Love, Love Me Do–Or Don’t

While couples cozy up on romance’s big day, you, stalwart single, should renew your commitment to yourself–by shopping, of course. Check out these great finds.

Nothing says “I love you” like a heart-shaped box filled with stale chocolate. Add the color-coded map that guides the lucky giftee how best to plan his or her caloric overload, and it’s no wonder we swoon.

Start with the peanut-butter filled, of course, and end with the oblong nut confection that no one can figure out.

But lucky for you, you’re single—so your start is devoid of peanut butter. It’s more of the fresh, clean-slate variety.

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Bonus—you don’t have to go out shopping for the “perfect” gift for Valentine’s Day, the most contrived of all holidays.

So what to do? Go shopping for yourself, of course.

Not that we condone sitting at home Friday night watching time creep by while your couple friends toast over gnocchi at Toscana, but if you’re going to do it, do it in style. Vamp up your minute hand with a trip to The Finishing Touch (488 E. Main St., Middletown, 376-6417).

I dare you not to fall in love with the gorgeous Paris-themed wall clocks. Bold in black, red and white, and so this-second with their vintage French hotel theme, these oversized clocks do more than tick and tock. They set the tone for your decor. The black and white clock that now hangs over my television goes for $40, and the larger version sells for $80.

With its array of kitsch-meets-rich goodies, Pistachio Gifts (8A

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Trolley Square, Wilmington

, 652-4438) has singles at heart—and it’s even got Fido covered.

Guys, treat man’s best (single) friend with his own little black book, filled with the names of the cutest pooches on the block. The brand is Fab Dog, and the little black book sells for $15, with matching accessories such as a leopard thong ($13) and bra ($14).

While your dog is occupied, feel free to cook away. “Man Your Grill: Cooking ’n’ Grillin’ with Beer” ($20) is the go-to guide for a man’s man. Beer with dinner every night of the week? Check. Nagging girlfriend not included.

At Bloom (92 E. Main St., Newark, 454-7266), unattached girls who just wanna have fun can do so, guilt free, then simply wash it off later. Carrying an extensive line of flirty, pink-overload Dirty Girl products such as soap, lotions and body washes, Bloom makes it easy for you to suds away the nightmare blind date your best friend set up (prices vary).

Emotional baggage foiling your relationships? Ladies, carry yours in a purse by The 3 Sisters. Made of genuine vinyl LPs, they’re found at Forney’s Jewelers (106 W. Loockerman St., Dover, 877-734-3425).

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The bags get their half-moon shape from a record cut in two, stitched together with matching fabric, then finished with a ball chain so you can carry it on your shoulder. They’re not just good-looking; they function well and, being vinyl, they can handle the day-to-day battering of any single’s dating life.

Be sure to check out Saks Thrift Avenue (800 Brandywine Blvd., Bellefonte, 762-1702) and Rags to Riches (5714 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 654-5997). You won’t be disappointed. Make a day of it. Celebrate single, fabulous you. You deserve it.

Additional research by Deanna Candeloro.

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