Suggestions for last minute (dating) anniversary gifts
November 4, 2004 9:13 AM   Subscribe

Got any last minute (dating) anniversary gifts? She's not into flowers, jewelry, spas, or much girly stuff, and I don't trust myself to get her clothes.
posted by anonymous to Shopping (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
music? art? literature?
posted by andrew cooke at 9:17 AM on November 4, 2004

Meal at a posh/trendy/expensive restaurant?
Gift certificate to local indy cd/book shops?

All have worked for me.
posted by carter at 9:31 AM on November 4, 2004

The high hard one has always worked for me.

Failing that, cook her some dinner. It may lead to the high hard one.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:33 AM on November 4, 2004

Cooking something is your best bet. If you can't cook, get take out from somewhere and claim you cooked it.
posted by cmonkey at 9:36 AM on November 4, 2004

I've had success with innovative handcrafted things -- I made a chocolate frog. Once she bit into it, she discovered that I'd cast a plastic frog skeleton into the chocolate (science kit!). When she finally finished the frog, she discovered that I'd hidden a tiny key in the frog stomach.

The key unlocked a book I'd made, inside of which (in a cutout) I'd put a tiny vial of glycerin, with ten little diamonds floating in it (you're supposed to hold it up to sunlight, whereupon it's really quite pretty).

Huge effort, but it didn't end up taking THAT long, and it was well-appreciated. I think she's still got the frog skeleton in her closet somewhere as a memento.

You don't need to go to this effort all the time, but when you do it works really well & makes one of those lifelong memories.

Uh, yeah: I'm a sap. What can I say.
posted by aramaic at 9:38 AM on November 4, 2004 [3 favorites]

My wife is not into flowers, jewelry, spas, girly stuff, music, art, literature, eating out, concerts, and she hates gift certificates. We're both 16-hours-in-front-of-a-monitor every day (including vacations and weekends) type people.

Being what we are (logical to a fault), I've found the best approach is to just ask. "Honey, what do you want for your birthday?" "Hmm. I'd like X." "OK." Obviously this advice may not work out so well for those of you who didn't marry a math major.
posted by Ryvar at 9:38 AM on November 4, 2004 [1 favorite]

I may be dense this morning - but high hard one?

Sex? "I love you"?
posted by dual_action at 9:40 AM on November 4, 2004

She's not into flowers, jewelry, spas, or much girly stuff...

Based on just things I would like in a simlar situation...

- Take her shopping to get her a good pair of boots?
- Spring for a small B&B type vacation overnight someplace nice near you?
- Concert/theater/opera tickets?
- Make her something interesting & thoughtful [aramaic, yours takes the cake!]?
- Figure out what she hates doing the most and handle it for her [clean out garage, deal with holidays with family, trim cat's nails, deal with parking ticket] and write her a nice card telling her so
- If she's set for material things, write her a letter telling her how much she means to you, what your fondest memories of her are, etc. I think a lot of women enjoy hearing good things from their partners and having it be in fancy letter form [nice paper, nice ink, nice envelope, whatever] is really out of the ordinary and easy to save
- only go the surprise route if you're fairly certain she enjoys surprises

Best of luck. Basically doing anything in advance will make you appear thoughtful and will help dispel any inaccuracies in the guessing what she'd like arena.
posted by jessamyn at 9:47 AM on November 4, 2004

I'd say steer away from things like gift cards and such, as they kind of imply that you don't know what she likes, and on an anniversary, you're *supposed* to have some idea of what she likes.

Overnight at a Bed and Breakfast or a fancy dinner/night out works - activities that you can do together, kind of like, you know, affirms your relationship. Girls seem to like that stuff.

I have to make sure my wife never reads aramic's comment, as that raises the bar *way* too high (seriously - that sounds like it must have been AWESOME!). I have a friend who bought his wife a Mini-Cooper for their anniversary - had to make sure that never got mentioned in our company!!!
posted by jasper411 at 10:08 AM on November 4, 2004

I think if I ever got my g/f a gift certificate for an anniversary gift, she'd break up with me on the spot, and I wouldn't blame her. Avoid!

Don't fear clothes. Tops and blouses are generally pretty easy, since your size options are limited. When in doubt, go small.

But I have to side with the cooking dinner recs here. If there's one thing I've learned (and it may be the only thing), it's that women LOVE men who cook for them. Even if you can't cook and screw up the meal, you still wind up utterly adorable in her eyes for trying, and she has a charming story she can tell all her girlfriends.

aramaic- Don't you know this stuff gets around? Please, stop ruining it for the rest of us ;)
posted by mkultra at 10:30 AM on November 4, 2004

Food. Cashmere. First edition books.
posted by padraigin at 11:25 AM on November 4, 2004

I second the books suggestions.

Life Below

Impressions of China

Self Portrait With Cows Going Home
posted by matteo at 12:01 PM on November 4, 2004

if she drinks, a fine vintage Champagne is in order, as well

I suggest Veuve Cliquot Vintage Reserve
posted by matteo at 12:04 PM on November 4, 2004

The cashmere idea is a good one, if your climate allows. A sweater is a classic choice and doesn’t have to be girly, or perhaps a cuddly wrap to keep her warm in the winter. If she is an avid reader, the book / blankie combo would make for some cozy wintertime reading.
posted by boomchicka at 12:21 PM on November 4, 2004

My husband's usual anniversary and birthday gifts consist of things that he know I'd like, but would never indulge in purchasing for myself. (Vintage books, gold circle tickets to a special symphony performance, or something to add to one of my collections.) It's not about how much is spent or how "important" the gift is, or even how useful it is, it's about an acknowledgement that he knows me well enough to know what I'd truly like. I heartily recommend getting something that keys to her interests.
posted by Dreama at 12:30 PM on November 4, 2004

Make a soundtrack for her (and/or your relationship) with a custom cover and liner notes explaining why you chose each song.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:24 PM on November 4, 2004

aramaic has just totally wrecked whatever relationships i may have in the future.

Do you know what books she likes best? Get the rest of the trilogy, or stuff from the same author. Same could probably be done with music.
posted by casarkos at 3:42 PM on November 4, 2004

Mmmm cashmere. I am totally a cashmere girl. Cashmere socks, cashmere gloves, cashmere sweats...a girl can never have enough cashmere.

Off the top of my head the best, most romantic birthday present my boyfriend gave me was to surprise me by taking time off from work. He works nights. He took me out the weekend before and gave me a gift. But on the actual day of my birthday, he did his usual routine during the day, I packed up his dinner, kissed him goodbye, and resigned myself to spending the night alone.

Half an hour he was back with a bottle of wine, a video, and a box of chocolates. I couldn't have been more happy.

For Valentine's Day, he wouldn't tell me what we were doing, he just told me to pack a bag. He whisked me off to a bed and breakfast where there were flowers, chocolates, and some sexy lingerie waiting for me. And that was a very happy time too.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:52 PM on November 4, 2004 [1 favorite]

Girls who don't like flowers still might like chocolate. Most people like chocolate - flowers aren't edible (except roses, but they're better when candied). Once though, I was given a wild flower in a handmade card - that was really special.

My favorite dating aniversaries were spent at a relatively inexpenisve sushi restaurant, eating salmon roll, chicken tempura and (then) green tea ice cream. We didn't go out much, and both like sushi, so it was really special. This year, we went out for Greek food (no sushi nearby), and had more ice cream.

Okay, we really like food, especially ice cream.

Other thoughts - DVD, book, find the amazon wishlist?
posted by jb at 2:41 AM on November 5, 2004 [1 favorite]

Oh - yes, dinner is the best idea. Cooking is really special, especially if she is the one more likely to cook. It shows you want to give her something more than money can buy - caring. But going out is very nice, especially if you don't do it very often. It gives you time to just be with each other, staring into each others eyes and feeling sappy (also something money cannot really buy). Anywhere with a quiet table for two, perhaps with a few candles, whether it be in the kitchen, or in the little place down the road.
posted by jb at 2:46 AM on November 5, 2004

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