As if the threat of an impending D.T.R. after every encounter wasn’t terrifying enough, Valentine’s Day has reared its cloyingly colored head once again. V-Day is one of those tricky subjects that’s easy to brush aside and even rant about when it’s several pages away on your calendar. But when it’s finally here? Well, suffice it to say, if you’re reading this article, you probably fall into one of the following categories:
1. You recently generated expectations (unintentionally) and don’t want to risk things. After all, it’s good to have a door to knock on every few nights.
2. You have intentions that you want to be revealed in an extremely unsurprising way. It’s Valentine’s Day; they’re expecting it.
3. You have a legitimate Valentine (lucky you).
4. This is the first Valentine’s Day that you’ve been a bona fide thing. You guys are so cute.
5. Last year your beau showed symptoms of “disaffected unattachment.” Surely a hastily bought gift will solve this!
In any case, you are very late. But let’s be honest, Valentine’s Day isn’t an occasion for personalized, thoughtful gifts, so there’s no reason to freak out. In fact, Harvard Square offers a variety of last minute gifts ranging from the over-simple to the over-keen.
Sweet Cupcakes has nine special flavors of cupcakes sold Feb. 13-16. “XO”s and “I Heart You”s available. A little trite if your SO’s not new to the world of wooing.
L.A. Burdick’s has clear, velvet, and signature Valentine’s Day bonbon assortments in heart-shaped boxes. A white chocolate mouse surrounded by other confections will stare at your loved one. If it was good enough for Mark Zuckberg, then it sure is good enough for you.
Grolier Poetry Bookshop offers several selections of love poems. Frankly, you’re setting yourself up for failure (unless you want to play the “ignorant-but-trying-and-it-is-cute” card) if you buy a book of poetry that you don’t already know. But if you must: Grolier suggests the love poems of Rumi. Though, in my opinion, you’re much better off getting the Essential Rumi and actually making an effort to pick one or two poems. A final tip: Do. Not. Buy. Neruda.
The Coop, definitely the most predictable shop on this list, will help out the lover who’s still searching for the right words. The Godiva chocolate teddy bear on sale there features a ridiculous tailored collar that says “Je t’aime” for you. You can take it from there.
The Tealuxe team recommends the following flavors to romantic tea-lovers: Victorian Rose, Dragon Pearl Jasmine, and Londonderry. Buying tea might not sound like the best idea, but if you’ve taken a step too far and want to shift gears a little bit with a cute and unassuming present, it’s perfect. Let the warmth ease your nerves. It’s almost as good as wine, and doesn’t raise any concerns about intending cognitive impairment.
Cambridge Artists Cooperative is a place to look for something a little bit more substantial. The items are pricey, but this is your best chance at convincing your partner you didn’t wait until the last minute. They have artisan red pottery, wall-clocks made out of book covers, wooden cheese slicers, and light switch plates with different designs. A little different, sure, but after all, idiosyncrasy is the root of love.
We saved this last one, Cardullo’s, for the most patient (and desperate) readers. Guys, you won. Now run to Cardullo’s and get a hold of Peter Demarest, the sommelier of the gourmet shoppe. He knows what you need. If he’s not there, here are his top suggestions:
1. Rovero Brachetto, a red Italian wine with a sparkling raspberry taste and a hint of chocolate. Pour it in a champagne flute to best savor the bubbles.
2. Lindemans Framboise, a sweet raspberry beer, mixed with Guinness beer, known for its chocolate kick. Demarest encourages couples to experiment with the ratios: “He wants more chocolate; she wants more raspberry.”
3. Night Shift Taza Stout beer, aged on our dear Taza Chocolate from Somerville.
Demarest also shared his special Valentine’s Day recipe: Get an angel hair cake. Add a layer of strawberries, raspberries, and chocolate, and drizzle some acidic red wine from California over all of it. Top with cream.
The best you can do at this point is hope your darling doesn’t read FM.