A table for two at The Pookie Hut

Feb. 06, 2014 @ 10:47 AM

Five more days till Valentine’s Day, and gentlemen, I’m sure you’re as ready as the ladies are. Even ready-er. Super Ready! You’ve planned, researched and organized every little thing to make this V-day a perfect, soupy, sappy, nauseating, romantic bender, am I right? No, don’t look at your feet, look at me -- am I right? 

OMG, you’ve done it again, haven’t you? You invested all your testosterone-laden brain cells in the Super Bowl, and there hasn’t been enough time to rebuild. You weren’t even aware that Valentine’s Day was almost here, were you? 
OK, don’t cry. Stop packing your gym bag -- you can’t bench-press your way out of this, and you cannot run away ... again. We just gotta hustle. We gotta move. We gotta bob and weave -- bob and weave -- are you with me, men? You can do this! Remember, money is no object! Now, when -- I said money is no object; do NOT argue with me!  Break on three: One, two, three -- BREAK!
First, has your wife or girlfriend dropped any hints lately? Think back. It could have been something subtle like: “Honey, for Valentine’s Day -- WHICH IS NEXT TUESDAY -- I’d love to go back to where we had our first date -- THE POOKIE HUT -- for dinner. Of course, we’d need a reservation, but I noticed yesterday that I still have their phone number MAGNETIZED TO THE REFRIGERATOR, RIGHT AT YOUR EYE LEVEL.  And, we’d need a babysitter -- STACY DOWN THE STREET -- whose number, coincidentally, is right under the restaurant’s number on the fridge, isn’t that funny?”
So, any hints like that? You don’t remember? But, you’re in the refrigerator hourly, sir; how could you not notice those phone numbers? You were looking for beer? Well, that’s awesome, buddy. And, when you’re sleeping in the garage on top of Sparky’s cage, with old paint tarps for blankets, you’d better believe that beer is going to taste good!
What about jewelry hints? Has she held her engagement ring up in front of your nose, for example, and sighed really loud while muttering something about her sister-in-law’s ring with the two gorgeous rubies and a diamond instead of just the single, sad-and-teeny diamond, which of course she loves, but it’s not like she hasn’t given you three beautiful children ... sigh. Anything like that?
Again, you don’t remember. Yes, it’s a beautiful ring, and everyone knows you took a second job delivering pizza so you could afford it – 14 years ago. But, what you’re saying by getting her a new one now is,
“I would marry you all over again, because you are incredibly beautiful, you haven’t aged in the slightest, every man envies me, and having children hasn’t given you a belly pooch AT ALL!!” 
Now, that’s what a woman wants to hear on Valentine’s Day ... don’t say that last part out loud. 
Next, flowers and chocolate are pretty much required. You’re probably out of luck at this point with florist shops -- they’re too busy filling orders for the folks who actually remembered and ordered ahead of time. Fortunately, now that most grocery stores have a floral department, you can snag both things in one quick trip. 
Just a few tips:  do NOT buy her a plant, unless she has specifically said to you, “Marvin, I want a nice fern.” 
Valentine’s Day is for roses. If you miss the roses at your grocery, don’t settle for carnations, daisies or, God forbid, a “spring arrangement,” because, a) these are flowers for your grandmother, and b) these flowers scream, “He forgot Valentine’s Day!  I am from Kroger’s!” 
Trust me. Visit every store in the area if you have to, until you find a dozen roses. Red ones are best, but roses are key. 
Then, get her the biggest box of chocolates you can find. If you know what she likes best, get her a box of those, but you must be certain here -- do NOT give her your mother’s favorites or your old girlfriend’s favorites; and, trust me again, her favorite is not -- never has been, never will be -- raspberry creams. No one likes those -- EVER.
Alright, assuming you’ve discovered the phone numbers, made the reservations, secured the babysitter, picked up the ring, found the right chocolate, and beaten up a much bigger guy for the last bunch of roses in the metropolitan area, you are finally ready! She’s going to love it! 
So, why are you crying now? The money? Stop worrying about it -- I gave her a few hints for you, too. Yep, I talked her out of the Josh Groban CD, the musk-scented candle and that adorable Cuddly Card Game. And, what she finally ended up getting you has your three favorite words on the box -- Some Assembly Required! 
You’re welcome.

Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker.  Readers may contact her at chh@heraldsun.com, or by visiting her website at www.vickiwentz.com.