The Happy Man Manual — Valentine’s Day

By Piper Bayard

Guys get the short end of the stick on Valentine’s Day. It’s a day that’s geared toward women. Make her happy, win her heart, pop that question. Buy her roses, get her chocolates, give her a massage, say things to make her swoon. Everywhere men look, television, magazines, the internet, and their girlfriends and wives bombard them with expectations, most of which they can never meet.

Valentine's Day Tree Johntex wikimedia

image by Johntex, wikimedia commons

Women, on the other hand, have it easy. That’s because men come with a three sentence Happy Man Manual: 1) Feed me; 2) Feed my ego; 3) Feed my libido. If a woman does at least two of those three things, she’s made him happy. Three, and bliss ensues. As a result, pleasing men on Valentine’s Day, or any other day, is almost as difficult as watching ice melt, but not quite.

To test this, I asked my husband to suggest ten things women can do to please their men on Valentine’s Day. This was his response:

  1. Show up naked.
  2. Show up naked.
  3. Show up naked.
  4. Show up in a negligee.
  5. Cook his favorite chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy and chocolate cake.
  6. And make those little prosciutto pastry pinwheels to go with that.
  7. Say again what a good job he did remodeling the bathroom.
  8. Tell him now that you’re with him, you don’t think about Jason Stathom anymore.
  9. Bake him some cookies.
  10. Ask him to show up naked.

So this Valentine’s Day, my heart goes out to men everywhere. Thank you for being men in all of your simple glory. The fact is that if you weren’t so easy, you would have put an end to this holiday before it even got off the ground. I appreciate it that you didn’t. I’m looking forward to whatever creative surprise my husband comes up with this year, whether it’s a pink hat or a heart-shaped mug warmer. Perhaps I’ll thank him with a chocolate cake. Among other things.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

38 comments on “The Happy Man Manual — Valentine’s Day

  1. Omigosh, Piper! Hilarious. He is “Holmes,” after all. Of course he needs a mission under the covers! But yes, “show up naked with cake” is pretty good. 😉

    • Piper Bayard says:

      LOL. Actually, Renee, Holmes and I are married, but not to each other, and not in a country western song way. My hubby is a computer hardware architect who has an office in our basement and infinite patience for his moody, wordy wife. Holmes’ wife is a wonderful woman he met back when they were teenagers, long before he met me. She knits him sweaters, and she is a much better cook than I am. Holmes and I are “twins” and writing partners, but we would be lost without our spouses and families. That being said, I will presume to say I’m sure he would be delighted should his wife show up naked with cake. 🙂

  2. Your list of what makes men happy leaves out item number four. Let them show their expertise at cave man stuff.. OK, he can’t catch an antelope for you. But you could buy him a cordless drill, and tell him how whatever-it-is that needs screwing. but… well… some guys might think you were being thoughtful. Or a new console to play killer car rage death games. Appeal to the hunter killer instinct in him.

  3. susielindau says:

    This is so cute! Love the simplicity and you hit it on the head. Danny would agree, but his menu may be slightly different!

  4. K.B. Owen says:

    Hmm…lots of great ideas here! Enjoy your Valentine’s Day, Piper! (You too, Holmes!)

  5. So true, Piper! I was researching the holiday yesterday, and the most common search terms to pop up were “Valentine gifts for men,” and such—sure signs that many women are clueless, or at least curious, as to what to do. Three cheers for naked choco parties!

  6. Love it, Piper! One Valentine’s Day I put off buying a new printer I wanted to get my husband an expensive racing camshaft for his project car. (He’d settled on a cheaper one) Later I discovered he’d chosen the cheaper one so he could afford to get me the printer I wanted. Sort of our version of the Gift of the Magi, I guess. And no, we weren’t a flowers and candy sort of couple. As for the rest of your list…well, yes. 😉

  7. Completely simple and completely true. 😎

  8. tomwisk says:

    I like the first three and the last. 5 and 9 are no go naked. Jason Strawho?

  9. You gals love to make fun of our libidos, but remember, two heads are better than one.

  10. Having teenagers in the house stops a lot of the “show up naked with cake” thing…sigh. But I’m sure I’ll figure SOMETHING out, lol! Happy V Day, Piper!

  11. andrewmocete says:

    You’ve hit on something very true, Piper. If only there was a way to combine nudity and baked goods and I think that’d be the end of war.

  12. Really good post. Valentines Day has gotten ‘way too competitive. Nice suggestions to get back to basics…that and maybe “stop blogging for a few hours?”
    Happy Valentines to all!

  13. Smplefy says:

    additional consideration should be given to telling him the following:
    11) “I don’t know what I ever do if something happened to you”
    12) “I can’t believe how you get up and go to work at that place every day just for us”
    13) “I’ve been thinking more about your threesome fantasy. I’d like to talk about it soon”
    14) “I love cooking for you”
    15) “Let me bring you breakfast in bed tomorrow”
    16) “I bought you your favorite beer”
    17) Use the word “Huge” several times during the day, with a wink.

  14. […] week, Piper Bayard wrote The Happy Man Manual in an effort to offer tips to befuddled women everywhere about how we can keep it simple when it […]

  15. Thanks for a wonderful and succinct post on V-Day for men. I appreciate it when women are inspired to celebrate all weekend long. To that end, Susie sent me. 🙂 NIce work, and hope you’ll check me out, too.

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