A few thoughts on Valentines Day… just a week away guys!
“You’re a super wife. I’m a hapless dweeb. Happy Valentines Day.” It’s that time of year when guys search for the perfect card to express their deepest Hallmark feelings to the one they love.
For many guys, husbands in particular, this is a difficult task. Recently, I checked out cards to best capture MY innermost thoughts at this romantic time of the year. Naturally, I looked at the ‘Romantic’ section first. I found cards expressing mostly gushy sentiments for new love. There were promises of a long and happy life together full of passionate devotion…. ‘if you’ll be my Valentine’. Truth be told I am a bit of a romantic. As a consequence, I tend to find these deep and heartfelt expressions, written in some faraway card factory, artificial at best. Besides, I could not find romantic cards that declared romance and reflected on a long relationship.
Sure, there were exceptions, but why were they written in the same font as the sympathy cards? So, I checked out the ‘Wife – Funny’ section, hoping I’d find the perfect little joke that, combined with a jewellery box, flowers or a dinner out would capture that Valentines feeling and, well you know where I’m headed. Guys, check out these cards very carefully. Did you know that card companies have determined that once married, husbands lose all sense of romance, their IQ drops thirty points and they develop the worst grooming habits of any primate?
For married guys, Valentines cards tend to be an apology for being such a total idiot for most of the year. Here’s a gem from the ‘Wife – Funny’ section. “When something needs doing I don’t always do it. When something needs fixing, I don’t hop right to it. When the cheque book’s a mess I may throw a fit. When the going gets tough, I have been known to quit. When I start off each day I don’t always smile. When we step out to dine, I may not be in style….” I’m not making this up.
But why pick a card that catalogues all of the nasty habits you have, item by shameful item? Maybe it’s better to just pick the all-encompassing apology for being such a loser. “You know I love that thing you do. That one special skill only you seem to have. I call it the ability to put up with me.” The ones that don’t rhyme sound the harshest. Yes, there are so many ways to show how flawed you are as a husband. There’s even a card and button combo. The button reads “Perfect Wife” and the card says, “For my wife on Valentines Day. That special time of year when I show how much I love you and what a lousy gift buyer I am. Buttons are sort of like jewellery, aren’t they?” Pure poetry!
Having exhausted the “Wife – Funny” card selection, I thought I’d check out the ‘Husband – Funny’ cards. Be ready guys, because these cards are also hilarious. Wives can buy a combo with a button that states, “I’d be lost without my wife” and the card advises “Today is a good time to let the world know how you feel about me. You can also wear it when we are driving together.”
Brilliant! But why beat around the bush, when a wife really needs to express something strong? She can buy the card with the cartoon gorilla sitting on the toilet… “To my husband, my stinky Valentine.” Still, for my money it’s the ‘Wife – Funny’ section that delivers more yucks than the ‘Husband – Funny’ section. One of my faves was “This Valentines Day let’s spend the evening playing around with one of those fun battery powered gadgets.” Inside, the cartoon hubby is reclining, malty beverage within reach, remote in hand, and he says “So what channel do you want to watch?”
Of course, being king of the remote is a fairly common theme. How about the one that starts with “Honey, I hope you know that all of your hard work has not gone unnoticed.” Inside, it says “I’ve been watching you from the couch during the commercials. Love you.” Again, hilarious. Valentines day cards demonstrate the epitome of the ‘guy as idiot’ theme that’s ubiquitous in advertising. I still can’t eat a dill pickle without recalling those radio ads where guy sounds like he’s about to wet his pants because he can’t find his precious snack in the cupboard. A calm, reassuring voice (must be his wife) tells the hapless dweeb the Strub’s are in the fridge.
On reflection, maybe all of these cards portraying husbands as dolts aren’t such a bad thing. After all, they set the bar pretty low. And surely most guys can hurdle over such diminished expectations just by flushing the toilet or oiling a sticky hinge.
But the remote? Seriously, don’t touch it ladies. Remember, we’re not perfect.
Pantheon | John Ecker