Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Ah Tuesday. The sudden realization that you only have less than a week to buy something for your significant other in honor of a saint getting beheaded for marrying random shit. I'm very thankful that I don't live in those dark ages. Mainly because with my mail-order certificate I can now legally marry things and my acts of marrying pigeons to snakes in the park would get me burned in the middle of a village. Much like Saint Valentine.

Where was I? Oh yes, so we're less than a week to the dreaded Valentines Day. A day in which the church once again rode piggy back on the pagan celebration of Lupercalia, a fertility festival. Unlike the corporate Valentines day that you know of today, the young men back then would get goat/dog skins to whip girls asses in order to give them more fertility. Yup, it certainly is not your typical Valentines gift.



While ladies these days just don't appreciate a good whipping, well not all of them, you're going to have to find another way of showing your love. Because if there's one thing that's a given is that if you don't give anything.. well then, it's not going to be very pleasant. Know something else that women just don't appreciate? The skulls our boys in uniform send home. I guess flowers are still the universal gift...

So here we are at the cusp of the most god awful day of the year. Valentines day and with it comes the responsibility of getting your significant other a gift. Okay, let me correct that. It's the responsibility of guys to get their girlfriends a gift. Because let's face it, it's a female holiday. Guys typically get sex as their Valentines day gift. Do I need to point out that getting sex as a gift is like giving someone air for their birthday. If you're settling for that, you might as well kill yourself.



But since I'm not a complete asshole and I can at least understand what you need to do in order to tread water in this pay to play society, I'm going to help you out here in finding what should be the perfect gifts for your girlfriend. As my informed reading public, I do carry some responsibility for your safe passing into surviving this day with your significant other. And even though you wont see me celebrating, that doesn't mean I can't give you my opinion on this matter... So if you HAVE to do something, here's my suggestions;

Flowers
I learned at a young age that Flowers are really pointless. Ah yes, time to let you into my soul and bare witness to my humiliation. The first crush.. well, first high school crush, so to speak. Marisol. She was a shy looking girl. Glasses.. very much the less desired of girls in high school. By no means popular. I went ahead and got the fucking bright idea of getting her Flowers. Totally embarrassing here in front of the class. Not my goal, but it happened that way.

Now the kicker here is that since her last name started with a J and she sat within a chair or two behind me due to alphabetical seating chart, it was not the most happiest of outcomes as she did not appreciate the gesture of roses. Yeah, it was a little much for someone who wasn't in a relationship with the other person.



What you should learn from this story is this - Flowers are very cliche and very generic. They also don't speak to the person as anything special. Let's remember, this is the day that EVERY GOD DAMN PERSON WILL BE GETTING THEIR S.O. ROSES. It's not original, it's not creative and if you're with a guy who does this, you're pretty much settling for mediocrity.

If you can get away with buying Flowers on Feb 15th, by all means do so. You'll be saving a lot of money on those same flowers. But just remember that it's still beyond cliche and since everyone else is getting flowers, shop can mark them up by at least 40%.

Know the better method here? Get her flowers on March 23rd. Why? It's just a random day. That random act of kindness will completely surprise her. It will also do the job of reminding her that you still love her even on these days that Hallmark isn't telling you to BUY BUY BUY! You should also go with live flowers in some dirt. They will live for much longer, meaning that the memory of you getting her some pretty flowers will remain on her mind when you screw up and do something wrong, as well as you getting more bang for your buck.



Cards
I have to say that cards are really silly in general. So let me get this straight, you have to get Hallmark to express your feelings for you? Are we 12 again and passing around notes asking do you like me [ ] Yes [ ] No - Please check one. Do you really need some card maker putting words in your mouth? I just don't get it. I can easily get a pen and paper and write and write and write... Will it make sense? Probably not.

It will be like these blog post in terms of rambling, but you know what? That comes from the heart. It's a whole lot more meaningful than some generic line in a hallmark card. Besides that, I think someone getting a hand written letter shows a lot more affection than most other things as it does come from the heart. I would love a hand written letter on that day, why wouldn't you? It shows that someone got an archaic pen or pencil and put it against paper and spilled their emotions out to you. Now that's meaning.



Then don't get me started on those over sized ones. I mean, who even buys those? Do the trophy wives pick those up for their elderly sugar daddy to make sure they can read it and update their living will in order to get them on it before they croak? It goes hand in hand with those giant teddy bears.

Stuffed Bears/ Stuffed Animals

Is your girlfriend 13? If yes? Please contact your local police station and turn yourself in. If no? Then really, there's no reason why you should be giving your girlfriend a stuffed animal. I think this should be the new rule to anyone who is old enough to buy alcohol. It would make it a lot easier in dealing with those stuffed animals given by their ex's. You know the ones - The pile of stuffed animals on her bed.. Yeah, guess what. All those are just little reminders of the ex that will linger on forever and will lead to a fight between the two of you eventually.



I'm not going to be heartless, but let's face it, those are just constant reminders for her of the boyfriends of the past. You really can't any more clear than that. Not to mention that while it is cute for them and may be sweet, what does it really say? "Here, I'm emotionally detached enough that I need some third party assistance in giving you a hug or comforting you".

Then you have the build-a-bear places. I'm not sure I ever got the point of these places. You mean to tell me that I need to pay a higher fee in order to make my own than it would cost for me to get one made and shipped from China? Ha! I have no desire to be treated as child labor, so perhaps I'm just not the demographic to go for these build-a-bear places. And what about the over sized ones?



Those are just disturbing. It's also saying that you are trying too hard. She is going to leave you for a total jerk who wont be smothering her. Don't worry though, she'll come crying back to you every now and then when she is really treated bad by him. Though she'll mainly be asking you for advice on how she can change and tame such a bad boy.

Gift Baskets

This really doesn't do you any favors. It looks like you didn't try hard enough. It really does seem like you just ran into the CVS /Walgreens and picked up the first thing you saw. Everything in the basket, no matter how expensive it may have been, looks like it's cheaply bought and tossed together. It's just not worth it.




Not to mention that gift baskets are the shotgun blast of gifts. It's for those who have no idea what to give the other person, so they load up a small gift basket with as much crap as possible and then just pull the trigger and hope that you hit the target with at least one buck shot. Half the stuff will never be used. A lot of the items are dirt cheap crap that you really don't like anyway. It's what you give your doctor for the Holidays, not something you would give your significant other for Valentines day. At this point, you might as well NOT get her anything.

Chocolates



I think this is the ultimate in "Get you fat so you can't leave me by trying to look much hotter" moves. It's "sweets for my sweets" excuse really doesn't fly. Not to mention that it wasn't more than just a month and a half ago that after that midnight kiss they made a resolution to losing some weight or start eating healthier. Here you are thinking about getting them some chocolates. How thoughtful of you. What the fuck are you thinking?

The most typical form of chocolates is in a heart shaped box. No, it's not just a song by Nirvana that reached number one on the billboard charts in 1993. It's also the cheap plastic wrapped and more than likely poorly made box of cheap chocolates. The mars bar and three musketeer bar at the check out lane probably has more coco beans in it than the entire box of chocolates.



I think the Cigarette Smoking man from the X-files said the best thing about a box of chocolates and well, I can't compete with it, so why try?
Life is like a box of chocolates. A cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. Unreturnable because all you get back is another box of chocolates. So you're stuck with this undefinable whipped mint crap that you mindlessly wolf down when there's nothing else left to eat. Sure, once in a while there's a peanut butter cup or an English toffee. But they're gone too fast and the taste is... fleeting. So, you end up with nothing but broken bits filled with hardened jelly and teeth-shattering nuts. And if you're desperate enough to eat those, all you got left is an empty box filled with useless brown paper wrappers.
See that there? That's how crappy a box of chocolate really is. As crappy as life itself. Considering that your S.O. is pretty much your life, just imagine what it says about her. BAZINGA!

Not to mention that it does very on the person. Chances are you can't remember your girlfriends favorite color, let alone her favorite candy. This is also another one of those buck shots of an attempt to get it right. My girlfriend loves a specific kind of See's candy. I'll be damned if I can remember which one it is. I think I can if I just see the package as it's one of those off the beaten track mix. But you see what I'm saying, it's just too much confusion, and while any chocolate in general wont be turned down, if you're going to shoot for that fat ass, then perhaps you should gain it on something that the person likes.



Then of course you can always get her a See's Candy workers costume. I'm sure that will go great in the bedroom when you're role playing. And speaking of bed room fun...

Pajamas

I'm not a big fan of pajamas in general. When I was little I don't ever recall having a pair of pajamas. I slept in clothes or just in my underwear. In fact, I think I mostly slept in clothing. I was sort of a never nude. Hell, for the longest time I would keep my clothing on till I was just about the step into the shower and wouldn't take socks or pants off or anything. So the idea of sleeping in Pajamas never really clicked with me.

It was only up until the last few years that I even started sleeping in my underwear/nude(TMI)/or with Pajama bottoms. So when I see ads from Pajama Gram pop up more and more as we go into the Valentines day festivity, I just have to wonder.. what the fuck?

First off, if you go to their website, you'll see some hot model who is clearly pushing up her cleavage to show off the pajamas in ways that unless you slept in a bra, your bust will not be coming out of that top. So let's toss the idea that it's even remotely sexy out the window based on that image.



I get the appeal of pajamas under other circumstances. They're warm and comfortable when it's cold. I guess living in either Los Angeles or Florida has afforded me the luxury of not knowing the cold harsh North East winters. But please don't pass it off as remotely sexy. It's not. In fact, it's also a mood killer in some cases.

There you are about to get intimate and in the moment. You start kissing each other, hands are starting to roam and clothing is starting to drop off. Let me get this straight, you take off your cloths.. AWESOME.. and then put on new layer of clothing? What?! That's not going to be productive in getting it on. It's like when you're playing Mario Brothers and you work your way through the castle to find the Princess, only to find out that she's in another Castle. You just have to start all over on your mission for undress. Let's take some examples;

Fleece Pajamas



I don't get this. I've seen winter clothing that is far more revealing and sexy than this. This is as bad as just lumping on some robe or some blanket and calling it a day. It's not sexy. It doesn't show any cleavage, it's not form fitting and so whatever curves you have aren't going to be showing.

In fact, the only thing really showing will be a lump of fabric that is going to make your very lovely curves look less appealing or totally hidden. There's also no way to get in there. What you're saying with this full outfit is that it's going to be as difficult as programing your VCR as it will be to get you out of these clothing if "business time" is going to happen.

Hoodie and Footie Pajamas



I'm not even sure where to start with this one. Am I suppose to be turned on by an outfit that looks like the bunny pajamas that kid in A Christmas Story wears? How is this sexy? How is this even remotely mature? If you have your girlfriend asking for this pair of pajamas you might as well question her mindset as it's really not all right up there.

Yes, it does have a zipper in the front, so if something is going to happen, there's at least that. But really, zippers aren't the safest in terms of sexual gear. The last thing you want to hassle with on Valentines day.. or any day for that matter is going to the emergency room because your girlfriends nipple got caught in the zipper or she pinched her clit and it got stuck while zipping up/down. Not to mention that you want to run the risk of putting your penis in near relation to a zipper? You're a braver soul than I. Do you also actually use the zipper to piss in your jeans?

Jewelry

No. Just no. It's very cliche and you're more than likely only going to be the same stupid heart shaped pendant that everyone else is getting everyone else's girlfriend. It's not going to mean much and it's going to be very specific.



If you must get them something in the line of Jewelry, limit yourself to $20. Yes, that's right. I said $20. You don't want to go over that because really, it's Valentines day and if you do go over that you're just going to be setting yourself up for future failure. More on that later..

But it is possible to only do the $20 dollar limit with this, you just have to get creative. If I was to get something for my girlfriend, and let's be honest here, I've already bashed on this holiday so much that I'm not doing anything.. PERIOD, I would go with the local artist/crafts to make something that is more personal. Browsing a local small shop like LOVE NAIL TREE, for example, comes up with a lot of great under $15 bucks gifts that look a lot more unique and special than anything found at a jewelry place.

Gift Cards
I don't get this one. Especially if you are married or in a very serious relationship with the person. Why are you going to buy them a gift card to some place when they already have control of half of your money anyway. If you're married then you already share a bank account. A gift card is just pointless.



An iPod

I wasn't going to mention this since, who the fuck gets someone an iPod for Valentines day? But I saw this ad for these things the other day in my e-mail and well, I just found them completely stupid in every possible way. This is not Christmas. Christmas was a couple of weeks ago. Hell, less than 8 weeks ago. Do you really need another big ticket item gift like this so soon?

Look at this shit. Come on Steve Jobs, aren't you set with the iPad to milk that for a while and not have to come back to this shit thrown on the wall to see what sticks sort of mentality by milking these iPods for every last squeeze?



I just don't get it. Why would you want to give someone you care about an iPod for Valentines day? It just doesn't make sense. If they wanted one, they would have gotten one for Christmas. And it doesn't make it any more romantic to get one on some love day.

You want to share music with them? Something that would be a lot more romantic would be to make a mix tape/cd for the other person. You can buy the music off iTunes and just burn it for them. Simple as that and it wont cost you about $100 in a silly iPod that she most likely already has by now anyway.

Dinner

This one.. well, this one is tricky. I'll touch on it more in a future blog post, but let's just put it this way, you want to be out eating on this night as much as you want to be out starting your holiday shopping on Christmas Eve. Not to mention that any place you go will more than likely have a pre-fixed menu. So you're not even going to be able to order off that if you're going to your favorite place to eat.

You don't want to be eating out on Valentines day. Just don't do it. If you're going to try to do anything here, make it enjoyable by making some food at home. If you're that terrible of a cook and can't watch an episode of Good Eats, then just order out and stay in for the night. Snuggling would be a lot more enjoyable than dealing with the outside world.



I think the important thing to remember is that you don't want to set the bar too high. You don't want to hear it in a month or two that you don't bring them flowers anymore or that you don't go out dancing anymore. For me, there will be no celebrating. There will be no eating out. I think I make my opinions pretty clear about my feelings on the day and how it really doesn't mean anything.

If you're willing to do these things on any other day of the year, then what makes them so needed or special on Valentines day? I already get my girlfriend flowers throughout the year as the season for them comes and goes. I already treat her with nice things. Just keep that in mind, if you do these little things here and there through the year, Valentines becomes pretty meaningless.

And even though I look that white lie "I don't care what we do" in the face many times, I never blink. Why yes, it can be nothing more than a test. And while failing this test will not make you a happy camper or the receiver of sex for some time, I think that if you're able to treat them right through out the year, then it's not like it matters that you avoided a very corporate and generic holiday that makes a gesture into a forced move.



In the end it just comes down to your own relationship. Does your S.O. need all that stuff to be happy? You tell me. But whatever you do, just don't take them to see Valentine's Day. What is this, Christmas with "It's a wonderful life"? It's not like you need to treat a corporate holiday with its own movie. Oh yes, why not milk the fact that couples are going to be looking to a movie to go see on that weekend. But god damn, that movie looks awful.

1 comment:

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