Valentine's Day Gifts for Every Kind of Relationship
by Alison Syrett Cleary
My first episode of Valentine's Day anxiety was in the sixth grade. Having just made the move from elementary to middle school, I expected to celebrate the holiday with an inclusive stay-at-home-mom-hosted party similar to those of my K-through-five years. Instead, rather than the afternoon of lukewarm soda and Funfetti cake I'd hoped for, student council hosted a carnation sale. While billed as a fundraiser, everyone knew it was a popularity contest with very high stakes. Flowers cost $1 each, and were delivered during the last class period of February 14-if nobody loved you, everyone saw. Terrified of public humiliation, I spent the days leading up to the carnation swap wondering if I should secretly order some for myself (hey, it worked for Cher Horowitz!) just in case no one else did.
Thanks to my loyal group of friends, I pulled through with a respectable bouquet, only to learn that V-Day gifting stress never really ends. Because even if you have a special someone or are in a relationship, there's the whole matter of finding the perfect caring-but-not-cheesy, available-but-not-needy, romantic-but-not-clichéd present for the person you love/like/are-hoping-to-get-lucky-with-later-that-night. And frankly, carnations don't cut it for couples over 13 years of age.
Above, I've included some ideas that have been tested and approved by either me or people I trust. Click through to get shopping now, while you still have time-you do don't want to be that person rushing bum-rushing Hallmark on February 13, do you?