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The Perfect Gift?

An evaluation of popular Valentine’s Day Gifts

Get out of Valentine’s Day exactly what you want to get out of it. Now, wait—you don’t have to take it in that sense. Or maybe you do. Anyway, don’t wait until the last minute to buy a Valentine’s gift. Thoughtful planning is essential. Here are some popular V-Day gifts, and the pros and cons of each.

 

Dinner

Pro: There’s no such thing as a “too expensive” or “too nice” restaurant on Valentine’s Day.

 

Con: None. In fact, it’s required.

 

A Special Event

Pro: There’s a lot to choose from, from the Albany Symphony’s trio of concerts in Saratoga, Troy and Pittsfield, Mass., to 3 Mo’ Divas at Proctors.

 

Con: None. Just don’t think you can get away with it being the only gift.

 

Teddy Bear

Pro: Indescribably cute. If you know what your valentine really likes—hockey, say, or ninjas—you can get a bear in a Rangers’ jersey or dressed up in a ninja suit with some tiny nunchaku. You know, the personal touch.

 

Con: Can be seen as indescribably cheap, depending on the status of your relationship. Also, be careful that your giftee doesn’t already have a shelf full of furry stuffed creatures.

 

Chocolates

Pro: Everyone who isn’t actually allergic to the stuff loves chocolate. Something Swiss, or better, from one of our fine local candymakers. Upscale chocolates show that you appreciate the finer things, for a not-necessarily-too-high price.

 

Con: Can be seen as too generic—who hasn’t given/received chocolate on Valentine’s Day? To be safe, give it as one of two gifts.

 

Lingerie

Pro: Sexy time!

 

Con: It’s impossible to underestimate the number of women quoted in newspaper features and on TV to the effect that they hate lingerie gifts on Valentine’s Day.

 

Sex Toys

Pro: See above. Plus, even if you get dumped, they’ll always think of you during those private moments.

 

Con: See above. Be very, very sure of where you are in your relationship.

 

Champagne

Pro: Nothing says “special occasion” like a nice sparkling wine.

 

Con: Alcohol, however exquisite, can send the wrong message. Like, “I want to get you drunk and have my way with you.” Except that might actually be the right message. Tricky.

 

Beer

Pro: Ladies, this is a cheap way to buy off a guy.

 

Con: None.

 

A Pony

Pro: Deep down inside, everyone wants a pony. Right?

 

Con: As demonstrated on that TV commercial, ponies can have prickly personalities.

 

Electronics

Pro: Everyone likes something they can really use.

 

Con: Not very romantic. You’ll have to pair that Wii with something sweet to put your valentine “in the mood.”

 

Jewelry

Pro: Lots of choices for both sexes, from earrings and pendants to rings and pins, at all prices.

 

Con: The wrong choice can give the, um, wrong impression about where you want the relationship to go. Gift with care.

 

Flowers

Pro: Roses are aces. Plants can be great, too, if fancy enough. Especially if they’re sent to your intended at their job. Your valentine can demonstrate to coworkers that however much they may hate them, someone loves them.

 

Con: None. Well, except allergies.

 

Custom T-Shirt

Pro: At least it’s personalized.

 

Con: “I agreed to go out with that jerk and all I got was this lousy shirt.”

 

iPhone

Pro: It’s an iPhone!

 

Con: It’s an iPhone!

 

A Poem

Pro: You can express how you feel directly, in a more personal way than any greeting card.

 

Con: You may suck as a poet.

 

Or you could just e-mail your sweetheart a nice LOLcat.

 

—Shawn Stone


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