You Suck at Gift-Giving: Your Valentine's Day Gift-Buying Survival Guide
Other examples of loser Valentine's Day gifts: Ed Hardy anything, heart-shaped anything, body chocolate. There are exceptions to these rules, of course -- except for the Ed Hardy one -- but we wouldn't expect you to know them. Read on for our V-Day gift survival guide, telling you exactly what not to buy, and giving you a few suggestions for good presents along the way.
Why not a lovely lamp instead? Tobias Wong's Sun Jars haven't gone out of style. And Sang Jin Lee's Book Rest Lamp makes an adorable house out of your lover's reading material (maybe buy them a book, too!) while setting the ambiance for an evening of snuggling. (The CFL bulb won't kill your electric bill, either.)
Apps, Romantic or Otherwise
The only app that challenges this rule forces you to get out of the house and contemplate the heavens. You and your Valentine can nuzzle each other under the stars with the Star Walk app for iPad, geeking out over Proxima Centauri and thinking about how little iPad apps really mean within the context of celestial mechanics.
Anything Social Media-Related
A Tumblr-based chronicle of your time together with your love could be heart-meltingly romantic. Some of you (and us) may consider that to be so saccharine that it'd blow out the backs of our skulls, the weepy sort really go for that kind of thing. The girlfriend of one our writers, who shall not be named to protect the OMG SO CUTENESS!!1 of his relationship, created a Vimeo scrapbook of their entire time together, which continues to warm the cockles of our jaded hearts. Better yet, a romantic Tumblog is the only free thing on our entire list that still requires effort and care. We're going to go stuff our weepy faces with quiche now.
Finding nerdy jewelry that's not dorky is no easy task. Our suggestion? Don't just get a random "digital" trinket. Instead, ditch geek jewelry and go for something with a futuristic, industrial quality, like Iker Ortiz's ultramod pieces. Or if you've got a major geek on your hands, go for their special flavor of nerdiness, like comics or Tron. Tom Tom just released a collection of 'Tron'-inspired baubles.
Regular Tech That's 'Girly'
Karim Rashid's pink schtick may be getting a little old for some, but his Too Much Aroma Vaporizer for Lexon still looks sexy while managing to fall into the fuchsia family. Drop in a little jasmine oil during sexy times to
iPod Nano watches are still adorable and utilitarian, and Griffin's version -- hear us out! -- just happens to be a slap watch. They're bright and chunky without being too childlike, and will fit right in with any NOOKA enthusiast. You don't even have to slap it! Tell your paramour to save the smacking for the bedroom, or dining room table.
Skip the gimmicks altogether, and stick with USB gadgets that are actually useful -- and pleasing to the eye, too. Freecom's mobile drives, designed by Slyvain Willenz, are a throwback to DAT cassettes and purdy, too boot. Removable labels recall ZIP drive days, allowing you to keep your data organized by type. The dock lets you link them all together, just like when you clasp hands and entwine your soul with your betrothed. Awww! [*vomit noises*]
Personal Improvement Gadgetry
Buuuut: encouraging your other half (or third or fourth -- again, it's a wide, weird world) to learn a new language is not insulting at all. After all, no one's ever like, "Honey, I really think our sex life would be better if you'd only learn some Urdu." (Well, maybe?) But forget about Rosetta Stone, which carries the message, "I thought about how I didn't get you anything for Valentine's Day when I was shopping for a 'personal massager' at the mall." Fluenz is the underdog language-learning alternative, comes in design-y packaging, and has language teachers raving that it puts the Stone to shame. How do you say "safe word" in Mandarin, again?