I’m making Valentine’s Day extra special!

After discussing my Valentine’s Day plans with friends last week, I went through an awakening of sorts. I was informed, thankfully, that traditions have changed since I was in grade school. My initial plans were to give my girlfriend a fun-size Snickers and a glossy “To/From” card that featured one of the Muppet Babies. That idea was quickly and forcefully dismissed by, well, everyone I told.

I learned that guys are expected to put effort into gift-giving on Feb. 14. This was news to me! Sadly, that means I can’t give my special someone a box of those little rock-hard, pastel-colored candy hearts that taste like chalk. I can, however, buy her roses at the insane price of $7 per thorn. That sort of injustice is just what the ladies like.

The thing I hate most about being in love is that love always mooches a ton of money off of me. Love is always having me buy it things: food, coffee, cab fares, hit men, etc. You might say my troubles would be over if I would just spend a little time on a gift from the heart. Frankly, I am scared to see what kind of present my heart might come up with. A strange, overly creative person such as me can be pretty dangerous in those types of situations. Imagine a poem about bipedal, time-traveling koalas that wear lipstick and you’d start to see what I mean.

Giving your special someone costly knick-knacks is a sure-fire way to add another week to your relationship. This is logical, but it purports that I have to shell out even more money that I don’t have. Furthermore, I am now stuck with the task of finding appropriate junk for my girl. Should I buy chocolates? No, she’s allergic to the brown wax paper wrappings. Should I hire someone to serenade her? No, she doesn’t have a balcony. Should I get an airplane to write “I love you” in the sky? No, she’s not worth it.

What’s more, I am notoriously indecisive. Picking out a romantic card is hell. They all seem to carry the same dreary phrases. None of them said what I really wanted to say, specifically, “Hey, I love you. Are we cool now?” So, with limited options, I decided to get her a card that represented me best – I bought the cheapest one in the store.

My friends warned me that Valentine’s Day can make or break a relationship. I figure my respectable monetary sacrifices will only further the overall closeness to my girlfriend. Love is no joke; it is a responsibility that requires tireless dedication and communication. Fortunately, love is also blind, so with any luck it won’t see how I plan to slip through the cracks.

Mat Koehler is a columnist. He welcomes comments at [email protected]