Valentine’s day is upon us. In, like, 2 weeks. If you have a partner or a significant other you will have an opportunity to celebrate your coupledom on one of the most consumerist holidays of the year. Well, not holidays, given that it is a regular work/ school day. What it is however, is a very special day and whether you are or aren’t in favour of it, you must agree that it does come with a certain sense of obligation to shower your friend-you’re-attracted-to-and-are-dating with romantic overtures.
I’m a big supporter of the notion that romance is a subjective experience; what one person will find romantic and touching the other might view as cliché and tacky. I do advocate for using your knowledge of your romantic pal to create or buy something that shows you’ve put some thought into the gift. Hence, I thought that the more helpful alternative to writing about what “girls think is romantic” would be a list of popular gifts with my subjective opinion on them. Y’welcome.
- Jewellery. Is. Super. Risky. And is it really thoughtful? I have once seen a girl compare a gift of jewellery to public proposals; she saw both as emotional blackmail. Especially if it’s pricey. The pressure to react positively is exacerbated by the cost of the gift. An ungrateful response would make everyone think you’re an empathy-lacking harpy. I don’t know if I would go as far as to equate jewellery with emotional blackmail though. Personally, my reaction would be somewhere along the lines of, “that’s so much money I could have spent on books“. But if they like jewellery and you’re confident that you know their taste, go for it!
- Chocolates. Are nice. Usually a safe bet, I would say. Unless your heart’s desire is on a diet. Then chocolates are probably less nice.
- Flowers. I have a lot of feelings about flowers. Most of them negative but I’ll admit that I’m probably not the most representative example when it comes to my gender. My mother loves flowers. So does my cousin and aunt and grandma. If you know what your potential soulmate’s favourite flowers are, I’d encourage you to procure these as your V-day gift, unless it’s lilies and they own a cat.
- A single piece of fruit, unadorned, presented on a crimson velvety pillow. A+
- Movie. Do they like chick-flicks? Probably not. Not many people do, these days. I would recommend seeing Ladybird, if you’re not afraid to cry in front of your date, or The Shape Of Water, if you don’t have (or are) a male partner who is also likely to ruin the experience by saying “why would this woman be attracted to a fish monster when there are perfectly good human men around?“. Now I’m regretting that I didn’t think to make this post about all the movies that you can see on Valentine’s, based on their potential risks and merits in a romantic scenario. I have very many feelings about movies but very few on general modern romance. The Phantom Thread has such a magnificent soundtrack! Sorry, I will stop now. But do see Call me by your name. Enough!
- Romantic dinner. Look, listen. I literally just looked up what day Valentine’s day falls on in my laptop calendar and it’s not looking good, chief. It’s Wednesday. That’s literally the middle of the week. Will your lover have enough mental, physical and emotional energy to go out after work? Maybe. I wouldn’t. It’s only Tuesday and I just had a giddy chuckle at the thought of going to bed before 10pm tonight. I can’t wait. Consider if your partner might appreciate a night in; ordering fancy takeout or a home-cooked meal might be better. Or not? Depends on who you decided to romance.
- A handwritten poem. The best idea thus far. I’m unironically recommending this. Even the worst original poem is better than all of the options I’ve just listed.
- A hand-drawn portrait of your beloved. I sometimes think back to the time, more than a decade ago when I was in high school, when my teacher went around the class asking what are some of the random acts of kindness that we can show a fellow human being. I was one of the last people left to answer, so, the class having exhausted all of the most logical options, I answered that personally I’m really good at art so I could draw them a picture for free. My answer was met with mocking laughter and to this day I’m resentful. This experience is in no way impacting on my current answer. A hand-drawn portrait is objectively a wholesome gift and I do recommend it regardless of your drawing skills.
Please look forward to my next week’s post about the movies you can see on Valentine’s day.
by Agata Krawczyk