Friday, February 7, 2014

Unisex Valentine’s Day gifts

Last year, I wrote a list of Valentine’s Gifts That Sound Lame But Aren't, and I decided to write another one this year with a unisex gift theme.

Maybe it’s because I keep getting Valentine’s Day gift offers in my email and most of their suggestions are hilariously terrible.

Various online websites, Bustle, SKYMALL want you to give the man in your life whiskey rocks (frozen square rocks that take the place of ice so his whiskey doesn’t get watery). And cufflinks.

But since you can just pick up rocks on the sidewalk and put them in the freezer and, who needs cufflinks?? I decided to come up with a list of gifts that I think are cooler and more meaningful and will get people to remember you (and your awesome gift) even if ya'll break up.

A really good knife

I never knew the power of a really good knife until I got one for my birthday this year and it’s the only knife that’s constantly dirty in my kitchen. I use it all the time and I don’t even cook that much!!! 

Who knew that a really good knife makes chopping tomatoes SUPER easy?!? It’s refreshing. 

The one I was given was a chef-style knife by Shun, if you want to splurge (Williams Sonoma). And it’s red!! 

(Bonus: if you happen to break up, you can always make “she put a knife in my heart” jokes.)

Inside joke art

Art is always good. Definitely local art. But a step better, get art made of an inside joke or phrase that can be put on the wall!! 

My friend in New Orleans does small chalk art, and many local artists can commission a piece with your particular phrase in swooping, fancy letters. 

For example, the first time I told this one guy he was special he said, “That’s why I keep a helmet in my trunk” and it was so funny and it was an ongoing joke between us for months. 

If I was still dating him, I’d get that phrase done in chalk on the wall. (Then again...I’m special.)

Rain boots

No matter where you live (well, except Los Angeles), it’s ‘GON rain at some point. 

Rain boots are way handy when a torrential downpour happens, when you go to a muddy music festival, a rainy Mardi Gras parade, or when you need to put shoes on and get something out of your car right quick.

My old roommate in New Orleans had awesome cheetah print rain boots and kept them by the door and I miss borrowing them. 

You can be fancy and get HUNTER boots like Prince William and Kate Middleton, but really, any rain boots (NOLABOOTS here!!) are good. 

And what guy you know HAS rain boots?? Start a trend! Walk in puddles together! Take pictures of baby ducks!

Pasta roller machine

Re-enact Lady and the Tramp! 

Also, who doesn’t love pasta??? (If you’re dating someone who doesn’t love pasta, re-evaluate.) 

This is a cool and cheap gift that someone can use for years. And they can make all kinds of pasta with it - spinach pasta, red pepper pasta, even scallop pasta (watch Top Chef New Orleans finale). Even better, YOU get to benefit from their newfound culinary skills! 

You can even beef it up (huh huh get it) by getting a jar of super fancy pasta sauce to go along with it, maybe even some sausage in your pants and a card with an innuendo joke.

Business cards

Give his/her entrepreneurial spirit a BOOST with specialized business cards!! Even just their name and “I do stuff,” “I fix computers” “I walk dogs”

Or even: “I make pasta”


Getting business cards is a useful way to show that you’re supportive of your significant other's skills/hobbies/LIFELONG DREAM. And it's cute to know that you spent time designing and customizing it.

And no joke, 250 business cards are $8 at Vistaprint through Feb. 11. $8!!! I can’t even buy lunch for that.

“Aloe-infused” socks

Ok, maybe this one is more for the ladies, but it’s been cold as sh*t lately and everyone has been wearing socks around the house (dramatic hand on forehead). 

And you don’t KNOW luxury until you know what it feels like to put your cold, tired feet into ALOE VERA-lined socks.

They make your feet feel so good and so soft that you can't stop wiggling your toes in them. It’s like walking on an oily cloud!! a good way.

Bonus: they’ll make your feet look cuter for flip-flop weather. You can usually get them at local spas in their gift area, or, you know, WalMart.


Because hers are cheap and his are dorky and probably have “reflective lenses.”


There are a ton of cheap name brand sunglasses these days (thanks Obama economy) and websites like and even Sunglasses Hut have super discounted Ray Bans and other names I don’t know because I don’t own nice sunglasses.

I suggest aviators, because I think everyone (male and female) looks good in aviators. 

And with this gift, you can also add an accompanying card like “you are my (sunshine emoticon)” or “Yo! Future so bright.”

Month at a weird gym

Haha that picture.

I feel like everyone (side note: my arms hurt) is trying to work out more (#30sproblems) and getting your man or woman a month at a gym is not only super awesome but also a forced way to get them to think about you every time they go to a class!!! (Uhh...I may have issues.)

A month at a “traditional” gym works, but even better are weird or specialized gyms to give people a taste of something new. 

Every girl I know (Me! Me!) would LOVE a month at a barre class place, for example. Guys might like a month at a kickboxing or martial arts place. (In New Orleans, Mid City MartialArts and Fitness is great). 

Even more off the grid, in New Orleans, sign her up for The Chorus Girl Project and watch her learn and perform a dance from the 1920s!!! (It’s a hoot.)

And there you have it. 

My unisex Valentine’s Day gift list.


But don't worry. If all else fails, you can always just pick up some rocks on the sidewalk and put them in the freezer  :)


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