Not to be confused with “red tide,” this is an annoying February phenomenon:
Most of the “typical” valentine’s day gifts are not things that would particularly charm me. Cut flowers — they die, and also with my allergies many of them are not enjoyable to me.
Candy is OK, though most of the “heart box” candy is frankly kind of cheaply made and is not that good. And there’s SO MUCH of it. I’d rather have a couple of nice truffles from a gourmet counter, or maybe a really good chocolate bar, instead of one of the big plushy hearts full of over-sweet creams and caramels. (And some caramels, I can’t eat any more: dental work.) Or for that matter — I really don’t NEED to be eating candy; I’d probably be more thrilled to have someone call me up and say, “I’m going to make some hot soup that you like and bring it over to your office so you can have a nice hot lunch.”
As for jewelry — the ads show all kinds of fancy diamond jewelry. Beyond the concerns I have about the treatment of the people who mine the diamonds (at least in some parts of the world), I have absolutely nowhere I would wear a fancy pendant or ring. I have two very nice pieces of jewelry — both gifts from family — that I almost never wear because they are too fancy for my everyday life. I’d be much more likely to wear — and in fact, to be charmed by — something a bit idiosyncratic and incorporating my interests — jewelry made out of old typewriter keys, for example, or something out of turquoise made by a Native American artist that was actually purchased FROM the artist at an art gallery.
If you blinked at “jewelry made out of old typewriter keys,” take a look for yourself.
Speaking as someone who has never quite comprehended what it is that women want, I consider it a boon when one will say what she doesn’t want.