So, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and as you read these words, panic sets in. Maybe you forgot, maybe you know you can’t do the obligatory delivery of flowers-again. This may be your blessing in disguise because the team here at Suburban Men are going to share our trade secrets with you. Some of these ideas will save you money, some will save your sense of creativity and some will just save your relationship. Drumroll please, and Cupid please take notes:
1. Tickets. Tickets to her favorite band, her favorite sports team, the play she has been dropping hints about, plane tickets or even to the movies. A quick, easy way to order online and have them inside her Valentine’s Day card in a matter of hours. Last year my wife gave me tickets to see U2 at the Rosebowl and gave them to me on Valentine’s Day and said it was my birthday present (the smart woman that she is, killing two birds with one stone, and I was so excited, I didn’t even care).
2. Here’s one from my personal playbook: the “Your Day” gift. This started one year when my wife looked at me and said, “I really want Valentine’s to mean something and not just because you have to buy me something. We were broke, we’re tired and neither of us wants to celebrate right now. Can we put this on pause.” I wanted a day to really make her feel special and show how much I appreciate her so I created an official holiday just to celebrate her, and she did the same for me. This is how it works: the key is the day is a surprise, she has no idea it’s coming, and it is completely tailored to everything she loves. Our first “Zanne Day”, I brought her breakfast in bed, gave her a book and a CD she had been wanting to buy, and we packed a picnic down by the lake. After the kids came, I let her sleep in as late as she wanted, and when I told her she could have an entire day to herself to do whatever she wanted…well, she left. And spent the entire day alone just doing whatever she felt like at that moment.
3. The ultimate playlist. The key, the absolute key to this is that you give it to her right at the start of her day, before she leaves the house (otherwise it looks like a last minute creation). There are many playlists on Spotify you can steal from for filler, but it must include “your song”, her favorite musician, songs that reference places you went together and other special memories. When you give it to her/text it to her make sure you include the message “Happy Valentine’s Day—hope you start your day off right. I’ll be thinking about you all day and I hope you do the same.”
4. Dollar Store Date. My wife and I still do this spontaneously, but the idea is you go into a Dollar Store and you have 15 minutes to pick out the “perfect” gift for the other person, but it has to be a dollar or less. You talk about why you think the gifts are perfect (” this reminds me of our trip to Mexico…”These are always good for some light-hearted fun and laughs, but if you are planning on doing this on Valentine’s Day, you may want to be a high school student or include or of the other options. And your partner better have a sense of humor. Or if you are smart, you go the dollar store early, scope out the items that are available, and create a scavenger hunt for both of you to hunt and seek based on the list of clues you prepared earlier.
5. Many photo places offer next-day or one hour (if you are really desperate) options to create photo gifts. Make a mug of a special moment or a photo book of a vacation you took together. One of my wife’s most treasured gifts is a customized framed photo of our dog. Not our kids, but our dog. I also filled up a basket with her favorite candy, a bottle of wine and the photo item. Perfect.
6. If she is a mom, especially a working mom, this is what she really wants: she wants you to come home early, have the house spotless, kids bathed and ready for bed, and have you draw her a bubble bath with candles and a glass of wine (and maybe put on that playlist again). This idea doesn’t work unless both the house and the kids are done first, so don’t think this is the easy idea.
7. And finally, if your partner is a blogger like you are, then the best thing you can do is give a shout out to her and her tribe. So guys, do me a solid and click on the link to WhereGalsWander and you can return the favor in saving me on Wednesday as well.