Friday, September 28, 2012

What Would You Give Betty for Her Birthday?

What would one give Betty for her birthday?  I noodled on this thought a bit as I drove the socking un-great Honda Ellicott City-wards last weekend.  Betty rarely offered her heroines much in the way of imagination on gift-giving occasions.  Say it with me, everyone:  gloves, scarves, chocolates, cigars, handkerchiefs.  Brooches.  Small leather goods other than gloves.  Every now and then a small painting sneaks its way in, or a puppy, or a silver mouse tchotchke.  I confess I like my gifts to be fairly personalized, but as Betty seems to shy away from the emotionally-resonant present (that’s a double entendre), I considered:
A first edition of Jane Eyre, priced at $35,000 or 27,000 or £22,000
A more-demure-than-I-thought-commercially-available pink silk tea dress from Liberty of London.

A tweed jacket from Jaeger, in shades of pink and blue

A bottle of Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry, for imbibing directly or sprinkling over the trifle.
Inspired by BettyAnoninTX, a tea hamper

An antique lace hanky from Devon.

Or, I might take her jet-packing, which was the Jonkheer’s gift to me on my most recent birthday.  That’s actually one of my favorite gifts of all time.

I do like lace hankies, though -- the one above costs £175 or 220 or $282 -- and someday I shall treat myself to one of those F&M hampers.  Or maybe their rose-and-chocolate cocoa mix.

Thanks for the tip, Betty von Susie.  A Louise Green hat would indeed be a great gift; maybe this pinkish number:
Although given Betty’s preference for all things British, we might need to stick with Philip Treacey:

And Betty AnoninTX goes for pink roses (from a local Devon florist) and a kitten:

This little one is available for adoption -- you probably know that rescue cats are usually older; this one was born in May, and all its brothers have been adopted...


  1. A beautiful Louise Green hat from Victorian Trading Co.

    B von S

  2. Jet-packing?! Shut. The. Front. Door. How awesome is that?

    I think that my gift to The Great Betty would be a cheap, yet inoffensive (yet, also having a certain something) oil painting that she could tuck away in a corner of her Devon cottage

  3. Armfuls of pale pink roses. And a kitten.

    Betty AnoninTX

    1. Send me the kitten, I'll see that she gets it, eventually.

      B von S

  4. Chocolate [Bath] Oliver biscuits. My ex-mother-in-law (Betty Henry's mother, Anne) gave those to us and they're bittersweet-chocolate-covered Bath Olivers. Dr. William Oliver invented the non-chocolate variety; no clue who had the bright idea of covering them in chocolate, but the result is just right for The Great Betty.

    Incidentally, my ex MIL, who's the same age as E.R.II, believes the best gifts to give are those that get used up. Saves on storage concerns.

    1. Sorry, meant to supply the website for Chocolate Olivers:

    2. As I get older, I appreciate consumables a bit more.

      Grandma Hellen always gave her one and only son (the father of The Founding Bettys)socks. I think they were the only socks he got each they definitely got 'used up'.

      Dr. van der Stevejinck nearly always sends flowers to his mother - which she can enjoy for a while (and show off), then dispose of without any guilt.

  5. Personalized stationary (useful for those all important bread and butter letters) and a box of chocolates that she can pop in her mouth while typing new novels for the rest of us to enjoy.

  6. I would give the Great Betty a box set of Sibelius.

    And I am sure she would appreciate Betty van den Betsy’s gift of a lace hanky fromHoniton, Devon. (I know I would.)

    A nice bottle of sherry would be a good idea, so the Great Betty would not have to resort to the cooking sherry, ha ha.

    I was reminded of Betty Keira’s gift idea, the oil painting, while re-reading All Else Confusion last night.

  7. I would give her:
    Sable Coat
    Gina Fratini dress
    Givenchy scarf
    Marks and Spencer sweater
    Surgical Scissors
    Every paperback she wants
    Roses for Christmas.