Latinos and Valentine's Day
Living the Vida Amorosa
Al Carlos Hernandez
Valentines Day is probably the most dangerous holiday for Hispanics in love. Showering your loved one with candy and roses is usually interpreted as cheating with someone from work. Forgetting altogether, or re-gifting a fruitcake is a relationship-ending decision.
Published on LatinoLA: February 11, 2008
There is a very, thin line between guilt and ganas. The problem is a bouquet of contradictions; a lavish show of affection in public for your Lady is applauded, this lavish show in private is viewed as an American Express-fueled aphrodisiac. One can't miss with diamonds and jewelry. Don't buy her a puppy because she will immediately like the puppy more than you.
The trick is to be able to turn up the heat just to get things cooking, not so high as to cause suspicion, not too low to demonstrating amoroso ambivalence.
I never know what to get my Lady, She loves chocolates, but I'm trying to make her Gorda. Since she is circumspect about her weight, then buying clothes is out of the question. For young men starting out buying a larger pair of shoes, this means that you will find yourself by yourself. There is no way to live that down unless you buy her a condominium.
Ladies, the ValentineÔÇÜs thing works both ways, asking a man what he wants is rhetorical.
If you are Valentine less this year, the good news is that www.QuieroLatino.com has finally launched February 7, 2008, and you can refer to this column next year.
Men have a hard time trying to convey an emotional sentiment, so we often buy the first card (read cheap) we see that looks the best and says something about Love and or religion.
The biggest challenge for Dudes is to decide how to sign it, if we sign it at all. Careful care is given to the chosen salutation, the phrases, With Love, Love, Forever Yours, are given obsessive consideration.
A word to the wise: Signing your card, "Handsomely Yours" can backfire, because if you are ugly and think that you are cute, she is going to think that the card is from someone else. Additionally, when you break up she will show your card to all of her Girlfriends, making fun of the fact that you thought you were fine, they will then sit around the table and talk about how ugly you are, and will provide pictures as proof.
Women, on the other hand, make a special mall trip which usually includes a meal, take quality time and effort to choose the right card with exactly the right words to chronically capture what she perceives to be a summation of the romance in the relationship up to that point, while expressing a heartfelt hope as to where she wishes the relationship to someday go. These cards often reference the term "forever".
When guys receive these meticulously chosen cards we shake them for a gift card then toss them aside, assuming we got stiffed on a practical present again.
Ladies, it is weird when a guy gets flowers, unless they are edible. If you buy him candy we know it is the kind that you like so you can kill at least half of the box. Don't buy a man a stuffed animal, they will give it to their dog to play with, or give it to a random niece or nephew. If your man is happy and gets teary eyed to receive a stuffed toy, chances are good he will pass the toy onto his Boyfriend on the side.
On the real, Valentine's Day is a good day to recognize and celebrate the love of your life. Often times in this hurry up and wait, sensory overloaded world, we don't take the time to show our appreciation for the one that completes us. Relationships fail when we begin to take each other for granted.
Although trite, we need to celebrate the moments of your life with the one you love, because you never know if you will pass this way again.
Al Carlos Hernandez:
Al Carlos still has no present for his wife.