We all know that corporate greed has turned Valentine's day from a lovely holiday during which a naked baby practices archery (at least, that's my understanding of it) to a sordid hellscape of consumerism, empty gestures, and garbage. So I'm doing all of my prospective valentines a favour and clearly stating the gifts I do not want this February 14th. Again, Valentine's Day is nothing but an excuse for big business to pressure us into buying material things to prove emotional worth, and I want no part of it. Please note this itemized list also contains the prices of each thing, so you know exactly how much not to spend, and web links, so you know exactly where not to buy them.

(On a much less sarcastic note, don't be too worried about big business when perusing these picks—almost all of them are from small businesses based in Vancouver.)

devi collective
Credit: Devi Collective

1. This Adorable Heart Necklace

I get it. It's Valentine's Day, I stole your heart, this necklace is a heart. It's a symbol of your undying love for me. But as a self-sufficient woman in the the year 2021, do I really need such an overt declaration that someone has romantic feelings for me in order to feel validated? The answer, of course, is yes I do, and if you could please add a little card that clearly spells out your deepest and most private emotions, that would be great.
$68, deviartscollective.com

the flower petaler
Credit: The Flower Petaler

2. This Gorgeous Bouquet

Flowers! Perhaps the most classic of romantic gifts. I won't state the obvious (eventually they will shrivel up and die) but rather, pose another question: while I am absolutely free to go outside whenever I wish, as our current COVID-19 restrictions do not affect my ability to leave the house—do I? One more: would it be lovely to have a beautiful, if fleeting, reminder that nature still exists, especially an out-of-this-world, wilder-than-your-average-roses bouquet? Again, the answer is yes. Also, after almost a year indoors, I gotta say it could definitely smell a little nicer in here. From $35, theflowerpetaler.ca

beth and olivia
Credit: Beth and Olivia Handmade

3. This Romantic Bath Bomb

While most folks take baths to relax, I find it hard to get over the guilty feelings I get from using so much water. Maybe I need to get over it and just treat myself once in a while. Maybe I should counteract it by not showering for a week after. Or maybe someone should get me this moisturizing rose and geranium bath bomb so I have no choice but to fill up the tub and soak. $10, bethandolivia.com

nettle's tale
Credit: Nettle's Tale

4. This Cream Lounge Set

Loungewear is surely the way to go when it comes to pandemic clothing... but cream? It's quite the risk when my main quarantine activity is snacking. This soft organic bamboo set is begging for ketchup stains. However, it's also trendy enough that I could wear it on Zoom calls and to the grocery store and in all the gram-worthy photos I force my valentine to take of me. It's the 2021 version of the powersuit. $184 for the set, nettlestale.com

lush
Credit: Lush

5. This Moisturizing Massage Bar

If you want to give me a massage, just say so (if you are an internet creep reading this please do not say so). This romantic blend of argan oil, ruby cocoa liquor, rose absolute, rose oil, and geranium oil definitely isn't essential for a top notch massage, but if that's what it takes to get a shoulder rub around here than all the power to ya. $13, lush.ca

Lumin Jewelry
Credit: Lumin Jewelry

6. These Dainty Earrings

As mentioned above, sweatpants have been the outfit of choice for me for the last 87 years of this COVID nightmare—so what good could these terribly pretty sunshine earrings possibly do me? Perhaps ignite a feeling of preciousness I have not felt about myself in the last 87 years of this COVID nightmare. I suppose I could at least try them—they are made locally and 24-karat gold, after all. From $54, Lumin Jewelry at etsy.com

mala the brand
Credit: Mala the Brand

7. This Musky Candle

You think you can trick me into thinking you're sexy with this locally-poured, sultry-scented candle? That the fact that one tree is planted with every purchase is going to somehow make me thing you're eco-conscious and thus more attractive to me? You're probably right. $35, malathebrand.com

knix
Credit: Knix

8. This Tanktop That I Already Have

I already own this tanktop. I do not need another one. It is an extremely comfortable form-fitting garment that I look like a goddamn treasure in. I do not need another one. It's got support so I don't even have to wear a bra with it. I do not need another one. I wear it all the time. I do not need another one. It comes in six other colours. I do not need another one. Or do I? $68, knix.ca