Ettie Newlands

This is the seventh year this Column B has run in the paper the week before Valentine’s Day because once again, it’s been requested.

Valentine’s Day hasn’t been a big hit at my house, ever since “The Year of the Red Bowling Ball” as we affectionately remember it.

The only good part of that day was that the bowling ball was too heavy for me to actually throw at my husband. I rolled it at him, but that just didn’t have the impact I was hoping for.

This was his thinking, flawed as it was: Because I was on a diet, I didn’t want chocolate. And since I was bowling to get some exercise, a new bowling ball – red for Valentine’s Day – would be an appropriate gift.

Therefore, for other husbands, whose wives will still allow the word “Valentine” to be spoken indoors, here are a couple tips:

1. Diets have nothing to do with giving her candy on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is the exception to any rule. If you don’t give her candy just because she’s on a diet, she thinks you think she’s fat. Even if you do think she’s fat, you don’t want her to think you think so.

2. A bowling ball is never an appropriate gift, no matter what color or what day. If a woman actually wants to own a bowling ball, it’s one of those things, like pantyhose, that she’ll buy for herself.

3. Lingerie is a gift for you, not for her. Giving her lingerie tells her the cotton knee-length nightshirt with coffee stains on the front doesn’t do it for you. Valentine’s Day is not the time to tell her that.

4. This is also not the time for a philosophical discussion about how commercial Valentine’s Day is. So is Mother’s Day, but when was the last time you told your mother you weren’t doing anything for her for Mother’s Day because it was so commercial?

5. A card, the mushier the better, and candy, not mushy at all, would be really nice to bring home on Valentine’s Day.

6. Flowers sent to her at work would be a win-win because her co-workers would be so envious of her having such an obviously wonderful, romantic and sentimental guy.

That’s all the help I can be, Valentine’s Day is a non-issue at my house.

So is bowling.

For those of you who indulge, Happy Valentine’s Day.


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