Let’s face it—flowers fade and chocolates just pack on the pounds. Want to really wow your one true love? Consider gifting her with that sexy new must-have: the home generator. An au courant fur vest or skimpy little something from Victoria’s Secret isn’t going to keep your honey comfy when the next big storm hits Westchester but, hey, a big, hulking generator very well might.
I speak from experience here—as both a happily married celebrant of many Valentine’s Days, and proud co-owner of a generator. First, when you’ve shared many, many years with the same person you started out with, handling explosive diarrhea diapers and engaging in screaming, raging arguments about whose turn it is to clean up the dog’s 3 am vomit (a lot of married-with-kids-and-dogs interaction revolves around unintended output of said family members), it’s a little Hallmark-y, but true: You come to understand that the best gifts don’t come in boxes at all. They’re the times when your significant other volunteers to pack up your offspring’s frat room and drive him home because he knows you will pass out from the ineffable aroma of 10 months of eau de pizza-and-beer. Trust me on this—there’s a good reason why that particular scent is not offered as either a candle fragrance or car freshener.
As for the generator, if you want to be strictly technical, it wasn’t actually a gift for me—Valentine’s Day or otherwise—though I certainly have benefited from it over the years. My husband decided to install a big outdoor model in 2005 after a tank full of his saltwater fish perished in a by-then-routine power outage. Which is how, when our neighborhood was without power for six days post-Hurricane Sandy, our home was cozy and warm and bright.
In fact, my hubby has a long history of hunting down nifty gifts for no reason at all for me and our household from his two favorite haunts, Home Depot and Costco, including, most recently, a how-did-we-ever-live-without-it no-slam toilet seat. Lest you think he’s not a romantic, I have been the recipient of lots of lovely thoughtful surprise gifts and grand gestures, like, for a big anniversary, a diamond wedding band we looked at but left in the store because I thought it was too expensive—it showed up gift-wrapped on my pillow later that night. But though I love the shiny stuff as much as the next person, it pales next to weathering the storms of life with my thoughtful hubby—and our generator—by my side.
So, trust this experienced Valentine’s gift recipient (their provenance notwithstanding, Costco roses really are gorgeous). Forget whispering sweet little nothings in her ear—the deafening roar of a home generator will say “I love you” loud and clear. Because there’s nothing like a hulking piece of noisy machinery—bearing a big, red, new-car-commercial ribbon, but of course—camped out in your yard to say that you’re in this together for the long haul. Either that, or a no-slam toilet seat.