Dig deeper into your heart, not your wallet


The Alex and Ani Energy jewelry collection has been the biggest seller at Gracy Lane this Valentine’s Day season. The downtown shop has many gifts suitable for the holiday, including jewelry, bags, scarves, collectables and more.

Melissa Puppo

Many Kent State students see Valentine’s Day as a day to let their significant other know how much that person means to them. This could mean buying ‘I Love You’ cards, chocolate-covered strawberries or teddy bears, but, perhaps, this isn’t what couples actually want from each other.

This Valentine’s Day, Chelsy Kearney, senior early childhood education major and sales associate at Carnaby Street Style plans to celebrate with her boyfriend of three years by going to the Kentwood restaurant.

“I do want a gift,” Kearney added, laughing. She said she personally loves jewelry hopes her boyfriend will buy her the Ali M bracelets from the boutique, which happens to be one of the store’s most popular lines.  He can pick out the charms so it’s sentimental about how he feels about her or what he thinks she would like.

She also said guys don’t always come into the store for the holiday, but they should.

If Kearney did happen to see a guy shopping for his girl, she recommended the Ali M jewelry.

“The guys should pay for dinner, honestly, because it’s the right thing to do,” Kearney also said about proper Valentine’s Day etiquette if the guy takes the girl out to dinner.

Kearney said deciding how much to spend and what to get for a guy for Valentine’s Day depends on how long they’ve been together. If the relationship is fairly new, there is no need to spend a large amount on that person by buying an expensive watch or an iPad.

“Depending on the guy, I would do anything sentimental and romantic,” Kearney said. She likes giving chocolates and writing love letters, including something personal. Her boyfriend is into technology, so she said she may plan to include a gift like that this year.

Even though Kearney and her boyfriend have been dating from several years and jewelry would be nice, she still believes a gift doesn’t have to be anything worth money.   

Ashley Huffman, a junior English major has a slightly different view. She is currently single, but thinks Valentine’s Day is nice if you have a significant other and knows the type of things she’d like to receive.

“I’d like something that shows he’s paying attention —a gift that reminds me of a first date or something significant and not just a box of chocolates or a piece of jewelry,” Huffman said.

She also believes the amount spent on a guy should depend on how long she’s been with him.

“If we’ve been going out maybe one year [I’d say] like $20, or a couple years like $100 dollars,” Huffman said.

The days of buying the girl or guy gifts such as teddy bears and other stuffed animals may be dying out though. Some students are taking the less traditional route and coming up with other gifts.

Valentine’s Day can also be a time to express a strong liking for someone for the first time. That’s what junior biology major Jamal Fuseni plans to do this year.

He feels Valentine’s Day is a day set aside to show your love and appreciation to your counterpart, and it is very important for one to show how they feel.

“I met this one girl, and I told her I like her so I’m trying to use this Valentine’s Day to profess my love to her so hopefully I do it,” Fuseni said.

He said he plans to keep it simple as he explained when a girl just hears that you like her; you don’t have to go overboard with it. Fuseni also said a card and some flowers are good to ease into telling someone for the first time.

“I would like an iPad,” Fuseni joked about what he’d like from a girl on this day.  “I would rather have a girl make me something homemade than buy something.”

Kelsey Wise, a freshman early childhood education major and sales associate of Gracy Lane Boutique said a lot of guys come to the store, especially for Valentine’s Day.

“[Guys] go for the Alex and Ani jewelry, our number one seller here, or the Vera Bradley,” Wise said.

But Wise believes a guy shouldn’t get a girl anything too crazy on Valentine’s Day and should buy the little, simple things. This year, her boyfriend works on Valentine’s Day, but they plan to go out to dinner and a movie on Saturday.

Wise said girls should definitely get their guy a gift, too.

“I’d say get a small gift, but make something [yourself] because Valentine’s Day is about loving them, not spending money on them,” she said.

Wise isn’t about having her significant other buy her an expensive gift either.

“I really like heartfelt stuff. Flowers or a love note. I don’t really expect a gift,” Wise said.  

Hall said some ‘anti-Valentine’s people’ think the holiday is “nothing more than a consumer holiday,” but there’s a wide group of people who shy away from the expensive gifts and want simplicity on the holiday.

This means go with homemade gifts if you can, and don’t stress over the prices. Be creative and make your own heart-shaped card filled with inside jokes or memories, bake them red-velvet cupcakes and tell them how you really feel. Valentine’s Day really isn’t about spending the most money possible. What truly matters for a lot of couples is how that person is going to feel when he or she gets the gift.

Contact Melissa Puppo at [email protected]