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7:41 a.m. - 2005-02-11

GIMME ALL YOUR LOVIN', ALL YOUR HUGS AND KISSES TOO

(I'm tired as it was a long night at the club last night. The only reason I'm awake is because my son woke me up at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m. to inform me that he desperately needed to watch Playhouse Disney. Therefore, I've gone back through my old newspaper columns and found one somewhat appropriate for this weekend. If you don't like it, screw ya. I'm going back to bed for 90 minutes.)

Stastistics floating around somewhere in my head show that every year, at least one poor schlub on this earth screws up on Valentine's Day and consequently, ends whatever relationship he was doing his darndest to keep on track.

In general, most men are not that romantic inclined. Thoughtful holidays like Valentine's Day only serve as reminders that we are, in basic terms, romantic imbeciles.

Of course, there are plenty of men out there who know how to treat a woman on this most feminine of holidays, providing her with not only a day of joyful surprises, but a lifetime of memories of that solitary day.

That's where I come in -- Sergeant Suave at your service. Just as I have guided you poor schlubs for the past number of years in everything from how to buy a new car to proper etiquette at the wrestling matches, I shall give you pathetic Romeos tips on how to make this Monday the best Valentine's Day ever.

I am able to do this because I have read the first 42 pages of "Men Are From Mars But Women Are From Venus" and that has made me a changed man - dare I suggest - a more sensitive man.

Of course, the book turns to garbage after 42 pages, drilling it into your head that in order to make your woman happy, you must pretend to listen to her.

Thanks.

Got it.

Been doing that for years, o Maestro of Love.

* DO plan a day to spend with your loved one. Take her to the park with a picnic lunch, and read her poetry in the bonechilling February temperatures. Pneumonia may be a side effect of this most romantic of afternoons, but if your lady is not worth a 105 degree fever with severe hallucinations, she may not be Ms. Right.

*DON'T take her to the monster truck rally and loudly volunteer your lady to fill in for one of the drivers who is out ill from your seat in the stands. The only thing harder than passing up a white sale for a woman is driving a monster truck under extreme duress. Women do not cope well with crushing junked automobiles on demand, like most men would. That's one of the differences between us. Apparantly there are no monster truck rallies on Venus.

*DO shower her with gifts. Women like frilly things that make them feel like lingerie models, even if the gift isn't lingerie. You can buy her a power drill and as long as the box has lace on it, she will melt in your arms. Because lace has a powerful, mind-numbing control over women ... kind of like Dr. Phil.

*DON'T buy a practical gift for your sweetheart on Valentine's Day. True story ... a guy I worked with years ago was dating this knockout of a woman. He comes to work beaming on Valentines Day, convinced he had purchased the ultimate gift for his girlfriend
... free tire alignment for the life of her automobile. When we all stopped guffawing over his stupidity and noticed that he was genuinely shocked that he had not bought the ultimate gift, we felt kind of bad for the poor guy. And the gorgeous babe that he was dating? I think she married the very next guy that came down the pike about two weeks later.

Is there a lesson to be learned?

Yes.

Women like frilly things.

Weren't you listening earlier?

*DO practice romantic soliquoys to dazzle your loved one. There's something that starts "A rose is a rose" that used to make this girlfriend I had in college cry tears of joy every time she heard it (she eventually won the nickname "Crybaby" amongst my peers who would break into dramatic monologues whenever she came around). I find it easiest to get a videotape of "Sleepless In Seattle," fast forward to the last ten minutes, and memorize the dialogue verbatim. You can probably cut out all of the references to being on top of the Empire State Building, because it won't fit the situation and you really don't want your intended thinking you're some kind of lunkhead who doesn't know New York City from Botswana.

*DON'T send your loved one a poem consisting of gangster rap lyrics. I don't care if you're dating the finest hoochie mama from South L.A., even SHE wants to hear something other than flippant boasting about your pecker size on Valentine's Day. But ... probably not for long. Hoochie mamas can't give up the pecker love for too long. I watch Maury Povich. I know these things.

*DO make reservations if you're planning on taking your sweetheart to dinner. This can often save you the embarrassment of pacifying your loved one with impromptu magic tricks while she's sitting on a curb in a parking lot in mid February in her newest dress which is casually soaking in motor oil while you wait for all the reservations to be fulfilled before you two are even allowed in the building. Reservations also give you a chance to act like James Bond, smooth and dashing as you say "We have ... reservations." Cloudy skies part for people with reservations. People with reservations have 10 more I.Q. points than people that don't have reservations. Make reservations, Einstein.

*DON'T try the romantic dinner at home. What are you ...nuts?? You can't cook! Your mother was lying to you all those times. Your friends have all gotten sick as dogs after your shindigs. Do you really want to see your lady hugging the commode all evening because you thought chicken could be served rare if it had enough barbecue sauce on it? Take a deep breath and give it another thought, Socrates. The answer is a firm, straight forward no.

Of course, all this changes once marriage and children come along. Then its macaroni and cheese, brief mumblings about your day, a bag of candy corn you found in your desk and everyone falls asleep by 8 p.m.

Now that's love.

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