Volume 92, Issue 68

Thursday, January 28, 1999


No links proven

Unbalanced power

A tattered symbol of national pride

No clear proof of association

Looking out for No. 1 in the Valentine's Day battle

Looking out for No. 1 in the Valentine's Day battle

Attention, guys! A fate worse than death is right around the corner and it's one you cannot escape, only prepare for. It is an event which will enormously change life as you know it and one wrong move will bring forth disastrous consequences which are impossible to remedy. No, it's not some biblical Y2K apocalyptic nightmare of free flowing fire and pestilence, but something much, much more dangerous – Valentine's Day.

Yes, I know it's too early to bring up this Hallmark-created sham of a holiday, but if you're a manic procrastinator like myself, you're going to need all the time you can get.

You'll just give a well-chosen box of candy, maybe a small bouquet and be done with the whole production. You think you've got nothing to worry about, you've got the situation well in hand. Well, keep thinking like that, compadre and I'll tell you where you'll end up – playing Nintendo, swigging beer and saying, "man, women suck."

All right, you've got roughly a month to buy a thoughtful gift for your significant other, so you've got to pull yourself together and get started. First, get an index card and a small pencil to keep in your wallet. On it, record integral facts like measurements and sizes, likes and dislikes and most importantly, what you bought last year.

We are creatures of habit and left to our own devices, we'll keep doing the same thing over and over again if it got a positive response the first time. Don't deceive yourself into thinking you'll remember last year's purchases when the time comes. Who the hell are you trying to kid? We as men are lucky if we remember the date Valentine's Day falls on.

Also, no matter how innocent or undamagable they may seem, avoid women's magazine quizzes at all costs! These quizzes are like your lower intestines – stinky and loaded with danger. Realize the enormous odds against your giving any sort of correct answer and beg out of this emotional trial at every opportunity. You cannot roll seven-come-eleven at these loaded tables, you've got to expect snake eyes every time.

It's also important to know the hidden meanings of colours and to know them well. Get a paint chip collection from Canadian Tire, if you have to. A gift of a dozen yellow roses to your respective sweetheart may seem like a perfectly acceptable gift, but the only response it will provoke is a serious discussion of your relationship and God knows how much we love to hash out that tired avenue over and over again.

In terms of roses, gentlemen, don't listen to your florist's suggestion of "...something different is good... maybe a champagne colour?" Go red, go long-stemmed, or go home alone.

Finally, even though it may seem like a good and practical idea, never get a gift she can use. Somehow, women don't find a blender or a snow scraper romantic, no matter how good the wrapping is. You're going for pure sentiment and cuteness, so the gift should have no sort of intrinsic usefulness whatsoever.

If she can wear it more than once a week, or if it has a purpose besides sitting on her night table, then it isn't the right gift to buy. It's a case of caveat emptor and you had better beware the consequences of a wrong decision.

Hopefully, you'll take these small shreds of hints to heart and manage to make your significant other smile this Valentine's Day. In reality, you'll probably screw it up and end up explaining your gift's meaning for hours upon endless hours. I know I will. I just hope the after-effects will finish in enough time to watch wrestling.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999