The Thought That Counts

A question for the brothers:

Michael and I had been dating exclusively for 10 months when Valentine's Day rolled around. For my birthday in October, he gave me a laptop computer; at Christmas, he gave me a 42" plasma TV (that was actually for his pleasure, I told him I didn't want a TV). We were talking after I got off work on Valentine's Day when he asked if I had received anything at work. When I said no, he indicated that he had spent $150 for some flowers. The next day, after "following up", he said he had sent the flowers to the wrong address. Now, here's the rub. He never said another word about it after that. Not "I'm sorry sweetie", not "I'll make it up to you", heck, he never even wished me a happy VD. I believe he was lying about sending the flowers. What do you think accounts for his behavior?

GARLAND: Thanks for your question.

It's been over a month and you are still angry because Michael hasn't wished you a happy Valentine's Day. Let me just tell you, in my opinion, that there is no "behavior" to account for. By your own admission, he bought you a laptop (about $800) and he bought you a 42 inch plasma (about $950) on the other requisite holidays, and when you don't get some flowers on Valetine's, suddenly in your eyes, your boyfriend is trippin'.

Chuck and I do our best not to "side" with anyone when we answer questions, and I'm not "siding" with your boyfriend, but I am going to call this just how I see it: More than likely, your boyfriend isn't lying or playing games or anything else sinister. His $150 flowers never made it to you and he's probably pissed off to the highest of pisstivity. Even saying the term "Happy Valentine's Day" probably rubs his nerves raw. So you may want to stop waiting for that to happen. You're boyfriend is probably still trying like hell to get that $150 put back in his bank account, and he will probably never see that money again, and you're mad that he didn't wish you a "Happy Fake-holiday-commercially-driven-dump-guilt-on-husbands-and-boyfriends-and-give-me-jewelry-tines Day"

A little tip when it comes to men and dating in general - past performance is the best indicator of future performance. If your man has 30 or 40 ex-girlfriends, chances are good that you'll be an ex very soon, If your man lies to you early on, chances are good that he'll lie to you more in the future, if your man buys you expensive gifts on holidays, chances are he'll do it more often. So, based on what YOU said, I can't figure out where all this doubt is coming from. You even put 'following up' in quotes to clearly indicate that you don't believe what he said. If you are this quick to toss your man under the bus when you don't get flowers on the busiest flower day of the year and suddenly now your man has no credibility - you are going to be miserable in this relationship.

Let me share just one bit of insight here. To you, you didn't get another gift or some kind words to your satisfaction. He tried to do something nice for you and may have lost $150 in the process - I guarantee that that florist is giving him a hard time when it comes to getting his money back. So right now, the last thing your boyfriend is thinking about is saying, "Happy Valetine's Day Sweetie!" He is thinking about his $150!

Do you know how men see 150 dollars? Like this:

  • A pair of LeBron James' Nike shoes

  • 2 custom made dress shirts

  • 7 brand new DVD movies

  • A month's worth of gas

  • 5 new pairs of cufflinks

  • A pair of Hugo Boss dress shoes

  • 3 new Xbox 360 games

  • 2 good lapdances (with tip)

  • 6 bad lapdances (with tip)

  • A whole night of poker at a casino

  • 4 very nice silk ties

  • A real nice DVD player

  • A pair of jeans and a Barry Sanders throwback jersey

  • 5 retro baseball caps

  • A detailed cleaning of his truck...
Okay, okay - let me stop here. My point is this - I think you're making a little bit too much of this. Your man is pissed off that he didn't get the flowers to you, he thinks he looks bad in your eyes [which he clearly does] and he'd really rather put the whole pseudo-holiday behind him. If this really bothers you though, chances are, you are going to find plenty of reasons [small as they may be] to be angry at him in the future. I say, for the sake of the women that are looking for a good guy - cut Mike loose and move on. Someone else will be happy with his laptops and TV's and good intentions. Either that - or find it in your heart to enjoy a guy that 'seems' to be doing the right thing.

CHUCK: Okay, Garland let you have it. And I'm... gonna let you have it. No, just kidding. But I do agree with most of what he said. About the six bad lapdances, I can only guess.

Let's see: $150 worth of flowers, delivered to the incorrect address that Michael provided. If those flowers were delivered, the chance that he could recover a full refund for those flowers is pretty slim.Whoops. Do I think it's a little strange that he didn't mention it again, even just to bitch about the florist's inflexible refund policy? I guess. Do I find it rude that he never said "Happy Valentine's," to you? Again, I guess, but given the colliding factors of frustration and embarrassment involved here, I can see it happening. Do I believe that it's unusual that you're still obsessing over this? Pretty much.

Let's examine your reaction for a minute. Has Michael ever given you cause to doubt his veracity? You haven't said. So why the knee-jerk jump to distrust? There's a possibility that he might have fabricated the flower story. Because, let's face it: the pressure is on men to "put out" on Valentine's Day. By that, I mean, prove their affection with money. And you were obviously looking for something attention-getting.Maybe he didn't want to disappoint you by saying that he couldn't afford a big gift, or he'd overspent on the past gifts he got you. So he made up this story, and disappointed you anyway.

Either way, since this is apparently bothering you, meet the issue head on. Ask him, "So what ever happened with those flowers." Gauge from his response whether he's telling the truth. But before you do that, think about how important this whole issue is to you. I understand, if he lies to you about this, what else will he lie about in the future? But this seems like a clear case to me of looking for problems where there might not be any.


Clarice said...

Guys you are dead on! Woman to woman let me say - put on your big girl panties and get over yourself! It is not all about you! Do women-kind a favor and stop dating and destroying men until you are mature enough to not be totally self absorbed and unappreciative of what sounds like a good man.

The man did not mention it again because - it is the last thing he wants to think about. It did not go well at all. From the sounds of the letter it's one more thing in a long line things he has done that are not appreciated. Right now he is thinking no matter what I do this I can't make this woman happy.

For the future if the man does not wise up and find a woman who will appreciate him and the efforts he makes - if you are confident enough to tell him what you do not want after the fact - woman up and tell him before hand what will make you happy gift wise before hand. Give him a chance to succeed.

Clearly this man wants to make you happy - but his definition of happy and yours are not in sync. That is at least in part your fault for not speaking up - forget the %$#& about if he really loved you he would know what you want.

Men are not mind readers - nor should they be. Based on the letter it sounds like you did not even thank him for making the effort on VD. This is why men hate VD - they often get it wrong despite the best intentions and instead of understanding he gets more grief. He felt bad that things did not turn out the way he wanted - the least you could have said or done was, give him the benefit of the doubt thank him for making the effort.

Basic common sense - do something good - fail and then get bashed, try to fix it or make it better - get no positive response - do not do it anymore - do not mention it and it will go away. Lesson learned from his perspective - I failed to please my woman, I tried to fix it - it got worse - she is still not happy - put down the shovel and leave it alone.

He can deal with something not working out right - it's part of the game of life. Sometimes you win sometimes you lose. What really hurt was that the woman he clearly cares about did not have his back when he missed the mark.

The gift was more important to you than the person giving it! VD is about the feelings of love and caring - not about gifts and selfish self absorbed pettiness. Chances are if you had given him a kiss or hug and said I appreciate what you tried to do and I am sorry it did not work out. If you then tried to have a good evening - he would have done something the next day or even that night to 'fix' things. When a man makes a mistake and his woman stands by him and does not pound him for it. It reminds him that he has someone great in his corner and inspires him to want to please you even more.

He feels good about himself because he chose a good woman - even if his VD efforts failed. A woman - who feels good enough about who she is, so much so she can be generous and caring even when she is disappointed, who makes a man feel good about himself is a woman a man with sense will not let go. A good man will do anything for this woman - because he knows what matters to her.



TJ said...

I think this man should be given the benefit of the doubt for now. A lot of people put too much value on one day when they need to have their eyes on the relationship as a whole.

Elizabeth said...

LOL! @ C & G's comments. Seriously..VD is sooo overrated it's insane! Your guy affirms his love and affection all the time - and on occasions that DO count - such as your birthday, the holidays etc but due to a mixture of bad luck and the wrong florist - you missed out on a bunch of flowers and all of a sudden it's -"OMG! what is going on! he hates me, no he loves me! He's got another woman" blah, blah. And all because of overhyped VD..
So. Juvenile. Get over your self and grow up. Why oh why do some women find it hard to think rationally? You cannot see the wood for the trees - he has made it clear (one hopes) over time that you are important to him yet one minor issue and you are all up in arms and seeking advice from C & G. Unless there are OTHER issues you are not telling then I do not see what the problem is. And all this drama because of VD..sheesh!!

cameronsharpe said...

Looking back when i was younger, i would tend to blame others for so many things that was happening to me. i was kinda self-centered. with age and experience, i mellowed, i saw reason, i began to adjust, rather than making other people adjusting to me or expecting them to do so. the change had to be with me first, and this has made a whole lot of difference. Remember The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree, but still hold hands. We attract love by the emotions we display; we retain love by the emotions we possess.

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