Valentine’s gift has man in the doghouse

Published 12:12 pm Monday, February 20, 2023

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Dear Aunty Pam,


Can you tell me why my wife is mad at me?

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It started on Valentine’s Day. We work at the same place (family business) and so do her sister and brother-in-law. At lunchtime, I ducked out to the grocery store and brought back a bouquet of flowers that she seemed happy about until she saw her brother-in-law had a florist deliver this huge bunch of roses to her sister. My wife got really quiet and then later said what I had done was cheap and she was embarrassed because her sister got such an expensive bouquet. I pointed out that she hadn’t gotten ME anything, and she had seemed just fine till she saw the roses.


This all blew up into a big fight and she accused me of not caring enough and if I really loved her I wouldn’t have driven to the Harris Teeter to get a cheap little bouquet, but would have splashed out for something bigger. I yelled back that she was ungrateful and only thinks about herself. Now she’s not speaking to me and all I want to do is punch out her stupid brother-in-law because I swear he did this just to make me look bad.


What’s a guy to do?


Doghouse Dave


Dear Dave,


Wow…there are ALL sorts of issues going on here. And now it’s the brother-in-law’s fault because he was especially generous in his gift-giving? Do you really feel so hostile towards him that you want to punch him out? Dude!


Honestly, the issues with you guys are way above the pay grade of a newspaper columnist. I think marriage counseling would really benefit you and your wife and possibly save your BIL from a black eye.


First of all, can I just say that I agree with comedian Lewis Black who has complete contempt for Valentine’s Day? As he says, it’s a stupid holiday, driven mostly by women and the day falls only 8 weeks after Christmas, when a lot of men are expected to lay out a lot of cash for an acceptable gift for their wife/girlfriend. And now, a lousy 8 weeks later, men are supposed to raid their IRA for another extravagant gift? It’s insane…


But let’s hone in and look at some red flags. The flowers you gave your wife seemed to be appreciated, you say, until she saw her sister getting such a lavish delivery of roses that it made her own look like a bouquet of boogers. So, instead of simply being grateful that you went to the trouble to get her a sweet token for the day, she turned it into a competition with her sister—meaning there’s some kind of weird relational issue going on with that, and the good news is that ain’t your fault. However, you were deeply and unfairly attacked, which, sure, would make you angry. I get that. But to the point that you want to deck the guy that brings roses? That’s just nuts. And it’s nuts that your wife would be so unkind as to belittle your gift.


Get some professional assistance, pronto. There are all sorts of stuff percolating under the surface with you two that needs ferreting out. You’ll thank me later.


Cheers, dear!


Aunty Pam