Valentine's Day: A Guide For Women By A Man
Women: Buying Valentines Gifts For Your Man
I've just done a guide for men on buying Valentines Day presents and it occurred to me that some women might need a guide of their own. Based on the theory that we men are insensitive and thick, and that some women are too sensitive and thoughtful ....
Okay, howls dying down now, let's continue. Men don't really do daft days like Mothers Day, Valentines, Stroke Your Tortoise or anything of that ilk. Not necessarily because we're bad people but because we just don't remember them. If pushed, we will mutter and resort to our standard defences (see below).
Women do this, men don't. If we see an exercise device on the television and say "that looks good" we mean "I want a cheeseburger". If we sound any more enthusiastic it means "I want the woman demonstrating the equipment".
If we see a good book and say "I must read that", it doesn't mean we want you to buy it for Valentines Day. It may mean "I'd read it if there was nothing else in the house" or it may mean "I like the Simpsons". Men's brains work in odd ways. Jusr read on and you'll get an idea of the depths we plumb.
Take Him Out For A Meal
If you've chosen your mate well this could be a romantic dinner in a great restaurant. If you've selected from the lower depths of the gene pool it means a curry and a few beers. Caution: don't try to take him to an upmarket Indian restaurant -- he likes his usual. Even if you have to climb a Public Health warning barrier to get in.
Do check the sports schedules before booking the table (not that his usual restaurant bothers much about bookings). He wouldn't admit it but he'd rather watch his team on telly than go for a meal with you. Actually he'd rather watch his team than give you artificial respiration (hang on, it's half time in five minutes).
Buy Him CDs
If he's into music, get him a few CDs. Check his collection first -- men are not tactful and will mutter "got that already" if provoked. If he insists on playing them immediately, br pleased and don't moan if you hate the band. Check out top albums from last year and see if any ring a bell.
DO NOT: buy him a soppy CD. "Ten Great Songs For Lovers" is a complete no-no. Instrumental versions of his favourite artiste are also out (not that you would, I'm sure).
Something to do with his favourite team - a scarf, perhaps, even if he always wears his lucky scarf, he'll still be grateful. But never use it. Best of all, two tickets to a game, but tell him he's to take a friend if he's the "girls just don't get football" type.
A video, a book -- he can't moan at these.
DO NOT: get him an exercise bike or similar unless you're absolutely sure. Even if he's been saying he should lose weight or get fit for two years, don't. We men have our own version of "does my bum look big in this" though we never say it out loud.
If he's not a couch potato
Most men like gadgets, even if we can't use them.
I use the word "booze" deliberately. You'd be horrified if he gave you half a dozen Bacardi Breezers instead of champagne - it works the other way round with men. Okay, go upmarket and get a really good Malt Whisky or a special vodka; alternatively get a dozen special ales -- supermarkets sell mixed packs -- perfect for a beer drinker.
Also acceptable might be a home brew kit or home wine-making set. He'll never use it but it implies that you think he's capable and panders to his male provider instincts in a way that is truly sad :)
Major Do Nots
DO NOT get him yourself. By this I mean don't fill the bedroom with candles, strew rose petals, put on a red negligée and lie on the bed with a come hither look. His reactions will be:
- Power off?
- Dropped a vase?
- What's up, indigestion?
DO NOT book a romantic holiday as a surprise. It may clash with a major football match and it's his job to provide anyway. Even if that usually means you doing all the work with brochures and him grunting now and again. Plus it may scare him off if the dreaded commitment word floats into his mind.
Go on then
You know you want to ignore my advice ...
I mentioned earlier that we have standard defences for use when we forget Valentines Day or whatever. We don't expect you to take these seriously or even believe them but at least we're making some sort of effort:
- It's all commercial, made up by Hallmark
- I was going to surprise you at the weekend
- Blimey, is that the time, sorry, have to go