I need an idea or inspiration for a discreet birthday gift

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In summary, the protagonist has a close friend who is now transferring schools. The friend encourages the protagonist to transfer too, but the protagonist is uneasy about it. The friend's birthday is coming up, and the protagonist is thinking of a gift for the friend. The gift is undecided, but the protagonist is thinking of something that will remind the friend of the friend's past friendship. The gift is undecided, but the protagonist is thinking of something that will remind the friend of the friend's past friendship. The gift is undecided, but the protagonist is thinking of something that will remind the friend of the friend's past friendship.
  • #1
Alfonso
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I need an idea or inspiration for a discreet birthday gift :(

A little bit of background on me. I am 20. I am studying Aerospace Engineering with Mathematics, Physics, and Pre-Med minors. I have been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. I am also a grapheme and auditory synaesthete. And I have hypoxia. Terrible. About my only consistencies are my practice of martial arts and reading books. Especially classics. I am artistically inclined at my most stressful, and productive, times. I come from a family of poverty. My parent is a single mother who was abusive. My step-brother too. I've dabbled in a high-variety of different drugs. And I overdosed three months ago at an attempt at suicide. They were actually over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. I like Chemistry. Anyone watch Breaking Bad here? :) I draw on myself a lot with permanent marker. Tattoos would be cool but I get bored of them. Well, those are probably enough high-impact things to aid you in helping me. Oh, and I plan ahead.

I had a friend some time ago. Which is awfully rare for me. As it seems for a lot of others here. So, yay, relation. We were really close. Immensely different, but it illustrated to me that we had more to share, right? Anyway. We were really close. Past-tense. Transferring schools was her idea. So I did, at her encouragement. I guess I'm easy to coax. And I don't care what I study, I feel like I can do anything, academically of course, and it doesn't matter so much as I go to medical school. Socially, I'm dead. I've been here a year and I haven't spoken to anyone other than my two roommates (I've known them since middle school). Not even my professors. In an attempt to stay away I usually just try to memorize lectures. Everything I know about social etiquette is through what I read and I have a notepad specifically when I find myself in a social environment. Mostly birthday parties I throw for my middle school friends. Anyway, this friend I had. We were close. Strictly platonic. At least, I think. We would just hang out. Text each other. Call when we were a long distance away. Go bowling, play tennis, go running, pool table, ping pong, movies, sleep together, make breakfast for each other, try clothing on, save her from alcohol poisoning (this is also a big part of my social environment experiences), save her from family anger, and a plethora of small and odd things. So, my second semester here, a week before school starts, she says her family is having money problems (her mother later confirms this to me), and it would help them if I roomed with her. I felt uneasy. Uneasy because, I already had a lease signed with my other two roommates. I talked to them about it, one was reluctant to agree but understood the situation and supported me mildly, and the other I don't think was listening because he was taken back later. I searched, we search a bit together, but mostly I did since she was out of town some days. I found one. Then through some miscommunication, I ended up paying both non-refundable, applications fees ($100), and the deposit down ($300), while her parents got her into the dormitory again. When I tried to bring it up, it ended unfavorably with her being angry at me for "wasting [her] time". I mean, I could have shot back, that I invested more of my time in this than she did, I lost $100 out of it, and I probably lost some of my roommates' trust (I am still with them though). But I didn't. I sank my battleship and left. I haven't spoken a word to her since. Which is easy for me, you know? I don't talk anyways.

But her birthday is coming up. And at one point in time I cared a lot about her. Non-romantically. I just valued our friendship. It was fun. And I guess I'd like to remind her that I cared about her at one point. Many points even. But I can't do a letter, a hug, no phone call, or anything like that. She can't have a visual of me. I don't want her to know that the gift is from me. Not directly. I guess if she had to know she'd have to take an educated guess. So indirectly then. I started thinking about this in October. There's only two weeks left. Her birthday is the 22nd. She'll be 20. And my mind is gravitating toward napalm. Why? I have no idea. But that's not good, and I think I'm just getting tunnel vision. So I figured I'd try here from other creative minds. She's a cinematography major. She loves movies, she's open-minded, her favorite color is orange, she's into indie music, her favorite ice cream is cookie dough flavor, her favorite pizza is buffalo flavor, she likes games, her favorite book is Catcher in the Rye, and she'd like to make a film on that... There's a little background on me, her importance to me, our conflict, on her, and stuff. Stuff is good insight.

Thanks for reading me out.
 
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  • #2


:smile:
I would suggest something more alive like tularemia.
 
  • #3


If a gift is supposed to signify your friendship, or affection, spending a lot of money is almost always in bad taste. Do not try to buy anyone's affection, at best it won't work, and at worst it will make her see you as an ATM.

A $15 upper limit should help guide you in the right direction. Something that isn't a big deal on it's own, but is only special because it comes from you.

A stuffed animal can work wonders.

Be casual about it, don't include a long creepy card about your feelings, that's something best expressed through your behavior in real life. If you must write a card, best to go with short and casual.

Literally, I would write:

''Dear girl,

Happy Birthday!

My name''
 
  • #4


How about a classic movie poster...

5oe8w0.jpg
 
  • #5


Hmmm, I like both ideas (wasteofo2, lisab). I think I may combine them. I think I'd really like to make a movie poster of The Catcher in the Rye using deco art. Give it a classical but disarmed look. In it, the credits could say she's the director/cinematographer, her brother as Holden Caulfield, father, mother, and her friends as actors of the other characters, etc. And instead of, "Everybody's talking about it! It's terrific!" I could put, 'Dear friend, Happy Birthday!' Or something of that nature.

Any tips on how I could pull this off? I actually have no idea how I could get this printed and laminated to look legit. :(
 
  • #6


Waaaay too much effort. Seriously, don't make this a huge deal
 
  • #7


Yeah, I tend to go the extra mile. But I've learned, at -least- for the most part, not to do that anymore. I haven't done anything for anyone in the last three months. Haha, that sounds selfish. But it's true. In any case, it's her birthday. And I like going all out. I just want to make it special. Without her knowing it's me. I'm also considering designing shoes for her drawing inspiration from Catcher in the Rye, instead. She really loves that book. And clothes. But I don't know what her shoe size is. I just know she's about 5'9'', 5'10'', but her feet look tiny to me.
 
  • #8


Alfonso said:
Yeah, I tend to go the extra mile. But I've learned, at -least- for the most part, not to do that anymore. I haven't done anything for anyone in the last three months. Haha, that sounds selfish. But it's true. In any case, it's her birthday. And I like going all out. I just want to make it special. Without her knowing it's me. I'm also considering designing shoes for her drawing inspiration from Catcher in the Rye, instead. She really loves that book. And clothes. But I don't know what her shoe size is. I just know she's about 5'9'', 5'10'', but her feet look tiny to me.
You're going to go to all of this and make it anonymous?

That's creepy. Honestly, I'd be frightened to get something like that without knowing who did it. If you were in a close relationship where the two of you got together regularly it would be different. If you are going to do this, let her know it's from you.
 
  • #9


We were really close. Or at least from my perspective. I can't really gauge friendships though... But yeah, I'm very discreet, I guess. Well, no, I am. And we haven't talked in a very long time. Is it really necessary for her to know it's from me? I mean, it is a gift. And it will have a lot of care, time, and dedication put into it. If she likes it, and is curious, she will find out on her own, right?
 
  • #10


Alfonso said:
We were really close. Or at least from my perspective. I can't really gauge friendships though... But yeah, I'm very discreet, I guess. Well, no, I am. And we haven't talked in a very long time. Is it really necessary for her to know it's from me? I mean, it is a gift. And it will have a lot of care, time, and dedication put into it. If she likes it, and is curious, she will find out on her own, right?
Not necessarily. She may assume it's someone she likes, says something to them, then gets embarrassed when she finds out it's not the person she thought, finds out it's you and hates you. Just saying, you need to consider this.
 
  • #11


I also think it's creepy. If you go down this path, her response will likely not be exactly what you envision.
 
  • #12


I agree with the others about the anonymous gift scheme; it's more likely to cause awkwardness and/or backfire than anything else. In fact, I'd feel strange popping back into someone's life with an elaborate gift after a long period of zero communication, especially if things were rocky when we stopped communicating.

You don't want to overwhelm her, so, may I suggest something a bit more subtle? How about a phone call asking how she's been and if she'd like to get together for some (cookie-dough) ice cream? Mention her birthday and that it would be your treat. Alternatively, if someone has an ice cream maker they'd let you borrow, you could try learning to make cookie-dough ice cream yourself; the process is trivial.

Learn how to use it before having her over, though! :wink:
 
  • #13


Ay, now I feel kind of discouraged. And I saw her from the corner of my eye at school today and I felt... anger, I guess? I don't know, I don't think I like going the extra mile for anyone anymore. Is it wrong that I feel she's undeserving of my effort anymore? I think I'm starting to feel like not doing anything at all for her. And I think I'm starting to feel kind of mean and bad about asking all of these questions here... :(
 
  • #14


Alfonso said:
Ay, now I feel kind of discouraged. And I saw her from the corner of my eye at school today and I felt... anger, I guess? I don't know, I don't think I like going the extra mile for anyone anymore. Is it wrong that I feel she's undeserving of my effort anymore? I think I'm starting to feel like not doing anything at all for her. And I think I'm starting to feel kind of mean and bad about asking all of these questions here... :(

Don't feel bad about posting here. If it helps to sort out your feelings about her (you do seem a bit confused), it's a good thing, and we're happy to help.
 
  • #15


Alfonso said:
Is it wrong that I feel she's undeserving of my effort anymore?

Considering what you wrote earlier

Alfonso said:
Then through some miscommunication, I ended up paying both non-refundable, applications fees ($100), and the deposit down ($300), while her parents got her into the dormitory again. When I tried to bring it up, it ended unfavorably with her being angry at me for "wasting [her] time".

The answer would be no. You owe no one nothing, and she was a bad friend for asking you to go out on a limb, only to back out and get upset at you for suggesting that she help pay her share of the fees.

If you want to get a gift for someone it should be your roommates, who probably believe you'll leave them the second a girl shows any interest, you're going to have to work to get their trust back, which for the time being is much more important.
 
  • #16


So, spending about $60-70 on this project is advised against?
 
  • #17


No one cares what you spend. You're ignoring everyone's advice. I feel that you're trolling at this point.
 

Related to I need an idea or inspiration for a discreet birthday gift

1. What type of gift would be considered discreet for a birthday?

There are a few options for discreet birthday gifts, depending on the recipient's preferences and interests. Some ideas include a personalized item such as a monogrammed item or a custom-made piece of jewelry, a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant, a subscription box for a hobby or interest, or a small, thoughtful gift that holds special meaning to the recipient.

2. How can I come up with a unique and discreet gift idea?

One way to come up with a unique and discreet gift idea is to think about the recipient's interests, hobbies, and preferences. You can also consider items that are practical and useful, such as a high-quality water bottle or a cozy throw blanket. Additionally, consider making something yourself, such as a homemade candle or a personalized photo album.

3. What are some budget-friendly options for discreet birthday gifts?

If you're working with a tight budget, there are still plenty of discreet gift options available. Consider making something yourself, such as a homemade baked good or a DIY craft. You can also opt for a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant, or a thoughtful, inexpensive item such as a book or a small piece of decor.

4. How can I make a discreet gift stand out and be more memorable?

To make a discreet gift stand out and be more memorable, consider adding a personal touch. This could be in the form of a handwritten note, a special wrapping or packaging, or by including a small, sentimental item along with the gift. Another idea is to plan a surprise outing or experience to go along with the gift, such as a special dinner or a day trip.

5. Is it better to ask the recipient for gift ideas or come up with something on my own?

This ultimately depends on your relationship with the recipient and your knowledge of their preferences. If you are close with the person and know their interests well, it may be better to come up with an idea on your own. However, if you're unsure or want to make sure the gift will be appreciated, it may be best to ask for their input or to get suggestions from others close to them.

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