Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gifts for Geekettes

Exfanded by Neko-chan

I am a geek. I read Dante for fun, I get excited about fabric samples and craft supplies, I play vintage PC games, I watch any sci-fi show I can get my hands on, I love world history, I have at least five different Green Arrow action figures, and I willingly married Nathaniel Hoover.

I am also a girl. However, I am not particularly “girly” in many of the traditional ways that people expect (i.e. beauty, fashion, gossip, etc). Sure, I dig flowers and chocolate, but I don’t usually wear makeup, I insist that my plaid Doc Martens count as dress shoes, I routinely put my hair up with office supplies and paintbrushes, I’m pretty sure a Kardashian is a type of sweater, and rarely would I choose to own, let alone wear, anything pink.

When I do decide to be girly, it is usually in an over-the-top theatrical way, such as my “Barbie cake” wedding dress that was 6’ in diameter and encrusted with enough sequins and beading to make a Disney princess jealous. My tastes simply tend to be capricious and unpredictable when it comes to anything classified as feminine.

Any of this sounding familiar? Chances are that you have at least one offbeat, unconventional female like me in your life, either at home or at work, whom you will feel obligated to find a present for this year. I understand that it can be stressful trying to choose the right thing; the combination of geekiness and femininity creates a powder keg of problems for any potential gift buyer.

Not only do you have to contend with the usual dilemmas of geek gifting such as “Does she own this already?” and “Am I buying the right character/game/version/edition that she requested?” but now you have to throw into the mix questions like, “By her pretty little bonnet, will she end me if I buy her these bath salts?” It’s always a toss-up whether we’ll react negatively to any of the “safe” gifts marketed towards women, and the whole idea of trying to buy us a decent gift can result in panicked nail-biting and a feeling of playing Russian roulette.

To help you in your quest toward purchasing a gift for someone in this diverse and oft-misunderstood demographic, I have compiled a wealth of ideas and suggestions to make this year’s gifting a bit easier.

Gifts for Geekettes, the Master List


Does she own more books than shoes? Is she on a first-name basis with her local librarians? Does she make you wait until a chapter break before responding to a question? Instead of jumping on the bandwagon of all this “e-book” hullabaloo, opt instead for a more personal and touching gift.

~ Try finding a rare edition of a book she loves, such as a collector’s edition, a first print, a special edition reprint, a signed copy, or simply a nicely bound hardcover version that will withstand the test of time. I highly recommend looking at Alibris. They have a great selection and some of the best customer service I have ever received.


Does she have more than a terabyte of music on her computer? Does she listen to bands whose names you can’t even pronounce? Can she tell the difference between Baroque and Classical? Chances are that she will either have whatever album you buy her, or will be extra-picky about the types of things she listens to; therefore, try making her a mix tape instead.

~ Fill up a disc with songs that remind you of her, and include a track list with your rationale for each song. It will be like getting a gift and card in one, and she will have fun listening to it and thinking of you even if the songs, themselves, are not her favorite style of music. (Or she may hit you if you choose to be like Nathaniel and put “Tempted by the Fruit of Another” on your first mix tape.)

[Editor's note: Hey! It's a good song!]

Kitchen and Edibles

Can she name more than ten varieties of apples without blinking? Does watching her cook evoke the image of a mad scientist in a lab? Has she ever planned a vacation around the cuisine and restaurants rather than the sight-seeing attractions? Spice up your foodie’s life with some fun and exciting kitchen tech or edible curiosities.

~ Food Fighters Party Picks – Being a hostess is a tough assignment, so let her declare war on boring parties with these culinary commandos, guaranteed to earn her a Medal of Honor for exemplary food service in the line of duty.

~ "Equal Measure" Measuring Cup – Sometimes it can be hard to remember how many teaspoons are in a cup, or how many ounces are in a pound. Kitchen math is tricky. That’s why she needs this measuring cup, which makes life a bit easier by converting kitchen measurements into convenient everyday equivalents, such as the “volume of one human breath” and “one thousand sweet corn kernels.”

~ Combine two of her favorite fandoms by commissioning a cake that reflects her interests, such as an Xbox cake or a World of Warcraft cake. Or get creative by crafting and decorating your own baked confection for her.

~ MoMA Espresso Set – The perfect gift for the heavily caffeinated foodie. This set combines ingenuity with efficiency; with coasters that nest into the serving tray, and spoons that balance effortlessly on top of each cup. It can also double as an impromptu juggling act.


Does she sew her own clothes or accessories? Has she ever squeed over a sale on tools? Does she refuse to buy things in stores, insisting that she will find a way to make them herself? If so, try investing in some quality media and gadgets to help her on her journey toward inevitable Crafters Anonymous membership.

~ Laser Guided Scissors – If she is a seamstress, this gadget is the answer to a prayer. Using the power of lasers, these scissors enable her to cut a straight line without having to mark or measure intermediate points on the fabric, which saves both time and effort. Did I mention they come equipped with lasers?

~ Self Healing Cutting Mat – This is a nifty device that is useful for both sewing geeks and papercraft geeks. Not only does it protect her work surface from damage, but the quasi-liquid construction of the material actually reseals itself after use, re-filling in minor cuts and dents and returning to a smooth, clean finish. Yay science!

~ Prat Art Presentation Case – If she needs to transport her art back and forth between home, class, work, or client meetings, she definitely needs one of these. It comes equipped with a hard PVC casing, a carrying handle, zipper-closure, double-backed archival binder sleeves, a storage pocket, and a strap to keep pages from sliding around during travel. This was the most valuable and exciting present I received last Christmas.

~ Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils – If your girl is a developing artist who wants to take her artwork to the next level, treat her to a set of professional media such as these premier colored pencils. They are softer, smoother, and easier to blend than the cheap Crayola or Roseart varieties, allowing her more versatility with her expression. Make sure you also tag on a soft-lead sharpener, though, as normal sharpeners are too harsh for this delicate medium.


Does she gravitate toward anything shiny? Can she correctly say the word “chalcedony”? Does she set off airport security with the amount of metal she adorns herself with? Well, if every kiss begins with Kay’s, then every Ohhhhh Myyyyy! begins with o-riginality. Spoil her with one of these unique gifts this year:

~Handmade Jewelry from - Etsy is the “eBay for crafters,” and there is literally something for every taste. You can browse through thousands of pieces such as a sterling silver Mega Man pendant and an eco-friendly leaf pendant made from cement board, leaves, and guitar wire, or, if you are looking for something specific, many of the sellers will also take custom commissions for one-of-a-kind pieces. also offers a small array of jewelry for the technically-minded geekette. Resistance is not futile with their matching earring and necklace set made from 1/4 watt resistors, and you can buy happiness with their serotonin molecule earrings.

~ Homemade Charm Bracelet – Get creative by starting a charm bracelet you can add to each holiday. Instead of buying generic and over-priced charms from a store, make your own by drilling a hole in found objects, such as game pieces or guitar picks, and attaching a clip. It’s a cost-effective, personal gift that shows how well you know her, and can hold a lifetime of memories and memorabilia.

Home Décor

Does she long for binary-patterned curtains? Is her original Labyrinth movie poster still hanging on the wall? Did she need to buy extra shelving in order to display her replica ship collection? Put your gift-giving skills on prominent display with one of these geek-themed décor items:

~ Lightsaber Candlestick – Sometimes it’s nice to just sith down to a fancy candlelit dinner, enjoy some Wol cabasshew salad, and talk about how many rebel fighters you destroyed at work. For those occasions, she’ll need this lightsaber candlestick to properly set the mood.

~ Pac-Man Fleece Blanket – If you’ve ever caught your girl “paku-paku-ing” around the house in search of cherries, she might like this retro-gaming blanket from Perpetual Kid featuring everyone’s favorite ghost-slaying pie-chart.

~ Art Nouveau Firefly Posters – Want to be the best gift-giver in the ‘verse? Head on over to ThinkGeek and pick up both sets, Les Hommes and Les Femmes, of these shiny, shiny new posters.

~ Glow in the Dark Moon Clock – You know the best thing about space? Space! If she is a total space cadet, get her this snazzy moon-shaped clock to decorate her control room, and fuel her intergalactic imagination.

~ 18” Geisha Shoji Lamp - If your girl owns more anime than live-action DVDs, views cosplay as serious business, or owns at least one J-Pop CD, she may appreciate this kawaii hand-painted table lamp inspired by traditional Japanese rice paper screens.

Clothing and Accessories

Does she wear her Call of Duty messenger bag with pride? Has she ever used cable ties to hold up her pants? Are most of her shirts printed with slogans that make Luddites stare wide-eyed in confusion? Help her befuddle and bemuse the hoi polloi with one of these quirky wearable gifts:

~ “She Blinded Me With Library Science” Tote – Now she can express her love of both reading and 80’s pop references while carrying her books to and from the library.

~ Circuit Board Headband – give her the motherboard of all tech-savvy gifts with this circuit board headband so she can hold back her locks in style. And if headbands aren’t her thing, try making her a circuit board belt buckle at home with this handy guide from HGTV.

~ Threadless T-shirts and Hoodies – No matter whether she is a Star Wars fangirl, a retro gamer, an eco-warrior artist, or a foodie, there is a shirt for her at Threadless. Designed by up-and-coming graphic artists, these shirts have character and originality, the perfect compliment to your unique geek.

Hopefully these suggestions have been mildly inspiring in some way, and have left you with the security of knowing that there are plenty of great gifts out there for all the geeky girls in your life. You can choose to ignore my suggestions, though, and brave the malls crowded with foaming, ravenous zomb… holiday shoppers, but don’t blame me when your girl hits you upside the head with that bottle of “artisan bath salts” you were convinced she’d like because it was in a magazine somewhere.

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