FAIL-SAFE GIRL GIFTS: CATCHING UP

Okay fine, so maybe the 12 Days of Fail-Safe Girl Gifts is more like 10 Days (of 12 categories) now. Whatever. Sometimes Miss Wingman has a little too much fun on her weekends and needs to recover – apologies for the delay (but not the fun). Today’s suggestions are a mixed bag, but all make solid gift contenders.

First up we have sporty, physical activities for the girl who isn’t afraid to try something adventurous. So get out your sneakers and your belay ropes, boys, this one’s guaranteed to be a good time.

Indoor Rock Climbing: If you’re not fortunate enough to live in an area where you can do actual rock climbing outdoors (us city dwellers have to improvise), giving her a package at a place like Brooklyn Boulders is an excellent idea. This 20,000 sq ft urban playground located at 575 Degraw Street (at 3rd Ave) offers great gifting options and is open seven days a week.

Most cities have rock climbing facilities that include equipment rentals and a few lessons to boot, and Brooklyn Boulders is no different. Packages like Learn The Ropes cost $75 for two day passes, one equipment rental and a belay class for beginners. There is also a Learn To Boulder class ($45), or you can set her up with a membership for $120/month.

If you’re so inclined to take on the altitude as well, join her when she goes – activities like this are great at fostering trust and communication building among couples.

Or, if climbing isn’t her style, you could always opt for some high-flying alternatives. Trapeze School New York offers classes in flying and static trapeze stunts, silks, balancing/acrobatics and even trampoline instruction. Is there anything better than that?

Chelsea Piers also offers a variety of sports-related activities you could purchase in advance, like golf packages, adult Parkour instruction (really, they do), batting cage rental or even sailing school. Check their website for gift package ideas – and check out the endless options for fun.

Perfect for: Any woman who likes to move (and kick a little ass). Dating timeline appropriateness: Any. You can do something small cost-wise or something loftier, but all of these just say “fun” – so don’t worry about commitment issues or strings attached. What it says about you: That you, in a word, rock (pun intended).

If she prefers a more sedentary lifestyle, you can always opt for a gift that keeps on giving all year long, like a subscription to her favorite magazine or a membership to a wine of the month club. Magazine subscriptions may seem impersonal, but really they’re a guilty pleasure that we wouldn’t buy for ourselves if we’re being cost-conscious these days. Plus, whether she’s into US Weekly or The Economist, every girl loves getting something in her mailbox that isn’t a bill from time to time.

Wine clubs are another solid way to give her a special treat (plus she’ll probably be uncorking those bottles and sharing them with you anyway, score!). Since sites vary in shipping costs, best values and best selection, check out services like Wine Club Guide and Wine Club Reviews to read up and compare before choosing which service is the best fit.

Perfect for: Any woman who likes to curl up with a good bottle and a blanket, or just the girl who likes to flip through the glossies in her free time (read: indoors girls). Dating timeline appropriateness: Any, unless you think that the subscription might outlast your relationship! What it says about you: I wanted to find a way to make you feel special all year long.

Finally, whether you can afford a vacation or just a stay-cation, altering her scenery is always a welcome change. Providing travel is expensive unless you utilize airline miles, car rental or hotel points (and even then, it’s still not free). If you can’t whisk her away to a tropical landscape, how about trying some place closer to home?

Lafayette House in NYC’s East Village is positively delightful. It’s cozy but still hip, and quaint enough to make you forget you’re still in the Big Apple. Room rates vary depending on booking dates and amenities but generally run $200 – $400 per night. Check out their thoroughly charming website for photos and booking information.

Perfect for: Any female. Literally – any female. Dating timeline appropriateness: Flexible. So long as you’ve spent the night together somewhere else (or even if you haven’t), it’s a fun little escape from the ordinary. Plus, you get fresh towels and swankier digs. What it says about you: I like you enough to want to keep you all to myself for a night or two.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

Gift ideas? Send them to misswingman@gmail.com.

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ONLINE DATING HORROR STORY OF THE WEEK: THE DISASTER

Thank goodness this week’s online dating horror story has nothing at all to do with bodily functions. It does, however, have to do with dudes who shouldn’t begin dating so quickly after a break up – wait ’til the body’s cold, man. Better to just let Monica from New Jersey set it up for us. Read it and you may just weep (with laughter):

A.D.D. Alex, the bond trader: I saw his picture online and thought he was really cute, so I was excited when he emailed me asking for a date. I couldn’t figure out why someone so handsome/gainfully employed/seemingly normal hadn’t been snatched up already – then I found out.

We met at a place in the East Village (I was staying in the city all weekend) and when I got to the restaurant, he told me we should relocate because there was a 30 minute wait. Fine. So we walked to another place a few blocks away and sat down. After having menus and waters brought to us, he said the place was too loud and that he wanted to move AGAIN, so we (or rather I) apologized to the waiter and left in embarrassment.

Two more (yes two!) places later we finally settled on chill spot and ordered food. I really wanted to leave by this point, but I was trying to be a good sport.

While eating, he got a piece of food stuck in his teeth right in the front and it was really grossing me out. I didn’t feel comfortable enough to tell him, so I just kept quiet and tried to keep staring at his eyes and concentrate on not looking down. *Miss Wingman note: this must be what it’s like for guys to avoid staring at obvious cleavage, no?

Not only did he eat like a slob, but then he told me that he needed to find a new apartment… because he was still living with his ex. What?! I almost didn’t hear him say it because I was so distracted by the food in his teeth, but when I asked him he said they’d just broken up a month ago and he was trying to find a new place to live. WTF!

Um, probably shouldn’t admit that on a first date. Also, wouldn’t you at least wait until you didn’t share a space with your former lover before you set up a dating profile? What would he have done if we’d hit it off, taken me back to his place and had me sit between them on the couch?

Apparently he didn’t think it was strange at all, nor did he feel the need to ask me anything about myself other than saying “Oh, so you like…work with poor people?” after I said I was a counselor for troubled youth. That was about all I could take. I suggested we pay our bill, I wanted out.

But the kicker was when the check came and he started adding up what I owed (he should’ve paid ME just to have endured all that) and then left the waitress a horrible tip. When we walked outside to say our goodbyes, I pulled back when he tried to kiss me. Apparently surprised, he shot back, “What, you think you’re too good for me? Psssht, fine, I can find way hotter girls than you on [the site].”

I didn’t say anything at first, just pivoted and walked away. But then I couldn’t help myself, so I turned and yelled back in his direction “And I can find guys without nasty food stuck in their teeth on there too! Seriously, that sh*t’s gross, check a mirror.” Needless to say, that was the last we saw of each other (but I did get some sidewalk applause).

Monica: Wow. There’s nothing I could say to that guy that you didn’t already take care of yourself. Well done (and thanks for making me feel better about being single). The moral of the story, guys? If you’re basically still mid-breakup, don’t tell us – and don’t ask us out yet, either. Also, don’t make us play musical bars, don’t nickel and dime us, and for the love of God, please bring floss.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

Got a horror story to share? Send it on over: misswingman@gmail.com. All names have been changed to protect the innocent (unless someone’s really terrible, in which case public mockery is warranted) Game on.

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