For Valentine’s Day, I don’t expect a big bouquet of roses, artisan chocolates or an expensive diamond bracelet. Not because my husband is a deadbeat, but because it’s not the expectation we’ve set in our relationship. Plus, I don’t want those things. For Valentine’s Day, I’d rather eat some good food together and just enjoy one another’s company.
Am I in the minority here? Every male coworker I talk to says that his wife or girlfriend “has him on the hook” for some kind of gift. And several bouquets of flowers arrived at the office today. (A sweet gesture, just not for me.) Seriously, am I the only one who doesn’t expect my husband to buy me something just to buy me something?
I know I’m not. But I also know why some women have begun acting this way. It’s expected. We’re screwed in multiple ways:
From sitcoms to dramas, women are treated as—generalization alert—manipulative, cruel bitches. Even one of my favorite sitcoms, “Happy Endings,” has Jane, the controlling and overbearing (but completely enjoyable to watch) wife. Even Claire Huxtable knew how to manipulate Bill to get what she wanted. With examples of self-centered, man-whipping woman gracing the small screen, how else are we supposed to act? Where’s the wife who just says what she means and behaves like an equal partner? Oh, right. She’s no fun to watch.
Right around Valentine’s Day they’re the worst. And companies are getting sneakier and sneakier. Take the Tiffany & Co. website, for instance. As Racked points out, women can now “drop a hint” with one mouse click, sending an email to their loved one. Get the message, guys? She won’t love you unless you spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on her. So take the (literal) hint.
By Other Women
Just today, as I was eating lunch with my coworkers, I heard several tales of women hinting at their significant others what to get them for Valentine’s Day. One wife saw an advertisement for a dress on television and casually mentioned how much she liked it. So what did her husband do? Ask her casually if she was planning on buying the dress? No. He quickly ordered it and shipped it, same-day delivery. Other women have fallen prey to the pressures of society. Culture tells us that we should be manipulative and weak and coercive, so we are. And those women give the rest of us a bad rap.
Come on, ladies. Quit dropping hints and just say what you mean. I promise, it’ll make for a happier arrangement all around.
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