Q: My girlfriend is on a diet so I can’t get her candy. I have a dinner reservation at a very nice restaurant and I am going to have flowers sent to her office that day. However, when I asked the other night if there was something special she would like for Valentine’s Day, she said, “a shopping spree.” I think that was rather bold for someone I’ve only been dating for a couple of months, but if I don’t also get her a gift card, will I be a jerk?
A: No, you are definitely not a “jerk.” Whether you have been dating for six months or a year, your girlfriend was extremely forward to mention a “shopping spree.” Flowers at her office and dinner make for a wonderful Valentine’s Day.
Q: Unfortunately, I have to work a lot of evenings in my job and so I have to work on Valentine’s Day evening. My boyfriend is upset, very upset. I suggested we go out the next night. He said if I don’t go out with him on Valentine’s Day evening, it won’t be the same and he won’t take me to the original restaurant he had in mind the next night or any other night. Am I out of whack suggesting we go out the next night? Or do I just forget about celebrating Valentine’s Day with him?
A: Certainly Valentine’s Day can be celebrated whenever two people want to celebrate it. In your case, you have to work; therefore, your boyfriend’s comments and behavior are not those of a gentleman. You are “not out of whack” with your suggestion to celebrate together another night. It appears he is not worthy of your attention on Valentine’s Day evening, or any evening or any time.
Q: I can’t decide which bracelet to get my girlfriend for Valentine’s Day. I’ve narrowed it down to three. I’ve hinted that I want to give her a piece of jewelry, but that I can’t make a decision and hinted about taking her to the jewelry store for her to make the selection, but she didn’t jump at the idea. Is it the wrong thing to do to take her to the jewelry store? Maybe I could pick one and ask the jeweler if we could return it if she doesn’t like it.
A: No, it is not necessarily wrong for you to take her to the jewelry store, but if she feels uncomfortable doing so, then it is not the best plan. Offering her the option of going back to the jeweler to exchange it for another is also not a proper option because it puts your girlfriend in the awkward and uncomfortable position of saying she doesn’t like it when she doesn’t even know what the other two options are. Just bite the bullet, make the decision, purchase one and have it beautifully wrapped. I am certain she will love it because she is already aware of how much time, thought and caring have gone into your selection.
Dianne Isbell is a local contributing writer. Send your etiquette questions to Dianne Isbell at Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.