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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Last-minute Valentine’s Day gift ideas for every relationship stage

Photo Illustration by Jordan Tovin | Assistant Photo Editor
The “Dune: Part Two” popcorn bucket can hold an arrangement of flowers — perfect for that special someone this Valentine’s Day.

It’s okay to admit it — many people probably still haven’t bought their partner a Valentine’s Day gift.

While the holiday of love is prime gift-giving season, it’s hard to know what sort of gift to give at different points of a relationship — is it better to splurge on chocolates and flowers and ties galore during your first year together, or should you save such extravagances for future years? For all the many last-minute shoppers struggling with such dilemmas, here are the best gifts to get your significant other depending on your relationship stage.

For your situationship: Clarify the ship or let it go down like the Titanic

There is nothing more unattractive than ambiguity. If your partner continues to evade your questions and concerns about where your relationship is going, buy them a dictionary because it is about damn time you defined this relationship.

Make sure you circle, highlight and sticky note the term “relationship” just in case they don’t catch your drift. You may walk away from Valentine’s Day officially single, but at least you’ll no longer be stuck in romantic purgatory.

For the first Valentine’s Day: Let your romance bloom

When you’re first falling for someone, it can be easy to think your love is the only thing blossoming in the world — especially around Valentine’s Day. But in just a few weeks, D.C. will be taken over by blooms and blossoms, like the ones you’ve been feeling in your own heart.

To symbolize the blooming of your new love, buy your partner a piece of cherry blossom-themed merchandise for your first Valentine’s Day together. You can take a traditional route, acquiring a pair of cherry blossom earrings or a LEGO cherry blossom set. Or branch out with a cherry blossom kite, decorated with a view of the Tidal Basin.

For the ex you want back: Win the Revolutionary War for their heart

Sometimes, you’re at the worst stage of a relationship — you got dumped, but you’re not over your ex yet. Rather than wallowing in your sadness, take action and unite your hearts together once more, just as George Washington did with the 13 colonies in 1776.

If Washington crossed the perilous Delaware River for the love of his country, you can get off your couch and win your ex back. If dishonesty was the initial relationship’s downfall, you can buy a box of chocolate cherries — after all, you’re now reformed and could never tell your partner a lie. Sweets are a classic way to warm a relationship as frozen as Valley Forge.

A dozen red roses and a bottle of white wine are another tried and true way to say you’re sorry.

An Ngo | Graphics Editor

For your first anniversary: Gift a well-traveled keepsake

You’ve traversed together so much emotionally over a year, only the Metro’s train cars can compare to how far you’ve come as a couple. Luckily, Metro sells a variety of accessories and knick-knacks honoring the interwoven lines of their transportation. Now, you too can honor the ups, downs and turnarounds of your relationship.

If your partner loves a decorative figurine, Metro has a miniature version of all the colors of their train cars and a replica of their Xcelsior buses. Perhaps purchase the train of the line you take the most jointly to remind you all of your cherished time together. If you would prefer an opportunity to match with your partner, there is also a wide range of clothing to choose from — our personal favorites have to be their aprons which feature the map of the Metro system as well as a WMATA operations worker uniform.

For relationships that have stood the tests of time: The “Dune: Part Two” popcorn bucket

Once you’ve spent enough time together, there is little mystery to be found in a relationship, as you’ve given nearly every gift one could imagine. Try surprising your partner with the hot new 2024 gift they’ve wanted for months but would never lavish upon themself: the “Dune: Part Two” popcorn bucket.

An AMC Theaters exclusive, the container took the internet by storm last month. While the bottom is a normal popcorn bucket decorated with symbols from the film, the container is topped by a plastic sandworm emerging from the ground.

Traditionally, couples give each other pottery for later wedding anniversaries. While not made of clay, the “Dune: Part Two” popcorn bucket is a way to pay homage to the time-honored tradition of gifting round food containers after many years together, and as something new to 2024, it has the benefit of being one of the few items you can be sure you didn’t forget giving your partner in the past. Plus, you can fit flowers into the sandworm’s mouth, letting the bucket double as two gifts at once.

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About the Contributor
Jenna Baer, Contributing Culture Editor
Jenna, a senior majoring in creative writing, is the the 2023-24 contributing culture editor. She previously worked as a staff writer and cartoonist. She is a Houston, Texas girl through and through.
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