As a perpetual singleton, I happily enjoy the lack of stress over Valentine's Day. I don't need to drop hints about jewelry, I don't have to leave reminders about dinner reservations, I don't have to buy a new outfit, I don't have to get anything waxed, and I don't have to buy some confusing guy a gift. But maybe some of you do! And I know that my lovely and gracious friend Ali owes some dude a thank you gift, so this post is doing double duty. All I know about the person Ali is beholden to is that he's 23 or 24, he likes to travel, and he's a douche. Her words, not mine.
My first idea for Ali's friend, or your gentleman caller, would be a sweet Puma messenger bag, or maybe a weekend bag. This shoulder bag, $60, is in bold but guy-friendly colors, with a classic shape and style. Or, if he works out a lot and is always leaving gross gym clothes on the floor, get him this black and silver medium bag, $21. It has a bigass silver Puma on it!
I don't want to make gross generalizations, but all 24 year old douches love to drink, and all boys love gadgets. So check out the Bar Gadget Kit from Crate and Barrel, $29.95. The disc thing has recipes for classic cocktails, there's a corkscrew, foil cutter, wine stopper, and some other things that I don't know what they do. What the hell is a jigger? Let him figure it out!
This one is not a Valentine's Day gift, but it is a classic thank you gift: baskets of food! I'm a huge fan of Hickory Farms-- for Christmas, I got a box with the beef summer sausage and smoked cheddar cheese, and I was in heaven. I wish I had jumped when they had all their gift sets on sale in January. But this Cheese Ball Combo Gift Box is a good deal at $17.50, and comes with a nice assortment of yummy foods. Also, who doesn't love popcorn tins? My family used to get one of those three-kind tins (caramel, cheese and butter!) every Christmas, but we must have had some sort of falling out with whoever gave it because my life has been Popcorn Facotry free for the last few years. I'm tempted to buy this tin myself-- it's $9.99, because the tin commerates some NHL game between the Red Wings and Blackhawks that took place on January 1st. Does this mean that this popcorn is a month old?
Or you could go with the Mindy Kaling approved option, Snookies! By the way, I totally just went through all 30 entries tagged "Food" on Things I've Bought That I Love-- what a chore. Just kidding, of course! I sort of want to sit down and reread the entire archives, like a book. An internet book on things to buy and love. Anyway, back to Snookies, which Mindy claims are the best cookies ever. You can send someone a box of 18 cookies with 1/2 gallon of milk (on ice!) for $31.45.
I've brought up boy moccasins before, but I'm telling you: they're a thing. Target has some cheap ones with a suede upper and fleece lining, for $16.99.
I always think Moleskine notebooks make good gifts, especially the city guides. Part guidebook, part notebook, but with the classic, quality Moleskine cover and paper. This gift is especially good for guys who think all of their thoughts are really deep, and should be preserved for future generations. The Washington, DC book is $16.95.
Big, glossy coffee table books are great gifts, except for people who move frequently (nobody likes packing or shipping coffee table books). I have The Travel Book, by Lonely Planet, $31.50, and it's awesome. There's a two-page spread on every single country in the world: a big, beautiful photo, plus a sidebar with fun and useful facts. It'll make you want to roam the world.