Like many smart and independent single girls, I like to outwardly project an air of indifference toward the concept of Valentine’s Day. But that’s all a big show, passive-aggressively calculated to increase the chances of being showered with gifts by whichever guy I happen to be involved with when the middle of February rolls around each year.
Unfortunately for me, I had gone on only three dates with Mr. February 2012, as of Valentine’s Day Eve, so it was damn-near certain that I wouldn’t be receiving an understated, yet still cute and thoughtful, surprise token of affection from him. I was correct. So I celebrated the fake holiday as best I could, given my dateless and giftless status: I downed one-third of a bottle of bourbon and came up with Plan B, i.e. ask every girl I know what they got for Valentine’s Day and then put together a blog post mercilessly skewering them (something along the lines of, “You know your bf’s a douche if he got you any of these things for Valentine’s Day”).
But then, in the midst of compiling the list of gifts that these other, luckier girls received, I realized that most of them weren’t very lucky at all—and that indicia of doucheyness wasn’t even the biggest problem inherent in the gifts their boyfriends chose.
Instead, the most troubling issue that seemed to be lurking on the gift list was the overwhelming evidence of utter thoughtlessness. And here’s the worst part: the recipients of the most inconsiderate gifts, i.e. the girls whose boyfriends clearly hate them, were completely oblivious to the totally off-putting connotations. Rather, these girls were oozing bliss over the mere fact of having received gifts in the first place, and this actually made me sadder than being alone on V-Day.
Hopefully the guide below will serve to pierce through the misguided joy that apparently allowed countless louts—with total impunity—to give gifts that took no more than a millisecond of thought and no effort whatsoever. Let’s approach the analysis of the gift as a glimpse into your guy’s psyche (and whether or not he hates you), shall we?
Were you sent flowers from 1-800-Flowers or Teleflora?
If the answer is yes, it’s safe to assume that your boyfriend hates you. Or that he is thoughtless, lazy, and completely lacking in the ability to think creatively. Seriously, think about how little effort went into that purchase. Type in a URL, click, click, enter credit card information, submit. Congratulations—your awesome boyfriend was willing to devote 45 seconds toward obtaining a gift for you.
For god’s sake, it only takes an extra few minutes of research to locate a local florist. In fact, most local florists even offer online ordering. But apparently you’re not worth an extra five minutes. The only person who exerted any real effort in this scenario was the FedEx guy who delivered your flowers-in-a-box. Oh, and one more thing—I bet he sent the flowers to you at the office, which probably made you sooo happy and the center of attention for four minutes. But if you had used those four minutes to think critically rather than squawking and cooing with the nosy ladies from accounting, you would have realized that he sent the flowers to you at the office because he doesn’t know your home address.
Were you given a Spa Finder gift card?
If the answer is yes, your boyfriend definitely hates you. And worse yet, you’re being served a rather toxic cocktail by your hateful boyfriend. Spa Finder denotes epic laziness masquerading as thoughtfulness, i.e. the guy didn’t want to exert any real effort on you, but he wanted to trick you into thinking that he did. So not only does he not genuinely care about you, he is also a manipulative liar.
Here’s why: it doesn’t take an online research genius or a spa connoisseur to find a highly-rated spa in your neighborhood. But he didn’t want to take the time to do that, so instead he bought you a Spa Finder gift card and presented it to you under the sneaky guise of, “Now you can actually select which spa you want to use it at!” Personally, I would much rather deal with the limitation of having a gift card that can only be used at one spa than the knowledge that a guy wasn’t even willing to spare a few moments on Yelp for the purpose of imbuing his gift with a tiny morsel of genuine thought.
Were you given a gift that was obtained in its entirety from a grocery store?
If the answer is yes, your boyfriend may or may not hate you. In other words, you’re dealing with a mixed bag of good and bad. On the one hand, the guy actually took the time to drive to the store and carry the purchases to you himself (rather than merely relying on e-commerce and FedEx to avoid all that arduous physical labor).
On the other hand, though—the grocery store is sort of the last refuge of a scoundrel, don’t you think? With a tiny bit more planning and one or two extra stops in his car, he could have driven to an actual florist and a slightly higher-end food store to obtain flowers and candy. Even worse is the chance that he initially wanted to rely on the zero effort e-commerce route but waited until the last minute, thereby obviating a trip to the grocery store on his way to picking you up.
Were you given a gift that he wrapped himself?
If the answer is yes, your boyfriend absolutely does not hate you. Hand-wrapped gifts are a very good sign. No one likes wrapping gifts. It sucks. So if the guy was willing to do something that sucked for him in order to make you feel a little bit extra special, that’s a good sign. Unless, of course, the gift he wrapped for you contained something along the lines of edible candy nipple tassels.
Were you given a gift that was responsive to something in which you’ve indicated interest?
If the answer is yes, there is no chance whatsoever that your boyfriend hates you. In fact, you’re among the luckiest one percent because that means you’ve got a guy who actually listens to you when you talk and who was willing to think creatively about you when planning his gift. In other words, you’re dealing with a guy who might even be genuinely interested in you as a person.
Did he include a card with the gift?
If the answer is no, your boyfriend probably hates you. Please pause and consider all of the times your mom yelled at you for not sending her a birthday card, wherein her central message was probably something like, “You couldn’t even take 15 minutes out of your day to buy a card and write a coherent message in it, which says a lot about how much I mean to you.” Now take that statement and apply it to your guy.
And last (but not least):
Were you given a gift from Victoria’s Secret?
If the answer is yes, your boyfriend might not hate you. But he is a generic douche.