Valentine's Day public service announcement:
You do not have to run to Walgreens at the last second and pick up a Whitman's Sampler and a Snoopy card. A box of sweets is not the pinnacle of enchantment. I know, what? And some of us like jewelry, but buying a necklace is obvious, and you run the risk of a three hour debate about blood diamonds followed by a screening of the Leonardo DiCaprio film.
It's time for real talk, ladies and gents. I've been in a relationship many years now, and most of my female friends are shacked up as well. The presence of devoted uteri does not make us impenetrable to lameness. We love it when you take some time and consider our actual day-to-day needs, then base your gift selections around them. So put down the box of cherry cordials and the single gas station rose, and consider these Valentine's Day gift suggestions for the woman in your life.
I know, it sounds like a misogynist 1950s advertisement. All we need is a cone bra and the pot roast on the table by 5. But I think it's less sexism and more the satisfaction of clean rugs, of beige turning white, of reaching those tricky corners near the baseboards. I've heard many friends rave about Dyson gifts. Tampa playwright Christen Petitt Hailey thought her guy was ponying up a Dyson when he told her to sit on the couch. She was breathless with anticipation. Turns out, he proposed instead.
The way to a woman's heart may be through her medical procedures. My friend Amy Sarlo was the lucky recipient of laser eye surgery the last time her husband gave her a gift. Hubs was a bit confused when she mentioned the idea, but she assured him it was just the kind of romantic overture she wanted. She walked out of the doctor's office with 20/20 vision with which to gaze upon her one true love. Does it get any clearer?
Bulk drink supply
I drink Diet Coke like it's life support. Others are Pepsi fans. People at my office slam back bottles of green tea all day. And some folks, though it might be an urban legend, enjoy water. But you know what? That stuff's expensive. It's $1.25 every time we venture to the drink machine, and it results in guilt when we also buy the crusty Honey Bun. Head to your local Costco and buy her a pallet of that Canada Dry ginger ale she likes so much. She think of you when she gets the sweats and cracks one open.
If Facebook taught us anything, it's that we love pictures. Pictures of our dogs, pictures of our new sofas, pictures of our baking projects. And (Sweeping Generalization Alert) most women like to post pictures of themselves looking gorgeous. Buy your lady love a high-quality digital camera, one with filters that include "Acne-Free," "Hey, Did You Lose Some Weight?" and "Oh, Sorry, I Accidentally Tagged You As Angelina Jolie." You will amass bonus points for patiently smiling on the third take of the fourth extended arm self-portrait of the day.
Cooking, when done with the appropriate Adele tracks in the background, relaxes me. But my iPod dock was ancient. I had to stuff wads of paper into the support springs, and as I type that, I hope no fire marshals are reading. And my laptop could only withstand so much spaghetti sauce splatter. My guy bought me a shiny new iPod dock recently, and it was the most thoughtful gift ever. Chopping onions to the crystalline sound of "NEVER MIND, I'LL FIND SOMEONE LIKE YOU" puts me in a happy place. And a happy place is the place to be, no matter the holiday.