Your nemeses have struck.
Those evil souls in the advertising industry have raised the bar for that most dread of all days in the manly man calendar ... VALENTINE'S DAY!!!
They say the love of your life should have diamonds in all the colors of the rainbow. They say you lady love should have a new car. They say she deserves showered with all manner of expensive baubles, bangles and bright, shiny beads.
Your wallet says ... yet again ... "Fat chance, bro."
What are you to do???
Panic sets in, your mind is a blank, you have no idea what to do ... and you're on the verge of some huge mistake with a panic-driven purchase.
STOP NOW, MANLY MAN. STOP NOW. SIT AND READ ON. We at J.S. Brooks Presents are ready to help.
Breathe deep, clear your mind, turn off the TV, put down the junk food, and THINK, my friend. What does the love of your life actually LIKE. There's a place to start. No, not what YOU like (that's manly man Valentine's Day mistake number one ... and it's huge). What does SHE like? Does she read, garden, like flowers, shred the slopes, appreciate cards, caber toss, rock climb, sky dive??? What? Still drawing a blank? You may have to resort to manly man ploy number one. Find ways to ask questions about her actual interests and preferences ... and LISTEN. Gather data, you still have until next Friday ... BLACK Friday if you blow this, manly man, so man up and find ways to ask. Of course, if you want to try the approach that's sly and espionage-like, look around her domain and SEE what is actually there ... besides her. Books, chocolate, music, costume jewelry, crafts, grappling hooks, skis, golf clubs, sledge hammers? WHAT??? Take note.
Now, go online, manly man and look up articles on the worst Valentine's Day gifts ever. AVOID THEM at all cost. I learned from such sites that 40% of women don't like roses. Did you know that? Look up inexpensive Valentine's Day gifts and see how similar many of them are to the worst Valentine's Day gifts. Avoid those that overlap or send off even the tiniest alarm bells in the back of your head. Do not ignore those alarms this time, manly man. That's Valentine's Day ploy number two.
From these sites I discovered a truly cardinal sin, manly man. Stay away from skimpy lingerie. It's not right ... and far too obvious! Remember, your shopping for somethings she'll LIKE and be happy to have. It's not about YOU today. Nothing says romance less than an object destined to create yeast infections. Need I say more, guy?
Once you have this data collected, you are ready to take your meager funds and sh ... no, I won't say that
Books, hard cover, recently released from a brick and mortar bookstore are good, manly man, if they are on subjects of her preference. NO graphic novels ... unless she's very special indeed. Note: keep to the physical here ... something to wrap and give ... NOT a digital book. Not good, manly man, nobody's impressed ... and it shows no real effort. Effort and thought are key, manly man.
Flowers are good manly man, and may be procured for less at the grocery store. If the love of your life doesn't like roses, you are in luck manly man. The other flowers aren't marked up nearly as much as the roses. (But remove the identifying tags, guy ... trust me.)
You'll have to swing by the card shop, dude. Sorry, but this will be a must. If you avoid the singing cards and the huge cards, this isn't too painful. But read them, manly man. Take the time to read them and find a card that is right. This will again take time and effort, which is good. Just don't wait until the last day ... don't ask me why, just don't. (That would be manly man Valentine's Day mistake number two.)
If you have a 10,000 Villages or similar store close by, go there. Many unique gifts, many prices, works well ... but only if you did that research manly man!!!
If you choose the chocolate route, go to someplace specializing in chocolate and pick out something nice in your price range. Drug store chocolate may work when you've done something stupid ... but not on this day, my friend, not on Valentine's Day!!!
Steer clear of perfumes and colognes, cash-strapped manly man. Anything in YOUR price range is something she stopped wearing in middle school. Don't do it.
We could go on, manly man, but time is short and you have work to do. Procrastination would be the third and probably most deadly of the manly man Valentine's Day mistakes. This should be enough to head you down the right path. Let us know how you made out ... er, no, no, no, ... let's go with "how you did" or "how you fared" instead.
If you mess this up manly man, J.S. Brooks Presents WILL disavow any knowledge of you ever having visited this blog post for advice. This blog post will ... insist that you get started in the next five seconds.
And for YOU, womanly woman, that micro-brewery in town just might be the place to go for your manly man ...