Men are so hard to shop for

22:11, Aug 23 2012

There's a bunch of rotting bananas on my kitchen bench.

No, I'm not just a slovenly housekeeper. EK turns 25 tomorrow, which means two things.

1. I have to get my banana cake recipe out

2. More trickily, I have to buy him a present

But what to get him? Men are so hard to shop for.

Now, you will say, the simple thing to do would be to just ask him what his heart desires. But I have a thing about presents - I like them to be a surprise.

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Why buy something that someone could just go out and purchase himself? (My dad is terrible at this. Once he bought himself a fancy fountain pen, wrapped it up and gave it to us to give back to him.)

Besides, EK has already bought what he really wanted; he bought a tablet as an "early birthday present" to himself.

As you may have guessed, he's pretty low key on birthdays (socks would probably do for a gift) whereas I love birthdays (my 21st celebrations may or may not have lasted three weeks). Gifts are a big deal.

Sure, he has heaps of hobbies - basketball, snowboarding, guitar, art - which could provide suitable present ideas. But the equipment is all mostly specialised or he has it already. Plus, it's just a little bit boring.

It's like buying someone a voucher, which is to me the ultimate sin in present buying. I know they're practical, ya de ya de yada, but I'm not into practical. To me a voucher says "I don't really know you that well so I thought I'd let you choose your own gift".

I want a present to make the person go: "Oh, I never knew I wanted this but now you've given it to me I've realised it's really incredible. As are you."

As you can see, I set pretty high standards for myself.

This will be the fifth EK birthday I've stressed over since we got together. I think I've done pretty well in the past: planned trips away, tickets to concerts, whacky gadgets (including a tomato sauce gun).

Last year, I even organised a night out at a murder mystery dinner theatre with our friends - complete with a haunted tram ride, a themed dinner and some sweet 70s costumes. Even I'll admit that one was a little off the wall.

After much deliberating, I finally bought EK's present yesterday.

Sorry to disappoint, but I can't tell you what I ended up getting him yet or he'll read it and it'll ruin the surprise. I can tell you, however, that I once again went down the road of quirky and, hopefully, thoughtful.

If you're lucky I might let you know in the comments section what I've got him (and how it went down) after the big reveal.

But tell me. What's your take on presents? Do you prefer getting a surprise or exactly what you've asked for? Do you struggle to buy for your partner? Comment below, email me at anna.turner@press.co.nz or follow me on Twitter.

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