I’ve always wanted to be good at finding romantic gifts. Small yet exquisitely formed tokens of affection that have my other half either weeping with joy or laughing in ecstatic delight.
But unfortunately, I suck. I umm and err if I have to buy a guy a birthday present, caught between something expensive, tasteful and brilliant and something expensive, rubbish, but hilarious.
In the end I usually end up declaring my romantic intentions via the means of drunk text messages or half-formed sonnets written in fridge magnets. But still. Very very occasionally I’ve bought, made or done things that have had the desired effect. Here are the top five romantic gifts that I have generously bestowed upon gentlemen I have known:
A blue rose
We’d had a row about whether or not blue roses existed. So, when I spent ages hunting down a blue rose, and triumphantly presenting it to him, it had the benefit that it was not only pretty cool-looking and unique, but it also harked back to a shared in-joke. If I hadn’t handed it to him while shouting “HA! In your FACE, Mr WRONG” it might well have got me laid.
A week later, as the water in the vase started to turn blue as well, I got the sneaking suspicion I’d been had.
A hand-drawn cartoon card
This one was FUCKING AMAZING, OK? Just, honestly. Ignore the fact that I draw about as well as a dog licking an inkwell. Forget that I had essentially drawn pictures of the two of us engaged in one of our numerous fights. It was pretty and big and took time and effort – I’d even coloured it in! And hardly gone over the lines!
Pizza and a blow job
What can I say? Sometimes I’m just a mind reader.
A limerick about his cock
This one actually counts for about fifty, because that is how many limericks I have written about this one boy’s cock. Helen of Troy had a face that launched a thousand ships, he has a penis that inspires a thousand poets.
Top tip if you’re thinking of recreating this, though – should you feel inspired to write a birthday limerick about your loved-one’s genitals, be sure to write it somewhere other than in their actual birthday card. Otherwise you might find yourself having to dive across the room to whip it out of his mother’s hands when she loudly exclaims ‘oh, how sweet, do you mind if I read it?’
A games console
Now I know what you’re thinking: you’re thinking “hey, Gotn, I thought the message of this blog was going to be about how you don’t have to spend loads of money in order to make romantic gestures!”
Well, you don’t. But that’s not to say that spending money can’t sometimes be a really bloody romantic gesture. Especially if it’s money you don’t really have, that you’re selflessly spending just because the love of your life wants something bizarre and out of your budget range.
The most romantic present I ever gave someone was a games console. Not an Xbox or a Playstation: this was much much better. Months before this boy’s birthday, we’d been watching the shopping channel with friends when an utterly amazing product came on. It was an old-fashioned plug-directly-into-the-telly console that had modern copies of ancient games. Heavily pixellated, retro-awesome tat. Needless to say, he was excited:
“It’s even got a gun! You can do clay pigeon shooting!”
“With blocky, clunky clay pigeons?”
So. It was settled. I’d save up the pitiful amount of money that I had (I was poor enough at the time that the 40-odd quid this thing cost was a serious budgetary commitment) and ordered one. As his birthday neared, I was quivering with nervous anticipation. I worried that he might hear me whispering the secret in my sleep. Every time he mentioned his birthday, and the fun we were going to have in the evening, I almost exploded with the desire to say “and we can play with your birthday present because it’s AMAZING.”
As the day dawned, I could barely speak for excitement, imagining the look of pure, squirming love on his face as he’d open it, turn to me, and beg me to stay with him forever. This was no ordinary love gift: it was the One True Gift that would cement me forever in his heart.
Have you guessed the ending yet? Because I certainly didn’t. When I met him in the morning, babbling excitedly about his party at which I’d get to present him with The Gift, he hit me with a conversational bombshell:
“So I met this girl over the weekend. We’re going out now.”
“But… you’re shagging me!”
“I know. But… we’re not really going out, are we?”
So there you are, kids – there’s the moral. It’s not that ‘love costs nothing’, it’s ‘beware of forking out too much on expensive trinkets, because if your partner is going to dump you then no amount of consumer electronics will stop them.’
I gave him the console anyway. Turns out it was quite shit.
- On nice guys, hard truths, and the Friend Zone
- On turning someone down
- On the secret Pick-Up Artists will never tell you