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NOT-YOUR-AVERAGE VALENTINE’S DAY SURVIVAL GUIDE

If you want to know the history of St. Valentine’s Day, google it.  I’m really not interested, are you? To me and most of the ladies I know, it’s just a day made up by the florists, card and candy companies to make lonely, single people feel horrible once a year, kinda like New Years Eve. Even worse for the recently divorced or kicked to the curb people who have to go into the Valentine’s season nursing recent battle wounds.

Regardless, it’s the day when we’re expected to give and receive fattening, sappy, wasteful, corny gifts and if you’re one of the lucky ones, expensive, grand gestures of love like diamond rings and exquisite meals.

Below is a list of gift suggestions for whatever romantic or non-romantic situation you may find yourself in. Stimulate the economy and do some Valentine’s Day shopping.  You don’t have to spend a lot unless you really want to or you’re really trying hard to keep that special someone, special.

JUST DATING

You’re not quite sure if this person has any longevity with you but just in case, a Valentine’s treat is definitely in order. How much do you spend? Spend too much and you may send the wrong message. Don’t spend enough and you send the wrong message. You’re walking a fine line here. I’m going to say for a just dating, non-exclusive situation a mediocre bouquet of flowers and some good chocolate like Godiva or Lindt. You can at least get a few pieces of good candy out of it.

ESTABLISHED RELATIONSHIP, NOT MARRIED

Another rock-hard place scenario. Spend too much and you may get yelled at for spending too much. You’re supposed to be saving for a possible engagement ring, wedding, house, or paying off your credit cards.  You’re not really trying to impress anyone at this point anyway.  Spend too little and risk getting the silent treatment or a few days of tension for being a cheap-o.  Expensive bouquet of flowers and maybe a piece of medium-priced jewelry would be the way to go here.  Maybe a dinner that’s a few notches above Applebees or a restaurant that has linen napkins on the table instead of crayons.

MARRIED WITH KIDS

Are you really going to spend that much needed cash on flowers that will be thrown away in a week or on candy that’s going to make your butt spread even further?  The washing machine is on its last legs, little Suzie wants a puppy and Billy needs braces.  Just skip it. Stay home, order Chinese food, enjoy some cheap wine (may I suggest a 2009 Yellow Tail Cabernet-Shiraz) and enjoy Valentine’s Day with the person you love. It’s really not about material gifts.

DIVORCE IS IN THE FUTURE

Tough call, right? You’re still married and you still care about this person who’s just about on their last legs with you. Sad state of affairs and all but you have plenty of time to worry about that since many divorces go on for years and years. What do you do for Valentine’s Day?  I’m thinking maybe go with the same gift guidelines as “just dating.” Mediocre flowers and good chocolate. You’re not a monster. It’s safe and shows you made an effort. Now if you’re getting set to lose your shirt in the divorce, skip the chocolate or get the cheap stuff as a message that you are getting prepared to lose half of everything you earned. If you loathe this person and are counting the seconds until you never have to see their ugly face again, maybe grab a box of those horrible, chalk-like candies with the messages printed on them and call it a day. Throw in a Snuggie just to make sure the message is loud and clear.

OLD TIME COUPLE- THE SENIORS

You can have chocolate because you have diabetes. It gets caught in your dentures too. Flowers? Eh, waste of money right. You have your own beautiful flower garden right in the yard. You have enough jewelry to supply Mr. T for the rest if his life. In fact there are no more gift ideas in the worlds after 50 years of birthdays, Valentine’s Days, anniversaries, Hanukkahs and Christmases. That’s right. Early bird special at the Red Lobster! Ask for extra biscuits and maybe celebrate the afternoon with a virgin pina colada. Get home and watch a romantic chick flick and hit the hay early, Senior style. You’re tired and have done enough real living already, haven’t you?

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Let’s try to make it through another Valentine’s Day without feeling sad, depressed or unloved. Be the giver of love. Remind yourself about all the people in your life that care about you and vice versa. Let them know. You’ll feel good about it. Oh, any candy you get, eat it all right away and enjoy so you don’t have to deal with the mental torture of knowing it’s around haunting you to eat it- kinda like the Girl Scout cookies torture. That’s the best advice I have.

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