If you’re like me, you’re chronically single during cuffing season, especially Valentine’s Day, and that can be kind of a pain in the ass. You know, being surrounded by all these couples who perpetually live the life that the rest of us post as our social media highlights reel, answering the question “What are you doing on the 14th?” by blandly saying, “You mean Ash Wednesday? Same as always. Giving up sugar and flour.”
Never salt, though. NEVER give up salt. You must especially be salty on the 14th, amidst the couples who are bored with their miracles.
There is, however, one love story that gives me solace: Romeo and Juliet, for never was there a tale of more woe than that of Juliet and her Romeo.
So in honor of the most obnoxious holiday of all, I’ve curated some Romeo and Juliet gift options that are not insufferable.
This pin references the suicide weapon, Juliet’s “happy dagger,” that she kills herself with when Romeo has tricked everyone (including Juliet) into believing he’s dead. If you want a present for your salty yet well-read friend, this pin right here is your best option. What’s interesting is that the end of Romeo and Juliet also goes against contemporary data: women are more likely to complete suicide with a nonviolent means like poison than an violent means like stabbing. So…there’s one good thing about this love story, at least, kind of. Juliet doesn’t conform to gender norms.
“the Lady Stirs” COFFEE MUG
It’s perfect that the Friar’s lines go on a coffee mug, right? Since, for many of us, waking up in the morning is very much like a fourteen year old coming out of a drug-induced coma. (Which is what happens in this section of Romeo and Juliet.)
This T-shirt just keeps it real: you can’t be together? That’s the worst thing ever. Worse than death even. But back in Elizabethan day, there just wasn’t the option to work through problems like civil vendettas. You could either deal with it, or you could…deal with it. Romeo and Juliet could not deal. They did the Shakespearean thing: poison. Don’t worry, I didn’t spoil it for you. You find out they kill themselves in the prologue. What’s funny is that this is really the first fight they have: Romeo drank all the poison. She calls him a churl because he left no drop to help her hereafter. Okay, so it’s more like an interesting-funny than a haha-funny.
So, this quote is more famous NOW as the slogan from the HBO show Westworld, but in the show, it’s an allusion to Friar Lawrence’s caution against loving too hard, too fast. It’s a perfect secret-salty wedding gift, unless your friend has, let’s say, been in a production of Romeo and Juliet. (This is probably my favorite gift in the whole list!)
These Capulet and Montague tee shirts reference the Baz Luhrmann adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, and can be worn by anyone—please read that again! You do not have to be a star-cross’d lover to wear these shirts! You can be a regular person. You can be Tybalt! You can hate peace as you hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.
On the other hand, if you really want to, you can be one of those lovestruck Montagues and manage your sword to part the people fighting. But where’s the fun in that, am I right? (If you can’t tell, I’m much more likely to be the one to scream ARE YOU MAKING A FACE AT ME? I WISH YOU WOULD BE MAKING A FACE AT ME RIGHT NOW and then duel because of it. #capulet )
This makeup pouch is probably the kindest gift you can give a person who’s not in love on Valentine’s Day. “Go girl, seek happy nights to happy days” is what the Nurse tells Juliet when she learns of the affair, and it translates pretty similarly into modern vernacular. Be happy at night like you were in the day. GO GIRL. GET ‘EM. Take this bag of tricks in case you’re out late.
So that’s it. Those are the best Romeo and Juliet themed gifts for Valentine’s (or Galentine’s!) Day that I could find in ALLLLL the internet. (For another literary-themed gift post, click here!) I hope you liked them as much as I liked finding them and cracking jokes about all of them. If you didn’t, let me just ask, what satisfaction canst thou have tonight?