- "did you wax your beard today" (The really odd part is that three different people searched for this and landed on my site.)
- "i think some people are supposed to be gay" (Yeah, me too.)
- "my older sister made me lesbian" (Highly doubtful.)
- "annoyed by straight people" (I understand. But try to respect their chosen lifestyle even if you find it sinful and/or disgusting.)
- "logical thinking do you have a dog? no. that means you're gay" (I love that this is basically the antithesis of logical thought.)
- "butch the water guy" (Apparently there is actually some dude in Phoenix who uses this as the slogan for his business.)
- "do girls think butches are hot" (Yes. No exceptions.)
- "is it weird to have a gay man hug you" (No. It's like looking over a gorgeous mountain pass while tasting brown sugar and getting a head massage.)
- "does wearing combat boots make me a lesbian" (Indeed, this is one of our most popular conversion strategies.)
- "straight women becomes butch after transformation videos" (Yeah, if the combat boots method doesn't work, the videos are our next best option.)
- "ethos in the story pet milk by stuart" (You're referencing "Pet Milk" by Stuart Dybek, which happens to be one of my favorite stories. It was originally published in the New Yorker in 1984, and anthologized in Dybek's excellent collection, The Coast of Chicago. I don't love using ethos/pathos/logos to deconstruct fiction, but it can be of some use. Check out this link. Ethos basically means character and believability. Who is the main character? Is he "real" to you? Why? What flaws does he have? How do these things interact with pathos and logos? My larger question is this: assuming your teacher made it clear what "ethos" means, why are you googling this? The story is only four damned pages long. Get off the Internet. Read the story and write what you think. Jeez.)
- "where can i find a lesbian to advise me on writing a lesbian character?" Look no further! Email me!)
- "hot dog homosexualfinger party.com" (What?!)
- "girls tie guys up and put makeup on them" (Wow, those heteros have some odd rituals.)
- "start wearing makeup in grad school" (Only if I'm tied up, or all the time?)
- "does hugging another guy mean that you are homosexual" (Yes, it does.)
- "how do i find a gay guy" (At the end of the rainbow.)
- "heterosexual woman suddenly interested in women" (Methinks heterosexual woman suddenly not so heterosexual.)
- "how do you numbers general" (I generally 16 but sometimes I 132. How do you numbers general?)
- "do lesbians try to persuade bisexual women to be lesbian" (Yes. But usually we can just trick them into wearing combat boots or watching a transformation video.)
While most of you initially find Butch Wonders through Facebook or StumbleUpon, some folks happen in via Google search terms, some of which were particularly excellent this month. I'll share my favorite 20 or so:
decent metal collar stays.) In this entry, I'll review your T-shirt options. In all cases, I'm talking about "men's" T-shirts, since for many of us, "women's" or "ladies" shirts tend to be too short or cutesy or have tiny sleeves.So you got a some perfectly-sized Calvin Klein button-ups from your DGF for the holidays, eh? Now you just need the right undershirts to wear with them. (I'm assuming you already have some
Undershirts come in three basic varieties: V-neck tee, regular crew-neck tee, or tank top (for now, I'm not considering long-sleeved undershirts). I heavily favor crew necks. Tank tops don't prevent sweat or deodorant from staining button-ups. And not only do v-necks irritate my lower neck area, but they look dopey when you can see the texture of the v-neck collar under the shirt). Most of the butches I know favor crews as well, so for now, that's what I'll focus on. (A summary of my findings is at the end.)
I own this because it's rad.
Before we go any further, a note on printed tees: In general, I have zero objection to printed tees. In fact, I own a whole bevy of 'em. But there's a place for printed tees, and that place is NOT beneath your collared shirts. We can see the print showing through your button-up shirt and peeking out your collar. And though admittedly we are vaguely intrigued that you ran the Boston Marathon in 2001 and attended a k.d. concert in 1992, this is not how we wanted to learn about it.
Anyhow, I rate and discuss five kinds of shirts along the following criteria:
MOSSIMO CREW NECK, ATHLETIC CUT
Thickness: Medium to thin. Soft, tagless. I often wear one of these + a pair of boxers to sleep. There's been recent speculation that the quality has recently suffered.
Collar: Medium-thickness. Perfect cut. Starts out great. Then...
Durability: So-so. Wonderful for the first few months, then the collar begins to stretch and get thin and not lay flat. For some reason, the durability of the heathered colors is much better than the others.
Colors: Come in a 10-15 different colors, including dark heathered grey, navy blue, teal, orange, a heathered forest green, and more. Their colors tend to match my dress shirts more than any other brands do.
Procurement: $7.99 each at Target or $7.99-$9.99 each at Target.com. Many of the Target.com links (like this one) claim that the shirt is not available in stores, which is untrue.
HANES COMFORTSOFT CREW NECKS
Thickness: Medium. Nice soft feel, and tagless, which I love. Also good for sleeping in. (Don't confuse these with Hanes Heavyweights, which are not nearly as nice)
Collar: Starts large, shrinks to medium in the dryer. Lands slightly higher on the neck than the Mossimo shirts.
Durability: Excellent. Becomes a little thinner over time, and seems to stain easily, but holds up well. I've been impressed that the collar doesn't seem to stretch, roll, or have trouble laying flat, even after many washings.
Colors: Black and white are easy to find. They also come in grey, navy blue, denim blue, forest green, and washed black heather. Others are hard to find.
Procurement: White and black are often available in department stores. The price and selection is better online: where I can find them in white (3-pack for $12.99 or $11.80, depending on sizes), and four-packs of various colors and prices here.
LL BEAN CAREFREE UNSHRINKABLE TEE (Note: at the time of this writing, the LL Bean website was down, so I'm not including any links yet.)
Thickness: Very thick, though not unpleasantly so. Not as soft as Mossimo or Hanes Comfortsoft. Stiffer, but definitely not scratchy.
Collar: Thick. Fairly wide.
Durability: Pretty solid. I've had several for years, and they keep their shape and never get holes. Same with the collar: retains its thickness. The big downside is that the collar eventually starts to pucker.
Colors: 15-20 available: yellow, orange, heather green, white, black, dark blue, light blue, maroon, and more. (See pic at left.)
Procurement: Normally $14.95 each on the LL Bean website, occasionally on sale for around $9.99. Also, these seem to run large; I advise ordering one size smaller than usual.
AMERICAN APPAREL (FYI, this company has had some serious problems. On the other hand, their shirts are made in the USA, which the others aren't. So, your call. This is also worth reading.)
Thickness: These aren't very thick, but the weave keeps me just as warm as thicker shirts do. If you have sweating issues or don't like to wear antiperspirant, look elsewhere. Also, the sleeves are a tad shorter than other brands' sleeves.
Collar: Definitely on the thin side. Within the limits of acceptability, though.
Durability: Good for at least six months. After that, the collar will begin to stretch out of shape. And while the color won't fade, the shirt will shrink quite a bit, even if you wash it in cold water.
Colors: These come in literally 40 different colors. They have yet to come out with a nice rust orange, but everything else seems to be covered.
Procurement: You can get these online for $5.99 each. They're more expensive in stores. Also, these run small, so order up if you're on the cusp.
Thickness: Very thick. Kind of bulky under shirts. Also, the sleeves are longer than the other shirts--fine for most guys, but not for most women, since we tend to have shorter arms than men do. (I wear a 32" sleeve.)
Collar: The largest collar of all the shirts I've reviewed here. Not unacceptabe, though. Collar falls higher on my neck than I would prefer.
Durability: These seem to get a little scratchy with regular wear. And then at some point, they lose the scratchiness and get soft again as they're wearing out. It's weird.
Colors: Like American Apparel, comes in about 40 different colors.
Procurement: Can be bought online for $4.54-$14.99 (but most of the nicest colors seem to be $14.99).
SUMMARY: My rankings from best to worst:
Any other opinions about these brands? Any additional brands that butches might especially want to check out?
Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, which means that if you want to order any gifts online, you have to do so now to get them in time for the weekend. After trying to find something good for my grandparents--and then realizing I had to order one-day shipping--it occurred to me that some of you, dear readers, might be facing last-minute online shopping challenges, too. Here are ideas for grandparents, bosses, aunts, uncles, college roommates, and other people you love dearly but don't see often enough to know what they'd like. I'm only including items that you can still order in time for Christmas.
Gift baskets. Who doesn't love receiving a little bounty of snacks? One of my favorites under $50 is this 1950s Retro Candy Box ($34.99, pictured left), which includes Necco Wafers, Chick O' Sticks, Choward's, and other sugary blasts from the past. And, for aunts and grandmas who love girlie stuff, check out this Victorian Lace Tea, Spa & Treats Clock Gift Chest ($64.60), which includes candles, lotion, bath gel, and more--all in a wooden chest inlaid with a working clock.1.
2. Tea Chests and Tea Sets. A classy gift that's hard not to like, tea chests come in a variety of styles. Try to get some brand of tea that isn't stocked at your local grocery store. I recommend this Wissotzky 60 Dessert Flavored Teas in an Ebony Tea Chest ($29.99). Tea sets are good bets, too. I like this cool Japanese one ($68.95, pictured right). If that's out of your price range, how about a simple infuser/mug set ($19.53)?
3. Gift Cards. These are also kind of impersonal, but they'll do in a pinch. Plus, don't you love receiving them? This one from Amazon features free one-day shipping. It's even better than cash, because you feel obligated to spend it on something fun. You can also get something more specific, like a certificate to their favorite restaurant or movie tickets.
4. A Coffee Table Book. These serve a bunch of purposes: showcasing great photography, impressing guests, and messing up orderly bookshelves by being wider than all the other books. You can find these on virtually any topic, from 1960s surf photography to Andy Goldsworthy's nature-centered art (pictured left) to the history of New York City to (brace yourself) hipster puppies. There's also a whole genre of amusing websites now available in book form, such as a compilation of hilariously wrong test answers, passive-aggressive notes, and Cake Wrecks. Think of them as the Harold and Kumar of coffee table books.
5. Board games are always a hit with families. Think Apples to Apples, Bananagrams, Cranium, or a classic like Scattergories (my longtime favorite) or Pictionary.
Okay, you have less than 15 hours left... shop like the wind, butches!
The huge amount of responses I got to my last post made me wonder if queers are more likely to feel alienated from their families than straight people are. I mean, if your family doesn't respect your queerness, this is pretty self-evident. But I know a lot of queers whose family is cool with their queerness, but they still feel alienated. Why would this be?
One reason I can think of is the kid factor. Plenty of queers have kids, but on average, we're less likely to procreate than our heterosexual counterparts (partly because homo sex ≠ babies, and partly, I'm guessing, for a whole host of other social/cultural/maybe-even-biological reasons). Holidays tend to center around a traditional family structure, and also tend (for good reason) to center around kids. Sometimes we don't really fit into that.
My own family is an example of this. I have a brother (I'll call him DB for Dear Brother) who is married and has a young daughter. I love my niece dearly, and love DB and his wife as well. Partly because DB has a kid, a trend has emerged: My parents and DB's wife's parents, who live 10-12 hours' drive apart, spend Christmas together. Actually, it's more like my parents have been subsumed into DB's wife's family, since the group includes many other members of her family as well. So DB and his wife each get to be with both sets of parents every Christmas. This is convenient for them, and also great for my niece, since she gets to be with all four of her grandparents every year.
As you can probably figure out, this leaves me in a slightly weird place. Do my DGF and I drive 10-12 hours to spend Christmas with DB's wife's family? Last year, we did; we rented a car and spent some time on our own and some time with them. This year, however, they are renting a house in a remote, snowy location and spending four nights there. DGF and I were invited to come (though we were not invited to help decide where Christmas would happen). DGF and I decided we would not come along this year. Our decision was met with much sadness and consternation by my parents.
The first two years it happened, I was annoyed that my parents decided to join a new clan. But now I am at peace with it: they want to be with their grandkid, and this way they can see her every Christmas. I understand. The hard part for me is the expectation that I will always join them. My mom is upset that I am not coming this year. And while I am sad that I will not be with my parents, DB, sister-in-law, and niece, I do not wish to drive 12 hours to spend four nights with my DB's wife's family. They are nice people. But I have decided I will come along some years, and not others. This is the first year I've said no. I'm okay with my parents' choice about how to spend their Christmas, but I wish they better understood my decision to sit this one out. I'm not trying to prove or anything by not going, either. I just don't feel like going again this year.
If I had kids, things would probably be different. Either my parents would switch off between my brother and I for Christmas, or I guess I would go along so the cousins could be together. But I don't have kids, and I don't foresee having them in the near future. And so as a result, Christmas is as I've described above. And it just leaves me feeling weird and sad. Am I being selfish? Independent? Petulant? Self-actualizing? I don't know. I wish Christmas wasn't loaded with so many weird emotions.
I'm hoping that this year, the DGF and I can start some traditions of our own. Last night, we lit a candle for Hanukkah (we're not Jewish) and I gave her all of her Christmas presents. It was wonderful and unexpected and romantic. On Christmas, we're planning to spend some time with our friend M, and some time with our friends C&D (C is my butch buddy; D is her awesome wife). Maybe we'll think of some other traditions to incorporate. Will we bake cookies together? Go to church? Eat Chinese food with Jewish friends on Christmas eve? Who knows. But despite my weird guild/sadness/confusion about family stuff this year, I'm looking forward to creating some traditions that are mine and my DGF's.
How about you guys? Any sticky family situations you're avoiding? Any cool new holiday tradition ideas that you and your DGF share?
If you grew up celebrating Christmas, the holiday that used to bring you unbridled joy may now bring a big ol' dollop of mixed emotions. When we were kids, Christmas was less complicated. After all, what can top the idea of a benevolent, costumed, bearded man leaving gifts while you sleep? (Hmm, come to think of it, that sounds like something a gay man dreamed up.) But if you're like me, somewhere along the way, Christmas stopped being so easy. Note: if you're totally stoked about the holidays this year, this entry doesn't apply to you: go have a cup of eggnog or something.
My own mixed feelings about Christmas have to do with divorce, with people I miss, and with various types of guilt. For others of you, it has to do with a falling out with your parents, or with the death of someone you love, or with the frustration of having to pretend to be someone you're not. These aren't exactly thoughts you can bring up at the office holiday party. Instead, they're the kind of things that hit you when you're in line at the drugstore at 9:30 pm with a box of Red Vines in one hand and a bottle of zin in the other (just hypothetically, of course), and "The Little Drummer Boy" starts blaring from the store speakers, and--BOOM--a wave of Holiday Depression.
The first thing to know about Holiday Depression is that you're not alone. Lots of people deal with it; they just don't talk about it. The second thing to know about Holiday Depression is that it passes. Don't let yourself think that your unhappiness during the holidays is somehow symbolic of the shortcomings of your life more generally. Because this is not true. Holidays are the time of year when the highest number of people report feeling depressed. You will feel a hell of a lot better in January. I promise.
A few quick fixes for dealing with a sudden wallop of Holiday Depression:
- Lay on the couch. Put your headphones on and listen to the least holiday-ish music you can think of. Angry, not sad. I recommend Tool, Rage Against the Machine, or whatever the current equivalent of that stuff is.
- Open up Pandora and create a "Suzanne Westenhoefer" station. Listen.
- Start planning a trip for somewhere you're going to go in 2012.
- Write to me. Ask me anything. Or tell me something you don't feel like telling anyone else.
- Do a project that involves plants or animals. Personally, I love paperwhites, and they're only about $1 each for the bulbs. You can grow them in anything and it's mesmerizing.
- Buy yourself a new watch, or some other stylish thing that you will look awesome in. My DGF (and others) call this "shopping therapy."
- Clean your whole house. Rearrange stuff that's been bothering you. It will distract you, let your mind wander, and make you feel like you accomplished something.
- Go for a walk or a run--anything that gets you outdoors. Don't come back until you're exhausted. Then take a nice hot shower.
These are only temporary fixes, but sometimes a quick fix is all we need to get us over the hump. So let's hear from you: Do you ever get hit with Holiday Depression? And what do you do about it?
There just aren't enough good places for butches to shop. Often we spend hours and hours online or in the mall looking for a suitable vest or pair of shoes. I'm hoping to change that!
Since my first "holiday gifts for butches" post got more likes than any other post, I've been brainstorming ways to make shopping easier. Now, with a little help from Amazon (and a lot of cyber-sweat), I've created The Butch Store to share my recommendations for clothes, books, and more.
So far, I've got sections for holiday gifts for butches, and one for great butch watches. Check 'em out, then tell me what you want to see next. Happy shopping--I'm looking forward to your feedback!
I have a pet peeve: straight people who are married but nonetheless use the word "partner" rather than "husband," "wife," or "spouse." I'm not talking about the abstract sense, in which one says, "People should support their partners." I appreciate this looser, gender-inspecific term. Nor am I talking about people or couples with whom I am close friends and know that they use "partner" in all circumstances as a symbol of their commitment to marriage and/or gender equality. I'm talking about people I meet at a conference or know through work, and we are merely acquaintances and I'd have no idea if said person and his or her "partner" are legally married.
Reasons this bothers me:
I especially hate when people use "partner" in front of gay people, but "wife" or "husband" when they're with family or straight friends, it bugs me. If you want to adopt the term "partner" full-time, awesome. But you do not, I feel, get to have it both ways: happily traditional at Thanksgiving dinner with grandma but tolerant and sensitive around the lesbo at work.
Yes, it's all a little irrational of me. But when I get to know a straight couple, and they use the term "partner" all the time, and then later I find out that they're actually married, it bugs me. It's as if they were hiding their traditional selves to spare my feelings or pretend to be politically correct.
I feel an asshole for writing this post, because:
I guess "partner" bothers me because it can seem so inauthentic sometimes. Am I the only one who feels this way? What do you think, dear readers?
Whether we're 15 or 50, it's hard to shake the need for our parents' acceptance. For the non-gender-conforming among us, that can be a long (and sometimes hopeless) road.
When I first started to come out--what, five years ago or so?--it was not easy. Here are a few highlights:
I don't mean to give the impression that we agree on everything now, or that I never feel like a weird outlier, or that everything's hunky-dory all the time. But I feel pretty dang accepted, and five years ago, I would have never guessed that my relationship with my family would be this good.
Our progress, I think, is attributable to: (1) unconditional love; (2) a willingness to talk about things that bother us (even if "talking" means arguing); and most of all, (3) a sense of humor. I'm incredibly grateful for the steps my family members (particularly my parents) have taken to understand me, and I hope that in turn, I've tried to "get" them.
What signs of acceptance have you received from your family that you wouldn't have thought possible two or five or ten or twenty years ago?
As promised, here's the second half of my butch holiday gift guide!
11. Smartwool Socks. A well-dressed butch needs more sock choices than black and white. Smartwools are my (and my DGF's) personal favorite, because they're warm and versatile without being too thick or bulky. Check out Sierra Trading Post and REI for some good discounts, but be ready to pay $10-$15/pair. The PhD series are always winners, and a men's size medium seems to fit most women's feet.
12. Belt Buckle. Whether you're a butch's best bud, cousin, or acquaintance, an interesting belt buckle makes a terrific gift. Here's one from Retimade ($95), the company that makes the necklace I featured in the last post. (I promise they're not paying me... Alas, no one is!)
13. Audible.com Subscription. I like Audible so much that every year on my birthday, I renew my subscription as a present to myself. If the word "audiobooks" makes you think of blue-haired eightysomethings checking out cassette tapes from the local library, think again. Audiobooks have come a long way. With a free mobile app, Audible makes it a cinch to download great literature, philosophy, humor, mysteries, even lesbian erotica. I listen to audiobooks every day on my commute (currently making my way through David Foster Wallace's unfinished last novel, The Pale King), as well as when I go running, walk the dog, or clean the kitchen. Great for multitasking, book-loving butches.
14. A Book or Three. Speaking of books, I can't resist plugging some favorites from 2011:
- 1Q84: Haruki Murakami's excellent new tome. Fans of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle will love it. Magical realism, two compelling characters, and tiny people who spin cocoons out of air. A great, long (>900 pages!) read.
- Bossypants: Raise your hand if you wish Tina Fey played for our team! Yeah, me too. Her memoir is a fun, gay-friendly romp through the world of college, improv, SNL, mommyhood, and more. A little cheesy, but very fun.
- The Marriage Plot: It's no Middlesex, but then, what is? Jeffrey Eugenides depicts three college friends in the 1980s whose lives intersect in interesting ways. Themes include religion, young love, and bipolar disorder.
- Blue Nights: Admittedly, I'm not finished with this one yet, but how can you go wrong with Joan Didion? This is a memoir about her daughter, and reads like a series of short essays. As beautifully written as it is sad.
- 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides): at last, the hilarious Matthew Inman, author of the popular humor blog The Oatmeal, has released his first book. Laugh-out-loud funny.
15. Cufflinks. I can't think of a better reason to wear French cuffs than showing off a sweet pair of cufflinks. I am quite partial to the currently-popular typewriter key trend, including the ones pictured left from Uncommon Goods. Whether you get their initials, a pair of shift keys, or "BW" for "Butch Wonders," these make a great gift.
16. A Night or Two at a B&B. Who says butches don't like to be pampered? Take the reins, make a reservation somewhere Yelp-approved, and give her a couple nights she won't forget!
17. Heifer International. I got grief for the "found object" idea in my last post, so I'm sure some folks aren't going to be crazy about this idea, either. But Heifer International is a non-profit organization with a great mission: they give animals to families in need so that these families can lift themselves out of poverty. For example, $20 will buy a flock of chicks. Not only will the eggs feed the family, but extra eggs can be sold for profit. Cool idea, no? Plus, you can give your butch a card that says thinks like, "I bought you a new cock. But I gave it to someone in need."
18. A Gift Certificate for a New Experience. Has your butch ever mentioned that rock climbing looks cool? Or that she's always wanted to snowboard? An introductory lesson or two for a new activity might stir up a new passion. Other ideas include: windsurfing; skydiving; karate; shooting; defensive driving; sushi cooking; improv comedy.
19. A New Tie. Dapper gentlebois never have enough ties, and it's hard to go wrong in adding to their collections. Wool ties are nice for winter and currently in style. Check out the Tie Bar for great patterns (one is pictured here, on the right, $15), and see my post about tie selection for guidelines. I also like the Tie Bar's double-sided pocket squares (one is pictured here, on the left, $8).
20. A Personal Shopping Day. Make a day date with your butch buddy, lover, or relative and take her out for a day of shopping! Trust me: it's refreshing to shop with someone who wants to focus on US all day, and doesn't make us try on anything in the ladies' department. Be sure to build in at least one 30-minute break for every two hours of shopping. And either read up on men's clothing in advance or take along a buddy who knows something about it. (And yes, I rent out as a personal shopper/wardrobe consultant for butches and straight men!)
I hope these posts have given you some great ideas for the butch in your life! Butches, what's the coolest butchy-type gift you've ever gotten?
Ah, holidays. Whether for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Boxing Day, chances are, you're on the lookout for gifts for the butch in your life. Since many of us don't like conventional girly stuff, we can seem tough to shop for at first. But don't despair! Here are 10 great gift ideas.
1. Cool bracelet or necklace. Some butches don't like jewelry, but many of us do, especially if it's androgynous and versatile. Personally, I'm coveting this Rothko-inspired one by Retimade (pictured), which would look awesome with a button-up shirt and fresh haircut. I'm also partial to Audiyo's bracelets (made from recycled guitar parts).
2. Headlamp. Whether we're fixing the car, or just trying to find the cat in the backyard at night, headlamps are a delightfully dorky, hands-free flashlight. Totally functional.
3. High-quality shirt. You need to know her measurements first, but once you do, why not treat your butch to a really awesome shirt from somewhere like Brooks Brothers? Or even better, take her to a shop where she can get measured and pick out the fabric for a custom-made shirt! I've personally never had one of these pricey (~$200) numbers, but supposedly the fit is terrific, and especially great for women who usually have difficulty fitting men's shirts to their body.
4. Massage. Top or bottom tendencies aside, many butches appreciate a good rub-down. Choose a not-too-girly spa with tons of privacy, and buy your butch a gift certificate there. (Note: if you're not the butch's lover or a really close friend, choose something else or you'll look creepy!)
5. Something From Lucky Dog Leather. Virtually everything these guys make is super cool, and they have some great designs that are stylish without being showy and come in enough sizes to accommodate any butch, no matter how big-boned or tiny-wristed. One of my personal favorites is their ring belt ($82) in brown and antique brass. I'm really into some of their cuffs, too.
6. Tickets. These can be tickets to a concert, a play, a sporting event, a reading, a circus--anything your butch loves. It doesn't even have to be something the two of you would both enjoy. If you hate football or ballet or whatever she's into, give her two tickets and send her off with a buddy. We won't think you're trying to get us out of the house; we'll think you're observant and thoughtful. And trust us, we'll have more fun if we're with someone who also enjoys the event.
7. Music. And speaking of good music, audiophile butches who don't already own them might enjoy some of 2011's excellent offerings, which include Fleet Foxes' Helplessness Blues and Bon Iver's Bon Iver.
8. An Interesting Found Object. Since this isn't exactly a period of worldwide financial bliss, many of us are looking for ways to cut costs. And gift-giving can add up fast. Why not make a pact with your sweetie to give each other something cool that you found in the natural world? An abandoned bird's nest or unusual rock can make a memorable gift.
9. Glasses. After Bee Listy's excellent post on the matter, I've had Warby Parker on the brain. This socially responsible company donates a pair of glasses for every pair sold, and they even have a free home try-on program so that you can try out up to five different frames at a time. Their glasses are $95/pair, lenses included. As me and my bespectacled butch buddies know, this is a heck of a deal. Give a gift certificate and let her pick!
10. Pocket Knife. Admittedly, the toughest thing it's ever had to saw through is heavy-duty packing tape, but I nonetheless love my Gerber Paraframe Pocket Knife, which can be had for around $20-$25. It's lightweight, has a partly-serrated blade, and isn't so large that it feels unwieldy in my hand. I'm guessing it would be a great fit for many a butch. The one pictured here is a 3.5-in. blade like mine, but there's also a mini version--and I'm guessing, a larger one as well.
There you have it, folks--10 gift ideas for the butch in your life. Stay tuned for my next post, in which I'll suggest at least 10 more! What are YOU planning to buy for the butches in your life? And butches, what are you hoping to find under the tree?