Valentine's Dismay

BY: DYLANNA FOY

I love Valentine's Day. It's not too hard to understand why. As a kid I got cards and candy from most of my friends and now I get presents from my boyfriend. It's a day devoted to feeling good.Valentine's Day is a holiday that has girls buzzing about who they are going out with and what presents they will be getting. Guys have it pretty easy on this day-February 14th comes with pre-packaged presents that relieve the male stress of needing to figure out a gift for their girlfriend. Flowers, candy, maybe some jewelry or lingerie and the night is a guaranteed success. But what are girls supposed to do? Buy our boyfriend a dozen red roses? What about a heart-shaped box full of chocolates and lace? Do guys still expect a Scooby-Doo and Friends card on Valentine's Day like in third grade? Do they expect anything at all? It was a lot easier when we were younger. In elementary school, everyone in class passed around valentines with their favorite cartoon characters on them and everyone got one, even the boys. Maybe the special ones would get some candy but that was it. Chocolate was my favorite, or the classic heart-shaped-with-one-or-two-word-message candies which I know are pure sugar but are frighteningly delicious. Plus, your parents bought everything. Your own money was not an issue. Years later, it seems like not much has changed. My boyfriend takes me out and makes me feel special, and the day often includes candy and possibly some flowers too. But does he expect a present in return? Valentine's is usually thought of as the girl's holiday, Shopping online for a Valentine's gift was no better-almost everything is directed toward what a man should get for his lady. He can get things engraved, name a star after her, buy a couple's massage, pay for matching tattoos (not for everyone) and the never-ending options of jewelry and lingerie. After a while, I began to wonder if I was stressing out about nothing. Maybe I should just let my boyfriend take care of the day and not get him anything. It does sound pretty simple, along with the added bonuses of being stress-free and money-free. A day completely devoted to me sounds pretty nice. But couldn't I get my boyfriend a little something just so he knew I was thinking about him? I decided it was time to find a second opinion. The day needs to be talked about beforehand, says marketing major Ajda Tamer. "It depends if you agree to buy each other stuff or you just want to go out somewhere," says Tamer. "If you don't have a lot of money, at the very least you should make him a coupon book or something small." The coupon book was inspiring. It definitely has a personal touch, so he would know I was thinking about him, and it doesn't cost too much. But the couple could skip presents and just go out. "If you're just going out, the guy should definitely pay for everything," says Tamer. "Maybe the girl can take care of the tip. But, the day needs to be discussed beforehand." So, I could go the coupon-book-route. It's small and easy. I don't think my boyfriend is expecting much, but I would like to go a step further. We'll be going out to dinner, which he is paying for, of course. And he most likely will get me something that I'll love-not that I'm expecting much. But I would like to get him something nice to go with the coupons. At Collegeuniversity.com there is an assortment of presents for the college man on a budget to get his college girl for Valentines. But a lot of them seem like they could work just as well if the roles were reversed. A DVD, a mix CD, making him dinner or a photo gift were some options that stuck out as being great gifts from girls as well as guys. I know I'm not the only one in this predicament. So, with all this research behind me, I decided to compile a list of presents that a college girl can get her boyfriend for Valentine's Day-if she wants to get him a present.

$$?A Coupon Book - It's inexpensive but thoughtful. Coupons could be good for a back massage, dinner (your treat), or a night where he gets to keep the remote. $$ Concert Tickets - For the guy who stresses over what song on his MySpace profile defines him as a person. Tickets to a comedy club are also a great idea. $$ Tickets to a sporting event - Finally find out what that logo on his favorite hat is all about. This one could be expensive, though - if you're on a tight budget, this one is not for you. (My boyfriend likes baseball, basketball, and hockey, so I have tons of options to choose from.) $$ Jewelry - Girls may love their jewelry, but most guys would be lying if they said they didn't like a few accessories too. Watches, bracelets, and necklaces are all great options. $$ CD or Mix CD - You know he likes music, so why not get your boyfriend a CD? Or, if you want that personal touch for Valentine's Day, make him a mix CD. Most couples have songs that mean something special - a first date, the night the car died in the middle of nowhere - why not put it on a CD. $$ Bad Day Box - This one could be a little cheesy, and it does take some effort, but it is inexpensive and terribly romantic. First, go to a craft store and buy a small wooden box, or a wooden treasure chest. Also, get some paint that will look good on the box and dry nicely on wood. At home, paint the box up nice and pretty, and write (name)'S BAD DAY BOX on the top. Fill the box with Hershey's kisses, or his favorite candy, and a picture of yourself on the inside lid. Finally, include a note saying that you love him (or care about him if the 'L' word is too much), and that if you are not around and he is having a bad day, here are some hugs and kissed to cheer him up. It may sound a little sappy, but he'll love it. $$ Lingerie - A special present not only for him, but for you too and having it on when you give it to him never hurts. Gifts for Valentines do not need to be extravagant. On this day it is the thought that matters most, not how much you spent. If you are unsure of what to get your man for Valentine's Day, you can always do what my dad says: "Girls are supposed to give guys the gift you can't buy.