marie: boys can be so clueless. little things can get big results. being nice really doesn't take that much effort
jay: no not really
Fellas … read that. Again.
Ok, now … read it again.
Now, that was an AOL IM exchange between my friend Marie and me. Granted, not many earth-shattering conversations take place over instant messenger, but Marie here is offering up a little "woman secret." In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I write this column.
No, no, no … it is not going to be some mushy column about love. This is more about how women and men interact … in my opinion. Little things … women tell men, that even the little things count. Is that always true? Actually … yeah. For example, Marie has been hanging out with this one guy for a few months now. Nothing has been formerly established about their relationship, but still they hang out … a lot. So as Valentine's Day came and went yesterday, Marie didn't get anything from this guy except an instant message wishing her a Happy Valentine's Day. Needless to say, she wasn't too impressed. Little things … could this guy have simply gotten her a nice card? Probably. Could he have maybe spent a little cash on some flowers? Maybe. Could he have planned for a dinner with her that night one night this week where it would fit into their schedule? I'd think so. But he didn't. He simply IMed her. Oh, he did stop by her office to say hello, but that isn't anything out of the ordinary. Little things … I can remember the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me on Valentine's Day. Senior year of high school, the girl I was dating phoned my parents and asked them to unlock my car after I went to sleep. The next morning I woke up, my car was filled with balloons, candy and a tape that I was to pop in the tape deck … filled with songs that were "our songs" at the time. Karen and I broke up before we went off to college, and I still keep in touch with her. We are good friends now, and simply converse when we have the time. But I will never forget that as long as I live. Because I'm a sappy wuss? No. Because it was a little thing. A little thing someone did for me. Little things … So Marie was talking to me about this boy situation. She wasn't really upset, as she realized that they weren't an official item, but I could tell she was hoping for a little something. And she was right. Little things can reap rewards. As far as I can tell, any little thing you do to surprise a woman or make her feel good … is worth it. I mean, who wants to feel like they let someone down? Now I'm not saying you have to go spend $100s of dollars on a woman to make her happy. Maybe just spend the day with her. Give her a massage. Doing something creative. Or go steal some flowers from your neighbor's yard. Little things … I went to the florist yesterday with my buddy Steve. He was picking up flowers for his wife. As I was scanning the store, I saw all these middle aged men in there, picking up their dozen roses and scurrying out the door. Don't get me wrong, I don't think Valentine's Day is the most important day in a relationship. Hell, I think any other day of the year is more important. Because those are days where you don't feel obligated to do something nice … and if you do … they remember it. But I know one thing, all those wives that were getting those flowers probably felt like little teen-age girls all over again. Little things … Did I give advice to Marie? Yes. Did I possibly break some male code of ethics? That is debatable. What I told Marie later in the day was this: don't let him not doing anything for you make or break the relationship, but certainly don't entertain any physical needs he may have right away. Talk to him about it. Let him know it wasn't the most important thing to you but that it would have been nice. I'm not saying giving flowers is going to get you some action … it may, it may not. That really shouldn't matter. If you truly enjoy the person, a little thing is really just that … something little that you can do to make someone else feel good.