FLINT - We were watching TV the other night when a commercial came on for a Teddy bear company.
The announcer said, in so many words, "Hey, Andy, have you completely run out of ideas to surprise your wife on Valentine's Day?"
Marcia didn't immediately scoff at the commercial, which the guy part of my brain - that same area that thinks hardware stores and ESPN are endlessly fascinating - interpreted as a ringing endorsement.
In retrospect that was a ridiculous thing to think. But you can hardly blame me. I mean, c'mon, of course I've run out of ideas.
We've been married since 1983. I ran out of good Valentine's ideas before Prince's "Purple Rain" album, which came out in 1984.
So guy brain silently said, "Hmm, tell me more ..."
Announcer guy obliged, saying: "Then try this - a life-size Teddy bear! Surprise her at home, prop it up in her desk chair at work. She won't get fired for having a gigantic shedding fire hazard at the office. Nor will it sit for the next 10 years of your life in the corner of your bedroom collecting dust and staring at the two of you as you sleep with its cold, dead eyes. No way! In fact, she'll love it. And she'll love you for giving it to her - if you catch our incredibly obvious drift, wink-wink, nudge-nudge!"
Guy brain thought for moment then said: "Hey, y'know, that could work!"
And so right then and there I resolved to order Marcia the biggest Teddy bear they had, even though the rest of my brain - the part that understands mutual funds and the need for fiber in your diet - was shrieking, "Away, you fool! Turn away from the rocks!"
It goes without saying that I should have listened. The majority of my brain is seldom wrong while my guy brain has never once been right.
But I didn't. Instead, I walked upstairs, jumped on the computer in my office and discovered that the Teddy bear company has not just one giant bear but three - a 3-foot model for $89.99, a 4.5-footer called for $99.99 and a whopping 6-footer for $199.99.
To be honest, my initial reaction was, "Are you kidding me? What kind of a moron would pay that much for a stuffed animal?"
The answer turned out to be "me." What can I say - a guy who is out of better ideas will pay almost any price, especially during manufactured holidays.
So I pulled out my wallet and started ordering the medium giant bear. (I know I said earlier that I was going to get her the biggest one they had but she's not that tall so a 4.5-footer is darned near life-sized.)
At that exact moment my Facebook tab flashed, so I looked. There was Marcia's post: "Attention men: Having seen a certain TV commercial one too many times, let me do all of you befuddled Valentine's Day shoppers a favor - there is NO GROWN WOMAN on the face of the Earth that wants a life-sized, $100 Teddy bear for Valentine's Day. Furthermore, do NOT let the commercial fool you, purchasing this gift is not going to 'guarantee YOU a gift in return.'"
I swear the woman is psychic.
Is it any wonder I hate Valentine's Day?
EDITOR'S NOTE - Andy Heller, an award-winning columnist, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. Write to Andrew Heller at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.