Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread

Tomorrow is Drew’s 41st birthday (the photo above is from his 40th birthday bash last year). Tonight we’re going to have dinner with his family and tomorrow we’ll have a low-key affair since I’ve been on the sick-ish side lately. We’ll probably have chicken parm subs and meet some friends at a bar and call it a night. Maybe we’ll have a nice brunch earlier in the day, or I’ll make french toast if I’m feeling crazy. Anyway, in honor of Drew’s birthday, here are this weekend’s open thread questions:

1) What’s the best/nicest thing a significant other has done for you or given you for your birthday (or the nicest thing you’ve done for a significant other’s birthday?).

2) Has a significant other ever really pissed you off on your birthday?

3) As always, if you’ve got a relationship issue — birthday related or not — that you want some community feedback on, share away.

Oh, and this is what happens when you drink too much at your 40th birthday and and have a prop and costume collection:

And this is how your wife reacts because she loves you anyway (even if you are a ridiculous brithday drunk):

75 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Desiree April 8, 2011, 6:28 pm

    Love the pictures!!!

    1). Nicest thing I’ve ever done for a significant other’s birthday. My boyfriend turned 21 last summer, and I coordinated his gift with his parents. I bought tickets to see one of his favorite comedians, Craig Ferguson, in San Francisco (California is also his birth state, and he hadn’t been there in years). His parents bought his plane ticket, and I saved up to cover other costs. The trip went smoothly, and the show was fantastic (Robin Williams ended up on stage, too!). My boyfriend is super humble and doesn’t typically do nice things for himself, so it was fun to treat him like royalty for a bit.

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    • TheLadyE

      Elisse April 8, 2011, 10:06 pm

      I love Craig Ferguson!! That sounds like a GREAT birthday present…and also very sweet. 🙂

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    HmC April 8, 2011, 7:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing your pictures Wendy, you guys are adorable!

    1- My current boyfriend bought me a bunch of house plants for my last birthday, that he had picked out meticulously and potted in these really cute ceramic pots. He’s an outdoorsy guy, and the only plants I had in my house at the time were plastic fake ones, so the gift fit both of us perfectly. The plants are a perfect addition to my home environment, and every time I water them I think of him. 🙂

    Best thing I ever got for a bf was the gift of skydiving for both my ex and myself! I got to selfishly participate and it was pretty amazing, but his mom was none too happy with me…

    2-Thankfully, not that I can think of! But I don’t make too big a deal or put much pressure on enjoying my birthdays like some people do (not there’s anything wrong with that).

    3- Again, thankfully, not that I can think of. Things are going swimmingly, and getting better and better with my current squeeze. So, to throw it out there into the universe, thank you universe for my wonderful life!

    Happy weekend to all!

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    AKchic April 8, 2011, 7:07 pm

    Birthdays… I don’t celebrate mine. Most years I forget about it until it’s passed. My sister usually calls and says “I didn’t have the money to get you what you always wanted”. For some reason, any gift she buys, she claims it’s whatever the recipient “always wanted”. And it’s usually something that nobody would have wanted, even if they had had a nervous breakdown and thought they were living in Toon Town.

    The last time I did anything for an SO’s birthday? A few years ago I ended up making over 15lbs of beer battered halibut. But, my SO’s birthday is the same day as my 3rd son’s, so normally, we just do a party for my son. That year, they just happened to both want halibut.

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    Cherry April 8, 2011, 7:14 pm

    Under my mattress I keep all of the things my boyfriend has made for me. He always knows exactly what to get me, and makes a card and wrapping paper. Everything has so much thought put into it, it makes me cry! I can’t pick the best thing but here are some of the things he has made or done for me, and I thank him everyday for being so flippin’ awesome:

    -Wrapping paper made from pictures of all the best couples from movies, music and TV
    -A homemade box for valentines day filled with pictures of us that he edited to make look like old polaroids
    -prescheduled someecards that were delivered to me every hour at work on my bday
    – the stand up drum kit that I needed to start our band together
    – a custom made vintage movie poster that he made from one of my pictures, used my favorite colors, actors for the costars and fav bands for the soundtrack and had it framed (helps that he is an art director!)

    It goes on, but he never fails to surprise me, and I try my hardest to do the same for him. The best gift though, is knowing that I am with someone that is not afraid to show how he cares!

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    • MissRemy

      Ally April 9, 2011, 5:48 am

      That’s so sweet that he puts in so much effort! You are a lucky lady 🙂

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  • Heather

    Heather April 8, 2011, 7:19 pm

    Wendy you look adorable and happy! Just wanted to throw that out there. Happy birthday to Drew. Unfortunately I don’t have anything else to add…I’m boring. Rofl.

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    Morgan April 8, 2011, 7:59 pm

    Last birthday my boyfriend cooked me this amazing dinner. I had mentioned liking a dish I had eaten while traveling, and he looked it up and figured out how to make it; it was a great birthday. Hopefully my birthday gift this year will be plane tickets to see him, because that’s all I want.

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    Painted_lady April 8, 2011, 8:21 pm

    My boyfriend made me a necklace this year for my birthday – I actually get compliments on it all the time. We’ve been friends since middle school, and he put a charm on the necklace that came from a necklace he wore in high school that I helped him pick out. So it’s sentimental and stylish, all in one!

    Two years ago, my boyfriend called me and woke me up the morning of my birthday – except it was the day before my birthday. And he wrote on my facebook wall – where my birthday is displayed for all to see, including him – so everyone knew he didn’t know my birthday. It didn’t piss me off, it just hurt my feelings a little that he was always so careless with me.

    Two years before that, I had spent the previous summer doing summer stock on the other side of the country, and I came back about a week before my birthday in September. I’d spent most of the summer exchanging emo, romantic emails with a guy back home, and my best friend threw me a birthday party and invited him (despite their mutual distaste for each other). It was the first time I’d seen him since I left…and he brought a girl with him. Ouch.

    The funniest birthday disaster, though, was 2008…I live in Houston, and my birthday just happened to fall the day after Hurricane Ike hit the Gulf Coast. No power, no water, nothing was open. My mom and my uncle and I decided to get in the car and just drive and eat at the first place we found that was open, which just happened to be a sushi buffet that had a massive generator. I LOVE sushi – my absolute favorite food – so we sat in the AC and chowed down on sushi and watched the news on the bar tv to see if my parents’ beach house was still standing. When we got home, it turned out there were all the makings for cookie dough in the fridge that were about to go bad anyway, so we made cookie dough, stuck a candle in it, and ate it raw (no way to bake). It was crazy, but I got a great story out of it.

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      SpaceySteph April 10, 2011, 12:14 pm

      I have a hurricane birthday story too… I live in Houston now, moved here the summer before Ike so I think hurricanes followed me from Florida.
      In 2004 I was a college freshman in Orlando. The day before my 18th birthday, they evacuated the dorms. Me and a childhood friend from back home had reunited at freshman orientation, her birthday is 2 days after mine. We decided rather than go to the shelter in this old, stinky, windowless classroom building on campus where they were putting all the dorm kids, we would just go home.
      So at midnight, on my 18th birthday I was in the car on the Florida turnpike heading home. They were evacuating the florida keys and there was bumper to bumper traffic on the other side of the highway, so we looked like the only idiots going the wrong way (towards south Florida rather than away from it) with no other cars on our side of the road.
      2 days later on her 18th birthday, we were driving back to school because they were reopening for classes. How many childhood friends can say they both turned 18 on the Florida turnpike?

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        Painted_lady April 10, 2011, 3:18 pm

        Ohhhh, hurricane evacuations. Is there anything more horrifically irritating?

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        SpaceySteph April 10, 2011, 3:56 pm

        Don’t think so. They’re not as bad in Florida as they are here… but we did them more often, so I guess its even.

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    WatersEdge April 8, 2011, 8:42 pm

    My best birthday ever was probably this past year. My husband and I went skydiving, got me a fancy new phone, went to my favorite restaurant, and then went to a terrible dive bar and danced our fool heads off to an even more terrible cover band.

    My worst birthday ever was when I broke up with a guy I didn’t really like… yes, I dumped a guy at my own birthday dinner. He flipped out and did not take it very graciously. We had to leave the restaurant because he wouldn’t stop yelling and he was attracting attention! Then he sped home, punched the steering wheel (until I screamed at him, then he stopped doing both), and then cried for over 20 minutes. He laid still in the car and swore that he could not move. He told me I could leave the car if I wanted, and not to stay if it was out of pity. I felt trapped but eventually I did leave.

    I’ve done a lot of nice things for SO’s birthdays, but I have never dated a guy who really liked his birthday, so none of it made a huge impact. Sadly!

    Tonight I’m working on my dissertation and watching SATC2. I don’t care if it’s a terrible movie! I still kinda love it. The husband is dozing.

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      spot April 9, 2011, 10:18 am

      i LOVE skydiving!!!!! that sounds amazing!!!

      and OMG wow that situation of dumping a guy on your b-day sounds rough…

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    MissDre April 8, 2011, 9:30 pm

    Wow Wendy you are really friggin beautiful, your face just glows 🙂

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      Desiree April 8, 2011, 9:33 pm

      She’s got fabulous bone structure.

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        Wendy's Dad April 9, 2011, 9:12 am

        She gets it from her mother.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy April 9, 2011, 10:42 am

      Aw, shucks. Thanks!

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      Maracuya April 9, 2011, 1:05 pm

      I agree, Wendy. You look so beautiful and happy. 🙂

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    MissDre April 8, 2011, 9:42 pm

    The nicest thing I ever did for someone’s birthday… well my ex boyfriend was an international student from West Africa. He hadn’t been home in over three years and was feeling sorta home sick. So, I got him a wall size flag from his home country. I also went on ebay and found his country’s currency, stamps, sew-on soccer patches, a CD of a well known singer from his city, a children’s book about his tribal cloth, another children’s book about a West African fable, and some other odds and ends, and put them all in a box for him to look at whenever he needed to feel closer to home.

    For my current boyfriend’s 30th birthday I made him a huge cheesecake with oreo cookie crust and cherry topping, plus I cooked a Moroccan lamb stew with an orange, dates and pistachio salad.

    I always get yellow roses from my mama on my birthday and nothing beats that!! Oddly enough I have never received anything from a guy on my birthday… I hope my current boyfriend breaks that pattern this year (we had only known each other for about 5 days as of my last birthday but our first anniversary is coming up!!)

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      Desiree April 9, 2011, 1:21 am

      Wow…no boyfriend has ever given you a birthday present? That’s absurd. I definitely hope your boyfriend makes your b-day special this year. : )

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    crazyayeaye April 8, 2011, 9:51 pm

    Great pic Wendy! And happy birthday to Drew!

    Hmm well not to bring the mood down, but I did have a pretty terrible birthday two years in a row with a guy I was dating (Should have MOA after the first birthday….). The first year he made me cry (twice). The first time he chewed me out because I wasn’t paying enough attention to him and the second time he told me I had to drive all the way back to the Bay area by myself (an hour and a half drive) because he thought I forgot to lock the door to the place we were staying (I didn’t forget). The second year he chewed me out because he claimed I was materialistic because I liked an expensive but very beautiful dress I had received from a friend as a gift. I’m really surprised when I look back on it that I didn’t stand up for myself more. Glad to report, my relationships have been a lot better since then 🙂

    I did make a mixed berry pie for my boyfriend last year 🙂 I’m terrible at baking, so it was a reach for me, but it was definitely fun. Think I’ll venture into another baking venture for his birthday this year…it’s coming up soon, any suggestions for good deserts?

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      MissDre April 8, 2011, 9:56 pm

      Cheesecake cupcakes are super easy to make, just use Nilla Wafers as crust, drop them into the cupcake papers and pour the batter on top. As they bake, the Nilla Wafer softens into a really nice crust.

      As for the batter: cream cheese, a bit of sour cream, eggs, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Just top it off with some canned fruit filling nd you’re good to go!

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      Desiree April 9, 2011, 1:24 am

      Oooh…baking! It all depends on what your guy likes. I give you props for doing a berry pie–pies can be a little tricky. If your man is a chocolate fan, I recommend Texas sheet cake. It’s pretty easy to make, no layers to deal with or anything, and it is SCRUMPTIOUS. Seriously. It changes lives. Now, if your guy isn’t a chocoholic (mine isn’t…*sigh*), cheesecake often does the trick. Just don’t forget the water bath!

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      Laurel April 9, 2011, 2:51 am

      If he likes peanut butter, peanut butter pie is super delicious and basically foolproof. Cream together 8 oz cream cheese and 1 cup peanut butter. Stir in one cup powdered sugar. Fold in one small container Cool Whip (or ~2 cups fresh whipped whip cream). Put in a prepared crust (oreo is my favorite–you can make it with crushed nutter butters too if you prefer, or just a plain graham cracker crust) and chill in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight. You can fancy it up by adding a fudge layer in the bottom of the crust, adding crushed peanut butter cookies to the filling, decorating the top with pb cups, etc.

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        crazyayeaye April 10, 2011, 12:01 pm

        Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions!!

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    MissusVB April 8, 2011, 10:23 pm

    My (then boyfriend now husband) took me on a road trip two states away to see my hometown and see my favorite NFL football game for my birthday/Christmas present. It was fun, and we spent Christmas in a cabin alone on the beach. It was nice.

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    Lily April 9, 2011, 12:47 am

    Every year I try to throw a surprise party for my husband, but he manages to figure out what I’m doing. I make a special cake of some kind (last year I let our son help and it kinda bombed as an actual cake, but we converted it to Cakeballs and everyone devoured them), and I make him a favorite dinner.

    My worst birthday was last year. We went to dinner with my mom, then came home and I spent the evening in the bedroom with our kids while he played video games with his nephew until 5 am.

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    Laurel April 9, 2011, 2:42 am

    Hmm although not specific to one birthday, my high school boyfriend and I dated off and on for all four years, and yet we were NEVER together during any of my birthdays (October 17).

    Last year my bf and I went to Nashville for a weekend trip and birthday celebration for me. That was wonderful, but what stands out to me as the sweetest thing was that because we were out of town my bf didn’t have a gift for me, so I got him to sing “happy birthday” to me. He is not a singer at all and is in fact shy about his voice so it was very special to me.

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      callmehobo April 9, 2011, 9:02 am

      What did you end up doing in Nashville, Laurel? Did you enjoy yourself?

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        Laurel April 9, 2011, 1:01 pm

        We went to see Richard Thompson (one of my favorite musicians) play at the TPAC, and then went to the model Parthenon the next day. Then we also stopped in the Corvette museum in Bowling Green KY on the way home. All in all a great trip!

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    jessicaxmx April 9, 2011, 3:46 am

    1) This year my boyfriend did the most simplest things that meant so much to me. He made me breakfast in bed and took me out to dinner with friends. He also cleaned our apartment which he does not do often.

    2) I can’t say that an s/o has pissed me off on MY BIRTHDAY. Maybe other days like…Christmas..New years…and Valentines day. I try not to let anything ruin my birthday but you never know.

    3) An issue I have with my b/f is him having long conversations with our neighbor. She is young, attractive, and has a child. My b/f has dated a woman in the past who has a child so I know her having a child wouldn’t stop his attractiveness towards her. I got upset with him the other day because he had about a 20 minute conversation outside with her. She never has a long conversation with me, and she always tells him me and her should hang out. But I have lived next door for about 6 months and it’s obvious we are not going to hang out anytime soon. I wouldn’t normally get jealous over situations like this but she does sleep with a man who has a girlfriend. I know this because she has told me before when I have seen her at a bar. My b/f understood where I was coming from when I got upset and assured me he only has eyes for me…I have been cheated on in the past but I don’t want to hold that fact against my current boyfriend and base everything off my ex. Was it wrong for me to get jealous?

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      spot April 9, 2011, 10:21 am

      nooooo….not wrong to get jealous when this woman is sleeping with a man who has a gf—that means she would probably sleep with your bf if she had the opportunity. i assume your bf is way better than that…

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      Desiree April 9, 2011, 10:49 am

      As long as it stays to 20 min of outside conversation, I wouldn’t worry. I, like you, have a long history of unfortunate men. So, sometimes there are things my boyfriend does that I don’t *like*, but that he wasn’t wrong to do. When that’s the case, I just try to keep my trap shut and reflect on how much he cares. What is going on now seems perfectly innocent. My boyfriend likes to talk and has a number of female friends, and he just enjoys learning about other people and socializing. Perhaps your boyfriend is the same. Now, if their contact gets more personal (he’s going over to her house frequently, etc.) or if he starts being secretive about his daily life, that’s a good time to get jealous. But, remember: you can’t STOP a guy from cheating. Cheaters will cheat. You only have power over yourself. Pick a good guy and then give him the trust he deserves. Nothing will ruin a good relationship faster than a lack of faith in a partner.

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie April 9, 2011, 7:51 am

    For my next B-day I want a couple of days fishing somewhere with no girls allowed.

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    spot April 9, 2011, 10:24 am

    question—

    When do couples usually have the define-the-relationship talk? and who brings it up? I have been dating this guy I met online for a little less than 2 months. He deleted his profile and acts very interested; he contacts me everyday, has introduced me to his friends, and tries to make plans multiple times a week. I want him to intitate the “talk” but I’m afraid he is waiting for me to do it. I don’t want to be cast as one of those “needy clingy” girls, and I don’t see myself initiating it. I have said to him that I won’t sleep with him unless we are in a monogomous relationship, and I’m not sure if that signaled to him that I’m not ready for it, or that I would tell him when I am….

    any thoughts?

    Also, happy birthday Drew! Wendy you are gorgeous!

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      MissDre April 9, 2011, 10:40 am

      I guess it depends on how many dates/how much talking you’ve done in those 2 months? If you feel like you’re ready to be exclusive, it’s perfectly fine to tell him that. I did after only 4 weeks with my boyfriend (we moved really fast, though). I just asked him, are we exclusive? (We met online too).

      Sounds like this guy likes you, so I think it’s fine to bring it up. Just tell him you’re really enjoying yourself with him and you’re not interested in dating anyone else and ask what he thinks?

      Somebody else said in comments of the week “Having needs is not the same thing as being needy” so NO you are not needy/clinging if you bring it up. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be in a committed relationship. I say, be honest about what you want to get out of this. Hopefully he wants the same thing. And if he’s not ready to call you his girlfriend? He’s not worth wasting any more time on.

      As others have also said this week, if a guy really wants to be your boyfriend, he will BE your boyfriend. And if he doesn’t, nothing you can do to convince him.

      Good luck!! Keep us in the know!

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      Desiree April 9, 2011, 10:54 am

      You better break this ice on this. Since you have attached sex to monogamy (a perfectly legitimate idea, btw, it’s my rule as well), there is added pressure. As if the exclusivity talk isn’t challenging enough. He may not know when you are ready for monogamy/sex, and may feel like he is going to appear to be fishing for sex if he suggests exclusivity. So, assuming you are truly interested in a relationship and sex, I suggest you bring it up with him. Now is probably an okay time, or you could give it longer if you want. I do think you are going to have to initiate this one, though.

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        sarolabelle April 9, 2011, 12:10 pm

        I agree with this!

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        spot April 9, 2011, 1:31 pm

        thanks for the advice!! ugh, i want him to do it! we are going out this evening, i’ll play it by ear. this will be our 9th date…

        my other, kind of major issue is: you may have read Wendy’s column a few weeks ago, “When should I tell guys I was raped as a virgin.”–well, that’s me (survivor LW), and I still haven’t told him that, and i’m not sure what should come first, the exclusivity talk or the ‘FYI this happened to me’ discussion.

        ughhhhhhh. i’m so nervous!

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        Painted_lady April 9, 2011, 3:37 pm

        I’d definitely tell him that you were raped first. You don’t want to attach yourself to a guy who can’t handle that kind of emotional trauma, and I think also it’s only fair to the people we date to let them know what our major scars are before allowing them to agree to a commitment. I’m so sorry that this is now going to be one of the emotional scars you’re going to have to disclose from now on. However, I think – and this may not be something that would make a difference for you – before you allow yourself to be any further attached to this guy (ie, agree to be his girlfriend) you need to know that he at least wants to be able to handle that kind of emotional baggage. And if you can’t/don’t want to/are too scared or traumatized to bring it up to him yet, I don’t think you’re ready to be his (or maybe anyone’s) girlfriend yet. And that’s completely fine -you don’t have to set deadlines for yourself as you recover from this kind of trauma. It sounds like you’re able to talk about it now without much difficulty, and he’s going to react pretty proportionally to how you present it to him. Obviously you know you bear no responsibility for what happened to you, and also hopefully you know that there’s nothing inherently shameful in it having happened to you, so don’t treat it like some dirty secret he needs to know so he can decide if he wants to run screaming or not. Give it the weight it needs but try to remember to make it clear you’re not seeking his approval. Good luck!

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      Laurel April 9, 2011, 1:12 pm

      With my bf, we didn’t make it “official” until a bit over 3 months of dating, but I was intentionally taking it slow because I had just gotten out of a longish relationship and I wanted to make sure to let things develop naturally. When we first got together I made it clear that we were dating casually, meaning we could date other people if we wanted as long as we weren’t deceitful about it. After a couple months (in which neither of us had gone out with anyone else) I decided to go back on the pill and we decided to be exclusive. I figured this would lead him to the boyfriend/girlfriend talk, but no…so I waited about a week to see if he’d bring it up, and when he didn’t I initiated the talk with him.

      What I found really funny about it was that I had been all nervous, but he actually had been referring to me as his girlfriend (to others) for like a month and just assumed I knew!

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        jessicaxmx April 10, 2011, 7:58 pm

        I’d say it depends on what YOU feel. If you feel the relationship should be “official” then you should let him know. When I first started seeing my current boyfriend I wasn’t in any rush to make things “official” and I was really trying to take things slow and not make him feel pressured into an actual relationship. Not that having it official would be horrible, but I made it clear I’m in no way trying to rush a relationship. He was the one that actually had to come out to me and tell me what he wanted, which was a monogamous relationship. I respected that and after the conversation that’s when we became the ol’ boyfriend and girlfriend!

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    sarolabelle April 9, 2011, 12:01 pm

    My 30th birthday was Thursday. My boyfriend surprised me by leaving a beautiful flower arrangement and a stuffed gorilla at my office. He also had a card that said “I’ve been lucky to have you for the better part of a year now, but the world has been lucky to have you for 30!” Soo sweet. If that wasn’t enough he took the day off, came out to eat lunch with my coworkers and I and then took me to dinner with 3 other friends and then gave me a white gold sapphire necklace. All different color of sapphires go down in a drop pendant from white sapphire to the darkest blue. So pretty!

    My worst birthday has to be 2 years ago when my boyfriend at the time (not the same one as now) “forgot” the gift he gave me at his house yet remembered a card that was some sort of inuendo for “have all the sex you want on your birthday” yet….I know he knew I was waiting for marriage….yeah, I cried for a while on that one!

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    SalMarie April 9, 2011, 12:16 pm

    1. For my birthday two years ago, my boyfriend planned the most amazing surprise. We live 3,000 miles away from our hometown, so we don’t get to see our friends and family back home as often as we would like. My boyfriend coordinated with my 3 best friends and had had them fly in to visit me for my birthday weekend! During the visit, he surprised all of us with a limousine to take us girls out to a wonderful dinner he had paid for ahead of time, and then we went out for a “girls night” of dancing. My friends and I had the most fantastic time! The thought and planning my boyfriend put into it was what really meant the most to me, and it was all a total and complete surprise. It’s definitely a birthday I will never, ever forget.

    1, con’t: The best thing I’ve ever done for a significant other’s birthday was to surprise my boyfriend with a puppy for his 30th birthday! He had been dying to get a chocolate lab puppy for years, but we were renting a townhouse at the time and dogs were not allowed. But, I contacted our landlords and convinced them to change their minds, and found a family with a litter of chocolate lab puppies that would be ready to go home with their new owners just before the birthday. My boyfriend had been laid off from his job a few months earlier and was feeling pretty down about turning 30 and being out of work, so it was really perfect timing for us to get the puppy. This gift is especially great because we get to enjoy our dog every day (he’s now almost a year and a half old)!

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    MissDre April 9, 2011, 12:24 pm

    Since a lot of us are talking about doing things for birthdays and gifts, I might as well bring up a slightly related question. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 10 months, and I am the type of person who always plans things way in advance, so I’m thinking of what I should do for him for our 1st anniversary! I already know that I want to go back to the patio where we had our first date.

    But I don’t know what to get him!! I’m not looking for suggestions as to the actual “thing” to get him, since of course none of you know him. I’m just wondering how grand I should go. In the past, I have shelled out A LOT of money on anniversary gifts (think expensive men’s jewelry, etc). But I’ve never had a guy go out of his way to do anything extravagant for me. So I’m thinking, I should definitely break my pattern and keep it low key this time around.

    I’m lost for ideas though. What makes an appropriate anniversary type gift if you’re trying to be low key / low budget?

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      Desiree April 9, 2011, 12:52 pm

      I have this problem, too. I typically spend way more on men than they spend on me. :/ It certainly depends on your guy, but I would go for thoughtful over expensive. Example: my boyfriend’s favorite book is 1984. I found this supercool book that had the original manuscript for it, with all the author’s notes and changes. Cost me maybe $40, but the boyfriend thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. It showed that I knew his taste and his appreciation of the creative process. I find that men are generally more impressed by gifts that show a knowledge of their inner selves than they are by gifts that say “I spent a lot on you.” You can even forego a physical gift and do an experience, which I think is even better for an anniversary. For our one-year, my boyfriend took us both sky-diving. It’s not something I can keep in my dresser drawer, but it’s a memory I’ll never forget. (Plus, what says I love you more than “I’m willing to jump out of a plane with you?”, lol.) Good luck with your planning!!

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      Laurel April 9, 2011, 1:17 pm

      I don’t do dating anniversaries, so I think a special date sounds about right as far as level of extravagance. I agree with Desiree too, experiences make for great “gifts” and I’ve found men (tend to) appreciate them a lot more than trinkets.

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        MissDre April 9, 2011, 1:48 pm

        Oh man Desiree, you’ve set me on the path of looking at expensive gifts. The book you got your boyfriend is an amazing idea because it shows how well you know him. The thing is, my boyfriend is a music producer. And this summer, he is FINALLY getting his own studio (that’s why he’s been working 2 jobs). All I can think to get him is something USEFUL for his studio because I know he’d probably fall out of his chair with surprise and appreciation… I want to get him a professional condenser recording microphone with shock mount and pop filter… even with all of my ebay and deal hunting, the cheapest deal I’ve found is $200.

        Why am I so addicted to spending money on other people?? (Not just men, but my family too…. I buy them all majorly expensive gifts… like for my brother and his wife, I paid $400 to have a professional mural of their company logo stenciled on the entrance wall when they opened their new business) Argh I need to win the lottery!

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        Desiree April 9, 2011, 4:09 pm

        Oh, I didn’t know you had a music guy. Everything they like is so expensive! (My dad’s a musician). Good luck with that. I still try to keep the thought to expense ratio high, though. And musical people can be so picky with their equipment. Maybe concert tickets to a cool show? Depending on the performer and venue, you could keep that to under $200.

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        Painted_lady April 9, 2011, 10:39 pm

        Could you get him something to put in the studio that would be decorative or sentimental? Maybe a hard-to-find tour poster or something? A nice print of artwork done by a music artist he likes (a lot are visual artists as well)? One of the radio stations here does an eBay auction every year for drumsticks signed by celebrities to raise money for the food bank. Does he like vinyl? Look for music he really likes but doesn’t have in vinyl. He’s going to need more than just sound equipment, and I dated a sound guy for a year and still couldn’t pick out the exact item he wanted, much less afford it. The vinyl collection was way cheaper to add to and it’s not like you can pick the wrong brand or model of a record.

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didn't April 9, 2011, 2:13 pm

      I’m personally not a big fan of doing anniversary/birthday gifts. I prefer to put the money towards a day trip, night in a hotel or weekend vacation instead. Plus I find buying gifts for boyfriends to be incredibly stressful and planning a trip together takes the stress out of looking for a gift. And you get a night/weekend alone with your SO, which is always fun!

      Oh and guess what MissDre, looks like I’m headed to Kingston for grad school…that’s kind of close to Ottawa 😛

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        MissDre April 9, 2011, 2:20 pm

        Are you going to Queens? I’ll come visit you anytime haha I love Kingston… Princess Street is like boutique heaven! Plus the waterfront is gorgeous! When are you moving? I’m heading there in early May for a competition.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't April 9, 2011, 4:44 pm

        Yup, Queen’s it is! I’m so excited about the program and it’s a huge weight off my shoulders to know what I’m doing next year. It doesn’t start till Sept though, so I might not move there until August.

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        MissDre April 9, 2011, 9:29 pm

        Cool well holla at me when you move 😉 Good luck!

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    justpeachy April 9, 2011, 2:19 pm

    1. I live in the desert and last year for my birthday, my husband rented a cabin up in the mountains. We lucked out and it snowed the night before so there was at least a foot of snow. The downside was his car isn’t four-wheel drive so we had to park about half mile away and drag our stuff through the snow. At night. But it was the best birthday.

    2. My ex’s birthday was one day after mine. I get very spoiled on my birthday and really like to be the focus of the day, but he always just wanted to have a joint birthday. And he told me he would never throw me a surprise party because our birthday’s were so close.

    I knew my husband was awesome when he threw me a surprise party for me when we’d been together less than two months.

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    PFG-SCR April 9, 2011, 3:28 pm

    Happy birthday, Drew!!

    Hm, feeling sick-ish, Wendy? Is that a hint? 😉

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      callmehobo April 9, 2011, 3:36 pm

      If it is, Miles is going to be VERY unhappy.

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        MissDre April 9, 2011, 9:30 pm

        @callmehobo, Miles already has Simone to deal with!

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      MissDre April 9, 2011, 4:20 pm

      OMG I have been speculating on that for a while, this isn’t the first time she’s mentioned feeling not so hot and also having a lot going on in her life… LoL I am hoping that these are signs of good things on the way 😉

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    Painted_lady April 9, 2011, 4:09 pm

    Happy birthday Drew! Feel better Wendy!

    So I *thought* I had a relationship issue that I was debating posting about, but it worked out beautifully last night. My boyfriend and I have been together 8 months, but we’re long distance at the moment. But we’ve been friends more than half our lives and have always been the people who’ve known the most about each other, so there really haven’t been a whole lot of surprises (other than that he’s really good in bed – that was a GREAT surprise).

    A couple of weeks ago I went to see a dance performance at an outdoor theatre where a friend of mine works. He’s the boyfriend of one of my best girlfriends, and he and I have always had an extremely flirtatious relationship that she has zero problem with – she even suggested once, jokingly, that if she ever goes out of the country, I can borrow him till she gets back. Anyway, the dance company had these amazing stage props that looked like they might be disposed of, so I texted him and told him if he could snag me one of the props, I’d flash him. I didn’t think it would happen…which of course it did. And so I told my boyfriend, who seemed a little uncomfortable, which really surprised me – we spent New Year’s apart and even agreed that we could kiss other people that night, so I couldn’t figure out why he was pulling the jealous card now. He didn’t specifically say anything, though, so I brought it up a few more times to give him the opportunity to voice some discomfort or jealousy. Finally last night, he asked if I was trying to make him jealous. *His* problem was that he thought I was trying to get him to make some sort of stand to prove he cared, and that was his only discomfort, whereas I just automatically assumed he *was* jealous. Hence why actually opening our mouths and saying something would have been way easier than walking on eggshells and assuming the worst in each other for two weeks. I’ve never been so relieved.

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    SpyGlassez April 9, 2011, 4:50 pm

    My boyfriend doesn’t listen to Christian music (or didn’t till I got him hooked on Skillet when we started dating), but last year for my birthday he took me to a Casting Crowns concert because I’d mentioned enjoying a concert of theirs I had gone to a couple years prior. It was sweet that he remembered it and we had a good time, even though I knew it was not his kind of music for the most part (he likes rock).

    My birthday is a few days away, so we shall see what he does this year.

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    Rachelgab April 9, 2011, 6:42 pm

    My boyfriend and I were broken up (my doing) but still living together because I was moving out of the state but couldn’t leave right after we broke up. My birthday happened to fall during that awkward time for us but he was unbelievably amazing about it. Instead of being the bitter, heartbroken, vindictive asshole that he could have been, he made sure I had as good of a day as possible and treated me like a queen. He had an unbelievable cake designed for me (I have a major appreciation for sweets) and bought be a thoughtful gift. It was so far from anything I had ever experienced, relationship-wise and this was all during a painful breakup. Yeah, I might still have regrets about that one!!!

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      Desiree April 9, 2011, 8:20 pm

      I actually did this after a break up. My ex-fiance and I had a semi-mutual break up (he initiated, but it was probably going to happen one way or the other). His birthday was five days after, and my parents and I had already gone in on a bike for him. So I took him the bike and a homemade cake, and we had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. I was just happy because it was my first amicable break up.

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      sarolabelle April 9, 2011, 11:23 pm

      no way you can get him back? That’s so sweet!

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    Rob April 9, 2011, 8:08 pm

    Since Its a open thread, here is a question-
    I recently worked with someone I haven’t seen or talked to in years. During conversation she brought up a valentine I gave her way back in high school 9 or 10 years ago. I took this as a sign of interest, assuming that since she remembered, and brought it up after so long. She wasn’t real flirty otherwise, but I still got the idea that she may be interested. But when i asked her out, she went straight to “you know we are just friends”. She said she only remembered it because it was her first valentine and didn’t think it was a big deal. Was it that silly to think that she was interested?

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      sarolabelle April 9, 2011, 11:25 pm

      not silly but it just sounds like you don’t know her well enough. I remember everything so I would do something like she did but other people who don’t remember things that well who remember this and bring it up could mean they are interested….

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      SpaceySteph April 10, 2011, 3:01 pm

      Agree its not silly. It could just as easily have been that she was interested and trying to see if you were by bringing up shared history.

      I still have the first real valentine I ever got- a poem a friend snuck me in 12th grade. I didn’t like him then, and don’t like him now, but it came as this terrible time in my dating life where at 17 I was pretty sure no man would ever love me and I would die alone (I know now how ridiculous this is). Everytime I come across it (basically every time I clean out the bottom desk drawer) it makes me smile. For whatever reason she remembers it, be happy that you made her day then and probably still make it when she thinks about it now. 🙂

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        HmC April 10, 2011, 6:24 pm

        Sweet. That makes me think of that saying, “no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

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    Me April 9, 2011, 10:11 pm

    I try to do something nice for my bf’s birthdays. And since we’re long-distance right now, I send him things in the mail for no particular occasion, like cookie cakes and balloons in a box, so when he opens it the balloon pops out and YAY CAKE! On his 20th birthday I drew him a big poster of a Magikarp evolving into Gyarados. (We’re, um, still pokemon nerds. Holdover from being kids in the 90s.)

    I was living about an hour and a half away for my last birthday, which fell on a weekend. I’d hoped he would be able to drive down to see me; we were in the habit of one of us driving to be with the other on the weekends. But instead, he went to an all-day volunteer thing — he volunteered with a kids’ lego league, and coached them every couple of weekends, but wasn’t required to go to their tournament. Still, the tournament outranked my b-day. That sorta made me feel crummy, and I know that sounds selfish. But when you only have ~8 days a month to see each other, that kind of thing feels like a slight. :-/

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      sarolabelle April 9, 2011, 11:27 pm

      that is horrible! He should have come to see you for your birthday!

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  • MaterialsGirl

    Elizabeth April 9, 2011, 11:40 pm

    Aw, your costume is adorable, Drew!

    1) My boyfriend was a little anxious about his 30th birthday. Coupled with the recent death of his father after a long battle with brain cancer, he was not really in the mood to celebrate. I knew I needed to do something to give him a boost, so many months prior, I started planning a surprise birthday party back in Columbus, OH, where he had gone to undergrad and grad school. He’s a huge Ohio State football fan so the first thing I did was get tickets for us to go to the game. All of his good friends are scattered around the country, and they hadn’t all seen each other in awhile, so I let everyone know we were going to be back at the ‘scene of the crime’ that weekend and would they all like to come for a surprise party. One of his other friends who happens to live in that area was also turning 30 around the same time, so i got together with his sister to plan a joint surprise 30ths and reunion. Everything turned out great. We traveled to Columbus from Chicago and met up with some of his friends who “happened to be in town” on Friday night. After the game on Saturday, I suggested we go to this bar for some dinner and music. He arrived to see about 30 of his old college friends waiting for him! We had a ‘buckeye cake’ that a local bakery custom made, we made custom red cups in honor of the two birthday boys, and we had worked out with the bar owner that we would pay for a few kegs of beer for everyone. I know that the friend was completely surprised and had an amazing time, as did my boyfriend. It really was a night to relax and forget about the previous month’s sad event.

    1) yeah i know, this is getting long: my college boyfriend was back home in San Diego for the summer and he said he wasn’t going to make it back to Chicago for my birthday because his family was planning a vacation to Hawaii. I was getting postcards and nice letters from him from Hawaii in the days leading up to my birthday so I didn’t think anything of it. On my birthday, a few friends and I went to OHOP for brunch, when all of a sudden he walks through the door with flowers. What a sweetie. His family’s vacation was actually a month prior (so I guess I was calling him/texting him at all hours of the night/day), but he had the guys at the resort mail me letters that he had written closer to the time that I ‘thought’ they would be there. All to throw me off the trail that he was coming into town. It was pretty creative.

    2) Not really about a Significant other, but my father had a stroke on my 16th birthday. That was awful. Even a minor stroke can alter the personality of someone you love very much. For years after, he would talk to me about how depressed he was and how he could feel that he wasn’t 100% mentally anymore. The whole thing happening on my birthday didn’t make me mad because obviously this is 100x’s more important than a birthday, but it made me really sad because I love my dad.

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      Fairhaired Child April 11, 2011, 12:47 am

      I’m sorry about your dad.

      I wanted to comment about the buckeye cake because one of my professors went to Ohio State and would make “buckeye balls” every time there was some kind of “celebratory function”, and then go on to say how amazing Ohio State was. She was pretty cool, and the food tasted good too ^.^

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  • Chaotonic

    Chaotonic April 10, 2011, 1:23 pm

    For my 22nd birthday, my SO took me to Vegas. Had a ton of fun and it was my first ever vacation, since our birthdays are so close together thats how we celebrated his too, but the night before we left I threw him this huge party with several out of state friends and just had a load of fun. There’s def. pictures floating around Facebook of him cutting his birthday cake with a samurai sword.

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    JJ April 11, 2011, 11:45 am

    a little late but 1) the nicest thing i got from my boyfriend was a beautiful, sparkly promise ring at the beach last summer. 2) when i turned 25, my then bf and i went to new york for the day/night to see carey brothers at the bowery ballroom. things were going well until for some reason, we started arguing (not surprising) and did make my night very stressful.

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