Happy Valenstress Day (Valentines Stress Day)-What to get when you’ve just met

It is the most wonderful time of the year! And I’m completely aware that the holiday season is now in the rear view mirror. No, it’s the most wonderful time of the year because that most precious and joyous of holidays is soon upon us. That celebration of love, romance, and $100 bouquets of roses; that observance which makes us feel giddy, glum, guilty, or glad all at the same time.

I’m talking about St. Valentine’s Day, or as men in the western hemisphere call it  – Valenstress Day! The Most Stressful Day of the Year.


Any heterosexual man who says he enjoys Valentine’s Day is lying. Period. Oh, he might tell is wife, girlfriend, friend-with-benefits he can’t wait until February 14th but it’s just smoke and mirrors. Secretly he wishes he could suddenly fall into a coma and not come out until March.

There are numerous reasons on why men abhor this holiday, but in the final analysis it boils down to just two.

  • The whole thing total bullshit. And we all know it’s true. Shouldn’t love be celebrated every day and not just on a random day in the shittiest of months?
  • The stress is utterly overwhelming. Starting about now we will witness a barrage of television commercials, radio adds, and Internet advertisements screaming out suggestions on what to get our sweetie pie for Valentines Day in hopes that it will be the best one ever! It’s enough to cause ulcers and bring on a migraine. Ladies if you need a quick suggestion on what to get your man this year Jack Daniels – he’s going to need it.

I could also add that this holiday is totally one-sided. I mean really, when was the last time you saw a commercial with a woman shopping for her man’s Valentine’s Day present, or for that matter, even showing an ounce of anxiety about it, but I digress.


It seems no matter how long the couple has been together, whether they are dating or married, or even if the relationship is in the crapper the point eventually arrives each year where the man faces the issue What am I going to get her for Valentine’s Day?” If he’s lucky and they’ve been married for 25 years then there may already be a routine, kind of like sushi every Tuesday night. He knows she thinks flowers are a waste and would rather have a day at the spa- perfect! Or maybe all she wants are flowers sent to the office and an afternoon to herself  – no problem.

But what if you’ve just started dating? Now the decision takes on a whole new level of importance. Because, like it or not, how he handles the first Valentine’s Day will determine if there is another and how all future ones, and for that matter all holidays, will be as long as you both are together.


I met the Queen in early January exactly 35 days before February 14th. When I came to the realization that our courtship was going to be something much more I started to feverishly worry about what to do for  the first Valentine’s Day. I knew that I liked her and we had something special so I wanted our first Valentine’s Day to be memorable, BUT I also didn’t want to go overboard so when next Valentine’s Day came around I’d have to buy her a Maserati to outdo the first one.

Executing a proper first Valentine’s Day is as delicate as brain surgery. Should it go wrong then chances are you won’t be around for next years and the potential for screwing it up is as high as stepping on a land mine in the DMZ. For one, the guy could just not do anything claiming they haven’t been together long enough – in which case you’re an idiot and deserve what you will get. He could go the Dollar Store cheap route and convince her she’s dating her ex husband again. Or he could go the lame cliché route and give her a dozen roses and box of Godiva chocolates, and while he’s  patting himself on the back for the home-run he thinks he hit, she’ll be shaking her head in disbelief at his lack of imagination.

My friend, take it from somebody who knows, orchestrating the perfect first Valentine’s Day is an art form that requires a bit of planning, luck, and a lot of hard work. So I am going to give you the recipe for a perfect inaugural Valentine’s Day for your new pookie and believe me when I tell you it WILL work. She’ll be so impressed with your creativity and tirelessness she’ll be yours forever.


  1. First and foremost, you will stay away from gifts. You read it right, that means no watches, boats, new house, and for the love of God no jewelry. Unless you want to set a precedence out of the gate that will land you in debt for years to come, stay out of the mall.
  2. Stay away from restaurants. For one they’ll be crowded as Times Square and they usually have fixed, overpriced, lame menus. Besides it’s so cliché it’s pathetic.
  3. Make this first one a labor of love. Meaning your gift to her is going to be acts of service. Specifically that means is you are going to prepare her a sumptuous dinner. And by dinner I’m talking about TNT-hot Buffalo wings, Doritos, and a half case of Miller Lite. Instead, you’re going to find out what her favorite foods are, get on-line and find a recipe which has that food. I don’t care if you don’t like to or can’t cook, figure it out. I knew the Queen liked salmon so I found a brilliant salmon dish that I could prepare in less than 15 minutes.
  4. You are going to buy candles, lots of them. I understand that candles are unfathomably expensive (and no one has explained to me why) so make a trip to a Wal-Mart, Target, wherever and grab a dozen different types, plus one or two that actually smell like good.
  5. Next you’re going to take a half day on Valentine’s Day and go shopping. You’re going to get the food including 1-2 side items and stop off at a bakery for a cute prepared desert like a couple of truffles, brownies, or exotic chocolate – it must be chocolate.
  6. You are then going to buy one, just one, single long stem rose. One rose means that you understand the importance of flowers, but you’re not stupid or the average schmuck. Don’t get a vase, just leave it in the paper. And unless you do love her already…make it yellow. (In case you’re wondering yellow is for ‘like’ red is for ‘love’, dude c’mon!?!?)
  7. And Mary mother of Jesus DO NOT forget a card. Stay away from the gushy blah, blah cards about how your love will never die or you’ll be together forever. Find a card totally blank on the inside then sit down and write something. Don’t make it extravagant or over the top. Say that you’re happy to have met her, you’re glad to be spending this Valentine’s Day together, and you hope for many more to come. Easy peesy.
  8. After all of that you then go home and clean your pigsty. That means vacuum, mop, dust, use air freshener, and if necessary change your bed sheets…Because you just never know.

Now in advance you’re going to let her know that she should come over to your house for Valentine’s Day. When she shows up to your candle-lit filled house with romantic music in the background (which I will be providing a soundtrack for in an upcoming post) she will immediately realize she’s in for a special occasion. Pour her a glass of wine or make her favorite cocktail. At this point she’s going to begin to notice that you’re making something and she will invariably ask how she can help, to which you’ll say “just sit there and look beautiful”.

And here’s where the magic starts, when you’re ready you are going to cook the meal in front of her.  Pure rockstar!!! You can brag how you trained under Wolfgang Puck before striking out on your own. Or how you’ve never done this before, whatever. Finally when dinner is ready, and to finish it off, you lay out the card and rose on her place setting, to which she will in all likelihood faint from all the thick romance in the air.

At this point I assume you can take it in for the score (no pun intended)

My man, let me tell you, she will be impressed because you will have made the perfect statement and you will not look like a Guido douche. How do I know? The Queen and I just celebrated three years together and she still talks about our first Valentine’s Day. BOO-YAA!

Ladies my advice to you is simple, look hot and prepare to be amazed. Oh, and don’t forget the Jack Daniels.

Happy Valenstress Day everyone, you can thank me later.

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14 responses to Happy Valenstress Day (Valentines Stress Day)-What to get when you’ve just met

  1. I am so freakin’ glad I don’t have to deal with Valentines day. It’s a commercialized money machine and should be abolished. I do still get my girlies little gifts, but they’re happy with anything.

  2. Papa – Author

    To quote Brian Fantana “sixty percent of the time, it works every time”

  3. Papa – Author

    Maybe, but when you get a woman, you can come back here to review.

  4. #8 because you just never know…I’m still laughing at that. So true.

    I had a terrible attitude about Valentine’s Day before meeting my husband. His being so determined to make it all better did actually relieve some of the stress involved. Our first one together, I got a card and some flowers delivered to my work cubicle. My manager told him he was making all the men look bad.

    I’d forgotten all about that. Thanks for the laugh and the memory. Followed you here from a tweet.

  5. Valentines day always stresses me the hell out – most holidays do, but its worst than most.

    This year (I got as an early present) a car starter and a new thermostat in my car that took a total of 6 hours to find and install.

    That makes me happy.

  6. Lori

    How do I subtly forward this onto the guy I have been seeing for one month now? He’s already cooked for me, so he’s so some capability! And now, what are the women supposed to do?? Yes, we do stress over this…

  7. Ellie

    Haha. Definately stay away from restaurants! They overcharge you and are ridiculously full!

    Great tips, I get so bored with all the generic V Day junk!

  8. good advice

    Guys should should just relent or I should say, aquiesce Valentine’s Day. It’s her day. She wants you to be sweet, caring, and present. Most importanly she wants you to show part of your heart.

    My wife is low maintenance on this type of stuff but I still show up, buy or make her dinner, get a nice card, rub her back without expecting bam bam, and just be there.

  9. lil t

    First, I must admit I’m not a blogger. My sister has a blog and she’s the one that got me hooked on yours. Second, as a 32yr old single female who has 11 nieces & nephews + 1 great-niece, I find it ridiculous for me to increase the population considering my siblings (& nephew) are pretty good at racking up the numbers for our family. So I’m not a fan of children (because I can babysit any age child & then give him/her back to my sister/brother all jacked up on Mt. Dew) but mostly I despise the thought of having my own. Third, I thoroughly enjoy this blog! Not just the pieces on relationships, but also the ones about divorce, raising kids, money, dating a single dad – the shorter list is all of them 🙂 I don’t always agree with every view but I love how you discuss many angles of a subject. Your readers also have great comments to keep me thinking. You & all your readers, both male & female, have given me hope that there are normal (whatever that means), humorous, caring people who think somewhat like me. Which is a fresh change since others I encounter on a daily basis, and um…have dated, don’t have those traits. And the piece on dating single dads showed me so many important issues I’d never thought of, which I need to know since a large % of available 32+yr old men have children. Of course this Vday piece made me realize it’s not too much to expect a homemade dinner (or just a freaking card, for the love of all that’s holy!) from someone I’ve been dating a month or so. Thx for the great writing & keep it up!!

  10. Papa – Author

    Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate the kind words.

    Please stop by again.

    The greatest thanks you can give is sharing our site with a friend!

  11. Yena

    Have a date then just the usual talk with things that makes you compared things in common. It’s better to have this way than to rush up things when you just meet. It’s better to put this way than to commit something which was not meant to happen for.

  12. Hi there. All you need to do is to make your valentine celebration simple but memorable. To prevent your stress don’t expect for something special always.

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