Only a couple of days left until Valentine’s Day. What, me worry? You’ve no doubt seen the red stuff with hearts stocked on shelves in stores. Your loved one may have dropped hints. Perhaps you’ve purchased a card. You still have work to do.
Only a couple of days left until Valentine’s Day. What, me worry? You’ve no doubt seen the red stuff with hearts stocked on shelves in stores. Your loved one may have dropped hints. Perhaps you’ve purchased a card. You still have work to do. Companies throughout the country have attempted to offer advice -- and their products -- to make celebration of the holiday easier on lovers. Following are items culled from the dozens of e-mailed press releases that have streamed into the newsroom in recent weeks. Gift-Giving Etiquette The people at www.OkCupid.com offer this guide to guys for purchasing Valentine’s Day gifts, based on how long they have been a couple with their sweetheart. 1 month -- Get her a thoughtful card and take her out to dinner. 3 months -- Spring for flowers. 6 months -- Buy classy (but non-diamond) jewelry. 1 year -- Celebrate with a snuggle-filled weekend at a bed-and-breakfast. 1 ½ years -- “You’re in no-man’s land.” Upscale something she already has. 2 years -- “Get it over with.” Propose. Some Negative Examples The Web site www.GiftGirl.com offers these specific “don’ts” about gift-giving: 1. Don’t listen to her when she says, “Don’t buy me anything.” She is lying. 2. Don’t buy her jeans. “This is a battle every woman needs to fight on her own.” 3. Don’t just “fill the box.” Put some thought into it. 4. Don’t give her anything electronic. Appliances don’t say “I love you.” 5. Don’t buy her something you’d like to get. Lawn mowers don’t speak any more lovingly than the blender. 6. Don’t give her exercise equipment. ’Nuff said. 7. Don’t give her a gym membership, either. Think of the message. 8. Don’t buy her a shotgun. She’s not going hunting ... for anything but you. 9. Don’t tell her to get her own gift and you’ll pay. It’s a step down from a gift certificate. 10. Don’t tell her how much you spent on the gift. It’ll make her think that one of the two of you isn’t worth it. Matters of Romance When it comes to gift-buying, we should not “use Valentine’s Day as a Band-Aid to cover up your relationship wounds,” according to representatives of www.pureromance.com. Instead, the online gift site suggests we “view it as a reminder for encouraging one another to work on (a) relationship.” For that purpose, pureromance.com suggested we pick from its products. “Burning desire” soy candle and massage lotion. “Bed of Roses” romantic travel pack of tea lights and scented rose petals. “Romance Bubbles” body wash. “Card Game for Lovers” to help you discover more about your intimate relationship. I’m no expert on this sort of thing. But that doesn’t sound much like work. Take Time to Kiss All right, it seems time to consult the results of a survey done by Softlips lip-conditioning balm. According to the survey, men and women prefer “tender kisses” (42 percent) to passionate kisses (40 percent). Women favor spontaneous kisses (38 percent) more than men (31 percent). And women also want lots of small “butterfly” kisses -- twice as much as men. Use those statistics however you want. And wear lip balm in winter or there’s a 100 percent chance it will hurt. No Valentine for You Barbara Pachter, the author of the book “NewsRules@Work: 79 Etiquette Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Get Ahead and Stay Ahead” points out that Valentine’s Day is a time that can “bring office romances out into the open.” “Be careful,” she advises. “If you don’t behave properly, an office romance can cause conflict and have a negative impact on your career.” Keep a relationship private on Valentine’s Day, the author advises. Do not send flowers or gifts to an office, even anonymously. Don’t e-mail X-rated Valentine’s Day cards. And remember -- should you really have to be reminded about this? -- your Valentine should never be your boss. This kind of takes the fun out of the holiday, but it’s better than taking away the paycheck. We’ll Call You Finally, a company called Cellyspace is saying that your Valentine’s Day messages can go mobile. Collect relevant text, audio and images on your computer. Edit it and crop it. Then send the completed valentine to your loved one via your cell phone. The company suggests calling with “Poetic Valentines,” which combine poetry with images or audio; “Our Song Valentines,” which provide “meaningful ringtones”; “Video Valentines,” which offers a greeting by Web camera; “Intimate Valentines,” which say “I Love You” in ways you deem appropriate; “My Secret Valentines,” sent anonymously; and “Humorous Valentines,” which include cartoon characters. According to Rich Eicher, co-founder of Cellyspace, “Creating thoughtful messages can have an immediate and emotional impact on that special person at that special time, especially when received on their mobile phone.” Perhaps. Call or message pictures if you want. The gesture might be well-received. Personally, I’d still try to find the nearest candy store or flower shop. Reach Canton Repository Living Section Editor Gary Brown at (330) 580-8303 or email@example.com.