may not need a saint to get your love on, but what an excuse
for boundless affection! Start early. Give your sweet a
daily little valentine bearing a special message and maybe
a tiny gift, such as a preferred flower or a coupon for
a double bubble bath. Your finale should revisit an early
element of your relationship, like the restaurant of your
second date. All activities should conclude with a root-beer
float with two straws, eyes locked in infatuation.
are, the two of you are still in the starry-eyed phase of
your (hopefully) long life together, so almost any reasonably
romantic/thoughtful gift will make her happy, including
Valentine’s Day standards like flowers, candy, wine, lingerie
and the like. But if you really want to impress your spouse
and show her she made a good choice, give her something
created by you specifically with her tastes in mind: a favorite
dinner, a mixed tape of songs you’ve enjoyed together, a
day trip including visits to favorite museums, stores, outdoor
spots, etc., culminating in dinner at that special restaurant
you’ve always talked about trying. Extra credit: Give her
something that shows you’re in it for the long haul; say,
savings bonds dedicated your future children’s education.
(Newlywed: Britney Division)
hitched a little, shall we say, impulsively? Then skip the
over-the-top romantic stuff, since this probably is your
last Valentine’s Day together anyway. Give him something
to make sure you’re forever etched in his memory. Right
now, your relationship is about little else besides drinking
too much champagne and having impossibly wild sex—and years
later, a photographic (or videographic) memento might just
bring a smile to his face. Then again, if the idea of recording
your carnal escapades gives you the creeps—or if you don’t
want your next husband to come across it on the Internet
someday—then consider giving your soon-to-be-set-free mate
the ultimate forget-me-not gift: a tattoo.
(Old Ball and Chain)
the lingerie, the candy, the flowers (flowers are always
nice, but she’ll appreciate your budgetary wisdom if you
wait till the post-Valentine’s price reduction). And those
sex-life-rejuvenating drugs and assorted other gizmos aimed
squarely at your demographic: Trust us, she’s not interested.
Have you been listening to what she really wants? C’mon
buddy, she tells you every day! SHE WANTS A CLEAN HOUSE!
So buy her the biggest, baddest vacuum cleaner you can find—with
attachments for every hard-to-reach-the-dirt situation imaginable—and
watch her face light up like an expectant bride. Better
yet, skip the vacuum cleaner and just pay someone to clean
the house. Once a week. Now that just might make
you seem sexy again.
was once believed that birds began to pair by mid-February,
perhaps an informative glimpse at the pressure behind this
holiday and its romantic tradition for us humans. Like those
birds coupling to perpetuate the species, your practical
union calls for a gift of indubitable utility—and nothing
says codependence like a new backpack or an auto emergency
this is a pairing that probably precludes romantic love,
yours is a deeply platonic one. Since the pressure to impress
is off, you should enjoy it: Drink champagne, eat loudly
and sloppily, dance, and laugh at the humdrum plans your
committed friends have. Buy exorbitantly expensive chocolates
(or treat of choice) and feed them to each other.
excited! This Valentine’s Day, it looks like you may actually
have a valentine! For once, you have your sights on someone
who may just be willing to return your amorous feelings.
So, since nothin’ says lovin’ like putting in some serious
contemplating time to decide what you’re going to give your
crush for this holiday, think about it, for chrissake.
Don’t just go out and buy the typical flowers or chocolate,
the lingerie or sappy cards. Make your crush dinner, a mixed
CD, or—if you want to be more suggestive—buy some satin
sheets. Put some effort into your gift-giving this holiday,
so you can be as pleased to give it as your crush is to
we understand, you’re in the state of mind where you think
it actually may be possible to attract the cute sweatband-wearing
gal you see every morning on the treadmill at the gym. Before
you come to your senses and realize that it’s likely she’ll
never go for the likes of you, and that she probably already
has a boyfriend who could very likely beat you to a pulp
if he sees you ogling her for too long (oh, and by the way,
he’s watching you from the weight bench where he’s pressing,
well, a lot), you consider what to present her with
as a please-be-my-valentine. Well, buddy, number one, don’t
get your hopes up. She’s not gonna go for it. But if you’re
still willing to try, we recommend something used—maybe
even used by you, so it doesn’t look like you put too much
effort into mulling over a gift for her. How about your
favorite T-shirt with the cute saying on it that she vocally
admired the other day? Oh, one more thing: If you notice
her boyfriend coming up behind her when you give her your
thoughtful present, run.
know he’s noticed you, because he purposefully bumps into
you in the hallway or lets you cut in line at the water
cooler. You tend to lock eyes with him just a little longer
than is necessary. You haven’t really talked too much, but
you can’t help but feel that he may be the One! Even if
you’re not sure that getting him a Valentine’s Day gift
is appropriate, you decide to anyway. A fun, not-too-forward
gift we like is Magnetic Poetry, the Romance Edition. This
amusing gift is suitable to keep at work (so it’s not overly
personal), and it might clue him in to what Valentine’s
Day treat you’d like to get from him: a date.
all had them. The inexplicable, lustful, nonsensical crush
on the dim-witted bimbo or self-centered meathead whom you
would never, ever have a relationship with. It’s
fun for a while, but don’t get your heart set on wooing
them. They’ll either forget about you or become attached
like superpowered magnets, or worse, leeches (worse, of
course, because they try to suck the blood out of you).
So don’t try to explain this bizarre attraction to the dummy-you’d-never-date-in-real-life,
just have fun with it before you tire of it. We suggest
that for these crush anomalies, you get something shiny
to hold their attention. Maybe a big bag of chocolate kisses
to quell her sweet tooth—they are wrapped in foil, after
all. Or a gleaming chrome hood ornament to adorn his already
shimmering egomobile. And our personal advice to you: Snap
out of it now before you permanently lower your standards.
the gift to your incredible self, we’re not going to suggest
the clichéd trip to the spa, the massage, the new hairdo
usually suggested to make you feel better about yourself,
since you feel so losery about not having a significant
other to share the special day with. Because, guess what!
You don’t feel losery, and you’re happy by yourself. You
don’t buy into all that Valentine’s Day bullshit anyway.
What we suggest is to savor a night alone with a bottle
of cabernet, a plate of Town House crackers and cheese,
and a good new book. Good picks just released this week
include The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory, The
Last Juror by John Grisham and PS, I Love
You by Ceceilia Ahem. Read and relax, and good for you
on being wonderful and happy by your damn self.
week you’re in love; the next, you’re in the doghouse. It’s
an on-again, off-again, on-again (for a day or two) kind
of thing for you, oh, king/queen of the emotional merry-go-round.
So why not butter him/her up with one of the oh-so-cute
“Bad Ass Bitchy Bears” available at www.wonderfullywacky.com.
You’ll be sleeping on the couch again once the little devil
starts talking, but won’t it be worth it for those few moments
you can’t make up your mind, eh? You’re definitely in “like,”
but you’re not sure you want to tie yourself down to anything
“serious” or “long-term” right now. That’s OK, we totally
understand where you’re coming from. That’s why we recommend
you give the one you love—er, like—a gift certificate
from the Spectrum 8 Theaters. A date to the movies is pretty
noncommittal—hell, you don’t even need to carry on a conversation—and
if you’re really not sure about continuing things, you can
always include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
few broken lamps, gouged couches and torn chairs. A carpet
with burn marks, frayed nerves and pulled hair. Are these
a few of your favorite things? Probably not, but when the
conversation heats up between the two of you, the fur starts
to fly. It’s unavoidable. But you’re communicating,
and that’s a good thing. How about investing in an après-battle
first-aid kit? A tube of Krazy® Glue, some carpet shampoo,
and a gift certificate to Pier 1 Imports to replace the
wrecked living-room furniture ought to do the trick. And
don’t forget a few extra throw pillows to make the inevitable
make-up sex more comfortable.
in sin—and loving it
long as they thought you had separate bedrooms and were
considering marriage the ’rents were OK with it. But it’s
becoming more and more clear that you have no intention
of disrupting your unwedded bliss any time soon. You have
separate bank accounts but one CD collection, separate tax
returns but one big ol’ bed. You’ve adopted the word “partner”
from your gay friends, and taken a lot of teasing from your
single ones. This V-Day is time to glory in what you’ve
got. Suggested gifts: a nonengagement ring, to mean whatever
you want it to mean; Unmarried to Each Other: The Essential
Guide to Living Together as an Unmarried Couple, by
Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller; a weekend at a cute B&B
where everyone will assume you’re married but it will be
none of their business.
in sin—practicing Catholic
cheaper this way. . . . That’s really my room, though I
never sleep there. . . . It’s just temporary. Let’s face
it guys, you’re shacking up. It’s really not so bad, is
it? In fact you seem pretty chipper about it most days.
Suggested gifts: caller ID, so you can compose yourself
before talking to each other’s parents; something for the
kitchen (lemon zester? soup pot?) that will belong—gasp!—to
both of you; an old-style date in which one of you
gets ready at friend’s house, picks up a bouquet of flowers,
and then waits patiently for the other outside the door
of your shared abode.
a hobby you share can strengthen a relationship. Your hobby
is more, um, social than most, but if you’re both game,
it just might give your Valentine’s Day a zing that even
the self-absorbed newlyweds would envy. Suggested gifts:
on-the-go condom packages designed for car, purse, and briefcase;
The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Catherine A.
Liszt; a promise to try to talk your hot best friend’s spouse
into one experimental night.
in sin—later in life
of angst (mostly) and hotter than your grown kids could
ever imagine, this relationship was worth waiting for. But
in the meantime, you’ve each acquired a couple decades worth
of redundant stuff that makes your love nest a little crowded.
Suggested gifts: anything that won’t take up space—theater
tickets, gift certificates for a massage, a promise to look
at all your partner’s old photos before bundling them off
to a rented storage facility.
One Who Got Away
We’ve made a few. Look, we admit it: We haven’t always been
the honey-do-you-want-backrub-or-just-an-hour-of Tantric-sex-focused-solely-on-your-needs
kinds of romantic partners you would assume us to be today.
Yes, we are the left-leaning alternative and as such far
better, more passionate and sensitive lovers than you’ll
find at other more centrist publications (we have conclusive
scientific data); but we’ve had some rough patches just
like normal humans. And, from time to time, we still flip
through our photo albums, ruefully thinking, “What was I
smoking to let this one go?” You’ve probably been in the
same boat, and so you know it’s impossible to gift wrap
a richly deserved apology. Instead we suggest a whole stack
of self-help books—The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem,
Feeling Good Feels Better, Getting to Yes,
hell, try The Tao According to Pooh—and a highlighter.
A well-used highlighter. The books aren’t for your former
flame, dummy. Read ’em, read ’em closely. Take notes. Then
present ’em to your ex as evidence that you’ve acknowledged
and addressed your faults. It may not win back the relationship
you blew, but it greatly increases the chances that you
won’t screw up the next one. And won’t that make your ex
One Who Won’t Go Away
is no adhesive so infuriatingly durable as that of romantic
obsession, and—unless you’re inhumanly cruel—it really is
more painful to be the unrequiting party than to be the
one shunned. So how, as a good and kind person, do you acknowledge
another’s devotion to you when you’d just as soon be left
alone with Green Acres reruns? Match.com, my friend.
Or any one—or more—of the other 6 million online dating
services. Buy your presumptive paramour a membership and
offer your enthusiastic copywriting advice and expertise.
Spring for studio-quality photos, audio clips, streaming
video—whatever’s necessary. In the long run, it’s more than
worth the expense. Sell, sell, sell! Then you’ll be free
to get back to your first love, digital cable.
One You’d Introduce to Your Current Partner
is a tricky one. Of course, if you run into your old mate
with any frequency, it’s a lot easier if you don’t have
hustle your current flame into the coat closet until the
danger passes; but, on the other hand, a warm-and-fuzzy
relationship between past and present has its threats as
well. Your ex is your ex for a reason, we assume. You don’t
want these two sharing drinks, and bonding over just what
a raging shrew/inconsiderate boor you are. If you’re going
to make this introduction, you’re obliged to keep the ex
happier than you did in the first place. We suggest something
addictive—and you should already have some insight on their
weaknesses. If it’s caramel corn, spread it around your
pad like potpourri; if they had some insatiable yen for
your mother’s Hungarian goulash, provide it by the bucket.
You detect some souring of your new sweety, and the supply
is cut. The first dose is free, then they’ve got to work
One You’d Never Introduce to Your Current Partner
of all, you do know that you’re fooling yourself, right?
This can’t possibly work. But if you’re going to buy a Valentine’s
Day gift for an ex whom you’re hiding in some way from your
present playmate, then go whole hog: Admit to yourself that,
though you couldn’t stand anything about that person’s personality,
his/her very noxiousness was and still is an inexplicably
powerful turn-on; buy a steamer trunk full of sex toys,
a week in a hotel room with reinforced headboards and thick
walls, and a video camera; spend that week in a Zeppelin
circa ’73 hedonistic haze, and guard that videotape with
your life. It will likely be your only companion in the
very near future.
buy anything. Just write a convincing description of what
you would buy them if you were to have a real-live face-to-face
relationship—which, of course, you have no intention of
doing. Then get back to describing how the wool sweater
of your cheerleader’s outfit sure is itchy in this stuffy
basement rec room. Do you mind if I take it off?