Please help! GF/B'day related

It’s my GFs birthday Wednesday and I am dead broke. :frowning:

I am currently out of work (again) and have no cash whatsoever, and I was wondering if any Dopers could help me think of a gift idea so she doesn’t beat me within an inch of my life.

You could always go the “coupon” book route–little pieces of paper entitling her to backrubs, foot rubs, a dinner made for her by you, other little favors she might appreciate. I guess some people might consider it kind of a cliche, but it’s a gesture that is a) chock full of affection and b) costs you nothing whatsoever, beyond the price of paper.

Make her a stack of “coupons” that she can redeem whenever she wants. Make them for things like a half hour back massage, a candle-light dinner prepared (and cleaned up!) by you, one sexual fantasy fulfilled, etc. Be creative – you know her, think of things she’d love to be able to redeem or collect on from time to time that you don’t do regularly. There are some websites that have examples that might give you ideas, and some you can even print out (though I prefer the self-made ones, even if you can’t draw well – it’s all about the personal touch). Here’s a couple of sample sites:

I’d say you make her some coupons. :wink:

I made her a coupon once. In 1960…

I kinda saw where it might end up with the first 3 replies. :smiley:

I just thought, surely there would be a program I could use to make the coupons and print them off? Like with little cliparty pictures?

Just so they look better of course. Keep the ideas coming. :slight_smile:

IMHO, coupons books are best left to kids with kid taste and no money. It just pretty much screams “pathetic last minute cheap pseudo-gift” because it’s been so overdone. She’ll be a good sport and tell you she loves it, but I think there’s better low or no-money options:

Write a book of stuff you like about her. One thing on each page. Add clipart or pictures, or go really cheesey and decorate it with stickers, glitter, etc.

Write a poem and frame it. If you don’t have a frame or cash to buy one, build one out of cardboard (use an old shirt box and cut a 1 inch thick rectangle out of it) and again, stickers and glitter.

Take a picture of her while she’s sleeping (only if she photographs well asleep!)

Find an old picture of the two of you doing something fun and enlarge it to a framable size.

Make her a dinner, but have everything cleaned up before she gets there. Just before you serve desert, excuse yourself and draw a bubble bath and light some candles in the bathroom. Let her soak awhile in the tub, while you finish clearing up from dinner, light more candles in the bedroom and place a bottle of massage oil or lotion in a glass of hot water to warm it. Invite her into the bedroom for a massage…I’m sure you can figure out what to do from there!

You could make her a compilation CD containing songs that are special to the two of you or illustrate how you feel about her.
Just don’t give her one that an ex made for you (Friends episode).

An evening picnic somewhere pretty and where stars are visable…if there are no such places nearby, light 100 or so candles in the back yard, set up a table, dress it and serve dinner :slight_smile:

I second the mix CD (or mix tape) idea, but if you want to do the coupon idea, I’d probably use MS Publisher for that, although I think MS Word will work.

If you’re going to do the coupon thing, do a scavenger hunt around the house. Hide the coupons in different places, and at each location, give her a clue for the next location. You’ll put more effort into it, and you can give her clues that relate to things that are important to the two of you (i.e., “where we did X” or “where we usually eat dinner”). Yes, it’s cheesy, but it can be sweet.

See, this I like. It’s about the effort and time you put into it. Basically, you want a gift that says “I’ve been thinking about you all day for days!” Not, “I’m broke and here’s a crappy book of things I might do for you sometime in the future - things which I whould be willing to do anyway!”

I’ve done this and it worked out well. I used one of those blank books you can get at office supply/stationery stores. It cost about fifteen bucks and it looked nice but it had way too many pages! :slight_smile: My SO was turning 50 years old, so I came up with 50 things I liked about him, and it wasn’t easy to come up with that many, I’ll tell you what. It may have actually been the first thread I ever started here, soliciting ideas for that book. Hopefully your SO is younger! Anyway, I wrote about a paragraph for each thing, and also made him a cake, and it went over big.

Oo! A chance to brag! I was once a broke college student (as opposed to broke working stiff) when Mom’s 50th birthday rolled around. I wanted to give her something special, but I couldn’t afford to spend more than a few dollars. Then, inspiration struck! I bought her a bag of Hershey’s Kisses, counted out 50, and numbered them 1-50 on the bottom. Then, whenever I had some spare time during the next couple weeks, I worked on writing out a list of “50 Reasons Why I Love my Mom.” I mailed her the Kisses and the list with these instructions: Do not read the list! Pick a Kiss at random and look at the number on the bottom. Then, find and read that number on the list.

I don’t think I will ever be able to give my mom a better gift than that list.

A candlelit dinner at home (either homemade, or ordered in if you can afford it) plus bubble bath and massage is the nicest idea so far. Irishfella has done that for me in the past, and I loved it.

Rent her favourite movie and give her a footrub while you watch it.

If you sing or can play guitar, pick a song that reminds you of her. Practise until you’re good at it. Serenade her after dinner.

If you’re handy, buy a piece of furniture (say a chair or decorative table) from a thrift store and either strip and varnish it or repaint it to match her home.

Buy a second hand book of love poetry and write a nice dedication on the flyleaf.
I’m sure your financial situation isn’t a surprise to her. If she is any kind of lady she’ll know you’re doing your best.

Yeah, I would hope she understands! I let Mr. S slide on the gift-giving during the years that he was un- and underemployed. But when he got back on his feet, a few months before my birthday, I told him that I’d been letting him slide on the gifts, but this year I wanted a little something – it didn’t have to be expensive, but it did have to be an object that I could unwrap, no coupons or promises to make something – as a gift from him. Fortunately he had been thinking along the same lines. :smiley:

If she really expects you to shell out when you don’t have a job, I’d rethink the relationship.

I love The Weird One’s suggestion. My mom got a similar gift from one of my cousins for her 50th – they knew she loved Skittles, so she got 50 mini-bags of them.