Personal Tops Pricey For Perfect Valentine’s Gifts


Published: February 12, 2009

It’s that time of year again, when the whole city seems to be colored pink and red. Restaurants publish their special “Valentine’s Day Brunch Specials” and diamond hearts illuminate jewelry store windows. For some, it’s the most romantic day of the year; others participate, although they consider it a Hallmark-created holiday, and then there are those who shut themselves away with a pint of ice cream and their bitterness as a companion. No matter which category you fit into this year, purchasing Valentine’s Day gifts is virtually unavoidable. Whether you are single and celebrating with friends, using the day as an opportunity to let that secret someone know you’re interested or buying something for your significant other, the time you have left to show how much you care is quickly dwindling. Lucky for you, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) students are sharing their most memorable Valentine’s Day gifts to help spawn ideas for those of you who are stuck.

The Long-Term Relationship

The most obvious snag comes after years of dating. You’ve been through countless birthdays and anniversaries together, which means you’ve probably exhausted all your options. No matter how much a girl loves jewelry and guys love sentimental cards and candy, too much of anything can get old. Roger Quiles, FCLC ’09, can identify, having been in a relationship for four and a half years.

“By the time you get far along in a relationship, especially this young, you have pretty much gotten each other everything you can, given a limited income,” he said. “What has become more important, at least in our relationship, is the day itself. I plan the most romantic day I can come up with.”

Finding Valentine’s gifts for men is especially challenging, so what does Quiles recommend giving your guy?

“By far the best gift I’ve gotten for Valentine’s Day was a scrapbook that [my girlfriend] made for me. It was our third Valentine’s Day together, and the scrapbook chronicled our entire relationship, with love songs interspersed throughout.”

The New Relationship

Perhaps the most difficult is that in-between stage where you’ve been exclusively dating for a substantial period of time, but not yet a year. While jewelry, flowers and candy may seem most appropriate, they are so predictable. FCLC students find that putting a unique twist on these typical gifts takes them from standard to memorable.

For Caitlin Harcarik, FCLC ’10, last Valentine’s Day with her boyfriend of six months stands out.

“My boyfriend gave me a dozen white roses (which are my favorite) and the Paloma Loving Heart necklace from Tiffany & Co.,” she said.

While roses and a necklace seem like typical gifts, Harcarik stressed their unique significance.

“This was my favorite Valentine’s Day gift because my boyfriend knows I love jewelry, but he also knows that I won’t ever buy any ‘real’ jewelry for myself. Same for the flowers. He’s always paying attention to what I’m looking at in magazines or stores so he can surprise me with what I won’t treat myself to. I guess the fact that he pays attention might truly be the best gift!”

Think back to times your significant other mentioned his or her favorite flower or chocolate. The fact that you paid attention and remembered what he or she said may turn out to mean more than the gift itself.

Michael Derling, FCLC ’10, also owes his best Valentine’s Day gift to someone who listened attentively and put a thoughtful spin on the most conventional Valentine’s Day gift: chocolates.

“Within our first few weeks of dating, I got a box of chocolates that had only my favorite chocolates in them, the dark ones with the orange crème inside. My Valentine had bought about twelve boxes and picked my favorite out of each box and then gave me all of them… I thought it was so thoughtful.”

The Crush

What about those whom you aren’t technically dating, though your constant daydreams, incessant giggles and stalker-esque qualities make it obvious that you wish you were? Take advantage of this whole day devoted to love and romance to let your crush know you’re interested. Ruth Aguas, FCLC ’10, remembers receiving her best gift from a mutual crush.

“It was at the end of ninth grade in high school,” she said. “I really liked this guy I used to take the bus home with and he really liked me too, but we had not gotten into a relationship because he was moving to Florida. On V-day, he waited for me at the bus stop and gave me two little teddy bears that were hugging each other and a box of chocolates with a card. It was the best one, because it was sweet and unexpected.”

Are you second-guessing your decision to give your love interest a little something? Go for it! Surprising someone with a totally unexpected gesture on Valentine’s Day is sure to make them notice you.

The Platonic Gift

Don’t fit into any of the aforementioned categories? That leaves those who aren’t attached and don’t have an eye on anyone special: the population marked as “single” on their Facebook relationship statuses. No matter what feeling this evokes on Valentine’s Day, if you’re single and having fun the rest of the year, why not celebrate on this holiday too?

“My friend got $20 tickets to see ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ and invited me on Valentine’s Day,” said Steven Karunphand, FCLC ’10. “It was relaxing and fun, kind of just like a chill-out day.”

After breaking up with his girlfriend before Valentine’s Day, Adam Azulay, FCLC ’10, remembers receiving a card and candy from a friend.
“There were no hearts or anything romantic,” he said. “It made me laugh more than anything else. I thought it was cute and innocent, so I guess it did make me feel better.”

Amanda Moschetti, FCLC ’09, also remembers celebrating Valentine’s Day with friends for fun.

“In high school, my girlfriends and I would give each other cute panties and thongs.”

Sometimes the sweetest gifts come from family.

“Believe it or not, the best gifts are always from my parents. My dad would always bring home corny stuffed animals for us,” said Sherri Eldin, FCLC ’09. To this day Eldin cherishes these gifts as great memories of Valentine’s past. “My mom kept these two teddy bears in dresses, from one year in particular. They’re on top of [my parents’] bureau in their bedroom. Whenever I go home, I love seeing them, and I remember the day he brought them home.”

It seems the gifts students remember aren’t the most expensive diamond necklaces or lavish dinners at fancy restaurants, but the little “extras” their Valentine puts into the gift. So show your best friend how much you love them, surprise your crush or give your boyfriend or girlfriend something extra special this Valentine’s. As FCLC students have testified, it will be something they remember for years to come.