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Imagine waking up on Valentine’s Day morning, the sun streaming in through the window and the smell of lemon ricotta pancakes wafting in from the kitchen. The kids are at school. You and your spouse have the whole day together.
You turn your head on the pillow only to be faced with a giant, stuffed 4-foot-tall teddy bear staring at you with its beady eyes. He wants to smother you in his furry embrace. Naturally, you are terrified. Hearing your blood-curdling scream, your husband enters the room with a satisfied smile, knowing in his heart that this was $100 well spent.
When my husband and I saw the commercial for the Big Hunka Love Vermont Teddy Bear, we laughed and assumed that this had to be a prank gift. In fact, it’s downright creepy, sexualizing an item that most grown women lost interest in shortly after our 7th birthdays. “If you want the ‘big reward,’ get her the Vermont Teddy Bear!” says the announcer, his voice dripping with innuendo. Because, yeah, what woman isn’t willing to trade sex for a giant plush animal?
This got me wondering: what were some of the worst V-Day gifts women had ever received? Men, if you think she's really going to whisper to her girlfriends with pride that “he went to Jared,” you had best read on.
1. Strange arrangement
“My then-boyfriend showed up at the door of my apartment with a huge bouquet of flowers. Initially I was thrilled, though a little suspicious that they weren’t wrapped in paper. The next day, when I left my building, I noticed the exact same arrangement in a vase on the table in the lobby of my building. Right next to it was an empty vase. I know roses are expensive on Valentine’s Day but giving me lobby flowers was pretty thoughtless.” — *Shari, 36
2. Fit bits
“The first Valentine’s Day after we had our first son, I was complaining a lot about feeling out of shape. My husband surprised me with new workout clothes and that annoying Shake Weight. Needless to say, he did not get any action that night.” — Dani, 33
3. Spousal support
“My husband knows I love lingerie, so when I saw the box from my favorite store I was excited. Unfortunately, it was a red triangle bra with no support (I have DD-sized boobs), a G-string (in XL!) and a feather boa. He said the saleslady helped him pick it out. I would love to know how he described me to her!” — Kimberly, 40
4. Tree hugger
“My ex-husband handed me an envelope on our last Valentine’s Day together. Part of me thought it was just a card, another part fantasized that it was tickets to a concert or a trip. It was a card and inside was something I could have never guessed. He had donated money in my name to the Sierra Club. I’m all for saving the environment but could this be any less romantic? Then he accused me of not caring about our planet when I said I was disappointed.” — Mary, 39
Unfortunately the back of the heart had someone else’s initials inscribed on it!
5. Pepper Jack
“A guy I had just started dating showed up at my house with a fruit basket from Harry & David. Actually, there was some really nice cheese in it, but I am 100% positive he took it from his office.” — Tracy, 29
6. Table for 3
“My husband made a reservation at our favorite restaurant for Valentine’s Day, and I was ecstatic. On the car ride over, he casually mentioned that his mother would be joining us. I mean, really?” — Jeri, 35
7. No expiration date
“I think the worst and funniest gift I ever got from my husband was a “Coupon for Lovin’.” I used it right away, and then he went and got me a real present.” — Sofia, 38
8. Say my name
“I love antique jewelry, and one year my husband surprised me with a heart necklace. Unfortunately the back of the heart had someone else’s initials inscribed on it!” — Dana, 38
9. Such a drag
“Last year my fiancé got a sitter and took me into the city to see a show. I had to wonder what he was trying to tell me, because it was a drag show. We agreed that we wouldn’t speak about this evening again.” — Yvette, 46
“One year I got a Russell Stover heart-shaped candy box. Because apparently I was worth a trip to the corner Rite Aid.” — Jillian, 23