Man buys present
Dear Regular Guy,
I'm absolutely fed up with my man's lack of thought when it comes to buying me presents. On those few occasions when he actually remembers my birthday, he almost always comes up with something so obviously bought at the very last minute from our local petrol station that it's not even worth my while pretending not to notice. I've seen a website called Man Buys Present - should I point him towards that?
Dear Fed Up,
Speaking as the man who bought his wife a gas barbecue for her birthday a couple of years ago, I can honestly say they do some lovely bunches of carnations in our local BP Station, so I'm not really sure what your issue is but nonetheless I do have an answer for you.
Provided he actually knows when your birthday is and roughly how old you will be, then he can sit back and let the computer do all of the work for him. He won't have to expend the slightest effort in buying and presenting you with a gift that has been automatically chosen from a list of vetted-by-bona-fide-women items.
At least I think they are vetted, my wife would throw me her special "You complete twat" look if I sent her a "Wine Cellar" plaque or £400 Union Flag blanket with the UK shipping forecast locations printed across it (both are genuine options).
Your man sets a price bracket he is comfortable with (I think they need to lower the minimum value option, but that's me for you), then he specifies if this is for a wife or a girlfriend (presumably if you click girlfriend it includes lingerie in its selections, these were understandably missing in the ‘wife' option I tested), how old you will be and when he wants it delivered by.
The computer provides a set of three suggestions from which he can easily pick one or ‘spin' to be given more options.
The price shown is all inclusive of the item, the delivery and even hand-wrapping done, apparently, in that special girly way that you ladies seem to set so much store by.
Job done and everyone's a winner. HE doesn't miss the football and YOU get a gift that maybe you will be happy with.
This is where the potential flaw in the idea raises its profile. The essential premise of this is that the man doesn't have to think, that he can trust their judgement because they know what a woman would want better than an average man would. (Really? A ring with part of a recycled map in it?) So men would be putting even less thought into it than usual.
Which means only one thing.
The only thing we will actually look at is the price.
Even in his maddest, last-minute rush at the petrol station, your man will pick up something that he thinks you would like. He might be wrong but he still THINKS that you would like it. Whereas, here he won't even look at anything but the cost and that means that you are getting a pebble engraved with your initials and a love heart.
It's a gift chosen by someone else, someone who has never met you, who doesn't know you... there's nothing personal about that. Nothing loving.
I guess it depends on whether the important thing here is the material gain of a present or the love of the idiot buying it.
Even a tiny amount of ill-considered thought has to be better than none at all.