My favorite thing about a gift guide is how they all seem to sort what men and women want SO SUPER WELL into the gender binary. What man wouldn’t want an artisanal pizza cutter? Nevermind it’s his fourth pizza cutter since he turned twenty-one; a sign of his ever-growing masculinity and ability to prepare on-the-fly man parties. Yo bro, don’t cut that pizza with a knife, I’ve got a RECENTLY OILED ROTATING BLADE WITH A SEASONED OAK HANDLE. He winks at the camera and tosses his bottle cap up onto his wall where his magnetic bottle cap display catches it with a thud. It displays beer from all over the country but because he never goes anywhere it just looks like a mosaic of budweiser. Now that’s America.
For women, something a little softer. A pillow that tells everyone how you feel about the patriarchy and an enamel pin of a cat licking its own asshole. NEVERMIND THE FACT THAT BOTH THESE THINGS HAPPEN TO BE ON MY WISHLIST. And are, in fact, available at just a short stroll from my apartment. I digress, no such division of interests are offered on my blog this year. I’ve come to assume that everyone, even the (whispers) gender queer (unwhisper) like or don’t like things with same amount of glee or indifference.
Don’t feel the need to let your shopping list define your gender or sexual identity? What luck you have, reader.
SHEBOP THE SHOP BA DOP
Support local female-friendly adult store SheBop with the purchase of an adult gift. Not all adult gifts are sex toys. How about a position of the day playbook to diversify your mission(ary.) Or a hardcore parody of The Walking Dead – where zombies are hungry for brains and sex? The fabulous Oh Joy Sex Toy (Volume three!) for the graphic novel enthusiast in your life. And what makes a great stocking stuffer? Uh, menstrual cups. Duh. Check out Moon Cup for all your not-making-baby needs.
SLOAN: The store we don’t go in anymore
Want to window shop and accidentally max out your credit card? Look no further than Sloan Boutique. They say it’s affordable fashion for every woman, which I can’t verify. It seems like every woman might be wrong and it seems like affordable might be wrong too. Nevertheless, I walk in here to get a plain white t-shirt and their well-trained staff FILLS MY DRESSING ROOM BURSTING AT THE SEAMS with clothes they think I might want to try on. They’ve guessed my size (which might deter some) and chosen things for me that I would have never pulled from the rack myself, which means I like it more than I would otherwise. It’s basically like shopping with a friend who tells you that you look good in everything. Go in with tunnel vision. Grab the nearest scarf. Proceed to checkout.
ZimZim: Invader of Space
Need stuff? Go to ZimZim. Notebooks, shirts, socks, cards, mugs, glasses, enamel pins, non-enamel pins, adult coloring books, aprons, things to hang your keys on (key hooks), and… wait for it, what always feels like Portlands largest selection of delicately handmade earrings. It always makes me want to go into the earring business because oooh these are prett–TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS. TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS. Worth it. (website)
Why? Here’s my formula for gift cards. I’ll use coffee shops as an example. Let’s say you want to go to a coffeeshop and you have a hierarchy in your head of how good they all are. If you’re going to a coffeeshop regularly, you’re probably going to choose one that’s a little lower on the ladder because you can’t totally justify a very expensive coffee drink every day. A gift card to that coffeeshop is going to feel like special because it allows someone to visit a spot they wouldn’t typically go to. You’re not buying someone coffee, you’re buying them an éxperience. For a gift card, I recommend Cheese & Crack.
Speaking of Coffee
Spella Caffe roasts the best beans in town. You can now order some to ship. And you should, if you care about coffee at all. Which you should. They also provide a handy-dandy little set of brewing recommendations for each kind of bean. (website) Literally never made coffee once in your entire life and think eww, coffee tastes funny? Well now is your chance to be less of a dweeb. What makes a great gift? Coffee. Accessories. French press! Pour over! Chemex! Don’t know these words? Basically you put coffee grounds in hole A and pour coffee on top of hole A and then drink out of compartment B. Shablam. You too can make coffee.
Was there nothing on this list for you? Default to the worlds best gift and buy someone a book. Powells sells new and used. If you’re lucky enough to live locally, they also have a great little gift section, including the worlds largest collection of socks with llamas on them* (*unconfirmed.)
Jingle bells to you and yours xx st