Valentine’s Day Lessons Learned



If you’re reading this article and this is the first time you have thought of Valentine’s Day, you’re in trouble already. The Navy Correspondence Manual teaches that when writing, get to the point quickly and speak in plain English. So here goes.

Thursday is Valentine’s Day. Don’t blow it.

The highway to love is littered with the roadkill of last-minute panic buys. To those who need a little help, here are some Valentine’s Lessons Learned, gleaned from millions of missteps and romantic disasters.

1. At 7PM on Valentine’s Day, all the good cards are gone. Not that this deters procrastinators (mostly male by personal observation – don’t ask), but you had better lower your standards or you’ll be the last man standing.

2. “Re-gifting” old Valentine’s cards is not – I repeat – NOT a good idea.

3. Similarly, you should avoid sending a photocopied Valentine card. This tends to lessen your credibility.

4. Grocery store flowers may bring tears to your lover’s eyes, but they’re the bad kind. If that’s all you can find, be resourceful and add candy or something shiny to distract their eyes from the flowers. Remove the dead petals (hint: they’re brown). Remove the bar code and “HALF OFF” stickers.

5. For the Marines in the group, guns are not romantic, even if they’re “pretty.”


6. Power tools are not appropriate (unless you’re a lady – power tools are always a good gift for a guy, regardless of the holiday).

7. Taking him/her out to a romantic dinner should not involve a drive through window.

8. Do not post your private, for-your-eyes-only video on YouTube. This is doubly important if you’re wearing something embarrassing.


9. Avoid referencing military machinery in your poetry (i.e., You pierced my heart like a GBU-28 penetrating a 20-foot-thick cement bunker.)

10. If you use the word “Sir” or “Ma’am” in your Valentine, you’re on your own.

11. Cologne is not perfume, regardless of how cool the bottle looks. Women know the difference – even if guys don’t.

12. Belated Valentine cards: don’t bother. You already blew it.

These tips won’t guarantee a happy Valentine’s Day, but they might keep you alive. As for me, I’m hoping for a table saw this year. We’ll see you in the card aisle Thursday night.


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