TIMES Hearts, Hearts, and More Hearts

Valentine’s Day Cliches

Valentine’s day- the one day a year that we are obligated to make our special someone feel special. And how do we make that someone feel like they are the only person in the world that matters? By doing the exact same thoughtful things as every other person in America. Because why be original when you can be a cliché? But what about it’s the thought that counts? No. Running to the gas station to grab a teddy bear five minutes before picking her up does not count— come on guys!

So how do you know if your Valentine’s Day is a cliché? Well, you’re most likely doing the exact same things that you did last year… and every other year. Congrats. And we all know what those things were. Showing up on the doorstep with the you’re-so-special-so-I-picked-your-least- favorite-flower red roses, or the I’m-trying-to-be-unique pink roses.

“We do up to 200 arrangements that day, which 98 percent of men say ‘red roses’ because they know so little about flowers,” says Maggie Warren, owner of Laguna Beach flower shop Flowers Too! “And even if it’s not your favorite flower, ‘red roses’ are a safe bet.”

And do not forget to bring the heart-shaped box of chocolates! Because a normal shaped box cannot truly express the amount of love for your partner. Oh, and the oddly romantic ‘Be Mine’ teddy bear staring at the end of the flower petal trail to the bedroom. There are other ways to get in the mood than a giant bear, I promise.

“A lot of people just come in around valentine’s day, mostly asking for massage lotions and lingerie,” says employee, who requested to be anonymous, of Conrev sex shop chain. “People come in and ask ‘what is this?’ or ‘what does that do?’ I guess Valentine’s Day is romantic and they just want to spice up their sex life.”

I’m sure the first time, it was the most romantic thing in the world. Now it is almost to be expected: the teddy bear, the totally cute but totally unoriginal card, the red roses, the dinner reservation for the overly expensive restaurant, the wrongly sized lingerie, or the heart- shaped chocolates. But truth be told, as cliché as it all may be, we still love it.

“The most popular thing that I have seen is guys giving the girls stuffed animals or roses,” says Jared Schreiner, waiter at Diho Siam. But we get asked to dim the lights and set out roses to help create an ambiance, and I have helped set up for a proposal; it’s all very romantic.”

In the end, all people really want is to be shown how much they mean to their partner, and what made them fall head over heels in love. It is not really about celebrating the day, it is about celebrating the person, and the things that they enjoy. What are her favorite flowers? What is his favorite (probably your least favorite) sex position? Time is greater than money. So, I guess it really is the thought that counts. But really, just leave the chocolates.