Last week’s column

Orange County Reg­is­ter — North County News-Tribune; Date: Feb 13, 2020; Sec­tion: News; Page Num­ber: A2

Valentine’s Day gift selec­tion isn’t as dif­fi­cult as I thought

It’s Feb­ru­ary 13th. Do you have your Valentine’s Day plans?

Every time I men­tion Valentine’s Day, I feel the need to duck for cover. For all the peo­ple who embrace the hol­i­day and cel­e­brate, there is some­one who vehe­mently denounces it as a money-grab for the greet­ing card com­pa­nies, which is untrue.

It orig­i­nated as a Chris­t­ian feast day. I def­i­nitely approve of any hol­i­day that cel­e­brates food.

I’ll admit, over the years, com­mer­cial­ism has taken over the day. Women are told to expect dia­monds, and cou­ples are expected to have roman­tic din­ners. Stores every­where are packed with heart-shaped boxes. Restau­rants adver­tise spe­cial menus.

Every­thing is dec­o­rated in red roses.

Dale and I usu­ally have din­ner and exchange cards, and I always get him a lit­tle box of choco­lates. This year, I will be out of town, but I still planned to get him a treat. As I perused the aisle of the gro­cery store for ideas, it occurred to me—did he want choco­lates this year?

Men are not the usual tar­gets of Valentine’s Day adver­tis­ing. Red vel­vet hearts and pink fluffy uni­corns hold­ing ring boxes are usu­ally shown as “women’s gifts.” It’s also no secret that women like chocolate.

It’s one of our four food groups.

Last week, I did a lit­tle online search­ing to find an appro­pri­ately manly Valen­tine for my hubby. Boxer shorts seemed to be pop­u­lar, from silk to nov­elty prints, and even cro­cheted. One seller was offer­ing col­or­ful socks in a heart-shaped box, because noth­ing says “I love you” like happy feet.

The best things I saw were meat—jerky and bacon, to be exact. For about $40, I could get a red heart box filled with dif­fer­ent fla­vors of jerky. For another $20, I could get a wooden crate with bacon-flavored everything.

The crate comes with a crow­bar to pry it open. I’m not a guy, and I don’t eat bacon, but even I want to pry open a crate.

As crazy as they sound, I thought they were a fab­u­lous way to show the guy in your life how crazy you are about him. It also started me think­ing of what else could be turned into a valen­tine for your loved one.

There are already places that make heart-shaped piz­zas, but how about a heart-shaped case of his favorite beer? He’ll know how much you care every time he raises a glass.

Quite a few of our favorite foods could be molded to fit the hol­i­day. Ham­burg­ers, potato chips, que­sadil­las, crab cakes, to name a few. Okay, maybe the crab cakes are my favorite food.

Dale is fond of ribs and hot wings. If some­one could make an oven-proof red vel­vet box filled with baby back ribs and buf­falo wings, he would be one happy guy. Actu­ally, I think the restau­rant offer­ing that for Valentine’s Day would make a lot of peo­ple smile.

I’d smile, because I wouldn’t have to cook.

After all my search­ing, I decided to just ask my hus­band what he wanted for Valentine’s Day. He looked at me with that expres­sion he uses when he thinks I’m crazy. (He looks at me like that a lot.)

I want choco­lates,” he said.

I don’t know why I doubted myself. Of course, he wants choco­lates. But maybe next year I’ll give him bacon.

Long­time Pla­cen­tia res­i­dent Gayle Car­line tracks those moments that shape her days as a wife, mom, com­puter whiz and horse­woman. E-mail her at [email protected].

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