Cupid, that mischievous little cherub synonymous with Valentine’s Day, has a different name in ancient Greek mythology: Eros. You may also not know that Eros is the son of Venus, the goddess of love. And the ancient Greeks recognized seven different types of love, using different words to describe the warm and fuzzy feeling one might have for a romantic partner, flirtatious crush, best friend, parent, and more. Our modern take on Valentine’s Day is so exactly according to the book, and all that stuff in pink and red packaging leaves little room for anything but LUV love. What about it? Leaning into the Hallmark romance on Valentine’s Day is friendly, but ultimately impersonal. And the day is either full of rituals someone told you or full of disappointments when real life just can’t keep up. So before you buy that box of mysterious chocolates and bright red thong, you should think twice. Be a little dumber! Here are five ideas to say “I love you” more creatively – you have a week to shop.
A bouquet of dried flowers
If you’ve ever had a girlfriend, knew someone recovering from an operation, or helped an actor friend with their local theater production, you know gifted flowers are expensive. You could even say that they are … suspiciously expensive. Who will benefit from a $ 70 purchase made in a week? It’s a page straight out of the old Apple Playbook! This is not meant to minimize the beauty of a floral arrangement – it’s just that if you are spending money on home decor it should last longer than an avocado. Dried flowers have the chutzpah of flowers and the lasting power of jewelry for exactly the same price as a bouquet of roses. Not only do they look beautiful (and colorful if that’s what you’re into), they’ll never wither or go moldy. Inside a dried bouquet it says thoughtfully, “I may have looked through your Instagram folder while you were in the bathroom.” Also, many florists now make and ship them. If you want to get smart, you can also purchase your own dried stems, arrange them at home, and hand deliver the bouquet to a friend’s doorstep.
A not flowery bouquet
Of course, a bouquet doesn’t have to be made of flowers. Anything tied together in a bunch counts these days, so you can really be as unconventional as you want to be. If you take the bouquet train at the flower station and want to drive it across the entire spectrum, you have to get off immediately at Fleisch. Yes, bouquets of meat are one thing. And it’s weird. So much funnier than a boring old edible arrangement! A brand called Man Crates sells a bouquet of salami and jerky wrapped with a surprising amount of grace and thought for a brand called Man Crates. Of course, you can buy this for any meat lover regardless of gender identity. It’s perfect for those whose love language is food, or maybe the person whose Valentine’s Day is their dog this year. Other options include a smoked bacon bouquet and every crazy jerky sculpture that happens on Say It With Beef dot com. Goes well with two pizza dough balls and a cast iron pan.
An inexpensive but excellent vibrator
… is hard to find. Fortunately, the people in Maude seem to have figured it out. First, it’s not huge and pink and phallic – it’s an incredibly discreet, neutrally-toned and gender-neutral silicone tear that you could easily leave out on purpose. This is likely because it was developed by a woman, founder Éva Goicochea, rather than a cis-straight man. Plus, this thing is actually a really good vibrator. What seems impossible due to its small size (the harder it is to put a powerful motor in, dear) and its low price (roughly half the cost of any other tuning in my collection) is deep, powerful vibrations – but speed delivers three they just fine. It fits right in the palm of your hand, someone’s hand, everyone’s hand! It’s perfect to use with a partner or alone, and it’s really difficult to lament the lack of a soulmate on this most commercially romantic day while you’re busy having an orgasm.
A full body lubricant
In the same veins of eye cream and foot cream, personal lubricant seems to be one of the things that really gets on its own track. But if you’ve ever rummaged in the air for a handkerchief after applying too much lube and having no idea where to put the excess, consider Kate McLeod’s Sex Stone. It is a limited version of their top 25 body stone. The recipe has been slightly adjusted to be fragrance free and melt faster on skin contact. While working on the specific blend of natural oils, McLeod distributed samples to friends with different sexual orientations and preferences to ensure that the end product was “lubricant” enough for everyone. Do not use it if you are relying on latex or polyisoprene condoms – the oils in Sex Stone can damage these materials, making the condom less effective at protecting from everything. However, Sex Stone works well with silicone toys like the vibrator mentioned above. If sex isn’t on the menu, you can still use the bar as a massage tool or for overall hydration. When you’re down to a tiny shard, toss it in a bathtub and let it soak.
A card you will never lose or throw away
Instead of writing a card to the person you love (and now dealing with the hassle of the mail), take a minute to think about what you could write on a card. Do you record yourself saying it out loud on a phone or computer and send that over instead? With the disappointing wonder of technology, you’ll have it forever without losing track of it. It also adds an element of portability – most people don’t carry a handwritten love letter with them, but they will have their phone. It would be nice to listen to something like this again when you feel blue or nervous, similar to an cheery conversation or a hype-up playlist. But the best part is that it’s always free to tell the people you love that you love them. It’s easy to forget this time of year.
Photo via ITG