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The Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates: So Tacky It's Cool?

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One Valentine's Day early in my childhood, my dad gave my sisters and me each a small heart-shaped box of chocolates with a felt circus animal on the cover. Mine had a lion. And every year thereafter (till I was about, oh, 18) my dad refilled the boxes with chocolates on Valentine's Day.

Now, whenever I see stacks of bright-red Valentine's boxes on sale at CVS and Randall's, I always think fondly of my little lion box, which eventually got lost in a move. But I know that many people view those garish hearts covered in scratchy cloth and fake flowers with disgust rather than nostalgia.

From conversations with friends, family, and random people in my gym sauna, it seems like giving your significant other a box of chocolates on Valentine's Day has become horribly tacky and passé.

I understand if you object to Valentine's Day as a general concept (perhaps because you think "every day should be Valentine's Day when you're in love"...or some shit). And I get that some people turn up their noses at the moderately priced heart-shaped box of chocolates because it represents custom, convention and, therefore, cliché. By opting for the most orthodox Valentine's Day gift, you are likely to be accused of not putting any thought into the matter.

But I wish buying someone that heart-shaped box of chocolates didn't automatically peg you as an uncreative loser with no taste. The chocolate in some of those boxes ain't half bad, and not everyone can afford (or even wants) an avant-garde container of chocolat from the likes of Richart. Sometimes an assortment of buttercreams, caramels, and nut clusters is all one needs to feel loved. Even if you're buying it for yourself.

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