Although we have one more article to go in our series, The Addicted Cop, we decided to sidestep into lighter territory this month in honor St. Valentine's Day. We offer this article as a handy self-test of romantic acumen for all you married and dating cops out there. And even if you happen to be living the exciting, carefree single life right now (i.e. you spent Valentine's Day sitting around in your sweats, watching reruns of The Jersey Shore, and eating Queso dip from the jar with your fingers), just know that that kind of fast-paced living cannot last forever. Someday you may just want to settle down, and what you learn here might give you a romantic edge! You can thank us later.
Next month we will conclude our series on The Addicted Cop, with an emphasis on overcoming addiction. It should post right around St. Patrick's Day. Hmm...
By now the flowers have begun to droop a bit, and the chocolate truffles are almost all eaten. The romantic dinner, expensive French Bordeaux, and dancing into the wee hours are just a glowing memory, but in the days since you still gaze lovingly at each other, warmed by the emotions and renewal of the night...
Or maybe Valentine's Day was perfectly celebrated with your favorite takeout pizza, cold beer, and Netflix. The movies are in the return mail and all that remains of dinner is a crumpled pizza box and empty bottles in the recycling. Sounds good to us. To each their own as long as it works for both of you, as far as we're concerned. Besides, neither of us is really comfortable with an excess of the mushy; we tend to seek some middle ground between the expensive blowout and going with what we know. Much of relational success relies on finding mutual ground, and a holiday dedicated to celebrating your relationship is no different.
The problem for a lot of couples, when it comes to Valentine's Day, is the far too frequent occurrence of mismatched expectations. As so often happens in relationships, we tend to tend to seek, meet, date, and mate our opposites. Felix moves in with Oscar, a night owl shares the bed with an early worm, and squeeze from the bottom and flatten as you go up falls in love with squeeze-in-the-middle-lose-the-stupid-cap-and-leave-a-mess-in-the-sink-every-morning. The potential metaphorical mismatches are endless. Don't even get us started on the minefield of how to best load a dishwasher or replace a roll of toilet paper...
Now, most of those other minor but annoying differences are day in/day out matters that, if you are going to have a successful relationship, you learn to negotiate, overcome, or accept. But since Valentine's Day comes just once a year any mismatched expectations carry a greater likelihood of the less romantically inclined partner of... well, really screwing it up and stepping on one of those fun emotional landmines we all enjoy. Since you are reading this several days after the fact, there is nothing we can do to give advice. Maybe you had a great, romantic weekend; you said all the right things, made all the right plans, exceeded all the expectations. We say, Good for you, Cyrano! Bask in the reward of your romantic exploits. But if the day was just so-so, or you know you can do better, or you feel an icy chill every time you and your love occupy the same room, then do we have the tool for you!
Now, we would never want to imply that cops, either men or women, are not the most inherently romantic of folks. Not at all. Never. We're just sayin'... But if you would like to take a simple and quick quiz - a Valentine's Day After Action Assessment - to quantify your romantic efforts, debrief, assess and adapt, then follow along below. Score yourself and remember, this is for fun only!
- Valentine's Day? When was that? -50 pts
(Great start, Lothario! At least you have nowhere to go but up!)
- Our favorite holiday of the year! We outdid ourselves again! +10pts
- Made a date at 1600 hours off BootyCall.com That is just sad
- Valentine's Day!?! C'mon, that is just a Hallmark scam, right? -10 pts
(Nope. Wrong. It has been celebrated in some form or another since the late 400s)
- Made reservations six weeks in advance at the best restaurant in town! +8 pts
- Hooters wing platter (and no waiting!!!) - 8 pts
- Worked three weeks with a master florist to personally design a bouquet +7 pts
- Bought flowers on the way home from that weird guy at the Interstate off-ramp - 2pts
- (for men) Went more formal than traditional clean Hawaiian shirt + 3 pts
- (for women) Actually wore something sexy (at least you could see curves!) + 3 pts
- (for him) I got her the best gift! This great lightweight, portable deer stand! - 20 pts
- (for her) I got him the best gift! This great lightweight, portable deer stand! + 20 pts
- (for him) ... and a new rifle! - 10 pts
- (for her) ... and a new rifle! + 20 pts
- (for him) ... I got her a full-day pass at a spa + 10 pts
- (also for him) I got her a membership to Jenny Craig...Stuuuuuuupid!!!
- Reminisced, laughed, and talked for hours over dinner + 8 pts
- Talked about the kids, work, gun show, vacation plans, and in-laws + 1 pt (at least you talked!)
- (for couples) Talked about fight we had last week... again. It started up... again -5 pts
- (for newly dating) Talked about hopes, dreams, favorite things, each other + 7 pts
- (for newly dating) Talked about your ex all night long - 30 pts
- Took date/spouse out to dinner at your Mom's house -20 pts
(taking care of two birds with one stone is probably NOT romance inducing)
- Polished off-duty gun together +25 pts
More than 100 points - What can we say? You have what it takes to be a Love Guru and chances are you have your romantic life all in order. Outstanding effort!
75 - 100 points - Nicely done! If you are in a committed relationship you will probably stay that way. If for some reason it does not work, you should get one of those deli counter take-a-number things to manage your action.
25 - 74 pts - Nothing wrong with that. A good solid effort all around. If you are in the low end of the range, study up for next year. If you fell in the high end, maybe just tighten up your game a bit and move among the elite.
1 - 25 pts -- Well, at least you got on the board. Look, there is nothing wrong with bologna on white bread but how often do you think, Gee, I could sure go for some bologna on white bread!?
-50 - 0 pts - You. Can't. Get. No. Sat-is-fac-tion!!! Ha Ha Ha Ha!
Less than -50 - Really?!!? You have to be trying to be that bad, right? OK, OK. Look, find a friend. One with a cool spouse or significant other, or that has all the singles after them. Give them this quiz, see how they do, and then get some tutoring!
Seriously, how you spend your day and how successful it is has far more to do with how compatible you are in your likes, despite how well you may or may not have scored. If you were low, however, (or even in the negatives) maybe the day does not mean all that much to you, or maybe you have just been together for a long time and are comfortable with each other (like us). Either way, consider stepping up and stepping out a little next year. Surprise your other and yourself, and see if the day cannot be a little more special!
Hope your Valentine's Day was all you wanted it to be!