Red Roses are Stupid: And Other Important Things to Remember on Valentine’s Day

I am not a romantic. I do not like long-stem, red roses; heart-shaped jewelry; industrial-sized boxes of cheap, assorted chocolates or poetry-filled greeting cards.

I do not like these things. I have never liked these things. I will not start liking these things because it’s February and I’m a woman and in February, women should apparently want nothing more than these gifts because they (and nothing else) will validate our worth and prove that we are loved.

Okay, that last bit sounded like the beginning of a long, feminist tirade against Valentine’s Day, a holiday with sexist undertones that seems to market every woman as a stupid, selfish, materialistic ninny who will only be happy when showered in cheesy, heart-shaped gifts. Though that’s kind of true, that’s not the point I’m trying to make.

My point is, I want better presents.

I mean, if you’re going to go to all the trouble of buying presents for a pointless holiday, you should at least do it well. To that end, I’ve included some helpful Valentine’s Day gift-giving tips.

1.    Roses (Alone) Aren’t a Gift on Valentine’s Day

Flowers are lovely. They smell nice. They perk up a drab and dreary cubicle space like nobody’s business. They are a very thoughtful, sweet gift when you send them out of the blue, after someone’s been sick or when someone’s had a generally cruddy time.

Given any day other than Valentine’s Day, a gift of flowers is a very considerate gesture that says you were thinking about someone you love and wanted to brighten their day.

Given on Valentine’s Day, flowers say you completely forgot it was Valentine’s Day until 10:15 a.m. when you finally figured out why a weirdly large number of your female coworkers were accepting flower deliveries on what was seemingly just a random work day in February.

At that point you called a florist in a panic and he sold you one of his last bouquets of red roses for a ridiculously-overpriced sum. For this reason, a dozen red roses on Valentine’s Day has always just seemed like a major cop-out to me.

If it’s the thought that counts behind gifts, here is roughly the thought process that leads to the purchase of a dozen red roses by most males on February 14, “Oh, it’s Valentine’s Day. She’s a girl. She must like this because all of those commercials keep telling me she does. I’ll buy them so she doesn’t get mad at me for not buying them.”

Lame, guys. Lame.

2. No One Likes Heart-Shaped Jewelry

As a general rule, women over the age of seven do not appreciate jewelry that is heart-shaped. In case you were wondering, this is why women never wear jewelry that is heart-shaped. Mystery solved. You’re welcome.

If you’re going to cave and buy your significant other jewelry on Valentine’s Day because all of the TV commercials tell you to, try to buy her something she may actually like.

3. Bigger Doesn’t Always Mean Better

A $25 box of chocolates that is roughly the size of a Monopoly board is probably not the best choice. No one wants a box of chocolates that has 25 nougat-filled pieces of chalky-tasting, cheap chocolate. It’s a classic case of quality over quantity.

4. Cards Are Meant to Be Read

Having worked the express checkout lane at Wal-Mart on February 14th, I’m hip to the way most men purchase Valentine’s Day cards. Wal-Mart makes it very easy for them.

In front of my express checkout lane there was a mini greeting card station full of Valentine’s Day cards. Men would simply grab the first one they saw. If it had roses on it, great. If there was some nonsensical poetry inside, great.

If these procrastinating men were feeling a little more sentimental, they would shove the card in my face and say something along the lines of, “Chicks like this, right?” To this I would respond, “Yes,” because, well, I did not care. But nine times out of ten the men had neglected to even read the words on the front of the card which usually said something like this: “To my wonderful grandmother on Valentine’s Day…” I’m sure their girlfriends loved that.

Bottom line, I’m not entirely sure if this stupid, made-up holiday has a point. But in the off-chance the point of this holiday is giving presents, at least mean the sentiment behind the presents and for God’s sake, do not buy the cheapest chocolate.