In our stuff-obsessed society, people talk a lot about the stress of gift giving for Christmas and birthdays. But coupled-up dudes know that the riskiest gift-giving day of the year is Valentine’s Day, because there is all the pressure of other occasions combined with a special bonus: you definitely, definitely want to end up in bed. It’s very easy to buy the wrong thing for the lady in your life. Here, a list of things you should avoid at all costs. Unless, of course, getting laid is not on your V-Day agenda.
1. Intangible things like stars or walruses.
True story: My boyfriend once adopted a walrus in my honor. Her name is Cecilia. I’m sure she’s a very nice walrus and hey, I’m glad someone donated some money to conservation efforts. But I promise you, men who think naming a star after your ladyfriend is romantic: It is not. We want a thing or an activity.
Unless she asked for it, anything that can be used to cook for you, clean for you or otherwise improve the quality of your life while forcing her to do extra work will be seen as really, really selfish.
3. Mall jewelry.
Including, but not limited to Jane Seymour’s Open Heart necklace, which looks like two butts stacked atop each other.
5. A stripper pole.
Unless the woman in your life is actually stripper, there is no way that this will not result in you sleeping on the couch. Possibly, for the rest of your life.
6. Pizza Hut perfume.
This exists. And they’re trying to virally market it in conjunction with Valentine’s Day by encouraging people to use the hashtag #LastMinuteLovers to win the Eau de Pizza Hut (actual name). There’s no way this ends well, even if it’s a gag gift.
7. A dozen roses.
A little creativity, please. They’re overpriced, not nearly as pretty as some other blooms and probably going to be dead in two days. This is doubly true if you get the neon-spray-painted ones.
8. Fruit flowers.
Seriously, these are the grossest things on earth. How many people do you think handle that fruit before it gets to you? What kind of chemicals do you think they spray on it to keep it looking so fresh? It’s basically offering her a pile of bacteria on the most romantic day of the year.
9. Bath products she doesn’t already use or hasn’t specifically asked for.
Trust me. The chances that you will buy something that she is allergic to or hates the smell of are SO HIGH. Don’t risk it.
10. A picture of yourself.
Unless she is one million years old and does not have an iPhone or a digital camera or Facebook, she already has this, you putz.