I love the gift-giving ethos of Valentine’s Day because it’s so old-fashioned and simple. Give tokens of love to your love, on the appointed day, no back-talk from anybody about it being a Hallmark holiday, and nobody gets hurt. Back in the day, a young man with a proper upbringing who had been carefully coached by his mother would give a young lady only gifts that could be used up. The trifecta: flowers, candy, or perfume. All three at once only if he were truly ardent and not afraid of looking like a try-hard.
The idea was that flowers would fade, candy would be eaten, and perfume would be drained. Then, if the relationship should sour, the young lovers would both have immediate freedom without the need to meet again to return items of substance. Which, of course, could only lead to an awkward post-mortem about how something so right went so wrong, and who doesn’t want to avoid that scene?
Even though we’ve all become, like, so EVOLVED, and women perhaps now share in the heavy lifting on Valentine’s Day, the flowers/candy/perfume trinity is as popular as ever for the special day. I’m willing to concede seismic changes in society over the past few decades and allow one more item into that day’s gift-giving canon: stuffed animals. Let’s count them as disposable enough, given the menagerie of them that can be found on any given day when the dump’s Give-and-Take area is open.
Here are a few spots around town where you can pick up your Valentine’s Day essentials. And a nod to a special shop a bit beyond Wellesley that I’m so in love with, I should ask it to be my Valentine.
Let’s start with flowers, and make it a dozen red roses while we’re at it. You can pick up a double-dozen at Whole Foods for $25, a straight dozen at Roche Bros. for $29.99, or you can go all out and get a dozen boxed long-stem roses at Winston Flowers for $110.
For scent, Follain carries fragrance oils by Lurk, a perfume line that is made without synthetics, ($55 – $285), and at Beauty and Main, you can find some Trish McEvoy scents ranging from floral to musky for around $85, but for real selection, you’ll just have to go to CVS (any one of the 4 in town will do). Make sure you take it out of the plastic CVS bag and wrap it up nice before you present it.
As for chocolates, which rule the big day at our house (and all the other days, really), you’ve got Roche Bros., Whole Foods, Wasik’s if you want to show a bit more effort, and back to CVS if you want to go throwback and pick up an assortment box of Russell Stover. I used to be that kid who raided mom’s Russell Stover candy box and left behind half-eaten pieces (that chocolate-covered jelly one was particularly foul). But now, I never leave my chocolate half-eaten. Because I have found the chocolate that completes me.
Not to be disloyal to dear Wellesley (or annoy my editor, who grumbles when my posts stray from Wellesley), but you really need to go further afield if you want to find the serious stuff. My all-time favorite place for chocolate is Chocolate Therapy in Framingham on Route 9 eastbound (they also have a location at Legacy Place in Dedham).
Their truffles will take care of any personal chocolate emergency you find yourself in. Just to show they are au courant, they’ve got some weird stuff, like Rosemary Tomato truffle and an alarming-sounding Sweet Potato variety. Yes, yes, Chocolate Therapy, I can see you are committed to expanding my chocolate palate. Now gimmee the classics like champagne or strawberry or Grand Marnier truffles. Ah, that’s better.
They’ve also got heart-shaped chocolates, for the literalists among us, as well as a selection of caramels (the dark chocolate sea salt is amazing), and fun offerings like chocolate covered marshmallows and pretzels.
Why, oh why, must I be so involved with a Framingham chocolate shop? Why can’t there be a nice Wellesley chocolate shop I can love, honor, cherish, and list as my significant other on my Facebook page? Ah well, the course of true love never did run as smooth as high-quality, artisanal chocolate, did it?
Happy Valentine’s Day, Wellesley. And if you’d like to get us a little something, the thing that would say it all to the Swellesley Report would be a like on our Facebook page. Awww, thanks, Valentines.