The Gift of Self-Improvement: [An Unorthodox Valentine’s Day Gift Guide]


Admit it. Your lover is too good for you – in every way more beautiful, kind, sincere, intelligent, funny, and honest. You probably don’t deserve her, and whatever gift that you were planning to get is inadequate. Put away the jewelry you were thinking of buying. She can afford better, and is probably not that serious about you anyway. Don’t try to find something “offbeat.” She already visits more interesting stores than you, and settling on giving her books, CDs, or chocolates will only confirm her suspicion that you are shallow and uncreative. You have only one possible solution left, and that’s to improve yourself before she gets wise to these facts and finds someone more in her league.


Gift Idea #1 – Massage Lessons
Enrolling in a Thai Massage class is a perfect way to say, “I want to bribe your continuing affection with the promise of a steady stream of backrubs.” Listen, it sounds like as good a tactic as any at this point. So, hurry, and make your reservation for the Valentine’s Day class at Levitate Yoga (780 8th Avenue, 3rd Floor). They even teach some Swedish techniques if you want to add a Scandinavian flavor. It’s $25 if you drop in at the door, and $20 if you get your act together and reserve in advance.


Gift Idea #2 – Learn to Cook
Here is the exactly the type of class you need – Cooking 101, offered by The Brooklyn Kitchen (616 Lorimer Street). Don’t know how to read a recipe? They’re going over that. Worried about using a knife? They’ll make that easier on you. Confused about this whole “measuring” business? Yes, they teach those basics, too. The program includes everything to make the wild world of the kitchen seem a little less intimidating and mysterious… because I’ve got news for you. If you’re considering cohabitation, “ordering in” is going to get old really quick. I don’t care how diverse your neighborhood’s restaurants are. A three class series costs $50.

Gift Idea #3 – Let’s Dance
All your flaws will be forgiven if you know how to tango, and Empire Dance (127 West 25th St) is offering a $20 drop-in class for students interested in learning the dance form so sexy that it’s only properly performed with a rose in the pretty lady’s mouth. Take a 4-week series of classes in a group for $70. If, as you suspected earlier, you’re hopeless, consider learning another type of massage: reflexology. That will help you relieve your partner’s poor, bruised feet after another misguided night on the town.

You get the idea, and this should get you started on what is sure to be a long self-improvement checklist. I know what you’re thinking. How can I gift wrap such a present? Write a considerate note explaining everything that you are doing for her benefit. You can even put a little bow on it if you want.

However, if you’re the better catch in your relationship, you can print out this guide, and hand it to your partner instead.

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