Valentine’s Day is only a few days away, and I don’t know about you, but I relish the opportunity to hand Big Candy my dollars and purchase as many heart-shaped Peanuts-themed chocolate boxes as possible so that I can eat them all grossly rapidly and immediately hate myself afterward. 2018 isn’t shaping up to be much better than 2017 quite yet (Dustin keeps breaking down why, in a way that makes me simultaneously respect him and fear for his health), and buying chocolate in bulk seems necessary.
And I’ll be honest with you: I love stationery. When I was a kid, I had three dream jobs: being the person who names nail polish colors (I think I read about this in a delia’s catalog or something, and became obsessed with the idea of that as a career); designing costumes for the Spice Girls (they’re going back on tour; this could still happen!); and writing greeting cards. I’m not all that pithy and I can’t draw worth a damn, but I was weirdly into this professional fantasy. As an adult, now I just spend a shameful amount of money buying unique cards and waiting until just the right moment to give them to someone I like or love or tolerate. Such is capitalism.
Buying Valentine’s Day cards in particular tickles me. With the rise of smaller, indie printing presses, more and more designs are inspired by literature, film, television, and pop culture, so you can grab a card to send to a friend for Galentine’s Day or pick up something legitimately romantic for your partner. Or shit, just buy one for yourself! And pick up some Russell Stover while you’re at it! Treat yo’self. Any of the cards I’ve listed below, my favorites I’ve come across while shopping online, will do.
Game of Thrones-themed pop-up cards
LOOK AT THESE WORKS OF ART. They are amazing and I want all of them, even as I’ve steadily grown to resent the show itself over the past three or so seasons. I would for some reason mail to my boyfriend, whom I live with, the one of Dany and Drogon with some kind of corny “light my fire”-type note because I am a dork. But that weirwood tree one? That one is staying with me. Images and cards by lovepop
Parks and Recreation Ben and Leslie card
“I love you and I like you.” Excuse me while I sniffle away some tears. Images and cards by mawalie and available on Redbubble
Literary quote cards, featuring Pablo Neruda, Frida Kahlo, Virginia Woolf, and more
Whoever picks the quotes for the Willowcrest Press cards is on point. The starkness of the design is a perfect fit for the quotes they have chosen to feature from a variety of artists, writers, and poets, and I think you could shop for a variety of loved ones in your life from this selection. My favorite for myself is the Virginia Woolf one above. But for romantic choices, well, these quotes from Pablo Neruda and Frida Kahlo are pretty good, too.
’90s and early aughts nostalgia with The Rock, Britney and Justin, and My So-Called Life
For everyone who grew up in the ’90s and remembers the one-time dreaminess of Jordan Catalano, the endgame feeling of Britney and Justin, and the allure of The Rock before he talked about running for president. Images and cards by Greenwich Letterpress
A classic, a grump, and a stapler
I don’t care how many Star Wars original episode sagas and spinoff movies and thrown-away opportunities there are, few lines will ever be as classic as that Leia/Han exchange, and I think DebbieDrawsFunny captures that moment in quite a lovely illustration.
Alternatively, want a card for a frenemy? Or maybe for that office crush you probably shouldn’t pursue? Those are available, too:
An example of how we romanticize all of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tragedies
The Fitzgerald quote is fairly ominous, yes, and even the item description from company Obvious State acknowledges that this excerpt from This Side of Paradise hints at “the kind of love that usually ends badly.” BUT LOOK AT HOW PRETTY IT IS. Sometimes that’s enough. Image and card from Obvious State
Tina Belcher, so damn subtle
It doesn’t get more straightforward than this. Image design by harmonks and card available at Redbubble