Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentines Day Massacre

Dear Chuck,

I had been single for 5 years until I met my boyfriend about 8 months ago. We get on really well and he is a special guy. Imagine my surprise AND horror on Sunday (Valentines Day) when he didn’t get me a gift / flowers / card or even acknowledge that it was Valentines Day. I was so looking forward to it and had to hide my devastation.

Am I wrong to feel so let down?

Thank you


Dear Rachelle,

Yes you are wrong to feel let down.



Ok so if Chuck left it at that you’d be fairly pissed off the next time you have to pay your Reality Bytes subscription fee wouldn’t you?

Never one to state the obvious, but surely if you had a semi decent relationship with this ‘special guy’ you guys would have discussed things like gift buying philosophies and sentimental sappiness.  What does Chuck mean by this? Well buying philosophy refers to a person’s thoughts around A) buying gifts and B) the level of effort and creativity that a person puts into said gift purchases. So in the 8 months that you’ve been dating, Chuck would assume that you’ve had some insight into ‘special guy’s’ buying philosophy. Does he remember family birthdays and actually make an effort to procure gifts that resonate with those he cares for? If he doesn’t then you can hardly be surprised that he gazumped you on V day?

As for sentimental sappiness, it’s a measure of a person’s emotional reaction to significant (both real and perceived) moments. There are plenty of guys out there who put a huge amount of stock in Christmas and act accordingly – buying gifts and making sure that a big deal is made around families and friends etc. Sentimental sappiness can even be assessed during movies. For example, Chuck can guarantee you that any dude who became a blubbering mess during the movie “Marley and Me” is the first guy at the florist buying his woman a dozen long stem roses. He is a guy in touch with his emotions (and a sucker for weak as piss movies).

So if in the 8 months you have dated ‘special guy’ you have not noticed any of the above-mentioned traits then you really have only yourself to blame. He gave no indication that he was into things like gift buying and Valentine’s Day but you ignored that in the hope that it was a ruse and he’d pretended to be an emotional wasteland for the entire time just so he could make your life by buying you a gift on a commercially produced day designed to celebrate love?

It just strikes Chuck as a little odd that you would be caught completely off guard by this. Do you two even talk? On top of that, you said you had to hide your devastation. What’s wrong with calling him out? “hey fuckface, haven’t you forgotten something today?” - A subtle little statement like that will either send him reeling, especially if he forgot, or at least shed some light on the situation and force him to explain what’s going on. You may not like what he has to say “I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day” but at least you’ll know. Instead, you stumble around all day clearly gutted but pretending otherwise. Chuck’s guessing that ‘special guy’ even asked you “what’s wrong?” to which you responded “nuthin” in your best shitty voice. He would have then repeated the question at least 15 times throughout the day.

If he didn’t, he may be emotionally retarded and you should probably be single again because he’s going to shatter your dreams. Chuck doesn’t get paid the big bucks for nothing so its time for a diagnosis – you two may have a communication issue.

Look, ‘special guy’ may have forgotten that it was V Day although unless he is over 40, married with 3 young children this is highly unlikely. Most young guys know what day it is, especially since flowers, chocolate and balloons start being sold the day after Xmas.

The two most likely reasons for his actions are that he doesn’t believe in the occasion at all (in which case you two should have definitely spoken about it since you are acting as if it is as big a deal as your wedding day) or he doesn’t like you at all and is only using you for sex. Fortunately for you, the second reason is highly unlikely since you refer to him as ‘special guy’ which means that he must be treating you somewhat ok although after a 5 year drought perhaps your radar is a little off. Speaking of which….

Chuck will acknowledge that you were single for 5 years prior to this, which means that rationality may have gone out the window. V Day was your chance to shine, walking around the city holding hands, showing everyone that you managed to pull after all that time. Maybe you ignored some of his faults or ignored some compatibility issues because you wanted it badly. Only you can know this.

At the end of the day, it’s only Valentine’s Day. If he pulls the same stunt on your birthday or Christmas then you have a legitimate beef in Chuck’s opinion. Without coming off like a curmudgeon, it’s a made up day that holds no real significance. A birthday or anniversary carries significantly more weight and value and should be celebrated accordingly.

The most interestingly tid bit in all of this is your failure to mention what you got for ‘special guy’ on V Day. Is Chuck to believe that you didn’t get him anything at all or that you swallowed your gift the instant you realised that he wasn’t forking over anything for you? The poor fucker is probably sitting at home penning a letter to Chuck lamenting how his ‘special’ girlfriend of 8 months shafted him on Valentines Day by failing to purchase a gift or even acknowledge the occasion and then spent the remainder of the day acting like a miserable shit!

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