Love it, loathe it, or skip it all together, Valentine’s Day is upon us and couples across the world will soon be exchanging gifts.
Most will opt for the traditional romantic gifts on 14 February – flowers, chocolates, maybe a diamond ring for those rolling out a grander gesture.
Some will simply head out for dinner together, or run a bubble bath, or get a takeaway.
And some lucky people might be gifted seven kilograms of basmati rice.
Hold on. What?
We asked our readers to share their stories of the worst Valentine’s Day gifts they’d ever received, and thousands poured in with tales of truly terrible presents.
One recurring theme is the mass of Manc husbands hell-bent on giving their wives cleaning or cooking equipment.
As practical as it might be, a box of washing powder doesn’t exactly scream ‘I love you’, does it.
In his defence though, Ann-Marie said her grandad did at least wrap up the detergent before he gave it to his wife.
Michelle’s husband is clearly another Mr Practical – she said she received: “A carpet cleaner one year and a George Foreman grill another year. My husband is very romantic.”
Joanne added: “Matching kettle and toaster ….! He just said you told me you liked them so thought I’d get you them”
Kirsty said she was given ‘a pump for an inflatable bed’, which hopefully wasn’t a hint that she was being turfed out of the bedroom.
Food is usually a great gift. You can get hampers from local restaurants, boxes of chocolates, maybe a dine-in-for-two meal deal from M&S.
So how are so many people getting the gift of food so very wrong?
Pete said he received ‘7 kilos of basmati rice’ one year, while someone else commented that they were given ‘a joint of gammon’.
Emily wrote: “A bottle of mayonnaise Steven nicked from spoons,” so her fella didn’t even pay for her present.
A weird reoccurring theme with the men in our audience is an obsession with fish.
Kim posted that one year she received: “A goldfish called maud, I sh*t you not. Couldn’t knock the originality and it did keep me chuckling for days. Although finding it just randomly on my door step from f*ck knows who was more the mystery.”
In a matching set, Jenni said: “A fish tank! 1) never ever mentioned a desire to own fish. 2) it didn’t come with fish. 3) it was pink.”
Presents for cars also popped up quite a lot.
Lindsey wrote: “Pink fluffy car seat covers… I dont even f*cking drive”
Nic commented: “it certainly wasn’t the worst valentines present I’d ever had…..but one year I got a steering wheel”
And in a savage move, Jenny said: “I told my ex husband I wanted a divorce on Valentine’s Day…. It was his birthday too.”
Featured image: Unsplash