Whereas Christmas, Mother's Day and Father's Day gift guides are vehemently rooted in stereotypes ("How did People magazine know that my dad enjoys golfing, barbecuing, cigars, expensive shaving kits, and aprons emblazoned with funny puns??"), they at least sort of make sense. But the gift lists that come out around this time of year, well, they don't.
Valentine's Day gift guides always include a Victoria's Secret thong, the URL of an incredibly overpriced website that allows you to buy and ship chocolate covered strawberries to your home because apparently strawberries and chocolate are foreign concepts in wherever podunk place you come from, and then a whole bunch of random crap that is only there because it's red, and only exists because some savvy marketer said, "Hey! Let's put out a limited edition red-colored version of our product and then pitch it to every magazine, website, and morning tv news show in the world as a meaningful Valentine's Day purchase."
You know that when this savvy marketer makes his sales calls, he goes, "Listen, I've got a great product for your little gift guide over there--red tampons!", and then all the gift guide editors immediately asked for a photo and pricing info and say, "You know, this world would be a better place if there were more people like you who truly understood the meaning of Valentine's Day."
And this is why we see pages and pages of red spatulas, red soda, red vases, red lipstick (if that guy from Sesame Street were to pop up here and sing the "One of these things is not like the other" song, we would eventually choose the lipstick as the culprit, because it's the only one that sort of makes sense), red sneakers, red cellphones. These gifts are like the dreaded holiday-themed sweater: utterly useless in every capacity but able to continue their facade of societal contribution because of a flimsy tie-in with an established holiday.
I think it's time to stick it to the man and make a Valentine's Day Gift Guide that makes even less sense than the traditional ones, don't you? According to Wikipedia (I feel like such an outlaw right now for writing that, because if I did that on one of my college papers I'd fail), "The first recorded association of Valentine's Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer." Yes, I think my gift guide shall have a Chaucer theme.
The Daddy Likey Chaucerlicious Valentine's Day Gift Guide!To start things off, I see from Chaucer's portrait that he was a fan of the headwrap:
SO in right now. Good one Chaucer! Approximate this classic style this Valentine's Day with a Pucci scarf:
Dare I say this is even cuter than the look Chaucy's rockin'?
"Chaucer" rhymes with "Saucer." Hmm....
Adorable handmade saucer, anyone?
$125, Daniel Levy, guild.com
Here is a sample of Chaucer's original Valentine's Day poem:
- For this was on seynt Volantynys day
- Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese [chose] his make [mate].
I think a video game that makes you smarter would be a fitting Valentine's Day gift, indeed! Brain Age, amazon.com
Admittedly, I'm only an amateur Chaucer scholar, but still, I'm going to go out on a limb here and declare that when he wrote "chese" in that poem up there, he did not mean "chose," but "cheese."
Delight your man (or yourself!) and honor Chaucer's true intentions with a membership to a Cheese of the Month Club!
$55 a month, artisanalcheese.com
Did you know "Chaucer" means "shoemaker" in French? How about some Valentine's Day shoes? I vote these:
Notice they're not red.
Cole Haan "Anabel Air" pump, $275, nordstrom.com
I'll bet that Chaucer's ladies (if not the Chauce himself) wore bloomers. Check out this updated pair from Free People:
Perfect for lounging or time travel.
Yep, I think that made even less sense than a special-edition red spatula. Me and Chaucer, stickin' it to the man.
Happy Valentine's Day everybody!