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10 Gifts NOT to Give on Valentine’s Day


Vending machineBecause some things are just bad ideas…

1) A pig’s heart with a nail through it. This actually happened to Neil Forrester on MTV’s The Real World: London in 1995. It was so disturbing 14 years ago, that I haven’t forgotten it. General rule of thumb for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, baptism, or anniversary gifts: No barnyard animal sacrifices.

2) Anything that can be purchased at a gas station or a men’s room. Nothing quite says, “I love you and think about you constantly” then a pack of Dentyne, Trojans, and a gallon of windshield wiper fluid. If you care enough to make an effort, the least you can do is get yourself to a Walgreen’s before closing. Even low-maintenance women don’t go this low.

3) Office supplies. Unless, of course, it’s a full-service photocopying machine. That would actually be handy to have at home. Throw in a year’s supply of toner and you have a winning combo.

4) His and hers adjoining burial plots. Because I love you so much that I want to spend eternity lying next to you. While this may seem romantic in theory, trust me, in reality it’s not a good idea, especially if you just started dating (stalker alert). An exception might be if you and your beloved are past retirement age. But even then, there’s probably a better time than Valentine’s Day to give this gift.

5) A mix tape. Or, if you’re a geek, a hard drive with 10,000 hours of mp3s. Although, a boyfriend once gave me a hard drive as a gift and I liked it. I realized it’s the techie’s version of a mix tape and found him all the more adorable, but I’m an odd duck. Many women would look at the hard drive and USB cables with a, “What do you expect me to do with this thing?” expression. It’s a judgment call.

6) Anything that requires assembly. It’s not a present if you have to break a sweat or use tools in order to enjoy it.

7) A membership to Jenny Craig or NutriSystem. Even if she or he needs it, you’re basically saying, “I won’t love you if you’re fat.” There are better days and gentler ways to discuss your sweetheart’s weight problem.

8) Randomly purchased scented lotions and shower gels. No one needs more Vanilla Amber Freesia Mist bath products. No one.

9) Body fluids or clippings. Before Brangelina, Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie wore vials filled with each other’s blood. Unless the object of your affection is a Goth, Vampire, or medical student, it’s probably best to skip gifts you harvest from your own body.

10) Feminine hygiene products. This is no joke. I found this image on flickr today. Eeeew. I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw it. I considered posting the image here, but I just can’t do it. Check out the link.

by Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

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Photo credits:

Vending machine by Nuevo Anden on flickr.

  1. Troubled but Supported
    February 24, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Hah! The pigs heart is a classic! By one of those strange coincidences of life I know Neil and I’m pleased to be able to report that he is happily settled with partner and kids. So no more gruesome valentines presents…

  1. December 2, 2010 at 10:55 am
  2. November 17, 2010 at 2:52 pm

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