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Hey, Guys! Here’s Some Last-Minute Valentine’s Gifts That Don’t Suck:


photo credit: Ashton Kirk


Dear Guys,

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. We know you’re stressing over what to buy us, and it’s not like our birthdays or Christmas where you can just ask us for ideas. It’s supposed to be a romantic surprise, right? Well, the good news is that we’re not really as high maintenance as you think, and we really don’t want you to stress out about the perfect gift. You’ve seen us without sleep and without makeup, in our grubby sweats and our period panties. You’ve been there through pukey morning sickness and breast milk leakage, and you haven’t given up on us–that’s a damn nice gift in itself. But since we know you’re going to buy us something anyway (sigh…if you must…), here’s some ideas that don’t suck:

1. Chocolate

Yeah, yeah, it’s a cliche. But we’re not talking the red paper heart boxes with like, two caramels and all the rest are weird, random, creme-of-something. We want good chocolates. Like, Meg Ryan “I’ll have what she’s having” kinda good. 

Head to a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store–with locations all over the metro area, they’re as easy to find as a drugstore, I promise. And for just a few dollars more than the generic box, you can surprise us with a hand-picked assortment of our favorite truffles, toffees, and chocolate-covered-everything. (chocolate potato chips, anyone?)

2. Perfume

Here’s a hint: if it’s got anyone’s name on it who has been on the Billboard Top 40, it’s probably not going to be a great pick. (Sorry, T-Swift and Biebs…) Look for something a little more upscale–head to the fragrance counter at Nordstrom. The folks who work there got skillz, yo! Tell the salesperson a little bit about your S.O.’s personality and likes, and he or she will lead you to the perfect designer fragrance. Seriously, you can. not. go. wrong. Is she young at heart, loves sweet, fruity and floral scents? Check out Hanae Mori. Sophisticated, with singular tastes? Go with something by Jo Malone. Quirky, indie, rebel chick who has to have something that nobody else has? Anything by diptyque is a great choice. And if you’re still at a loss, I can just about guarantee there’s not a woman alive who wouldn’t love a Nordie’s gift card. 


3. Wine

Hello, McFly? This one’s a given! Similar to choosing a fragrance, head for a specialty wine shop (NOT the corner LQ. Sorry…) Give a few hints about your partner’s likes and dislikes, favorite foods…and any wine seller worth his/her salt will be able to steer you toward something she’ll LOVE. It doesn’t have be a zillion-year-old rare French vintage, either. The “sweet spot” for good wines is around $20-30 a bottle, no more. If you really want to impress her, pair the wine with the box of truffles, and choose one that will compliment the chocolates. 

4. Jewelry

OK, I have this inside joke with my girlfriends that my husband gives me basically the same gift every year–a matching necklace and earrings set. The only variable is the color of gemstone. I have rubies, pearls, peridots, topazes, sapphires, citrines, aquamarines, opals, and diamonds. I’m not even kidding. Don’t be an inside joke. 

Choose something sentimental that she’ll be proud to show off every day. Charm jewelry is a very personal, sweet, thoughtful way to show that you really know her. For any size budget, Brighton stores offer beautiful options, from chain bracelets to silk or leather cords, necklaces, earrings, and keychains that can all be personalized with the charms of your choice. Start her off with one or two very meaningful charms that she can collect and add on to over the years, or build a stunning one-of-a-kind statement piece. 

4. Time

Honestly, probably the best gift you can give us. We work hard–kids, career, house work–it’s a LOT. And we know you work hard, too. So save your shopping time and money, and arrange a kid-free, stress-free night. Call our sisters, our mom, our friends, and ask them to babysit. Make a reservation for dinner (Opentable makes it ridic easy) and get us the hell out of the house. Most of us wouldn’t care if it’s the Four Seasons or the neighborhood burger-and-beer joint, as long as we’re not cooking or cleaning it’s all good. 



Look–we’re not that picky. We just like to know that you know us! After all we’ve been through together, that you really do understand what makes us tick. And I’m sure you’ve already figured this out, but a weird Mylar balloon and a bunch of dyed carnations from the guy in a pickup truck at the gas station parking lot? Doesn’t exactly scream “soul mate”. Unless it does, to your girl. In which case, do you, boo! 

So don’t stress. Just give us a little bit of effort and a lot of love, and you can finally stop dreading this holiday! We don’t need expensive things. We know that a good man is worth more than all the bling in Lil’ Wayne’s teeth. 


Happy Valentine’s Day!





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