Is it inevitable during this season of love that Valentine’s Day will end either in triumph or in tearful disappointment because of the gifts women do or don’t receive from a significant someone? Sad to say – probably.
What do women want? Discussions persist among guy friends and girl friends. For all our insistence on clear communications in our relationships, both groups agree that we send mixed signals. If it’s any help at all, most of us are aware that we do.
Here’s what we think we want: A boyfriend to slow-dance with. Here’s what we really mean: We want to slow-dance until life turns serious, and then we want to wake up next to a grown-up who’ll go with us to visit a sick relative, and put on a suit when the occasion demands, and clean out the gutters before it rains, and pretend he doesn’t hate getting rid of whatever crawling thing scares us most.
Here’s what we think we want: For our favorite gift-giver to read our minds. Our significant other should have been paying attention all this time and realize we look best in yellow gold. Here’s the reality: Men have been telling us for ages that they’re not in tune with subtlety. They say they don’t see or hear our hints. Not only would they prefer that we stop expecting mind-reading miracles from them, they’d like it if we’d hand them the newspaper ad and a map to the store.
I’ve revised my definition of the perfect romantic gesture. This one doesn’t rely as strongly on Victoria’s Secret but more on the qualities of friendship. I learned this while eavesdropping in a cafe in Palm Springs. I could hear the nearby couple clearly. They’d finished their breakfast and were going their separate ways for the day.
He: “Let’s trade car keys.”
He: “I noticed your tank’s empty. Mine’s full. I’ll get your oil changed too. See you tonight.”
I guarantee if every woman I know could hear something like that, every heart would flutter. I’ve thought about that conversation many times and it helps answer the question, what do women really want?
Evidently we want it all. We want you to surprise us with a token that says you find us desirable. And then we also crave a practical demonstration of that, even if the distance you travel to show your devotion is only to the gas station on the corner. It’s the kind of thing Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice would have done if they’d had gas stations in his day.
Ó By Anita Garner