But first, gift guides

November 30, 2011
Editor’s note: Two of our favorite ladies, Katie & Emily, run a thoughtful blog called “But first, coffee. It’s devoted to the trials and travails of becoming real people (in their words: “our attempt at a grace entrance into adulthood, though so far it’s been more of a stumbling-in-late kind of entrance.”) They graciously agreed to pick some gifts they’d give the boys in their lives.

(We assume that means they’re getting us all of these things because they love us so much.)
But first, I want y’all to meet my besties with testies breasties:
Katie is the best. We spent our undergrad years living one house apart. On a weeknight, she could fully expect me to show up at her door in my robe with my laptop and a bottle of wine declaring, “I’ve got a paper to write and need company.” Before moving a block away from me in Logan Square, she lived with me and my roommates for a month and fed us like we were kings. She comes from a family of six, you guys. She knows how to take care of boys (i.e. children).

Emily is sort of cool, too. She would willingly pick me up from campus upon the promise of ice cream and pleasure of listening to Taylor Swift in the car with the windows down and heat cranked in the fall. She’s a regular at Addison’s and can name all of the ingredients in every appetizer from the menu. I also tried to date Emily, once. Maybe twice. She has higher standards. I don’t blame her. She’s currently keeping all of her friends sane and real while in grad school for counseling.
Together, these girls are real friends, talented friends.
  • They can rap all the lyrics to Super Bass by heart.
  • They respond to at least 60 percent of my text messages.
  • They both know how to make a playlist for anything, such as “November,” “Songs for New Cities,” “Twinkle Lights in Your Bedroom,” “Listen it’s going to get really cold,” and”front porches + good books.
  • They can truck through an entire season of Laguna Beach in one sitting (with a bottle of wine, of course.)
So it’s safe to say I know them pretty well. And here’s something else I know: They totally want these gifts for themselves. If they gave ‘em, they’d snag ‘em.
Emily has a few words to say about this gent:

This is for the Southern gentleman who has long retired his croakies but will still open my door. He quotes The West Wing in everyday conversation and mix CDs are his love language. He likes tacos, road trips, and sending mail the old fashioned way.


  1. Subscription to the Atlantic. A man should always have something interesting to converse about, sure it might take you a month to finish an article, but it’s worth it.
  2. J.Crew Plaid Wool ScarfI appreciate a man who can pull off a good scarf. It shouldn’t be flashy and you don’t need to tie it in any weird way, just wear it. Simple is best. But you know that already.
  3. Pendleton throw in Charcoal Stewart. It’s getting cold and you need to have a nice clean blanket at your house. If you wanted to use it to entertain a lady for an indoor picnic in deepest darkest January, that would also be acceptable. 
  4. Peace Like A RiverA coming of age tale with a precocious child narrator set in the barren plains of the North Dakota Badlands. This is one that will stick with you. Plus, you should always to have a book on hand when someone asks for a recommendation.
  5. French press by BodumThe thing about a French press is that it makes you look like you care about food and the finer things in life even if you are still sort of confused about them. 
  6. Whiskey stonesHow great would it be if I was that kind of girl who could drink whiskey with you? Well, sorry, i’m not. But I will think you are classy if you have these.
If this is you, you can ask @emlew out on a date. Just be tall and have the Constitution app on your iPhone.
Katie wanted to describe who this man is that would be getting these gifts (which she would eventually steal).
This is for the “classy lumberjack.” He has read of all of Vonnegut’s works and probably wanted to get “so it goes” tattooed on his forearm when he was 18. He loves his mom, wool socks and building bonfires. He’s understated and shy. Oh, and he’s read Watchmen…twice.

  1. Flannel button-downn from Gant Rugger. My philosophy when buying clothes for men is: “Can I wear it?” In this case, the answer is most definitely yes, I can. Plus, who doesn’t love a man in flannel?
  2. Untreated leather belt by Wood & Faulk. This handmade belt is simple and untreated, ready to be broken in and made your own. Simple. Manly. Perfect.
  3. Wool gloves from Buckshot Sonny’s Sporting Goods. Jeff and I were recently having a conversation about how he’s having a hard time finding manly gloves. Well here they are, made in the USA.
  4. True/False tickets. Our college town’s very own documentary film festival, True/False is a wonderful weekend in Columbia, Missouri where filmmakers and goers descend on our small town for a weekend of revelry, good wine, and eye-opening documentaries. Check out their site for more info.
  5. Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA. This is by far the best Indian Pale Ale I have ever had. Stock up with some to enjoy and some to age.
  6. Beard Balm by Men’s Face Stuff. It’s exactly what it sounds like.
If you find that your flannel collection has a few favorites missing, you can probably find @katiestipo wearing them in Bucktown with some new coffee stains.

Thanks, ladies.
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14584344145651569387 Hannah

    I want to set up residence in that flannel button down. Dear god it looks cozy.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06871986575405453847 stlbites.com

    Katie had me at 120 Minute.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17450550870818765611 Cary Randolph

    Love that T/F shout-out. Hurray, hurrah…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13701855444881255324 Zack

    More! More! A wonderful idea for a stand alone blog.

  • http://baristababes.wordpress.com/ baristababes

    I’m married to the guy Katie describes. Awesome!
    Nice blog too (the guy also likes it).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08878986452520646553 Shannon from France

    Jeff this blog post cracked me up, well done! I want to befriend these girls!


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