LOOK, WE'RE ALL some sort of hipster. Whether your "hipster" is vinyl, French press coffee, or writing Yelp reviews for urban goat farms, I get it, YOU'RE COOL! So before you start rolling your eyes and hollering about how greeting card companies invented Valentine's Day, hear me out: Just because the man invented it doesn't mean you can't enjoy it for yourself. It's a holiday about LOVE! ARE WE TOO COOL FOR LOVE NOW?
Movies and YM magazine ruined everyone's expectations of Valentine's Day—but the good news? Now is the time to rebuild! What if the jaded masses decided it wasn't just another Black Friday for fancy restaurants and B&Bs!? What if we took it back to honor the relationships that don't fit into the molds of pricy nights out and 1-800-Flowers?
Whether you're married, single, vigorously copulating, or totes single, you are SWEET on someone right now—and someone is sweet on you, too. Why don't you get that person a little something? I'm talking to you ladies, as well. Post-modern Valentine's Day is not about clueless men wandering around department stores looking for tennis bracelets and perfume! Here are just a few suggestions:
CANDY! Okay, fine, I happen to like Whitman's Samplers at Rite Aid. But there are also hella options for the locavore foodie types: Alma Chocolate, Missionary Chocolates, and Batch PDX are a few of my favorites. If you and your honey are on the casual (or the down-low) just get something they like. If someone gave me a Milky Way Dark and a Post-It note with "xoxo" on it, I'd swoon forever. Maybe your healthy/diabetic boo would enjoy a bag of Cuties. IT'S RIGHT THERE IN THE NAME, COME ON ALREADY.
JEWELRY! It's a traditional V-Day gift: a sparkly bauble, so precious and intimate, worn next to the tender skin of your beloved! But you're poor, right? Me too. Jewelry is probably out of reach for most folks, and even if my fuck buddy could afford it, jewelry makes me feel guilty. Blood diamonds aside, my relationships are not "tennis bracelet" serious. However, $10 in costume jewelry can make the same statement. Or go to Goodwill and pick out a piece that looks like something she already HAS. Of course, you can buy boys jewelry, too. But briefs are a nice way to say: "I think your body is worthy of adornments... especially your junk." If you want to buy him something shiny, try a tie clip. (Way cooler than archaic cufflinks.)
A TOKEN OF YOUR ADMIRATION! A favorite thing. Think belt buckle, flask, laces for their Timberlands, or batteries for their Xbox controller. Her favorite lip balm, a new water bottle, or journal. Are they a writer? We always want good pens. Don't let Say Anything ruin giving pens as gifts.
BOOKS! Generally I think books are too void of "bling" to make good V-Day presents. But you know your boo—maybe an X-Men comic or first edition is going to make your special someone all wet. For god's sake don't forget to write a note inside the cover. (On a Post-It if you don't want to drive down the collector's value... nerds.)
FLOWERS! Red roses are hack, but a dozen is right on the nose if you're going for an ironic/sincere V-Day. If you aren't used to buying flowers, here's a trick: Pick a color she/he likes, go to New Seasons or Sammy's Flowers and pick one or two stems (the nice person at the counter will make it look so cute). If your honey's first love is Mother Nature, try a tiny potted succulent. If your love is a cook, a rosemary bush or a sachet of herbs tied with a bow would be perfect.
DRUGS! Nothing crazy, of course. Think a dime bag and a Twix bar. (Not a vial of coke and $100 cash.)
GIFT CARDS? No. This isn't your nephew's bar mitzvah. Save the Starbucks card for your boss' birthday.
COUPONS FOR MASSAGES AND HUGS AND SHIT? NO. I know you're poor, but you can do better than this.
HOT SAUCE! Yes! Keep it local, like Aardvark and Portland Pepper Sauce Company.
EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS? Kill yourself.
If the boy I'm sleeping with (yup, just one, I'm all locked up for once!) is reading this, I'd like a tightly rolled joint and some mocha almond bark from Alma Chocolate with one stem of pink spray roses, please!
Fuck the man. I love you, guys.
Wishing you great love and good sex.