Play Valentine’s Day Well

Valentine's Day

I have some advice for the men out there, but I think it would be good for the women to read on as well.

When I am in love (which I now think of as a kind of virus that should be avoided at all cost), I am very much into buying random little lover’s gifts. And I am especially fond of flowers. In fact, I am so fond of them that at one time I had an intuitive idea of the yearly cycle of flower prices. And since I have never been rich, I quickly found that it is always a bad idea to buy flowers around Valentine’s and Mother’s Days.

This is not just a matter of supply and demand. It is kind of like the diamond market that is manipulated to make diamonds expensive even though a truly free market would show them to be extremely cheap. (Folks: rubies are great stones! Blue topaz are great stones and they’re cheap! Diamonds are overpriced and boring!) Don’t be stupid; don’t be boring; don’t buy flowers around Valentine’s day!

Come on men: nothing says “I’m trying not to piss you off” on Valentine’s Day like a bunch of roses! Trust me, a bunch of carnations of May 6th can go a long way. A single orchid on the anniversary of your second date will totally get you laid. And a bunch of wild flowers stolen from a neighbor’s yard when your wife seems down can double the length of your marriage. (But if your marriage is going to fail anyway, try to keep it under 5 years; it gets a lot more legally complicated after that.) On Valentine’s day, you need to try not to be such a chump.

You see, buying flowers on Valentine’s Day is the worst of both worlds. It costs a lot of money and you don’t get much credit. On the other hand, it is a mistake to be forever surprising your wife with flowers, jewelry, and little notes that say, “You’re my special someone!” You do this too much and your wife will complain when you take her to Jamaica for Valentine’s Day because Saint Thomas is so much nicer in February. Everything in moderation. One surprise per month is probably optimal.

Now I know what you’re thinking (especially if you’re a woman), “This guy thinks relationships are just a game!” That’s not true at all. I know relationships are just a game! And you can play it well or you can play it badly. Your wife prefers that you play it well. (Just ask her!)

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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