When I was 14, I forgot to buy my boyfriend a Valentine’s Day present. So I did the only thing I could think of and told his mate to tell him he was dropped. Everyone who told me that was a little harsh got a lecture about how it was “just a Hallmark holiday, anyway!”. I stand by that bit of the story, though. In hindsight, the “Tell him he’s dropped” probably was a slightly dramatic way to handle the situation. As a teen, I was maybe a little melodramatic. Maybe.
I haven’t had the pleasure of too many godawful Valentine’s Day gifts, thankfully. A few cards so soppy the envelope was starting to disintegrate, though. And my share, of course, of the useless, clichéd and tacky.

Nothing says “I think we’re soulmates” like a $2 chocolate from Target. Source.

Cynicism aside, Valentine’s Day is a nice idea. Ignore the commercialism, materialism and sense of forced romance. It’s a good excuse to tell someone that you love them and maybe spoil them a little. And guess what- you CAN do it without the useless crap currently on display in every shop! In case you’re wondering, this is the stuff I mean:

Soft toys.

You know the ones. Bears, gorillas, cats etc, often holding a stuffed red heart edged in white lace, emblazoned with “I LUV YOU” or something equally mushy. There’s one in a local florist that is taller than me! If you truly love someone, don’t give them a bloody dust-collector as a gift. What the hell are they supposed to do with it? (Judging by the sheer number of them on display in my local op shop, I know exactly what they end up doing with them!) Also, if your loved one is old enough to be someone’s Valentine, they’re too bloody old for a stuffed toy!

I could make an exception for this guy.


On Valentine’s Day, a bunch of flowers is the last refuge of the damned. You’ve forgotten to buy something for that special someone so you end up online or racing, wild-eyed, into the nearest florist. You go for roses, especially red roses, because Valentine’s Day. That’s the done thing. I’m here to tell you this: Don’t let society or convention tell you what to do!
A sensible Valentine will mourn the $140 you laid out on the pretty box of a dozen long stems because that, right there, is dinner at a cafe and a night at the movies. Spend wisely and that could even cover a choc-top each. Nothing says “You’re the greatest person I’ve ever met” less than a small fortune spent on something useless and unoriginal.



My local supermarket is selling scented candles with hearts on them in amongst the Valentine’s Day paraphernalia. A $4 candle from the supermarket just screams “I love you”, right?
Buy one if you must, but don’t gift it! Whack it on the table to illuminate the awesome dinner or dessert that you made (or bought). Use it to reenact the non-creepy/abusive scenes from 50 Shades if you’re feeling frisky and that’s your thing. Even using it for at-home hair removal sounds like a better idea than giving it to your partner as a present. (NB: It’s probably not!)


Surely you can’t go wrong with buying someone a box of chocolates, right? Doesn’t almost everybody love chocolates? Yes, almost everybody does. Which is why a stand-alone gift of chocolates won’t show that you love someone. They’re a token gift; cheaper than the cliched red roses but just as impersonal. You can do better!

Tacky underwear.

What is it about Valentine’s Day that brings out the plasticky satin in all out favourite department stores? Crinkled satin slip nighties with red and pink hearts and matching boxers in the men’s section. Knickers and bras in such violent shades of pink that you could never wear them under a light coloured outfit. Pyjamas splattered with so many red hearts they could be accidentally bagged as evidence. Sexy.
If underwear is your thing, though, why not step outside the Kmart underthings section with something far more useful?

Period Pants!

Modibodi underpants are the way to go and for more than one reason. If you grab a pair of these “sensual boyleg” briefs in rose during February, June or October, 15% of the sale price will go to the McGrath Foundation. Modibodi sent me a pair to try and I can assure you- they are lovely!

15% is a nice amount but what if you could increase the amount going to The McGrath Foundation? All you have to do is post a pic of your new knickers while you’re in them and use the hashtag #bareyourderriere. Just a little portion of your new undies will do; as body-positive as Modibodi are, they’re not expecting anyone to literally bare all! If you play along, 100% of the sale price of your knickers will go to the McGrath Foundation.

The McGrath Foundation.

The McGrath Foundation funds vital services such as their Breast Care Nurses, who provide help and support to women (and men) living with breast cancer. Modibodi want to make sure everyone who need a Breast Care nurse can access one.
Treat yourself or share this article with your loved one (if you’re reading this because your partner tagged you or sent it to you, it is a HUGE hint). Score some practical knickers and help fund services for people living with breast cancer. Win win!



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  • Hugzilla

    LOL my four year old is OBSESSED with that white Target teddy bear with the chocolate roses. He wants it for his birthday. #socute

  • Cate Brickell

    I do think I want one of those heart shaped tea cups from the supermarket, just because, but we’re going with a family dinner and cards night and no other gifts.

  • That’s a great idea from ModiBodi. I’ll have to check that hashtag out. I’ve had my fair share of tacky teddy bears. Thank God those years are over!

  • I remember one of my first boyfriends bought me a Valentine present when I was 16 – A red rose in a cylinder with a white bear. I treasured it for years. Until we divorced! lol
    Now Valentine’s Day is just another day. My husband and I, as cliche as it sounds, show each other our love each day. ***awwww*** barf***
    But, a box of chocolates is never taken for granted in this house! I’ll love you forever!

    • Not cliched at all- that’s as it should be, IMO!

  • Tell him he’s dropped! LOL.
    My husband just walked through the door with flowers. I admit it … I kind of liked it (even though I refuse to get all soppy about it in front of him … got to keep em on their toes and all that).

  • Oh dear. You’re bringing back all the memories. I, too, broke up with a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. I was 15. I didn’t mean to, I swear! I was just a terrible actor and couldn’t pretend for one more day.

    Also I have a question: are there really any non-creepy/abusive scenes from 50 Shade?

    • Bahahaha, we’re so alike LOL.
      And no, not in the first book/film anyway!

  • Love should be shown and appreciated every day of the year, not just on Valentines Day! To me receiving a bunch of flowers on a day other than V Day is more special than a bunch received on V Day!

  • I think we’re both pretending that there is no Valentine’s Day this year!

  • I don’t think I’ve ever done anything for Valentines Day ever. But then also we don’t do date nights and blah blah either.

    • Our date night is going to woolies sans kids!

  • jess

    Thankfully my partner knows better than to get me anything tacky on Valentine’s…or any other day actually. But cook me a meal with a nice wine? SOLD!

  • writeofthemiddle

    LOL oh the “tell him his dropped” had me laughing. I remember those days. I was dropped a few times and I did the dropping often enough also. Don’t recall asking someone to “tell him his dropped” though. LOL V day is usually a bit of a non event here though I think last year or was it the year before I might have got some roses. Big shock that was! Over the years pre marriage I got soppy cards (my heart would be thumpity thump), flowers, chocolates and even chains (necklaces – it was a thing back then – like a BIG DEAL). 🙂

    • Oh yeah, passing on the “you’re dropped” message was very common when I was a young teen! Cowards that we were!

  • The Builder has long been a dozen long stem roses kind of guy, this year we are trialing the movies and dinner thing, can’t wait! I’d happily settle for a bottle of wine 🙂

  • Oh damn. I remember when I used to buy those things for my ex. Bahahah! xx


  • Oh dear. It was all cliches at our house- chocolates and roses but definitely no cheap candles. I loathe those.

    • As long as YOU liked them- that’s the main thing! Don’t mind this bitter old cynic over here!

  • Tell him he’s dropped – oh Amy! Haha!! As much as flowers sound divine I’d much rather go out to dinner or have a nice drink together. I’d freak if too much was spent on flowers!! Tonight I got a bunch if roses from his mums garden – tradition, and I gave some rum & cokes.

  • I married someone who doesn’t believe in flowers, even on Valentine’s Day and he knows better than to bring soft toys into the house while I’m getting to the pointy end of the Minimalism Game! Our anniversary is just before Valentine’s Day so we usually do all our celebrating then. High five to Modibodi for supporting such an awesome cause! A win, win indeed!

    • Soft toys are such a waste- kids don’t play with them much at all and adults- what are we gonna do with them?!

  • I love my Modibodi undies, and you’ve reminded me that I need to get some more! And V-Day? Honestly, I’ve never really paid that much attention to it, I never remember that it’s happening, lol! Dave and I aren’t the most romantic of beings!