1. A thoughtful coffee mug.
You’re going to get them a coffee mug — the world’s most innocuous gift — but you know that they are not just any caffeine-swilling peasant, and they like the finer things in life. So you’re getting them this elegant mug with the first lines of great literature written all over it.
2. A Kindle.
The ultimate in Serious Adult-pleasing fare, the Kindle says “I know that you read, I also enjoy reading, why don’t you do it in a convenient way?” as well as “I have a decent amount of disposable income.” If you can afford it, do it.
3. Meet The Parents
Hahaha, get it!? What a great icebreaker!!! Let this distract you from the fact that I make love to your child.
4. Mason jars filled with fancy sweets.
Step 1: Acquire fancy-looking mason jars.
Step 2: Fill with fancy candies that you get from some classy chocolate or candy shop, a different kind for each jar.
Step 3: Decorate mason jars with nice ribbon, and put them in a box or basket.
Voila, now they have candy, sweet-ass mason jars that they can use for other things afterwards, and an inoffensive gift from their potential in-law.
5. A Starbucks gift card.
There is no gift that has less subtext and is more universally useful than a Starbucks gift card. No matter who you are, where you come from, or how protective you are over your son — you love a gift card to the Bux.
6. Mastering The Art Of French Cooking
Everyone loves Julia Child, and unless one of the parents is an already-extraordinary cook who would take offense to this suggestion that they haven’t already mastered French cooking, it’s a cute, innocent gift.
7. Julie & Julia
Or, if they hate reading, this has a similar effect!
If all else fails, get them flowers. Not a soul alive can complain about flowers, and unless they are dipped in blood, no one can assume the worst in them. Flowers are a safe choice, for even the most terrifying parent figure.