Wed, Feb 11, 2009 - Page 13 News List

Guys, say it with ...

If a Kenny G CD and a cuddly panda soft toy is your idea of playing a blinder on Valentine’s Day, read on

By Katie Leslie  /  NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE , ATLANTA

VIEW THIS PAGE Fellas, we know coming off the holidays that you’re tired and you’re poor — but we still expect a little something on Valentine’s Day. Well, maybe not that little, and not just something. It needs to be special, to show you picked it out with our feelings and likes in mind. If you succeed, you win our hearts and we win water-cooler comparison discussions.

If it fails, you risk us thinking you don’t care.

Worse, you might end up a Lame Gift Legend, like Sara Markway’s college boyfriend, who gave her a Kenny G CD and a pillow.

“I think he was trying to be romantic, but it was so cheesy,” recalls the 30-year-old advertising executive, who, by the way, wasn’t even a Kenny G fan. “We may have even tried to listen to it and make out, but it didn’t work. I was like, ‘Are you serious?!’”

So, guys, feeling the pressure? Try this advice:

BAD IDEAS

Lingerie: Just because you love seeing us in some frilly, lacy and inordinately revealing number doesn’t mean we do. Unless we hand select an item from dear ol’ Victoria’s or clearly have a lingerie obsession, save us the embarrassment of having to try it on for you just to prove it doesn’t work.

If you choose to ignore this advice, choose the size carefully. If we wear a 36B, don’t assume a 34B will work just as well.

Chocolate: Great, something we’ll eat and regret as we worry about our waistlines. That said, there are those among us who will always go ga-ga for Godiva. (Heck, many of us get down with Hershey’s.) Best advice? Try a test run to see if she bites with a couple pieces of chocolate before the big day. Still sure chocolate is the way go to? Then definitely pair it with any of the gift suggestions below.

Stuffed animals: These are cute for children but are mere dust collectors for most women.

Balloons: Really? They’re hard to transport, clutter our ceilings, and we know you’re just waiting for a chance to inhale the helium and sing Chipmunks-style. Unless you are 7 years old and need an idea for your schoolyard crush, stay away.

GOOD IDEAS

Hand-written love letter: Not a text. Not an e-mail. An actual piece of paper with words we’ll (hopefully) cherish forever. This, above all, is a must.

Elegant dinner: This is a no-brainer — what woman wouldn’t love a “white tablecloth” experience? If fine dining isn’t in your budget, prepare a candlelit meal at home with tablecloth, wine and dessert included.

Anything in the little blue box: If you don’t know of which box we speak, ask someone.

Monograms: One initial shows you had us in mind. Three initials means you planned ahead.

Cashmere: From a sweater to scarf to a throw, ’tis one of life’s sweetest luxuries.

Cupcakes: Especially if they’re prettily decorated and a bit whimsical. Just make sure to know our preferred flavor and ask the bakery for an attractive presentation box.

Flowers: Roses aren’t a must; find out what blooms we like, instead. And don’t show up with three roses (in that plastic sheath) you clearly just picked up at the mini-mart. Best bet? If you buy flowers at the grocery store, have them rewrapped in attractive tissue. Better bet? Call a florist and schedule a delivery for the days leading up to Valentine’s, which falls this year on Saturday. Because while we hate to admit it, we love getting them at work. VIEW THIS PAGE

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