BY EMILY TENCER | ILLUSTRATIONS BY KAYLIN PRATT
1. Funny Valentines
As much as we love a Valentine with Harry Potter’s Neville Longbottom saying “I’ll Neville let you go,” funny valentines can be an obvious sign of playing it safe, no matter how incredibly enjoyable and entertaining the cards are. If you want to impress your significant other, these funny valentines located on Twitter and Tumblr can produce mixed signals of sarcasm, friendship, flirting, and possibly laziness. Buying a box of Valentine’s at the local Target and printing off funny Valentine’s is a great way to get the conversation to spark, but a horrible way to make a move.
2. Coupon Book
The number one go-to gift seen every year is the dreaded coupon book. People will make up their own coupons to give to their friends, families, and significant others. Things like “one free hug” or “one free back massage” are seen all the time, and coupon books are becoming very boring. Junior Ellie Milton is not a supporter of the coupon book gift, “I feel like a coupon book is something you give when you’ve waited to the last moment to get a present.” Although the idea is very sweet, the gift is very lame, and shows procrastination. If you plan on wooing your significant other, your coupon book better be something amazing and not basic.
3. Flowers and a Box of Chocolates
Basically everybody loves chocolate, and pretty much anyone can agree flowers look super pretty and are a classy gift. There is nothing wrong with going for flowers and a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day. Yes, it is pretty basic, but it’s a classic tradition that every generation has passed down and is still popular to this day. Senior Kaitlin Swantek is a fan of the classic gift, “The cutest thing a guy has ever done for me was probably when I received my favorite flowers and a box of chocolates just because. Cheesy but cute!” A bouquet of flowers and a box of delicious chocolates are a traditional Valentine’s Day gift, and if your date refuses your iconic gift, there is something wrong with them, not you.
4. Romantic Dinner and Movie
Everyone’s favorite date is the classic romantic dinner and a movie. Take advantage of the amazing restaurants around you and treat your date to some awesome food. You can never go wrong with a delicious meal and a great film. “The perfect Valentine’s date would be to be taken out on a date or out to eat or to the movies! Something simple,” says Swantek. Senior Kaleb Ethington believes the perfect date needs to be planned specifically for your special someone, “The perfect Valentine’s date is when the girl has no clue what the plans are. The date doesn’t have to be fancy or anything, just focus on doing cute things that you know your date will love.”
5. Concert Tickets
Although concert tickets can get a bit pricy, they are always a great date and gift for the people you care about. Learn which artists your significant other enjoys, and if you happen to love the same band, take them out to a concert you both can have a great time at. “I think concert tickets are a good present. It’s something you both can use instead of flowers that die in a week,” says Milton. Search for upcoming bands playing at local venues and see if you can steal a good deal on tickets!
For some people, serenading can be really enjoyable and very special, but for others, it may be uncomfortable. Senior Cole Lempke says, “If you serenade someone, it better be good.” Before you pull out the guitar and start belting your favorite love songs, ask your friends for their honest opinions so you don’t make a fool out of yourself. Senior Andrea Torres says, “Serenading someone is either incredibly sweet or really creepy. There is no in-between.” You never know what the outcome will be, but if it’s good, the moment can be very special. “I think being serenaded by someone would be really impressive and adorable. It would take a lot of courage to sing and/or play an instrument for your crush,” says Swantek. Serenading your loved one can be either a good or a very poor decision, so make sure you’re ready to brace for whatever outcome.
7. Giant Teddy Bears
Now we begin to venture into the realm of ridiculous gifts and expectations, and behold…the giant teddy bear. Everyone loves a cuddly stuffed animal, but giant teddy bears can be super ridiculous. First of all, they’re super duper expensive, and usually are above $75. Second, once your special someone gets a giant teddy bear, all it will do is take up room and sit there, because what else do you do with a massive stuffed animal? Senior Eric Rasmussen says, “Giant teddy bears are always a good idea only if you get to spend ten dollars or less on them.” Instead of wasting many dollars on a huge stuffed animal, use those dollars to find a more meaningful present for your significant other.
8. Puppies and Kittens
We see it all the time on Twitter, and especially during Homecoming and Prom season, people will give their dates a puppy or a kitten with something sweet written on the animal’s collar. “I wouldn’t be opposed if someone got me a puppy,” says Milton. “If my boyfriend handed me a puppy I’d be like, ‘Okay! This is the best Valentine’s Day ever.’” Let’s be honest: puppies and kittens are awesome, and a super cute gift, but giving animals to your date is a big responsibility and a poorly timed decision for high school students. If you receive a puppy during high school, you only have a few more years left with it before you leave for who knows where, and suddenly it’s not your puppy anymore but your parent’s.
Another item seen all over the “relationship goals” account is the iconic baby blue box. Girls seem to retweet pictures of jewelry and boxes from Tiffany’s all the time, and it’s a bit ludicrous that they expect a gift like that for Valentine’s Day. Rasmussen says, “Getting something from Tiffany’s is one of those things that girls tweet about but if someone actually did get it it’d be over the top and weird.” Spending a lot of money on jewelry is a risky move that will continue to raise your significant other’s expectations for better, pricier gifts. Milton says, “You shouldn’t expect your boyfriend to get you something from Tiffany’s if he doesn’t have a job or something to buy you $300 jewelry, but if you’re dating someone like Chuck Bass then yes, you should expect that.”
10. Promise Rings
As the years go by, we tend to see promise rings become a common thing, and you begin to wonder if people are actually making the commitment because they like the idea or because they seriously want to get married. Promise rings are an iffy subject, and it very much depends on your relationship. Ethington says, “Promise rings are stupid. Being in high school, chances are you’ve been dating for a month or so and don’t know everything about the other person.” People need to take in mind that a promise ring is basically saying that you plan on marrying that person in the future, and that’s a big decision to make when you’re only in high school. Torres says, “I love the idea of promise rings, and if a couple has been together for a long time and know that they want to be engaged in the future, then I don’t have a problem with it. It’s those naiive couples that rush into it.”