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What not to give your wife on a romantic holiday

Copyright © 1997 by Dorian Scott Cole

Let it be said, first of all, that I do have a romantic bone in my body. It's just very, very hidden.

I wanted to give my wife a nice valentines day gift - one that would mean something to her. Being the creative type, I thought I could swing that, in spite of having to watch money closely because of housing changes. But I have a notoriously poor track record with any holiday besides Christmas. I usually don't remember my own birthday, so that should give you your first clue.

When we first met, I was of the opinion that Valentines day was a children's holiday. School children exchanged these cutesy little valentines, and this stopped at the end of grade 6 or 8. My wife remembers well, and reminds me frequently, of our first Valentines day. I was short on cash and needed a pack of cigarettes. Card, cigarettes, card, cigarettes? She got... All the other wives were declaring their wonderful valentines gifts, and she was in tears. I knew my days of smoking were limited. 

A few times over the years I've actually remembered the holiday early enough to rush to the store and get a card - usually slim pickings by the time I get there. You can usually scratch out the word "mother," and pencil in "wife." 

But this year I resolved to rectify that. I started a week before the holiday and picked out my card. She'll like this one, it has frogs on it. A gift? What would mean something to the wife? This is hard work. I know how much she hates bugs, and warm weather is on the horizon, but a can of bug spray just doesn't seem "personal" and "warm." "Aha!" Says I, "The bedroom is personal. She'll appreciate bedroom...." We have this bedroom outfit that we bought in our fourth year of marriage. We really like the thing - and I have promised ever since to fix it up. A couple of knobs are missing.

New knobs. That's it, she'll really like new knobs for the bedroom furniture. I spent many minutes at Home Depot searching for knobs. I finally found the perfect replacement - much dressier than the old ones. But to be sure, I only bought one and I left it on the dresser where she would be sure to spot it. She was delighted with the knobs. For once I did it right. Proud of myself, I launched straight ahead to my doom, asking, "How would you like those for Valentine's day?"

I had to endure ten full minutes of laughter. She says, while laughing so hard her eyes are full of tears, "Other men get their wives diamond tennis bracelets, and weekend trips, or at least a box of candy - so when the ladies at work ask me what I got, I can say, "Knobs! He gave me knobs!" 

Knobs. Yes, now that I think of it, knobs doesn't really sound very romantic. Knobs - it's kind of a knobby little word - not very attractive - doesn't have a warm and fuzzy sound to it - doesn't conjure up images of romantic candle light dinners and evenings in front of the fireplace. Knobs - no I think I had better find another gift. Now I'm really stuck.

Oh well, off to my next misadventure. 

- Scott

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