Sometimes, Valentine's Day is the last thing on our minds, and buying a Valentine's Day gift at the last minute becomes kind of inevitable. February in general is such a crappy month, between the unpredictable weather and the fact that you're still waiting to organize all of your tax forms, praying that you'll actually get something back and not have to owe a thousand dollars. (I'm sure it's easy to figure out your taxes, but I'm not a math person, and it's always kind of a big surprise to me as to how those numbers and columns add up. All I'm focused on is paying by April and not going to jail. That's what happens, right?)
Thankfully, I've been in a happy marriage since the tail end of 2012. What that means is, I know what to expect for Valentine's Day. "Flowers and a card," I ask my husband every year. I don't care where the flowers even came from — it could be a grocery store, a fancy florist, or half dead from someone's cold garden for all I care. I just like flowers. However, years past have been a little bit more confusing. For those of you who started a brand new relationship in January, starting the conversation about Valentine's Day expectations can be a little worrisome. I mean, what if you buy him a new sweater, and he gives you a high five?
This is why we should be glad that drugstores exist. Besides, you know, being a handy way to get that anxiety medication you need after analyzing what might go wrong on Valentine's Day, it also offers a few good mid-level selections that can help either you or your fresh new significant other prove that you remembered this special day of love.
That's why I'm here, dear reader. I searched through all of the seasonal aisles at my local Walgreens like a creepy weirdo/possible shoplifter in order to find you the best Valentine's Day gifts you can buy for your loved one this year.
1. The Not-Too-Obvious Stuffed Animal
I don't know what it is about this lion, but I love him. Like, I want to cuddle this thing all day. And I can! Know why? Because his arms aren't sewn onto some gigantic heart made of poor material that says something like "HOT STUFF" on it. Even at the age of 31, I can still appreciate a good stuffed animal.
2. Cards, Obviously
You don't need to step into a Hallmark store to get a decent card. Most drugstores have a pretty up-to-date selection, and you should be able to find something that speaks to you. I mean, from the standard Peanuts card to the lovey dovey romantic cards with a lot of words in script, you can't really go wrong.
Also, they have cards that play music. I bought my husband one last year, completely by accident. Don't even ask how my weak hands failed to open the card to its full capacity while at the store, since that's a mystery I'm still trying to solve to this day. Thankfully the song wasn't the worst.
3. Mustache Box Of Chocolates
There's one thing that we, as a nation, have accomplished in the last few years. We've finally been able to openly honor the mustache. Men my age strive to look like cartoon villains who tie poor women onto railroad tracks while deviously twirling their follicles, and rightfully look up to Nick Offerman as a hero for his amazing facial hair.
Also, mustaches are funny. Anything which acknowledges the hilarity of a 'stache is immediately great as is, even if it doesn't include delicious chocolate inside.
4. The Hello Kitty Crazy Straw Cup
You guys won't be able to tell, but it lights up if you press the bottom of it. I tried it out in the store, and then awkwardly walked away the second a fellow customer gave me a strange glance. Why didn't I take a video?! Even worse, why didn't I just buy one for myself? I do admit, I was massively tempted.
Regardless of your age, the crazy straw is an amazing thing to have in the house. We all need to drink water to survive, so why can't we do it in a way that boosts up your daily morale? Guys, this gift is perfect for the Lorelai Gilmore-esque girl in your life, who'll never think that Sanrio items and accessories aren't adorable.
5. Gift Certificates
Yeah, sure. They might be a little impersonal. But you know what? If you're suave enough, you can make it work.
Use this prompt I just made up, and feelings won't be crushed: "Hey, baby. I know you like movies. And I know AMC is your favorite theater chain within a 20-mile radius. This gift certificate is a promise to see a movie together on a super romantic date. Popcorn is on me. And by me, I mean we'll use this sexy, totally planned gift card to pay for it."
6. Non-Alcoholic Wine
So, I live in Pennsylvania. And in Pennsylvania, we have super strict rules about how and where you can buy alcohol. Currently, even getting a six pack of beer is difficult. You can't get wine and beer at the same place. When my husband and I went to California for our honeymoon, we bought wine at CVS just because we could.
That's why I was quick to notice these random bottles hanging out at Walgreens, probably waiting for some under-aged kid to buy it without reading the bottle first. Is this a great gift? Eh, probably not great. But if your loved one also lives in Pennsylvania and doesn't drink, it's definitely a sweet gesture to have something "fancier" than soda to drink while watching TV together and holding hands.
(By the way, that's like, the ideal Valentine's Day date to me.)
7. These Lionel Richie-Inspired Cheesecake Treats
I'm a sucker for packaging. Since we last talked about wine, I'd easily buy the bottle with the hilarious label that ends up tasting like Sweet Tarts and hand sanitizer over something that's classy, yet kind of uninspired design-wise. This is why I love these milk chocolate treats. If you haven't seen the video for Lionel Richie's "Hello," you're missing out. Two words: Clay Bust.
8. Other Candy
The candy at Walgreens isn't just there for the purpose of being sneaked into a movie theater via gigantic purse. Even though these candies weren't "seasonal aisle appropriate," it doesn't mean that they won't be thoroughly enjoyed. I mean, it doesn't have to come in a heart-shaped paper tin to be a stellar gift.
Seriously, this might be your only chance this year to buy your boyfriend 20 packs of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups without looking weird. Trust me, he'll love you for it.
9. A Decorative Tin
This one requires a "Step 2." What will you put in your love tin? Twenty packs of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups? A gift card to AMC? Clues to a romantic yet sadly disappointing love-themed treasure hunt? A coupon for a free hug? The world is yours with this tin.
If you want my honest advice, I think a few homemade cookies would fit quite nicely in there. Cookies fit nicely everywhere — tins, stomachs, hands, and more!
10. Someecards Chocolate Heart
If your romantic partner litters their Facebook wall with Someecards to the point where you've actually considered breaking up with them, this is the perfect way to show them how much you care. He'll see it, laugh, say "this is SO me!" post a picture on Instagram, and probably get a couple obligatory likes. Just let him enjoy the chocolate before getting snarly with the comeback of, "they're so everyone, Troy! Everyone can relate to them!"
I mean, you kind of knew what you were getting into when buying this, right?
Images: Mike Mozart/Flickr, Karen Belz (10)