When my friends and I were in high school, we wanted to be single in the summer. Why? Just close your eyes and picture pool parties and backyard barbecues. Concentrate hard enough and you might even hear Will Smith’s “Summertime” lyrics blaring in the background. When winter rolled around, the weather changed and so did our status. We watched movies (in VHS players) and cuddled with our new boos in front of the fireplace, with our parents playing cards in the next room. If you didn’t settle down by December, Santa or Cupid wouldn’t visit you in homeroom with little trinkets, flowers, or candy-grams. And if you weren’t coupled up by January, you would count down to the New Year without a kiss. My birthday also fell in February, so strategically speaking, winter was the ideal time of the year to enter into a relationship. Of course, my friends and I didn’t date just for presents. As a matter of fact, my parents wouldn’t let me accept gifts from guys, other than something small!
More than a decade later, as the first snowflakes fell from the sky this morning, the same feeling rose up inside me. It’s still nice to have someone stop by, this time with a bottle of wine and take-out, to watch a pay-per-view movie. And it is wonderful when someone scrapes the ice off your windshield, heats up your car, or drops you off at the front door when you can see your breath blowing circles in the air. I smile at the thought of a seasonal significant other. However at this stage in my life, I wouldn’t dump the person when a summer breeze blows in. Instead, I’m even thinking about what types of gifts are appropriate to give someone you just started to date. And I need your help selecting something.
Here are several options that I came up with….check them out and let me know what option would you choose?
A. Give a Gift That Keeps on Giving
Is there a concert or play coming to town? Or is the person you date a sports fan? Is scoring tickets for two a great way to guarantee another date or a tad bit selfish, since you are benefiting (and assuming you should be the plus one)?
B. Take a Class
Is your date interested in the arts? Several cities offer classes where you can bring a bottle and paint a picture. You don’t have to be a Picasso to sign up. Or, if he/she likes sushi, there are lots of restaurants opening up their kitchen and teaching amateurs how to roll up fresh fish. Is this cheesy or creative?
C. Buy a Book or Album
Is your date an avid reader or a music lover? Is there a used bookstore with hidden gems like first edition prints or signed concert posters? Does your date like to eat a certain type of food? Perhaps purchase a Thai cookbook and promise to prepare a few dishes of his/her choice. Is this a good way to make a present personal?
D. Make a “It’s the Thought That Counts” Present
Should you create a coupon book that the person can cash in on things such as hugs, the remote control or a car wash? Does your date need help organizing a closet, assembling furniture or painting a spare room? Will this prove that money won’t buy you love, but maybe a grand gesture will?
After you buy the gift, would you:
A. Give the gift to the recipient regardless if he/she bought something for you in return.
B. Put it under your bed and have a ‘Sex in the City’ moment (i.e. When Carrie pulled out a Lois Vuitton handbag for her assistant played by Jennifer Hudson). You’ll have something on hand if you’re unsure a gift exchange is in your friend’s holiday plans.
Hey BMWK, what gift would you give? And what’s the best gift you ever received? If you just started dating someone, is it OK not to give a gift?