Best Valentine’s Day Gifts – for Haters

Best Valentine's Day Gifts - for HatersYesterday was Best Valentine’s Day Gifts.  Lovely!  But what if you really, truly HATE the holiday?  And you’re not content to hate in silence and solitude?  You want to let your SO, your friends, your coworkers, your ex, the dog …heck, you want to let Everybody know persackly how you feel?  What are the Best Valentine’s Day Gifts for (or from) The Hater?

Let’s start with candy.  I would say that anybody who knows me and still would get me a Whitman’s Sampler box..well you hate me well and truly.    I’m not a chocolate snob – I can wipe out a bag of Hershey’s Kisses before you can finish reading this post – but I confess to hating 90% of all other milk chocolate and I am always in despair of finding anything in a Whitman’s box, even with the handy guide!  Really?  You couldn’t have just gotten the bag of Kisses?   Really?  “but it’s in a box, honey!”  “oh, shut up and go get the damn Kisses“)

Ditto those cherry cordial thingies.  I don’t like cooked cherries.   I hate cherries and chocolate together.  And I REALLY hate cherries, chocolate and cheap booze together.   So if you are fruit – especially cherries – in any form other than in the produce section, minding your own, fresh business, I hate you.   And everybody knows this . So if you get me a box of cordials I’m thinking you’ve confused me with your other wife.  In which case there is gonna be a fight.  Which you will not win.  And if you bring me a bag of Hershey’s Cherry Cordial Kisses I will kill you several times over.  You have been warned.cordial



Best Valentine's Day Gifts - for Haters


Though I don’t care enough to get all sniffly when a Bad V-Day comes along, I think I could have fun with these…. ———————————————————————>

Beauty:  I’m a Treatment Gal but Treatment is……weird gifting.  When it comes to Valentine’s Day you’d better know what you’re doing.  One misstep and you’ll never hear the end of it – never mind that it cost $50 (‘you…bought me…Dandruff Shampoo?    what are you trying to say?”) .  This is a minefield category.  Though  I admit to falling hard for a V-Day gift from El O that runs counter to this maxim –  but that was more about the effort – I adore Walgreens Alpha-Hydroxy cream – and couldn’t find it anywhere (they were repackaging).  Flying in the face of so very many gift disasters for the past 12 years, El O drove the local Walgreens CRAZY  until they found him 3 jars of the stuff.  Blushing, he presented me with a little gift bag, as if he’d gotten me the Koh-I-Noor  Diamond.  I was so moved!  But…unless there’s some charming backstory like that (or Al Bundy and the bras)….steer clear of treatment.

Perfume:  ah.  Here we go.  Well, this is my post, so it’s going to be my list – ymmv.  Walk with me.

Drugstore ANYTHING – unless you both are ironic hipsters.  Or you know for a stone fact that she adores Lady Stetson.   Or you’re just looking for a fight.   Nothing says “oh, whatev” like getting a bottle of Curve Soul.  Or that I Am King stuff.  You can tell I spend way too much time in Walmart, can’t you?

Best Valentine's Day Gifts - for Haters


Slightly-upscale-but-still-scary (and I LOVE Bronner’s):  If you are a rose lover you will know your beloved is either a) clueless or b) totally DONE with you if s/he gives you this: ——————————————————————–>

Note:  this does not include Coty Muguet des Bois.  It does, however, include Every Other Coty you can find at the local CVS.  Find the vintage versions on teh eeeB – not that much more $$ and you’ll be getting real perfume.

ELd’O Secretions Magnifique.  Again with the hipsterish irony.  Or you know s/he loves it.  Otherwise you might find yourself the literal recipient of that bloody knife!

Angel (ducks and runs).  I know there are so many Angel lovers out there but like I said – It’s My Post, ymmv.  I open a box with Angel in it, I’ll know your ardor has cooled.  If I get you Angel?  You know you are in the Outbox!

Yatagan.  I’m in menopause so I have enough ‘pit’ issues already.  I don’t need to deliberately spray pit juice on my wrists.  And the cats!  Spray enough of it and every tom within sniffing distance will be at your door.

Cheap candles.  Oh. My. Lord.  What do you do with a sinus-searing candle, nestled coyly in its mylar tissue?  If the gifter is standing there, all a-beam, it’s DIVERSION! time.  Offer them a bowl of popcorn! A cocktail!  A cordial from the Whitman’s Sampler box!  A puppy! Keep ’em busy until it’s time for them to leave/go to bed/eat a bug….whatever it takes.  Then….I dunno.  ….break it?  Crap…what if it’s in a metal tin.?? Then, baby, you are on your own.

The Dreaded VDay Dinner.  I hate going out for VDay, with a perfectly good restaurant gone mad: the prix fixe menu and the lame rose on the table and the whole we’re having SUCH a good time vibe but the only thing worse is:  Chain Buffet Restaurants.   Yes, my life has changed – no more Everest or Capo –  and I am okay with it.  Truly.  And you know I can hork down a basket of Culver’s fish and chips with the best of them.  HORK IT!  But…please…if you love me, take me not to the Golden Corral.  Not for Valentine’s Day.  That just fills me with despair.    You’re broke?   We live at the back of beyond?  Grab a box of fried chicken from the local grocery, some cole slaw and that cute little checked tablecloth I have tucked in the linen closet.  Throw it on the sofa.  Put in a movie..’Pride and Prejudice’ or ‘The Hunt for Red October’…NOT ‘The Waterboy’, which you have seen 352 times already. Otherwise…  If you pull up to the trough what is the Golden Corral I might just end up on the 6pm News.


So.  Those are my edicts for VD, the Hater Edition … what would you give/get that would say I HATE VALENTINE’S DAY!!???


  • Jackie b says:

    Oh, there must have been guffaws echoing round the world at this post, you made my day!

    I agree with the bunch of roses thing, they never last more than a nanosecond, and never open!
    And I would be less than impressed with flowers from the bucket in the petrol station, still with the Caltex sticker. (Oopsies, forgot V Day again)

  • Flora says:

    Since I am single and have almost never had a relationship going on during Valentine’s Day, I imagine my standards would be quite low if I did receive something even somewhat nice. (One boyfriend bought me a book about birds – I am not even a birder – then bragged about what he paid for it. SO romantic!) I am the kind of woman who really and truly would love a load of mulch delivered as a gift, in the absence of candy or flowers, but the one thing I would draw the line at is any kind of household appliance like a vacuum cleaner etc. – if anyone got me something like that for a significant holiday or my birthday, I guarantee that I would put it to some creative use that the people who write the warning labels never thought of. Fair warning – no housework-related gifts!

    That said, I enjoy giving and receiving gifts that have had some care and thought put into them, and no matter what it is, even something small and simple, the best gift is one that shows the recipient that the giver really knows who they are.

  • Dionne says:

    Valentine’s Day is overshadowed in my house by our anniversary, which falls on the 16th. (I was adamant that we not get married on the 14th, because that was just a wee bit too cheesy for me.) One of the pluses of the two falling so close together is we can take advantage of Valentine’s specials at restaurants and hotels, as getting away for a night or two from The Wild Things is the quickest way to my heart. 😉

    This year we just got back from a week in Huatulco, Mexico, which for some reason the Canadians know about but not Americans, and decided that our anniversary treat to ourselves was upgrading to a suite with a jacuzzi on the balcony. Woohoo for naked hot-tubbing!

  • Merlin says:

    I’m a bad bad girl: I remind b.f of Valentines months before. I give hints and I ask for hints. I haven’t dropped to the level of Hallmarks, but he knows he is meant to know its Valentines! And why? Because I have a family which celebrates nothing and which considers all holidays silly and sentimental.

  • odonata9 says:

    Me and my husband are not so big on Valentine’s Day. I spent so many V Days alone and it just seems like such an obligation and corporate thing, not a heartfelt holiday. The husband is against buying cards info any holiday – he doesn’t see why one should pay money fora piece of paper with someone else’s words on it. But he makes the best homemade cards – last year, they were vintage super hero themed valentines that he found online and printed and laminated. The year before it was shrinky dinks. He is a poor, busy grad student so we won’t do gifts – I told him he was off the hook as long as he made me a card. I got him some handmade (not by me!) old timey looking valentine cards made out of word printed with famous scientists. We probably won’t do much since it is a school night and he will have homework. Maybe some nice takeout!

    • Musette says:

      that sounds pretty fabbo to me, except I don’t know what shrinky dinks are – they are good things, right? I keep dropping the ‘n’ in dinks and I’m channeling George Costanza right now… it ain’t pretty! LOL!

      • odonata9 says:

        Ha! The shrinkage episode is such a classic! Shrinky dinks are these crafts that were popular with kids in the 80s. This specially treated paper would come printed with whatever images or licensed characters like smurfs – you would color them in, cut them out and put them in the oven. They would shrink and harden and you had a little knick knack you could hang or play with or whatever. Why that was such a thing, I have no idea – but we loved doing them! My husband found some blank shrinky dink paper on ebay and traced all kinds of stuff on them – chewbacca, aquaman, Darwin. Yes, he’s kind of geeky and very crafty when he wants to be!

  • You know Mr. AbsintheDragonfly and I never did much about this whole Valentine’s Day to begin with. We always kind felt like if you need ONE day to let the person you love, KNOW that you love them, you’d be better off just finding a nice therapist 😉 I’m much more appreciative of say, He cooked dinner, or hey he did the LAUNDRY! Kinda gifts 😀

    You’re such a hoot!

    • Musette says:

      El O folded the laundry a few weeks ago. I nearly plotzed!

      and I’m in agreement – one shouldn’t need A Day. But those Hersheys Kisses aren’t going to walk themselves in this door so I might as well plump for some on VDay! xoxoA

      • The world didnt’ come to an end, so you can let him know more than once is alright 😉

        I agree. those yummy chocolates won’t just drop themselves in my lap, so SOMEONE has to bring them! And sometimes it’s nice if it’s not me 😀

  • Michelle says:

    The first few minutes of last year’s v-day, a surgeon told me he removed a football sized tumor from my SO. Today he is alive and still recovering. This will be the best v-day ever! I will be absolutely thrilled with cheap chocolate, drug store perfume, dollar store candles, supermarket bouquet, cheesy hallmark card or nothing.

    • Musette says:

      uh, HELLZ YEAH! And totally NOT ‘nothing’. You have your SO! That’s EVERYTHING! Best wishes for continued recovery and so very many more wonderful Valentine’s Days, shared in love and happiness! xoxoxoA

    • 50_Roses says:

      The worst Valentine’s Day experience I ever had came from my mother. I was young, perhaps 8 or 10, and I didn’t get an allowance. Most of the spending money I got was a few dollars from my grandfather for Christmas and my birthday, so to buy my mother something for Valentine’s Day, I had to save up some of my Christmas money. Anyway, one year I had bought her some sort of chocolate, probably a Russell Stover’s something or other; not a whole box–I couldn’t afford that–but whatever I had enough money to buy. A day or two later, I noticed it was gone, and I asked her how she had liked it. Her answer? “It had worms in it and I had to throw it away”. II was absolutely sick, both from the thought of the gift I had saved up to buy being ruined, and that fact that she told me that! have never heard of candy getting worms in it–perhaps ants, or even weevils if it had some flour or grain products in it. I felt as if she must have been trying to wound me as much as possible. Even if it were spoiled in some way, couldn’t she have pretended to have liked it instead of telling me that my gift ended up in the garbage?

      • 50_Roses says:

        Sorry, Michelle, my comment wasn’t meant as a reply to your post. I do think you have the right outlook, though. Having each other is so much more important than a box of chocolate or a candle or something. Here’s hoping for a continued recovery.

      • Musette says:

        oh, yikes! (((50R))) People (and parents are ‘people’) can be thoughtless. I can’t tell you how many times I had to pinch El O – HARD – to keep him from saying something thoughtless and hurtful, when the boys would get him some ‘kid’ gift. I still do it! He doesn’t mean to be hurtful – but it stings just the same. Just like that spot I keep pinching. I swear, he has a permanent bruise, right above his right hip. xoxo

    • Ann says:

      Oh, Michelle, so very, very happy for you! Just having your SO really is the best gift of all! Your post was a great reminder for us to have an attitude of gratitude for all that we DO have. Thanks!

  • maggiecat says:

    I am not a fan of V-Day at all. I told my husband that I wanted flowers any other day except February 14th, that I wanted him to play his usual Thursday round of golf (especially since Thursday will be the only remotely good weather day for golf this week), and that I wanted for us to make a nice dinner together. I will buy myself perfume, thank you. I do like mushy cards, but he does quite well in that respect, so I’m not worried.

    • Musette says:

      He got a great Valentine’s Day gift, there! Lucky man! I, too, would send El O golfing, except it’s 35F and muddy as heck! xoxoA

  • 50_Roses says:

    Oh dear! I just don’t get all the hate. I have gotten a few dreadful presents over the years (mostly from my mother-in-law), but I just can’t work myself up to be angry about it. I just give them away or throw them away and go on. My husband doesn’t always get it just right, but I know he loves me and he is trying, so there is no way I would get angry at him for buying me something he thought I would like, even if he misjudged. We don’t really make much of V-day anyway, in part because his birthday is just a few days before, and we generally celebrate birthdays for a week or so, mostly by eating out. Each of usually gets several birthday dinners–a pre-birthday dinner a few days before, a dinner on the actual day, and a post-birthday dinner a few days after. The pre- and post-birthday dinners especially apply when the actual day is midweek. What can I say? We love to eat out, so we take any excuse to do so. Since I don’t expect a V-Day gift, anything I do receive is because he was thinking about me and wanted to do something for me, not because he was obligated to get me something. Usually is it something along the lines of flowers or candy. He wouldn’t even attempt perfume, I have told him I don’t really need any more jewelry (and I mean that too), and clothes–forget it! I have to try them on first. I will take those grocery store flowers everyone else seems to hate. I find they last as long as the expensive ones from the florist anyway. The longest lasting bouquet I ever had was a bunch of grocery store carnations. They lasted three weeks in the vase, and some of the buds that had been closed up tight even opened. The biggest problem I have with flowers is that we have 4 cats, so flowers usually end up being the feline salad bar. This year it so happens we have tickets to a play that evening, so we will eat somewhere together first and then go to the play. Our Valentine’s Day will be spending time together doing things we both enjoy, which is as it should be.

    • Musette says:

      Oh, hon, we’re just having fun here. I don’t ‘hate’ Valentine’s Day – I just wanted to come up with fun stuff to shrike about! Your VDay sounds lovely! Enjoy! xo

  • fleurdelys says:

    The worst gift for any holiday is a useless tchotchke that comes from a store I never go to that ONLY DOES EXCHANGES not refunds. So, I have to exchange something I don’t like for something I don’t like a little bit less.

    • Musette says:

      And that, my little flower, is why Floyd invented Hershey’s Kisses. I have more of those tchotchkes, mouldering in drawers… HKs never moulder anywhere – at least not in this house!

  • Sylvia says:

    : ))) LOVE it, agreeing and laughing out loud here too!
    I think I just hate it when the gift is thoughtless and I know it! The worst one for me was an expensive HUGE pink stuffed poodle! It was horrible, and what do you do with a stuffed poodle when you live in a dorm!?
    I love gifts that say I know you’d like this- even if they’re really cheap!.My hubby gives our girls a bouquet of drug store flowers and a handwritten card from him ,and they love it ’cause they know their daddy loves them and took the time to do something for them : ).!
    I rent a what we call a blow-up everything movie ( : ) action flick) for him and watch it with him with lots of pop corn.
    He does something different every year for me..and usually the things are pretty inexpensive, but he knows I’d love them..Sometimes its one bar of extremely dark chocolate or a cheap box of bath salts ( so I can relax in a hot bath which I LOVE!) or a pot of herbs from the local nursery for me cause I’m a herb freak!..And we often just make chocolate chip pancakes together and have them with whipped cream for Valentine’s dinner because that makes us all smile.

    • Sylvia says:

      And worst perfume would be Angel or Juicy Couture! Drek for me!
      ( But I love the relatively cheap Crabtree and Evelyn Rosewater line- especially that great hand therapy cream.)

      • Musette says:

        That sounds like a wonderful VDay! Except for the bath salts – In 90 mins flat I’d be at the urologist :-p. We did a LotR marathon on a Sunday VDay . My eyes were bleeding (that’s a LOT of screen time) but he was thrilled!

  • malsnano86 says:

    I’m not so much a roses-and-candy gal, but I always liked V-day. Loved getting a card, would plan a nice meal, sometimes a small gift like a CD or book… UNTIL. The holiday’s been ruined for me since about 2005, and some years I can manage getting/giving a card. This year I probably can’t. The kids will get a handful of raspberry/dark chocolate truffles each, and an I-love-you note from me.

    I’ll take those cherry cordials, though. Yum. (You can have allllll the Hershey’s Kisses, because I hate those.)

  • Melissa says:

    Someone coined the term Romantic Industrial Complex (google it) to describe the industry that pressures us into buying gifts on V-Day and doing a host of other things to validate our relationships. How fitting! Luckily, my husband and I took the pressure off of each other many years ago by creating a tradition of giving silly cards. Or simply doing nothing! No need for disappointing gifts. Practicality is our romance!

    • Musette says:

      I was Marketing Quing to the RIC for many years. And I slavishly bowed to the expectations, too (see above about the colleague/smug scenario)………now? In reality I just make him do ‘something’ because …? I really couldn’t care less!

  • Dina C. says:

    I was grinning from ear to ear as I read this hilarious post, darling Ms. A! You and I must be sisters beneath the skin. I also have wild, reckless hate for pseudo-fancy chocolates that taste like paraffin, drugstore colognes that I have no interest in, the half-dead grocery store flowers and the chintzy-cheap jewelry in its velvet flocked presentation box with the prominent MADE IN CHINA sticker on the back! God save us all from the thoughtless clods who buy such gifts. Love your posts because they are filled with Truth. 😀

    • Musette says:

      LOL! Thanks! I am Quing of Truth! I just wish the whole holiday would ramp down – but that would throw the Romance Industry into a tailspin. And lords know LVMH and P&G need a new pair of shoes. So……

  • Ann says:

    Oh, dear Ms. A — you have done it again! Spewing my tea left and right! But luckily, for the sake of my keyboard, I have learned to keep it under wraps while reading your posts. I agree pretty much with what you and others have written, but that being said, all bets are off when the big red heart box of candy comes from a loving child, and that’s all they could afford. Then those chocolates taste like nectar from heaven!

  • hlmenken says:

    being single seems disadvantageous at times, but Valentine’s day is not one of those times.

    • Musette says:

      hmmm… here are my situations where I might consider being single disadvantageous:

      1. seesaw
      2. moving large objects

      VDay? I agree. You can spoil yourself rotten, if you like…and no one will look askance (TWO bags of Kisses. TWO!!)

  • poodle says:

    I’m a V-day hater too. If you want to send me flowers do it on a day that your not technically required to, then I know you mean it.
    Musette, your posts always crack me up. I hope you don’t get any dreadful gifts this year. Although if you do, the resulting post might be hysterical.

    • Musette says:

      I know! on the ‘required’, huh? I always feel like everybody, giver and givee, are sort of just putting on a show. When I was in my 20s VDay was all about getting flowers sent to your office, so you could smug it up in front of your colleagues. xox

  • dinazad says:

    Chocolates. Don’t ever send me chocolates. They die of old age in my fridge.
    No treatments, cheap candles, cheap fragrances or special “Valentine” bouquets.
    You’re a glutton for punishment if you give me White Linen.
    But I’ll take that Yatagan with a squeal of delight, should you need to get rid of it…..

  • jilliecat says:

    Wow! Thank you again for putting into hilarious words my feelings on dreadful presents, and making me splutter my tea everywhere! I think I get more cross about the commercialization of Valentine’s Day than all the other celebratory occasions (but then I think I get cross about everything these days …..). I think the best example of the no imagination gift, especially for Valentine’s, has to be one of those “bouquets” of roses from the supermarket. They’re expensive but cheap, the heads are already drooping and tinged with brown, and you just know that by the next day they will have expired all over the table. If my husband dared to get me one of those, I would hit him over the head with it (but they wouldn’t damage him as they are so limp any way).

  • eldarwen22 says:

    This post could work for birthdays, anniversaries, and any gift giving holidays. If anyone is gonna get me chocolate, give me the stuff from Harry and David and I know they are paying attention. For the love of God, I don’t want those cheap candles from the drug store that smell like vomit. Don’t care if it is Yankee Candle, it still smells like vomit. Even my local grocery store (not Walmart) is selling perfumes (Shalimar in EDC form is one of them). Perfume gift sets can be questionable at best. As much as I love Chanel no. 5, it would take me years to use the soap and lotion.

    • Musette says:

      Perfume gift sets can be a bit…skritchy. Unless they are Amouage. Or Malle.

      And my HyVee is starting to rival Macy’s, with all the perfume and treatment – some of it is relatively high-end, too. It’s just strange.

  • Kandice says:

    OMG! This post, as well as yesterday’s, was just hilarious! I’m not a big fan of V-Day. It just seems to be a slap upside the head to everyone who is alone no matter what the reason. I feel this way whether I have someone to share the day with or not, so I guess you could definitely put me on the side of the “haters.” That said, I think one of the worst gifts is a huge, heart-shaped box of no-name chocolates wrapped in cheap cellophane that you get at Walgreen’s, Kroger’s, etc. for $9.99. Nothing says, “I put absolutely no thought into this gift and waited until the last possible minute” like those boxes of chocolates. BTW, I hope you get your bat house for the holiday! That’s got to be one of the most unique gift requests I’ve ever heard 🙂

    • Musette says:

      Alas, no bat house. But I did get the beehive stand – 18 mos late but who’s counting. I would’ve been happy with concrete blocks but noooo……he built a stand you could land the Endeavor on. But it is cool. So I’m happy! Bat house next, I hope.