Dude or dud, don't make Valentine's Day a one-shot deal.
Nobody gets the day off work on Valentine's Day, most likely because — like Mother's Day or Father's Day — it's really dedicated to one gender. And that's all good because few men will argue that floral bouquets, sweets and special dinners are more appropriately extended to female companions.
And therein lies the problem. Showered attention should not be relegated to just one evening of the year.
That's where I come in. While most men are more akin to Don Quixote than Don Juan, I nonetheless feel qualified to offer the following Romance Point System (RPS) for dudes. Dudettes, you may take the exam, too, if for no other reason than to obtain ammunition for nudging your significant other into better demonstrating his appreciation for you.
Here we go. Figure plus 10 points for all “A” answers and minus 10 for all “B” answers.
A. You compose an original poem on a blank card.
B. You buy a $1 greeting card with a cartoon character on the cover at the grocery store.
A. You often hold hands, kiss in public and cuddle in private.
B. You walk 10 feet ahead of her, kiss only when coaxed and consider your side of the bed a DMZ.
A. You eschew the $19.95 special at a flower store and go with the $79.95 bouquet and a Steiff bear.
B. You buy plastic flowers at Walmart and a $3 “I Love You” helium balloon.
A. You commission a chocolatier to fashion a cake shaped in her initials.
B. You buy her a Hershey bar.
A. You splurge on pheasant under glass and a bottle of 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild Jeroboam.
B. You take her to a Chinese buffet.
A. You give her a $200 spa certificate for a manicure, pedicure and deep-tissue massage.
B. You give her a back rub while watching the Military Channel.
Okay fellas, a score of 50 to 60 on the RPS wins the coveted Dapper category — you know what women like and have reaped the rewards. Notching 30 to 40 lands you in the Understanding category — you're way ahead of the curve, so to speak. A tally of 10 to 20 drops you into the Donkey category — it's time to quit braying and start playing. Any zero or minus score earns the first letters of the three categories just mentioned — a Dud instead of a dude, which means you're not only missing the boat, you haven't found the dock yet.
If you scored poorly, don't fret. Pull up your socks, straighten your suspenders and settle on a solution. She still loves you despite the lack of attentiveness, and if reading this you're obviously still among the breathing. So, realize that Clearwater is full of remarkable restaurants, frilly florists, spectacular spas and chic chocolatiers, and don't wait until Valentine's Day now or next year or ever — take her out on non-occasions instead.
Ladies, you have full permission to tape this article to the refrigerator.