Well, despite your best efforts, you have fallen off the work-life balance beam. You’ve needlessly prioritized work over real life, and in so doing have neglected your significant other. It happens. Don’t be too hard on yourself, you thoughtless, uncaring cro-magnon. Beating yourself up is utterly counter-productive, you inconsiderate hump. You have to learn to be nicer to yourself, dipwad. Sorry, I think I’ve been watching too much Dr. Phil. Anyway, the damage is done, and you’re in the doghouse. Here are a few friendly tips for winning back—and keeping—the straying affections of those who put up with the likes of us.
•Flowers – Forget it. Done to death. You’ve tried the “I’ve screwed up, here’s two dozen roses” so many times that you know what baby’s breath tastes like going down.
•A Weekend Away – Always in good taste. Try to gauge the travel distance and type of getaway by the severity of your transgression. For example, being chronically late for dinner can be easily offset by a bed & breakfast within fifty miles of home. Forgetting an anniversary? A week on Cape Cod. Getting to the school play too late to hear your daughter say “there’s no room at the inn”? Start brushing up on your conversational French.
•A Simple Card – Often surprisingly effective. And often 99 cents if you know where to look!
•Jewelry – A diamond is forever. Which means it will be a constant reminder of your pitiful inadequacies. That’s what engagement rings are for. Think twice on this one.
•Dinner and a Movie – Hold off on this tactic until Hollywood stops making crap.
•Lingerie – Hey, if you’ve got the cajones to browse in a Victoria’s Secret by yourself, more power to you.
•Gift Certificate – Sure, to Victoria’s Secret. Two birds with one stone.
•Alone Time – Perhaps the most valuable make-up gift of all. Pledging a definite block of alone time says loud and clear to your mate that she has been bravely and lovingly…penciled in. Make sure to call and confirm day-of, in case anything changes.