If you are seriously checking out this gift guide at this hour of the day on Valentine’s Day itself, you, like me, probably count yourself among the non-romantic. Fortunately, I am married to an equally non-romantic partner, so Matt and I never disappoint each other with our lack of gifts and flowers. Oh, there was one Valentine’s Day, when we were dating, when I received Godiva chocolates and a single red rose, but since then, we do “taco night.” Because what screams romance more than hot sauce and grated cheese? This year I asked him to flip the mattress for my Valentine’s gift. And I love him even more, because he did.
I hate flowers. First, they die. I might as well take two twenty dollar bills out of my wallet and fling them out the window of my minivan. Second, flowers are labor intensive. You get them thrust at you and immediately you have to climb on a stool and retrieve a vase, wash the dust out of it, find your scissors and pretend you know how to trim the stems, open that little packet of flower “saver” that has no apparent effect on the life of the flowers other than to make you feel more hopeful about their future – hopes that will be dashed – and add water. Then you have to care for the flowers like a pet, tenderly checking them each day, nipping off dead petals, hauling them in and out of the vase to refill the noxious water, rearranging them as your bouquet inevitably shrinks in size. And it’s not over. When they die you have to truck the remains out to the big can, sweep up after their detritus, and scrub the dead smelly slimy leaf-paste off the inside of the vase. Out comes the stool again, so you can return the vase back to the high cabinet, where it will sit, like a statue, until the next flowers arrive.
Great gift. Maybe next time you could just hand me some pants to hem. It would take less time.
I feel the same way about cards, which have astonishingly risen to the $3-$5 range. For what?? You look at it, read the pre-written sentiment, maybe set it out for a day or two, and then unceremoniously toss it into the recycling. This year Matt had left out the card he got for his mom, which started, conveniently, “To my Mom…” I told him I had read it and pretended it was for me, so he didn’t have to buy another one. And we high-fived, because, score! One over on Hallmark again.
But suppose some special someone in your life is expecting a gift. There’s still time. The Reedster’s Valentine’s Gift Guide for the Non-Romantic is here to save you with things you can pick up on your way home, and they are all gender-neutral to boot!
1. A Cup of Coffee. Who doesn’t love coffee? You are likely driving by a SuperAmerica or your regional equivalent on the way home anyway. Plus it will keep him/her awake to complain about your lack of Valentine’s plans late into the evening!
2. The Newspaper. Go retro and bring home an actual hard copy of your local paper! Your Valentine won’t take this from your hands and say “What the hell is this for? I can get this for free on my mobile.” Not if you pair it with a cute card you made out of a post-it you stole from the office that says: “Extra! Extra! Be my Valentine!”
3. Breaking Bad Printable Paperdolls. I don’t watch television. But I can’t lord that over anyone because my kids watch TV non-stop and I eat like crap. It’s not like I’m healthy-cooking or exercising instead. I’m probably on Twitter.
So I’ve never watched Breaking Bad, but Matt watches it, and one look at these printable paperdolls inspired by the series makes me certain it is a romantic comedy of some sort. All you need is (1) a sheet of copy paper; and (2) your work printer – that color ink toner is pricey– and voila! A Valentine to Remember.
4. Gift Basket of Crappy Food. This will be loved. Pop into the grocery store and throw shit into your cart. You don’t need a basket, per se, since you can “wrap” your gift right in those attractive plastic bags they gift you at the checkout! Toss in all the junk food that you love the best – because if you love it, your partner will love it too, right? Or you wouldn’t be together. Me? I’d fill my basket/bag with Chocolate Covered Ritz Crackers, Cocoa Puffs, Coke, Peanut Butter M&Ms, and an Us Magazine with Jennifer Aniston on the cover. Because one of these times, she really will be pregnant. And I don’t want to miss out.
5. The Silent Treatment. You’ll probably get it anyway if you come home with any of these shitty gifts, so why not GIVE the gift of silence proactively? Your partner might not even realize what you are doing, but when they do, I guarantee it will be a laugh riot.
Valentine’s Day? Love it or hate it? Worst gift you ever received? Chime in below.