What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

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protagonist
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What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by protagonist » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:43 pm

I'm in a particular jam.

I'm wintering in the Caribbean having the time of my life while my sweetie is freezing her butt off and working in NYC. Consequently, I am in the unenviable position of having to prove to her daily that I care.

So I want to get her something for V-day but it has to be something I can order online and have shipped since I am in another country. It doesn't have to be stupid expensive but it has to say I am thinking of her.

A lot of you Boglehead men are suffering the same quandary these days I suppose though maybe in slightly diff. circumstances. Let's put our heads together and figure out what to do. As long as she does not frequent this forum we will all get credit for originality.

And even more important, you Boglehead women out there....what would you want? What would say "I love you" with the biggest bang for the buck? Or what have you received in the past that really meant something to you? No diamonds please....it's not at that point.

I'd go up to a few hundred bucks. I already bought her a RT ticket to visit me later this month.
Last edited by protagonist on Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Traveller
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by Traveller » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:46 pm

Can she get some time off? How about tickets to come visit you in the Caribbean? Or how about a surprise visit from you in NYC?

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bengal22
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by bengal22 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:47 pm

make a contribution to a 529 in her name. See how well that goes over.
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protagonist
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by protagonist » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:50 pm

Traveller wrote:Can she get some time off? How about tickets to come visit you in the Caribbean? Or how about a surprise visit from you in NYC?

Surprise visit would have been a spectacular idea. But I already bought her a RT ticket and she is coming the following week. And tickets to and from Venezuela are nearly impossible since it will be Carnival weekend the weekend adjacent to Valentine's day. Bad timing on the ticket I suppose ...now I'm back to square one...(laugh)

protagonist
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by protagonist » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:51 pm

bengal22 wrote:make a contribution to a 529 in her name. See how well that goes over.
Too practical. Not that practical is bad, but it's not gooey enough if you know what I mean.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by eschaef » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:56 pm

When my boyfriend was on his last tour of duty, I very much appreciated the flowers he sent on Valentine's Day, along with the teddy bear to keep me company. YMMV.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by nisiprius » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:28 pm

A singing valentine from the Barbershop Harmony Society? Or other organizations that do this?

http://www.singingvalentines.com
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TxAg
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by TxAg » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:37 pm

I think some flowers would suffice. Especially if you have a few hundred to spend :D

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Dutch
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by Dutch » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:46 pm

Whatever you pick, make sure it gets delivered at work, not at the home address.

protagonist
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by protagonist » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:37 pm

eschaef wrote:When my boyfriend was on his last tour of duty, I very much appreciated the flowers he sent on Valentine's Day, along with the teddy bear to keep me company. YMMV.

aww.

Already did the teddy bear, unfortunately. I even lied and told her I won it playing an arcade game. She named it after me. She loves the little thing. You figure.....

Are flowers enough? Or is it too cliche? (Answers from women about this please).

The problem with flowers is that they die.
Last edited by protagonist on Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by protagonist » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:39 pm

nisiprius wrote:A singing valentine from the Barbershop Harmony Society? Or other organizations that do this?

http://www.singingvalentines.com
That could be a fun idea. But she works from home. It might be creepy for a bunch of guys to show up at her apartment in NYC to sing for her. It's a good thought, though. I'll mull that one over. Thanks.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:52 pm

Hi protagonist,

A gift that touched me the most was a book of Sergei Esenin's love poems. The second best was a coupon to a massage parlor.

Victoria
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protagonist
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by protagonist » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:57 pm

VictoriaF wrote:Hi protagonist,

A gift that touched me the most was a book of Sergei Esenin's love poems. The second best was a coupon to a massage parlor.

Victoria
I'll look up Esenin. I don't know his work or how he would translate. Art and literature are so individual.....always a big gamble I think. My previous gf gave me art a bunch of times. The prob. was we had different tastes, and yet I felt obligated to hang her presents so as to make her think I loved them. I still hang them when I know she is going to stop by to visit. Challenging.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:08 pm

protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:Hi protagonist,

A gift that touched me the most was a book of Sergei Esenin's love poems. The second best was a coupon to a massage parlor.

Victoria
I'll look up Esenin. I don't know his work or how he would translate. Art and literature are so individual.....always a big gamble I think. My previous gf gave me art a bunch of times. The prob. was we had different tastes, and yet I felt obligated to hang her presents so as to make her think I loved them. I still hang them when I know she is going to stop by to visit. Challenging.
Are you rejecting the idea of a massage? To clarify, it was not a discount coupon but a fully paid admission, accompanied by an intimate message.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by packet » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:10 pm

nisiprius wrote:A singing valentine from the Barbershop Harmony Society? Or other organizations that do this?
We have a pro amongst us!
:)
protagonist wrote:Are flowers enough? Or is it too cliche? (Answers from women about this please).
Sorry, male here... but I'll answer anyway ... this is highly dependent on the person. For example, my wife honestly does not like gifted flowers, she finds them wasteful. Not to mention all the various types, my wife's least favorite of all flowers.... the rose... go figure.

You seem to imply you're just dating, perhaps in the early stages... if you want to kick it up a notch, get thoughtful... dig into something you know she really enjoys (a particular author) and go a step or two beyond the norm (get a signed copy of her favorite book). You know, something that will take work and effort on your part ... more than posting to a forum... :twisted:

Bottom line is... if you give from the heart, it will be received in kind.

Good luck!

:beerCheers,
Packet
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by protagonist » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:13 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:Hi protagonist,

A gift that touched me the most was a book of Sergei Esenin's love poems. The second best was a coupon to a massage parlor.

Victoria
I'll look up Esenin. I don't know his work or how he would translate. Art and literature are so individual.....always a big gamble I think. My previous gf gave me art a bunch of times. The prob. was we had different tastes, and yet I felt obligated to hang her presents so as to make her think I loved them. I still hang them when I know she is going to stop by to visit. Challenging.
You don't like the idea of a massage? To clarify, it was not a discount coupon but a fully paid admission, accompanied by an intimate message.

I like the idea of a massage as a possibility but there are problems. It might be a challenge to find a good one in NYC if I don't know where to start. Massages vary greatly in quality. I'm also not sure how to send a gift certificate for such a thing through cyberspace, paid for in another country, but I could probably figure that part out. But mostly I sort of like the idea of something that would wow her more than a gift certificate (they often go unused for long periods of time). I'll consider it. Thanks.
Last edited by protagonist on Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by protagonist » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:20 pm

nisiprius wrote:A singing valentine from the Barbershop Harmony Society? Or other organizations that do this?
I sent a msg. to a barbershop quartet to get info. I like the idea, but I think it would work better if she did not work from home and it happened at an office or a place of work. Still , very good thought.

Women, what is your input on this?
Last edited by protagonist on Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by protagonist » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:34 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
A gift that touched me the most was a book of Sergei Esenin's love poems.
Victoria

Out of interest I looked up Esenin (spelled "Yesenin" on a number of internet sites) and he really is a phenomenal poet, even in translation. I never heard of him before. I didn't read them with the thought of a gift, but rather for my own interest. Thanks.

The poems I found are a bit too melancholy, I think, for a Valentine.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by dolphinsaremammals » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:35 pm

protagonist wrote: I'd go up to a few hundred bucks. I already bought her a RT ticket to visit me later this month.
Lingerie and flowers.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by packet » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:39 pm

Ah yes... so it sounds like you just may want to kick it up a notch ... :)

Want to get thoughtful, but are not quite sure how?
Call her mom for ideas or her sister or her best friend... this act alone will get you points (I guarantee she'll learn of it) and would likely be fruitful... when shooting that arrow, aim center mass... right at the heart.

:beerCheers,
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by packet » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:40 pm

dolphinsaremammals wrote:Lingerie and flowers.
Wait... who exactly is that lingerie for?
:twisted:

:beerCheers,
Packet
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by protagonist » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:41 pm

dolphinsaremammals wrote:
protagonist wrote: I'd go up to a few hundred bucks. I already bought her a RT ticket to visit me later this month.
Lingerie and flowers.
I thought of lingerie....but maybe a bit too obvious (though could be sweet), and hard to buy in absentia online. Challenging. And Packet also makes a good point.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by protagonist » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:41 pm

packet wrote:Ah yes... so it sounds like you just may want to kick it up a notch ... :)

Want to get thoughtful, but are not quite sure how?
Call her mom for ideas or her sister or her best friend... this act alone will get you points (I guarantee she'll learn of it) and would likely be fruitful... when shooting that arrow, aim center mass... right at the heart.

:beerCheers,
Packet
Man, you're good, Packet.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by peppers » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:46 pm

Hire a Chippendales dance crew to do some house work.
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by truenorth418 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:14 pm

Let's see.. you're already flying her down to meet you in the Caribbean the week after V Day. And you've bowled her over with teddy bears and other romantic gestures. And you think that's not good enough for showing her you care for her? I think you should give her a little more credit. I think any reasonable person should be more than satisfied with what you have already given. However, if you really think she's that demanding, how about telling her you intend to celebrate V Day with her when she arrives to meet you down in the Caribbean? After all, Feb 14 is just a date on the calendar, but your love and affection can be celebrated anytime.

Another approach would be to take some inspiration from some of the gifts she's given you and reciprocate in kind.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by eschaef » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:20 pm

protagonist wrote:
eschaef wrote:When my boyfriend was on his last tour of duty, I very much appreciated the flowers he sent on Valentine's Day, along with the teddy bear to keep me company. YMMV.

aww.

Already did the teddy bear, unfortunately. I even lied and told her I won it playing an arcade game. She named it after me. She loves the little thing. You figure.....

Are flowers enough? Or is it too cliche? (Answers from women about this please).

The problem with flowers is that they die.
Actually, I hung the flowers to dry and 6 years later one of them still sits in the teddy bear's lap on the shelf in our bedroom. :D

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by protagonist » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:51 pm

truenorth418 wrote:Let's see.. you're already flying her down to meet you in the Caribbean the week after V Day. And you've bowled her over with teddy bears and other romantic gestures. And you think that's not good enough for showing her you care for her? I think you should give her a little more credit. I think any reasonable person should be more than satisfied with what you have already given. However, if you really think she's that demanding, how about telling her you intend to celebrate V Day with her when she arrives to meet you down in the Caribbean? After all, Feb 14 is just a date on the calendar, but your love and affection can be celebrated anytime.

Another approach would be to take some inspiration from some of the gifts she's given you and reciprocate in kind.
She's not that high maintenance. But she has a thing about holidays (unfortunately). So I want to do something for her. After all, I'm windsurfing every day in the sun while she is trudging off in the snow to the subway. That's gotta hurt.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by protagonist » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:52 pm

eschaef wrote:
protagonist wrote:
eschaef wrote:When my boyfriend was on his last tour of duty, I very much appreciated the flowers he sent on Valentine's Day, along with the teddy bear to keep me company. YMMV.

aww.

Already did the teddy bear, unfortunately. I even lied and told her I won it playing an arcade game. She named it after me. She loves the little thing. You figure.....

Are flowers enough? Or is it too cliche? (Answers from women about this please).

The problem with flowers is that they die.
Actually, I hung the flowers to dry and 6 years later one of them still sits in the teddy bear's lap on the shelf in our bedroom. :D
Like I said.
aww.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by nyjetfan » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:33 pm

Best gift my wife says I ever gave her was something I made myself. It was about the size of a business card and had a picture of Cupid (or some random guy with a bow and arrow) and I had written out "I love you because..." And then I listed out many qualities I love about her to cover most of the small card (note: this was a small font to keep it wallet sized). My wife has kept it in her wallet for over 10 years now.

Another idea that would require an accomplice since you are out of country (or. An try it after visiting NY again before you leave). Similar to above write things you love about her on post it notes and then arrange them in a heart shape on bathroom mirror where she will see them.

Those would probably be the two simplest yet most memorable gifts Ive ever given her.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by midareff » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:06 pm

Traveller wrote:Can she get some time off? How about tickets to come visit you in the Caribbean? Or how about a surprise visit from you in NYC?

Absolutely +1. Have a dozen or two red roses delivered with plane tickets or BIG SURPRISE, you walk in with them and spend as much time as you can.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by Lafder » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:34 pm

A handwritten letter/card telling her how you feel about her.
:)
lafder

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:44 am

protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
A gift that touched me the most was a book of Sergei Esenin's love poems.
Victoria

Out of interest I looked up Esenin (spelled "Yesenin" on a number of internet sites) and he really is a phenomenal poet, even in translation. I never heard of him before. I didn't read them with the thought of a gift, but rather for my own interest. Thanks.

The poems I found are a bit too melancholy, I think, for a Valentine.
Sorry, in English it is Yesenin. You are right, his poetry is poignant, but so is love.

Victoria
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by Hayden » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:51 am

A gift certificate to a fancy spa. Should be easy to google best day spas in NYC. Lots of people give spa gift certificates, so doing it online should be easy.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by Browser » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:39 am

A gift that actually takes some time and effort to prepare says the most. The idea of the handwritten letter is a good one -- I'll do that myself. Flowers don't do it -- it takes a mouse click to order them unless you can come up with a unique idea. Last year, since I couldn't be with my sweetie to take her to a nice restaurant I called her closest lady-friend and arranged for her to act as my surprise "surrogate" and take my sweetie out to a special restaurant and then pick up the dinner with a prepaid credit card I had arranged. They both enjoyed the meal on me. I also did the card and flowers thing just to cover all the bases.
We don't know where we are, or where we're going -- but we're making good time.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by PaddyMac » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:24 am

Order a massage from a masseuse that come to your house. I hate all the fussing about that a spa day brings. I just want a great massage.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by surfstar » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:32 am

Good luck.

I'm with Adam Carolla's take on V-Day ... the best you can do, is work your way back to even. You're expected to do something, so you can either come out neutral, or negative. No winning there :D

Glad we're going on a ski/snowboard trip for a long weekend, that just happens to fall on the 14th - money better spent on spending time together, having fun, versus some colorful plants that wilt and die (and are so cliché its annoying).

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by PrinceAli132 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:55 am

Consider making a photo album for her with pictures from trips and activities you have completed together.

There are a bunch of online sites (similar to http://www.shutterfly.com/photo-books) that offer this service.

I'll probably be making one this weekend for the current GF as I'm working on a project in DC; whereas, the current GF is in WPB.

Ali

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by AboutTime » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:27 pm

Why not arrange a virtual romantic dinner? Make a date / time in advance. Arrange to have a gourmet dinner delivered. Arrange for a nice dinner for yourself. Set up a Skype session and enjoy dinner together. (Don't forget to dress up for the occasion.)

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by HIinvestor » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:30 pm

How about MAKING her a DVD or CD that has songs that remnd you of her or the two of you? Personalized music that she could enjoy while thinkig of you would be cool. That is one of my favorite gifts from our kids. A photobook or digital picture frame with photos of the two of you would also be nice. These personalized things that take time say more to me than an expensive bauble or flowers, but YMMV.


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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by mlipps » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:22 pm

If she's coming to visit you soon, could you plan some sort of special activity to do together while she is there? Couple's massage, nice dinner, cool excursion, cooking class etc? Then maybe write some kind of "clue" about what this surprise will be & have them put that on the card of the flowers you send her. I personally don't get too excited about flowers on Valentine's day, but if she is the "holiday type" as you say, better safe than sorry on the flowers front.

Otherwise, I like the suggestion earlier that the more personal the gift, the better, ie the autographed copy of favorite book line of thought. A really nice overnight bag could be another good one since she's coming to visit you soon. Personally, I love to cook so I am always happy when my husband gets me a nice cooking gadget. On the lingerie idea, maybe instead of buying it for her, you could get a gift card for a nice place & send it with instructions to pick something nice out for herself & you for the trip. I would not do that as the only gift (runs the risk of seeming a bit selfish) but that along with something like a massage or other thoughtful gift could be a homerun.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by BL » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:31 pm

How about a large flowering moth orchid (phalaenopsis) plant, if she likes orchids, delivered by a local florist? The flowers may last for weeks, sometimes 3 months.

Chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate roses, fresh fruits, boxes of nuts and dried fruit, frozen food, all depending on what she likes.

Maybe a limo service or other car service for 4-6 hours of door-to-door shopping and package handling with prepaid lunch at a favorite place.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by englishgirl » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:32 pm

protagonist wrote:
nisiprius wrote:A singing valentine from the Barbershop Harmony Society? Or other organizations that do this?
I sent a msg. to a barbershop quartet to get info. I like the idea, but I think it would work better if she did not work from home and it happened at an office or a place of work. Still , very good thought.

Women, what is your input on this?
I would seriously HATE a singing valentine/Barbershop quartet.

YMMV of course. Maybe she will love it.

Personally, flowers (pink roses, not red), a massage or facial would be very well received by me. Or chocolate, let's be honest.
Sarah

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by Tony » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:18 pm

englishgirl wrote:Or chocolate, let's be honest.
+1 A box of See's candy is always welcomed enthusiastically!
Tony

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by Flobes » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:55 pm

A shell necklace. A meaningful token of your eagerness for her upcoming visit to you in the Caribbean. And it can become her sentimental "take to the beach" piece for decades to come. The sweet and special note almost writes itself.

I like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Chuvora-Venetian- ... l+necklace
Note: I'm particularly fond of Murano glass.

You'll have many years in the future for massages, and poetry, and chocolates, and pricey jewelry. This year, my suggestion is go for symbolic connection while you're apart.

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by protagonist » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:53 pm

englishgirl wrote:
protagonist wrote:
nisiprius wrote:A singing valentine from the Barbershop Harmony Society? Or other organizations that do this?
I sent a msg. to a barbershop quartet to get info. I like the idea, but I think it would work better if she did not work from home and it happened at an office or a place of work. Still , very good thought.

Women, what is your input on this?
I would seriously HATE a singing valentine/Barbershop quartet.

YMMV of course. Maybe she will love it.
As a previous poster stated, the problem with Valentine's Day is that unless you really luck out and hit a real home run, in most scenarios the best you can expect to do is break even. You women have no idea what a pressured situation this is for us guys. If you don't get us anything we are cool....we know whether you love us anyway.

Your point is well-taken, Sarah.....Barbershop quartet is probably a bit like putting all your money in a start-up You might win big but you have a long way to potentially fall. This happened once when I bought my ex wife a conga drum. Nix the BQ idea though it is a creative one.

The small sample of female respondents here seem to be pretty unanimously gung-ho about massages so far. More female input please????

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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by englishgirl » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:26 pm

If it helps, MY valentine's day will probably involve me cooking for my sweetie, us swapping cards, and maybe him choosing a DVD from the library for us to watch. He may buy some dark chocolate for us to nibble on. Which, apart from the cards, is a pretty normal Saturday. If I'm super lucky, the rose in his front yard may bloom and he may therefore give me a flower. I will be happy with that (and it's my choice that we're not going out because I don't enjoy going out on valentine's day). It doesn't have to be a big production number.
Sarah

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BL
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by BL » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:34 pm

HIinvestor wrote:How about MAKING her a DVD or CD that has songs that remnd you of her or the two of you? Personalized music that she could enjoy while thinkig of you would be cool. That is one of my favorite gifts from our kids. A photobook or digital picture frame with photos of the two of you would also be nice. These personalized things that take time say more to me than an expensive bauble or flowers, but YMMV.
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by pondering » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:28 pm

Not sending flowers to her job unless she has asked you not to would be a mistake.

A expensive bouquet of roses.

You can always send her something she really wants, and should, the other 364 days of the year.

If she doesn't like that kind of attention, and hasn't asked you not to send flowers, then it is a toss up.
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Re: What to buy sweetie for Valentine's Day

Post by protagonist » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:10 am

englishgirl wrote:If it helps, MY valentine's day will probably involve me cooking for my sweetie, us swapping cards, and maybe him choosing a DVD from the library for us to watch. He may buy some dark chocolate for us to nibble on. Which, apart from the cards, is a pretty normal Saturday. If I'm super lucky, the rose in his front yard may bloom and he may therefore give me a flower. I will be happy with that (and it's my choice that we're not going out because I don't enjoy going out on valentine's day). It doesn't have to be a big production number.
That actually would work perfectly for me.
What complicates the issue is my absence (difficult for her), and her love of observing holidays .

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