The Valentine’s Striptease That Almost Broke My Neck

I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. Yes, I always said that back in the days when I was perpetually single. But surprisingly, my take on the whole thing didn’t really change after finding myself in a serious relationship, then engaged, then married.

The cheesy cards, the naked Cupid butts, the heartsoh god, the hearts. I abhor hearts. Anyone ever notice that the shape kind of looks like a naked Cupid butt? I think they planned it that way.

Yes, that heart butt is disturbing. Isn’t it?

Even when I was a little girl, I was never really into hearts. I didn’t draw them to dot my i’s, and I certainly didn’t buy any heart-shaped jewelry. A high school “boyfriend” once bought me a heart-shaped necklace. I wore it (I mean, come on, the gesture was sweet), but I didn’t enjoy it.

The only kind of hearts I really like are the edible chocolate ones that come in accordion-crinkled paper cups.

But anyway, my (very unoriginal) point is that, not only is V-Day far too commercial, it’s far too forced. It squeezes everyone into a one-size-fits-all heart-shaped box of torment, and I’ll be damned if Kurt Cobain didn’t know exactly what he was talking about when he wrote that song.

So one year, after Justin and I got engaged, I suggested we get each other goofy gifts for V-Day. Since we had an upcoming wedding and honeymoon, there would be more than enough romance to keep us swimming in gag-worthy giggles and meaningful looks and candlelit dinners for the remainder of the year.

In a stroke of what I deemed to be sheer genius (and five years ago, it wasn’t being worn by every other guy you passed on the street), I bought him this shirt:

It met all of my gift requirements:  It was practical (who couldn’t use another t-shirt?), it was funny (especially since it was given to him by his soon-to-be wife), and it was true. He wore that thing everywhere. All in all, a successful Valentine’s gag gift.

But Justin? Oh, Justin. He pretty much broke every rule in the male gift-giving rule book–rules that, unfortunately for men, still (or especially) apply to gag gifts.

What? You’re not aware of the male gift-giving rules? Well, then. Allow me to enlighten you:

1. Don’t give her something that could, in any way, imply that she’s fat.

2. Don’t give her something that will make her feel like the least sexy woman alive.

3. Don’t give her something that will make her think that you think she’s fat.

4. Don’t give her something that will limit her ability to turn her head without experiencing intense pain for the next three days.

5. Don’t give her something under the guise that it’s for her when it’s really for you.

6. Don’t give her something shaped like a heart. (Oh wait, that’s just for me.)

7. Most important, don’t flippin’ call her fat!

So this is what Justin bought for himself me.

Are you ready for it?

It’s painful.

Here we go…

Yep. Carmen Electra’s Aerobic Striptease. The complete box set.

I think I just heard all of the male readers simultaneously high-five each other across the internet.

You’re thinking it’s not that bad, right? It’s kind of funny… and a lot of women were getting into that type of workout at the time.

But do you remember the rules? Let’s recap.

1. By buying me a workout video–one I definitely didn’t have on my Amazon wish list–he broke the cardinal rule by implying I needed to lose weight. I know that’s not what he meant by it. But as a female, I had to go there.

2. Okay, so it’s a workout video. Fine. I know I’m never going to look like the women in workout videos. But, I’m telling you right now, there is nothing on this planet that will make you feel less sexy than staring at Carmen Electra for an hour while you’re huffing and puffing and turning red and short of breath and… get your dirty minds out of the gutter. I was talking about working out!

Except this. This might make you feel less sexy:

3. See #1.

4. I tried the first video. I did. And you know how strippers kind of throw their heads around a lot so their hair flies about all sexy-like? (Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.) Well, yeah. I don’t really want to relive the experience, but let’s just say I probably should’ve invested in a neck brace.

5. Please. Like this gift was for me.

6. Speaking of heart-shaped butts, if anyone has one, it’s Carmen.

7. And we’re back to #1.

So all-in-all? My V-Day gag gift experiment was a bust. This year, I think we’ll just stick to pizza and a movie.


But, just for the record, I did laugh at the gift. I mean, come on, giving your girlfriend a strip aerobics DVD takes balls.

He’s just lucky I let him keep his.

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  • I had an ex give me “Sexy Darts” for V’s day. Really, I question how smart it is to throw darts naked. Great post!

  • Katie…Awesome post! Thanks, again, for starting my day with a good chuckle!

  • Haha! I hate hearts too. My college boyfriend (who was 12 years my senior and should have known better) gave me a heart-shaped necklace and I was like “Seriously??? Of all the nice jewelry out there, you got me this?” It had diamonds and everything but I think hearts are just plain icky.

  • Sexy darts, huh? That’s a new one… I think I’ll stick to sexy dice – sounds much safer. And 12 years older, Kat? There’s no excuse for him not knowing the heart thing. 😉

    I’m digging the bad V-day gift stories! Keep ’em coming. And I’m guessing there have to be some guys out there whose ladies have gifted them with some pretty outlandish things over the years… Men can’t be the only sex with poor gift taste.

  • Would it have been better if he got you only the first DVD and said, “okay, now, you have to work your way up to DVD #2″?

  • Well. I suppose that would’ve gotten him points for encouraging me to improve instead of just “rewarding” me with the entire set from the start. 🙂

  • My hubby keeps trying to talk me into pole-dancing classes. He really wanted to get me some for X-mas, and I put my foot down. Talk about gifts he wants for himself–but I have to do all the dirty work!

  • Hahaha Katie! I loved this post! You are SOOOOO right about the rules. I agree with you, it’s essential to not imply, joke or even slighty suggest that your girlfriend is fat. I am so so so sensitive about my weight that if I received this gift I may have cried! I know, I’m nuts.

    Oh and don’t tell anyone I told you this, but I sort of hate hearts too. Chef gave me a heart necklace for Christmas. It’s pretty, and he picked a stone in my favorite color, but it’s not necessarily my style, and, well, it’s a heart. Enough said. But I wear it – I would call it cute, and it makes him happy when I wear it. And he’s right, it is my favorite color. It definitely is the thought that counts! He actually made me promise to tell him if I didn’t like it, but I didn’t have the heart (haha pun intended) to tell him I hate hearts. But the necklace is growing on me 🙂

    • Eek! It was definitely a sweet gift on his part, but yeah… maybe you should’ve told him about the heart thing and then the two of you could’ve exchanged it for something you’d enjoy wearing a little more…? That’s a tough one…

      And I’m dying to know – how did Chef react to your astrology reading??

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