As you sit around the fire, your arm lifelessly draped around the person you know you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with but who you misguidedly bought a roundtrip ticket to your parents house for the holidays, consider a painfully mediocre gift. Something that says, “I heard you repeatedly hint that you wanted that cool leather jacket, but here, have a nice pullover I bought at the airport.”
For your soon-to-be-ex, a gift must be a harmonious hybrid of generous and emotionless. It can’t be so callous that it itself is a metaphorical kick-to-the-curb. These presents are perfect for that person you’re going to cast aside as soon as the snow melts.
The general rule is, if you have orgasmed with someone, don’t get them a gift card. Handing someone whose sheets you have ruined a lifeless rectangle o’ cash for the holidays is almost as cold as they are going to be laying alone in their bed, rehashing your relationship to figure out what went wrong. But at least they can do that on a sweet vacation! Maybe a fun heartbreak retreat upstate. A little get-the-tears-out getaway in Joshua Tree. And hey, there are no painful memories in a total stranger’s house.
Airbnb Gift Card (Price varies)
Some of my fondest memories of past relationships are curling up on the couch and starting a new show together. But after a breakup, the queue can be a triggering place, littered with half-watched seasons of that sitcom your former love recommended to you, and critically-acclaimed movies you definitely wanted to watch together one day. You just weren’t in the mood yet, and oh my god it’s two-and-a-half hours?? Probably should watch an entire season of American Vandal instead. If you shared a Netflix account, consider getting them their own—fresh queue, fresh start.
Netflix Account ($7.99 - $13.99 a month)
Remember that one morning, after the breakup, when your brain wasn’t fully operating yet and had momentarily forgotten you were single? Remember when you rolled over, arm outstretched, searching for the body that used to lay next to you, only to find the other side of the bed cold and empty? Damn, that cuts deep. A gravity blanket is a fantastic solution for those mornings where your stupid brain and your stupid heart decide to actively root against your healing process. This blanket is proven to reduce stress, and will literally weigh you down to soothe your tired soul.
For those in a more open relationship, maybe looking for a third wheel, this could pass as a gesture of open-mindedness. In reality, it’s a little nudge into the pool, giving your almost ex-lover a little headstart into the dating world before you remove yourself from the equation. This toes the fine line of evil brilliance and cruelly unconscionable.
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Pets are great! I love to come home and hold my cat’s reluctantly squirming body against mine after a hard day. Just knowing there’s another living, breathing creature in my company brings me some comfort. But you don’t want to go too overboard, burdening your partner with too much responsibility right before you burden them with your inability to accept emotional accountability. You couldn’t even keep the love alive, and now you want them to be responsible for the survival of a dopey, furry creature? No. But a fish is perfect. It takes up almost no space, it’s still pretty cute and it’s extremely low-maintenance. And this little guy does not enjoy the companies of others and will fight anyone who infringes on their space. Inspiring!
I have nearly dislocated my shoulder trying to reach an inconveniently located zipper. Having someone there to help with those vexing back zippers is life-changing. I’m not a science expert, but I’d wager that relief you feel when someone swiftly zips up the back of your dress after you have been struggling for an exasperating twenty minutes is the equivalent to one-tenth of an orgasm. So when you are finally ready to go out, you shouldn’t have to bend your body in ways God didn’t intend in order to slip into a tight dress just because someone left you. You can still get that one-tenth of an orgasm. And with free shipping.
Scents can be powerful memory triggers. A whiff of your former lover’s cologne can be intoxicating enough to derail even the most perfect day. So how about a nice candle that has no attributable memories? For instance, if you habitually lit up a lavender and vanilla candle before you guys had intimate, stare-into-each-other’s-eyes sex, do not buy that person a lavender and vanilla scented candle. Consider some less romantic scents, like bourbon. Or wine. Or the spawn of the devil. Do not recommend lighting these all at once.
If you want to give your future deleted contact all the benefits of a pet without any of the culpability, a furry little machine is perfect. It’s not one of those hunks of metal with Pixar-eyes that will follow you around your apartment. Think the robotic seal from the first season of Master of None. Painfully cute and nearly lifelike, but you never have to feed them. Plus, they are interactive enough so that you don’t feel like your emotional well-being hinges on a lifeless stuffed animal.
I personally find socks to be a great gift, given they are those warm, thick, wooly ones. There are few better feelings than slipping on a nice pair of socks—ones that your forceful toes have yet to poke through—on a cold winter day. What I’m saying is: socks are Good. I would take a bouquet of fleecy socks over roses any day. What’s not Good is this box set of Steve Aoki socks that comes in a package shaped like a cake, for some reason. Honestly, this may be the perfect gift, because your not-yet-ex may just dump you on the spot.
Showers are a great time for reflection. And masturbating. This is a great gift for someone who loves to publicly repress their feelings and routinely jack-off.
My editor told me to include more tech on this list because this is Gizmodo goddammit. So I tried to think of the most practical tech product that exudes absolutely no romantic sentiment. That is how this phone power bank made it onto the list. This shit is sensible, affordable and one dig deeper into the grave of your relationship.