Pop Culture & The Meaning of Life

Somebody Smack the Man of the Year

For the past couple weeks I’ve heard from a number of ladies how much they can’t stand the arrival of Valentine’s Day. I’ve never heard this sentiment from so many women, but as a man I understand. We may have different reasons for resenting the big V-Day, but in the end a holiday like this can be more trouble than some people know.

But singles aren’t the only ones who might want to skip Hallmark’s day of love. It can be tough for people in relationships to live up to the hype, especially if you happen to know that guy as guest blogger Kevin Haggerty from The Isle of Man explains in this funny guest post. You can also find him on Twitter. Break it down Kevin.


It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

If you’re a girl, this is probably exciting news to you; especially if you are dating or married. It’s like a second birthday. For one day, night or maybe even a full weekend, you will be the center of attention.

Why? Because you’re a female. That’s it. No other reason. It might as well be called “Girlfriend and Wife Day,” cuz that’s what it is.

Think about it, when was the last time you heard a dude say something like: “Yeah, my wife is in the doghouse. She totally forgot to get me something for Valentine’s Day. She’s sleeping on the couch tonight!”

Answer: Never.

Which brings me to my point. Every year, pressure is placed on males to make this a special day. Kay Jeweler’s reminds us (in non-stop commercial fashion) that every kiss begins with them, which is interesting, because I’ve never had one kiss that did begin with them. In fact, they’ve never been any part of any of my kisses.

I digress.

We’re told we had better buy chocolates and flowers. We had better make dinner reservations and plan something unique.

We do our best, but, truth be told, it’s usually mediocre at best. We’re guys. We’re several steps above “Neanderthal.” Women are more evolved. I have no problem admitting that.

The problem for us “normal guys” is that there’s always some guy that we know who is trying to earn extra brownie points by being “boyfriend or husband of the year.”

We all know one. You took your wife to Red Lobster and a movie that you knew she’d like. It was thoughtful. So unlike you.

Not him. He wakes up doing thoughtful things. By the time his wife rolls out of bed, he’s got her coffee ready, along with a three-course, piping hot breakfast that is just waiting to help her usher in the day.

It’s sickening.

If that’s his game, a normal Valentine’s Day just won’t do. No, he’s got to go the extra mile.

While you’re opening the car door for your wife, so that you can escort her to Red Lobster, he’s holding his wife’s hand and helping her get into the hot air balloon which will take them to a Bed & Breakfast in Martha’s Vineyard.

Once they arrive, they will be greeted by a horse-drawn carriage that will take them along a candlelit path that is adorned by rose petals.

When they enter the B&B, her favorite song of all time will be playing. Not on the radio or a CD. No way. That’s second class. The Boston Pops have assembled to play the song in all its orchestral glory.

You bought your wife a teddy bear and a book that you knew she wanted. Again, this isn’t like you. You took a break from being a dude for a day and really went all out. You’re feeling great. Why shouldn’t you?

Until you find out what “Husband of the Year” picked out for his adored wife.

He bought her the new iPad that hasn’t even come out yet, as well as an all-inclusive spa package.

How? They couldn’t really afford it, but he made it work…somehow.

I’m gonna wrap it up by saying this: Don’t be that guy. Everybody hates that guy. Even your wife secretly hates that guy. Love her. Make her feel special. But you don’t have to raise the ceiling every year. It becomes impossible to top and, more importantly, it makes your friends and male family members look bad.

We appreciate your effort. It’s awesome that you love your wife. But calm down. For all of us.



Normal males across America.

So how do you feel about Valentine’s Day?

Ever seen a big gift backfire?

February 13, 2012 - Posted by | Humor, Life


  1. Never had one ‘backfire’, but I have had some close calls when it snuck up on me…like this year!

    Thanks for the reminder!

    Comment by Ricky Anderson | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • I hear you Ricky. This year, my wife said she doesn’t want anything. I’m still trying to figure out if it’s legit or if shes using a jedi mind trick.

      Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 13, 2012 | Reply

      • She’s probably serious, but…

        …at least get a nice card and a box of chocolates just in case!

        Comment by Ricky Anderson | February 13, 2012 | Reply

        • Sage wisdom, sir. I shall take it under advisement. 🙂

          Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 13, 2012 | Reply

      • Yeah, that’s always a tough one. It’s the “No it really doesn’t matter but yeah it really does” thing.

        Comment by educlaytion | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  2. Smirking–this is great.

    Comment by Running from Hell with El | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  3. I am super low maintenance so we don’t usually do anything special…I think I would hate THAT guy too.

    Comment by sonja (@awestintx) | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • Your husband must be very grateful for you Sonja.

      Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  4. I had to Google when V-Day was because I kept hearing about it. We pretty much just ignore it, and that works well for us. =)

    Comment by Adrian W. | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • Sounds you lovebirds got it all figured out!

      Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  5. I would definitely hate ‘that’ guy… I think of myself as pretty low maintenance and that guy would just get annoying.

    Comment by pincushionsandreflections | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • Yeah, like I said…even women hate that guy. It’s just too much.

      Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  6. I’ve been single for nearly a decade. V-day is what it is…another chance for me to break out the chocolates, the Red Stag and watch re-runs of “The A-Team.”

    Comment by Howlin' Mad Heather | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  7. I actually feel pressure at V-day to buy the hubs something. Mainly because it IS so focused towards women. You guys have it easy with just a little effort. Flowers, chocolates, dinner, maybe jewelry? Pretty much check off the list and you are good. What do we have? I’m not getting the hubs flowers. Nor chocolates and jewelry. So, I run around trying to buy some type of gift that isn’t a birthday like gift and what do I ultimately end up with? Itunes gift card. Yep, super romantic, I know.

    All this is to say that I am not a big fan of the V-Day and we are pretty low key as well. We aren’t even going out to dinner this year. I think I bought more little things to give the kids than for the hubs, to be honest. V-day = Meh.

    Comment by mistyslaws | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • WE have it easy?? Psh! Puh-leaze! Ha. It’s a lose-lose for us every year.

      Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 13, 2012 | Reply

      • Haha, I’m laughing at this exchange. Misty occasionally says some strange stuff Kevin, usually something to do with supporting the Baltimore Ravens too.

        Comment by educlaytion | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  8. Valentine’s Day is just pre-gaming for the Buttrams’ wedding anniversary. Welcome to the party, America.

    Comment by Meet the Buttrams | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • You’re inviting America on your anniversary? Sounds unwise. 🙂

      Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • It’s about to get real up in J Butt world.

      Comment by educlaytion | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  9. i cancelled valentines day five years ago. Ignore it i said to my new husband. It scared him for a while but now he being good and ignores all that rubbish. He brings me coffee every morning.. that works for me!! c

    Comment by ceciliag | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • You cancelled it Cecilia? No one told me. It’s totally still on my calendar. I’ll notify my wife. 😉

      Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  10. I asked the husband if we were going to do anything in celebration… we then both looked at each other and said, “We should get Chinese food…. and cupcakes.” There you go… almost 13 years together and we celebrate with MSG and fat.

    Comment by musingsoftheamusingmuse | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • Your screen name blew my brain up.

      Nothing wrong with doing something comfortable for Valentines Day. As long as the focus is on each other, right?

      Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 13, 2012 | Reply

      • Sorry that your brains are mush now, but as for focusing on each other for V-Day… why save it for just one day of the year?

        Comment by musingsoftheamusingmuse | February 13, 2012 | Reply

        • Because it’s a lot of hard work and I prefer sleeping on the couch anyway.

          Kidding. You’re totally right. It should be year-round.

          Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • YES. Chinese food and each other is all you need.

      Comment by educlaytion | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  11. I confess I would love an iPad, roses, and a day at the spa. But I roses and ammo are just as wonderful, and our traditional burger at the local dive bar is something I would miss. I have a great guy. 🙂

    Very funny, Ken. Thanks for the smiles, and good luck surviving Girlfriend and Wife Day.

    Comment by Piper Bayard | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  12. Agreed! V Day is ridiculous and there’s no reason for any man to feel as though they need to go all out for it (can you tell that I’m not a fan of the “holiday” either?). And, to be honest, women don’t really want that either. I once had someone go all out for Valentine’s Day, and it included a teddy bear that was so large it took up most of my bedroom. I appreciate the thought, but what was I supposed to do with that thing?

    A single rose would be more than enough.

    Hilarious post! I applaud you, sir. 🙂

    Comment by PCC Advantage | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • Thanks for very much! Yeah, my wife likes roses. She appreciates me spicing it up by not always getting the same kind. I’m good with that.

      Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  13. I could imagine all of that back-firing on the other guy. He started out by not packing the right clothes for her. Nothing matches. He forgot about her fear of heights and then she really blows her top when she realizes that he blew one of their kids college funds paying for all of it.
    Better stick to Red Lobster.
    Too funny!
    Happy Valentines Day!

    Comment by susielindau | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • Funny you mention the whole improper planning angle. A mutual acquaintance of mine (not a friend) did something similar. His girlfriend is in college. He told her he had a surprise for her and that he had planned a romantic getaway weekend. He just told her to pack some things. Additionally, this is a girl he’s been dating for 5 years and who probably suspects a proposal is coming soon.

      The surprise?

      A camping trip. With friends. Friends she didn’t know we’re going to be there.

      Sometimes guys are just the dumbest creatures alive.

      Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 13, 2012 | Reply

      • Hahaha!

        Comment by susielindau | February 13, 2012 | Reply

      • Good point Kev. It doesn’t matter how great the plans are if she’s looking for a ring.

        Comment by educlaytion | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  14. Mr. Haggerty, a pleasure to see you here.

    Not surprisingly, I suspect, I’m not that into Valentine’s Day. I’m not a big gift-gal. Didn’t even want an engagement ring! I put the low in maintenance. Not sure if my husband would agree completely; he Valentine’s Day like relief day. It falls two weeks after my birthday which falls four weeks after Christmas. He’s barbequing steak. Medium rare, please.

    My girlfriend, however, did give me a naughty birthday gift two days ago. At this point, it’s still in its packaging…

    Comment by Leanne Shirtliffe | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • Leanne! Thanks for participating. My wife and I are trying out having a low key V-day this year. We’re just gonna cook Italian at home, watch a movie…and then the rest…is not your business.

      Ok fine I’ll tell you.

      We’re gonna wash dishes together and clean up the kitchen. Happy??

      Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  15. Kevin, nice work. Since year two of my marriage my wife and I alternate who plans V-Day. It’s nice because every other year I’m off the hook. This year though is my day. You’d think I would have worked on it all year since I didn’t have to do anything last year. Nope. I’ve a few plans but I don’t think I’ll be that guy.

    Comment by robshep | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  16. “That Guy” sounds exhausting! Who needs him?

    Comment by Amy | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • Nobody. That’s who. The good news is that he usually figures it out and grows up. Not always though.

      Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  17. Valentine’s Day is kryptonite to a new relationship….you can blow it in so many different ways. I am not looking forward to this V-Day. Check out my blog for the reason why. I’m thinking it will be the ultimate fail, lol.

    Comment by Off the Wall | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • It’s definitely a potentially dangerous holiday, early on. If you can make it past the first Valentines Day and Fall/Winter holiday season, you’re good to go!

      Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 14, 2012 | Reply

  18. “We’re told we had better….” I prefer to not say anything and then withhold sex until I get something. Is that passive aggressive?

    Comment by thoughtsappear | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  19. Well put, thank you!

    Comment by laurenrantnrave | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  20. Two years ago my hubby and then 3year old son surprised me on Valentines Day by taking me to Monster Truck Jam! It was a blast (although they let me believe we were going out to a nice restaurant for dinner, so I was theonly one cheering on Gravedigger in 4 inch heels, a lovely dress, and sparkle handbag)!

    Comment by Lori | February 13, 2012 | Reply

  21. Nice post, Kevin. I must be one of the few guys who likes Valentine’s Day. All I have to do is buy flowers and dinner and my job is mostly done. But the other 364 days of the year…who knows what she wants me to do? Fear of the unknown is worse than any florist’s bill or restaurant check.

    Comment by Mark Kaplowitz | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • They’re definitely different creatures!

      Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 14, 2012 | Reply

  22. I don’t fix the big breakfast, but I do fix her coffee for her every morning when I don’t drink coffee. Hate on me on you want. 🙂
    I don’t ever buy her flowers and we long ago agreed to not get each other anything for Valentine’s Day, so this year to really surprise her I got her some flowers. Hey, March Madness is just a few weeks away.

    Comment by Larry The Deuce | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • I can’t wait, my friend. It’s my favorite time of the year and my wife’s least favorite. Ha

      Comment by Kevin Haggerty | February 14, 2012 | Reply

  23. I hate to be the contrarian and all, but for that guy–the one who’s doing it right, there’s this: “Valentine’s Day” for guys. (NSFW).

    Take the preceding with a great big: 😉

    Comment by randomlychad | February 14, 2012 | Reply

  24. Ha! I’m with you on all of the above (my V-Day rant was similar) – although I certainly wouldn’t complain about an ipad and spa…. 🙂 Of which I am getting neither.

    Then again…

    Maybe it’s about men choosing which guy they prefer to be:
    a) the guy who makes a small effort EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR to make his partner feel loved; OR
    b) the guy who only has to make a massive effort ONCE A YEAR to make his partner feel loved.

    When you think about it, maybe guy B is just paying his dues for being able to ignore that love stuff on a daily basis?

    Comment by Casey Marriott | February 14, 2012 | Reply

  25. I can’t believe I’m going to say this but such truth you wrote. I usually don’t skip a heart beat on Valentine’s Day but this year I celebrated the Love fest hard and was all lovey dovey to everyone. I guess watching my baby girl almost die made me appreciate anything remotely connected to love. Even the KayJeweler’s commercials warmed my heart.

    Comment by Beth - The Botut Blog | February 15, 2012 | Reply

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