So, I've finally heard an ad that suggests you get something for your man for Valentine's day.
Unfortunately, it's for Alase, the laser hair removal place. So I think the subtext of that gift would be "Happy Valentine's Day! I love you! Now go do something about that horrible back hair problem".
When I told him about this ad, Bob wondered out loud whether any guy would think about getting his beard permanently lasered off so that he wouldn't have to shave ever again, but agreed that the idea of a hair-removal gift was just weird and tacky.
In fact, any gift that suggests your significant other needs to alter their appearance in any way is fraught with pitfalls; it would be like a man getting a certificate for breast implants for his sweetie. And you all know how well that would go over.
I'm telling you, buy the power tools instead. You can't go wrong with power tools.
If you really want your relationship to work, it's a good idea to learn to accept your sweetheart's little idiosyncracies and physical uniquenesses; the odds of someone fundamentally changing their personality or appearance just because someone else is nagging at them constantly are pretty low. Most people don't really want to hear day in and day out that they aren't good enough, and endless browbeating tends to have the opposite effect to the one intended. So if you don't want to end up married to a slob who runs away from you every chance they get, learn to live with the small stuff. In fact, if he/she is not just fine the way they are, what the hell are you doing dating/married to them?
Yes, yes, I know; sometimes there just aren't very many dating choices out there, and you simply want a body to fill the empty space in the bed. Marking time with "Mr/Ms. Right Now" until something better comes along is a time-honoured way to really screw over someone who thought it was true love right up until the day you walked in with a swimsuit model and told them "It's been fun. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out".
Really, with all the gift-giving frenzy surrounding Valentine's day, who can blame you for picking up a special gullible someone who's going to buy you that emerald ring you've had your eye on for a while that you can then dump without shame or remorse?
But you know, the choices can be pretty slim this close to the day-that-is-symbolized-by-ever-more-expensive-gifts-of-luuuurrrrve, as more savvy singles have already snapped up all the really eligible options in a cynical bid for Valentine goodies. Sometimes all that's left are the living dead.
Don't despair! The living dead/zombies/John Kerry can be delightful temporary partners, perfect for the few days leading up to and after Valentine's day. Consider the advantages of dating the "dynamically challenged upwardly mobile":
* Doesn't eat much - Valentine's day dinner cheaper than usual.
* Quiet, and listens well. You can go on and on about your past failed relationships, and instead of your date running away the first chance they get or worse, lecturing you about what you need to do to change, all you'll get is a sympathetic "Braaaiinnsss..." in response.
* Doesn't object when you use their credit card, and:
* Doesn't object when you max out their credit card on jewelry purchases.
* Will do anything you want to do - just lead them gently.
* Won't object when you dump them for someone living, but make sure they don't come back and eat your brains; remember to shoot them in the head after you tell them "It's not you; it's me".
Of course, there are a couple of small disadvantages, but these can be easily overcome:
* Tendency to shed body parts in public places good excuse for use of handicapped parking spaces.
* Attempts to eat other people's brains easily explained by statement: "She/he's from England" (American Anglophilia being what it is, the revelation that your date is from England will make everything he/she does seem utterly charming rather than obnoxious and/or life-threatening). (Trust me, I've used this excuse before, as have my friends when I do something embarrassing; it always works.)
So, what's not to like? You can use them, abuse them, and dump them, and they can't even talk to tell you what a jerk you're being. You can't lose!
Text and images copyright L. Mellin, 2000-2008, except where noted. All rights reserved.