The Varmint Guide to Special Occasions

It's Mother's Day tomorrow. My husband, The Varmint, is borderline catatonic, frozen stiff and staring into the dual metaphysical headlights of husbandly and son-ly duty, his hand occasionally twitching as he mumbles unintelligible syllables beneath his breath.

This happens whenever Days of Loaded Expectation loom - Mother's Day, birthdays, Christmas, our anniversary, Valentine's Day. Any holiday where a bunch of flowers and some candy are expected, my fella goes all cave bear-y and just freezes up. His sense of humor evaporates. He adopts the look of The Hunted, and seems prepared for villagers with torches to descend upon him at any second.

Needless to say, this effectively smothers whatever charm there is in being feted. Instead, I find myself smoothing his fur and trying to coax him out of his cave, dropping a path of ready-to-eat snacks that lead directly to the TV set.

As I look at my whimpering, crumb-smeared Varmint, I realize: Nearly every guy I know has the same problem.

So, for the long-term benefit of my Varmint - and the countless other Varmints like him - I consulted my girlfriends and have created the following guide.

** All Varmints, please note: This guide was not written for Mother's Day. The Varmint Guide to Mother's Day is similar to the Special Occasions guide - except you remove the romantic bits and any references to monkey scrotums, sex or porn. **

The Varmint Guide to Special Occasions

(a.k.a. How to Please Your Lady One Day Out of the Year)

21991. Stop gnawing, grab a beer and set aside one half hour to plan the special day. Try to do this at least 5 days ahead of time. The planning is a big part of the overall gift to your woman, because it shows you cared enough to try. Think of this as insurance: Even if the rest of the day sucks monkey scrotum, at least you can say, "Sorry babe. I tried." This should leave you feeling confident. Whatever happens from here on out, you can not fail!

2.  Take a good look at the word "Special" up there - this day should be special for your woman. Think about that. If you are a dog walker and walk dogs every day, would a day really be special if you were walking dogs that day? No. So make sure your lady is not walking dogs on her special day. Now here is the hard part for some Varmints to understand: That means YOU may have to walk the dogs that day. All day. There are three bits of good news with this: 1) It's only one day 2) It usually doesn't cost you anything and 3) Your woman will be so appreciative of your dog walking that you will likely be pleasantly rewarded with treats of a Varminty nature.  

3.   The Ladies like food. This is good news for Varmints because everyone knows Varmints love to eat! Plan to take your woman to eat food. It can be breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and/or any combination thereof. Just make sure it is some food she really likes. If you can call ahead to make reservations for the food, or if you're planning to surprise her with the food, at least let her know ahead of time that she should wear something nice / stretchy / bib-like in which to eat the food. This shows thoughtfulness and planning and will earn you extra bonus points. (See #1.)

4.   ChocolateCakeWomen love dessert. Dessert is a special food category that is seperate from normal food. For extra extra bonus points, you can take her somewhere ELSE for dessert. Remember: For many women CHOCOLATE = SEX. Therefore, taking extra time just for dessert is the equivalent of taking extra time for, well, you know. This also gives you time to digest your dinner, so there will be even more room for ... food.

Manicure Megan5.  If it suits you, a token gesture of your affection is appreciated on special days. Before you get that faraway look in your eyes and rigor sets in, just know that it doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. It might be a magazine subscription, a drawing you did, a manicure or a book of poems. It should be something that shows you thought of her, reflects her interests or good taste or just makes her feel good. This item is important for you because it will have long-term benefits: Every time she sees it or thinks of it, she will think of you and the special day you planned and feel good feelings for you. This can come in especially handy if you stayed out all night digging with your Varmint buddies and forgot to call.*

    * One thing: Most of the ladies polled agree - your token gesture might be accompanied by flowers, but should not BE flowers. Think of something slightly more personal or permanent. On the other hand, you want to avoid the grand gesture. The grand gesture (surprise parties, jewelry that contains precious stones, anything with a motor) is for the Advanced Varmint. The Double-Black Diamond Varmint. The Wily Grey-haired Varmint who Knows How to Do This Sort of Thing. Let's just start at the bunny slopes - we don't want any hyperventilating. 

6.  If you've got romance on the Varmint brain, this is the day to make it special. Varmints should groom themselves accordingly, and use something scented that doesn't contain saliva. Soap is good. Then take some extra time to make some plans and think about what would make your ladyfriend f-e-e-l the romance. A bubblebath? A little massage? A bite of chocolate? (See #4.) A fresh addition to your dirty little secret box? It all depends on your lady. Just know: Popping in a porno whilst lying nude atop the unmade bed and wiggling your eyebrows up and down does not a night of romance make.

DSC_335Well, let's hope A Varmint's Guide to Special Occasions has been of some use to all of the Varmints out there. And maybe a few of you ladies, as well.

Now remember: Mother's Day is tomorrow. Strip all sexy references from the Varmint Guide before proceeding if you're looking to make Momma Varmint happy.

(Actually, you might just want to give her a phone call or a card that says thanks for all she's done for you. Anything more than that and she might think you've got something terminal.)

Good luck, Varmints! May the Force be with you.



  1. The Varmint said on May 12, 2008 15:24

    Urh! garumph!.... oooooooo... urh! uh........ der.... stuff... things...

  2. PrebJen said on May 14, 2008 14:07

    Can I get an "Amen"?! Tam, this was read aloud to the Dano-varmit (Mother's Day is, in fact, an international conumdrum) and will soon scatter countless rosy-cheeked cherub Christmas cards to take it's laminated place of honor on our refrigerator. Best.... advice.....ever.


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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >