What I Don’t Want For Valentine’s Day (And What To Get Me Instead)

Yvette Manes

The Christmas lights were not yet marked down to 50 percent off when the stores began to set up their elaborate Valentine’s Day displays. There are aisles and aisles of pink and red goodies intended to hypnotize lovers into buying unnecessary and overpriced tchotchkes. Although Valentine’s Day has become a Hallmark holiday, that fact doesn’t prevent me from celebrating it. Gifts for Mom come few and far between and no amount of commercialism will prevent me from accepting the rare, albeit obligatory, present. With that being said, there are a few traditional Valentine’s Day gifts I hope you, my Valentine, will leave on the shelf this year.

Chocolate from a heart-shaped box. Second to marshmallow-filled chocolate Santa Clauses, generic Valentine’s Day chocolates are the worst. They taste like the candy company melted down leftover 99 cent Easter bunnies, mixed in some old birthday candles, poured it into candy trays, and then let them sit in a warehouse for a year. Instead, let’s meet at a coffee shop for chocolate croissants.

A stuffed monkey holding a heart that says “hug me.” Those Valentine’s plushies may have elicited a squeal from me when I was 17, but today, unless I can program it to unload the dishwasher, it’s a hard pass. Please don’t make me suffer through another session of “does this item spark joy.”  Instead, take me to see the new Amy Poehler movie.

A gigantic greeting card. No! Put that thing back right now. There is not one human outside of an episode of Hoarders that actually wants one of these things. Giant greeting cards are like science fair backboards and school projects on posterboard. They hold sentimental value, but are impossible to store. Instead, pick out a sentimental average-sized greeting card, or better yet, handwrite me a love letter. Yes, do that. I want the love letter. Forget the card.

Roses. I love flowers, but I would prefer to receive them on any day other than Valentine’s Day. Just knowing that you will have to pay three times the regular price for something that will be dead and in the back of a garbage truck in a week makes me hyperventilate. Instead, let’s go to dinner someplace that doesn’t have a kid’s menu.

Sexy lingerie. Unless you are 100 percent sure that what you have picked out is flattering to my figure and 200 percent sure that you have purchased the correct size, simply avoid lingerie. Nothing will ruin my Valentine’s Day faster than not being able to pull the undies up over my hips, or squeezing into a teddy that makes me look six months pregnant. Instead, let’s plan a trip to the lingerie store where we can pick something out together.

Jewelry marketed specifically for Valentine’s Day. If you can get it at a mall kiosk, have to order it from the back of a magazine, or it has its own slogan (“The Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Ring” or “The Forever in Love Pendant”) you can be sure that it’s not for me. Instead, let’s spend the night at a hotel that has room service and a balcony.

Looking back over my list, it’s clear that what I want are not things, but to have more experiences, and share to those experiences with you. This year, let’s forget the candy, the flowers, the plushies and the cards. Forget what you think you know about Valentine’s Day gift-giving. But, just don’t forget the love letter. I really want that love letter.


This post was written by Yvette Manes exclusively for BonBon Break Media LLC.

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Yvette Manes is a freelance writer, audiobook and podcast enthusiast, compulsive redecorator and aspiring fashion icon. The proud Florida native is a blogger at AquaSeventy6 and has the reputation of being kinda crafty. You can find her work on Club Mid, Scary Mommy, Sammiches & Psych Meds, Her View From Home, Parent.co, and in the Notes app on her iPhone. When she’s not embarrassing her teenage son and daughter by dancing in public, she’s eating her way around town with her husband of 17 years.