Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and we all know what that means: time to let your partner know just how much he means to you by picking up something from that pink and red seasonal aisle at Kroger next time you’re in there for diapers and ice cream. I’m sure Saint Valentine, who was executed under Roman law for performing forbidden weddings to soldiers, would love to see how his name is living on: in the form of great big stuffed bears holding pillow hearts on Aisle 4.
Regardless, unless you have a pre-arranged deal with your partner that you will mutually abstain from this Pepto Bismol-colored holiday, you’re going to have to suck it up and do something for each other. Hopefully we can all accomplish that this year without becoming sad, bedraggled versions of Cupid.
Here’s a totally useful guide to help you figure out what the Valentine’s gifts (or dates) you get each other are really saying—so that you can choose the appropriate category.
- Chocolates. “I’ll put your name on the box, but I’m really getting these for myself.”
- Flowers. “I love you enough to pick up something while I’m already out that is actually available year-round at grocery stores and gas stations across the world.”
- A Hallmark card. “I can’t be bothered to write down my own few sentences describing how much you mean to me, so I let someone else do it instead. Hey, AND it rhymes!”
- A date at a romantic restaurant. “Let’s fight the crowds of young, childless couples publicly displaying their affection to get a quick bite to eat before we have to get back and relieve the babysitter.”
- A date to a movie. “This is literally the only movie we will have time to see this year so try to enjoy it.”
- A date to a cooking class. “I know it seems weird to pay to cook your own dinner, but I like it to feel like work when I’m out having fun.”
- Jewelry. “I am WAY into this holiday plus I heard this radio commercial in the car and it just sounded great.”
- A homemade coupon booklet. “Here’s a list of things I should already be doing for you without making you turn in a coupon for it.”
- A sexy nightie. “You’re going to get so lucky tonight provided you turn in the appropriate coupon first.”
- A mixed CD. “I’m 75 years old.”
- A mixed tape. “I’m a hundred years old.”
- An Edible Arrangement. “In just a few clicks of a mouse, overpriced, skewered fruit will be on its way to your door.”
- Wine. “There’s no one I’d rather get sleepy with than you.”
- A stuffed animal. “I’ve stopped trying in life.”
After you’ve chosen the right gift for the love of your life, take the chocolates and the wine and indulge in a night of Netflix-watching on the couch, which is what you both really want anyway, right?