Guide: What Women Really Want For Valentine’s
Each February 14 you can always choose to show your affection with flowers, chocolates and a nice dinner. And while there’s nothing wrong with those options, we have a hunch that’s not what really counts. We asked six notable women of the South to give us their perspective on what truly matters to a woman on Valentine’s Day.
Joy Williams – The Civil Wars
“The surprise extravagance is always appreciated, but what goes further in my book is knowing I’m being considered. Opening my door, reaching for my hand, actively listening, cooking a meal for me at home, or leaving a kind note here or there…just because. You may be surprised just how far it goes with the woman you love to create consistent, everyday ways to let her know she’s on your mind.”
Ann Mashburn – owner/designer, Ann Mashburn
“Personally I think it is best to go small and sentimental. For me, always, I like a note with a funny and endearing compliment to me with some silly illustrations in the margin. It needs to be handwritten and very personal, between just the two of you. That is really all I ever want – and, of course, the undivided attention of Sid for a few minutes at least.”
Carrie Eddmenson – co-founder, Imogene + Willie
“Write a really good love letter! My grandmother used to leave little love notes laying around for my grandfather when she would go to town for the day (we all lived way out in the country). My granddaddy, tough man as he was, would reciprocate by writing her short but sweet love letters. I cherish the memory of this tradition between them. Furthermore, I have saved every letter that anyone has ever sent me. Dreamily, I would love to pull out of big box one day and share with our children the love letters to me from the love of my life, their father.”
Jessica Mischner – senior editor, Garden & Gun
“More than the candy and cards and flowers, Valentine’s Day is about appreciating and celebrating the people around you. I say, use it as an excuse to do something fun together and reconnect. In the South, it’s usually warm enough in February to go out for a hike, or even a drive; it’s all about spending time together. If there must be a gift, make it something personal and special, like an heirloom, for instance. It doesn’t have to be a grand item to be a grand gesture because whatever it is, it’s one-of-a-kind and comes with a built-in story. And long after the candy box is empty, that will be around to cherish.”
Dana Tanamachi – custom chalk letterer (her work is shown above)
“Sincerely and wholeheartedly encourage her in what she does best. There’s something in her that makes her unique, different than all others. Don’t be afraid to name it and call it out in her—there’s almost nothing more encouraging to a woman. Expressing the desire and practically, tangibly showing support to see her flourish will speak volumes. I love Tammy Wynette’s classic, Stand By Your Man. But what really makes me smile is Ronnie Milsap’s 1976 musical response declaring (I’m A) Stand by My Woman Man. Sing it, Ronnie!”
Jane Borden – comedic author, I Totally Meant to Do That
“Finally clean your piles of shirts and socks, mugs and teabags, drain hair and bath gunk. Procure and fill a bookshelf with the seven boxes from college that are blocking the hallway. Make some kind of grand gesture that says, ‘Your comfort in my/our home is worth 45 minutes of my time.’ It would probably take you that long to get chocolates and flowers, anyway.”
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