Thursday, January 30, 2014

Opining on Valentine's Day

As a gift and product blogger, I realize that The Toad has a responsibility to come up with a bevy of gifts for Valentine's Day. Then why do I have such mixed feelings about it?

For those of you who've never considered the holiday's origins, Valentine's Day stems from the ordeal of St. Valentine, a Roman era Christian who tried to convince the Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity. He lost, and died in the process, but not before apparently curing the Emperor's daughter of some sort of fatal illness. St. Valentine literally lost his head for, I suppose, his love of his faith. How this translates into giving your partner a big box of candy eludes me.

There's all sorts of pressure surrounding Valentine's Day, especially for men. The aforementioned candy, expensive bouquets of flowers, trashy lingerie, all seems to be required. Not to mention the requisite love note, probably soon to become love e-note. And then there's the dinner plans. Never mind the fact that Valentine's Day is possibly the worst night of the year, besides New Year's Eve, for going out for a meal. All those back to back reservations and prix fixe menus virtually guarantees any restaurant kitchen will end up in the weeds. Once, I actually walked home from a prix fixe Valentine's Day meal because we'd been there for hours with very little results. Romantic!

The Toad recommends dinner, for certain, but probably of the pizza or take out type (maybe ethnic). Save the excellent meal for the following weekend, when the restaurants are back to normal and you can order at your leisure (now, that's romantic).

Other thoughts: live plants, not flowers that are going to die. A gorgeous orchid or succulent planting is far more satisfying than watching roses croak. On the lingerie front, how about some underwear she might actually want to wear? Visit any Hanky Panky site for ideas, from thongs to boy shorts to cami tops.

As this holiday is labeled a "Hallmark" one, a card is a must. But please, look for something not so generic. And write something in it besides your name. It doesn't have to be poetry, it just has to be either funny or heartfelt. Preferably both.

So yeah, Valentine's Day is weird, and I have mixed feelings, but I guess it's still a requirement. Stay tuned for individual V-Day gift ideas coming soon.

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