Traditionally, Valentine's Day is a celebration for the ladies. The name automatically conjures up images of candle light dinners, flowers and decadent chocolates nestled in red satin hearts. Men have a completely different perspective of Valentine's Day -- one that involves obligation and pressure to get the right gift. I've seen plenty of them break into a sweat while trolling the card aisle at Hallmark. They know that if they screw this day up, instead of getting a roll in the hay, they'll end up in the dog house with Fido The Farter.
Fellas, do you want your Valentine's day (and night) to be a success? If your goal is to reach the Holy Grail of love before the champagne grows warm, follow this check list of do's and don'ts for the big day:
* Don't buy that cheesy, stuffed bear in the bin at the drugstore checkout line. Chances are your special lady has twenty more just like it in a garbage bag in the back of her closet. If she wants something cute and fuzzy, buy her a hamster or a ferret.
* Nothing screams "last minute gift" more than three dozen wilted roses for three dollars from a roadside stand. And don't pick your neighbor's dandelions or daisies in an effort to create a clever bouquet. A florist you are not. Brush the cobwebs off your wallet and buy some REAL flowers that last more than a day.
* When it comes to chocolate, don't buy that cheap crap that leaves a waxy feel to the roof of your mouth. If the candies are covered in a white film, the box has most likely been sitting on the store shelf since Valentine's Day 2010. This is the one time you don't want to skimp on quality. Buy your woman some damn Godivas.
* Wine makes a perfect gift, unless it comes from the Swamp Gator Winery in the Florida Everglades. The same goes for champagne. If it was bottled in a garage in Joplin, Missouri, you might want to shell out some extra cash for the good stuff.
* Taking your significant other to Denny's for the $1.99 dinner special is NOT a romantic gesture. Take her to a restaurant that has more than three stars attached to its name. If salisbury steak and pancakes are listed on the menu and there's a chocolate dipping fountain in the center of the room, you're in the wrong place.
* Don't shop the local flea market for fake silver that looks like it came from a vending machine at a carnival. If you're going to be THAT cheap, the least you can do is throw in a bag of popcorn or roasted peanuts.
* When your woman hinted that tickets to a show might be nice, she wasn't referring to Monster Jam where the 4x4s have tires the size of three-story donuts. Get her a dozen Krispy Kremes and take her to the theatre.
* Thinking of shopping at Victoria's Secret for your love? Be very careful. If you buy her a thong two sizes too small, she'll obsess about her weight. If you buy her one in rhino size that doubles as a slingshot, you risk sleeping on the couch for a week.
* Caviar is a tricky gift. If it's Beluga from the Caspian Sea, your partner will love it. If the container of caviar is marked, "Made In Hong Kong", she might end up in the bathroom all night. The only action you'll see will be with a mop and a bottle of disinfectant.
Fellas, if you follow this check list, you're sure to have a rewarding evening full of surprises....or maybe just a furry ferret.