i have sort of mixed feelings about this heart-based holiday. i absolutely adore it when it’s done right…but done wrong, it can end up beyond cheesy. and if you’re solo, you’re forced to either act bitter or be depressed – not exactly ideal options.
my advice: nix the dozen red roses, and the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. scrap the expensive, romantic restaurant – save that for a random tuesday night. and ditch the expensive, overly glam gifts (unless you’re celebrating solo, in which case, decadent is the name of the game!).
i think valentine’s day should be about showing someone you love them. try sending valentines to a few of your loved ones this year – whether it’s the kiddie version from the drugstore, or something a bit more grown-up.
if you are celebrating a deux, i suggest skipping the electronics department and the mall jewelry stores. instead, bake him his favorite dessert, or pick up her favorite treat from a local bakery. order a pizza, and ask the store to pile it with pepperoni arranged in a heart shape (after way too much time working in a pizza parlor, i know firsthand they’ll be glad to do this). spend some time shopping for, and buying, a valentine’s card that really says something special….or, even better, write a long-winded message that tells your valentine what you love about them.
if you’re set on a retail expression of love, make it simple and thoughtful. not to discourage men from splurging, but i suggest remembering this is one holiday for which it really is the thought that counts, and you don’t have to go high-end to get her something that’s special and thoughtful. if she loves coffee, grab a sweet latte bowl from kim westad, or a really decadent china cup and saucer with a pattern she’d love. if she’s perpetually hopping into bed with frozen feet, these lovely rose-hued slippers will show her you’re paying attention.
for him, i love this idea from design*sponge to buy a beautiful (but masculine) throw and stitch a small message in a corner (a very simple project, even for someone as non-handy as me). i might pair this with a guy-friendly movie, and a card offering to snuggle up with him on the evening of his choice.
art is another fun and unique idea – something like a sweet and sentimental paper cut from rob ryan coveys the ooey gooey love stuff without your having to get creative and wordy, and it’s non-frilly enough to appeal to both sexes.
if all else fails, go for the element of surprise. reform the bedroom with a pair of sweet pillowcases, candles and low lighting, and leave an r-rated treat or two on his pillow (a little ‘his and hers’ lube, a blindfold…you get the idea).
oh, and if you’re solo…well, disregard all of the above. my recipe is to select a really wonderful, irresponsible gift for yourself (no reason to be left out of the retail frenzy, after all), and order takeout from your favorite restaurant. have them pack it up to go, grab a few girlfriends and call it a party. you’ll definitely have more fun than all of those poor couples paying $200/person for the “special valentine’s menu”.
happy weekend, everyone…we’ll see you back here on monday with a special valentine’s gift from yours truly. don’t miss it!