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A Valentine’s Day to Remember, Not That Way


My wife is from a culture that was a generation behind America in social norms. Once she didn’t want me to take a picture of her in a bathing suit. It was a modest, one piece, suit. When our son was born my wife threw everything behind motherhood. I was not good at job transitions. For economic expedience we stopped giving each other gifts. Our economic situation improved but we learned we could do without such sentimentality. I would sometimes give her inexpensive, ok cheap, gifts. One time I bought a small bouquet in a supermarket on Valentine’s Day and the checker remarked; “That’s all you’re getting, you’re going to get divorced.” My wife finds such gifts silly and useless. You’re right, she’s right. One February they were selling Valentine’s Day gifts in the cafeteria where I worked. I was looking at one flower arrangement and the sales representative showed me the fake rose in the arrangement was really a pair of red panties. She lost the sale because such a gift would be inappropriate.[i]

[i] Such gifts remind me of the movie “Working Girl” where the main character’s boyfriend would always buy her clothing, as gifts, she couldn’t show to anyone else.

On Cheap Gifts

"Life is like a box of chocolates. A cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. Unreturnable because all you get back is another box of chocolates..."

— Cigarette Smoking Man - X-Files

The Invitation

It was around the turn of the century. My wife received an invitation from a friend for a women’s only get together on February 14th. She showed me the invitation and I sort of read it. What can I say? I’m a guy. From what I read it seemed it would be nice for her to attend this women’s only party. I figured since it was on St. Valentine’s Day the women would get together and “laugh at the day”.[i] It also seemed a good opportunity for her to network. I convinced her to attend with us both clueless as to what the party was about.

[i] The “King of the Hill” episode, “Peggy’s Turtle Song”, some women held a party on Mother’s Day so they could “laugh at the day.”

The Party

I drove my wife to the friend’s house. Our son was with us. I walked my wife to the door. The women shoed me away. I assumed it was the women playing their “women’s only” game. I took my son out to dinner thinking my wife was going to have some pleasant chit chat and exchange of information with her friends.

After dinner it was too soon to pick her up but impractical to go home. I drove to the friend’s cul-de-sac and waited in the car. With nothing else to do I really read the invitation. The invitation was to a “Passion Party”. I had recently heard something about “Passion Parties” on the radio. Apparently, “Passion Parties” were making the rounds in my area at the time.

The invitation explained how the guests would be shown romance accessories. After these items and clothing were shown and demonstrated the guests would be sent upstairs one at a time where they could buy this merchandise. The purchased items would be placed in a bag and the guest would take her “stash” downstairs. As I was reading the invitation, I realized I had made another mistake.

Meanwhile, my wife was embarrassed as revealing lingerie was being modeled and novelty items were shown and explained. She felt she shouldn’t be there but she couldn’t leave. When the sales representative showed a pair of handcuffs an older friend told my wife her husband brought a pair of handcuffs home once. The woman told my wife the handcuffs were not romance enhancing but romance encumbering. When it was my wife’s turn to go upstairs, she felt obligated to buy something since she owed our friend a favor. She bought a pair of scented candles.

She told me about her experience. I teased her about not leaving immediately. She eventually gave the candles away as a gift.

© 2019 Robert Sacchi


Robert Sacchi (author) on November 11, 2020:

Sorry it took me so long to find your comment. I missed a lot of comments. Tonight I'm playing catch up.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on April 11, 2019:

Robert, not at all.please, and good day.

Robert Sacchi (author) on April 11, 2019:

Thank you.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on April 11, 2019:

Hi, Robert, I appreciated you.

Robert Sacchi (author) on April 10, 2019:

Glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on April 10, 2019:

Hello, Roberts, I had pleasure in reading this story. It is funny. Thanks for sharing anyway.

Robert Sacchi (author) on February 22, 2019:

We probably could laugh about it but since she hasn't brougt it up I think it's best I don't talk about it to her unless she initiates the conversation. Since you apparently read the invitation and were embarassed it makes me think my wife must have been more mortified than I thought.

Deborah Reno from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on February 22, 2019:

That's pretty funny! I've been to a passion party before. I knew what to expect and I was still overwhelmed and embarrassed. I bet your poor wife was mortified.

Hopefully the two of you have come along past that and can now laugh.


Robert Sacchi (author) on February 11, 2019:

Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, it can be stressful unknowingly walking into an embarrassing situation.

Edna Straney from Oneonta New York on February 11, 2019:

I sympathize with your wife's experience. I imagine it was very stressful. I try to avoid occasions such as this myself. My husband and I don't exchange gifts either.

Robert Sacchi (author) on January 20, 2019:

Thank you for reading and commenting. You're very kind. I'm glad you have a wonderful partner. I'm glad this article made you laugh.

Frances Metcalfe from The Limousin, France on January 20, 2019:

This made me laugh, being not very adventurous so to speak. Your poor wife! And you too. Fortunately I have a wonderful partner and you sound like a very good husband!

Robert Sacchi (author) on January 09, 2019:

Thank you for reading and commenting. If this article saves you or someone else a bad experience then posting was worth it.

Liz Westwood from UK on January 09, 2019:

This sounds like a nightmare scenario for your wife. I will be sure to always read initations carefully after reading this article!

Robert Sacchi (author) on January 07, 2019:

Yes, the moral of this anecdote is always read and understand invitations.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 07, 2019:

Oh my, I would be an odd duck in a party like that. I am more like your wife. Thank goodness, that is not popular in my circle.

Robert Sacchi (author) on January 06, 2019:

I didn't realize they were international. Good information. Thank you.

Eastward from Bangkok, Thailand on January 06, 2019:

It seems those parties are pretty popular in my neighborhood as well, Robert. Happy Valentine's Day to you and your wife!

Robert Sacchi (author) on January 06, 2019:

Happy Valentine's Day to you too. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 06, 2019:

So sorry your wife had to endure that embarrassing so-called party. I would not have wanted to attend one such as that either. Tupperware parties are more my style and I imagine more your wife's preference also. Wishing you both a Happy Valentine's Day when that day arrives.

Robert Sacchi (author) on January 05, 2019:

Thank you for reading and commenting. I'll have to try to come up with something. She already said no more flowers. I hope you do well for Valentine's Day.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 05, 2019:

Your sweet wife sounds like my mother. My mother has always been proper and ladylike. She used to work in an office with salespeople who told offcolor jokes that had to be explained to her and they’d tease her playfully by giving her gag gifts of the kind that were likely for sale at that party your wife attended. I hope you surprise your wife with something lavish this Valentine’s Day.

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