Of course, in the stores, it's been a countdown to the-most-dreaded-day-of-the-year-for-guys-because-there's-no-way-in-hell-they-can-measure-up-to-all-the-hype since slightly before New Year's, but trust me, guys don't really plan stuff more than a week in advance.
(unless you have to buy roses - THAT has to be arranged at least six months in advance, or you'll be SOL.)
We'll start this year's festivities with the perfect gift for the guy that broke up with you right before Valentine's day so that he wouldn't have to spring for roses or dinner: Broken Hearts Bubble Gum. Now, personally, I can't think of anything more inappropriate for Feb. 14, but obviously I'm missing a whole market segment of royally pissed-off people out there. Whoever came up with this idea went all the way - there's a form-rejection letter printed on the side (it's a small package, so it won't cost much to send) that invites you to "Send the letter below to your heartbreaker".
Actually, it's a pretty useful document, so I'm reproducing it here (all words copyright the Topps company, Inc., 2003.):
"Have a Broken Heart? Send the letter below to your heartbreaker.
"Dear ________(name), All ________(adjective) things must end. Your ______(adjective) attitude is worse than the ___________(adjective) noise your 1978 __________(Car Name) makes.
"Presents like the __________(adjective) ___________(noun) you gave me confirm that I wasn't that important in your _______(noun). So now, in the spirit of ________________(Famous separated couple), it's time to say __________(expression for goodbye).
Seriously. Clip and save, folks! I especially like the slur on the "heartbreaker"'s vehicle - 1978! Ouch! You tell him!
(I'm assuming it's a him that's doing the heartbreaking, because I can't imagine a guy buying fruit punch flavoured bubble gum just for the break-up letter on the side, but in these days of metrosexuals, you never know. Sending your girl a form break-up letter in pink is a nice touch, though. Very Valentine-ey.)
There's a little note on the package that says "Not for children 3 and under" - I think that's nice. Children under 3 are really too young for that kind of heartbreak.
Also, the size of a standard 1978 American car makes it extremely unlikely that anyone under 3 could reach the pedals to drive, thereby making part of the letter irrelevant, and you don't want to lessen the impact of your soul-crushing form letter by marking out huge sections of it. It would look like it was censored by your Mom before you sent it, and people, that just doesn't look cool.
Tasty gum, though. I should break up more often.
Text and images copyright L. Mellin, 2000-2008, except where noted. All rights reserved.