Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Women Are From Mars, Men Are Normal

C's here for the Christmas period, which fills me with feelings comfort and joy, comfort and joy, feelings of comfort and joy.

Yet there are going to be some complications. The girls will be with their mother and her family on Christmas day itself and so, after a wild moment of mad uttering, I find myself in the situation of having my parents over for the Christmas dinner. All well and good, I'm sure it will be nice and cosy, but I haven't got the faintest clue how on earth to cook a roast dinner, let alone a full Turkey and all the trimmings Christmas one.

Give me the job of conjuring up some rice and c and I'm up for it, ask me to cook a spaghetti bolognese or microwave a ready meal and I'll stand up and be counted. The Christmas dinner is going to be a challenge, one that I'll no doubt keep you, the reader in this saga, informed about.

That wasn't the thing I wanted to tell you about though. Today's topic is about women, presents and the tests we men have to face. C told me some weeks ago that one of the things she'd quite like for Christmas is a watch, "not an expensive one", she added. You'll understand if, by the time you come to read this, these words have been deleted, as I don't want C to read it and realise that I've told you all about it.

The younger, perhaps less experienced men among you, will wonder what the fuss is about. You're probably thinking right now that it's all quite simple and straightforward, just do what she says, buy her a watch, one that isn't expensive, and the job will be done and everyone will be happy. Frankly I shake my head and roll my eyes, which is easy for us drummers, at people who think like that.

You see, women do these things, they throw out challenges like this and it's never as easy to respond in the correct way as it may seem. Often there is no correct way to respond, making it slightly harder to do the right thing, a bit like an election in which neither candidate would be your choice and you end up voting for the one you think will do the least damage, an unlikely scenario I know.

In the world of the female predator I'm like an innocent grazing deer; enjoying myself and munching on some foliage whilst remaining in a state of receptiveness and awareness.

Now the very first important issue to be tackled in this situation is whether I should buy a watch at all or go for something totally different. No way am I going to fall arse over wallet at the first hurdle, this has to be pondered and cogitated on. On the one hand, I go out and buy a watch and gain kudos for doing what was requested. An easy win? Nope, for doing what was requested may in itself be a bad thing. Some women, you'll find this hard to believe but I assure you it's true, want men to think for themselves.

Then, if I go down the alternate route and get something other than a watch, it's a potentially risky situation that even Barrack Obama would steer clear of. My instincts tell me that buying C a nice snare drum instead of a watch would be a lovely and thoughtful present, using my imagination and courage to their limit. But no, my head tells me that she wouldn't want a snare drum, women are weird like that. As men our job is to deal with it.

So the snare drum option, or any other drum related present for I'm open minded about these things, is out and the watch is the favourite. What direction do I go in next?

"Inexpensive" she said. Well, what the Bejeezus does that mean exactly? And, before you even think about it, asking her is the second worst idea in the world, the worst being to ask my Mum. The only thing that the word "inexpensive" indicates is that I probably shouldn't go online spend many hours browsing in jewellers' shop windows and buy the most expensive top of the range Breitling, Rolex or Raymond Weil I can find, nor should I get the cheapest thing money can buy.

This leaves me with a large range in which to operate, particularly worsened by the fact that I'm not really sure about the whole not buying a Bretling, Rolex or Raymond Weil thing. The word inexpensive, I've decided, should be banned and sent off to the word graveyard, to be replaced by more man friendly words, ones like £200, £150 and £50 and similar.

I forgot to tell you the other "useful" bit of guidance C gave me. And, when I say useful, I mean useful in the same way that the button to call a member of the air crew on a Sri Lankan Airlines plane is useful, or in the way that a roundabout lurking on a Colombo road at night time is useful.

"You know the sort of thing I like, you choose" was the thing she said, when I asked what sort of watch she wants. I managed to bluff my way through, nodding with an air of wisdom as if all women are predictable and men know exactly how to read them, as if I had won an award for my ability in this highly scientific field.

I remain as confused as a tourist in House of Fashions mens' T shirt section.

Vut too doo?


Anonymous said...

You are hopeless at reading women's minds,I find!

Do buy her a watch that is somewhat more expensive than "inexpensive"! Figure that out ...and then do also buy her something expensive that she would like...but just not that snare drum thing! See it's that simple!


David Blacker said...

Well, hopefully C'll read this and take pity on you. Or just have a good laugh.

Meantime, I once bought my ex a biography of Hannibal (of Carthage, not the Cannibal) for her b'day 'cos she said she wished she knew more about history. Yup. I'm sure you can imagine the results.

DD said...

Gift voucher from Selfridges?

Gypsy said...

Ask MY mum. She's a watch fanatic. She loves Omegas. She always quips that she has the one Cindy Crawford wears in the ad.... without the diamonds.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

F - I think you're right in that I'm useless at the women's mind reading game, but I take comfort in the fact that I know I'm useless at it!

DB - Your thoughtfulness never ceases to amaze me!

DD - Yeah right, that'll do the trick!

Gyps - I think I'd be quite scared of your Mum.

Scrumpulicious said...

Dude!! Buy her a STORM watch! They are awesome watches. I think at the most one cost is about £150 but they have a really funky and classy range (in my humble opinion!).

I think the fact that she's said that she wants something rather than be all like "I don't know. Just get me anything" (and people who do this are a pain in the ass!) is rather nice of her! :)

Book Baker said...

You know what you should do. Buy her 2 things. A watch to fit what you think inexpensive is & something else like a delicate piece of jewelry.(If she likes delicate pieces of jewelry that is). Preemptive action! :) Happy turkey roasting!

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Scrumpo - Thank you for that suggestion, I'll check them out and tell them that you sent me!

Book Baker - Even I know that it would be perilous to only buy her one present! Thanks for the comment, your blog looks interesting too.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that when she said she wanted a watch she wants to see if your going to get her what she wants or be adventurous and get her something even better?

Its just a thought.

My opinion. But her a classy watch. Not too expensive. And something extra as well. Something logically that she can use in the future.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

RTV - Yes, erm, this is entirely possible. They're like a different species altogether you know!

maf said...

it's not the watch that matters so much as the inscription on the back :)

as for inexpensive watches - I would limit it to 200 to 250 quid (you may even find a Raymond Weil in the price bracket). Incidentally Selfridges has a very good watch selection. Something classy with a leather strap. I would probably recommend a Tissot as they tend to be most affordable of the Swiss watches and people think they are expensive when they are actually quite cheap (they are also part of Nicolas Hayek's stable of brands)..there are several other brands but i would stick to something known..

Anonymous said...


ying_yang said...

Get her something that matches her general sense of style. Classic, eclectic, goth, quirky, sleek, baroque, ornate, rustic, antique - what ever. Even if it's not quite what she would have liked, she will appreciate that you paid attention and made the effort to find something that was 'her'.