My Cats are Assholes - A Valentine's Day Gift List
Last night I had an O.o moment when I stumbled across this list of the Top Ten Worst Gifts to Give on Valentine's Day. It includes roses, chocolates, stuffed animals, cologne/perfume, racy undies, and small appliances. Admittedly none of these are mindblowingly creative gifts, but I can certainly imagine far worse gifts to give to your true love on Valentine's Day...or any day. So I give you my list of Worst Gifts to Give on Valentine's (or Any Day) and What To Give Instead
Nothing ruins a perfectly good day more than one ill-thought out piece of criticism. The ability to give constructive criticism is a blessing in an editor or an agent or boss of any sort, but it's the last thing you want from your significant other. It's not a knife to the heart to get criticised over something big or small. But it can be a tiny needle that can quickly puncture your balloon of happiness. One study I read said it took five compliments to undo the damage of one insult or piece of criticism from a loved one. That's math even I can do.
If you think something nice about the person you're with, go that extra step and say it. Does her hair look cute today? Tell her. Do his shoulders look extra-sexy when he's taking off his shirt at night? Tell him. Did you enjoy the dinner she made? The joke he told? The orgasm he/she just gave you? Tell them! One good compliment is like a break in the clouds - it can change the whole color of the day.
Don't give...A Cold Shoulder
No two people are perfect attuned to each other. Sometimes I'm in playful mode while Andrew's hunkered down in hard work mode. Sometimes he's wide awake and full of energy while I'm already asleep with my eyes open. But it's never necessary to turn your back on the person you're with and make them feel unloved or unwanted when your partner is seeking attention or affection.
Another study found that a mere twenty-second hug could dramatically reduce the level of stress hormones flowing through the body. No matter how busy you are or how tired, there's always time for a twenty-second hug to reassure your significant other that you love them even when you are preoccupied.
Don't Give...Silent Judgment.
Or even vocal judgment. Just don't judge. Seriously. Don't do it. This is a hard one for me. I often assign negative motivations to neutral actions. I'm a busy girl with two jobs and am extremely forgetful. If Andrew took every one of my lapses of memory or failures of house-cleaning as a personal insult, he'd have already packed his bags by now. But as my mother can testify, I've been a forgetful messy wreck since the day I was born (one month late - I totally forgot when my due date was - oops). You can call me lazy and thoughtless. I prefer the term "writer."
Forgiveness isn't just for sins like beating or cheating. Sometimes you have to forgive your other half for simply being human. For being sick when you're well...for being tired when you're awake...for being horny when you're bloated...for being private when you want to be public...for being scared and scarred and insecure and weird when they're strong and whole, secure and kind, and telling you to your face that everything will be fine. And you have to forgive yourself too for not being the perfect person you want to be for your significant other. I wish I could be a kinky Martha Stewart who could cook anything and keep a gorgeous house while being a goddess in the bedroom. The reality is that I have two jobs, two cats who can turn a hardwood floor into a shag rug in six seconds flat, no natural gifts for cooking, no love of cleaning, and no mad skillz in bed (fictional beds don't count - I am, in fact, amazing on paper). When I forgive myself for not being perfect, it's much easier to forgive my friends and loved ones for not being perfect either. Although I've yet to forgive the cats. Seriously, they're assholes.
And for the record, I DID get a dozen red roses for Valentine's Day from the guy who daily gives me compliments, hugs, and forgiveness. The roses were beautiful and thoughtful and made me cry. At age 33, I've never had anyone love me enough to plunk down that kind of money on something that will last just a few days. Why anyone would think flowers make a bad Valentine's Day gift is beyond me. This list was obviously written by a woman who has severe allergies or a cold, dark heart. I can think of a million things that would make bad Valentine's Day gifts and roses aren't one of them.
Herpes for starters. And maybe Breaking Dawn on DVD which I also got from Andrew. Breaking Dawn, I mean. Not herpes.
Well...you can't win 'em all.