Friday, January 26, 2007

Scoring Maximum Brownie Points for Valentine’s Day -- or -- How to Succeed in Romance Without Really Trying

Since the dawn of time, men have been hunter/gatherers. Starting with woolly mammoths as a dietary supplement and progressing through the years to consumer electronics, men have sought the means for survival. However, one commodity has always been at the top of the list, more precious than all the others combined: The Brownie Point. The most sought-after item in the male survival kit.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s time for a quick tutorial in amassing the greatest possible number of brownie points with minimal work. With this tried and true method, a man can rack up obscene amounts of brownie points without breaking a sweat. (Ladies, I don’t think this will work for you. If you just get him those consumer electronics and wear some uncomfortable but exciting underwear, you'll get all the brownie points you need!)

The concept here is simple, gents. Give your wife/girlfriend/significant other/mate (whatever) a valentine every day for the whole month leading up to the big day, then give her something super special in a truly thoughtful way on the big day. Whammo! You are now rolling in the brownie points!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. That’s too expensive, I can’t afford that! Well, that’s where you’re wrong; I can bring the whole thing in for less than 30 bucks! Here’s how it works:

Start out by making a quick trip to the local grocery store. Here you will find over 90 percent of your supplies, and you can pick up a six-pack while you’re at it! (Good deal, huh?) Head for the holiday aisle (every store has one) and pick up a box of little kid valentines (you remember, Go-Bots or He-Man saying, “Be mine!” while fighting off the evil Skeletor; that kind of thing -- whatever you think your lady will find cute and endearing).

Next, move over to the candy section and grab a selection of cheap Valentine’s Day candy. The M&M Mini’s in the little Valentine boxes are an excellent choice. You can also get the little Necco Hearts that say “kiss” and “true love” but if you do, try to find some in small individual packages. You’ll see why in a minute.

At this point, we have the Valentines and we have some candies; two very excellent ingredients for Valentine’s Day bliss. Now we concentrate on something for the big day itself. A box of chocolates or a Valentine’s Day teddy bear make great final gifts, and can keep you under budget. If you have a bit more money to spend, find a nice set of earrings or a bracelet for the final gift, and set it aside until the end.

Once all of the supplies have been purchased, it’s time to prepare everything. It’s best to do this ahead of time so you can concentrate on the implementation phase coming up without having to back track. Take the valentines out of the box and set aside one for each day between now and Valentine’s Day (if you don't have a month left, that's okay - anything over six days works). Save the big card, the one that says “For the Greatest Teacher in the World!” for last, and don’t worry if your true love is not a teacher; I’ve got that covered, too!

Write a quick love note on each of the valentines and put it in the little envelope provided. Good phrases include, “I’ll love you forever!” and “My heart belongs to you!” A nice touch here would be to use silver or gold ink pens, but this is not vital to the success of the mission. Next, attach one of the little candies you bought to each envelope and address it: To (your pet name for her) From (her pet name for you).

Ok, now that you have all of your supplies ready, hide them at work or somewhere she’ll never find them, and prepare for the implementation phase (I told you it was coming up!).

Now we're in the home stretch! All that's left is to find an original way to give her one of your valentines every day leading up to the final show. Try to be original! While it is acceptable to simply present her with one every day, (and the short-term benefits of this CAN be considerable!) I like to find a different way for each day. It helps build anticipation and that is ALWAYS a good idea! Hide one in her car before she leaves for work one day. Get one of her coworkers to smuggle one into her desk another day. Perhaps place one under her pillow. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

All of this valentine-giving activity is the perfect build up to the big day. Valentine’s Day is the day you want to pull out all the stops. Take her out to a nice dinner and a play (NOT to a movie! Four hundred other guys are trying that gag tonight. Be ORIGINAL!). If you can’t swing all of that, just cook for her yourself. Not only is this considered romantic but if you absolutely can’t cook, and you try anyway, you get bonus points for the attempt!

And now, the moment of truth is upon you. Here comes the big payoff. Remember the big valentine that said “For the Greatest Teacher in the World?” Well, that’s what brings the whole thing together. Inside that card, you complete the back-to-school theme by writing “I did all this because you’ve taught me the true meaning of love!” Present this to her along with your special, final gift, and go get a sponge because she’s going to melt! The month of attention and affection will have her so squishy inside that she’ll be completely blown away by this final, most thoughtful gift of all!

Gentlemen, the quest for brownie points is never-ending. We all struggle from day to day, just to scrape by. But with a little thought and preparation, a nearly limitless smörgåsbord of brownie points can be yours for the taking!

Now go out there and get those points! And remember to use them quickly; they expire next week.

-Sage Words