How Do I Love Thee? Not Like This…

Another gift giving day is on the horizon, one I dread far more than buying anniversary or birthday presents—it’s Valentine’s Day. Men have it easy, the entire consumer industry caters to items he can buy for her—usually pink, red, sparkly, covered in lace, or chocolate-dipped.

Every year, I struggle with gift ideas for my husband, bouncing between sentiment, romance, or fun, all of which seem to fall flat. This year, I wanted to skip the tradition of getting him a watch, a tie, or new pictures of the kids. This year I wanted to find something different and did I ever!

I had no idea that spanning across the Internet is an insurmountable sum of terrible ideas and decided I’d pass them on. Here is a countdown of the worst possible Valentine gifts to give your man—keep in mind that these are all real suggestions I found online and believe me I didn’t have to stop at six!

#6: The, Going-For-His-Throat gift:

Online it’s called Hidden Message Collars and is made from dress shirt collar tabs—those plastic arrow-looking things found in the dryer’s lint trap after doing a load of whites? Why not write love notes on each before reinserting them? That way all day long your fella will have a tender message right at his jugular. Don’t worry if the ink leaks, nothing says I love you like ruining a dress shirt for your man.

#5: The It-Wasn’t-Even-The-Thought-That-Counted gift idea:

Remember the traditional Coupon Book you made when you were seven-years-old and gave to your mom for Mother’s Day? It’s back, only this time it’s for him!

Say you’re the one for me with heart-adorned card stock, hole-punched and knotted with string. Like finding a lamp with a Genie inside, your guy will flip pouring over custom pages like, ‘with this coupon, you get three free hugs’ or ‘this card means you don’t have to take out the bathroom garbage for one week.’  The best thing about this memento is it doesn’t expire!

#4: The Stalker’s-Valentine-Collection:

What about giving your man, wooden blocks stenciled with ‘You and Me, Forever’? He’d love a bag of gummy bears with a note, ‘Life without you is Unbearable,’ or a jar of Reese’s Pieces with ‘I love you to pieces’ scrawled across a cloth topper. Any one of these gift ideas says I’m ready to put down my binoculars, walk out of the bushes, and join my man for a candlelight meal—who knows, maybe he’ll even be conscious during it?

#3: The What-the-frack?! Gift:

Not your garden-variety Valentine’s present; this is the I Love You, Bean Plant. Watch as your man waters and follows the sunlight around the room toting this designer gardening pot. Then, after a few 50-60 days, voila! The plant sprouts, exposing ‘I love you’ etched into its pod. What is more synonymous with the heart than beans, huh?

#2: The This-Is-What-All-MENSA-Members-Are-Wearing present:

Throw tradition out the window and say I love you with the Origami Pocket Square. Picture this, a romantic dinner downtown. You’re wearing your newly acquired pair of Tiffany diamond stud earrings. On your arm is your man, dressed in a comfy, white cotton tee beneath an open black blazer. Against his breast, next to the lapel, is pinned an enormous ruby red paper heart.  Now that’s class! And you thought folded paper crafts were just for making cranes!

My favorite and the most horrifying gift idea I came across, is the Couples Letter Book or what I call:

#1: The Shared-Sex-Memoir or the 50-Shades-of-Beige-Diary:

What better way to get your juices going than capturing foreplay between the pages of this leather-bound journal? Bask in the afterglow by taking turns jotting down your romantic experience, your thoughts during, and your feelings afterward. So hot! After all, what’s mightier than the pen?

After being exposed to such shockingly bad ideas, I feel more hopeful about finding something better for my husband. You can, too. Maybe the best way to tell your man you love him after he opens another pair of socks is to show him this list and say, ‘see Honey, it could’ve been worse.’

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