When June 30th rolls around, my wife and I will have been married for twenty-seven years. That’s a decent number of years. As I think back about that time in my life, it was definitely a whirlwind experience trying to make sure all the details for the day were in order. I had a list (always a good idea) and among the items on that list were gifts for my groomsmen. I wanted to do something classy, so I searched around a little (pre-Google) and discovered that John F. Kennedy gave umbrellas to his groomsmen. The umbrellas came from Brooks Brothers, and were engraved with the initials of his groomsmen. I liked that idea. Now mine didn’t come from Brooks Brothers, and they were not engraved with anything except the brand name – London Fog (I think). But they weren’t cheapos. They were black, classy, and my groomsmen appreciated the gift.
A good sturdy umbrella remains a safe-bet gift for groomsmen, its just nice to have one when you need one, especially if you live in a region where it rains. At the time, I lived in the South, where rain is fairly common. But these days I live out West, and if we think its going to rain we don’t grab an umbrella. We simply go outside and stand in it, allowing it to baptize us and the brown, thirsty ground.
Now if I were getting married today, and I wasn’t especially fond of umbrellas, I think I’d go the route of the money clip. As money clips go, sterling silver is always nice, but it sorta screams “look at me.” I’d prefer something a little less showy and a lot more rugged, like the Dakota Magnetic Money Clip. Its not necessary to impress someone (unless you want to); the bottom line is a clip to hold your money. This one does the job without drawing undue attention to itself. Plus it doesn’t care if it spends most of its time in the back pocket of your Levis or the floor board of your Jeep. Its tough.
But if I wasn’t fond of umbrellas or money clips, my other option would be a journal of some sort. The options out there these days are overwhelming, but again, hats off to Buffalo Jackson for offering some downright masculine journal covers and padfolios in the Dakota and Elkton Collections. You might think men don’t carry journals, but I pay attention to things, and I’m seeing more and more every day. Men like the ritual of opening one and taking notes or collecting a thought or two with the use of a good pen or pencil. It feels old and true and right, and nothing like pecking on a keyboard.
I’ve no plans to get married again though. I’m happy where I am here on the older edge of things. But you may be on the cutting edge, contemplating stepping off into the great unknown known as MARRIAGE. It ain’t easy, that’s for damn sure, but I believe it to be one of the most holy things on God’s green earth. And if you’re going to say “I do” then surround yourself with some men who can remind you in days ahead of what you promised and who you vowed to be. In appreciation for their role as friends and witnesses, give them a gift. It doesn’t have to come from Brooks Brothers or be engraved with their initials (unless you want to). But it needs to be classy, and memorable, like that very special day.