Men: time is runing out if you want to avoid being a love dunce

As a public service to men everywhere, I am hereby issuing the following announcement:

Love Dunce Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.

If you are married, have a girlfriend or, for reasons of your own, feel a need to continue the charade of dating a Swedish airline stewardess who is always out of town, it’s time to start planning something romantic. For those of you in the latter category, this will be easy since the only person you have to worry about pleasing is yourself.

And, yes — I plan to clarify that last statement immediately.

What I mean is that every male currently in a relationship with an actual living female could, by Feb. 15, all be dating the same fictitious Swedish airline stewardess should they fail to impress their Valentines. As a result, men everywhere are panicking because we know that impressing the women in our lives isn’t easy. We realize that you are complicated creatures who need more than a physical connection when it comes to romance; you also need an emotional outlet in order to feel satisfied.

We, on the other hand, just need an outlet located near the television.

Metaphorically speaking, even if romance was a TV channel, and suddenly every station on the planet went out except for that one, it still wouldn’t make any difference because, let’s face it —

Men would curl up in a fetal position and require regular changing.

It’s not that we don’t want to be romantic. We just have a hard time expressing our emotions and allowing ourselves to become THAT vulnerable again so soon after the Super Bowl.

However, we realize how important this is and will try anyway because we care.
Sure — fear does play a small part, but mostly it’s because we care.

For this reason, I’d like to offer a few romantic tips that men can use this Valentine’s Day.

Tip number one is to bring flowers to your Valentine. This seems pretty obvious. However, I should point out that, even if you don’t remember them until Feb. 15, the gesture will still be appreciated by your Valentine since she can just bring them to your funeral.

Tip number two is to cook her a romantic dinner. That said, keep in mind that dinner by candlelight is always romantic; dinner by flaming-chicken light, however, is not. So if you can’t cook, don’t. Sure, she may be impressed with your take-charge attitude as you “stop, drop and roll” with a blazing chicken thigh, but more than likely the mood will fade once you both realize…

Well — you’re on the floor with a flaming chicken.

And my final tip: If you plan a surprise getaway in which you whisk your Valentine away for the weekend, make sure you carefully pack everything she will need. Because no matter how nice the hotel is, no matter how incredible the view, and no matter how wonderful dinner and dancing might be, none of it will matter if you forget to pack any actual clothing.

To ensure you remember everything, I have developed the following fool-proof packing technique: Dump everything from the closet, dresser and bathroom into Hefty bags, even of some of the items appear to be components to the Mars Rover.

She will appreciate the gesture.

But feel free to leave out the flaming chicken thigh.

(You can write to Ned Hickson at, or at the Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR. 97439)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

45 thoughts on “Men: time is runing out if you want to avoid being a love dunce”

  1. It’s nice to meet you Ned! I stopped by at the recommendation of CV (also known as the poorly behaved Cubicle Views). I will visit again soon, but am also linking up to this post today over at my blog. Should publish in the next hour or so.

        1. I read your piece today and thought it was really great. The “wishing flowers” cracked me up. I was picturing men reading that, thinking it was the answer to their Valentine’s Day prayers, only to discover they aren’t available. Great stuff, and I really appreciate the nod. Many thanks.

  2. i can’t imagine this has not been done on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
    love your writing – funny and wise and informative
    a great combination
    and you are right about needs that make us feel that our men truly care even if in their minds it’s all just a bunch of nonsense – i know, i have a married brother

    one women’s sense is another man’s nonsense

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Jackie. I have to admit, I’m so crazy about my wife that I have no qualms about finding ways to express how I feel about her every day. Valentine’s Day is just a bonus 🙂 Guys with me on the fire department are always ribbing me about it, but come Valentine’s Day, they’re all ears!

      1. most men don’t know very much about women, where do you get your information and what makes you want to learn it – i try to tell my brother about how women think because he complains about his wife, but he says it sounds too gay and just changes the subject – if people would learn about the opposite sex’s needs and how they think, and if they believed the information, we would have more happy marriages than unhappy ones.

        ps. don’t feel obligated to respond, i know you are a very busy guy from Mars

        1. Hey, Jackie — I think a lot of guys are just plain uncomfortable when it comes to talking about their own feelings, let alone their feelings about someone else. I was fortunate on many levels growing up, having a Mom who taught me a lot about how to listen to and treat people, and a great example in my stepfather, who adored my Mom — and both of whom had a great sense of humor and perspective on things. They rarely disagreed, but when they did, they genuinely wanted to make things better, and knew that the quickest way to the end was to try to understand each other. Even if you don’t agree with someone, as long as you feel understood and truly listened too, it’s much easier to move forward and, hopefully, reach a compromise you can both live with. However, it’s crucial that BOTH people participate in the listening. If it’s a one-way street, eventually one — or both of you — will reach a dead end. I’m blessed to have found a woman who feels exactly the same way as I do feels the same way as I do: Being “right” isn’t nearly as important as being listened to. Sorry I got so wordy, but I hope that answers you question..? it’s hard to tell all the way up here on Mars 😉

          1. thanks for your well said reply – i didn’t expect it – in my experience yours is a very rare outlook – i can’t agree more – lucky you met your wife and she met you – and lucky for your kids – what a great non-dysfunctional family you came from – if we choose the family to which we are born (i believe this), your choice was fortunate for you, and for everyone you touch with your self and your words and deeds.

  3. I think if my husband dumped the contents of my closet into a Hefty bag, he’d be going to the hotel alone. No one gets between a woman and her handbags or shoes! Other than that, I’d say your advice is completely on point.

  4. I will print this out and put it up on the front door. If he dares to enter….we’ll see. No seriously, I am the one who needs to see it. I am not your typical woman and the thought of THAT day has not entered my mind, much. I guess I better do SOMETHING. Too bad I just can’t sleep through it….I guess I better get going…..UGH!*#@$^%

  5. I said it on Naked Girl in a Dress and I’ll say it here, man, if she doesnt like getting flowers, don’t get her flowers!! My wife HATES them and so I would find myself pushing up daisies if I stupidly brought her daisies!!

    1. You make a very good point in that you should make sure to KNOW the woman in your life before choosing an appropriate gift to signify your love. This is a mistake that many stalkers make…

  6. Ned, you absolutely nailed the pure essence of the season. I myself, after 26 years of marriage received a tire gauge, and after 29 years received a scratch off ticket with heart shaped balloons. .

    I’m single now. Happy Happy Valentines Day!!!!!!!

    1. Yikes! I know where you could’ve stuck that gage to see if his brain was over-inflated. Wow. Sounds like you got the best parts of that marriage. Good for you, and a Happy Valentine’s Day to you as well 🙂

  7. Happy Valentine’s Day, Ned & Mrs. Ned! Have a wonderful celebration…sans flaming chicken pieces and parts, of course. I can think of nothing better than a husband who makes you laugh, so you are surely on solid ground in that regard. But just in case, it helps to have a Game Plan, and it sounds like you do. Sort of.

    Enjoy the Romance! (From one who has been married 27 years today)

    1. Wow! Happy Anni-Valentine’s Day, Marcia! That’s fantastic. Man, if your husband ever forgot this date, I can’t imagine the trouble he’d be in 😉 My best wishes to you both on the very special day — and I enjoy and appreciate the romance with my wife every day. Today’s just a bonus!

      1. My husband picked our wedding date, he SAID, “because it’s so romantic.” But I knew it was his crafty way of being sure he wouldn’t forget. With all the cards, and boxes of candy, and flowers in the stores, he has a built-in reminder. Which he needs. For most everything

        It’s very nice to hear a man talking about his marriage the way you do. It surely gives many women hope that there are good, loving men out there…unless you were the last of the breed??? Say it isn’t so, in the name of lonely women, everywhere! (Yeah, I know we are liberated and all of that, but who wouldn’t choose instead, a loving and happy relationship with someone you know you are growing to grow old with? Not me, anyway.)

        Keep up the romance, Ned…and the funny stuff, too. They are both good “for what ails ye!”

        1. I couldn’t agree more, Marcia! My wife and I have been together for six years now and — this is no exaggeration — I realize every day how blessed I am to know we have each other to spend our days with. As corny as it sounds, it truly happened the moment we met. We actually found each other on, spent a month talking every night on the phone before we met in person (we lived about an hour away from each other). The moment we met, that was IT. Time stopped, the stars aligned — just like the movies. it’s been that way ever since. We make romance and humor a part of every day, with no plans for that to change as we grow older 🙂

          1. You are a wise man, and a lucky one. Sounds like you are both blessed, to me. I absolutely believe in love at first sight…especially after a month’s worth of conversation. 😉 I hope you feel this way for the rest of your lives. Love makes everything right. Or put another way by someone far more erudite than I, “…and the Greatest of these is Love.”

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