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Help! wife's birthday!

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Gentlemen, I have never met, in one place, such an erudite, worldly, stylish, and compassionate collection of men as yourselves. ("Okay, what does he want?") Well, a little advice would be great. I don't have much money (no, I didn't spend it on clothes), and my wife's birthday is coming up in a month. Unfortunately, I have been a slug and scoundrel of a husband over the last few years, and always end up buying something "okay" at the last minute. With a limited budget, do any of you have any unique ideas to make her birthday something memorable? Anything you may have tried? It's not a milestone birthday for her (i.e., 30, 40, etc.)...I just need to get off my duff and be a man, for once, and show her how much she really means to me. She's not highly into fashion, so clothes and jewelry don't necessarily attract her. But if any of you have done something that went over well, I'd appreciate any suggestions you may have. Thanks; you guys are the best.   P.S. I would post this in the other forum, but it seems most of you guys hang here.
post #2 of 47
Do you cook? You could always just make her a nice meal. Other than that, does she need/want a watch or anything like that? My best birthday gifts have been jewlery and cooking her a meal.
post #3 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Do you cook?  You could always just make her a nice meal.  Other than that, does she need/want a watch or anything like that?  My best birthday gifts have been jewlery and cooking her a meal.
johnnynorman3, I don't cook well, but that's a very good idea. Hey, I've got a month to brush up, after all. Thank you, sir.
post #4 of 47
If you cant cook, its liable to come across more as comic relief than anything else. You will definately be talking about it for some time to come. What I would do is buy her a day of self pampering at a spa with a massage and all the assorted facial and skin treatments etc... you can go as far as you want with how much your budget allows but I have found that its something that unless pushed most women wont do and they really enjoy. I did that for my wife when we went on vacation and she enjoyed immensely. Follow it up when she is all relaxed with a nice dinner and some quality time together. Hey... ostensibly you are the thing she wants the most and some quality face time does wonders. No beepers, no cell phones and no PC. (Now that takes a real man doesnt it?). Happy birthday. JJF
post #5 of 47
A few possibilities that have gone over well... -- My wife and I went to a private cooking class with a very well known/respected chef for her bday. There were three other couples who were also there. I had heard of someone doing it; called and found out it could be arranged for a relatively reasonable amount -- something like $300 for the two of us to go. My wife loves to cook and loves gourmet food, so that went over very well. -- Picnics with really good food to romantic spots around town. Once we went up to a place north of DC where there are high cliffs on both sides of the Potomac; had some simple but good fixin's and a very good bottle of pinot noir (I had partially uncorked it ahead of time). Not really a gift per se, but it's part of making the entire day a special occasion. -- Breakfast in bed. Not as a "gift" but as the start to her birthday. Put her in a good mood from the start. -- Cooking a great dinner, with candles, a great bottle of wine, etc., where you do 100% of the cooking and preparation. She doesn't know anything about what to expect.... Saying "But I don't know how to cook" doesn't cut it -- if a guy is older than 20 years old, he has seen and eaten enough food in his life to have an idea how to cook. -- Agree to be her "slave for a day." -- Get a piece of cardboard, cut it into a letter size, and then draw on it in your best artistry you can conjure up with pen, pencil and magic marker that it is "good for _" whatever -- two tix to the opera and dinner at your wife's favorite restaurant on a night of her choosing; or two tix to see in concert on whatever night your wife chooses. The handmade gift certificate should be done with your very best artistry, so it doesn't look like something you scribbled out 5 minutes ago. Then, figure out a romantic time to give that to her -- perhaps at the end of the dinner you prepared. Failing all that, buy some diamond stud earrings or Tiffany's gold knot earrings (buy them on credit if need be. Tiffany's lets you spread out the payment over 12 months....).
post #6 of 47
How about spa treatment for both of you followed by dinner at the Ritz-Carlton?
post #7 of 47
Thread Starter 
Thanks, FIHT, Kabert, and Gregory; all great suggestions. You're right, Kabert, enough excuses on my part about cooking. I can't wait to come back a month from now and thank you guys again for what will be a wonderful birthday. Like I said, you guys are the best.
post #8 of 47
One more thing -- bake her a bday cake yourself. These are so easy to make as to be laughable -- just buy the mix and buy one of the cake pans if you don't have one already. As a last resort, you can always make the two layers in a brownie pan (square... -- everyone's got those). Make sure to get icing (the tube kind) and spell out Happy Birthday [Wife's Name] is slightly imperfect writing so she knows you made it yourself. All the better if the cake tips slightly to one side so it's REALLY clear you are responsible for it.
post #9 of 47
I highly endorse the spa suggestion. I gave my wife a day at the spa for her last birthday and then again for Mother's day. She still talks about it. Also my wife and I enjoy quite time over a great cappucino. So after her latest spa, we went to our favourite coffee place where she relived the day simply by talking about it. HUGH SUCCESS. Best of luck and hoping she has a great birthday. Classic
post #10 of 47
I third the spa suggestion - used it on various occassions with my wife, and also as gifts for other female friends, and it always seems to strike the right chord. However, since my marriage is disolving, you'd wanna take my advice with a grain of salt...
post #11 of 47
The best gift that I ever gave to my wife was when I was also short on funds. I recreated our wedding meal and served that. It was very nice when she realized what I was doing. Shows that you are very thoughtful and remeber little things.
post #12 of 47
Thread Starter 
Kabert, Classic, Lomezz (very sorry about the marriage), and HRHAndrew: thank you all very much. You have all helped me gain back a little sense of self-respect, and I will certainly put many of these suggestions to good use. Wish we were in a pub; I'd buy you all a round or two.
post #13 of 47
Quote:
The best gift that I ever gave to my wife was when I was also short on funds.  I recreated our wedding meal and served that.  It was very nice when she realized what I was doing.  Shows that you are very thoughtful and remeber little things.
Anyone ever read the gift of the magi from O'Henry? Gift of the Magi Lomezz: To the contrary. Just goes to show she doesnt appreciate a good thing when she sees it... JJF
post #14 of 47
Quill: Where do you live? It might be helpful to know for gift suggestions or dining. If we were to suggest something in NYC and you live in California it wouldn't be helpful. Also I am sure the members have lots of experience with out of the way shops and dining that a location might help. Best of luck.
post #15 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Quill: Where do you live?  It might be helpful to know for gift suggestions or dining. If we were to suggest something in NYC and you live in California it wouldn't be helpful.  Also I am sure the members have lots of experience with out of the way shops and dining that a location might help. Best of luck.
Sorry, nothing so sophisticated as in a major metropolis. Upper midwest, maybe 2 hours north of Chicago (my wife and I are from Chicago originally). Thanks for your interest.
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