No man is an island, but if you’re stuck you can always buy him one

One of the perils of a long term relationship is that gift-giving rather loses its excitement years of Christmases, Valentine’s days, anniversaries and birthdays.

I used to cast my eyes to heaven at my mother buying my father a jumper every year, and his attempts at buying jewellery, but with an 11 year relationship under my belt, my perspective has changed a little.

I realise, looking back, that I have bought my boyfriend a jumper every Christmas for the past four years. My justification? He likes jumpers. And I don’t want him showing me up in public. I am my mother’s daughter.

But once your other half has sufficient clothes, has bought all their own gadgets, doesn’t need any more aftershave (and surely Auntie Mary will take care of that end of things, as always), where’s left to go?

Unless you’re in some kind of sugar daddy scenario, chances are you both have the same amount of money, ie very little. And if you live together, you probably share priorities; this year, we seriously considered buying ‘each other’ a new dishwasher.

(It’s times like that you need to reinstate date night and go eat in a restaurant, if only so the recriminations about dirty plates don’t threaten your entire relationship.)

If you’re still in that first flush of romance despite years of unwashed socks under the bed, crusty toothpaste tubes and morning breath, here’s an idea. Get them something meaningful.

You know the kind of thing. Something with the date of your anniversary on it. A first edition of their favourite book. A plaque to be erected at the site of your first kiss (planning permission pending). Or, you know, maybe something heart-shaped.

If you’re going along the heart-shaped route and you have a bit of spare cash, why not follow the example of Angelina Jolie and buy him a heart-shaped island?

That’s right. Brangelina are not only rich, powerful, and incredibly good looking, but Angelina has just outdone every girlfriend in the world by snapping up a heart-shaped island for her beloved’s birthday.

I sympathise with her, to be honest. Brad has so many modelling and advertising deals that he probably has thousands of years worth of free aftershave in a lockup somewhere. Likewise with cars, watches, and other luxury goods.

He definitely has a Nespresso machine, being best buds with George Clooney. And a DVD boxset of rom coms to watch while snuggling on the couch is probably off the cards – you really don’t want to be confronted with your fella’s ex while watching a weepie. Especially not when she’s Jennifer Aniston.

What do you get the man who has everything, but his own private island?

But hang on. Maybe this one is not just for the rich and famous.

With property prices the way they are in parts of rural Ireland, you could surely pick up one of the Blaskets without breaking the bank. I don’t know if any of them are heart-shaped, but I’m sure you could find one with a Christmassy theme, for example an island in the shape of a holly leaf, a gingerbread man, or even a Christmas tree. That’s basically just a triangle, and there must be a triangular island for sale out there somewhere.

There’s even a website that advertises islands for sale all over the world. You’ll be pleased to learn that you can buy an island off the coast of West Cork for €150,000. Trade in that NAMAed one bed apartment in the docklands and come on down. You might have to get a boat and organise regular food deliveries, but it’ll probably still be cheaper than the management fees, and you’ll have no more arguments about the dishwasher, because you won’t have any electricity. Problem solved, all thanks to Brangelina.

From The Herald, 26 November 2013.


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