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Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Gullibility of Women

Sometimes I wonder at what actually goes on inside the brain of a woman, or at least, inside my Beloved's head.

I titled this post "The Gullibility of Women", but I am not implying that I have tried to fool my own true love in any way, or tried to hide facts from her.

I'm not talking about the occasional cigar I might surreptitiously puff behind the bike sheds at Nuova Lazio High School.


The emergency medicinal Whisky I keep in the secret compartment of my carpenter's bench in the garage.


The packets of cashew nuts, salamis and processed cheese slices removed quietly from the Emergency Earthquake Supplies box..



I'm talking about shopping.

Last week, the Wine Guy was droning on about pontificating discussing discount wines and their availability through specialised web sites.

I mentioned that we seldom bought a wine over $10, and with a couple of exceptions, they were quite drinkable, and that many were NZ wines.

I believe the Wine Guy's response was on the order of saying that we were drinking crap.

I mentioned this to my Beloved and she looked shocked.

"That's terrible" she said.

"I know" I replied, I don't think they're all that bad"

"No" she snapped back, "I'm talking about you getting it wrong"  "Again"

Now I've been well brought up.
My Dad trained me well, and I've had my skills honed after 35 years of marriage.

"Sorry Dear" I humbled
and after a few seconds pause "What did I get wrong?"

"We never buy such cheap wines" "All the wines I buy are over $25, some over $35"

Now I am a little bit of a control freak.  It comes I think with being a teacher, or maybe it's just a Man Thing, but I like to know all that I can.

I'm not as bad as a bloke I used to work with in the 80s.  He used to keep a little black notebook in his breast pocket, and every time he spent money, he would write it down.  We were working in Sales and marketing for a division of a very large Pharmaceutical/Diagnostic company,  and we were on expense accounts then, and while it was fairly important to keep track of everything we spent on business (and especially collect the receipts) he wrote down everything.
Item: Newspaper, cost 30p
Item: Use of toilet, cost 10p

So I wasn't quite as anal as that but I tried to keep track of my Beloved's spending at all times.

(My Dad, before I got married said to me:
"Son, there's two things a Man Has To Do for a happy marriage"
"Firstly, if you have an argument (and you will) always apologise, especially if you're right (and you will be)"
"Secondly, stop your wife from spending money ")

But I do peruse the receipts from Countdown and Pack 'n' Save (as well as collect the petrol discount voucher) and I could not remember seeing any wine over $10.

"Which wines were over $10?" I gently enquired.
"All of them" she snorted (genteelly)

"But Dear", "I cannot remember seeing any wine over $10 on the receipts"
"Of course not" She snorted again (less genteelly) "I never spend more than $10"

There now followed at least a 30 second pause, as Husband's poor brain tries in vain to process the contradictory information presented to it.


"What" she snapped. (Nothing bloody genteel about this)

"I don't understand My Darling" (Every bloke in a long term partnership can express an extraordinary range of emotion in those two words) (This time it conveyed a subtle hint of "What the F*ck")

She stared hard at me until I smiled winsomely, then said "I didn't PAY more than $10 but they were $25 - $35 originally"

Ah. Light dawned.

"Oh you mean they were reduced from $25 - $35 to $10?"

"Yes" she snorted (Gentility is no longer even a dim and distant memory)

Now I have a lot of respect for my Beloved in many, many ways, but How The F*ck does she believe all the marketing hype.

Does she know that the original price was $35?
She believes what's on the label. (Which is strange, because she doesn't always believe everything I say.)  I blame the Wine Guy.  He used to be in Wine Marketing, and he's probably responsible for all the hype and lying misdirection marketing statements and stated original price..

Every time.

Sad, isn't it.

I still love her, always, but sometimes I really wonder what goes on in her head.

I know what goes on in mine.


  1. And we women are just as baffled at the brains men have. After 4 brothers, a father, a stepfather and a husband I still haven't figured out how you guys process things.

  2. All is revealed and I am happy with your wife's purchasing strategy.
    I too buy the wines on special and my eye goes first to how much discount is off the wine before the actual price.
    The problem is though that those lying bastards (the supermarkets not the marketers) tend to inflate the 'usual' price. They conveniently ignore the massive buyers discount that they have screwed from the supplier and the usurious 'marketing support' compulsory levy that they have strangled out of them and they pretend to mark up normally on a fictitious buy in price as if all the dollars off the purchases didn't exist. They also theoretically apply massive mark-ups to come up with the ridiculous 'normally' $35.99 figure. They then say now $11.99 a 'saving' of $24.00! I don't know how they lie straight in bed.

  3. Austan: It's simple, just follow the following steps.
    1. State the problem.
    2. Allow us to think of the solution(this may take a little time)
    3. Allow us ti fix the problem accoring to our plan.



    The Wine Guy: Yep, it's all about lying.

    What did you do when you were in marketing?

  4. reminded me very much of this....

  5. Alistair: I'm sorry, but I disagree.

    How could you possibly write something like that, or embed such a vile and stereotypical video?

    I'm shocked, shocked by such a chauvenistic attitude, and you deserve a fate worse that castration.

    *Phew, she's gone now. Yep, it's almost the sam...*

    I think you might benefit from some therapy Alistair.
    You're a very naughty boy.

  6. Listen what you don't get is that there is a delicate balance that we shoppers go through - it's the fear of loss vs the opportunity to gain. And if there is a discount the fear grows proportionately to the opportunity.
    I was laughing reading your post at all the gurning your face was going through. Or are you more Victor Meldrew?

  7. A couple of years ago I read Daniel Ariely, the behavioral economist's book, "Predictably Irrational" about in part the power of marketing. It is hard to look at things the same since. Here is a link to some sample chapter's:

    Deeply disturbing stuff.

  8. Plummy Mummy: Welcome, I've seen your name around. As far s shopping goes, I do empathise with you poor shoppers.
    Do YOU believe everything you see?
    Would you believe that EVERYTHING is GENUINELY 60% reduced.

    My Beloved often does.


    As far as the gurning and Victor are concerned, I have only one thing to say.

    Happy now.

    merry christmas

    Laoch: I've vaguely heard of the power of targeted marketing techniques, but I wasn't aware of this book. I'll have a read thanks.

    Merry Christmas (it's 30 minutes past midnight here on 25th December.)

  9. Whoa, it's only 10:00am on December 24th here. I guess I am gullible because I usually believe in those "discounted" prices, although the place where I buy wine usually only knocks $1 off the price anyway.

    But what about the 10% discount when you buy a case? Isn't that a real discount?

    Merry Christmas.

  10. Patience_Crabstick: Merry Christmas. I've had a good nights sleep, and it's now 10:00 am on a gorgeous and sunny Christmas morning.

    I think the 10% discount for a case is genuine. Most businesses do offer a reasonable discount for bulk orders, because their overheads on large sales are lower.

    I always look at the final price. if it seems reasonable I feel happy.

  11. I hope you had a very merry christmas TSB with lashings of good (and more than $20 a bottle) wines.
    Save the Laphroaig for New Year's eve (Hogmanay).

  12. Dear Twisted, You are a man who loves to live dangerously. I can see you out in the shed for some time if Mrs T ever caught sight of this post! Mrs T is clearly doing her best to obtain the best value for money. The question is not whether Mrs T is being conned by the wicked supermarket establishment (because we all are) but whether you both derive pleasure from the $10 bottles. If so, end of discussion. Did you have a lovely Christmas? Lindaxxx

  13. My friend moved to Inverness a few years ago and he said that it's a known fact in the area that Sainsbury's use Inverness (because hardly anyone shops there, and the ones that do speak funny) as the shop in which the "Was" price is charged.

    Without wishing to impugn your wife's command of home economics, it's a complete con to imagine a wine "reduced" from 14.99 to 7.49 is being sold at "half price". No, it's being sold in n-1 branches at 7.49 while the poor imbibers of the Highlands pay 14.99.

    And at this stage I see something most worrying. An empty glass. I will arise now and rectify this unhappy situation. Happy Boxing Day!

  14. The Curmudgeon: Thanks, we did. My Beloved wanted a sparkling, so we had Lindauer "Summer". Quite nice. Followed by a Rimu Grove Pinot Noir 2007. OK, but not quite to my taste.

    The Laphroig is empty! *sob* Damned New Zealand UV, causing huge evaporation, RIGHT THROUGH THE BOTTLE.

    Have a good Hogmanay.

    Linda in Chile: Please understand that I am not really denegrating my Beloved's wine selection, it's normally pretty good, and she always does her best to get a "good" price. It's the logic process behind the decision tht I find confusing.

    And also please understand that she doesn't read this blog.

    If she did, I might be turning up on your doorstep in Chile asking for some form of Political Asylum.

    And yes, we did have a lovely Christmas, and i hope you did also.

    How do they celebrate Christmas in Chile?
    Roast Guinea Pig?

    looby: I hadn't heard of the Inverness Sainsbury's story before, but I'll ask my sister in law who lives on the Black Isle to have a look.

    I do know about the "price wars" I used to work for Comet in the UK, and we always knew when a sale was coming up, because about 100 items in the store would suddenly go way up in price about 4-5 weeks before the actual sale started.

    Keep your glass full, and I hope you enjoyed your Nut Roast. *trying to be polite, but retching quietly behind hand*

  15. Wasn't it stinking hot day here yesterday (Christmas Day) for us out here in the beautiful Hutt Valley under the clear blue sky.
    Almost too hot. We had our dinner on the deck. Wonderful. However sun & heat (even with a large market style canvas umbrella in teh middle of our outdoor kwilla dinning table did'nt stop the heat getting to me. That and the bubbly and the turkey with all the trimmings finished off with trifle and christmas pudding with lots of glasses of cold water in between. After finally dispatching my in-laws around 5pm I had a bad headache so had to lie down for a few hours a cool off. A great day, but one of the hottest and sunniest for several years.

  16. VG: Yep, it was amazingly sunny and hot. We spent Boxing Day by the river at Kaitoki with friends having a lovely kiwi picnic, with cricket thrown in.

  17. Well done TSB - Kaitoke is the perfect spot for a kiwi picnic by the lovely rivesr and bush. Even better for a BBQ. Another 2 points toward your citizenship badge, since you will be also becoming a citizen of our fair city. Now I hope you can identify by sight at least 6 native birds adn I see you may need to brush up on your spelling of some local place names - especially those that are in te reo.

  18. VG: Thanks for correcting me. You know how much I like being corrected by lovely ladies.

    I can name 6 NZ birds;
    and finally

  19. TSB- but what if there's no problem?

  20. Austan: I'm married, I love my wife and always wish to make her happy; so of course there's always a f*cking problem.
    Thanks for visiting.


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