As all of you know, Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and nothing quit says romance like remembering the beheading of a martyred Italian. If you, like so many others, have become enamored with the “It Girls” of the moment like Zoey, Kat Dennings or any lady in a Michael Cera movie, you might be asking yourself just how does one impress the angsty indie girl of your dreams? Just what type of gift can you give to your local Natalie Portman circa Garden State that would change her life more then the Shins?
It’s not going to be a mix tape.
If you find yourself looking at my cartoon and debating if I’m an indie girl or just someone with a drawn on polka dot dress, I’ll gladly review my credentials. Well for starters, I write a bi-weekly Internet blog column. I own a restored vintage Schwinn Bicycle that I almost never ride because I hate how trendy bike riding is and embrace my inner Victorian Era walking skills much like Elizabeth Bennett. I can recite not only Leonard Cohen lyrics from memory, but also lines from Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” and Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl.” My favorite pair of skinny jeans cost six dollars. Three of my top ten all time favorite movies aren’t in English (Amelie, Pan’s Labyrinth and City of God). I have both a song by an Icelandic Rock band and a remix by two French DJ’s on my play list rotation. If I can’t pronounce whatever the seasonal Microbrew is that week at the bar, I order a Pabst and shot of Jim Beam and I think it’s just as good. Still not convinced? I have a giant tattoo of a squid and a whale on my back.
Good. Now that its settled, I can lament with you in the fact that going to thrift stores is as boring and tedious as going to a mall, if not worse as your digging through bins and stacks of old useless crap to find one or two treasures for the sake of indie fashion. What do you get a girl who thinks everything is lame?
Alright, Dear Readers. I’m going to do you a solid. Here is a gift buying guide to make the bitter bitchy indie girl of your dreams swoon like she’s never swooned before this Valentine’s Day:
Books – Books are sexy. The smell of rich-bound leather is more of an aphrodisiac then any cologne. To quote the viral picture of John Waters floating around the Internet right: “If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em!” But it just can’t be any book. It has to be the perfect mix of well-written, yet not mainstream.
I have three recommendations that are perfect for wooing hipster panties off your indie lover. The first is any play or novel by Jean Paul Sartre. Because what says impressive indie pretension like French existential philosophy? Now if that won’t work and you need a little more pizazz to your purchase, try J.P. Donleavy The Ginger Man. The book is well-written and since Johnny Depp owns the movie rights, she will be able to say she read the book if and when the movie is made. Lastly, what Valentine’s Day would be complete without a book of poetry? Actual Air by David Berman is modern, witty and impressive. An old friend lent me this book and after reading the first page I sent him a text that said: “If you don’t want me to fall in love with you, you’re going to have to stop lending me books like this.”
A Polaroid Camera – a.k.a. the original Instagram photography. It lets your girl be an artist even if she has no capabilities while rebelling against the digital mainstream era.
Make her a Street Art Painting – If you haven’t watched Exit Through the Gift Shop, I warn you of spoilers ahead. The entire point of the documentary is that two of the most famous current street artists, Banksy and Shepard Fairey, prove that literally anyone – even a crazy person – can do what they get paid millions to do. But we’re not talking millions of dollars here. We’re talking the appreciation of one girl. You can do this. Find anything to be a stencil and pick up a few spray cans. Frame whatever comes out. If you don’t feel up to the task, find your local street art (it’s everywhere.) Photograph it in black and white. Frame it. And watch your lady’s eyes light up.
A Terrarium – Many of you might be of the mindset that flowers are the good old stand by for romantic events. If you want to stand out, a simple terrarium evokes the concept of nature being beautiful, but with the added twist of sustainability and recycling. A used mason jar, soil and some mossy rocks will go a long way and I’ve even seen some hanging terrarium mobiles made from used lightbulbs for those more daring.
A red velvet cupcake and a copy of The Princess Bride – Trust me. Watching two hours of The Princess Bride will be so much more enjoyable then hours of mix tapes making in which you debate on Joanna Newsome songs versus Neko Case. Pj Harvey wins anyway.
Good luck and Happy Hunting!
Nicole Alexandria is off doing cool things like a boss that you probably never heard of while not giving a single fuck all day every day. You can contact her through Facebook.