Valentine's Day in the '90s was this epic communal event that was mixed with excitement, fear, and horror — like much of the things that we endured in our awkward youths. The kinds of gifts you got for Valentine's Day in the '90s were not at all like the kinds of things we exchange on Valentine's Day now.
When we were super young, V-Day was at first, a holiday that we were forced to celebrate with our entire class. But then as we got older, having a Valentine became a more personal thing — that you were either deeply grateful for, because someone asked you to be their Valentine, or deeply saddened by, because no one asked. To make up for a lot of the awkwardness associated with the holiday, often our parents and friends would buy us little gifts to make sure we felt loved. Usually the things that our Valentine's got us in the '90s were useless, though edible pretty things that made us feel special. And usually the things that our parents or friends got us, were things that we could actually use, but were likely embarrassed to. Alas, here I am, a full-grown adult electively wearing a pair of heart printed socks that I would have be ashamed to wear in high. Here are few other things you probably remember getting on Feb. 14 in the 1990s.
Simba and Nala were like the Romeo and Juliet of our time. I had so many of their stuffed animals, because for years I there were in the number one spot on my wish list.
Making your crush a scrapbook was like the most crafty, thoughtful, romantic thing you could do. And while you never had enough memories to fill out all the pages, it was a great excuse to make more memories together.
Chocolate roses from the pharmacy were a big hit. You wanted to eat them, but you didn't because you wanted to show the off by carrying them around all day, more.
Lisa Frank Stickers
My mom always got me these, so I'd spend that whole day at school transferring them onto my folders and binders. Nothing says "I love you" like a neon pony.
LISA FRANK vintage stickers S229 Valentine sticker sheet, $15.00, Etsy
And we all loved it. We wanted all the stickers!
All the better to doodle your crush's name with. Remember having so many of these pens that you couldn't fit them in the front pocket of your backpack?
If you wanted to get bonus points, you could get them customized so that they say the name of you and your crush.
Oversized Stuffed Talking Animal
Remember that one huge stuffed monkey that they sold at the pharmacy? When you squeeze it, it would start shaking and say something like "I'm bananas for you!" and it was kinda cute, but also kinda creepy?
Making a mixtape for your crush was the ultimate gesture. It always took forever, but the satisfaction of knowing they're enjoying the songs you enjoy, was so worth it. If you wanted to be really romantic, you could write a special notes in the track list.
My mom always got me socks with hearts on them. They were the socks that you'd probably really only wear if literally all of your other socks were dirty, because at that age, cute was dorky.
A diary was a solid gift option for someone you didn't know that well. You could never have enough, because let's be real, we all needed help filling out our bookshelves back then.
One Valentine's Day, my crush brought me a photo album that had a picture of a golden retriever on the front and I was sure he wanted to marry me. I literally still have it.
Plastic Heart Jewelry
Literally anything that had a heart on it was fair game. Back then we didn't know anything about materials or the value of jewelry. We'd be just as happy to get a plastic heart anklet as we would be to get a diamond.