The truth is: men don’t expect much on Valentine’s Day. We know that this is a holiday for women. Most of us accept this as a manly duty, like chopping wood or boxing grizzly bears. There is a quiet sort of pride in making your woman happy. Sure, many of us drag our feet, roll our eyes, and bitch like a junior chubbo with an empty bottle of chocolate syrup. But then we buy flowers, make a reservation, hold your hand, and you light up like New York City at night. Then it’s not so bad. The wine helps.
I suppose men do expect sex, but women do too. Valentine’s Day has its social purpose. It’s not just a conspiracy between the greeting card, cocoa, and white lace industries. I’m fairly convinced that the holiday was invented by pagans to make sure couples with cabin fever didn’t stab each other with pitchforks during long, cold, dark winter months. Without a winter celebration of love and sex, no one would be breeding. Vigorous fornication is part of the ritual.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m totally fine with Valentine’s Day being about my girlfriend. Seeing her proudly strut down the street clutching a tacky teddy bear is reward enough. Most of the time, I try to go over the top a little. Tackiness rules the day. Everything is pink, white lace, and sinewy balls of muscle that pump hot steaming blood. It takes a dude with iron ingots to own a holiday that is represented by a flying newborn sniper. You will be my Valentine. You will receive a card and in that card I will write: “You rock me like a hurricane.” We will slurp opposite ends of a noodle and kiss. You will gasp as you open this box of insanely expensive chocolates, because the chocolate part of your brain needs fuel. These things will happen. There will be joy. I AM A MAN.
I’m not saying don’t get your man anything. There are just few things that make us bark and flap our flippers on Valentine’s Day. Well, there’s one thing. Every guy knows that Valentine’s Day is one of the Great Chocolate Feasts. It’s a day where calories don’t exist. And we know that women love chocolate, which was invented by God to make up for the pain of childbirth. Chocolate isn’t just a sweet confection. Chocolate is, like, the sixth sense. No. That’s seeing dead people. Chocolate is the seventh sense. Personally, I love how women eat chocolate. It’s almost exactly the way they do it in commercials. First, delicately unwrap or pick the chocolate from a box. Next, erotically wrap your lips around the chocolate. Slowly masticate. Close your eyes. Shudder. Have a wee little mouthgasm.
So, men don’t feel this way about chocolate. But, every man loves a food his woman hates. This is a true fact. I have never had a girlfriend who didn’t utterly despise at least one food that I love to eat. I don’t even want to think about the woman who would tell me Chinese food makes her “gag.” My current girlfriend has a deep hatred for cold cuts, Italian meats, specifically. I keep telling her that they’d make such beautiful names for daughters – Sopressata DeVore! But I dated a woman once, long ago, who knew of my deep abiding love for scrapple, a food that is indigenous to the state of Pennsyltuckey. Scrapple is basically redneck pate: all the delicious unmentionables of a pig, oats, and spices. It looks like a meaty slab of pork secrets. You fry it up and it tastes like a delicious hash-brown-and-bacon Frankenstein. She hated it with a fury. But lo and behold, as I shuffled to the kitchen to make a post-V-day brunch of eggs and Eggos, what did I see chillin’ in the fridge?
Scrapple. Wonderful, wonderful. Scrapple. That was a fantastic surprise. Love is also buying him stinky cheese, corn nuts, or Steakums.
Follow John DeVore’s preening narcissism on Twitter.