Manners Matter: What’s All the Fuss about Valentine’s Day?

Dear Mary Pat,

My wife always wants me to make a fuss on Valentine’s Day. I think restaurants, jewelry stores and florists try way too hard to drain my wallet, and it’s kind of a made-up holiday. Why does my wife fall into this trap and have high expectations every year? After 22 years of marriage, I would have thought she’d be over this nonsense by now.


Not Mr. Romance

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Dear Not Mr. Romance,

I doubt your wife wants you to spend all your money on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps it has become a little commercialized and there’s room for cynicism; however, it’s still important to your wife, so that makes it something that needs to be considered.

You’ve been together for more than two decades, which is definitely worth celebrating. Dig down deep into your practical heart, and think about what your wife really wants. Is she expecting a stretch limo and rose petals strewn all around the house? Probably not. A nicely worded card and dinner reservations would go a long way to making her happy. If you think she’d rather stay in, consider becoming the chef for the evening. If this isn’t your normal role, she will probably swoon once she realizes you’ve gone to this special effort and she doesn’t have to cook.

You don’t have to be schmaltzy to show your wife how much you love her.  

Good luck,

Mary Pat