Gifts that come in pairs
June 10, 2022 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Somehow it will soon be my 20th wedding anniversary!?! On our 10th, she got me 10 presents. I want to return the favor this time around by getting her 10 pairs of presents.

Some random facts: She loves gadgets, like smart lightbulbs or indoor/outdoor wireless thermometers. Lately A/V equipment for some reason. She also loves birds, especially going places and taking pictures of them. Favorite food is noodles.

Other general likes include eco-friendly things, quintessentially useful/durable things, like that one serving spoon that is just perfect, and sometimes crafty stuff, like home gardening and crochet. She likes clothes and jewelry OK but we both have a hard time finding specific items she likes.

Doesn't especially like books (can just borrow from library as needed), hates gimmicky/novelty gifts, and for some reason dreads Gumby at a cellular level. Generally, expensive brands are bad and High CP wins. If it's something she didn't even know existed, all the better. Unique, local, or handmade would be great.

Bonus points if your idea stretches or utterly shatters the concept of "pair" - she will be annoyed but I will LOVE IT.
posted by steveminutillo to Shopping (41 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You said no books, but you should make an exception for this book (available used), paired with a pair of pears.
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 7:40 AM on June 10, 2022 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Two of these pear candles. (Pair/pear, you know.)

Also paring knives.
posted by beagle at 7:42 AM on June 10, 2022 [11 favorites]

A pair of tiny mandarin duck figures. They are a symbol of love and devotion in some Asian cultures, and they are cute.

Other things that come in pairs: tickets.
posted by amtho at 7:43 AM on June 10, 2022 [17 favorites]

I typically get the second-cheapest whatever, but I've been converted to the value of really good socks, which are both more comfortable and more durable. My favorites are Darn Tough. When I put them on, it feels like a gentle massage, and they are guaranteed forever. (You should double check, but I think they come in pairs.)
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 7:43 AM on June 10, 2022 [8 favorites]

You mentioned gadgets - anything with bluetooth is "ready to pair!" Noise canceling headphones maybe?
posted by prewar lemonade at 7:46 AM on June 10, 2022 [7 favorites]

A set of electric salt & pepper mills, if you don't already have them and they wouldn't be too gimmicky.
posted by terretu at 7:49 AM on June 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

A pretty pair of socks, gardening gloves, gardening sleeves.
posted by sarajane at 8:07 AM on June 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

My wife got me this bluetooth speaker for Christmas and it is great. Its "Party Mode" feature would let you sync up a second or more speakers to the first, so you might get two of these. When first turned on, a computerized voice says "Pairing..." a couple of times.
posted by gauche at 8:09 AM on June 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Pair of binoculars, for the birds?
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 8:11 AM on June 10, 2022 [15 favorites]

Could you fix two household items that have been broken an annoyingly long time and call it a "repair"?
posted by rube goldberg at 8:15 AM on June 10, 2022 [18 favorites]

You mention one perfect serving spoon -- salad serving sets typically come in pairs and there are lots of beautiful carved wood or bamboo (eco-friendly) options out there.

Because of the punniness of it, there are many, many, many paintings out there of a "pair of tits" which might go well with her love of bird watching -- though she might not love that phrase, either -- lots of women wouldn't. There are plenty on Etsy and elsewhere, but google wisely for obvious reasons. You could also get a pair of felted animals or figurines or similar of the same bird.

Wine doesn't traditionally come in pairs, of course, but often you can find that the same maker has released both a red and a white in a similar bottle and label style so you could get one of each for a pair. As an added bonus, you can pair wine with food.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:16 AM on June 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

A diptych.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 8:16 AM on June 10, 2022 [9 favorites]

loves noodles? A pair of nice chopsticks of course!
into arts and crafts? a pair of scissors! never underestimate nice scissors. Jetpens has unique ones.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 8:23 AM on June 10, 2022 [8 favorites]

In the vein of jewelry -- a locket often contains a pair of photos.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:23 AM on June 10, 2022 [5 favorites]

A meal of bivalves!
posted by jeszac at 8:28 AM on June 10, 2022 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Yeah, if she doesn't have chopsticks she likes already, porcelain chopsticks would also check the "traditional" 20th anniversary gift (china) box, and there are loads to choose from.

I guess platinum is the "modern" 20th anniversary gift - I could also turn up platinum tipped chopsticks sets, but eh.

(I love people's anniversary questions! Congrats!)
posted by the primroses were over at 8:29 AM on June 10, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: A paired pair: champagne flutes or rocks glasses (depending on her preferences), paired with a bottle of her favorite libation.
posted by jenquat at 8:31 AM on June 10, 2022 [4 favorites]

Is this by any chance a situation where adopting a rescued pair of actual birds might be possible? I wouldn't surprise her with this, but it might be something super sweet that you could do together.

It looks like there are a number of wildlife/bird rehab facilities near you -- you could also "adopt"/sponser a couple of those birds, maybe a pair.
posted by amtho at 8:38 AM on June 10, 2022 [5 favorites]

A nice Bluetooth speaker/soundbar? It pairs with laptops/phones/tablets.
posted by humbug at 8:41 AM on June 10, 2022

Best answer: Ugh I keep having ideas:

A really good pair of scissors just for fabric, and

A pair (or a second pair) of kitchen scissors.


outdoor chairs

And, of course, a web hosting account at, my favorite for a reason. No I do not work there.

Oooh -- or you could just get her her own domain name through
posted by amtho at 8:43 AM on June 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

something something De♥ce of Hearts.

If you go the gardening glove route get two gloves for her dominant hand - esp if a southpaw. well used gloves always wear [out] unevenly.

Further down the garden path you might get her an orchid, whose etymology όρχις = orchis is from the supposed resemblance of its root to a pair of testicles.
posted by BobTheScientist at 9:13 AM on June 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh man, if she loves high CP, you should get her a pair of Joyce Chen Unlimited Scissors. I've had mine for over 30 years and have used them to cut aluminum foil, break down whole chickens, etc., and they're still sharp enough to cut fabric ribbon cleanly. Whenever there's a tricky cutting task at my house, somebody says "Try Joyce Chen." I have no idea what the secret is but they're truly one of the best things I own.
posted by HotToddy at 9:47 AM on June 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Go to your nearest antique mall and you're likely to find innumerable pairs of salt-and-pepper shakers, shaped like any number of things from dogs to buildings to people to everything your heart could desire, probably for around $5 a pair. Thus, then they become a collection to display rather than "what am I going to do with ten pairs of scissors".
posted by AzraelBrown at 10:01 AM on June 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

If you live in a cold climate and she enjoys winter birding/photography: recommended options for photography gloves and mittens.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 10:29 AM on June 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

A pair of house slippers? These German felt ones (the first one to come up on Google) are practical and come in many colors.

A pair of tweezers? If she uses them, Revlon has a model that comes with a tiny LED light between the arms that is life-changing.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:43 AM on June 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

A CD of Two Tickets to Paradise? Or a CD of Two Tickets to Paradise and another CD where someone covers Two Tickets to Paradise?

Possibly to accompany two tickets to somewhere that is actually paradisiacal.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:02 AM on June 10, 2022

Do you have good salt and pepper grinders? Like the wooden Peugeot ones?
posted by stillmoving at 11:03 AM on June 10, 2022

I love my pair of moccasins.
posted by Enid Lareg at 11:11 AM on June 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A pair of champagne glasses is nice (or at least it is to me). Especially vintage ones. You could also get two types of champagne , or even two splits. (Maybe rocks glasses or tumblers are more her style, but I generally like glassware.)
posted by vunder at 11:23 AM on June 10, 2022

Nice candleholders often come in pairs. Something else to look in vintage/antique shops for.

Would anyplace in the house be improved by a pair of matching lamps?
posted by humbug at 11:55 AM on June 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Pair of tickets to Paris
posted by CarolynG at 12:42 PM on June 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Mittens
Swim fins
Two piece bathing suit
Reading glasses
Tickets to events, especially a musical duet or a play with two performers
Rocks glasses
Craft supplies that come in pairs (knitting needles and 50 gram balls of sock yarn comes to my mind but she may have a hobby with paired supplies)
Tulips (the two is in the name, she will definitely groan)
Tuna sandwich or tuna tartare (ditto)
A second monitor if she has a work from home set so her computer can have a pair of screens
Wine and cheese pairing / tasting
Carriage ride because a horse snd carriage are a pair
posted by bilabial at 1:15 PM on June 10, 2022

Obviously real pets are out, but how about this pattern for a pair of parakeets?
posted by eirias at 2:13 PM on June 10, 2022

In the spirit of rube goldberg above, any sort of repair kit or equipment (clothing/gear repair? electronic repair? kintsugi or a kintsugi kit?).
posted by mosst at 3:15 PM on June 10, 2022

Also, if you do go the pair of tweezers route (if and only if that's the type of thing she would appreciate as a gift), tweezerman are downright luxurious if you've been using anything else.
posted by mosst at 3:16 PM on June 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

A pair of nice speakers for the home? A great pair of headphones?
posted by vunder at 5:11 PM on June 10, 2022

Best answer: Pair of knitting needles? Although if she crochets then there might be a reason she doesn't also knit, maybe she doesn't like it. Or maybe she simply never tried it.

Pair of shoes for something you will do together, like hiking or flip flops for the beach, etc.

A 2 person hammock or outdoor swing if you have outdoor space.

Matching aprons for cooking together.

Earrings (find something you think she might like and don't overthink it, sometimes it's fun to get a gift you are not expecting and wouldn't have bought for yourself.)

Pair of tickets to a concert.
posted by at 7:06 PM on June 10, 2022

2 cats.
posted by signal at 8:24 PM on June 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Slippers
Paired bracelets
Silk pillowcases (feel cool, nice on the skin, good for hair)
Pair of throw cushions
Table lamps
Salt and Pepper
Oil and Vinegar
Ketchup and Mustard
Sugar and Creamer bowls
False eyelashes
Two-step mascara (ie, mascara + primer)
Novelty contact lenses
Epoxy Resin crafts (you have to mix two chemicals to make the resin)
Um... Pasties? (hee hee)
posted by nouvelle-personne at 11:17 PM on June 10, 2022

Theater tickets
Sport game tickets
posted by Cranberry at 1:43 AM on June 11, 2022

Response by poster: The correct answer was:

A pair of games: Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze (his) & Triangle Strategy (hers)
A pair of movies: Kill Bill 1 & 2
A pair of DVD organizers
A pair of pear pajamas (my favorite)
A pair of Joyce Chen scissors
A pair of succulents
A pair of tape measures (we never have one when we need it!)
A pair of martini glasses
A pairing of gin and vermouth for the above
And a pair of platinum earrings

Thanks for the help everybody!
posted by steveminutillo at 2:31 PM on September 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

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