Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Valentine's Day Terrorism
Being a married man, I like most have relatively few actual responsibilities left in life. We have to have a job and pay the bills. We have to take out the trash, or have someone delegated for the task (also read: the benefits of having children). WE have to remember birthdays, anniversaries (all of them: dating, marriage, first kiss, place you first had ice cream together and you almost swallowed your tongue when you saw the melting ice cream drip onto her chest, etc), Christmas, and Valentine's Day. If you can manage these relatively few tasks, life as a married man is pretty much golden.
That is until women start talking. They want you to listen to them. Sounds easy enough at first, until they catch on to your tricks of faking the funk while watching a game as they talked about whatever it is they were droning on for the last half hour:
If these guys don't get their act together, we're gonna be punting again. Oh crap she's staring at me..nod your head and say something vague.... okay she's talking again, good job. Oh great, I missed the play, and we are at commercial. Did we make it or are we punti-HELLO PUSSYCAT...I love the Hooters commercials. I wonder if she'd dress up in some tight clothes like that..uh huh!!! Oh crap, she's waving her arms and doing that head tilt thing she does...this probably calls for an "I understand". That reminds me, I gotta stop by the store and grab a six pack to take over to Bill's while we work on his deck...
Turns out you agreed that so-and-so's boyfriend is a total jerk and she will be going over there for a few hours and please watch the kids; you will clean out the garage next weekend at the latest, and that not to forget you promised to stay home and have a family night this evening....which you won't figure out until the argument happens when you start to leave to go to Bill's house for some woodwork and brews. Oh, and your in-laws will be stopping over for the week, next Saturday, which is why you need to get that garage cleaned, so they have a place to put their car. Boy, you are in for it later, you moron. You should've paid more attention.
In fact I think when listening, guys have a faulty message capture. We hear the words, "You don't need to get me anything for Christmas/birthday/anniversary/Valentine's day this year", and yet manage to miss the rest of the conversation consistently. I guess when its an economic decision that goes in our favor, our brain actually kicks in for a moment.
Yeah, because that sounds good to us. I can take that money and apply it to this bill, or maybe I can go buy that (insert new toy item here) I've been looking at for awhile. Well, after being married almost 10 years, I can tell you this is the same thing as committing suicide. and any act of violence by the woman on your body will be considered fully justifiable up to and including homocide. If you live through it, you better hope you get an all male jury and a male judge, otherwise not only will she get off scot-free, but they'll find a way to pin something on you in the process. It turns out that when say say they want us to listen, we have to listen for the message and meaning of it, not just hearing the actual words. Women love to complicate things....just say what you mean, if you are saying something slightly different than what you mean, use a sarcastic tone so we can be sure. None of this double speak crap that only women understand in the first place, but have full justification for being mad at a clueless guy for not getting it.
Well, this year I have found out that pressures on getting Valentine's day gifts do not come solely from your significant other, her close friends, or any family. No, the jewelry stores are in on this heist as well. Sure, we've all heard the commercials on the radio and TV, seen the ads in print. It was all free-market non-interventionist policies. My fellow domesticated males, if you have purchased from a jewelry store in the past year or so, and they have your contact information, be prepared to get a soft sell mugging directly by the jewelry suppliers.
Last year, I bought a ring for my wife from Jared's Galleria of Jewelry (Yeah, I went to Jared's, blah blah blah). We had to replace the original ring a long time ago because a bee sting on the finger caused swelling and they had to literally cut that ring off. Well, she got a bigger one this last year to put on her finger. And she has been in twice for routine cleaning, as well as other times to "look around." Sounds more like she's casing the joint before hijacking my wallet to do a job, if you ask me. She related to me that her last time in the store, the associate asked how much she was looking to spend. My wife told her that the price wasn't her problem, but mine. I wasn't even there to defend myself with a hearty laugh and a quip of "that'll be the day", as they conspired against me. Then yesterday, I get a phone call. Jared shows up on the caller ID. Jared has been stalking me hardcore lately.
I had a $1000 line of credit..they added $400 to that for me to go further in hock on demand. They keep sending out notices and special offers through the mail to get me to come in and over extend myself credit wise. Some female from the local Jared's calls acting all sweet. Now, they are sending me out all kinds of information, including some special deals, and a one weekend only gift card good towards any purchases made this pre-Valentine's Day weekend. You know...just so I can get some ideas for what to buy my wife for Valentine's Day, and save a little money with them in the process.
First it was the radio, then the TV, then print ads I was seeing. And now they are going straight to calling me at home, just to make sure I'm okay since they hadn't heard from me after playing one of 1000 ads, and sending out two mailers. Soft Terrorism at its finest.
I'm supposed to be the head of this rinky-dink operation, but I'm pretty sure that with the support of corporate jewelry retailers, my wife is planning a coup here. If I buy and I get overextended, then we have a credit crisis, the Mookified economy collapses, she makes a power grab. If I don't buy, I'm in for it real deep, and no football game or whatever else I can find on TV will get me out of that conversation alive. And then I'll be out buying something really nice to overcompensate and say something stupid about having had this planned for a while. You know, a big fat lie that she'll catch me in sooner or later. I think she has me locked up in the perfect storm situation here and there's no way to avoid it.
I spent time thinking I would be in charge of my life. And yet somehow I'm beginning to think that was all a master illusion. A woman, whether it was mom in the beginning or the wife now, has always been running the show and just telling us that we're handling ourselves just fine. Either way, we were set up by them and the jewelry stores have disguised themselves as our "helpers", when in reality they're all in cahoots against us men.