Valentine's Day is upon us, and since the recent downturn in the economy has left diamonds, mink coats or even roses well out of reach of the masses, the Valentine's card is more important than ever. We're a new generation of lovers, different from our counterparts from simpler times. We need more latitude, less overt commitment, and more pop culture in our tokens of appreciation these days. Fortunately, as though expressly ordered, a litany of relevant and nuanced cards are available for the lackadaisical Romeo. No stamp required.


The Golden Girls

Giving a good Valentine's card is easy. Make it moderately humorous, and give it on time, and you're done. Giving a great Valentine's day card takes thought, and emotional precision. It makes your loved one laugh, but it also touches them in a personal way. And for the right kind of person, no one is more touching than Bea from 'The Golden Girls'. Superficially, she's great if your significant other's dignified silvery locks are contrasted by insanely dark eyebrows. Emotionally, she represents the bittersweet geriatric outcome of years spent wryly deprecating friends and family. This card from Joey Devilla is just the thing if this is your kind of gal.


LOST

Few acts exemplify true love more than the willful abandonment of an adopted child to pursue an unstable doctor-turned-superstitious-vagabond on a poorly defined mission to save an island that may or may not exist and may or may not be worth saving. For the individual whose good lovin' destroys more than it creates, Lee Bretschneider's Jack and Kate Valentine's card is tops, and goes great with an extra-thorny rose.


Mad Men

For some, it isn't love if it doesn't involve a great deal of psychological wounding and thinly-veiled efforts at manipulation. There's no better start to a complicated (and intellectually engaging) V-Day than systematically obliterating your lover's antiquated notions of love and companionship, only to follow with rapturous professions of undying love. Kick your roller coaster off right with this coldly calculated Valentine's card from John Webster.


Law & Order: SVU

Logic suggests that there can't be too many people in the world faced with the arduous task of impressing a strong, empowered, and aggressive district attorney who deals with the dark side of love on a daily basis. If, however, you happen to be dating that special someone, rest assured that Brandon Bird's Valentine's card can thaw a heart turned cold by exposure to eleven seasons of sexual deviance, exploitation, and crime. Apparently, the best move circumvents their unflinching, desensitized brain and goes straight for objectification and ego-stroking.


Jersey Shore

What is it about 'Jersey Shore' that just totally captures the essence of what it is to be human? Is it the blind, animalistic pursuit of masculine prowess, even if said pursuit means everlasting impotence and latent gender confusion? Or is it the blind, animalistic attraction to these men expressed by the Snookis who love them? Whatever the case, 'Jersey Shore' is laced with romantic encouragement: by the time these Roid-ragers are experiencing the negative side-effects of steroid use, they'll almost certainly have passed on their genetic code to another generation. That women exist to love these guys should give hope to lovers-in-waiting everywhere.