This article needs to come with a warning: I suck at this.
Mike and I have married now for…uh…almost 14 years? Whoa. And over the years, I have botched birthday gifts and Christmas gifts and now…Father's Day gifts. "Botched" might be a tad strong…let's just say that Mike is typically underwhelmed by my gift choices, or completely unsurprised: "Hey Babe. I picked up a new iPhone. You can claim that's my birthday gift". Um. Ok.
In my defense, this is not completely my fault. If I surreptitiously check his Amazon wish list, I find things like external hard drives, or books titled "PMML in Action: Unleashing the Power of Open Standards For Data Mining and Predictive Analysis." OMG. Kill me. I mean, sure…he probably would like an external hard drive or snoozeville book but I just…can't. Can these really be considered gifts? Really?
And Mike is no help. None. When I ask him what he wants for _________ [fill in the blank], his standard answer has been – for the last fourteen years – blowjobs. So yeah…that's helpful. Actually, if you are totally desperate for a good gift (and I've been there), you can order coupon books from Datevitation. Most of their date ideas are really cute…but they do have an adult-only section. With, uh, hysterical illustrations. Ahem.
This is just the beginning for this naughty duo…..
Anyway. I know I'm not alone in this. I came across this old MODG article where she forced her husband (who prob also wants blowjobs) to come up with a gift list and it's just…sad, really. Hysterical, yet sad. Socks and lawnmowers and a gym hat (wha???) and OMG it's as boring as math books. As MODG summarizes, "Buying gifts for men is the stupidest activity on the whole earth."
Sing it, sister.
But over the years, I've had a few wins, although ironically, most were things I just randomly picked up, rather than official gifts. Also, Mike has been humoring me quite a bit more lately (upside of cancer? Ha Ha…Ha…too soon to joke?) and actually sat down and helped identify a few things he liked. I hope this helps, Mamas. It's all I got.
1. Lightning Bolt Tie Clip, $20 Kevin Cross Designs
Have you heard? Tie clips are a thing. This Etsy seller hand-makes them in either standard size ties (for old guys) or skinny ties (for young guys). Mike has both (*cough*almost40*cough*). He likes the lightning bolt, but you can also get a mustache, a snake, or for the more conservative, art deco or carbon stripe (Mike's other fav). See them all here.
2. Leather Excursion Garment Bag, $450
I know, I know. I'm cringing over the price. But Mamas? Mike, the guy who wants nothing and who virtually never excites? He lost his mind over this one. "Babe! BABE!!! This!! See this??? I've been looking for something exactly like this!! So look – it fits just one suit…" Mike clicks over to a new pic. "And YUP. Socks, here." He jabs a finger at the screen. "Underwear, here. BAM. This is perfect. PERFECT."
Whoa. That's as excited as I've ever seen Mike get about anything in 14 years.
Red Envelope was kind enough to send one out to us gratis. (God, this blog thing is nice sometimes.) And while pricey, it's really, really nice. The leather is soft and rich, the monogram (Mike's exact – and classy – words were "Yeah, I wanna monogram that shit!") is subtle and understated, and Mike is thrilled that he can now fly without checking luggage.
"What about shampoo and stuff?" I ask him. He looks at me, baffled. "Baby, I use the hotel's." he says.
Ew. Gross. Moving on….
3. Baseball Cuff Links (Made from real baseballs), $170
Mike also loved these. These cuff links are made from baseballs used in actual MLB games – you pick the team. Each pair comes with some identifier on the back that shows which exact game the baseballs were used in. To often whimsical cuff links end up cheesy (Hi! I Am Not Really An Office Drone As Evidenced By My Quirky Cuff Links!!)…but these are actually pretty cool.
4. Warby Parker Sunglasses, $95
I love Warby Parker's designs for guys: retro and cool. And I love that you can get them with prescriptions, if necessary. Mike finally bought prescription sunglasses last year and it changed his life*. For realz.
*If your guy is blind without his glasses, you might want to go with a higher-end brand…they tend to be more comfortable for all-day wear. Mike and I both like Salt…stupid expensive, but worth it for our PPW (price-per-wear) calculation.
5. Handy Dad Book, $15
If your guy is knocking down walls and adding rooms and wiring stuff…he probably doesn't need this book. But if your guy keeps his tools in one small (fabric) tool case (or if he falls somewhere in between)…than this book might be a fun gift from the kids. It has awesome step-by-step photos on how to build things like tire swings, tree houses, climbing walls, etc.
6. Me + Ro Love Bead Bracelet, $105
Mike isn't a jewelry kind of guy, but he loved the courage bracelet I got him last year. These are understated, manly-man bracelets. The kind he can wear to work and be reminded of how much he is loved at home.
Something random I picked up for Mike that he wears all the time. It shoves into it's own pouch, is wind (and rain!!) proof, and looks surprisingly cool. It's a French brand, so order up a size.
We don't have fancy keychains and we're always losing our keys (like…always)….and Mike only likes snobby beer, which typically requires a bottle opener. So yeah – this keychain/bottle opener is his latest obsession.
9. Rocket Launcher, $30
After Raines' final T-ball game, a few Dads launched rockets into the air. The kids went ape-shit (girls and boys both)…and the other Dads were almost as bad. The rockets go shockingly high into the air, and Fun Was Had By All!! The set they used looked just like this…but it's the real deal, so you'll also need to buy some engines and igniters
(a pack of three is $12).
If this is all too intimidating, I saw some kids and dads at the park a few weeks ago playing with this ginormous foam glider ($13 at ToysRUs). It was awesome.
10. Waxed Canvas Toiletry Case, $53
I bought one of these for Mike 10+ years ago. He still uses it on every trip. And I am no longer responsible for making sure he remembers to pack a toothbrush. (Although, since he uses hotel toiletries…now I'm wondering what else he packs in there….??)
11. Cool Sneaks, $80
12. AE Board Shorts, $30ish
Board shorts for guys are getting shorter and less…wide. AE nails it, and hits that perfect hybrid between swimshort and regular short. Mike would love these. (I also seriously love these, but they are sold out. BOO. Maybe these, then?)
Anyway, Mamas, I hope this helps!! Now I just have to plan something fun for that day…and Mike's Birthday, which is just a few days before. OH THE PRESSURE.
ps. Remember when our friend B wrote a Christmas gift list for guys from a guy's perspective? There are some great ideas there as well. Especially Part 2, where he covered cool ideas for experience gifts.