Guy needs help with Valentine’s Day
by Eric Miller, CVBT Correspondent

February 12, 2017 9:01pm
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•  Ah! Re-gifting that Christmas box of candy

•  Why that might not end well

National Compliment Day, January 24, is the day you compliment others or pat yourself on the back.

This begs a question. What day is opposite of National Compliment Day? You know, the day when one receives a swift kick to the rear end? For guys that day is probably February 15.

We’ve hardly passed Christmas and now guys need to be creative, again, but this time for Valentine’s Day. I enjoy shopping for sporting goods or tools but for anything else forget it.

I’m married, almost 23 years, with two daughters. One would think I’d have Valentine’s Day pegged. Our home is full of estrogen. Even the mutts are females. We have a tomcat but he’s neutered. Sometimes his eyes catch mine and the communication barrier transcends species. He stares at me as if to say, “Watch out pal, stay out of trouble. See what happened to me.”

We still have unopened boxes of chocolate from Christmas. I could re-gift them but I foresee a fatal flaw. It’s unsportmanslike, unimaginative, and cheap.

The kids are into sports so they’re a breeze to shop for. I stay away from clothes though. How many guys know the difference between a blouse, a top, or T-shirt? Comrades, here’s a lesson.

A blouse has buttons. A top has no buttons but can also be referred to as a T-shirt. A T-shirt is just that, but also serves to cover the body’s “top.” My oldest daughter explained, “Think of geometric shapes. All squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares. Understand?” Yep, clear as mud. She gets a T-shirt.

But my wife… she’s in a different category. I’m fairly creative and thought I had a great gift one Easter. I bought a basket, plastic green grass, jelly beans, and theme oriented trinkets. One that caught my eye was a gigantic egg. It was actually a container for L’eggs pantyhose. I remembered seeing TV ads and thought it was clever to get her a huge Easter egg. And the big surprise inside was pantyhose. I admired my originality. Self-admiration, I learned later, can be dangerous.

She graciously accepted the Easter basket and life was good… until about the Fourth of July. I bumbled into trouble and she asked, “What on earth were you thinking giving me a L’eggs egg for Easter? For one, I hate black pantyhose and two, didn’t you check the size? What kind of idiot are you?”

My jaw bounced off my ankles as I processed her query, shocked at her question. First, the incident occurred three months prior and my brain had since disengaged. Second, she implied I was an idiot. OK, maybe I was. As for the category of idiot I had no idea. What an unfair question.

For past Valentine’s I’ve shopped for candy, flowers, and organized dinner reservations. Zero to Hero flower shopping excursions to the gas station didn’t go over very well. I had better luck buying grocery store flowers, earning credit for actually parking and getting out of the car.

Maybe this Valentine’s I’ll get her a tractor. My wife works with contractors and is familiar with heavy equipment. She cajoles with the best of them. “Hey, that tractor over there has a mower right? The John Deere I saw doesn’t, plus it’s missing a scraper. I need a five foot box.”

We recently test drove several tractors. It was a blast but I just can’t see myself draining our savings account to buy a John Deere. But then again I don’t want a Dear John letter either. Maybe I should just rent one. We can joy ride around town – much more fun than buying jewelry.

Men, we’re on AM and our women listen to FM. The radio plays but the reception isn’t clear. Guys, what are you doing for Valentine’s Day? This is a plea for help. Let me know what worked for you.

Ladies, this is your opportunity to provide a much needed community service. I’d appreciate your advice. We only have a few shopping days left. A prize will be awarded for the best idea.

The winner gets a box of chocolate.

About the writer

Eric Miller is a freelance writer based in Chico. He has industry experience in waste management and water resources. He is sometimes seen in supermarkets looking for flowers. Contact him at, via Linked In, or visit his humor blog at

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