View From The Spectrum: Start shopping for Valentine's Day 2003

If you forgot about Valentine's Day Thursday (and it wasn't your first mistake) you're probably a male and single by now - or just in the dog house. The good thing about life, is that you can learn from your mistakes. What better time to start planning for Valentine's Day 2003 than now? Besides, all the gifts you didn't buy are on clearance.

The general concept for Valentine's gifts usually don't change from year to year, so if you want to buy something today and use it next year, you'll be OK. Stay away from items with "2002" on them and edible gifts, unless you want next year's valentine to be love sick.

Mat: Staying away from edible gifts is a good idea anyway. First of all, you don't want to end up in arguments you can prevent. If you get candy, you may end up in the "I'm fat" argument. For those dating women, this is an argument worth avoiding. If you don't know what this argument is like, I'll give you a taste:

"I'm fat."

"No you're not."

"I'm fat."

"No you're not," etc. It's like pushing an object in a vacuum, it will go on forever.

Kevin: If you are gay, the worst gift to give this year would be Hallmark's "Kiss-Kiss" Bears. They are the ones with the magnets in their noses, and when they are within an inch of each other, their noses lock. Sounds harmless enough, but when you try to have two males or two females kiss, they repel.

From my experience with buying Valentine's gifts, the ladies (yes, I've dated women) seem to want presents with meaning behind them. Forget the generic stuffed animals and extremely cheesy dancing ones, too. For a more personal approach, try the "Build a Bear" bears. If you're going to buy a card, at least read it before you sign your name. Speaking of cards, the weekend before Valentine's Day, I visited several card aisles and saw an overwhelming majority of women buying cards. Either they were all lesbians or it's true that guys generally wait until the very last minute to buy their significant other a simple card.

Mat: The week before Valentine's Day is tough for guys. I'm not making excuses, but there is something that tells us we still have more time before Valentine's Day approaches. The secret is, we don't. No matter how much time we think we have, we are always out of time. That's why shopping a year in advance is key. You'll be done, just remember what day Feb. 14 is. To motivate yourself, remember: he who procrastinates, masturbates.

Kevin: If by some chance you did forget to buy a gift Thursday, just make up an excuse. You would never want to actually admit that you forgot. That would be the biggest relationship mistake ever. When confronted by your mate, just say something to the effect of, "Why should I have to show my love for you only on one day out of the year? (Pull out a bouquet of flowers or other meaningful gift) I purposely didn't give you a gift yesterday, so I could surprise you today. Happy Valentine's Day! (Go in for the smooch)." This only works once, if you forget birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates - you're screwed.

For the single people out there - I'm in the same boat with you. I'm not against V-Day, I think the day needs renamed. Something along the lines of "Single's Awareness Day." That's more like it. Here's to all the newly single (since yesterday because you forgot your gift), independent and unhitched people out there - Happy Single's Awareness Day!

Write to Kevin and Mat at


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