5 Valentine’s Day Gift Fails
None of us want to admit it, but as much as we tell ourselves, and our loved ones, that “it’s the sentiment, not the gift, that counts,” we’re kind of lying. When your date shows up at the door with carnations drenched in food coloring, a creepy corset, or best of all, that ubiquitous teddy bear holding a big red heart, the struggle is real. Chances are, you not only feel some combination of infantilized and underwhelmed, you feel simply misunderstood. Nothing feels more superficial than getting upset over a gift, but really? If true love is a plush animal from the pharmacy checkout line, what’s the point? [Cue sad violins, existential crisis, and pending breakup.]
Guess what? You’re not alone. For as many things that go right with gestures of love, they also go terribly wrong. You told us yourselves. So break out the bon bons and have a good laugh reading about other peoples’ battle wounds.
1. The Worst Arrangement
My boyfriend and I had just started dating long distance, so we couldn’t be together for Valentine’s Day. Toward the end of the day, he texted that a surprise was waiting for me at an address I didn’t recognize. The location was 45 minutes away, and it was pouring rain, but I got in my car, typed the address into the GPS, and hoped for something spectacular. My GPS said, “Marshall’s.” I thought it had to be a joke, but he told me it wasn’t Marshall’s and to just trust him. After white-knuckling my way through the storm, I arrived at the address: an Edible Arrangements store in a strip mall next to Marshall’s. Angry that I just drove to pick up my own gift from a company that delivers, I stormed inside to sign for the chocolate-covered strawberry arrangement. “Wish we could be together on Valentine’s Day,” read the card. I texted him, “Thank you for the gift. Did you know that Edible Arrangements delivers?” He wrote back, “Yes, but it costs $13.” That was it.
2. Freakin’ CVS Jewelry Tree
My boyfriend of two years bought me a freakin’ jewelry tree from CVS for Valentine's Day one year. Seriously? You shouldn't have gone so far out of your way to stop at the pharmacy on your way home. I couldn't help but say, "wow babe...a jewelry tree? For all the jewelry you have never given to me…” We broke up four months later.
3. Yah Gurl, U My Boo
My high school boyfriend had aspirations of becoming a white rapper. It was kind of cool at the time, but he wasn’t exactly Eminem. On Valentine's Day, he recorded a rap song for me. Aside from lyrics like, "yah gurl, u my boo" and his awkward head-bobbing to the beat, the rap was thoughtful, and I appreciated the time he took to make something for me. But then, he made me listen to it on repeat, analyzing every. Single. Lyric. He wanted to make sure I knew how great he was at rhyming to a beat. (I’d say decent at best.)
When we finally got in his car to make our way to a Valentine's dinner reservation, he rolled down his windows and started blasting the song. Everyone was staring, so I shrunk down into my seat, hoping no one recognized me. But then he turned to me and said, "If you love me and support my rap career, you’ll play my music loud enough for the world to hear." Definitely didn’t love him that much. Fast forward to my mother's fancy Easter brunch and he showed up wearing a red velvet suit. You know, because "that's what rappers wear.” Needless to say, the rapping career lasted longer than our relationship. I'm hoping he found a "boo" whose more supportive of his rapping dreams than I was.
4. Pillow Talk
For my first Valentine’s day after getting married, my husband gave me a pillow. A PILLOW?! He said that I mentioned liking a random pillow at Nordstrom. Then I cried. Because THERE’S NOTHING SEXY ABOUT A PILLOW.
5. Tiffany & NO
My boyfriend and I had been dating for almost a year, and for Valentine’s Day, he surprised me with a little blue box. You know, the kind every girl wants. However, growing up with a mother who loves anything from Tiffany & Co., I was a little suspicious about the wrapping job. But, inside the box, was a very sweet pendant necklace. I wore it for a few days, but I couldn’t shake the way the gift had been wrapped. I took my mother to the local Tiffany & Co. store to see if we could “return it.” The sales person told us that the necklace had been purchased years before. Um, what? When I confronted my boyfriend, he admitted that he originally bought it for his ex-girlfriend years ago, but that he still thought it was a really nice gift for someone special. Thanks, but no thanks. We ended it.
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