Valentine’s Day no-nos

I typically forget about Valentine’s Day until the very last minute, and that’s often when I’m on the road.   Consequently, I end up grabbing a present or two for my current wife - usually without much thought - so I won’t be empty handed when I walk through the door at home.   I’ve discovered over the years that forgetting to “acknowledge” Valentine’s Day can cause much trouble between couples. This discord can last for months, and can even be brought up years later.   I’ve also learned - the very hard way - that certain gifts can produce added misfortune, grief and discontent.   For instance, never, ever, buy any products, magazines or books on how to lose weight. Women despise these things, regardless of your loving intentions.   The same applies to any type of exercise equipment.   Another Valentine’s Day no-no is hobby related gifts. These do not say love and affection.   Nor do kitchen or household appliances or tools, no matter how unique or special.   Drug store chocolates don’t make a good impression either. Better to invest in a nice box of chocolate from the likes of Godiva or Ghirardelli.   I advise against a bouquet of balloons. This is so old school. Plus, balloons tend to float around for days as a reminder of your unthoughtfulness.   Another suggestion: No frilly or sexy lingerie, except for you new couples/lovers.   In the beginning, lingerie is a can’t-miss gift that usually results in a “gift” for the giver. But after a couple of Valentine’s Days, continuing to give lingerie demonstrates that you have no creativity. And forget about your “gift” of appreciation.   After many years of struggling, I thought I had come up with the perfect gift - and not just for Valentine’s Day, but for any occasion that requires a gift for a woman: a gift certificate.   Was I ever wrong. As my wife loudly “educated” me: “This shows no thought at all!”   I hope my experiences will help you keep Valentine’s Day at least civil. You’re on your own for romantic.