Stuck between a rock and a romantic place, and with no clue as to what to get for her partner of four years, Jim Carrey, the actress turned to the most logical place for answers to matters of the heart: She Tweeted.
"I really didn't know what to do," McCarthy tells PEOPLE, "I went on my Twitter, and I said, 'Hey guys, can you help me come up with a good gift for Jim?"
Tweet and ye shall receive. It wasn't long before the actress was inundated with suggestions. "It seemed like I looked through thousands of them," McCarthy, 37, tells PEOPLE. "There were too many strange ones to remember, but the best one was, 'Why don't you get a skywriter?' " And so the legend of the "J 'Hearts' J" was born ... almost.
McCarthy had the skywriter, all she needed was for Carrey to be looking up while her message of love was being spelled out across the clear blue Los Angeles sky, a feat that turned out to be a bit more difficult than McCarthy expected.
"We were outside, and then he went inside, and the guy started!" she says, her voice still tinged with disbelief. "I was like, 'Where are you! Why don't you come out?!' " And when Carrey finally did reemerge, things seemed to only get worse, despite the frantic actress' best efforts. "I said, 'Look! Some guy is doing some sky writing!' " she explains, "And he went, 'Oh, yeah...' and he walked away!"
In the end, McCarthy decided to take matters into her own hands, before her labor of love simply drifted away, unappreciated, into the ether. "I had to grab [Jim] and say, 'No, no, no, look how cute this is!' " McCarthy says, laughing, "And then he goes, 'Oh my God, it's a J ... Can you imagine if somebody wrote our names in the sky?' Literally. So then I said, 'Yeah, it was me.' "
But all that work did not go in vain, as McCarthy was able to knock off two lovebirds with one stone – her sky written message had impressed not just one, but both of the men in her life.
[Jim] was floored by it, he actually loved it," she says, before adding, "My son, Evan, went crazy as well. He thought it was the greatest gift ever."