Monday, 9 July 2007

Fifty Sense

The mighty Marks and Spencer has come to my rescue. Thanks to the divine intervention of St Michael, I will not be forced to wear orthopaedic shoes at the birthday dinner next weekend. Instead, a pair of turquoise strappy wedges (wider fitting) will transform me from dumpy frump into streamlined sylph – blink and you will miss me as I cha-cha-cha past, waving my glass of bubbly aloft. So what if my little toe hangs over the edge of the shoe like a sea-sick sailor? You can’t have everything.
Unfortunately, in my euphoria at scoring a pair of glam shoes, I forgot all about buying a birthday present. What do you get a fifty year old man for his birthday? He doesn’t drink much wine, so the ‘gift which says you truly care’ is not an option. There is a trend for buying ‘adventure days’ which allow the birthday boy to hurl himself around a racing track or parachute out of an aeroplane. But I reckon if you’ve managed to get to fifty without a coronary, it doesn’t seem very wise to tempt fate. A relaxing spa day is out of the question (this is no metrosexual male we’re talking about here), since I think any attempts at massage could result in an unseemly brawl. As for those enormous novelty balloons - I’m not sure what the attraction of a large balloon might be for anyone over the age of eight.
It appears that fifty-year-olds are no longer allowed to shuffle quietly into the realm of the old git, swathed in a baggy, threadbare cardigan, and clutching the crossword. Now they are all completing triathlons, or clambering across several thousand miles of coastline dressed in lightweight gore-tex.
I can remember a time when the term ‘male grooming product’ referred to a pair of nasal hair clippers, and that was it. Apparently today’s fifty-something male has the choice of applying anti-wrinkle cream or a face mask after shaving, rather than just slapping himself around the chops with a handful of Brut. It’s all very confusing.
As I am running through options for presents, I am aware that I am running out of time to buy anything. Slowing me down (thankfully) is this large glass of Bon Cap Syrah (Ocado £7.99).
This South African organic wine is a recommendation from my mate Peter at The Pinotage Club. H is more of a Shiraz fan than I am, but I like the peppery spice and liquorice aftertaste of this one, even if it is rather dry. It has certainly made me determined to try some of the Pinotage that they produce, if I can get hold of any.
As for the 50th birthday present, I’m still at a loss what to get. It’s all very well sashaying along to the dinner in my new shoes and party frock, but I don’t think that clutching a gift-wrapped Old Spice soap-on-a-rope is going to be appropriate, somehow.

26 comments:

Rob said...

Get him an Oxfam Alpaca.....

DJ Kirkby said...

I expect the sight of you in that dress and those turquoise shoes will be gift enough for his weary eyes... turquoise shoes... I am sooo jealous, they sound amamzing!

In fact, I think he should buy you a gift to reward you for all your hard shopping just so you can make his party sparkle. It's just 'give, give, give' with you isn't it, never a thought for yourself...

beta mum said...

Try Aramis - if it still exists, a quick whiff will remind him of his lost youth.

expatmum said...

At the risk of making you look like a do-gooder, (heaven forbid), I agree with Rob. For the man who has everything, surely a gift that helps the less fortunate is the ultimate. I believe there's also the Heiffer project, which literally buys a heiffer for a sub-saharan village. There's also World Vision (dot org) which offers everything from rabbits, wheelchairs, fishing kits, and goats! (Don't laugh - I'm serious!)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Racking my brains to think of something; men are so damn difficult to buy for. What about a budgie. Men love to watch birds.

Crystal xx

Working Mum said...

So glad someone else gets excited about the joy of M&S shoes! Maybe you could go for the soap on a rope and claim it's retro?

Omega Mum said...

All the sad old git shops have gone as well, haven't they? The ones like 'World of Cardigans' that raised trouser waistbands an inch for every year of your loved one's life, so by the time they reached fifty only the tops of their heads reached above the fly. Good luck with it, anyway.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Ooh, I have some turquoise blingy sandals - turquoise shoes are fab!

What about a book?

Rebecca said...

The Old Spice soap on a rope would be great! You could say you were just being ironic, of course!!!

If all else fails a gift voucher from a book shop is always my fallback gift. So exciting, glamorous and sexy....I know.... an envelope with a voucher in it!!!!

sufferingsummer said...

Red and Turquoise, the colors of my dream kitchen, but since I don't have my dream kitchen just yet could you come over after the party and stand with a glass of Shiraz (my husband's favorite...) and look pretty for a while? That would make me infinitely happy. Oh and I'm with Rebecca on the gifty, a nice voucher to a coffee shop and/or book shop are always well received.

IngeniousRose.wordpress.com said...

You could stay with the footwear theme and get hom some slippers then distract everyone with your NEW SHOES which are far more important.

rilly super said...

oh drunkmummy, you know, I think I have a pair of those myself but I'm quite sure they look better on you darling. I agree with you on the difficulties of buying for the post-midlifecrisis male dear but at least when they reach a certain age they are satisfied with less material things. A friend of mine of a similar demographic celebrated his birthday recently and my present to him was not to tell his wife what he's doing with his secretary; the gift that keeps on giving...

Mya said...

How about a truss? A toupee? Ride-on lawn mower? Viagra gift pack? The back pages of the Telegraph should be a good hunting ground for ideas...

Mya x

Mopsa said...

Waders? A cockerel? a dinky car? Train set? a year's subscription to golfing magazine? hankies? socks? a panama hat? How's that for banal and slightly less so selection of ideas. Love mya's suggestion of a Viagra gift pack but you might regret that.Posh champers would surely do it?

Peter May - The Pinotage Club said...

As a 50 (ish) man maybe I can help here. He's likely to have everything he wants or needs (or is allowed), so unless he has a interest that has has consumeables (such as golf = golf balls) its going to be difficult.

You could get something he didn't know he wanted

Have a look at http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/
in particular http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/salvation-helicopter/index.html

http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/gadgets-gizmos/essential-gadgets/tv-be-gone/index.html

http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/gadgets-gizmos/essential-gadgets/emergency-phone-charger/index.html

http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/gadgets-gizmos/essential-gadgets/quik-pod/index.html

Jen said...

Congrats on your fab new shoes, I am suitably envious. As for a gift, men do love gadgets as peter pointed out above me. I always get my father-in-law something that is either self-charging or comes with batteries. Or sets things on fire or cuts things apart. He's that kind of guy.

The Good Woman said...

I'm so glad South African wine has made it onto your list! Go pinotage, I say!

And if you do go for a charity gift as others have suggested, may I suggest an African charity (in honour of the wine, you understand!).

@themill said...

Could I suggest 'The Dangerous Book For Boys'. We bought it for a friend last year and he absolutely loves it - says it transports him back in time.
We also discovered a fab champagne house last year - Christian Senez -magnifique!

Jill said...

Congrats on the new shoes and LOL! I agree with those donation gift things...or maybe food? Something that gets used up, that he doesn't have to find a place to store, that he might not have bought himself...the heifer that expatmum mentioned maybe? :-) :-) :-)

Peter May - The Pinotage Club said...

The Good Woman is a woman after my own heart.....

rilly super said...

jen 'I always get my father in law something self charging or comes with batteries'. If he has any of those surplus, I'm sure we could come to some arrangement...

Stay at home dad said...

Steady mya, some of us are not a million years away from 50!

My wife has asked for Oxfam gifts for her, ahem, 40th and as a result we are getting a surreal succession of poultry and goats dropping through our letterbox.

Drunk Mummy said...

rob - that looks like 'My Little Alpaca' - all giant head and tiny legs! That must be the cleanest llama anyone has ever seen.

dj kirkby - you are SO right - I'm just a slave to my own generosity!

beta mum - Aramis! Good God, I remember a time when every second male used to smell of that!

expat mum - do they do a 'de luxe' present of a wheelchair bound rabbit fishing for goats?

crystal jigsaw - a budgie? How tweet, I mean sweet!

working mum - I like the 'retro' spin on the soap on a rope!
Let's raise a glass to the great M&S shoe range!

omega mum - Ha! World of Cardigans! I love it! As for the trousers with the rising waistbands, I think they stopped making those once the fly zips got to more than 12 inches.

M&M - I did think of a Book Token, but I can't help equating that with the presents I buy for my kids' friends.

rebecca - there's always the risk that the voucher gets bundled up in the wrapping paper from the other (exciting) presents, and thrown away.
You can tell I have spent too long in the company of small children, can't you?

Hello suffering summer!
I don't need to be asked twice to go and drink Shiraz in someone's kitchen! Not sure I can do 'pretty' - will 'haggard' do?

Hello ingenious rose!
Slippers? The last refuge of the old git! I never thought of that!

Rilly - you are a true friend indeed! I hope your birthday present to his wife will be the truth, and the number of a good divorce lawyer!

mya - that is an interesting collection of ideas, although I have neither the finances nor the amount of giftwrap needed for a ride on mower. Maybe I could knit him a toupee, or a truss. I doubt his wife would thank me for the Viagra.

mopsa - can you believe he doesn't like champagne? Although I found out today that he does like whisky, so my salvation could be right there.

Peter - I have spent way too much time on that website today, it really does have some amazing stuff!

jen - your father-in-law sounds like my husband (the setting things on fire bit, rather than the battery powered stuff!)

good woman - I have had a couple of South African wines on before - notably a Diemersfontein Pinotage which was recommended by Peter, and really was like 'coffee and chocolate in a glass'. Try some before you leave these shores!(Ocado £7.99)

@themill - that's a good idea, especially as the most dangerous thing this chap does these days is allow his wife to drive his Jag occasionally!
Christian Senez? I'll have to give that a try! Thanks for the recommendation.

jill - yes, I think consumables are a good idea.
I am not sure about the heifer. It is a little too close for comfort, somehow!

Peter - she is indeed! I have suggested she try the excellent Diemersfontein Pinotage you recommended.

Rilly - why are you shaking so much? Or is it just that your phone is set to 'vibrate'?

SAHD - Yikes! It must be pretty messy in your hallway!

Rob Clack said...

If he likes whiskey, then Talisker is very good. Tesco.
And for you, may I recommend Klein Constantia Marlbrook, which is a classic Bordeau blend and deeply delicious. http://www.sawinesonline.co.uk/product.asp?numRecordPosition=1&P_ID=246&strPageHistory=cat&strKeywords=&SearchFor=&PT_ID=70
£9.99 but probably + delivery.
I also really like Warwick Trilogy (also from sawinesonline) but that's more expensive at £13.99.

Drunk Mummy said...

Hello Rob!
Thanks for your recommendations. I have actually bought him some Lagavulin, as his wife told me that he likes whisky (which I hadn't realised).
Thanks for the wine recommendations - I will give them a go!

lin said...
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