It’s that time of year again. As some of you may remember, last year’s Valentine’s Day didn’t end so great. My date was cancelled, I received no gifts. Instead I ended up going to an Anti-Valentine’s Day party and making due as best I could. The party was fun. A group of the book club girls all got together and had non-date food and broken heart cookies with things like “Luv Sux” written on them in icing.
But it wasn’t the same.
There is just something about Valentine’s Day that makes people a little bit crazier than usual. And by people, I mean women. Whether we mean to or not, this holiday turns us into gift snobs. We go all bonkers thinking about what we might get, and we judge the gifts to gauge how much the person buying them actually cares about us.
Now that doesn’t necessarily include the price tag… If you remember from last year’s V-Day post, I reminisced about the year I was proposed to as part of the celebration. Even though he’d spent quite a bit of money on the day (and I made sure he knew I appreciated it), the parts that I really remember were relatively inexpensive. He took me to a cafe while we were dressed in formal wear and we played checkers while we had our Iced Vanilla Chai lattes. He had a bottle of my favorite (at the time) wine, which was only a $9 bottle. He bought me a gold-dipped rose because I’d mentioned it… which while more than he should have spent, proved that he actually listened to what I said.
Those are the things I remember.
Well, those things and the proposal…
But those particular things stand out because they showed that he knew what I liked. He knew who I really was.
This morning, on my very short commute to work, I heard on the radio about how one of the DJ’s girlfriend bought him an iPhone 6 for Valentine’s Day and gave it to him early.
Super sweet, since apparently he really needed a new phone, but also a bit of a problem as they had discussed that they were trying to save money, and thus wouldn’t be spending much on each other. This puts him in a bit of a sticky situation. Since Valentine’s Day is a day that, whether we mean to or not, women judge how much a person loves us based on the gift (or gifts) he buys, he has to get her something. But what should he get her, exactly?
We all know that iPhones are ridiculously expensive, and since he needed one, it ups the emotional value of the phone exponentially. So he is tasked with getting a gift of equal or higher value.
And here is where the trap comes in. That one little word “value” is a trap because what one girl values may be different than what another girl values. For me the emotional value of a gift is worth two or three times the monetary value. So a free gift that shows a deep emotional connection is more valuable to me than something wicked expensive, like a trip for two to Hawaii or the Bahamas or some other ridiculously expensive yet romantic trip.
We need a formula…
I’m not great at math, so this might take a little bit more work than it should. (Actually that is a bald-faced lie; I am good at math but it makes me twitch a little. I don’t like math. I used to have a saying: Math is like a BJ, just because I don’t like to do it doesn’t mean I’m not good at it…)
In my head, it goes a little something like this:
Monetary value of the gift can be represented by m.
Emotional value of a gift is represented as en, as the emotional value is worth considerably more.
The total value of your gift then become the combination of both the emotional value and the monetary value V=en+m
Or something like that.
Ok… maybe making formulas is harder than I thought, but the basic idea is figure out how big you want the perceived value to be, then look at your budget. If you want to make a really huge impact with a little budget, the gift needs to have a serious emotional connection.
For instance, the gift that never materialized from the Boy was supposed to be a mixed CD in an origami case. Music is something he and I can connect on. It is really important to both of us. Had he put songs that were important to both of us, plus songs that had meaning to where our relationship could have been going, it would have been perfect…albeit a little old fashioned (the 90’s called; they want their gift idea back). That is a very strong emotional connection for a very little price.
The origami thing… well that gets a little trickier as there’s no real connection there for me. But if he’d been able to make something that hearkened back to some Geeky thing we used to connect to, it would have worked. Like a Star Trek thing, since we used to watch Star Trek together… for hours!
Actually, he would put Star Trek on and make me watch it by myself while he played WoW or something like that… yeah, we didn’t really connect that well in hindsight.
Truth be told, there was only ever one thing we were really good at. And we didn’t do that nearly often enough…
But you get the point, I hope.
This year promises to be a better year. Although Superman and I have started over, he told me that he had already ordered me something for Valentine’s before our big fight. You know, the one that lasted 2 weeks because we weren’t communicating properly. The fact that he had already been thinking about Valentine’s Day that far in advance when we had just started seeing each other was really special.
The emotional value is already through the roof for that reason alone!
So now I am a wee bit nervous that the gift I had planned isn’t going to be as acceptable. FYI, for those of you who are looking out for me, I have already told him the entire evolution of the idea, so if he reads it here, I won’t have given anything away.
I got the idea from a cookie on Pinterest.
So the idea behind it was that I wanted to do something cute, but not too romantic (we’ve started completely over, remember?). I found those cookies while I was looking for the little 3rd grade Valentine’s cards. I thought, hey, the little cards would be really cute and fun, and there’s no pressure that way… in theory.
I’m trying really hard to not push this too fast.
I know, I probably should have gone with the Superman theme, but when I saw those cookies while I was looking at several various options, my brain told me to stop. It said that yes, that was totally doable as a plush heart! Plus, he told me how he and his nephew really like the Ninja Turtles. If this works out to be easier than I think, I might make a smaller pillow for his nephew, too. Maybe. I’m not sure if that’s appropriate or not.
If I had found a Superman logo in the same soft material, and was confident enough in my sewing skills to put a button up shirt over it, I would totally have done that, but no such luck.
So now I have bought green super soft fleece (although I think it may be more of a Hulk green instead of a TMNT green, but that’s ok), a large strip of purple fabric (he likes Donatello), and some foam for the eyes (wanted the googly eyes, but they didn’t have the size I needed). It’s a pretty done deal at this point…
I’m hoping it’s of an acceptable level of emotional value. I don’t want him to feel like I didn’t give him a gift as nice or as thoughtful as his. Plus, I don’t want him to think it’s just totally dumb… I have told him I am doing it, but I have also told him if it doesn’t turn out well, that I reserve the right to not give it to him… I’ll do just the cookies instead if that happens.
I am caught in the Valentine’s Trap. And even though it’s filled me with anxiety, I also am loving every minute of it. I think that’s a good sign.