Friday, 24 December 2010

What do you get for the man who has everything?



I am stumped.  If choosing Christmas gifts is a pain, imagine how tough it is when your beloved's birthday also falls over the Christmas period.  I don't want to be the annoying person who gets him a "combined Christmas and birthday" gift, but equally, extra spending really sucks at this expensive time of the year.

I have considered my options.  This pizza cutter shaped like the Starship Enterprise?  Useful, but not gimmicky enough.  How about a shower curtain with a chandelier silhouette?  Hmmm, more of a gift for the house than for the Hank.  Or in honour of his tour of Afghanistan and our forthcoming wedding a Las Vegas-style t-shirt with the text "Welcome to Fabulous Lashkar-gah?"

The USA has some exciting new (to me) shops which I am also eyeing up for our Wedding Registry. (For the Brits, Wedding Registry = Wedding List).  My current favourite is Urban Remains, a super-cool salvage yard in Chicago which buys up ornate decorative metalwork from old banks, clubhouses and warehouses as they are renovated or torn down.  However, iron pipes and zinc balustrades are not exactly fitting wedding gifts so we have had to settle on something more commercially accessible....

Restoration Hardware - I simultaneously adore and distrust it.  There is something so intensely beautiful about the old American classics, lovingly recreated out here of very overpriced cheap wood. There are some visually amazing pieces, but my Spideysenses perceive the hand of MDF behind the chestnut veneers.  I can't prove it, but I know it.  This is not an issue when you are talking about the odd piece here and there, but Hank advises me that people order entire sections of the catalogue, swathing whole tracts of their homes in Restoration Hardware furniture, drapes, even interior paint.  Hank is at the point now where he walks into another 30-something-year-old government employee's home and says "Oh, I see you went with page six"

While I reconcile myself to this new-fangled way of approaching classic furniture,  I have decided what to get Hank for his birthday.  I have offered to get up early and make him fresh coffee before he goes to work every day until his next birthday.  Cost neutral.  And has the added benefit of being something I was going to do during my "funemployment" anyway ....  Shhhhh .... Don't tell Hank.

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