f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 6 A L I V E E A S T B A Y 19 Dear Mr. VD: I’m as romantic as the next guy, but my wife never seems to appreciate my Valentine’s Day gifts. Every year, I do my best to find my wife something special, but it never fails that I somehow let her down. Is a George Foreman grill or a Paula Dean crock pot such a horrible gift? She loves to cook and I love to eat. Am I not, technically, bringing us closer together? Signed, Kitchen Casanova Dear Kitchen Casanova: You’re driving the right car, but just heading down the wrong road. Even Guy Fieri and Gina De Laurentiis enjoy a meal out from time to time. Pick a cool little restaurant to take her to (Baci in Danville, Salvadote Ristorante in Walnut Creek or Casa Orozco in Dublin) and tell her the food won’t compare to what she makes for you on a nightly basis, but you wanted to give her a night off to show your appreciation. You might want to take your dessert to go, if you know what I mean. Dear Mr. VD: I go all out every year with the gifts. Victoria’s Secret, the Shane Company and FTD Florists know me and my credit card intimately. That said, in return I usually get some lame coupon book for free hugs, a foot massage and a “day off” that I’ve never once tried to actually redeem. How do I get some gift appreciation this year? Signed, Even Steven Dear Even Steven: I hear ya bro! You obviously take good care of your woman when it comes to the cool love-swag department. Going on the assumption that she just needs some gift ideas, I’d suggest making a list and have one of the kids pass it along to her. Golf lessons, Warriors tickets or a gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings shouldn’t be expecting too much. I bet once she gets some ideas, she’ll go “all in.” Dear Mr. VD: Because I’ve always bought my two daughters cards, flowers and a little token of my fatherly love, they think Valentine’s Day is like “Christmas-light.” Granted, Cupid is a younger, shorter, diaper-wearing version of Santa, but Santa-like none the less. At what age do I remind my teenage she-devils that the little man is also armed with a nasty Hunger Games type crossbow and if they don’t start acting more appreciative to me and my baby mama they might just get an arrow in the a... ah backside? Signed, Cupid Claus Dear Cupid Claus: You’re stuck brother. The bond between father and daughter is precious and should never be broken, even if it costs you a little scratch (aka money) on a bogus capitalistic holiday created by greedy retailers. Buy your flowers at Safeway, your cards at Party City and as for gifts, KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid. Thirty-seven fifty, max per kid. Gift cards or cereal are always good options. The little monsters will eventually come around and see what a great dad they have in you. Dear Mr. VD:My gal has a smoking hot bod and I’m all about the lacy nighttime apparel, but sadly she never buys me anything sexy. Granted, I’m 5’6” and tipping the scales at about 263 pounds, but I like to look pretty too. It hurts my feelings that she never gives me a set of silk boxer shorts or a satin robe when I’ve maxed out my Frederick’s of Hollywood charge account on little things for her. Signed, Sad Sack Dear Sad Sack: I feel your pain. I’m not the Calvin Klein underwear model I used to be either. That said, I like to look good for my lady when we have some romantic alone time. Maybe if you drop her hints, perhaps leave the computer logged on to the Lingerie Diva website. They have a dynamite men’s page. I know this because of a little thing called research. Hopefully she’ll get the message and pick up something “thongtacular” for you this year. Dear Mr. VD: My life partner and I have always exchanged heartfelt handwritten cards and small gifts that have some sentimental significance in our lives. We make an effort to do something together; such as see a movie or go for a hike and then in the evening we have a family dinner with the kids. Is that wrong? Should we be doing more on this romantic holiday? Signed, Simple Life Dear Simple Life: You and your partner are my Valentine’s Day heroes! You’ve got exactly the right idea of what this “holiday” should be about and signify. We don’t need to load up with See’s candy (although I do love See’s candy) and cheesy cards to express our love. As busy as our lives are, sincerity and togetherness means more than a heart-shaped Mylar balloon, a bouquet of rose-shaped chocolate-chip cookies or a mangy stuffed animal. Heart on my brothers, heart on! Obviously, I’m not a real advice columnist. I only play one in the magazine. However, if I was, I would say that it’s been reported by many sources that spouses (and kids) spell LOVE, T-I-M-E. Time together is the most important way to spend a holiday whose theme is love. Love who you love and let those that you love know how much you love them by being present not giving presents. See what I did there? Take it from Mr.VD, Valentine’s Day done right can leave a lasting impression the rest of the year… or at least until St. Patrick’s Day. Then it’s all about drinking to excess, celebrating with that deranged little leprechaun and kissing the Blarney Stone. I can’t wait!
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