Why Men are Terrified of Valentine’s Day
Does V-Day make them over-pressured or under-motivated?
The spookiest day of the year for some men isn’t Halloween or Friday the 13th. It’s Feb. 14th that’s got them shaking in their boots.
Valentine’s Day has been terrorizing men for centuries. (Unsubstantiated lore even links the holiday with the ancient murder of a priest named Valentine, who secretly married couples against the dictates of Roman Emperor Claudius II. No wonder Valentine’s Day freaks men out!)
My guy friends whine that the holiday is no more than a commercial ploy created by Hallmark and flower shops to fleece them of their hard-earned cash. As one of my male actor friends puts it, “My dream gift for V-Day would be a constitutional amendment banning all stupid fictitious holidays.”
I asked a newlywed pal in Cincinnati how he plans to spend his first Valentine’s as a married man.
Brandan: F*CK! Oh f*ck. It’s when? Tomorrow? F*CK!
Carrie: Why do men have to hate on heart day?
Brandan: Valentine’s Day is the perfect storm. On one day every year, in the coldest month of the year, we’re forced to set out against unthinkable odds. And we’re destined to fail, running ashore somewhere between the coupon used at dinner and “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.”
Carrie: Seriously, what are you getting your wife?
Brandan: I make my own cards. Always have. I put more of “me” into them (especially when using X-Acto knives to cut) and I don’t want Hallmark to win. Also, she gets dinner with Fancy Brandan. Fancy Brandan is a rarity as regular Brandan has an allergy to collared shirts and shoes without laces and logos on them.
Carrie: Why don’t I have a Fancy Brandan?
Brandan: Get back to your article, Carrie.
Men say the pressure to demonstrate love by shelling out for outrageously marked-up roses and extravagant dinners feels like extortion.
I hate to admit it, but they do have a teeny-tiny point. According to the U.S. Greeting Card Association, men in the U.S. spend roughly twice as much as women on Valentine’s Day-related gifts.
But my female friends insist that it’s so not about the money. What women really crave is a little acknowledgement from our lovahs that they, um, love us.
Most women would trade all the roses in the world for a heart-felt love letter from their significant somebody. Or, as I overshared in an earlier column, a night of polka dancing with elderly Slovakians.
Yet year after year, the great Valentine’s Day debate rages on.
Lisa Bloom, host of Lisa Bloom: Open Court on truTV and legal correspondent for The Early Show, innocently posted the following Facebook status update a few days ago:
What’s up with men being scared of Valentine’s Day?
She was met with a flurry of responses from both men and women, culminating in a passionate gender battle. Some of the highlights from the dozens of responses include:
• “You’d mean the whole ‘impending doom’ aspect.”
• “It’s called G.I.F.T.S.”
• “Commercialism has certainly bastardized what was intended to be a lovely, romantic day. It has made gift giving not only necessary but competitive, as well … True love and romance has no monetary value!”
• Exactly when is Valentine’s Day?
Lisa is lucky enough to have a boyfriend who named a star after her last Valentine’s Day. (Whaaaa? Lisa, does your boyfriend have a brother who might want to meet/marry a petite blonde who writes for BettyConfidential.com??)
But in the past, she’s dated guys who asked her if they could skip Valentine’s altogether.
“I think we women are hard-wired to want a little attention on Valentine’s, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that,” Lisa says. “I don’t think any of us care that much if we get flowers or candy or lingerie. What we want is to be showered in attention. And I don’t think that’s asking too much.”
So guys, if you get really freaked, are you allowed to just skip Valentine’s Day? “No,” Lisa says. “The answer is no, you can’t.”
On behalf of the female population: Thank you, Lisa.
Gentlemen — you can blame it on money all you want, but I think what really freaks you out about Valentine’s Day is being forced to publicly acknowledge that you might, kinda, sorta have some mushy feelings for a girl.
Hint: She probably likes you back. Now is that really so scary?
Just take a deep breath and face your fears. Make her dinner, rub her feet and tell her you adore her.
Or move to Japan, where women are expected to bring men chocolates on Valentine’s Day.
Why do you think men are scared of Valentine’s Day?