I'm a huge dinosaur enthusiast. I shouldn't really have to explain this further as dinosaurs are obviously and inherently awesome. I have plastic ones perched all over my house, on bookshelves and windowsills, and a mid-size toy brontosaurus next to the photo of my child on my desk.
I am not a huge flower enthusiast. I appreciate the sentiment, but I never quite know what to do with flowers. I'm kind of a womanchild, so I probably don't have an appropriate vase in which to store them, and even if I do, I don't really get the point of them. They're just going to sit there on my dining room table looking pretty for about half a day until they slowly start to wilt and die, like a visual reminder of my own inevitable death. Romantic!
Plus, I've been socialized by pop culture to associate a gift of flowers with a guy doing something wrong. When I see a guy walking down the street with a big bouquet of roses on a day that's not Mother's Day, I immediately think: "Somebody got his dick sucked."
Even worse, if a guy gives you flowers at the beginning of a date, you have to carry them around awkwardly all night, whacking people with them as you walk by and taking up half the bar with them.
Basically the only point of receiving flowers is to get them at work and have everybody know you've got a super-good significant other who thinks you're really cool or at least pretty good in bed or something. But my boyfriend blew this whole thing out of the water the other day when he sent a BOUQUET OF DINOSAURS to the office for me.
I nearly lost my sh*t. I wanted to give him like a thousand blowjobs. And I realized once and for all that flowers are pretty f*cking stupid. I don't want anymore. At least in a world where a bouquet of dinosaurs exists.
Conversely, my guy friends would like to receive flowers for once.
Here are a few suggestions if for some reason you're not already entering your credit card number for a dinosaur bouquet.
Bitches want pizza, at least in my friend group. And think of how amazing it would be to be sitting around, just starting to wonder what you're going to slog out to get for lunch, when a WHOLE PIZZA arrives! Just for you! Possibly with pepperoni in the shape of a heart, because this is my fantasy.
2. Other foods
Basically, we're hungry. Here are some foods that at least one woman, out of the 50 who replied to my Facebook status, said she would rather receive than flowers: taquitos, breakfast food, fries, chocolate, salsa and chips, sushi, donuts, carrot cake, cheese, Nutella, popcorn, Cadbury eggs, burritos, hoagies, red vines, a hot freshly cooked slab of prime rib, brownies, cupcakes and "all the cookies."(Weirdly, "fajitas" came up a lot. I'm not that excited about fajitas, but apparently a lot of women are.)
Basically, you know what snacks/lunch your girlfriend likes. Surprise her with it.
If you're trying to keep it to the bouquet theme, may I suggest a cookie bouquet? Cookies don't make me think about death at all. Edible Arrangements also came up a few times. I sent a boyfriend Omaha Steaks for a few Valentine's Days in a row, and if your SO is a carnivore, that's a good option.
3. A book/something off her Amazon wishlist
A guy once brought me a copy of a book he thought I'd enjoy rather than flowers on a first date, and I found it immensely charming. (I totes put out.) If your significant other has an Amazon wishlist, you can really blow her mind by mailing her something right out of her BRAIN WANTS.
Whether it's a gift basket of gourmet beans or a hand-delivered Grande Soy Macchiato, the coffee or tea addict in your life will lose her mind over a well-timed caffeine injection. One of my biggest personal turn-ons is when my boyfriend makes the coffee before I get out of bed in the morning.
Again, you should know what she likes. Champagne, red wine, a 12-pack as a play on a dozen roses, just something to get a girl f*cked up. These booze gift baskets are allegedly "for men," but let's be honest, intoxication knows no gender.
A lot of them also include snacks, which we've already established ladies are into receiving, unless they're on some kind of weird diet, in which case you're a dick for tempting them.
Uh, I don't know. I'm just the messenger on this one. But more than one woman said she'd prefer to be sent cold, hard cash over flowers. Seems a little hooker-y to me, but if that's how ya'll play, go ahead.
7. A Card/Note
In exact opposition to how it worked when we were kids, grown-up women now appreciate a card with a heartfelt message inside. My own boyfriend writes me a romantic letter every Christmas, and then sits there and watches me cry all over myself while I read it. It's romantically sadistic.
This is one of those "attach an engagement ring to a collar because you just locked that sh*t down" ideas. It's not do-able for everyone, but some local shelters and occasionally Uber provides a "snuggle on demand" service for their adoptable pets. If you can pull this off, you can basically cheat on her for at least a year without reprisal.
9. Spa gift card
If your girlfriend is the type who has to be forced to treat herself, a gift card to a nearby spa or salon would be a good incentive to make some time for self-care. Even small amounts can buy a mani or pedi and a little mental space.
10. Potted plants
This came up a couple of times. Same concept as flowers, but they last longer.
11. Beauty products
If your SO is a beauty nerd, sneak a photo of her products one day. Notice when something (like a perfume bottle) gets low and replace it. Or take the photo into Sephora and ask a rep to help recommend something she'd probably be into.
My boyfriend once took a photo of all the perfume bottles on my counter and used it to have a "scent profile" made for me at a fancy perfumerie, all in the service of finding a solid perfume to go in an antique perfume locket he'd bought me. He's an unfairly good gift giver.
She'd probably be happy with like, a fancy lipstick.
Or you know, just go with cash. That apparently works for people.