Sunday, February 1, 2015

What Women Want (The Valentine's Day Edition)

 (This image can be found here:

What do women want on Valentine's Day? We want to feel special, cherished, appreciated, loved, and for some of us, a little indulged even.

Yes, we want a gift but not any old gift you picked up on your way home from work at 7PM on Valentine's Day night. We want the effort that was put into that gift. Because it's the effort that a man makes that causes a woman to feel special. Effort, as they say, is attractive.

The element of surprise shows effort. Surprising someone takes planning; it's premeditated romance.  The classic surprise is the blindfolded trip to some event, favorite restaurant or weekend away. It can also be the unexpected gift left on the bed or the individual fancy chocolates hidden around the apartment for her to find. It's fun, it's a little sly, and it's very endearing.

Knowing a woman's taste is key to a successful Valentine's Day gift. It shows you're paying attention. So start listening for clues a month or two before February 14 rolls around.

For example, my husband Mike likes to say that he never needs to ask me what I want for Christmas--he just starts listening more closely to me a few months before holiday shopping time, and by Thanksgiving, he has all the ideas he needs!

One issue I sometimes have with Mike is that I love impractical, sometimes fussy, usually superfluous gifts. Yes I could use an immersion blender, but do I want one for Valentine's Day from my significant other? In my mind, that's something we can pick up the next time we're in a Bed, Bath and Beyond. No, I want the earrings or the bag or the jeweled gloves. I don't care that I have a lot of earrings, bags and gloves. That's not the point. Practicality isn't in the spirit of Valentine's Day--treating your partner to something pretty that you know she'll love is what I'm talking about.

So just for fun, here are five things I would want in a Valentine's Day gift basket. Warning: Lots and lots of frills here.

  1. A fancy cookbook I mentioned I wanted to buy and that I hoped he would note for future reference (This one looks good.) With all the cookbooks I have, plus access to Pinterest, it's not that I lack for new recipes. But cookbooks are like works of art and I like to flip through them and "imagine" cooking every dish.
  2. Perfume, like Lancome's La Vie Est Belle or Folle de Joie eau de parfum. I don't spend more than $40 on perfume for myself, but the ones that smell really great and that I would wear everyday cost a bit more than that.
  3. A box of assorted Jacques Torres chocolates.
  4. This watch. People should start wearing watches again.
  5. These gloves. So pretty, and you need something that sparkles in the dead of winter.

So turning the tables, what do you get your guy for Valentine's Day? Again, it's about putting thought into it and showing you are considering what he really wants--not just what you'd like him to have. So if he wants cheese balls and corn nuts and a six-pack, who are you to judge him for it? Give him what he wants. If you know old-fashioned candy is his thing--forget the high fructose corn syrup for one day and get him the jaw breakers and pop rocks and all that other stuff you haven't touched since you were 12 years old.

I went and surfed for a while and you can get some really fun and creative ideas for all sorts of gifts-in-a-crate to surprise your sweetie--whether he's into zombies, video games, bacon or beer.  Check them out.

And don't forget the card. A real card. Yes, they still make them.