The idiot’s guide to Valentine’s Day

Gentleman, if you have a girlfriend, friend with benefits, or even any women in your life, pay attention. At 24-years-old I am old enough to have screwed up multiple “Hallmark” holidays such as the one we face tomorrow. Say what you want, but the following is a fact and it is undisputed: Valentine’s Day matters to any woman that is currently in your life, end of story (yes, even if she says it doesn’t matter, get over it already). I have arguably the coolest girlfriend in the world, but if I don’t produce tomorrow I’m probably going to go from “in a relationship” to “it’s complicated” or “single” on Facebook.

Complicating things for all of us men is the over saturation of the day. Red roses are now pass‚ (not to mention they cost three times more this week then any other time of the year). Since it’s the middle of winter, we are more than likely going to get beaten down if we give our ladies chocolates, and unless you have been with her for a long time and are 100 percent (and then some) sure what her sizes are, forget the trip to Victoria’s Secret, trust me.

Even worse for men, especially type-A alpha males like me, in order to make the day turn out right, we have to go against everything that our biology, ideals of manliness, and obsession with Jack Bauer tells us to. If we want to make tomorrow work, we have to make sure our words AND deeds show how much we care about the ladies in our life and, gulp, we have to get in touch with our emotions.

“WHAT, admit my feelings!?!?!” I hear you all say. “Isn’t there another way?”

Sadly boys, there isn’t. I’m about to let you in on a little secret (just don’t tell this to the women on campus). With the exception of the gold digging variety, women don’t care as much about what they get or what you do, it’s how you give it to them and how much effort you put into your plan.

Somewhere along the way men got so wrapped up in thinking that all a women wants is that junk on QVC, we ceased to understand this simple basic truth: it means more to your significant other to feel appreciated and cherished than to get a whole bunch of stuff with no emotion or feelings attached to it. You finally giving her that backrub you promised her for a month will mean much more than dropping 50 bucks on the dozen roses you have your eye on, no matter how much money you have. Cooking her dinner (or at least attempting to) and eating it with that cheesy sappy music she loves playing in the background is going to mean more than any box of chocolates you buy from Fannie May. Making a card out of construction paper, taking some time to construct the perfect mix CD for her, or anything that shows you really care about her means way more than simply whipping out the credit card to buy her some trinket or flowers that are going to die in a couple of days.

This is not, however, a license for you to be a cheapskate. If you are now thinking of taking five minutes to slap together a CD, throwing a frozen pizza in the oven, and then mumbling something to the effect of how much you care, you are going to end up at Firehaus’ bitterness bash newly single, I promise. On the other hand, taking 15 or 20 minutes to think of something relatively simple and creative that shows you really care about her and then taking the time to make it happen will make you a hero tomorrow. Good luck gentleman (I know I’m going to need it).

Tom Amenta is a sophomore in LAS. His column appears on

Mondays. He can be reached at [email protected]