Don’t Give Your Valentine Another Crappy Gift Ever Again

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Guest Post by Christine Borkowski

Another St. Valentine’s Day is upon us, and with this Hallmark holiday comes hardly any responsibility (let’s face it; it’s not Christmas, Hanukkah or a birthday). In the past, I’ve received enough “It’s the thought that counts” gifts like huge boxes of diabetes and teddy bears I have no use for (except pretending to like them, like the person who gave me them in the first place).

So how do you make the most out of V-Day for your S.O. without coming off as cheesy with the same shitty old gifts that will end up in the garbage anyway?


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Try This: What I Love About You Book

If the L-Bomb has already been thrown out there (it’ll be awkward if it hasn’t been), take 5-10 minutes to fill this sweet book out. It prompts you to get creative and really think about why you love this person. Can’t find any reasons? You should probably break up then.


Not That: Cheesy Hallmark card or gift card

Unless your S.O. is a hoarder, they’re likely going to throw your cheap Precious Moments card away after some time. Also, cash is king, but if you’re going to give your lover a gift card for Cupid’s day, maybe you should re-assess what the hell you’re doing with your life and your gift game in general.


Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 9.44.12 AM

Try This: Something related to your love’s interests (get creative)

I know sometimes it’s hard to wrap your head around the right gift (that’s why you’re reading this right?). Think about it this way, you like/love this person for a reason. Think about what they like, and run with it. Some quick ideas:

– If they like a specific author, google “authors similar to” and find a read they might appreciate (with good reviews).

– If your love is a booze hound, get them a cool bottle opener. These are some creative ones.

– If the only thing your sweetie enjoys is mindless reality TV, then I guess you’re shit out of luck (Oh wait, you’re not!).

– If your babe likes art– dude have you never heard of Etsy?

– If you’re not broke, whisk your ball-and-chain away for a surprise weekend or a sweet day trip (just make sure they don’t have plans first).

Not That: Any size teddy bear

First off, and pardon my French, but what the fuck is anyone going to do with an oversized teddy bear? Our city apartments are small and expensive enough as is. No one has time or space for that shit.


Try This: Pot Brownies/Chocolates

If your sweetheart is a pot aficionado or a light consumer, the awesomeness of this gift ranges. I’d recommend *special* brownies or peanut butter cups for the Mary Jane lover, and light chocolate-covered espresso beans for the lightweight. Get giggly and put your mutually-favorite show or movie on and cuddle the night away (or go sit in Dolores or Prospect Park depending which coast you’re on).

Not That: A Box of Chocolates

Chocolates are delicious and all, but they’re definitely overdone. The point here is to stand out from your lover’s crappy exes and to one-up yourself from past years. Also, that’s just too much damn sugar.


image from Love This Pic.

Bonus points: Fresh Flowers

I have to admit that I’m still a sucker for flowers and always will be. Flowers can be inexpensive at grocery stores like Trader Joe’s, and they’re classic (also, if you can spare a few more dollars, support your local florists!). If you get your love some flowers, listen to hear about what they like and don’t like about them. To up the ante, grab the ones they like *for no reason* and surprise them in 2-3 weeks. Smiles and panty-drop will ensue.

Happy V-Day, you young, broke and beautiful people.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.