I guess Forrest Gump was right – life is like a box of chocolates.

In fact, given the upcoming holiday, I’d even go so far as to say that love is like a box of chocolates, for a number of reasons that we’re about to go through right here in our annual Comedic-Genius Tribute to Valentine’s Day: The Greatest Hustle This Side of National Arbor Day.

*pause for trumpeting fanfare*

You see, out of all of the heart-laden teddy bears and strawberry-scented bubble baths that come out of the woodwork for this quasi-romantic holiday, I tend to turn a blind eye in their general direction in favor of an alternative gift that not only shows someone just how much you care, but also does its part to help provide vital fuel for her body in the form of rich, creamy, milk-chocolaty calories! They say that the way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach, right? No wait, I guess that’s us guys, whereas the way to a woman’s heart passes by Tiffany’s, Bath & Body Works, and at least three of those fancy, high-end department stores where the crazy ladies try to spray perfume on you even though by now it should be painfully clear that you’re simply not a Mystique kind of guy…

Nonetheless, I’ve yet to encounter a woman who deep down couldn’t appreciate a classy box of her favorite sweets on Valentine’s Day, even if she refused to actually partake in them before retreating to her secret snack cave so that she would be well out of view of any of her girlfriends while she went to town on bonbon after bonbon of deliciousness like a herd of wild water buffalos loose in a field of whatever the heck water buffalos eat! I’ve known women who would openly kill anyone who dare get between them and their bonbons, and that’s even simply on any random Tuesday while she’s swooning over The Young and the Restless … when was the last time that you saw life being threatened over some cheap roses and a semi-cute, pink elephant plush from Wal-Mart?! On a day as important as this, guys, don’t leave the immediate future of your sex life in the paws of novelty. This is no time to get creative – old and reliable wins the race when it comes to not sleeping on the couch on February 14th.

Of course, that said, despite the classic heart-shaped box being somewhat of an easy win when it comes to Valentine’s Day, special care must still be exerted to ensure that the box of deliciousness given isn’t inadvertently filled with lemon crème or pistachio general gross-ness because while boxed chocolates can certainly be the high road to success on the day of love, said perceived victory can quickly turn to sour defeat when it is realized that your girlfriend, wife, or miscellaneous female acquaintance isn’t one of the three people on the planet who actually enjoy these truly nasty fillings! All it takes is a quick read of that little map on the back of the box, though – remember, it’s all about doing your homework when you’re trying to take the easy way out!

Just be thankful that Valentine’s Day comes but once a year because otherwise, if she could pick up a box of these chocolaty, little love morsels on any given Must-See TV Thursday night, well … I don’t think I need to tell you just how not screwed we’d all be, guys! Of course, either way there are lessons to be learned from such a simple $9.95 box of happiness – sometimes the best gifts really do come in small packages, and sometimes all a woman is really looking for is just a bit of sweetness in her life. Mind you, sometimes she’s just as apt to go off on you for buying her chocolates when in truth she’s the one self-conscious about her own looks because she’s been slacking on that New Years resolution diet that she had gotten so drunkenly excited about at roughly 3:43am on New Years day, which while technically isn’t even remotely your fault, you’ll still take the brunt of for reasons of logic and courtesy unknown…

Come to think of it, sometimes you’re better off waiting until after Valentine’s Day when you can get pretty much the same thing for merely a fraction of the cost, and whether I’m still talking about chocolates or have since moved on to a more broad topic … I’ll leave that for you to decide! Happy Valentine’s Day, good luck, and be sure to steer clear of the coconut almond ones – who thinks up some of these combinations, anyways?!