Here we are, just recovering from the frantic pressure of the end-of-the-year holidays, and now the spectre of Feb. 14 looms large on the horizon. These are the times that try men's souls. I emphasize "men's souls" because--for whatever reason--it seems like women have it easier when it comes to showing their appreciation on Valentine's Day.
I'm not sure if it's because women have always taken the concept more seriously and spend more time thinking about it, or because men are not so hung up on the special date itself and are going to be happy no matter what.
No matter. If a pink iPhone is not in your budget right now, here are some quick "what to give her on Valentine's Day" tips I have concocted after several years of trial and error: (Please keep in mind that these are only suggestions- and I'm not responsible if you end up in the doghouse because you spaced the "hint" she gave you four days ago.)
1. Do not give her a vacuum cleaner, a trash compactor or an exercise ball. If I have to tell you why, your relationship is probably doomed already.
2. Stop by one of the hotels or local salons and pick up a gift card for a facial, a pedicure or one of those "spa things" that women always talk about, or check these pages to see what gift specials and events Maui has going this month.
Watch her expression (as she opens that card you had the woman clerk at Longs pick out for you) when she sees two tickets to that great event at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center!
3. Last tip. If you are going to do the tried-and-true Valentine's gift that never fails, remember: dark chocolate. If you pick out only the milk chocolates with the macadamia nuts, she'll know you were just getting it for yourself.
Charles Laquidara has lived on Maui for over 11 years. He worked at WBCN radio in Boston for 30 years as the morning-drive host of a show called "The Big Mattress" and is occasionally heard on Mana'o Radio here on island.