Warming up to the perfect V-day gift
“What does ‘K-Y’ stand for?” husband-head yelled from the living room, following a recent commercial on television.”Kentucky!” I screamed back. “Why? It’s a little early for the derby, isn’t it?”Husband-head was silent on the other end, which prompted me to go into the room to check on him.There on the television was a Valentine’s Day commercial advertising a new “K-Y Warming Ultra Gel” product.”What is that?” husband-head asked innocently. “Is that one of those things you put in your hair? Why would you want it to be warm?”I felt like someone who had just been asked where babies come from.”You don’t need to know what that is,” I said brusquely, grabbing the clicker to change it to a more age-appropriate channel. “Here, watch SpongeBob SquarePants.”But Valentine’s Day has always posed a problem for husband-head, who swears it’s a fabricated holiday, invented to get him to buy something that gets him into trouble and then forces him to buy something else to apologize and get himself out of the doghouse.”If I buy you chocolate, you say it makes you fat,” he complained. “If I buy lingerie, you think I have ulterior motives. If I buy flowers, they die in a few days … I just can’t win.”Actually, husband-head does pretty well compared to a survey of the 10 worst Valentine’s gifts compiled by an online jewelry company called Blue Nile.In the survey, participants listed the worst Valentines gifts they’d ever received:– Vacuum– Paper shredder– Electric frying pan– Crock pot– Rug shampooer– Pencil sharpener– Ice scraper– Can of soup– Wisconsin cheese– Cold pizza”What’s wrong with Wisconsin cheese?” husband-head asked, when I read him the list. “And we could always use a new vacuum … a rug shampooer would be cool with all these pets and everyone could use a pencil sharpener … “I shot him a look indicating that he would be much better off being quiet.”If you ever give me any of those products, you will be in so much doo-doo,” I warned. Instead, the company, naturally, suggested giving gifts of jewelry – such as diamond stud earrings or tennis bracelets.”Gift giving is central to our idea of a romantic Valentine’s Day,” said Blue Nile diamond and engagement expert John Baird. “Feedback from survey participants suggests that the key to a successful Valentine’s Day is understanding the expectations of your significant other.”Big diamonds … a romantic Carribean vacation … love messages in skywriting …But husband-head had his own expectations.”I think matching Packers T-shirts would be cool, or maybe those foam cheese-head hats,” he informed me. The crestfallen look on my face made him change his tune.”All right, so why don’t I make you a nice Valentine’s dinner instead?” he suggested.That idea scared me even more.”What would you make?” I asked. “Your entire cooking repertoire consists of macaroni and cheese, Beefaroni and soup.””Ah, but you’re wrong, grasshopper,” he said knowingly. “I make a mean Hamburger Helper.”Yes, a romantic candlelight dinner over a dish of ground meat and noodles …”Well, you don’t seem to want candy, lingerie, flowers or dinner,” husband-head pointed out. “So, there’s always the alternative – that new warming Kentucky Derby hair gel …”I went over and gave husband-head a noogy on his noggin.”It really doesn’t matter,” I said honestly. “As long as we love each other.”Heidi Rice is a Western Garfield County correspondent for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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