Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The tricky art of birthdays/holidays in a kinda sorta relationship

As I mentioned in my last post, I found myself upon the first tricky gift giving occasion in my kinda sorta relationship thing with Twin. It sounds like I'm not the only one in that place as we find ourselves facing down the gift-giving days ahead.

 His birthday was the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I had been clued in to that back in September by accident when I got the bright idea to take advantage of a great hotel deal and asked what he thought about the day after Thanksgiving for an overnight (I know, optimistic with my track record to plan something for late November all the way back in early September but I did none the less). He said "Oh, the day before my birthday??" That was my clue. Plus you know what a big fan I am of hotel sex so any occasion to book, is a good one.

As the date crept closer and Twin and I were still doing our kinda sorta relationship, all signals were "go" for our birthday extravaganza. I booked dinner reservations at one of my favorite restaurants so I had that covered. Now it just left the gift. Was the hotel/dinner/overnight thing a gift? Yes. But I would do that with or without him and he knew that so I felt compelled to do something specifically for him.

This is where it got a little tricky. Twin is a shopper. If he wants something, he buys it. Doesn't leave a lot of room for a girl to be creative.  I thought about his personality and tried to find something he wouldn't expect but could appreciate.

Lucky for me, I think ahead. During my weekend away in the mountains not so long ago, I was taken to the coolest book store and spent a lot of time looking for something just random and quirky enough to catch his interest. He loves books and has quite a collection so I knew he would appreciate a new one for his stacks. I found the perfect book and snatched it up. It was full of random ways to fill your days and had some really creative, and some off the wall, borderline illegal ideas, so it was a great choice. So check off the creative gift from the list.

Twin is also a bit of a metro. His closet rivals mine, even in shoe quantity which is just a little disturbing but I'm coming to terms with it. I still have him by a solid 20 pairs so I can deal. I found a few pieces of clothing that I knew would fit, in terms of size and style, and went the safe but reliable route to round off birthday presents.

It was a success! All the way around. From the hotel, to the restaurant, to the presents wrapped in manly wrapping paper...yes there is such a thing.... it all worked. I'm quite proud of myself! But I realize now that I set the bar really high so going forward, I'm going to have to find a way to maintain my level of awesomeness... that could get exhausting!

Don' you wish you were dating me now??? I know... he's a lucky guy huh??

I had a few people say they would appreciate some tips on navigating the dicey kinda sorta relationship thing gift giving territory. I'm no expert but I have few a suggestions that might be helpful for you. Happy shopping!

1) What quirky/unique thing are they into? Maybe it's a collection of some sort or something you find them talking about or referencing frequently during conversations. Maybe it was something they did or somewhere they went that they really loved. Find a way to incorporate that into your gift or plans.

2) Make it about the two of you. If you don't have a lot of shared history to fall back on for reference, make it about creating a new memory/tradition with the two of you. It doesn't have to be something flashy or complicated so don't over think it.

3) Don't make it too personal if you aren't there yet in your situation. That can be guessing sizes if you don't have a pretty good clue, getting something that's too intimate for where your kinda sorta relationship is at, or trying to inject yourself into a tradition that you haven't been invited to be a part of. You don't want to scour his/her contact info and invite 100 of his/her closest friends to a surprise party if he/she hasn't even introduced you yet. That just makes it awkward for both of you in the end.

4) Don't make it too generic. Unless you have just started dating, you shouldn't cop out and go the generic route for the occasion. If you have spent any amount of time together or been in each other space on multiple occasions, you should be able to deduct some amount of personal information such as sports teams he/she likes, music he/she listens to, and restaurant/entertainment preferences. Draw off of those pieces of information to pick something, even a small something, that shows him/her that you are paying attention to what they like.

Just a little tip, if making plans that you aren't 100% sure he/she/the two of you  might still be around for when the time comes, make sure it something that you would be OK doing on your own or going with a friend. You don't want the tickets/reservations to go to waste should your dude/chick flake on you. Hope for the best, plan for the worst!


  1. Now, we know that I am not relationship material and am pretty much clueless about normal human interaction, but I thought that clothing-esque type gifts (even the non-lacy or leather or studded vinyl type) would be too personal?

    In other news, OF COURSE I wish that I was dating you, my darling, and not just for the gift-giving.~

  2. Ha! You do what I do. Overthink, overachieve, and end up setting the bar too high too soon.

    I'm actually known as a spoiler. All my exes would agree.

    I'm glad it worked out for you, and wow what a thoughtful gift. It's the initiative more than the gift that impressed me.

    ...can you train MY girlfriend? I'll pay, in drinks (of course).

  3. Lisa, I've wanted to date you since I first found your blog. Thanks for the tips too.

  4. I'm with Kat and NTH...of course I wish I was dating you, dear. Sounds like his birthday was a success so now you just have to live up to it for Christmas. Those are great gift ideas though. I love going for personal and quirky gifts. :)

  5. Great comments! And they don't just apply to couples. An overzealous friend of mine went through my facebook list and invited practically every female on there to my surprise baby shower. Hello...facebook friends are not all actual friends...I was mortified.

  6. @my sweet Kat: You are certainly brilliant at normal human interaction love, never doubt that! As for the clothing, I only went that route because he is really a metro and our biggest joke is about his closet, how it's color coordinated and occasion-specific in all regards. I threaten to mess it up when he is sleeping, it's his biggest fear.

    @Lost: I really enjoy spoiling, more so than being spoiled I think. It's fun for me to really go all out on something like this... Not sure what I can do for the gf, but since you will pay me in drinks, I will give it my very best effort.

    @NtH: I have been saying from day 1 that we need to have our date... what's the hold up??

    @Jewels: I already have Christmas covered, it should be shipping as I type. I'm excited about it too,, you know you will all hear about it!

    @Ixy: I agree, the same rules apply to friends when it comes to these things. I cannot believe someone would go by your FB friends list for invites to something personal!!! Craziness! She needs punched....

  7. "If you don't have a lot of shared history to fall back on for reference, make it about creating a new memory/tradition with the two of you."

    I LOVE this idea!!

  8. Nice, glad to see you are enjoying TWIN. Have you met his twin to get the stamp of approval? As a twin, I can vouch for the weird bond.


I like attention, so give me some please!