ANDREW HOLOTA: Valentine’s Day on the other 364

Seven Ways to Have the Best Valentine’s Day Ever.

That was the headline on the press release in my email inbox.

Oh, my imagination raced into racy gear. But, as usual, I downshifted and actually read the thing.

It was from a New Age-type psychologist, and listed stuff like “Breathe in Love; and Love is Energy.”

Oh piffle.

The doc probably orders tofu for Valentine’s dinner, too.

Mind you, she did recommend “Practising forgiveness.” That’s a good one.

My wife practises that a lot.

Me, I don’t have to practise much, on account as to how I don’t have a lot to forgive, unless I’m forgiving myself, which is pretty much an ongoing exercise.

I’ve become pretty good at it.

Anyway, since this document had nothing to do with anything remotely resembling what I originally imagined, I lost interest in it.

However, it did pose an intriguing question.

What do real women think would be among the Seven Ways to Have the Best Valentine’s Day Ever?

So off I went to do a few minutes of in-depth research.

The one guy who happened to be within earshot of my first mini-interview offered up the stereotypical male perspective.

That supported my initial decison to omit males from the polling, and avoid degrading our stereotyped gender any further.

However, the men reading this, and who are probably already losing interest, may want to pay attention.

What I discovered from my extensive survey of the women in my immediate vicinity provided important insight.

The majority of the responses were along the lines of, “big whup.”

Whoa!

What about the flowers, the bling, the obligatory mushy card?

Not one woman listed any of those things.

A couple of respondents said dinner was appreciated, at a restuarant, without the kids in tow; or at home. The latter would feature a dish she would like. Hint: The man is supposed to know this and be able to prepare it. In this specific case, I happen to know it is not steak on the barbie, and a cold beer. Said man is going to have to get creative.

That was a key word, too – creative.

My test gals wanted to see some imagination. An unexpected weekend getaway. Or a day doing something they’d like, that their partner wouldn’t normally do.

How do you feel about getting your legs waxed, guys?

OK, just kidding. (Or maybe not!)

Here’s the bottom line, gents.

My survey group – ranging from newly married to relationship veterans – were unanimous in opining that Valentine’s Day did not register a major ping on their romance radar.

It is a Hallmark occasion – a marketing ploy to spur spending.

And there’s the irony. All that money spent on flowers, and bling, and mushy cards, when it really doesn’t mean much.

Well, actually, it can, especially not on Valentine’s Day.

I know, I just lost some of the guys, there.

Far more important, you see, is what happens the other 364 days of the year.

That’s what it takes, lads, if you wish to be more than a lowly spud in the great, colourful landscape of romanticism.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have just one day left to get creative.