By: Revanche

What to do when dinner isn’t good enough?

September 12, 2008

This isn’t about my complete lack of cooking ability, not this time. It’s about what to do for a good friend who has been extraordinarily good to me and BF’s family. She’s been above and beyond for them so long that I don’t think that they even realize that what she does IS extraordinary anymore.

I do, though.

Recently, she’s been coaching, encouraging, and uplifting me in every way during some very tough times. She calls to check on my progress, devoted an entire day to helping me do research, given me career advice, listened to my stories and offered great analysis and suggestions. She’s also done the best thing I could ever have asked for: she’s tough on me. She doesn’t let me make rookie mistakes when I’m upset to avoid hurting my feelings, she gives me a firm shake whenever she thinks it’s necessary. And I’m so grateful to her for it all.

So, really, a dinner just isn’t good enough. Taking her out to a fancy schmancy dinner would be nice, but it’s not good enough. I ought to mention that she was a highly successful businesswoman for many years and can afford to spend in a year more than I earn, saved and am worth! ;P I admire her financial savvy so very much, but it does sort of make it a little more difficult to figure out what to do for her or get for her.

My gift giving instinct tells me that I need to dig deeper to figure out what would make her life easier, something that’s a gift of time and love, not money. I’m not concerned with spending “enough,” just that it conveys how very much I love and appreciate her.

Any suggestions would be appreciated, meanwhile I’m going to meditate on it.

5 Responses to “What to do when dinner isn’t good enough?”

  1. Abigail says:

    It’s the eternal: What to get for the person who has everything?

    I’ve found in the past that everyone — especially people who have everything (or could) — really appreciate something you make yourself. It’s cheesy but true. Because you put something of yourself into it. If you have a special talent for organization, for example, and she’s eternally disorganized and complaining about it, you could offer to redo her cupboards or some such.

    Failing that, the gift of a massage (cheaper than two people’s dinner at a nice place) or spa day is universally appreciated, even by women who are financially comfortable enough to pay for it themselves. It can be a “You’ve been there for me in all my stress, so supportive, etc. I wanted to give you the gift of relaxation, since it’s a form of what you’ve given me.”

    Hope this helps!

    Failing that

  2. Karen says:

    Spending time with her may be a good gift. Maybe invite her over for dinner, bake her goodies (like abigail said: something you created). Whatever you decide, I think a handwritten note/letter expressing your gratitude is a definite :).

  3. Revanche says:

    abigail: Yup … takes a lot more thought.

    I know she’s going through some major home modifications soon, I wonder if there’s anything I can do to help ease some of that stress.

    My good friend is a massage therapist, it’d be awesome if I could pay for her to come out and do a massage …. thanks for that idea!

    karen: I should do a little of everything: goodies, massage, note 🙂

  4. FruGal says:

    My instinct would be to invite her over for a home cooked meal, and give a small thoughtful gift of something you know she would love (maybe for her new place once it’s renovated), or a book that means a lot to you, and write her a lovely message in a card, letting her know how much her help and support means to you. I’m a sucker for a good card, it means so much more than the actual gift.

  5. Revanche says:

    FruGal: I would invite her for a home-cooked meal but … she’s really very particular about how things are done in the kitchen, and my skills are WAY below hers. I’m still thinking about how to make that happen though, because culinary efforts are always much more thoughtful!

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