Paul and I have had a smoother marriage since I stopped wanting us to exchange gifts on Valentine’s Day and anniversaries: Paul doesn’t like buying gifts for those occasions, and I don’t like getting gifts that come with a heavy sigh of obligation, and it’s hard to buy a similarly romantic/significant gift for a guy, and I get uptight about money—so overall it started feeling like it wasn’t a good idea for us as a couple.
Every so often my wish for a Significant Gift outweighs this, as for example on our tenth anniversary when I said ahead of time that I would like Expensive Earrings of His Choice, please, to wear sentimentally on all subsequent anniversaries, and I got him something unromantic for his computer—but for the most part we skip it. I still enjoy giving the kids a Valentine’s day gift, and I enjoy the fun of their classroom exchanges, and I still like Valentine’s Day decor and wearing pink/red that day and so forth.
I’m always interested to hear how other couples handle it. Some people who like to buy flowers are partnered with people who like to receive them. Some people who like to go out for dinner are partnered with people who like to, too. Some people who like lingerie are partnered with people who feel like it’s a gift for themselves. …And some people are not paired quite so neatly, and have to figure things out.
What I’d like to know today is what you’d LIKE to receive for Valentine’s Day—if for example you could have your same significant other, but replace the cells in their brain responsible for Valentine’s Day gifts. I’d also love to hear what you normally do, or what you’re likely to get instead—but I think it would be fun to do a sort of Fantasy List. My own tastes, as you will see, run toward the Classic: chocolates, flowers, jewelry.
See’s Pink Satin Heart (photo from Sees.com). I don’t think I even actually DO want this, even though it was the first thing I thought of when I turned my mind to the question. I DO love chocolates, ESPECIALLY heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, and I pined for this one as soon as I saw it—but $40 for not even a pound and a half of chocolate? And the box is so so pretty, but what would I use it for after the chocolate was gone? I used to save heart-shaped boxes, but I never did find a way to use them so I finally tossed them out in our last move. Still. If I were in a dating relationship, not married, I think this would be my favorite gift to get. I’d enjoy the extravagance of it, and I’d keep love notes and ticket stubs and photos in the heart-shaped box.
Flowers (photo from 1800flowers.com). Ha. I have just realized that “dating, not married” is the key to me wanting Valentine’s Day gifts. I think it might have something to do with romantic extravagance not seeming so meaningful when it comes out of the joint account, especially since I handle the finances and have to (1) see the amount and (2) figure out how to cover it. That may be the solution to the whole issue. Anyway: flowers. Flowers is something I would definitely love if I were dating someone, but I would feel agitated about the expense from a spouse. “Ack, so much money for something that wilts in a few days! Plus the Valentine’s Day mark-ups, aieeeeeee!”
Jewelry (photo from marmar on Etsy). This would be a tricky category: I don’t dislike heart-themed jewelry per se, but I’m picky about it. (I can see I am not coming across as an easy, pleasant, uncritical, fun-to-buy-for person in this post. My claim is that I am wonderful in OTHER ways.) Something like these hedgehog/heart earrings would be a good choice; something from the “Here, frantic men who waited until the last minute: these are heart-shaped, buy them quick!” department would probably not be.
Valentine postcards (photo from Amazon.com). These would win the triple award: (1) Valentinesey, (2) creative idea, and (3) paying attention to interests/hobbies.
What would you like to get? And, if a different answer: What do you think you are LIKELY to get?