Just the mere mention of Valentine’s Day is enough to invoke a panic attack in some men. It can be very stressful and confusing, not to mention expensive. While some women require flowers, chocolate, jewelry, perfume, and other such Valentine’s Day gifts, many women don’t expect or even want anything fancy. Some of us don’t really need anything beyond an acknowledgement of the day with an “I love you, Honey” and a card. This can be especially true for many homemakers and stay-at-home moms. Sure, some of them would love to be dazzled with a night of diamonds, dining, and dancing, but we all know that’s usually just a fairy tale that real people can’t afford. Let me help you out a little, fellas: Instead of agonizing over what to buy the overworked, exhausted, hot mess version of the woman you married, here is a list of 10 free (or practically free) gifts that are worth more than Kim Kardashian’s engagement ring and may turn your wife back into the beautiful, happy woman you probably BOTH miss:
1. DO THE LAUNDRY. It’s not a difficult task, but you’d be surprised how grateful she’ll be to see that fresh, clean stack of towels in the linen closet. That doesn’t mean you’ll get caveman sex out of it. It will just make her happy.
2. WASH THE DISHES. Seriously, this should be obvious.
3. VACUUM. Are you sensing a theme here?
4. MAKE DINNER. You don’t even have to make it. You could pull a Mrs. Doubtfire and have something delivered, stick it on a pretty plate, light a candle, and act all proud of yourself. (You may want to skip the candle if you have little ones. We want to set her heart ablaze, not your house.)
5. MAKE A CARD. Sure, Hallmark’s folks can often find the words we can’t, but they also charge you a ridiculous $6.00 for it. You can do it for practically nothing and it will mean more to her when the words are yours, even if they’re lame.
6. LET HER NAP. A well-rested woman is a woman less likely to kill you.
7. GIVE HER THE REMOTE. If she ENJOYS football, she’ll watch it with you. Otherwise, let her watch Say Yes to the Dress if she wants and don’t roll your eyes the whole time. She can SEE you.
8. PLAY WITH THE KIDS. It will give her a moment to relax and breathe. Plus, there’s nothing sexier than a father who wears a fancy hat, drinks pretend tea, and speaks with a fake British accent while sitting on a tiny pink chair.
9. FOREPLAY. Do I really need to explain this one?
10. SAY, “I LOVE YOU.” She just needs to hear it sometimes. But don’t overdo it because then it’s just awkward.
Voilà! 10 easy peasy things to do for Valentine’s Day that won’t break the bank and are guaranteed to put a smile on her face. (Just be sure that your wife isn’t one of those women who SAYS she doesn’t want flowers and candy, but actually expects them. Those ladies are tricky, and I do not envy you. Use your best judgment and mind-reading skills.) The best thing about this list is that it is useful for any holiday (or normal day for that matter) and it is timeless; Kim’s $2 million rock was only good for 72 days.