By Rickey Miller
For many of us – especially college students – money is tight and time is scarce for finding that special gift for your special someone this Valentine’s Day. However, you never want to be remembered as the boyfriend or girlfriend who gives crappy gifts. Rather than making an excuse to break up just before the holiday or explaining that “it’s the thought that counts” (false), avoid these horrific gift ideas and save yourself the embarrassment of explaining how terrible of a gift giver you really are.
- The Recycled Gift
Chances are someone once gave you an awful Christmas gift that you accepted only to give it away to someone else. While that may work for Christmas, please do not re-gift for Valentine’s Day. Your partner will notice that you have given them the same ugly coffee cup your mom gave you as a stocking stuffer months ago. If you do decide to give a recycled gift, make sure that it wasn’t personalized just for you, like 21-year-old interdisciplinary studies major Clair Jennings.
Last Valentine’s Day Jennings was in a new relationship, and because she didn’t know if the guy was worth her “coins,” she decided that any gift was better than no gift at all.
“I figured since my dad gave me a LSU snapback hat for Christmas and I already had so many, I would just rewrap it and give it to my man,” she said. “What I didn’t realize is the fact that my dad had gotten the hat monogrammed.”
Jennings said that it wasn’t until her boyfriend put on the hat that she realized her initials were monogrammed on the back. When she couldn’t come up with a quick enough explanation, she had come clean.
“I felt really bad for having to explain to him why I didn’t buy him anything but it did teach me a lesson – never give a recycled gift,” Jennings said.
- Handwritten Cards
As a child your mom probably enjoyed receiving special handwritten cards from you. As an adult in a relationship… not so much. You can pick up a much nicer card at almost any store, and making your own makes you look like a cheapskate.
While some may say that handwritten cards are special because more thought and creativity are put into them, there are just as many pre-made Valentine’s Day cards that can be personalized inside with your own sappy message.
- Cheap Lotions
Cheap lotions and body washes sounds like a great, thrifty gift, right? Wrong.
19-year-old Ben Jackson said he learned this lesson the hard way.
While Valentine’s Day shopping, Jackson came across a three-pack gift set. The gift set contained lotion, body wash, and a spray. After smelling the sample, Jackson said he decided to buy it because he’d rather save some cash with the cheap stuff than hit up Bath & Body Works.
“She loved the gift…at first,” Ben said. “A few days later my girlfriend called me screaming saying the lotion I had bought her gave her rashes,” he said. “Imagine how terrible I felt knowing that it was most likely because it was only $5.00 for the entire set.”
Take it from Jackson’s experience, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Fake Designer Items
“Fake anything is really bad, but a fake purse is especially disrespectful,” said 21-year-old English major Erin Woods. She said she doesn’t know what her reaction would be if a boyfriend ever gave her fake designer item but “you can rest assured it wouldn’t be nice.”
It’s understandable that you’re trying to make smart decisions on buying and budgeting, especially if you’re a college student. But if you feel the need to impress your significant other with labels, DO NOT do it fraudulently.
Most likely your partner will be OK with a more practical, less expensive gift rather than receiving fake goods.
- A Not-So-Romantic Double Date
While double dating may be the “in thing” for new couples, it’s not the route to take on Valentine’s Day. Can you imagine getting ready for a nice dinner date with your Valentine only to arrive at the restaurant to discover that your date’s parents will be joining you?
22-year-old Kate Johnson said this is the situation she found herself in two years ago.
“I got all dressed up in my sexiest outfit,” Johnson said. Her boyfriend picked her up and informed her he was taking her to a very nice restaurant and he had a surprise.
“I never imagined the surprise would be his parents,” Johnson said. “By the end of the date I was so over it, I began texting on my phone and made an excuse to leave.”
Simply stated, never do double dates for special occasions – it’s tacky.