If you even remember them, the 2000s were a glorious time of jean jackets, butterfly clips, Silly Putty, and more. They were the innocent days of AOL Instant Messenger, dial-up internet, and MySpace HTML coding. I personally went through my own phase of wearing Ugg slippers to school, along with approximately half of the student body. But think back — what kinds of gifts did you get for Valentine's Day in the 2000s? Back in the era when boxed valentines were still a thing and everyone wished to get the giant pack of Nerds, what else were you counting on from that someone special?
When you weren't nodding along to J.T.'s "SexyBack" and mouthing the lyrics you might've been too young to fully comprehend, you were dreaming about the day your crush asked you out in front of the cafeteria! And if that couldn't happen any of the other 365 days of the year, it at least could happen on Valentine's Day.
So what things are we most nostalgic for this season? What impacted our tiny, developing, relatively unbroken hearts back then, when someone handing you a heart-shaped piece of Dove chocolate could even evoke visceral emotion? Let's go back down memory lane, with this list of gifts you definitely either received (or heartbrokenly watched someone else receive) in the 2000s.
1A romantic mixtape of Limewire-downloaded tracks
If you had someone who was a sk8r boi who you didn't want to see you later boi, they'd better have made you the most ah-mazing, pirated list of tracks your heart could've asked for. That live-audio version of Jesse McCartney's "Beautiful Soul" would be a great hit, as well as Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved" with the ending slightly cut off for copyright purposes. Apparently romance can sometimes only be conveyed through slightly illegal means.
2"Daisy" by Marc Jacobs
Wow, this perfume was the best. It's been around since 2007 and smells like, well, exactly what it purports to. The grapefruit, musk, vanilla, wood, jasmine and strawberry notes make it a desirable buy even now, but especially when you were experiencing your first sexual awakening as a young adult. Perfect way to get your prospective S.O. to sniff your neck a bit more tenderly ...
3Harajuku Girls Backpack
In 2004, Gwen Stefani's backup singers Love, Angel, Music, and Baby had their own fashion line that was much-coveted. The name of the group is a reference to the Tokyo neighborhood. While in 2018 we are all quick to acknowledge Gwen Stefani's *rampant* cultural appropriation in this particular era of her career, in the early 2000s many young tweenage girls loved this line of bags and perfume, and surely getting one of these babies was a status symbol bae could give you.
Fun fact: if you're wondering where they are now, The Harajuku Girls characters eventually became the basis for a TV show in 2016 called Kuu Kuu Harajuku about the members forming a band called HJ5 alongside a blonde named G (stands for Gwen?? Who knew?). Watch if you dare.
4Scented gel pens
Tell me it wasn't just me wanting to sniff the eff out of these. Any aspiring writer who spent time diary-ing would absolutely have fangirled over these pens. They're always fun colors, but the smell of fresh ink, already a satisfying feat without the smell, would have been just tantalizing and motivating enough for any future author to keep going.
Joe Jonas was kissing who! (Not Sophie back then, that's for sure.) What did Miley say? When are Selena and Demi going to make another BFF video?? Our favorite gossip magazine (with great quizzes too) always kept us updated on Disney Channel stars and the drama going on behind the scenes. Anyone who cares about you should've given you this gift. How else could you have conveyed to anyone how well-read you were?
6Taylor Swift's "Fearless" CD
OK, but Tay had the best soundtrack to falling in love as a teenager, whether it was "Love Story," "You Belong With Me," or "Fearless." These were the kinds of songs you'd blast in the car driving home from an amazing first date. Hope your Valentine pampered you by giving you the most immortal album of the decade.
7The Notebook DVD
Was a BeDazzler essential to survival? Probably. Using it, you could fasten rhinestones, studs and patches to your clothes or shoes. And in a way, it could have also been the best way to convey a message. If your crush's backpack got a mild rhinestone covering, they knew what that meant. Marking your territory everywhere? Certainly worth a purchase, bae (hint hint).
9Cotton Candy Lip Smacker
While your sister's lipsticks were all the rage with the older women, for little girls, Lip Smacker was the most legitimate form of lip balm out there. It also tasted good to boot. If bae wanted to kiss you a little longer, they should have bought you this addictive stuff. Woohoo!
10Converse with Fall Out Boy lyrics on them
We can all belt "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" at the top of our lungs, but if someone wrote these on your shoes for you (bonus if they're pink), then that was definitely true love. Not gonna lie, I still dream about the day bae gives me these too.