This Sunday, the holiday for lovers will be upon us. Malls are flooded with the usual red, white and pink items and ensembles including the sticky and sweet, the soft and cuddly, the fragrant and flowery, and the shiny and sparkly. Even if you can’t read a calendar, you’d really have to be a hermit crab—with shell in tow—to not know what day is right around the corner. Even with all the hints around, I have to sadly say, I’ve seen a few cracked hermit crab shells around February 15th in years gone by. And the shell looked like it had a nicely placed stiletto heel imprint too. Go figure.
Even though many men think this holiday is a retail-concocted façade to make them shell out ridiculous amounts of cash to materialistically show their affection, some women feel that it is a last-chance holiday for men to have a second chance after blowing it completely on Christmas. Yes, it is true, if you still have a place in bed after getting her the new and improved rug steamer this past holiday season, here’s your chance fellas to make up for lost ground. And maybe even lost time… if you get my drift.
But even though it is, without a doubt, a holiday where the focus seems to be on the women, I think many men would agree that the statement, “What about me?” can come into play. Sure, they want to feel loved and special too. They want to know their lady cares. They want to know that they are loved. They want to know they are their girl’s #1 squeeze. They just don’t want to know it with a three-foot teddy bear tied with a bunch of Mylar balloons and a wrapped pair of conversation candy hearts boxers. Okay, some may like that, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. I, in fact, think those boxers are damn cute myself. But I can’t picture Mr. Sassy acting genuinely excited if I was to have that delivered to his work as a gift.
So what else can you get the guy who isn’t a sicky-sweet gushy romantic on the day that revolves around hearts and goo? Well, I dove way back into my mind to remember what were some of the things I had gotten for Mr. Sassy over the years. Plus I had a little help from a friend or two with ideas of their own. Hopefully this will give you ladies a few leads before you tackle the mall:
• Meats & Cheeses – Even though men love cheddar-topped hamburgers and strip steaks with gorgonzola butter, things like that can get a little messy in a gift box. Why not take a trip to your local market or specialty store and make up a tasty gift with various specialty protein-type items. Don’t forget things like different crackers and spreads too. Some of my favorite go-to treats include: Gruyere, Manchego, Smoked Gouda and Drunken Goat Cheese; Sopressata, Prosciutto, and even flavored beef jerky. For an extra special treat, throw in a nice wine that goes with the cheeses you’ve selected (do some online research) and make it a treat for you both!
• Cigars – Not every guy likes to smoke, and even fewer wives and girlfriends like to see them smoke. Guys think there is something rich and soothing about a good cigar. Plus, it screams guy-time in the man-cave. Even I have to admit, I like a good rich smoke now and then (and yes I have the pictures to prove it!) If cigars are something you despise but he likes, then go out and spend a chunk of change and get him just one or two really good cigars. That way he won’t smoke them all the time around you and he’ll really take in the cigar’s flavor and appreciate the ones you got him. A few good choices that most guys would like are: Ashton VSG’s, Romeo y Julieta, or a Camacho Triple Maduro. For an extra bonus, get him a good scotch to go with it!
• A dozen of beers – Yes, leave the roses for the females and get the guy twelve long-necked bottles of different and eclectic beers. It is hard to “mix and match” when it comes to flavors, but if you ladies have a couple of friends who like the idea, go in on it together. You and two girls can pick out six different 6-packs and each pull two of each pack to make a dozen. For different flavors from around the world, go to a local beer distributor for the best selection. Some ideas to look for are Belgian beers, sweet stouts, amber ales or Pilsners. Throw in a nice glass beer mug to make it a gift he’ll never forget.
• Magazine subscriptions – This is a gift that really shows you care about him AND pay attention to his interests and hobbies. Plus he’ll be entertained all year ‘round. Is he a sports fanatic? …SI or ESPN the Magazine is a no-brainer. History buffs really enjoy National Geographic or Time. And don’t forget some other male favorites he might enjoy. Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, Cigar Aficionado, Esquire, Men’s Fitness, The New Yorker, and Maxim are all very popular choices. Take a trip to your local bookstore, go through the magazine department, and pull one of each magazine you think he’d like. Wrap them up with the filled out subscription card taped to the front of each, having them billed to you. He’ll love the sentiment.
If all of this has you even more confused about what to get your guy this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget… you can never go wrong with “a little bit of everything.” Go all out and give him a smorgasbord of goodies. Hell, no man will deny that variety is the spice of life. (In fact, that longing for variety gets them in too much trouble at times.. cough cough.) Grab a gift bag, basket or even a chip bowl works great too… especially one that has his favorite football or baseball team on it. Then start filling it up. For example, grab a brick of Merlot-flavored parmesan cheese and a stick of pepperoni, some whole-grain wheat crackers, a nice spicy honey mustard, a six pack of good ale, a couple of decent cigars, a nice travel coffee mug, a personalized beer mug, a subscription to Rolling Stone magazine, some gourmet caramel popcorn, and a few king-sized portions of his favorite candies or chocolate bars. Put them all in a nice wicker basket, then tie it all up with a big red bow. He’ll love it!