Last Minute Valentines  Ideas

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Once in a while I get requests for advice. People asking me for answers to questions that often have to do with Retrocentric living or about things that matter to Vintage Aficionados. But there are some questions that have nothing to do with anything here on The Fedora Chronicles, classic movies, retro-style clothes or men's headwear.

Here's the answer to the question someone asked me a few years ago... here's an example of me trying to put a "vintage" or "traditional spin" on a modern question...

Dear Renderking Fisk

I need help!!  I need some ideas of what is a good gift for a guy for Valentine's Day.I got the card, but not sure what else to get for a guy.  Please give me your ideas, what would men like to get from there girlfriend?

Thanks, Darnell

Hey Darnell… it’s always great to know that men aren’t the only procrastinators. Here’s a last minute article packed full of advice to help you out. I just hope I don’t procrastinate too long and you read this in time.

What ever his “Thing” is… get into it with him and put it into a basket.

    I checked with my bride of 5 years to see what she had to say about this. My wife replied that being in love means listening to the one you love. If you listen close enough you can actually HEAR what he wants. I’m not saying that the guy has been shamelessly dropping hits… but if you listen carefully and know him well enough you should be able to figure it out.

You know what you’re guy is into already… what his hobbies are, what his favorite activities are and what his favorite food and drink is. 
The ultimate material thing you can get him should tie into what he loves… what ever his “thing” is. 

If your man is a scotch drinker, get him the best bottle that you can afford.  If your man is into guns… get him a box of ammunition. (Not trying to get political or start an argument about the Second Amendment…) Say “I love you” with a BANG this year. 

If you man is into cars and likes to take care of his… go to the auto parts store and get him all sorts of car-care products.

If you man is into classic movies… get him one on DVD. You should already know what his favorites are and what he has already. Movies are an excellent excuse to sit on the couch, cuddle and get to know each other better. If you don’t know what movie to get him… but you know what his favorite one is… find a reproduction of the lobby poster and have it framed. A unique way for my wife to say “I love you” would to walk into the living room Monday night and find a framed poster of Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman in the classic poses in “Casablanca”… hanging in the blank spot in the wall. (Posters aren’t things men usually get for themselves all the time… but framed ones of their theme is always a thoughtful gift.)

Subscriptions say “I love you,” once every month: Although it’s a bit late in the game to do this… get your man a subscription to a magazine of his favorite “thing”. Cars, astronomy, hunting, fishing… what ever his “thing” is… there’s a magazine for it.

The best thing to get him is a little bit of his “thing” to go with the card you already got him. Be sure it’s something he can actually use.

The Serious Don’ts

    Most guys aren’t into things that they can’t use or consume. Most guys don’t like sentimental crap like stuffed animals, poems and flowers. Sure, they like to get cards once in a while as reminders of your love… but they don’t do the trick like something they can put their hands on and get some work done. Guys are wired to be practical.

  • Flowers: Most guys don’t understand the symbolism of flowers and why they’re important… all they need to know is that WOMEN LIKE THEM and that’s the only reason why they get them. The equivalent to flowers for a guy is beer or a bottle of liquor.
  • Toiletries: Going to the Bath And Body works and getting a basket full of soap products like bubble bath and body wash is like a guy giving you fishing tackle when you don’t even fish or a wide-screen TV with a sports package when you don’t like sports. Smelly bath products are what you want… and might come off to say: “you’re dirty and unclean.” Soap can send the wrong message. Massage oil… on the other hand is something different. A basket full of toiletries or cologne is the wrong message when it doesn’t come with a blatant: “Come Join Me…”
  • Clothes: If you’re not smart, buying clothes for your man with the wrong intentions is a good way to end the relationship. Holidays like Christmas, Valentines Day and Birthdays are NEVER an opportunity for you to rack up serious debt in an effort to remake your man in the image of your father, an ex-boyfriend, a professor you had a crush in college or your favorite actor (unless it’s his, too.). If you’re going to buy your man clothes, make sure it fits his style- his colors and tones. Best clothing gift I ever go my wife was a dark brown shirt, matching tie and handkerchief set… she was so excited in giving it to me her friends at work told me she couldn’t stop talking about it right up to December 23rd. Why? Because she knew my style and colors and knew that I would love it and look good on me. Again… you have to know your man well enough before you start buying him clothes.
  • Movies: I said above that getting movies is a good idea, but be careful. Most women don’t get this… men like movies that are actually about something other then feelings. Movies that are nothing but dialog are a sleep insurance policy for insomniacs. A movie has to be about men overcoming incredible obstacles, movies about survival. Any Rocky movie is one of the ultimate “Guy” flicks because it’s about physical endurance while over-coming inner demons and insecurities. “Field Of Dreams” might be about feelings… but it’s about the way guys feel about Baseball (action) and about how men feel about trying to crawl out from underneath their dad’s shadows and then coming to terms with that. (The greatest guy movie is about a grave robber who’s trying to recover an ancient artifact or keep it out of the hands of the bad guys while reconciling with his girlfriend and having a super-natural ability to keep his fedora on while being dragged by a truck or running through the jungles…) Movies don’t always have to be about people shooting or things getting blown up… but for some guys it helps.
  • Gift Certificates: Most guys I know hate to shop for clothes… and almost everything else. It’s a waste of time… with the exception when it comes to their aforementioned “thing”. Guys who are into music can wander Tower Records for hours… Car guys can do the same at auto-parts stores, If he has a favorite store, get him a gift certificate from there.

The Best Gift is The One You can’t Wrap…

 The best thing you can give your man is the security that he’s the best… and that he’s the only man in the world for you. I know this sounds sappy and romantic, invoking the kind of ruthless sentimental emotions that you wouldn’t expect from a website like this one… but it’s true. Guys need to know that you love them and that he’s your hero. Don’t just tell him, show him. Guys need to know that they’re loved and adored… made to feel attractive and desired.

Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be the only day out of the year to show the love of your life how you feel; everyday should be that day. No relationship should be able to survive with one person in the relationship starving for attention and the only attempt at romance is one chilly day in February.

Like the saying goes, it’s the thought that counts. If you really love this guy… the thought has to count. Gifts should be something that he would like something you want to give him and something that shows that you care.

Hope this helps… let me know how you make out.

Eric Renderking Fisk
Special Thanks to my special Valentines… my wife and my mom. 

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What do you like to do on Valentines Day, especially in a pinch?

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