Monday, February 11, 2019

IT'S NOT ALL HEARTS AND FLOWERS by Hannah Rowan


Oh, the pressure!  Valentine’s Day is here again.  You’d think a romance writer would be brimming with ideas for what to get her spouse on this occasion.

You’d think wrong.

First of all, the cards…

I spent an hour or so perusing the card selection in my favorite Hallmark store. Yes, I’m a romance writer, but not a mushy-gushy type of person.  So that eliminated about half the cards that were so sweet I’m sure my husband would not only gag when reading them, but would wonder if aliens had replaced his wife with a doppelganger.  Many of the cards involve alcohol consumption, and while my husband generally has a beer when we go out on Saturday night, drinking isn’t so much a part of his routine that buying a card with drinking jokes would make any sense.  Apparently, many men are obsessed with playing golf, judging from the number of cards that refer to it.  My husband finds it boring. And then there are the ones that focus on fixing things around the house or doing chores, neither of which are my husband’s forte.

Eventually I’ll stumble upon some moderately suggestive, faintly funny, somewhat sarcastic card that fits the bill, more or less. 

And then it’s on to the gift…

Many women tell me they don’t bother exchanging gifts with their partners, but where’s the fun in that? I know I’ll get a gift and I’d feel guilty if I didn’t give one in return.

So over the years I’ve bought an assortment of gifts that might be considered a bit peculiar and not terribly romantic.

Like a session of shooting zombies at an indoor gun range.  (He used this one because we went together.) And a gift certificate to the new hatchet-throwing facility that just opened near us. (He continues to tell me he’s going to go with a buddy.  Soon.  Very soon.)  A one-hour massage session I’m considering confiscating if the facility will still honor a five-year-old gift card.  A drone that has never come out of the box.

I could go on, but there are only a few days left until Valentine’s Day and I should probably be spending the time trying to come up with the next off-the-wall addition to a long line of gifts.

I’d love to hear other people’s Valentine traditions.  What’s the best or the strangest gift you’ve ever given? Or that you’ve received?

25 comments:

  1. LOL ... hatchet throwing. My adult sons would be all over that. I'm horrible at holiday-specific gift giving so I won't be much help. I do love the fact that you think outside the box though. Best of luck with the search.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a hatchet throwing facility opened near us recently. I found it very peculiar, especially since they advertise BYOB. Seems like that would be a dangerous combination!

      Delete
  2. I think you should go into business of buying presents for others. You have great original ideas. Lots of fun reading your post. Thanks for the smile today.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Throwing hatchets? Is this romantic? Not sure...I don’t think any married couple should have weapons in the house!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I guess we're just traditionalists. Honey finds the loveliest, romantic card. I try but mine for him is never as good. He gets me red roses. I get him a heart-shaped reese's peanut butter cups, his fave. This is our 8th Valentine's Day together and mostly we gaze into each others' eyes so glad we met, more in love every day. So, pretty much every day at our house feels like Valentine's Day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, he usually gets me a funny card, and flowers. I think one time I got him a very large Kit Kat--his fave--but he's a health nut and would think I was trying to corrupt him. One time he gave me one of those heart shaped boxes of candy for Valentine's Day, and around April announced he was in the mood for some chocolate and asked if I still had any left. Clearly not understanding of women and chocolate!

      Delete
  5. Well, I love LOVE, but Valentine's Day is so meh to me. We go out average three nights a week (open mic nights) and usually have Friday night date nights, so no need for V day around here, lol. I love the 'outside the box' ideas, though. Throwing hatchets may not be exactly romantic, but it's a hell ya for fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, Elsa. We've been married 43 years and together more than 45, and we've gone out almost every Saturday night since the beginning.
      For me Valentine's Day is mostly an excuse to get out of cooking, though we generally go out the day before or after.

      Delete
  6. I like your gifts, they were great!
    crossnstitch2 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hatchet throwing? Umm, I'd be scared.

    Valentine's Day has always been a holiday where we agreed not to give cards and gifts to each other. Why? Well, for the first six years of our marriage, MR N was a fine-dining chef and he always (no excuse, not even for a death in the family) had to work. He worked over eighteen hours on February 14 and then collapsed at home.

    Instead of spending money on cards, flowers and such, we decided before we even got married that we'd go do something together. Whether it's a concert, dinner and a movie, splurging on a weekend overnight stay, we did it on the weekend following Valentine's Day.

    A few years ago, Canada instituted a new holiday called Family Day. Ironically, it falls the Monday following Valentine's Day (usually). We started a new tradition and took off the Friday. Voila, a four-day weekend, to snuggle up, eat gourmet food (cooked by my beloved) and binge-watch romantic movies.

    We look forward to Love Weekend and this year we're going to watch ten romantic movies. The menu is set and we can't wait.

    See, for us, we took the stress out of shopping for each other and instead decided the best gift we could give each other is our time. During the year, we're pulled in several directions and time together gets stretched pretty thin. But on Love Weekend, we have nothing to do and all day to do it in. :)

    Mrs. N

    nnlight at nnlightsbookheaven dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry, Mrs. N. I don't intend to go along on the hatchet throwing adventure if he ever uses the gift certificate. I like your ideas for celebrating and I love the idea of Family Day!

      Delete
  8. I'm more about the everyday gestures than Valentines. Although one year I received a fishing tackle box. I DO NOT FISH. I had to laugh.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Mary, I can't even tell you how many times I've received something very strange. But a fishing tackle box? LOL!!! You're right - everyday gestures are much more genuine, I think.

      Delete
  9. I haven't had many Valentine's Days that were romance centered. I was a single mom so I taught my kids that we were each other's Valentine's and their friends at school. Now I'm seeing my kids pass this onto their kids I'm proud to see that they see the value In what I was teaching them. The day is about the love that you have for the people in your life and sharing it, not just the materialism the day has become. Plus they still remember their Mommy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cindi, it's very gratifying when we see our kids doing something we taught them or the way we've always done it, isn't it?

      Delete
  10. Hannah, your posts make me laugh. Your hubby and mine sound similar. If I gave my Valentine a day at the gun range where we practice, he'd be happy. *LOL*

    Readers, remember the Rafflecopter is ongoing:
    http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/21df08a221/

    Enter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire & Ebook Gift Bundles.

    Enter COMMENT & WIN Weekly Giveaway by leaving a comment with your email address written out on any of the February posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Joan! I did accompany him to the one where you shoot zombies. We DEMOLISHED those zombies! And it was something to do together.

      Delete
  11. About the card: I think men don't care about expensive cards, especially if he's not the mushy-gushy type. Sure, we would be delighted to get a Hallmark card, but men are men.

    About the gift: hmmm, I enjoy buying gifts for the ones I love, I really do. And I think you nailed it with your gifts, I'd give a shooting zombies and a hatchet-throwing session to my husband too!
    Except the massage one - usually men don't care about massages. Like we do.


    My contact info: adissidente at Gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree about men and cards, Iris. Not to stereotype, but there you have it. I know he finds it stressful picking out a card for me. I think he enjoys the massage on a more practical level, because he's a trainer and is in the gym every day and has aches and pains, whereas we would see it as an indulgence.

      Delete
  12. My husband is not a Valentine type of guy. He used to try but gave up after the car wash tickets he gave me.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. In the past, we've typically done flowers and candy for me ( one or the other - never both) and I usually brought home all the teacher Valentine gifts I got and let him eat them, along with me getting him a card. This year we are traveling in an RV so it would be strange to stand beside him in a store buying his card. We've never been big on gifts for any occasion (Christmas, birthday, Mother's and Father's Day...) so I doubt we'll start now.

    ReplyDelete
  14. OMG...this was fun! And I hear you about those cards! Mr. H. is not a sappy guy, so we don't do much for Valentine's Day. But he does do sweet little things every day that I love more...bringing me coffee, doing dishes since I cooked, warming my car, and tackling the snow - things like that. Oddest gift? I gave him an ax for Christmas once. A very nice Norwegian ax since we burn wood. haha

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hubby and I don't tend to do anything extravagant on Valentine's Day. We don't buy each other gifts, chocolates, flowers, cards, etc. We don't even go out to dinner, since it always seems like restaurants are busier and service is slower on the holiday. Most of the time, we just make a nice dinner at home, crack open a bottle of wine, and enjoy each other's company. I couldn't ask for better!

    ReplyDelete