- Gift certificate for a tune-up. Or a car battery. Or anything car repair related, really. Because nothing says romance like 'do something about your raggedy car!'
- A one year membership to a dating website. It's not working out with ME, but I'm sure there's SOMEONE who wants you.
- Any kind of cleaning products.
- Lingerie. Several sizes too small. That smells like someone else's perfume.
- Anything living, that wasn't previously discussed and agreed to. Because nothing says 'I love you' like the pressure of an unwanted living thing to care for. (This includes plants AND unplanned children, just in case that's not entirely clear.)
- Food you don't like. Especially when you've mentioned it several times to the giver. Even more especially when you know the giver DOES like it. Can any one say 'Homer Simpson?'
- Nipple clamps. Unless you're into nipple clamps. Which, for the record, I am not.
- A surprise visit to a tattoo parlor, to get the giver's name permanently inscribed on your body. Just...no.
- A split lip. Don't think this one needs any further explaining...but perhaps I shouldn't listen to Billy Bragg quite so much.
- Anything involving the words 'let you.'
- Money. Especially at the end of the evening. Especially, especially in a hotel room.
- Any kind of processed cheese food.
I will admit that I am not the most gracious gift receiver in the world. There have been times when I wish I could take back my words, or expression, upon receiving something that seems so patently wrong, or odd, that I cannot imagine how the giver could have gotten drunk enough, or hit on the head hard enough, to think a particular gift is a good idea. And yes, there have been a few times when I've had to eat those thoughts, because who knew how amazingly useful that ladle was going to turn out to be? But honestly, Valentine's day is a gimme, isn't it? I'm just saying, the gifts here are practically tradition:
Candy...unless she's on a diet, flowers...unless she's allergic, jewelry...unless she's conservative, lingerie, perhaps...unless she's body conscious and you've never been able to get her to admit to her actual size, a card, you can do a card! Just, what to say on the card...should it be funny? Or sweet? Or over the top romantic? Uh...you know what? Maybe, it's not so much a gimme after all. But if you're not alone at the end of the evening, you probably did good, umm, ok. You probably did ok.
Happy VD Day. And good luck.