It’s almost Valentine’s Day; the day when a half-naked cherub flits and flies about, randomly slinging arrows into people’s hearts.
Good thing Valentine’s Day doesn’t fall during hunting season, or someone might shoot back.
Women usually look forward to this day, but many men, on the other hand, see it as penance for Super Bowl Sunday.
We’ve been inundated with commercials touting this or that product as the perfect gift for the special day. Normally, it’s chocolates, jewelry and flowers. But I’ve also noticed some rather unusual gifts being advertised, things such as giant teddy bears and hooded footie pajamas. To me, they don’t make sense. One would hope that on this special day, men would want women to be cuddling with them, not some giant, overstuffed teddy bear. And I doubt that the sleep wear they imagine seeing her in that night covers her from head to toe.
These commercials sent me to the Internet to see if there were more personal gifts available. I found some cute ones, and a few that made me laugh really hard.
There’s a book called, “12 ways to say I love you.” It allows someone who might be romantically challenged to produce a heartfelt gift. Each page has a heading prompting the writer to fill in his or her personal information. For example, one page asks for the top five songs that make him think about you.
I thought the book was a wonderful thing, especially for people whose idea of a romantic note is “I cleaned the litter box. Love you.” I read on, impressed with some of the things that prompted the author to craft a sweet memento of the day.
That was, until I opened the page to what is basically a romantic Mad Lib. There was a full page, complete with underlined spaces where the author could fill in the blank with verbs, nouns, adjectives and so on.
The first line says, “There once was a (girl/guy) named (name) who wanted to take (name) on a romantic vacation to (location).” Did they really have to prompt the writer to fill in their names? And were they concerned that if they didn’t advise the writer for an actual location, they’d run the risk that a verb would be inserted?
On the bright side, at least it didn’t start with, “There once was a man from Nantucket.”
Along the same lines of producing a romantic, heartfelt note, one may also purchase “Message in a Bottle.” It comes with an empty bottle, some sand, a few tiny sea shells, and a piece of parchment paper. You’re instructed to write a love note (no prompts), roll it into the bottle, and give it to your paramour. And all for $24.99.
Good idea, but I think the price is awfully steep when you realize that most of that stuff can be picked up for free along any beach. And if a beach isn’t available, dollar stores are good sources for beach-themed knick knacks.
M&Ms will print your personalized love notes on their candies for only $49.99. While that’s sweet, it can be duplicated fairly well for much less. For about $8, you can pick up a 19.2-ounce bag of M&Ms (about the same amount as in the M&Ms offer), along with a $3 set of edible food coloring pens. How much more romantic would that be if one spent an hour or so writing love sentiments on the tiny morsels? By the way, FooDoodlers explicitly says, “great for any hard food surface.”
Coincidence or smart marketing?
I also ran across something called a personalized “romantic” novel. You provide answers to questions about you and your partner; things like eye color, nicknames, favorite food, music, and so on. Your personalized details get inserted throughout a 174-page romantic novel. Sounds cute, right? Until you read that the love scenes are explicit and that if you have children, you might want to keep the book under lock and key.
I’m fairly sure that this wouldn’t become a fun family heirloom.
For only $125, you can also hire a published poet to write a personalized poem for your loved one. But if Matt handed me a love poem written by someone named Lou, it might not have the meaning he was going for.
The bottom line is there are many ways to show a person how much you love them and it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture on a special day. Love is often shown in the little, day-to-day things. Love can be as simple as knowing that your wife had a bad day, so you pick up her favorite Chinese food for dinner. It can be an afternoon when your husband has had it with his boss and is at his breaking point. Then, when he checks his e-mail, he finds that you’ve written a heartfelt letter telling him how wonderful he is.
It can also be a note that says “I cleaned the litter box” set beside a bowl of M&Ms with handwritten expressions of love.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!