Who’s the Daddy? column

A bouquet of flowers.
A bouquet of flowers.

Oh no, it’s Valentine’s Day on Saturday. That one day of the year which unites every single and married person on earth by making them feel like a total loser.

If you’re with someone then there’s the minefield of buying a card and a present, get it wrong and you’re toast.

If you’re single then it’s yet another form of social exclusion, although standing on the sidelines is the safest bet.

Buying a Valentine’s gift is one of the biggest hurdles a married man has to overcome.

You don’t want to appear cheap but then if you go all out you’ll get called flashy.

Here’s a few gift buying tips learned from bitter experience (except number 5, even I’m not that stupid).

1. Lingerie. Also known as funderwear. There’s a fine line between erotic and sex worker, apparently.

If you’re embarrassed buying it then the love of your life will be embarrassed wearing it. If it is bright red, has holes where holes don’t normally go and scratches like 40-grit sandpaper then leave it be.

2. “Oh, don’t buy me anything.” In my experience, ladies very rarely say what they mean. If there was an app that listened to everything your wife says and flashed up live subtitles on your smartphone then divorce lawyers would be out of business the day it was released. When your wife says: “Oh, don’t buy me anything,” she means: “You’d better buy me something and it better not be cheap and nasty.” Consider yourself warned.

3. Chocolates. What are you, some kind of idiot? Every woman in the Western world has been trying to exercise and diet away their Christmas splurge. And you want to fatten her up again? Have a word with yourself, buddy.

4. Booze. Lovely, lovely booze. A no-brainer, right? Wrong. If you’re buying champagne then you might as well attach a card with a message which winks: “Tonight’s the night, eh, darlin’?” Cheap champagne tastes like cheap champagne. For the same money you can get a stunning bottle of red.

5. A kitten. A what? Really? You do realise cats live longer than most marriages last.

6. Flowers. Never fails.