Valentine’s Gift-Guide for the Non-Romantic


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!

2The 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.

(c) Kyle Hilton Illustration

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.


About Cindy Reed

I hate pants.
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17 Responses to Valentine’s Gift-Guide for the Non-Romantic

  1. Amy says:

    Love this: “Great gift. Maybe next time you could just hand me some pants to hem. It would take less time.”

  2. Flipping the mattress is a great Valentine gift! I should have thought of that when we had a flippable mattress. I’m thinking since I’m too lazy to even get up and get slippers for my freezing feet right now, I’d like Tom to drive me to the grocery store to replace his work lunch food that I’ve eaten. That’s romantic, right?

  3. Sandy says:

    So I made coffee for him and gave him a WHOLE bag of peanut butter M&Ms. Pretty sure he loved it all. 😉

  4. Those Breaking Bad dolls are creeeeepy. Perfect!

    And I do think coffee is how to stay on my good side. Flowers? Meh.

  5. Susan Tomlinson says:

    Before Sweet Guy and I actually married about 4 years ago (I sort of can’t quite remember without looking at the keepsake copy date), his idea of “Happy Valentine’s Day” was to break up with me sometime during the previous week. This happened two or three times during our seven years together prior to buying a house together and ultimately getting hitched. After the last time he did this (excuses being “I’m not sure I want kids, and you can’t have any”; “You are older than me and right now close to the age my mom was when she died young….”;) I kind of told him that if he was hoping for someone better, he needed to look around because I actually didn’t see any line forming! Funny thing, this weekend we went to several concerts and I told him that was “fine” for Valentine’s Day date equivalent and that a mid-week special dinner wasn’t necessary. Then we viewed this week’s episode of the TV program “Mike and Molly” where Molly had told Mike that they were saving for their wedding, so they did not have to do dinner, chocolates or flowers. Of course she didn’t mean it and the crazies ensued! Poor Sweet Guy got all unnerved and kept asking ‘you sure you don’t want to go out to a special dinner?” I just found the second card he left me in the refrigerator!

  6. Me says:

    Rami actually laughed out loud at the Silent Treatment idea. And we loved the “buy a bag of groceries” gift.


  7. Cindy Moy says:

    Yesterday was Valentine’s Day?

  8. Red says:

    A cup of coffee is an OUTSTANDING gift for most people. I used to pick up an extra cup whenever I stopped for coffee on my way to work, just to be nice.

    Of course now I can’t afford the extra cup…what with $3 gift cards and all!

  9. Josh says:

    You had me at ‘Taco Night’.

  10. Claire Lopez says:

    Can we switch the tighty whiteys for some boxers? Please?!

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  12. Jen LC says:

    i got mine early – over the weekend, she picked up all the dog poop in the backyard that was previously hidden by snow. i’ll take that over stupid flowers ANY DAY.

    i also kind of like the idea of galentine’s day:

    but just as i posted that, i realized that my valentine’s day is ALREADY kind of galentine’s so i’m going to stop typing now.

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