What can I pick up on the way home to cheer up the boyfriend?
May 16, 2014 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Boyfriend has been in a funk for the past couple weeks - stress about work, money, an injury, etc. I haven't seen him in a couple days so I want to surprise him with something special / out of the norm, but I'm not feeling super creative, help!

I'll be stopping by downtown before going home so I have access to stores and such. Tonight's plans involve chillin' at home, but busy weekend ahead. He likes art, music, fashion, food, cute things, ... but who doesn't? Anyway, suggestions on what would brighten his day! Thanks!
posted by mokudekiru to Human Relations (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
A cupcake.
posted by bondcliff at 1:00 PM on May 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

A card with a heartfelt note of some kind. You know he's been stressed, but you're here for him, etc. etc. Dinner too, if you want to be extra-nice. Maybe dessert and/or booze. Make it a "fancy" dinner of some of his favorite stuff.
posted by PearlRose at 1:01 PM on May 16, 2014

Bacon cheeseburger, fries and a milkshake.
posted by griphus at 1:02 PM on May 16, 2014 [6 favorites]

It's not super healthy, but nothing cures general stress for me like food. Especially bad, indulgent food. Like, fast food you wouldn't want your friends to see, or an entire pizza like back in college, etc. I'd shoot for something food-related that he considers a guilty pleasure.
posted by gilrain at 1:05 PM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This is silly, but he likes art: coloring books of a character he likes, or liked as a kid, plus crayons or colored pencils? One of my friends swears by coloring for stress relief.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 1:07 PM on May 16, 2014 [10 favorites]

I would also suggest overloading him with comfort food. Wine/Beer/favorite soda + pizza, cookies and milk, pie.

Also if you happen to own Katamari Damacy and enjoy playing it, I highly recommend it for stress relief. Nothing like rolling the world around a bit when all it's been doing is rolling you around.
posted by rhythm and booze at 1:08 PM on May 16, 2014 [4 favorites]

I second the suggestion of coloring books + pencils and some wine. That's totally something that I do when I'm feeling stressed because it completely diverts my attention and is so satisfying at a basic level.
posted by joan_holloway at 1:10 PM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

How about the Full Costanza--Food AND sex? (Assuming his injury allows for the latter.)
posted by Gringos Without Borders at 1:11 PM on May 16, 2014 [5 favorites]

Is he the kind of stressed that likes to be distracted, or is the kind of stressed that needs to relax? (You mention tonight's plans include hanging out around your house, but is that set in stone?)

If you can manage to get out tonight, maybe arrange for dinner at a favorite, but not too fancy, place. I'm thinking really-good-but-not-good-for-you food here, like slightly higher-end pizza pub, but maybe he'd prefer a super-great sandwich shop you've been meaning to try. Something casual but nicer than dinner at home. Oh, even better, do the eating after a really laid-back trip the art museum or your local gallery space. I'm sure you guys have been before, but sometimes it's nice to go back, just stroll round, see old favorites, unwind a little.

If you need to keep it in-house or he's more the I-like-to-relax-at-home-when-I'm-stressed type, a good bottle of wine, a tasty and more-expensive-than-usual cheese assortment, and an interesting movie are always in style. But be aware that sometimes co-shared treats like this, while fantastic, demand a certain level of attention from your guy as well (after all, what's the point if both people don't acknowlege it as "special"?) You know your man better than we do, so only you know whether it would make him feel good to be treated to luxuries for the evening that remind him of the good life, or whether it's better to take him some super-greasy Chinese takeout, put on some cute-but-lounge-y clothes, and prepare to read/cuddle next to him while he plays video games. Everyone's different, and even the same people react differently to different stresses. If you think he'd just really love to have you next to him while you eat General Tso's and watch bad b-movies on Netflix, that's just as much support and love and "treat"ness as if you brought him home something nice. You sound like a wonderful partner, so I think it'll be hard to go wrong.
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:12 PM on May 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

My wife bought me flowers and haribo, I was pretty happy :)
posted by chrispy108 at 1:20 PM on May 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Technically, Gringos Without Borders, the Full Costanza includes food, sex, and TV - "the Trifecta." :)

Incidentally these are three of my favorite things and I highly recommend them for general cheering-up purposes.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 1:24 PM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Three different kinds of Ben and Jerry's. Stop at Red Box and get the genre movie he loves and you hate. A bottle of sesame oil and tell him he can have a massage during the movie.
posted by beccaj at 1:37 PM on May 16, 2014

Flowers! Something pretty to brighten his space.

Is he a bath guy? He might like some salts or suds for a bath (which you could run for him if he'd enjoy that).
posted by magdalemon at 1:45 PM on May 16, 2014

I see you're in SF. Perhaps you could go to the ferry building and pick him up something yummy and gourmet, like artisan cheese and a breadloaf, or perhaps a gelato or fancy truffle oil?

There seem to be loads of novel things you could pick up there; you may be spoiled for choice. :)

posted by phreckles at 1:55 PM on May 16, 2014

rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto: "This is silly, but he likes art: coloring books of a character he likes, or liked as a kid, plus crayons or colored pencils? One of my friends swears by coloring for stress relief."

Dammit, totally came in to say "coloring book and crayons." Sooooooo soothing, plus you get to sort the big box of Crayola 64 into the proper color order, whatever you believe that to be, and get annoyed that these newfangled colors screw up your perfect grade-school color alignment.

So much joy for $5.

I also particularly like fuzzy posters for meditative coloring. Any craft store.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:56 PM on May 16, 2014 [5 favorites]

A pair of Happy Socks.
posted by gemutlichkeit at 2:04 PM on May 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Agreeing with food/sex/nice alcohol as a good base but if you want to give a gift on top of all that, are there any records, art books, objects you know he's been eyeing but can't really justify buying? When I'm broke/stressed about money, there's usually one or two things I have on my mind, generally relatively inexpensive, that I'll tuck away mentally for "when I have money again..."
posted by AtoBtoA at 2:17 PM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

nthing food, not necessarily of the "guilty pleasure" variety, although that may help.

Maybe take him out to a favorite restaurant of his. Since he's stressed about money, make it your treat.

Though a bit pricey at times, something like Edible Arrangements covers both the "food" and "art" aspects of What He Likes.

A card, with or without a printed message, but also with a heartfelt message you write.

If you have time, make a mix CD or playlist with stuff he likes.

Cupcake or brownie making materials; turn it into an activity you do together.
posted by tckma at 2:35 PM on May 16, 2014

Technically, Gringos Without Borders, the Full Costanza includes food, sex, and TV - "the Trifecta." :)

I slouch corrected.
posted by Gringos Without Borders at 2:42 PM on May 16, 2014 [5 favorites]

An Etch-A-Sketch
posted by Sal and Richard at 2:55 PM on May 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

nthing food (doesn't have to be a full meal, his favorite dessert works), sex and TV (bonus points for something funny/cute). In that order. Also, YMMV, but he might really appreciate it if you take the lead during sexytimes and let him just lay back and enjoy. Seems to work wonders pulling my partner and I out of 'funks'.
posted by stubbehtail at 3:28 PM on May 16, 2014

A stuffed animal.
posted by brujita at 4:18 PM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

If he likes art would he enjoy some Play-Doh? It's surprisingly fun to squish as an adult, and could be stress-relieving even if he doesn't create anything.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:20 PM on May 16, 2014

Massage oil ;)
posted by Thorzdad at 4:51 AM on May 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

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