What to give on that lover’s day
Sports Illustrated is coming out with its swimsuit edition Feb. 14. That’s right, Valentine’s Day. So all confident women can give their honey a magazine that most men are sure to love. How do I know of such trivia? I saw it advertised on a Bud Light commercial during a football game. If you buy a pack o’ Bud, you can get a $5 gift certificate for the Swimsuit Edition of Sports Illustrated, going on sale Feb. 14. Funny how swimsuits sell beer. But hey, it works, I guess.Ah, Valentine’s Day. Lover’s day. Beyond the hugs and “I love yous” said around the world, Valentine’s Day often signals a time for gift giving.Women seem to have less trouble finding that perfect gift for him. Perhaps this is because we are hardwired to be good shoppers. Heck, I’ve even offered up two ideas, a 12-pack of Budweiser and a free swimsuit magazine to boot.But what should men be looking for this Valentine’s Day? Let me offer some ideas. (Feb. 14 is just around the corner, so get shopping, guys.)Victoria’s Secret offered up a sexy, lover’s type of an advertisement over the Christmas season. A sultry woman echoed, “Give me everything I want and nothing I need” This was on regular broadcast television, by the way.Is this true of women? Don’t give your wife-girlfriend something practical this Valentine’s Day? Hogwash! (A little Iowa slang still resonates from this Midwestern writer sometimes.)I like practical, too! Realistically, we all aren’t all empty-headed and wanton. Are we? The two best gifts I’ve been given recently are big, bad, studded snow tires and a year’s worth of car washes. Cool, eh? Well, for anyone who knows how much driving I do, they were very cool gifts. (Of course, my husband had some “not needed” surprises tucked away in my stocking, too.) Balancing those needed gifts with thoughtful surprises is what I call Top Gifts. But some women disagree with me on this, so don’t run out and buy your wife-girlfriend tires just yet. She may think that they are awful. Tires were ranked as the worst gift on a list written by a New York City-based writer for Gentleman’s Quarterly.The writer said avoid “anything she needs instead of wants. … Women are good at taking care of details, and when their desire for a whatever-it-is gets dire, they’ll replace it, pronto.” Gosh. I guess that the Victoria’s Secret ad may be the advice to follow after all. The GQ list of Worst Gifts for Women also said stay away from awful flowers, sports paraphernalia, and the sparkly stuff as a surprise. GQ pointed out that women like to point out specific jewelry and they like a card signed by you prior to you standing in front of her. (Are guys really that short of time?) As you can see, my ideas don’t exactly align with Victoria’s Secret or GQ. Perhaps a blend of their ideas to what you know about your love is the shopping path to follow.I discussed in the beginning of this commentary the coincidence of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition going on sale this Valentine’s Day as it pertained to a gift for men.But men can tag onto this swimsuit idea a bit for women, too. What about a gift certificate to the Sports Shop at The Hot Springs Lodge and Pool in Glenwood? No kidding. This shop is the best-kept secret for women to buy a sexy, beautiful, well-fitting, incredible swimsuit. (Kind of a gift for the guy, too. You get to see what she comes home with!)The Web site is http://www.hotspringspool.com. Click on Sports Shop, and you’ll find all of the pertinent information to successfully shop for your gal. If you have kids, add a note to the card saying, “Honey, I’ll baby-sit. You go shopping and even stay awhile for a soak in the hot springs, schedule a massage, just relax and unwind.”Whatever you choose, make your gift say “I love you” your own way. Not just how beer and lingerie advertising executives want you to. Be creative, fun, surprising, and be yourself. For outdoorsy types, my husband (boyfriend at-the-time) one Valentine’s Day blindfolded me and drove me all of the way to Tennessee Pass to cross country ski into the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse. What a blast! The blindfold was a fun twist, too. I had no idea what he was up to! We met another couple, skied, dined, and sipped good wine under the moonlight. So here I’ve presented a gamut of ideas for the men of Vail to trigger some ideas of what your Valentine may need or want this Valentine’s Day. Don’t procrastinate! Look what my husband’s great Valentine gift a few years back led to – a wife and two kids!Elizabeth H. Chicoine of Eagle writes a weekly column for the Daily. She can be reached at email@example.com Vail, Colorado
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