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Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

What do women want for Valentine's Day?

Wouldn't it be great if there was one easy answer to that question?

But women, like government employees, like business entrepreneurs, like teachers, like other human beings, are various. Some want one thing, some want another, and others will declare they want nothing but love.

Try a little tenderness. That will work on most. But a gift is nice, too. As long as it's something that excites you. Here, I am not referring to lingerie, though some women will welcome your taste in that. Others, not so much. By "excites you," I mean you are pretty sure she'll be delighted and you are looking forward to that.

Unless she has expressed longing for a heart shaped pendant filled with diamond chips, don't. The mass produced and heavily advertised suggests a certain lack of imagination. And I am pretty sure one thing women want is for you to see yours as unique and particular, not just a female filling the role of wife, lover, mother, whatever.

Flowers are nice. Make sure they smell good. It's amazing how many flowers today have no smell or a vaguely unpleasant smell. Stocks are fragrant. Carnations. Lilies. Some roses.

That's if she's not allergic. You do know whether she's allergic or not, right? They don't have to be the most expensive flowers. Sendiks has nice flowers. Teleflora is unpredictable (you may not get what you paid for) and pricey. And the bunch hastily snagged at Walgreen's after 5 pm suggests a certain lack of planning and thought.

Chocolate? Is it her passion? Is it GOOD chocolate?

The hardest ones are those who say we don't like the holiday. That may be true. But I'm betting most of us, secretly, would be delighted by a small gift from the heart.

Poems and letters are gold.

Oh, and women? Take the time to figure out what you really want. And then tell them. It may be their job to pay attention, but it's not their job to read your mind. Especially if you send confused and mixed signals.

Consider this a reminder. You have 2.5 days.

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