Valentine’s Day when he can get both for 80% off. (see, practical)

    The key to long term relationships is successfully managing expectations. It’s not fair to EXPECT that my husband will get all mushy about Valentine’s Day. After two decades of life with my guy, we concern ourselves more with little celebrations of our life all along the way. Better to wake up every day knowing that I have a partner in life that supports and loves me, than getting carried away about an arbitrary day on the calendar.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @michellestinsonross:disqus – WHERE WERE YOU when I was single!?

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