I actually like Valentine’s Day. I like giving gifts to people, and of course I like receiving them. Even if you don’t get a gift because you’re grizzled and alone, it’s still a holiday that prominently features boxes of chocolate with surprise fillings, so what can go wrong?
There is a systematic approach to getting the most out of a heart-shaped box. I’m like Indiana Jones trying to navigate the fillings, avoiding the strawberry creme and finding a coveted coconut, watching out for assholes who leave the empty wrappers in the box. It can be a real heartbreaker when you’ve got your eye on the almond one, and the person you’re sharing with snags it.
A box of chocolates is a classic gift and you cannot go wrong with it. But there are some gifts you can go very, very wrong with. In my college days, I worked at a sporting goods store, Modell’s. Gotta Go To Mo’s. You’d be surprised, but business always ramped up the week of Valentine’s Day. Actually, you wouldn’t be surprised. Dudes just don’t know how to buy gifts for the women in their lives. A Tony Little Gazelle Freestyle may be something she could use, but exercise equipment is something you buy for yourself, not for your loved ones. Sure, she always says it “looks fun” when watching the infomercial on TV, but nothing’s fun about getting a gift that says you’re fat.
Still, you could do a lot worse. Like the gift shelf at 7-11.
One of my standards in life is that I don’t purchase gifts at a same place where I can purchase omelette taquitos. Speaking of omelette taquitos, should you really be eating something stuffed with eggs that’s been sitting on a hot roller? That’s how baby seals die.
But anyway, let’s examine this shelf o’ gifts. Here it is, the big to do. The big display. Yesterday when I was in 7-11, the pink gorilla was slumped on the bottom shelf, depressing the hell out of me. Today when I went back to take pictures, I see they made an attempt to make the display less desolate. But it’s still bad. You can clearly see the big empty space on the bottom where the monkey was slumped. Now he’s simply strung up. He looks uncomfortable too, like hanging from the pink scalp is actually hurting.
And here’s some dumb little shits:
The original, classic, collectable I Love You Bears. Yeah, everybody wants an I Love You Bear. In fact, nothing says “I Didn’t Try” like a ceramic figure that clearly came from a Rite Aid, gas station, or 7-11. Why don’t you just throw in an rubber ice scraper and a Mountain Dew?
In fact, this gift would only be acceptable from a child who was given 5 dollars to run into the store to get a Slurpee and pick out a gift for Mom. Ladies, if anyone over the age 12 presents you with an I Love You Bear this Valentine’s Day, they do not love you; they hate you, and you let the SURFING PIZZA know so that I can come kill them.
Another bad gift. OK, so the I Love You Bear you could discreetly ditch into the trashcan, but this large glass paperweight is gonna be harder to get rid of. Are you just gonna chuck this hunk of glass? No! What the fuck are you going to do with it? It says I love that you are with me and glad forever that you are mine. Yeah, you’re glad forever until 2 minutes after she recieves this and dumps you.
Now this guy’s not as bad as the others. He’s stupid as hell and crappy as shit, but he’s got a little charm to him. See, he’s holding a heart that says you have the right to remain mine. He’s a policeman, not a flight attendant. He’s sort of like the no-friends bear that has a crush on a popular bear. She’s eating at the lunchtable surrounded by all her bear friends. No Friends approaches the table awkwardly, and everyone looks up. The table goes silent. What is this freak doin’ here, they ask. Then No Friends shyly holds out this heart. You have the right to remain mine. Everyone laughs. The end.
OK, here’s No Friends Bear’s one friend, but even No Friends tries to disassociate himself with Blindingly Red Cross-Eyed Gorilla. This one sits at the special table. Looking at this gorilla is like looking at an ugly baby. You just kinda wince.
Finally, my personal favorite —
The creative brains behind Lotsa Pen Lotsa Love weren’t even trying to come up with something genuine.
“Hey let’s make a big pen. Lotsa pen……”
No, it’s fucking brilliant.”
“Fire up the plastic molds.”
I’d be interested to know if any of you has ever got a gift as bad as any of these. I hope you all get lotsa pen and lotsa love on Valentine’s. And if you got nobody, then lotsa drunk.