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How to Have Happy Valentine's Cheap


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How to celebrate Happy Valentine's Day with your honey on a tight budget.

With so many people unemployed and underemployed, after just spending what little money we had on Christmas, it's already Valentine's Day. Now what? Just a Hallmark Valentine's Day card is approaching five dollars and many of them aren't even worth the price of the paper.

"Roses are red and violets are blue, today is Valentine's Day and I love you."

All of them say the same sad, silly sentiments we've all heard a thousand times before. It would be different, more worth the money, if we found the card that we really loved, the card that said exactly what we wanted to say, but couldn't put it in words.

Depending where we buy them, a dozen roses cost thirty dollars and up, twice what they cost, before and after Valentine's Day.

"Excuse me, how much are the roses without the pretty paper, the ribbon, and the extra greens? Yeah, just the flowers. What's that? You don't sell them that way?"

That box of heart candy is a waste of money for the little amount of candy that they arrange inside the box to make it appear we're getting more.

"Excuse me, but why do you have this giant heart shaped box for only six ounces of candy? Don't you have a smaller box with the same amount of candy for less money? What's that? You don't sell them that way?"

For what we pay for that velvet heart with ribbons, we could buy pounds of her favorite candy, albeit without the velvet heart box and without the ribbons.

Candy doesn't have to be Godiva chocolates to be appreciated. The candy doesn't have to come in a red satin box to be enjoyed. The absence of the heart box doesn't mean that you love her any less. You can buy her a fancy little box at the dollar store, a bag of those little sugar hearts imprinted with words for a dollar or two, along with a few pieces of her favorite chocolate. Put them in a pretty box and wrap it with ribbon and you've made your own candy box for much less money.

"What the Hell is this? These aren't Godiva chocolates."

"It's a Valentine candy box that I made myself for you."

"How come you didn't buy me the red heart shaped box?"

"It was too expensive."

"Too expensive? You didn't care about money when you were betting on the Super Bowl, did you?"

Being unemployed or underemployed and just having eked by Christmas, forget about the bling this year at Valentine's Day. Unless the bling is something plastic from out of a quarter bubble gum machine, chances are that you can't afford to buy any bling for your baby for Valentine's Day. At least, not this Valentine's Day, after spending your last few dollars on Christmas. Maybe next year, when the economy coughs you up a job, but this year is tight and Valentine's Day is just another day that merchants hope to make us feel guilty enough to pick our pockets of the last few dollars that we have and need for food to feed our families and gas to fuel for our cars.

"What the Hell is this?"

"I couldn't afford to buy you a real gold ring, so I thought this would be symbolic of our love. Happy Valentine's Day, baby. As soon as I get a job and save some money, I'll buy you a real gold ring."

"What did you get this out of a Cracker Jack box?"

"Don't be silly. I got out it out of the bubblegum machine."

We all need to cut back and return to our roots and more treasure the real meaning of Valentine's Day. This one day is all about love and togetherness. It's about romance and making the one special person in our lives feel loved and appreciated. We don't have to spend a lot of money to do that.

By allowing Hallmark to do it for us, too many of us avoid confessing our real innermost feelings. Think about it. Giving her a card, flowers, and candy is the cheap way out and the way that too many of us take to get through Valentine's Day. Instead of buying her a card with a meaningless sentiment, hold her hand, look her in the eyes and just tell her how you feel.

"Roses are red and violets are blue, I love you as much my old dog, Blue."

"You love me as much as your dog, your old dog?"

Okay, maybe some of us should opt for the Valentine's Day card.

Nonetheless, my point is still valid. I'm trying to save you some money and still have a happy, albeit cheap Valentine's Day. Rather than giving of ourselves, rather than taking the time to intimately know what our baby wants, instead of buying her a card, flowers, and candy, just giving her you is more important and giving her your time is always more appreciated.

"Are you seriously going to stay home and stare at me all day?"

"It's Valentine's Day," said Roger. "I thought I'd give you my undivided attention."

"Don't you have a basketball game to watch? I have things to do," said Sheila.

Maybe it's something as simple as turning off the television and fixing that door, she's been nagging you repairing.

"Roger, why is the door upside down?"

How about doing your own damn laundry or, while you're at it, doing her laundry, too?

"Roger, you washed everything all together in just one load, whites, colors, delicates, your clothes and my clothes, didn't you?" Sheila held up what was left of her clothes.

When was the last time you cooked her anything? C'mon, be honest. Bringing home Kentucky Fried Chicken or Chinese food doesn't constitute cooking. It's not the same.

"Okay, here he comes. Don't forget, take the pizza with your left hand and give him the money with your right hand."

Sorry, but ordering up a pizza, while coercing her to flash the pizza delivery guy, when dressed only in a towel that suddenly falls at the most inopportune time doesn't count as cooking either.

Now that you don't have the money to spend on Valentine's Day, reconnect with her, be honest with your feelings, and tell her why you love her.

"Honey, I love you because you're a good sport, have a great sense of humor, have big tits and a nice ass, and are a good cook."

"Gee thanks, I think."

"Go ahead. Your turn. Why do you love me?"

"You used to have a good job and made a lot of money."

"Wait, so now that I'm unemployed, does that mean--"

"Connect the dots, Roger."

"Nah, you're just teasing me. That's just your great sense of humor. Right? Right? Sheila? Hey, where'd you go, baby?"

This day of love and romance is not about spending money you don't have on things she doesn't want and that you can't afford. Just because something isn't expensive doesn't mean that it's cheap. Just because you make something doesn't mean that it wasn't made with love and loving regard for the person.

There are some easy, commonsense things that we all can do to save money at Valentine's Day and still show that even though we may not be able afford to be generous with our money or lack thereof, we can still be generous with our heart, our emotions, our sharing, and our time. First, save yourself the hassle and the expended fossil fuel energy of driving to the mall. Forget about going to the mall. Repeat. Stay away from the mall. Stay home. Get it? No mall.

With all their cute kiosk carts and store displays tempting you to spend your money, I guarantee you'll leave there spending part of your rent money. Start by making your own Valentine's Day card. There's five dollars savings, right there. You're welcome. I just saved you five dollars and the three dollars you would have spent on a gallon of gas going to and returning from the mall. Now we're already up to eight dollars that you wouldn't have in your pocket.

Not artistic? Duh? Do you have a computer and a color printer? Don't have a color printer? Magic markers or crayons will do.

There are millions of graphics on the Internet that you can download for free. Instead of watching a hockey game and drinking a six pack of beer, spend a little time on the computer to find an image that's meaningful to her, maybe something romantic, a photo of a park bench, where you had your first kiss or (ahem) your first blowjob. See? I just sparked your enthusiasm, inspired your creativity, and heightened your libido by writing the word, blowjob, didn't I?

Instead of downloading from cyberspace, have the kids make Mommy and/or Daddy a Valentine's Day card. They'll love to do that fun activity with Daddy or with Mommy. If you're a single Mom on a tight budget, enlist your child to make your boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other a card, along with your help or input, of course. Moreover, anyone blessed with receiving a handmade, homemade Valentine's Day card can't help but feel the loving effort that went into creating the card and will more appreciate a homemade card than a store bought one.

"What the Hell is this?"

"It's your Valentine card. I made it myself."

"Are you kidding me? Are you so frigging cheap that you couldn't even buy me a card. You weren't so cheap last week, when you were stuffing all those dollar bills in the stripper's g-string."

Not a good writer? Can't think of a sentiment or a poem to write? Google something that is appropriate. Lord Byron or Shakespeare won't care if you use their sentiment to romance your baby. Nonetheless, because you found it and copied it, makes it so much more personal because you took the time to find that perfect sentiment that even Hallmark didn't have.

So long as you put the words in quotes and credit the writer, it's acceptable to use someone else's words for your personal purpose. It's the meaning that counts and not the writing ability or lack thereof. Besides, when buying a Valentine's card in the store, you're using another writer's words anyway.

Now about the dozen of roses? Where is it written that you must give roses? There are other bouquets that are equally as beautiful and some fresh flowers last longer than roses. Then, again, what's wrong with making your own roses or a facsimile. With a bit of creativity, you can make your own bouquet of flowers out of construction paper, even newspaper ala decoupage, and crayons or colored markers.

"What the Hell is this?"

"Roses. I made them out of newspaper."

"I should have listened to my mother. She told me not to marry you."

Moreover, it doesn't even have to be flowers. It could be her favorite thing, a dozen mixed donuts, my personal favorite, is a great gift for her. Perhaps, a twelve pack of beer for him. Creativity is what matters more, along with the fact that you made it so much more personal by making it for her or for him or buying something that they'd really want and enjoy, instead of buying what you think is expected.

"Wait, let me get this straight. Instead of buying me a dozen roses, you bought yourself a twelve pack of beer? I don't follow the logic of that."

When the price of flowers are doubled during Valentine's anyway, just because they make the same bouquet of roses that cost half as much last week, by adding a few greens, a ribbon, and pretty paper, don't buy flowers. Instead of wasting money on flowers at a time when you just cannot afford that in your budget, give her something that outlast the flowers. Give her something she'll cherish. C'mon, think. You know this woman. You've dated her, romanced her, married her, maybe, even had children with her. You intimately know her well enough to know what her twelve favorite things are. Give her that, instead of flowers.

For sure, her twelve favorite things don't have to be expensive. Seriously, they could be a dozen colored eggs decorated more appropriately for Valentine's Day, instead of for Easter. Now, that's creatively different and that's something that you can get the kids involved in doing, too. Just hard boil them first.

"Roger, where are all my eggs?"

How about a foot massage with a pedicure? Yeah, sure, you've never given a pedicure, but it's the thought that counts.

"911, what's your emergency?"

"My wife's toes won't stop bleeding. She can't walk. I need an ambulance."

Trust me, just the fact that you're massaging her feet, before giving her a foot bath will make you her hero. Along with the foot massage, you could give her a regular massage.

Maybe you could gas up and wash her car.

"Let me get this straight. You thought you were doing something nice for me for Valentine's Day by putting regular gas in my diesel Volkswagen?"

Make her breakfast or lunch or dinner.

"What the Hell is this?"

"I made you eggs for Valentine's Day."

"There's colored shells in them."

"Yeah, well, we didn't have any eggs and I used some of eggs that I decorated."

There are a lot of things that you can do for Valentine's Day to show your honey that you love her and that doesn't cost any money. You could vacuum the house. You could run her errands, do the food shopping, shuttle the kids to school and back, and take them to all their activities for a week.

"Roger, where are the kids?"

"I drove them to school for you."

"It's a snow day," said Sheila. "They don't have school today."

"I'll be right back," said Roger.

There are a hundred things that you could do for her to make her remember that day as special. No, sorry, but having sex with her mother and/or her sister is not one of the things that she'd want you to do. That's your fantasy, not hers.

Speaking of fantasies, you could give her fantasy, sexual or otherwise. Fantasies don't have to cost a lot of money, especially when the fantasy is a sexual one that begins with sensual arousal and ends with a sexual orgasm, not yours, but hers.

"What the Hell is this?"

"It's a vibrator. Your sexual fantasy. I heard you say my vibrator in your sleep."

"A vibrator? A vibrator isn't my sexual fantasy."

"What's your sexual fantasy, then?"

"Vick is, Michael Vick, is my sexual fantasy, Mike Vick, my hero."

"Sorry, Mike Vick, my hero, sounded like my vibrator in your sleep."

Something as simple as reading to her in bed, may be appreciated, after you've drawn her a bath, given her a massage, and made her a drink. Sometimes the best times are when you don't have any money. Sometimes, with all the material possessions out of the way, you can finally see through the cloud of junk that interferes with your relationship. Some of the best times can happen when you don't have any money and can't afford to go out but, instead stay home and watch a movie or play a game.

"Roger, you cheated. I saw you looking in the Scrabble bag to pick your tiles."

My most memorable times are those raw moments without money interfering and coloring how I feel about my baby.

"Oh, I gotta go. There's my honey coming up the walk. Oh, how nice, he bought me roses and a Valentine's heart with chocolates. Just let me get my binoculars to see what he's carrying in his hand. It's a blue box! He bought me something from Tiffany's for Valentine's Day. Hey, you didn't think I wrote this story for me, did you?"


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