Monday, May 3, 2010

Giving, Getting, And Graduation

My birthday is coming up, (in over a month, so um, don't get too excited,) and it's got me thinking of gifts and gift-giving lately.

About the only thing I really need is a bed for my new apartment, and my extremely loving and gracious family is making that dream come true for me. I am going to have the first queen-size bed of my life; in fact, the first bed larger than a twin. I am beyond excited, because this means that I will have all sorts of room to starfish out and share the bed with George, my faithful body-pillow. However, I already know that I'm still just going to sleep on the edge of the bed pressed up against the wall, like always. So it's the thought that matters; not the practice. Also, I guess this also now means I can have guests over in comfort, and not in hot and sweaty enforced spooning sessions. To this, I say hell yes. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good cuddle, but sweaty summertime spooning at night is not something that I am a huge fan of.

Also, Erin and Arielle recently introduced me to Regretsy, where I found this, a penis chapstick cozie. I have to admit, I was very taken with it. It's me in a very comic, non-serious way. For any other jokesters out there, this is a perfect gift. (Regretsy is also the perfect place to find really weird, really stupid, one-of-a-kind gag gifts for your friends with a discerning sense of humor.)

But penis chapstick cozies aside, this little keychain is probably what I want the most. Some of you might recognize it from the Sex and the City movie and think that it's a little tacky, but I think it's just fabulous. I love the idea of having a constant reminder on me. Also, it's large enough that I won't lose my keys or won't be able to find them at the bottom of my huge purses. It's just something so little, and I want it so bad.

Also, because it will be, yes, my I'm-a-legal-drinker birthday, I finally get to enact the plan I've been thinking of since I was (no lie) 16. (I've always taken my liquor very seriously.) A 21st birthday is the perfect time to start a really great liquor cabinet, and I've always held that the mark of a truly great host or hostess is that they have the liquor necessary to create your favorite drink. So, instead of asking for "stuff" or letting people take a shot in the dark, create a "liquor cabinet" list like an alcoholic's wedding registry, and let your friends bring you a bottle of each needed liquor. It doesn't have to be Stoli when Smirnoff will suffice, but you still need your basics: vodka, gin, rum, tequila, Triple Sec, scotch & whiskey (though I am never drinking it EVER. AGAIN), and a bottle of champagne. Insta-party. Oh, and a few 6-packs of good beer-- Blue Moon; Long Trail's Blackberry Wheat; Magic Hat's #9, Circus Boy, this summer's Odd Notion, and Braggot, if you can find it; and a good seasonal beer. You must NEVER forget the beer.

Graduation time is now, and there are always graduation gifts to be bought. Thankfully, being in Italy makes that pretty easy for me, so while I'm all done on the grad-shopping front, you may not be. Here are some of the things that I've stumbled across recently that might just make the cut:

For other writers out there, I've been obsessed with Smythson's writing goods since I was (not joking) about 7. I've received journals, ink and pens, and art sets from them, and I have to say-- cost is quality, especially in this regard. What about some personalized business stationary? An embellished leather business card case? Or a journal with advice emblazoned on the cover? Depending on the sentiment of graduation, you can go with "Now Panic and Freak Out," "Keep Calm and Carry On," "Work Hard and Be Nice To People," or just the classic, possibly even personalized. Nothing says "You've made it" like something from Smythson for the new grad.

Anyone who has ever worked a job that requires you to be up earlier than your 9 AM classes can tell you how important coffee is in their life. For this reason, a coffee maker is a great gift for grads. I have used many different coffee makers in many different jobs, but this one by Keurig has to be, by far, the best coffee I've ever had out of an electric coffee maker. Plus, it comes with control for brewing three different cup sizes-- which I like to think of as "good morning," "Good Morning!" and "GOOD MORNING WORLD, I'M GOING TO FUCK YOU UP TODAY!"

For a more sentimental take than screaming obscenities at the world in a caffeine-induced haze, Dr. Seuss's classic book, Oh, The Places You'll Go!, with a personal message written on the inside cover, and a road atlas for all the adventuring that they'll be doing.

For her, a get-away weekend. For some ladies, it could mean a weekend in New York City for spa treatments, cupcakes at Magnolia, shopping, dinner at one of the hip new restaurants, and drinks at a fabulous bar. For other girls, it could be a weekend camping trip, complete with gourmet s'mores, guitar jam sessions, henna tattooing, and kayaking. Only you know what your friend likes-- be creative!

If all else fails, I found this site to be helpful, if not slightly cliche at times.

And last but not least, money. Money is always a fool-proof gift for grads, because, chances are, they don't have it, and they're gonna need it.


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