1. Chocolate – way worse if it’s in a heart-shaped box
Sure, chocolate’s delicious, but we don’t need any help indulging in cravings, so please spare us the temptation. Plus, any chump can grab a box of chocolate in line at the grocery store – it makes you look like you forgot, or worse, put zero thought into it.
2. Red velvet (unless it’s a red velvet cupcake, yum)
Whether it’s in clothing form or gracing the outside of a jewelry box, just leave it out of the equation. Velvet may be coming back in fashion, but that isn’t the reason you’re buying it, guys.
3. Fake flowers – especially the “flowers” that are actually rolled up undies
Fellas, if you need me to explain this one, you have bigger problems than deciding whether you should splurge for the fake lilies or stick with roses. Flowers are classic, cheap polyester from the dollar store arranged to look like flowers is shameful.
4. Cupid-themed attire
Diapers work for no man. Also, lack of hand-eye coordination/common sense can easily turn a well-intentioned surprise featuring a bow and arrow into a trip to the hospital. It’s nice to make it a day to remember, just maybe not with pliers and a gaping shoulder wound.
5. Chick flick marathons
Please ladies, give the guys a break. We “drag” them to romcoms (read = indulge in their fake resentment even after we’ve caught them watching the trailer in secret) all year. Valentine’s Day is already overkill on the pressured romance front.
6. The “funny” V-Day cards with ugly cartoon animals
Expressing loving feelings should not be done through a poorly-drawn, vaguely bear-like pudgy creature. It will not be ironic or funny.
7. Singing candygrams
Unless it’s meant as a joke at someone else’s expense, guys dressed up as cherubs singing or reciting poetry will never work (see: Cupid-themed attire).
8. Anything involving Whitney Houston or Celine Dion
Bad love song karaoke can be fun with the right crowd and flowing alcohol, but there is no way it can be pulled off as anything other than sad on V-Day. You might as well get eight cats.
9. Kissing stuffed animals
Yes, the ones with magnets in their mouths. I would say stuffed animals on the whole are generally verboten V-Day gifts, but that’d leave nothing for the awkward seventh-grade sorta-boyfriends, so just steer clear of the kissing ones, especially if they make sounds.
10. Couple picture gifts
I once saw a couple at the movies each wearing a t-shirt with the other person’s face inside a heart. They were pastel coloured. I wish I’d had a camera handy so the visual atrocity could be expressed to anyone even considering this, whether in t-shirt, mug or bumper sticker form.