This is not a test: Buy flowers

Psssssst.

Listen up. It is not too late to save your relationship, or at least your citizenship. You still have a few hours. Don’t panic. Now get to the store and buy some flowers. Right now. That’s it.

No, look, we all know you are way past planning something sensible like dinner reservations and a tasteful gift for Valentine’s Day. You have a small window right here to buy some nice flowers and maybe a box of candy. If you wait any longer she’ll know you screwed up and your only choice is in the grand gesture range, like a surprise trip to Paris, or a sports car, or a pet chimpanzee.

When guys screw things up, they have to go big, or change their names, burn off their fingerprints and move to Mexico.

I have a friend who once screwed things up, badly. Stupidly, he decided to spend an evening out at a "Gentlemen’s" club, and at some point during the evening he butt dialed his wife. There he was, enjoying his night out, and there was his wife, listening in. Now, she did not kill him, as is her right. Instead, they took that vacation to Europe she had always wanted. And nine months later they had their first baby, like she had been wanting. He lived, anyway.

(And no, this is not me. I have done plenty of dumb things in my life to make up for, but going to a "Gentlemen’s" club is not one of them. Besides, like I could afford a trip to Europe.)

Oh, did she say she didn’t want anything? Did she say "Don’t worry about it, it’s not a big deal?" LIES!

This is a trap. You will come home with nothing, feeling good about it because you finally did something she told you to do, and there she’ll have set the table with candles, and she’ll have cooked you a steak, and bought you some kinda thoughtful gift, like a watch fob she paid for by selling her hair, AND YOU’LL HAVE NOTHING!

It is a big deal. She does want something, anything practically to show that you acknowledge that you know she is there, and a real person with real feelings, and that you care about her, and that you hope she can forgive you for that time you screwed things up last year and whatnot.

Maybe she’s testing you. Highly likely. I mean, if you were her, wouldn’t you make you jump through some hoops?

Maybe she doesn’t fully understand herself why she says it’s no big deal when it really is. People can have deep-seated conflicted feelings about all kinds of stuff. Maybe it goes back to childhood feelings of self worth, and she can’t tell you what she wants because she doesn’t feel like she deserves to be happy, loved and respected. Or maybe she’s nuts. Just buy the flowers.

You can come home on Tuesday night with them, even. You can buy them now and leave them out for the morning. You can hide them in her yogurt. Anything. Just make sure you get them.

And by all means, go ahead and do more if you have the emotional and financial wherewithal. Maybe come home with flowers, some champagne and that fancy cheese she’s always eyeing in the grocery store. Maybe surprise her with a trip to a nice restaurant, where you sit down and there are waiters, but no televisions. Maybe whisk her away for a romantic overnight at that one hotel where they totally didn’t have a carnie murder a couple of years ago. (RIP Psycho Matt.)

A word of caution: be careful of the precedent you set with all of this. Let’s say you take her out to a nice and expensive-ish food eating place one year. If you do the same thing the next year, that’s it. That’s your thing. You can’t ever not do that while that relationship lasts. I don’t care if you can’t afford it. Sell something. You do not become the guy who says, "Baby, I know I usually take you to Le Chateaubriand, but I don’t feel like spending that much this year. Why don’t we go Dutch at Friendly’s."

Man, forget Europe. That is the fastest way to Mexico.

Damien Fisher does have a soldering iron that can get off fingerprints if you need it and can be reached at 594-1245 or dfisher@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DF.