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Tryst with Valentine

Ah, Valentine's Day. Here you come again. Urging me to be romantic. Telling me that if I buy my wife a dozen roses, a box of chocolates, a Hallmark card and dinner at Thai Wok Restaurant, she may keep me around for another year.    

You say that good romance, lavished on the right girl, can be just as effective as bribery. Perhaps you're right, but I have a few questions. Does it have to be a dozen roses? Can I get away with one rose, one carnation and ten dandelions?

Since my wife enjoys both flowers and vegetables, can I give her a dozen heads of cauliflower? Or would that be considered TOO romantic? I don't want to overdo it, you know. I might have to beat her off me.

Roses are rather expensive in the Maldives. After all, they come all the way from Singapore. A dozen could set me back as much as 500 bucks. For that kind of money, I could romance 30 girls in Villingili. For weeks I had been spying Cactus to see whether they put a sale on roses. But no luck. So I decided to borrow some and put in the deep freezer. The problem is they don’t thaw that well.

Me: "Happy Valentine's Day, sweetie! I got you a dozen roses. An entire dozen!"

Wife: "Really? What a surprise! That's 12 more than last year. Where are they?"

Me: "In the microwave. They'll be ready in 30 seconds. You like them warm, don't you?"

Then there's the chocolate question: Do I have to spend 300 rufiya on Toblerone or can I just make some toffees at home? It would be a lot cheaper and I'd be doing the patriotic thing – saving foreign exchange to help the economy.

I'm even willing to paint hearts around the parcel. And scroll a poem on the label: "Roses are red, violets are blue, this toffee is almost as brown as you!"

As for the card, does it have to be Hallmark or can it be some other brand? One card seems just as good as another -- even if I have to cross off a few irrelevant words such as "birthday", "Eid or “sympathy."

And what about Thai Wok where I'm supposed to take my wife to? What if it's fully booked, forcing me to try another high-class restaurant, namely Moon Café or Evening Glory? Would that be OK?

Me: "Sweetie, this is much better than deciding from a menu and waiting. Take anything; I just withdrew fifty bucks at the Bank of Maldives ATM. Get a black tea and two hedhikaa. It's a special day."

Wife: "This place is not romantic enough. Can't we go somewhere else?"

Me: "We can, sweetie, but I don't know if we'll get a good table at Market Hotel. How romantic do you want it to be? I've already asked the manager to dim the lights. And the cook is not just grilling heart-shaped masfathafolhi, he has promised to hum a Bengali song. Only the best for you."

My final questions: What if I do nothing on Valentine's Day?
How much trouble would I be in? Will welfare ministry rescue me?

Me: "Sweetie, I thought about getting you roses, but didn't get around to it. It's the thought that counts, right?"

Wife: "Yes, sweetie, it's the thought that counts. By the way, how do you like the atmosphere in our sitting room? Is it romantic?"

Me: "Yes, it's very romantic. Why?"

Wife: "Well, I just THOUGHT you might like to spend the night here!"

Me: "You mean I can't come to the bedroom?"

Wife: "It's Valentine's Day. I want to be touched by Cupid, not stupid!"