I just gave my wife the super-romantic, best Valentines gift of all time: $250 in cash and a belly dancing kit, including a book, CD, and two sets of brass bells (zills for you belly-dancing aficionados).

“Everything you need to explore the movement and harmony of the ancient arts!” so the box claims.

She seemed significantly more enthusiastic about the money, which she will use to purchase some new clothing for our upcoming trip to Florida.

She deserves it.

Two summers ago, my wife was was pregnant. Last summer, she was still recovering from a C-section and foot surgery. This summer will be the first in three years in which she is back to her original size and fully recovered from the horrors of child birth, and therefore new clothes are certainly in order.  My initial plan was surprise her with some deftly chosen garments that suited both her taste and the warm, Floridian sun. I had visions of shocking her on Valentines Day morning with my keen fashion sense and shopping prowess, but after spending more than two hours in Banana Republic and J Crew, I decided to throw in the towel, accept my limitations and stuff cash into an envelope.

It’s not terribly romantic, I know, but I have a friend who once gave his wife a toilet for her birthday. The bar has been set pretty low in my circle of friends.

As for the belly dancing kit, I couldn’t resist. The morning after our wedding, my wife’s grandmother suggested that she install a pole in our bedroom and learn to pole dance.

“So you expect me to work all day, come home and make dinner, and then pole dance for my husband?” my wife asked.

“That would be sexy,” her grandmother replied.

Despite the wisdom that comes with 87 years, my wife has never taken her grandmother’s advice, so I think it’s rather equally unlikely that Elysha will get hooked on the ancient art of belly dancing.

But at half-price, I thought it was worth a shot.