In honor of Valentine’s Day later this week, I thought I’d share something that came up in a mixed conversation earlier this month — a few things men really should know, but can’t quite seem to figure out about women.
I’m limiting this list to six very basic things, starting with:
1. Why you should get her flowers on Valentine’s Day. Yes, I can hear the excuses forming already and I’m going to nip them in the bud (pardon the pun). Valentine’s Day comes once a year. You have all year to plan for it. Don’t say you don’t have the money. Or say that she “isn’t the flowers type.” That’s only what she tells her co-workers so she won’t be embarrassed when you don’t get her flowers.
“I don’t want to spend money on something that is going to die in a few days.” Well, you didn’t have a problem spending $45 on ravioli for the two of you at a restaurant, and that lasted two hours. She will enjoy those flowers for four days.
The prices do go up near Valentine’s Day. Don’t have $70-80 to have them florist delivered? Get her the $24.99 dozen roses Kroger special.
There’s really no excuse here. Just get her flowers. OK?
2. Chick flicks help your game. I’m really surprised more guys haven’t caught on to this one yet. I recently asked a male friend if he’d seen the latest Twilight movie. “My girlfriend really wants to see it,” he said, rolling his eyes, “but I just can’t see spending money to see a chick flick at the theater. We’ll wait until it comes out on DVD.”
Did you just feel that? It was an opportunity whooshing by, my friend. Chick flicks put women in a good mood like nothing else on the planet. After two hours of Edward and Bella, she will be in such a mushy mood, you could say, “Let’s watch March Madness,” and she will still think you’re brilliant and want to snuggle up to you.
You watch chick flicks for the mood it creates after the movie (and you get bonus points for being a cultured male). So invest in a chick flick every now and then. It pays dividends.
3. We don’t expect you to read our mind. We just want you to pay attention. I have to pick on my dad for this one. Back when I lived at home and used to make dinner, we had daily conversations that would go something like this:
Him: “What’s for dinner?”
Me: “I thought I’d make soup. I’m going to try to have it ready by 5:30.”
[2 hours later]
Him: “What’s for dinner?”
Me: “Soup. We’re going to try to eat at 5:30.”
[30 min later]
“What time did you say dinner would be ready?”
You get the picture. We don’t expect you to have psychic abilities…we would just settle for not having to repeat ourselves. How would you feel if you told your wife over and over what you were going to do on a certain day, only to have her have amnesia and ask you about it five times?
Yeah. It gets old.
4. “Romance” is easy. I promise. It’s pretty much anything that shows you are paying attention to the woman. Does she like Chris Tomlin? Get her the new Chris Tomlin CD and put it in her car. Does she like Anne Hathaway? Redbox a movie for her and bring her home. Does she like Skittles? Put some in her coat pocket with a post-it-note that says “Have a Great Day.”
This doesn’t have to be elaborate or particularly expensive. Just listen – eventually she’ll tell you what she likes, and you’ll look like a romantic genius when you pay attention.
5. Why she needs to you tell her she’s beautiful over and over again. (Please, no hate mail from feminists here.) Every woman knows what I am about to say. This goes a little deeper, but I’ll tell you – it’s something engrained in little girls from the time we are little. From the time our mothers dress us up in ribbons and frilly socks, we are subconsciously taught that we’re supposed to look pretty. That it’s part of our job to look beautiful. Not looking beautiful, therefore, isn’t just a reflection on your appearance, it somehow seen as a failure of your womanhood. (Similar to men not getting respect.) That’s why gaining weight bothers women so much – it’s not just the extra pounds.
We are very aware of the world we live in and the fact that from the time you leave the house, males are bombarded incessantly with advertisements in the grocery line, perfect looking people on billboards, television, etc. We saw you check out that woman with suspicious looking proportions in the grocery line, flip past pictures of Jessica Alba and Jennifer Lawrence while trying to check your inbox on Comcast and look a little too long out of the corner of your eye at NFL cheerleaders before changing the channel after dinner. Inside every woman at the end of the day there’s a small voice that asks, “Do you still think I’m beautiful?…Really?” So men, you need to tell her, genuinely and regularly.
6. The ball is almost always in your court. This is addressed mainly to my single friends, I suppose. I know it’s the 21st century and we live in a modern world, but the ball is still in your court. I say this because I know guys who are shocked that the women around them don’t have dates, but they themselves have asked out no one in years. (That’s right – years!) I know most guys won’t ask a girl out unless they are 90% sure she will say yes, but I hate to tell you – this works both ways. Most self-respecting women aren’t going to plaster themselves on you without some sort of indication of interest on your part. This puts both single parties in a stalemate, of course, but it’s true. On behalf of all the single ladies, I can tell you, she’s waiting on you. I promise.
The good news is, with e-mail, text message, Twitter, Facebook, etc., it’s easier to stick your toe in the water than ever. Test the water. See what happens. Please don’t make her wear the pants.
As the male, the ball is almost always in your court.
Now that you’ve read these six things, consider yourself one small step closer to figuring out the fairer sex. It’s not as hard as you think it is (see #3).
If just one wife or girlfriend gets a surprise bouquet of flowers on Thursday, I have done my job.
Dear awesome male readers, I know you’ve got it in you. So read the steps above.
And go out there and make me proud!
*In the spirit of fairness and equality, men, if you would like to leave “6 things women will never figure out” in the comments below, please feel free.