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Sunday, 12 December 2010


We went for a little trip to Johnsonville yesterday.
Even though her back was still pretty sore, my beloved insisted she was well enough to go to a long-planned Tai Chi conference and exhibition
I was acting in my usual role as taxi driver and escort, but Praise Be, I was allowed to escape for the 4 hours while the exhibition was taking place.

I had a pleasant drive through Churton Park, Tawa and ended up in Porirua.
I'm so glad I live in Upper Hutt.

I had planned to be in Porirua, as I had a plan in place to supply a surprise Christmas present to my beloved.
You may remember the problems I have had with Christmas presents in the past, here's a list to remind you.

  1. Frying Pan. This one was meant as a joke, as a secondary or tertiary gift, backing up the primary. Unfortunately, the primary gift, (a very expensive set of Hi-Fidelity wireless earphones) was rejected within 0.2 milliseconds of the gift being removed from its packaging, so the jocularity I had planned for when I bought out the frying pan was absent. A stony and extended silence ensued.

    36 hours of frigid silence at Christmas does not a happy holiday make.
  2. Perfume. Normally a good choice, especially when it’s a reputable brand like Channel, Yves St. Laurent etc. But. Don’t get perfume as the main gift 5 years in a row, and don’t, I really mean, NEVER buy the same perfume that your Mum used to use.
  3. Vacuum Cleaner. No matter how good the advertising is, nor how crappy your present Hoover is, don’t be tempted. Guys might be happy with a socket set, or a rechargeable drill or even a set of screwdrivers, but the balance is NOT equitable. Home appliances ≠ female happiness.
  4. Irons. This was my major mistake in all the years. Do you have any idea how scary it is to see a heavy, stainless steel iron coming at your face at about 80 mph? Remember Home appliances ≠ female happiness.
  5. Automobile. This one was a shocker. I had really believed that this time it was the winner. A metallic blue, Mazda MX5 (Miata in the USA) convertible. I had polished it, it was gleaming in the summer sunshine (Christmas is early summer in NZ) and my beloved had always said that she wanted a convertible. Tears and mutterings of “never gave me the choice” indicated that I had miscalculated.
  6. Negligee. The basic idea was alright, I think. Attractive but not too slutty, expensive, comfortable (so said the assistant, who thinking about it now, was on commission) unfortunately, it was too small. I had bought it 2 sizes too small. It was the same size as she had when we got married. I think it implied “getting fat”. I wasn’t “getting fat”, I didn’t get any Christmas dinner that year.
  7. Negligee. Same as 6, but this time, to be on the safe side, I had bought a bigger size. 8 sizes bigger than the original size. “Much safer” I thought. “She can always exchange it” I thought. “ I’m getting hungry” I thought, as I didn’t get any Christmas dinner two years in a row.
  8. Clothes. Any type; blouses, skirts, trousers, woollens, dresses. It doesn’t matter what you buy, the size/shape/design/colour/fit/designer/size will be wrong. I know I’ve mentioned size twice. Even when you change it to the “proper” size, it’ll still be wrong. There is one exception; Dressing Gowns are acceptable. It's really difficult to get the wrong size, but they are NEUTRAL, they don't get you any brownie points, or food (or any Sex, come to that)
  9. Money. As I neared desperation, I began to try those items removing all personal choice. Money would be safe I thought. Oh no. “Too impersonal” I was told. It showed I didn’t care. It showed I hadn’t thought much about it. Shit.
  10. Jewellery. Far too expensive, but I made the sacrifice. Spent 3 months prowling around the jewellers and finally decided on a lovely gold and sapphire gold ring. I decided on specifying white gold, as it was that bit more unusual and unique, and I thought it suited the fitting perfectly. First reaction was all that I could have expected, and then I was asked two questions.

    1. What had I done that made me feel so guilty that I had bought such an expensive gift.
    2. Why did I choose white gold. I knew (she said) that She didn’t like white gold. It was unlucky. (Our bloody wedding rings are in white gold. She doesn’t miss a trick)

    So this Christmas it is going to be the present of her dreams.  Wish me luck.
    I think I'll need it.

    When we returned home, my beloved's back was really sore, so I volunteered to cook again.
    A faint look of repugnance flitted across my beloved's countenance.  "So that's a NO then", I thought.
    "What about congee?" I asked (congee is a sort of rich rice porridge, with meat and veg)
    "We don't have suitable vegetables" she said. (seemingly chicken and asparagus is not a suitable mix.  Don't ask me, I'm just a stupid man.  Obviously.)
    Then I volunteered to make some French Toast.  (I wasn't particularly hungry. as I had sneaked a clandestine Burger in Porirua.  Actually, that'd make a good title for a song.  "The Burger from Porirua")
    My beloved said yes, so I made the French Toast:

    4 eggs well beaten
    ½ cup milk
    Dash of Worcester sauce (must be Lee & Perrins)
    4 slices of bread
    (No offence to our American friends, but sweet French Toast isn't as good as savoury.  Keep the maple syrup away please)
    Soak bread in egg mixture until completely soggy
    Slide into hot well oiled frying pan
    Fry for 3-4 minutes per side
    Serve hot, with extra salt and pepper.
    They were perfect.  Nice and crunchy on the outside, nicely moist on the inside.
    I added a couple of fried tomatoes for some gesture towards healthy eating, but it was really in vain.
    I SCORED A 10
    It may have been my superb culinary skills
    It may have been my beloved's hunger (She had no lunch)
    It may have been the codeine (and a glass of wine) acting on her judgement.
    But I didn't care.
    Wow, You're so clever


  1. TSB (nta,tS), it's time for you to take the reins, time to stop being Mr Nicey-nicey. It sounds like she is treating you like a year ten class treats a reliever who wants to be 'one of the guys'.
    You're a man - we fight wars, fix cars, pee in public (when we really have to), we don't cry when it all gets too much, we fix dishwashers, we can change any lightbulb, we tie broken things up so that they last another month, we did gardens.
    No one expects us to understand about fashion, clothes sizes (I don't even know my own), or present buying. When we buy something silly it's cute (and something to laugh with girlfriends about) because buying presents is women's work.
    The big mistake you are making is trying to get present buying right.
    Answer this question...
    You're out with your wife and suddenly you feel a tyre getting flat (yes, men are sensitive to things like that), what do you do?
    1) Sit and feel helpless, maybe have a little snivel?
    2) Hope that your wife will know what has gone wrong?
    3) Get out and change the bloody thing?
    If you answered 1 or 2, there's no point in trying to please your wife because you are gay.
    There's nothing wrong with being gay - in fact you'll suddenly notice that you're buying your wife things she loves. It's just that a gay guy doesn't require the obvious benefits that a very happy wife can supply.
    If you answered 3, it's time to face up to who you are.
    You're a bloke, one of that breed known as men, men who fancy women and can deal with a surprise mechanical failure.
    Even though you haven't done it before on this particular car, you know how to located the spare tyre, and the jack. You know to loosen the bolts before elevating the flat tyre. You know you're going to finish up with black hands but, what the hell, if you wipe them on your trousers, which are a manly dark colour, no one will know.
    Your wife won't thank you for changing the tyre, because she knows you're a man. Somewhere deep in her brain she'll feel a slight flutter of safety that comes from being with a man. She may laugh about your present choices, she may worry about what you cook, she may get angry with you at times but, deep down, she will be content with the knowledge that she is with a man - not some namby pamby present buyer, but a man who can solve life's big problems; like getting rid of dead mice, clearing a gutter, unblocking a toilet, and replacing a broken fuse wire.

  2. Goodness, I bow my head;
    I am in the presence of A Master OF Men.
    I do agree with much of what you write.
    I have found through bitter experience that my sex ration is almost directly proportional to the index of Present Appropriateness,
    The scale is roughly as follows.
    Frying Pan - Index 0 -6 months nookie starvation
    Chocolate - Index 2 - 2 months nookie starvation
    Perfume - Index 5 - 1 week nookie starvation
    Gold - Index 10 - 0 Days nookie starvation. Actually if the gold is big enough, you might actually encounter that rara avis the rampant and horny wife.
    I've never actually seen it, but there are rumours amongst the man-shed-network.

  3. Goodness so many words. Too many some might say.
    I was in Johnsonville also. I had to drop of a present for my younger brother then pick up a pressy for my darling. Strangely I do recall someone sitting on my tail honking!

  4. I strongly object to the insinuation. I had a shower before I left home.


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