Valentine blues

By Carolyn Magner
[email protected]

Dear Carolyn,

I hate Valentine’s Day more than any other holiday. It puts so much pressure on us guys, and no matter what we do, it’s never right. The first year we were married, I brought home a big, heart-shaped box of candy. She burst into tears and said that was so predictable and I didn’t love her in an “original” way. Dang. The next year I sent roses, and she thought I was making a statement about her weight because I didn’t send candy. Last year, I decided to go all out. I bought her the most expensive, sexy nightgown I could find on the Internet. What did she say? She accused me of buying it for me, not her. Well, YEAH!

I give up. I’ve decided that this year, I’m not going to do one damn thing on Valentine’s Day.

Um, how bad is the fallout going to be?


Dear Charlie,

Hmm, you are asking me if I think you should teach her a lesson and not buy anything at all for Valentines Day? Well. It’s a good idea on paper. But the bittersweet truth is you can’t win. Just meekly accept the fact that Valentine’s Day is what it is, a commercialization of love that you simply can’t beat. Send flowers, candy, nightgowns and the most romantic loving card you can find. Trust me, it’s just easier.

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

I’m about to marry the man I think is the love of my life. He’s a long-haul trucker, and we’ve been together through thick and thin for about 10 years. He’s always wanted to tie the knot, but I’ve been scared to. My parents went through a messy divorce and to be quite honest, I don’t know anyone who has the kind of marriage I want to have. Still, I do think he’s got every characteristic I’m looking for in a husband, but how do I know for sure? Please help me.

Julie in Georgia

Dear Julie,

Darlin’. You want a marriage or you want a warranty on a truck engine? Because that’s what you’re asking me here. To give you a guarantee. The thing is nobody can promise you that. All you can do is go with your best instincts. I think that after 10 years, you know what you are getting. You do know that you won’t be able to turn it in for an upgrade, don’t you? Or that if it starts to break down, you fix it but you don’t get a new one? OK. There ya go. Take a chance. Do it with joy. Do it with love. And, girl, just do it already!

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

My sister is married to the all-time biggest jerk ever. He treats her like a dog, cheats on her, ignores their darling baby girl and has completely demolished her self-esteem. He says he’s on the road, but I know for a fact that he’s taking some side roads as well.
Meanwhile, sis started up with an older dude she worked with. He’s married, too, but gave her the love, attention and happiness she’s always craved from her husband. I’m just standing around waiting for the whole thing to blow up and then do what I always do – go pick up the pieces. What the heck do you think I should tell my sis? By the way, married dude is not leaving his family, and sis is back with her loser, deadbeat husband but pining away for the other man.

Can you help a sista?


Dear Polly,

First things first. You can’t help your sister. I probably can’t help your sister. Married man can’t help your sister. The only person who can help your sister. Is. Your. Sister.

Right? So. What can you do while your sister is careening from one drama to the next? While she is wallowing in the mess that is her life? While she struggles to figure out what to do next?

Actually, there’s not a whole lot you can do. Be there for her. Be kind to her. Listen to her, but ultimately, when she’s had enough, she’ll leave.

Or she won’t. But that’s the thing about advice giving. You can only point to the road; you cannot move their feet for them.

I’m just say’n.

Carolyn Magner is not a professional therapist, shrink or even a very nice person. Her advice is meant to entertain you, not solve your terrible, desperate problems. Nothing shocks her. If you are really in trouble, please call someone who has gone to school for a long time. E-mail her at [email protected].

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