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Have you endured up to six months of involuntary abstinence while in a committed relationship? Bravely placed your toothbrush into the caddy of another? Designer Stefan G. Bucher thinks that you should get a medal for that. No, seriously, he has designed you a medal. Bucher's new book You Deserve a Medal: Honors on the Path to True Love (Knock Knock, $16) includes 40 medals that acknowledge the unique feats of strength required for modern relationships, from sending a poetic love letter via text message to inducting a successful (yet dignified) pet name.
Bucher, who recently entertained us with his Daily Monster project and his products for 826 LA's Time Travel Mart, uses his sharp pen and even sharper wit to transform even the most banal aspects of courtship into a worthy moment for commemoration. The book even includes a "love medals glossary" in which Bucher painstakingly explains the iconography behind the insignia, as well as criteria for earning the medals as decreed by fictional entities like the Council of Romantic Decorations. It's hilarious, sometimes heartbreakingly funny commentary on modern love. Just in time for Valentine's Day.
For those of you in L.A., Bucher will be signing his book at Skylight Books on February 15.
The Persistent Online Dating Campaign Medal
Awarded for: Engaging in a sustained effort of online dating across multiple sites for a period of at least one year.
Medal: Three-dimensional heart fashioned from silicon and adorned with gold circuit wiring.
The Presidential Medal for Bravery in the Face of Unknown Nudity
Medal: Mirrorlike chrome finish.
Ribbon: Ten parallel flesh-colored stripes range from pale to dark, symbolizing the naked rainbow of revealed humankind.
Clasps & Clusters: A Silver Mask Pin is added for adopting a poker face at lightning speed when debut nudity reveals scars in excess of twelve inches or a quantity of nipples greater than two.
The Six-Month Involuntary Abstinence Cross
Awarded for: Enduring a period of undesired celibacy (unrelated to medical issues) lasting six months or longer while in a committed relationship
Ribbon: Yellow, bleached of hope by the merciless passage of time spent with nothing but memories and fantasies.
On Reverse: “Please, sir, I want some more.” —Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
The Alien Toiletry Immigration Award
Awarded for: The peaceful introduction of one person’s toiletry items into the other’s home bathroom environment.
Medal: Minted from sterling silver, a compound with actual germ-killing properties, that consists of 925 parts silver and 75 parts copper, symbolizing the small foreign intrusion that increases the hygienic strength of the resulting alloy.
Ribbon: Minty fresh, with two thin waxed white lines wound around a fluoridated center stripe of bracing blue to commemorate a new level of togetherness.
The Gallantry Cross
Medal: Awarded in bronze (opening doors, pulling out chairs, laughing at mediocre jokes), silver (paying for dinner and a show, observing “ladies first” to a fault), or gold (heroic gestures above and beyond the call of duty).
On Reverse: “After you, please.”
Clasps & Clusters: A matte silver clasp is added to the ribbon for extraordinary acts of gallantry exceeding even the gold standard, such as offering oneself as a distraction to attacking bears or agreeing to a repeat Cirque du Soleil show.
The Shadow-of-a-Doubt Medal of Creeping Disenchantment
Awarded for: Recognizing the first tendrils of concern about the long-term viability of an outwardly healthy relationship, based on anything from long-ignored basic disagreements to an ever-growing sense of disillusionment.
Medal: Slightly worn, almost imperceptibly tarnished gold, indicating impurity to the careful observer (pure gold, of course, doesn’t tarnish) but appearing just fine to everybody else.
Ribbon: The amber color of autumn leaves flanked by encroaching stripes of snowy white.
The Worst-of-Times Medal for Breakup Survival
Awarded for: Experiencing the universally excruciating demise of a once-cherished relationship.
Medal: Badly corroded copper with multiple scuffs, cuts, and abrasions, with a jagged crack spreading from the center bottom to the heart of the medal.
Ribbon: Black and blue.
The Exalted Order of the Honey Bear for Successful Pet-Name Exchange
Medal: Bronze, with a delightful honey glaze.
Ribbon: Four vertical stripes (left to right): brown (muffin), white (sugar), dark brown (cookie), and pink (sweet cheeks).
Clasps & Clusters: Dated clasps commemorate the bearer’s pet names throughout the course of his or her past relationships, up to the current term(s) of endearment.
The One-in-a-Million Medal of True Love Recognition and Reciprocation
Ribbon: Sky blue with radiating beams of gold united by a thin line of lovely red.
On Reverse: “’Tis brave to search for love but braver still to let love find you.”
Clasps & Clusters: A gold star for extraordinary bravery and tenacity is affixed if true love was achieved in the wake of three or more consecutive failed relationships or directly following five or more years spent alone.