Episode 46: How To Impress Your Significant Other Without Spending Any Money

LF: Jimmy! Jimmy, what are you singing the Love Boat? We’re recording.

JW: Oh! I’m sorry. Good morning! Hey, this is Jimmy Williams with my co-host with the most, Lori Few! Here at Live a Life by Design.

LF: Good morning!

JW: You know, I got to tell ya, Lori. I’m just smitten today. You know what this episode’s all about.

LF: Is it about Coffee?

JW: Close, something else you love.

LF: Uhh…

JW: I gave you a hint.

LF: Valentine’s Day!

JW: You got it, lady! Valentine’s Day. Our inaugural Valentine’s Day episode of Live a Life by Design. Hey, guys, we’re glad you joined us today. Every Monday, Lori and I work hard to bring you something of not just entertainment but something that is a valuable resource, maybe some life hacks. Some way to think about how you live your life so that you can be a bigger, better, and bolder you. So, gotta ask Lori, what’s so special about Valentine’s Day for you?

LF: I love Valentine’s Day because it gives me an opportunity to love those people that I already love, just a little bit more.

JW: Ah, love that. Nothing says love like incremental.

LF: Well, if you’re a numbers guy I guess that kind of works.

JW: Well, and that’s me of course. As you know, you know, I gotta tell you, this holiday to me, thought means so much more than just the cards and the notes and you know, the red underwear, whatever you wear. I mean, you know, people have certain colored underwear, I understand for holidays. I don’t, but some people do. But, no, on a serious note, you know, this is a holiday though that we should celebrate, in my opinion only, everyday.

LF: I agree, everyday. I think we can love a little bit longer. A little bit harder. A little bit smarter. I just don’t think that there’s a better four letter word to start off your Monday then L-O-V-E.

JW: I’ve got to tell ya, except, unless it’s cash. C-A-S-H.

LF: Well, yeah, ok, I’ll give you that.

JW: But no, hey, so Lori, today though, we’re talking about what’s more important about showing our love and adoration for that special someone, by impressing your significant other without spending any money. What do you think about that?

LF: I love that idea and I think it’s so relevant. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to let someone know how you feel and to me, it’s far more important for someone to just write me a note, or send me a text, and say, “Hey, thinking about you, love you, have a great day”.

JW: So, I don’t want to start off all mushy, but I don’t know if you know me well enough, Lori, you’ve only known me for like 20 years. But, I am a romantic.

LF: I know this about you.

JW: You know, met my wife when I was a young teenager, 18 years of age, swept her off her feet. You know. And so I try to keep up that level of love, admiration, and affection all the time. We’ve been married now 32 1/2 years. I always say the half, cause once you get over the half it’s kinda like aging as a child. You’re getting closer to that big 33 marker.

LF: Yes, it counts. That’s amazing. 32 1/2.

JW: Yeah, isn’t that great?

LF: It’s amazing.

JW: Married her when she was 3. So it worked out well.

LF: 29 Forever.

JW: Yea, that’s it. But you know what I wanted to say about this is that it seems to me that I get up that morning of Valentine’s Day. I usually fix her her special breakfast, I serve it to her in bed on a tray with usually one little flower in the middle of a vase. Something very, shall we say, sweet, but not overwhelming. And it’s usually very well received. And to me that really starts my Valentine’s Day in a very ceremonial, yet sincere manner.

LF: That’s amazing.

JW: You know, and so what I’m talking about today, and Lori and I are going to share with you several ideas of how you and your mate can share this holiday without having to go into spending a lot of money. You don’t have to load the credit card up, just to have a great time showing your mate how much you appreciate them.

LF: Completely agree. If you have to spend a fortune on one day of the year to remind someone that you love them, we might need to reevaluate.

JW: We may be a little askew on our relationship.

LF: I think that’s exactly what we’re going for.

JW: So, I understand, Lori, you’ve done some detailed research, as she always does, people. This lady should have been a scientist, I think, of the human sciences. She really researches stuff.

LF: Well…uuuhhhhhh….Google. I have to be honest. I’m going to out myself there. I do love a good research project, but Google was of most help this morning. I’m trying to really delve into some history, and I know you love history. You’re a history buff.

JW: Absolutely.

LF: So, um, I’m gonna share with you all some history of Valentine’s Day. So humor me, if you will. Um, what better way to start the week, then to explore and celebrate holiday of love, as we mentioned earlier. Valentine’s Day actually started from the year 496. The Romans had a festival called “Lupercalia” in the middle of February and officially the start of their spring. And our modern holiday actually got its name from what many believe is a Roman priest, St. Valentine in the 3rd century AD. Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage because he thought married men were bad soldiers. And Valentine’s thought that this was unfair, St. Valentine’s thought this was unfair, so he broke the rules and arranged marriages in secret. You don’t get much more Valentiney than that.

JW: That’s pretty romantic by itself.

LF: Yes. So when Claudius II found out, Valentine was thrown in jail and sentenced to death. He was going to die for his cause. That’s pretty dramatic.

JW: Man, this has got a harlequin romance novel written all in it.

LF: I agree!

JW: I’m on pins and needles over here.

LF: While he was in jail, Valentine had fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. And when he was taken to be killed on February the 14th, he sent her a love letter signed “from your Valentine”. However the festival of Lupercalia was actually a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture. How did we turn this holiday into a Hallmark Moment?

JW: So, I love the fact that he was actually executed, supposedly, on February the 14th. You know, there’s nothing that says I love you more than having yourself killed for the woman you loved.

LF: Just, I, like you said, it has romance novel written all over it.

JW: To me, this could be on the Oxygen Network. I think this is the kind of show that really tears the heart strings.

LF: It does. Are you not convinced? But I’ve got a little more.

JW: Oh, boy.

LF: Ok, are we ready? Ok. So by the middle of the 18th century it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due improvements in printing technology. And can you imagine. It’s only gotten even better.

JW: Yes.

LF: Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. I can’t imagine you ever having your feelings discouraged, Jimmy.

JW: Mostly encouraged. Yes, mostly encouraged. But I’m just an optimist. You know me.

LF: Cheaper postal rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings. Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card sending holiday of the year. And women purchase approximately 85% of all Valentine’s. And that is probably spot on, because I am a big valentine buyer, creator, giver, and maker.

JW: You know, I got to tell you something. This stuff that Hallmark has done, they took a market that they saw a need, and they exponentially filled it with every kind of imaginable poem on a card, drawing, whatever it takes. These people killed it. Now how many of us, listening to this episode today, specially you men, have waited until the 14th of February, that morning or that afternoon after work. You run down to the local Hallmark store and oh no, it looks like the bones have been picked clean? You know, that’s not showing affection. So, what I always do, I literally, it takes time, I take about 2 weeks ahead of that day. So about February 1, and I actually make my wife’s Valentine.

LF: You make her Valentine?

JW: I cut out some things out of, I get into my kids craft kit. I cut out some little hearts and things. I know it sounds cheesy, but there’s nothing more to tell someone that you care then to spend a little extra time getting something special that can’t be bought at the last minute at a retail store.

LF: I will take, I will take all of that cheese, my friend. I say kudos to you for doing that, because to me, if someone took the time to actually make something and hand deliver it to me, that far is more important then going to the store and buying a card out of obligation.

JW: Absolutely. Now, I will tell you, over the 32 years I’ve been married to my beautiful wife, I’ve made a few boo boos on the Valentine’s Day. I want to recant just a couple here. One year I thought, the kids were gone, and I thought you know, I’ll really take it over the top. So, cupid, what does cupid normally wear, you remember?

LF: Diaper or a loin cloth.

JW: Kinda like a loin cloth thing, yea, and he has a bow and an arrow and he has a quiver, right?

LF: I’m getting worried where we’re going with this.

JW: Yea, so I go out into the old shop building where I store all the hunting and stuff, and found the old bow, and put the ol’ loin cloth on that I’d made out of…

LF: No.

JW: …some, yea, yes. It gets worse. And I thought, you know, I’ll surprise her with this when she gets home that evening.

LF: Now viewers hold on just a second. Not viewers, listeners! Hold on just a second. Now if you can envision what is being described, you cannot unsee this from your memory bank.

JW: So, to give you the final story. I’ve got on the loin cloth, I’ve got the bow and the arrow, and I’ve got a big heart that I have basically tapped to my bare chest. A big red heart. And I’m thinking, she is just either going to laugh her head off, which I hope, that’s part of the intent, but she’s gonna really see that I went to a lot of trouble. Well, then the doorbell rings, and I’m thinking it’s about the time she’s supposed to be home, right? I go to the front door. I’ll break to the end now, let’s just say I have to go pick up all of my UPS and FedEx packages now at the local drop off box. The look on this man’s eyes were just like, I was just, it was hilarious.

LF: You know, he probably still tells that Valentine’s Day story.

JW: I’m sure somebody does. And, you know, we live in a small community. So even now when I see a FedEx truck drive by, I hold my head down, kinda you know, incognito.

LF: Wear that walk of shame proudly.

JW: Yea, so, what I’m trying to say, ladies and gentlemen listening to this, you guys are very loyal subscribers, but you can go a little too far sometimes. I never thought you could with love, Lori, but you can go too far.

LF: I would say that was a little far.

JW: So, I’m taking back a notch or two.

LF: That’s good.

JW: And now I just do something like the homemade card, and I also write poems. I’m sure Justin writes you poems for Valentine’s Day?

LF: Um, I’ve gotten a couple of poems. Probably one of my favorite gifts is that he actually remembered we took a trip to Las Vegas, and we went to a chocolate shop called Ethel M. She was the wife to the Mars from the M&M company. And she started her own chocolate company, and he remembered that I like those chocolates. And so every year I have those that show up in my mailbox around Valentine’s Day because he knows they were, happened to be my favorite.

JW: Oh, that sounds very nice.

LF: Yea. But I have had some poems, and some cards.

JW: I got to tell ya, some of the poems I’ve written, I’m sure she’s kept all of them. She did show me a stack of things that I had even written her since we were dating. Now I hear what you people are saying, yes the papers turned brown, it’s all parchment like. You know. But no, she’s kept even the yearbook dedications where I had written down a yearbook dedication and sent to her. And it’s stuff like that. So what she’s really telling me is is no matter how silly it may seem at the time, to her that I took the time to do something special, made a difference for her that day.

LF: Yes! And that’s what this day is all about. It’s not about the money behind it. It’s about making someone feel special. Making them feel that in the busy hustle and bustle of this life that we lead, that it’s just a time to stop and remember that they’re on the top of your list, regardless of all the other things that are going on, and that’s what’s really what love is about.

JW: You know, Valentine’s Day for me though is special in the fact that, you know, a lot of times we may fix our own dinner home, but we’ll fix something very nice, or we’ll even work together to fix a nice meal. You know the kids are out of the house now, so we just want to spend time together. And to me that’s what Valentine’s Day is really all about. Is spending the time with the ones you love and care about. I still send my daughters homemade cards. Like they’ll receive one this month. In their respective PO boxes wherever they are in the world. And I just always love it when they call me and they almost got a tear in their eye, and they’ll FaceTime me, go “Dad, that was so sweet”.

LF: Yes! Because those are the things that you remember.

JW: Yes.

LF: Those are the things that you hold onto. The things that you spend money and purchase and are tangible items. And I’m not saying that they don’t hold significance, but far more importantly are the things that hold a lot more in your heart. That you know that that person went out of their way to take a few minutes to do that just for you.

JW: Absolutely, now I am not saying, people, that my older daughter, Alexandria, would not take a 5 carat diamond tennis bracelet. She would. Anything like that, she would. But I like to give her things that she can’t just go out and buy for herself. But hey, Lori, I’ve got some ideas here.

LF: I’m going to give you guys some fun ideas on how to facilitate this special Valentine.

JW: Well, and before that even. Fun facts. We’re going talk about some facts on Valentine’s. So let me tell you this every year, Lori, more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold across this country. That’s a lot of chocolate for you.

LF: That’s a lot of chocolate. And I am a recipient of one of those boxes.

JW: Oh man, you now what, I go on that like a pack of dogs on a three legged cat. I tell you what, I hit that stuff pretty hard. Let’s talk about this one. Men, looks like we’ll be spending twice as much as the ladies this year on Valentine’s gifts. The average man spends $130 on Valentine’s Day while women spend about $70.

LF: Interesting.

JW: Men must be easy to please. Hey, and listen Lori, Valentine’s Day is not just for the humans. Valentine’s Day could be for your dog or your cat, or any pet.

LF: Yes, absolutely. We do have a furbaby at my house.

JW: You got a couple, I think, at one time, yea. So every year, around 9 million people buy their pets a Valentine’s Day gift. That’s pretty cool.

LF: That is cool, I may need to up my game there.

JW: I tell you what we do for our little grand kitty. You know, we got a grand kitty.

LF: Oh, you do?

JW: Oh, she’s like a little furball. Yea, as a matter of fact she is a love machine. She’ll just lay right by you and purr, and she bats at you if you’re not paying attention and so forth. But, what I do is on Valentine’s Day this year, she’s got a secret gift. I don’t think she’s listening. So I’m going to share with you and our listeners. I’ve got her some catnip I’m going to put in a toy and she just goes bananas. Catnips kinda like, to the cat, like chocolate is to you.

LF: Oh, hey, I get it.

JW: The heart race, the tongue just going crazy.

LF: It just melts in your mouth, the excitement.

JW: Yea, gotta have a special coffee to go with it.

LF: Yes!

JW: And hey, here’s another fun fact, teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards followed by kids, mothers, wives, and girlfriends.

LF: Ah, that’s so sweet. Teacher’s need that little extra piece of love. Good for them.

JW: Do you remember in grade school, now, I know you and I are a little difference in age or much younger. But when we were in grade school we always made the teacher a Valentine.

LF: Yes, yes. I remember writing the teacher a Valentine. My mother would make me, even though I didn’t like my 4th grade math teacher. I specifically remember my mother making me write that card and can you tell I’m still a little bit bitter.

JW: Yea, a little bit, yea, you know, boy, they say the heart never forgets, Lori. Even in the 4th grade.

LF: That’s right.

JW: Did you know Hallmark was one of the first to mass produce a Valentine’s Day card all the way back in 1913?

LF: Wow.

JW: Now what is significant about that year, do you know Lori?

LF: 1913 would have been during the World War.

JW: The first World War.

LF: Yes.

JW: And also what’s significant about 1913, in the United States particularly?

LF: I don’t know.

JW: The enactment of the income tax first came out.

LF: There ya go.

JW: Had to pay for the war.

LF: Had to pay for it.

JW: Yea, and so we also had to pay for Valentine’s Day cards apparently. So. And the other day, the only other day that beats Valentine’s Day in floral sales is what day Lori? What do you think?

LF: Ok, I’m going to say, shot in the dark, Mother’s Day.

JW: You got it. Man. Who doesn’t send mom flowers, right? Especially in May. It is estimated the US alone is going to spend 3.3 billion with a B on flowers for loved ones this year. That is a lot of flowers.

LF: That is a lot of flowers.

JW: We’ve got a couple more here for you. Who says you can’t be your own Valentine?

LF: Sometimes you might have to be, for a while.

JW: This is a crazy stat, I looked this up folks, in 2015 18% of women sent themselves flowers.

LF: Oh well, no, I don’t know that I could do that.

JW: That’s kind of out there.

LF: Yea, I don’t know that I would, I think I would save that money and spend it on something else.

JW: I know you, you’d buy coffee.

LF: I would!

JW: At the end of the day, how to you call the florist. Hey, I’d like to send some flowers, and here’s the address, and they look it up and they go, uh, that’s the same one that’s on your bill. Well, that’s just how that works. I’ve got one bonus fact for you, little Lori, you’re gonna love this. As I said earlier, about those last minute shoppers, 64% of men do not make plans in advance for Valentine’s Day.

LF: Oh, that’s a little high.

JW: That’s terribly high.

LF: One day out of the year that they can surely get it together.

JW: You would think, right?

LF: Thank you to all of our listeners of the podcast. We have received many reviews on iTunes and appreciate your comments. Here is a review from Women in Advice, “This is a great way to get my week in gear. Jimmy is such a genuine person and his message inspires. I’m looking forward to listening to more.” If you haven’t subscribed to the show, please do so today so that you will not miss an episode of this outstanding content. It would help us spread positivity around the world if you would rate and review the podcast on iTunes. Now back to the show.

JW: Now, I’ve got to be careful here, cause I represent the male species. But you would think that we’d have our act together enough that we could get at least down to 50/50. Let’s work on that guys.

LF: That’s goals.

JW: Yes, let’s work on that. So, Lori, these are interesting facts about Valentine’s Day. However, as all of you are wondering now, why did I tune into Live a Life by Design to hear this stuff on Valentine’s Day? It’s because we want to devote this podcast episode to sharing ideas and strategies that will tell that special someone that you care without spending money. And to be very honest, we men rely too heavily on the material gifts of life when expressing our appreciation and feelings toward our special people. So, Lori, what are some of the ways you have been surprised by that ol loverboy Justin that did not require any money?

LF: You know, one of the sweetest things that he did for me one year, early on in our marriage. I can’t remember, we’d had a really bad rain storm and my car was really muddy and dirty, and he detailed and washed my car by hand in the driveway. And of course it was February so it wasn’t quite warm, and he did that for me. And I still remember that. Now he doesn’t do it so much anymore, but he definitely did that for me one year, and I still remember that and it was pretty special.

JW: I don’t know if he listens to our podcast episode, but I’ve got to tell you, that man is a keeper. He’s a keeper.

LF: He’s a keeper.

JW: You know, one of the things that I’ve always done for my wife, is just trying to find the little things. You’re gonna laugh, just helping clean the house.

LF: Yes.

JW: Now this sounds terribly rote, but, you know men and women don’t share duties like we used to when we were younger, cause we’ve got careers going, we think we’re too busy, or whatever. I assure you if you were to strap an apron on, go in the kitchen, start putting the dishwasher full of dishes, you know, cook a little dinner, clean, help your wife. Do whatever, vacuum, whatever, you’re gonna see that she’s gonna say, hey, two things. First, I really appreciate your time and effort and second of all, who took Jimmy and gave me someone else?

LF: Who’s the substitute?

JW: Absolutely. Yea, I got to tell you one thing, it might be a little embarrassing, but you know, we’re here at Live a Life by Design honesty is the best policy. I don’t coat anything, I’ve told you about my cupid issue. That was embarrassing. But here we go. I’ll tell you something I do for Dena that she just loves. So I actually make up ten clues on little pieces of paper and I hide them throughout the house. One clue leading to the next clue. She has to determine at the end of those nine clues what the actual prize is on that tenth one.

LF: Oh, I like it!

JW: Now all through the house. So I may say, hey, you gotta go upstairs, you gotta go here. It’s on the 3rd shelf in Alexandria’s bedroom, blah blah blah. I’m sending her all over the house. I sent her out in the garage one time, you’ve gotta go out in the garage. On my shelf on the far east side is blah blah blah.

LF: Oh, so it wasn’t the car.

JW: Oh, no, it wasn’t a car. No, no, I, that’d be material.

LF: That would be.

JW: And so, finally she gets to where she’s now got to number seven or number eight and I’ve slipped away and I’ll generally then take something and put in my arms or my hands like a little single flower or I’ll have a card that I’ve made for her. And I’ll put a sign on me that says the prize is yours.

LF: I love it!

JW: Oh, what do you think of that!

LF: I love it! Yea, because it’s just that reminder, it’s like we talked about earlier. You know, every day we are given another opportunity. Every day that we’re here, we’re given another opportunity to tell someone you’re special to me, I love you, you’re important. I appreciate you.

JW: Absolutely.

LF: And what a better way, to gift tag yourself.

JW: You know, so I’ve got to be honest with you, anytime the prize is me, she’s got a lot to look forward to above that, but at the end of the day I give her at least all I am and that’s the dedication and commitment I make to my special wife and so forth. But, you now it may cause some of our subscribers eyes to tear up, hearing that story, so they might need to pull over if you’re driving. Pull over. You know, get a tissue. Absolutely, you know. But what better way, to show respect, as I said, then to treat your significant others with respect, integrity, loyalty, admiration, honesty. I’ve got to tell you, Lori, I know you and Justin make it look easy. But marriage is hard work.

LF: It’s absolutely hard work, and I think that you have to look at it from a commitment perspective. Everyday you commit to doing something with someone else, you know not all days are great. Some days are hard, some days are, you know, extremely difficult. But at the end of the day, you know that that person is there for you, I think that, on Valentine’s Day we remind ourselves of that. That we should really really work to do that every single day, because marriage is hard – life is hard, and we’re fortunate enough to have significant people in our lives. Whether it’s a spouse or a parent, or a child or a sibling, that don’t forget to just say, I love ya.

JW: Absolutely. You know, at the end of the day too, I always add this. Don’t go to bed without telling your significant other how you feel about them.

LF: Absolutely.

JW: I’m one of these people that, you know, Garth Brooks, one of my favorite country singers, actually the guy can sing anything. But I like him in country for sure. And he had a song, “If Tomorrow Never Comes”.

LF: Great song.

JW: Oh man, you know, when it first came out I thought this guy is going to the top with this. And sure enough he did. It went solid gold, it went platinum but, number one on the charts, and at the end of the day, that whole songs talking about don’t let a day go by that I don’t tell you how I feel about you. Now, folks I know this is kind of mushy, but at Live a Life by Design one thing about us is we talk about the whole person. We’re not all just business professionals, and we’re not all just personal. We’re in real life here, and that’s what I like about our podcast, Lori, is that that you and I bring sincerity to them that says you know the world may tell you one thing, be a rough tough guy. And you know, the wife will just have to deal with that. Well, I’ve got news for you, that does not work in the real world. That may work in Hollywood, doesn’t work in the real world.

LF: You’ve got to roll up your sleeves and sometimes you’ve got to get in there and you’ve got to work hard and and you can do that and it really does make a difference, but you’ve got to commit to it and you really have to love being part of something bigger. You know, something above yourself, outside of yourself. It’s a labor of love.

JW: Absolutely. And I gotta tell ya, I have had no regrets, now I can’t answer for my wife, but I’ve had no regrets for any of my 32 1/2 years, I did get the better end of the deal, I’ll tell you that. So did Justin. We all know that.

LF: I agree, he did get the better end of that deal. What are some other ways you impress your significant other? Leave a post on our Facebook page, Live a Life by Design. This Valentine’s Day, don’t take the easy way out and buy a card to simply sign your name a few seconds before you hand it to your favorite person. Put some planning and thought into the process, and remember the truth commitment and appreciation of your special person comes from the time you commit to them, not the money you spend on them. And make this year different.

JW: Excuse me, Lori, have you got a tissue, I’m telling you, this is really getting to me over here.

LF: I’ve got a couple of tissues over here.

JW: Man, I tell you, when you did all this research, it’s kind of a heart jerking day for me over here. Whoa. Ok.

LF: It’s getting deep!

JW: What a Monday way to start the day. Ok! Hey guys, challenge this week. Thank you for joining Lori and me. Dedicate some time and energy to showing that someone special just how much you truly care. Shock them with your commitment of time, energy and talent to establish a deeper, more respectful relationship with your significant other. I’ll bet it’s the best investment you will make all year long. Until next week, Live a Life by Design. Take care! Happy Valentine’s Day Lori!

LF: Happy Love Day, everybody!

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