A Cautionary Valentine’s Tale

V-Day is not all sweetness and light. The darker side of the season unearths wilting flowers, stale chocolates, and a plethora of unexplainable purchases from bewildered boyfriends and husbands.
Every year, my girlfriends and I host a pity party so we can bemoan the gifts from our better halves, and the fact that these men just don’t understand us. Two years ago, we gathered around a towering raspberry cheesecake à la Golden Girls to discuss Allison’s cell phone (too controlling), Kara’s $20 Bloomingdale’s certificate (too easy, too cheap), and Belinda’s ring (too much, too soon).

Not to be outdone, I offered my own history of gifts-gone-bad. There was *Will, who thrilled me with tax software with the rebate cut out of the bottom of the box, and *Phil, a Navy Seal who gave me a stuffed toy seal, which I later discovered had been given to him by another woman.
But it was *Bill, bless his bewildered heart, who managed to trump the others with his wildly off-base efforts, even after five months of dating. I gave him a sporty jacket he’d mercilessly hinted for, and he gave me a pair of high heel marabou slippers for the boudoir. Horrors! Other women often complain of generic gifts, but these were so oddly personal, it was a bit off-putting. I mean, shoes aren’t something you can buy for another person, even if they never leave the house.
That night, as I slipped under the covers and curled into a fetal position with the hairy pink hooker shoes at the foot of the bed, I replayed the evening’s events in my head. While the significance of the gift may have been open to interpretation, I (the most interpretive of all beings) was convinced this particular gesture was code language for “kaput.” After all, he’d really purchased them just to please himself. The clincher? They were two sizes too big because they were the last pair at Frederick’s.
Which leads me to the moral of this story: A man should never attempt to shop for bedroom shoes unless he’s trolling Zappos.com with his girlfriend or wife peering over his shoulder. And he should thrown in a nice spa package to put her in the mood.
*Names have been changed to protect the clueless.


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February 2008
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