Unique Present Ideas
July 9, 2004 11:03 AM   Subscribe

I need a present for my girlfriend. [MI]

It's her birthday soon, we've been together for quite a long time. Clothing is out, jewelry is out (unless it's reeeally cool), technological is probably out (she'll think I was buying it for myself). She won't give me ANY ideas, so I'm thinking maybe something really unique or something really off the wall?
posted by banished to Shopping (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Helicopter ride.
posted by the fire you left me at 11:10 AM on July 9, 2004

a weekend trip.

the other half always gives me really cool gifts--he's got quite a knack of knowing what i'd like or remembering things that i mentioned or admired--but ultimately, the times we've booked a hotel or B&B and just driven 10 miles into the country or the day we spent in manhattan were better presents because (sorry, this is just one of those luuuuuv moments) the memories of how good we are together is more fun to have than the jewelry.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:12 AM on July 9, 2004

I just gave my wife a couple hours at a day spa, complete with a massage and pedicure. She loved it.

Ballon ride, glider ride, into flight lesson (can be had for under $100.00)

I find buying objects for her isn't as much fun anymore because anything she wants she can afford to buy herself. It's not like being akid when your only source of toys was your birthday or Christmas.

Tickets to theater or other show.

Rent her a Porche for the day.
posted by bondcliff at 11:14 AM on July 9, 2004

Spa treatments always go over well.

On preview, what bondcliff said
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 11:28 AM on July 9, 2004

A basket of goodies for a special night. Lingerie, candles, scented/flavored massage oil, key to the ritzy hotel suite you booked, etc. Does lingerie count as clothing?

For humor, add in an adult candy or two from The Candy Lady. (She's a friend of my family and I can vouch for the quality of her work.) Yes, she'll ship, too.
posted by onhazier at 11:37 AM on July 9, 2004

A set of new tires for her car.

Or that's what I would want from my SO if it was my birthday right now.
posted by jennyb at 11:48 AM on July 9, 2004

Balloon/dirigible ride? A tattoo? Getting hitched in a vegas drive-through chapel? A spelunking trip? Limo rides to and from work for a month? Surfing lessons? A cheese-of-the-month club membership?
posted by majick at 11:50 AM on July 9, 2004

a bowling ball with "banished" engraved on it

or books, music, tickets, a trip, etc. an ipod?
posted by mookieproof at 11:52 AM on July 9, 2004

I second the iPod, tickets to a concert, a weekend away somewhere.

Other ideas: You could give her the lingere and stuff, but also give her your own spa package. Foot massage, back massage, pedicure.

My husband (for my 30th) wrote a letter to all my friends, old and new, and had them write a letter/poem/note about me and hopefully a picture of the friend and I together, and put all of them into a really nice photo album in chronological order of when I met the person. He included himself, my in-laws, and my parents and sister, too. It's awesome and thoughtful, cheap, and I look at it all the time, even 2 years later.
posted by aacheson at 12:08 PM on July 9, 2004

Does lingerie count as clothing?

if technology might count as a gift for yourself, I can't see how lingerie wouldn't...

I'd go with adventure or travel - go somewhere or do something interesting and unusual, like scuba dive, parachute, hang glide, etc, or arrange for a luxurious indulgence of some sort - spa, romantic getaway, high class night on the town...

But something that's specific to her, or to your relationship, is always more meaningful. Might help to make a list of things you know she likes, things she's talked about doing, is interested in, things she's been curious about - sort of brainstorm about her and see if you see any themes or ideas coming up...
posted by mdn at 12:08 PM on July 9, 2004

My husband called my bosses and got me my birthday off, took the day off himself, and didn't tell me about it until we were walking to the car to go to work. I had to call my bosses to verify, I was so shocked. Then we had the whole day together--felt like playing hooky!
posted by GaelFC at 12:12 PM on July 9, 2004

a gift certificate from Good Vibrations!
posted by luriete at 12:14 PM on July 9, 2004

It is a cliche, but let me explain why "it's the thought that counts."

Typically, this is offered as some kind of excuse for a poor gift, but if you turn it around, it means that the best thing you can do to make your gift a great one is to plan and consider it carefully.

You don't have to buy anything necessarily, nor do you have to lavish luxuries on her. What will really make her warm inside is the realization that you put a lot of forethought into her birthday.

Surprise is one of the best tools you can use. Take her out to dinner, but make it a surprise. Cook something nice at home, but don't tell her in advance. Buy tickets to a show, but spring them on her out of the blue. For something truly unusual like a balloon ride, you can even tell her that you have something in mind, but that she'll have to wait to find out what it is. Even people who hate the suspense enjoy the feeling that someone planned something just for them. Make that last.

If you can coordinate several surprises throughout the day/night, her head will be spinning. Spring a nice dinner on her, but go to the restaurant the day before with some small gift. Have the host or waiter present it to her after the meal with a bottle of champagne (this beats the hell out of the birthday song routine). Go for a walk after dinner, to a bar nearby, where all her friends are waiting. Surprise!

You know, shit like that.
posted by scarabic at 12:18 PM on July 9, 2004

Zingerman's! If she's into food, their Bread Clubs are great gifts because they keep on coming, but you eat them and then don't have to find a place on the curio shelf for them. They've got all kinds of gifts if she would like something like that.
hometown delifilter
posted by ulotrichous at 12:33 PM on July 9, 2004

The last birthday I set up a 3 hour kayak tour just outside of the city along a nice river. We were guided around and paddled into the city as the sun went down and it was just about the most perfect gift I ever gave anyone.
posted by mathowie at 5:52 PM on July 9, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks a ton for all of the suggestions guys, and feel free to add more. The Ipod idea is kind of expensive (although my philosophy is generally the extra cost is worth not having to think about it any longer), and the helicopter or balloon rides seem cool as hell, but she is scared of heights, which unfortunately takes out a lot of cool stuff like rockclimbing, rollercoasters, and the like. I know she would like a trip, but apart from the expense, I don't have a car, so I have to pick someplace she's willing to drive us to. Anything around the Lansing-area or neighboring states that's good to see? Additional suggestions are very welcome, and I appreciate and like what I've gotten so far. Except for the Zingerman's suggestion... 3 loaves of bread for $50? Must be daaaaamn good bread.
posted by banished at 6:04 PM on July 9, 2004

We've just about worn out this idea here, but self-made coupons for various self-made things are fun: a coupon redeemable for one spiffy gourmet dinner and a bottle of wine, a coupon for a massage, a coupon to watch (with no peanut-gallery comments) that one movie the other person can't stand, a coupon for ... eh, you know. My wife did this for me once and I still have saved the construction paper collages she made for the coupons. I cheated on year and did the same for her. Sweet, thoughtful, shows effort, gets an A+.
posted by josephtate at 1:48 AM on July 10, 2004

I agree with scarabic. It doesn't have to be expensive or exotic...as long as it's obvious a lot of thought went into it.
posted by aacheson at 4:02 PM on July 10, 2004

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