Valentine’s Day saw the usual social media onslaught of #boydidgood posts. I was mystified. Since when did we congratulate people for buying gifts devoid of meaning or personality? Is it really beyond the limits of most men’s imaginations to find out what their girlfriend’s favourite flower is and buy them those instead of red roses? Great if red roses are your favourite flower, of course. But for most, the symbolism is so diluted that the gift becomes arbitrary. I wouldn’t want to accept any gift that was given by obligation.

The gendering of Valentine’s Day also impacts heavily upon my dislike for the occasion. Why do the gifts women receive have to be girly and soft and sexy? Have we not progressed beyond that? How insulting to reduce us to flowers, underwear and soft toys. It’s like being given a choice of drill bits, car wax and lager and expecting all men to be happy with one of those things. See also: Mother’s Day and Father’s Day for tedious heteronormative gifting.

Next time you buy your loved one a gift, and particularly when it’s mandatory like on the 14th of February, be a maverick: get them something they actually like.

1. This Fuck It Pennant $20 from Explorers Press and a shambolic attempt at serenading me with Fuck It, I Love You by Malcolm Middleton would be my perfect love letter.

2. I can’t take credit for finding this Let Love In enamel pin by Life Club on Etsy. It may be the sexiest gift I have ever received. I didn’t know it existed, but I’ve needed it for years.

3. The Lomography Lomo’Instant Automat Playa Jardin Camera £159 gives you the control of a manual while producing perfectly exposed instants in any environment. Instant cameras are expensive to buy and use, but I want to one day have a box of mini candids to sift through. Make memories first and foremost, but try and keep the best ones too.

4. The tester bottle of Byredo Gypsy Water Eau De Parfum £135/100ml is a favourite destination for me when I’m in the Liberty perfume hall. Despite its prohibitive price point, I think it would be sound investment for any couple: it’s unisex and ageless. It explodes with green leaves and lemon, clean and fresh, before mellowing out into a swampy, bohemian blend of resins and woods.

5. If your relationship is complicated, here’s a reminder that the perfect love exists: Miracle Aligner pin $10 from La’Pin Store.

6. Candles are great and I will never be without them, but we’re on to incense now in a big way. I got this acrylic Kuumba incense holder £19 for Christmas with a packet of Kuumba Back In The Day incense £9 to start me off. But look at this future heirloom by Neighborhood: an Eagle Incense Chamber £188. A little more expensive than a candle, but it’ll last forever, providing atmospherics ’til death us do part.

Born to be wild,




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