Gift Giving Advice From The Editrix of New York Shitty
The Mister, as are many others I have been told, has developed a fixation on the television show “Mad Men”.Â He says it hails back to a time when “men were men”. I do not disagree with him. In fact, this is the fly in my proverbial ointment. Unlike a number of people, I do not view the “good ol’ days” as being that good.
I have zero interest in living in the past for the simple reason that history has been for the large part none too kind to women. For this reason, just as the Supreme Court created a “three prong test” in regards to obscenity, I have created a three prong litmus test ofÂ livability. I call it “The Three P’s Test” . It is as follows:
- Indoor plumbing
- and the Pill (READ: birth control) being readily available to any and all who may need/want it.
Anything else is, in my humble opinion, obscene. But I digress. The Mister has taken his Mad Men fixation to the next level, e.g.;
- wearing shirts with French cuffs
- carefully and with much consideration and deliberation purchasing cuff-links for the aforementioned shirts
- collecting old-school cocktailian gear
- cultivating a lion’s share of cardigans
His failed experiment with Brylcreem was certainly a setback. When the Mister asked me for my take on his dabbling with a little dab will do ya I replied:
Whenever I see Brylcreem I think of Ronald Reagan.
This was not the answer he was looking for. However cruel this retort may seem to you, dear readers, I assure it was much kinder than what I was thinking. If three years of marriage has taught me anything it is this:
- Don’t f*ck with the primary bread winner.
- Especially if he happens to get up earlier than you do.
- I live at the expense of the Chez Shitty welfare state (see points #1 and #2).
All things considered, I don’t mind the Mister going “Retro”. It appeals to his meticulous nature and love of order. It makes him happy. I think it is cute— provided it does not intrude upon my admittedly Laissez faire approach to life. In this respect we are polar opposites. My concept of “organization” (in his mind, anyway) is probably akin to how cabbies in Rome adhere to traffic laws: a madcap adventure with numerous twists and turns yet no one, miraculously, is hurt.
Inasmuch as this drive him crazy, the Mister has learned that attempts to be helpful in regards to my scatter-shot sense of organization, as well-intentioned as they may be (and they are), are futile. It only leads down a road of perdition fraught with frustration and large quantities of profanity. Case in point:
On November 6, 2008 I wrote:
My husband espouses a very interesting approach to gift-giving. I learned this very early on when I received my first Christmas present from him:
a Hello Kitty jewelry box which plays “Everything Is Beautiful”. I did my best to conceal my disappointment. I failed miserably.
You’re always misplacing your jewelry, I thought this would be helpful.
I tried out of sheer guilt, dear readers, to use this item. It didn’t work out for two reasons:
- The Tupperware bowl I keep my cache of paste in works just fine.
- The aforementioned Tupperware bowl does not play an insipid song by Ray Stevens every fucking time I open it.
I really dislike Ray Stevens, folks. So you can imagine my dismay after willfully and deliberating leaving this jewelry box open (so as to run down the hand cranked music box) only to hear THAT RAGE-INDUCING SONG every damned time I opened it. I finally broke down and asked the Mister about it. Here’s his reply:
I noticed it was not playing music (when you open it) so I have been winding it up for you.
I took a deep breath, explained to him that I had let the music box on this item run down on purpose and requested that he please refrain from winding it. I felt like an ungrateful shitheel for doing this but I really couldn’t handle listening to that syrupy sweet song. It would have been like me giving him a humidor that cranks AC/DC whenever he opens it.
Nonetheless the Mister learned a very valuable lesson that year: trying to organize me is futile…
Years later I cannot part with this item. I never use it, but still I have a fondness for it. Be it due to guilt or sentimentality (I’m guessing the previous). It was a token of affection and I find the thought behind it— as misguided it may have been—Â touching. Most importantly, the Mister has quit winding it. He has since observed that my disorganization leads me on many an adventure of discovery when foraging through my (disorganized) stuff:
Oh, I forgot I had this.
Gee, this is neat!
Every day is Christmas at Chez Shitty!
If there’s a lesson to be learned here it is this: don’t buy practical gifts for your significant others. Which brings me to this advertisement which undoubtedly was the brainchild of a Mad Men-esque forum. It comes from the November 1947 issue of Women’s Home Companion.
Can a Washer for Christmas say “I love you”?
“Joe” was doubtful, but “Sue” was certain:
But what a time I had selling Joe! He still thinks of me as a glamor girl. No. 1. How can a girl stay glamorous with three kids on her neck… unless she has a lot of help.
A “girl” with “three kids” is a woman. Methinks “Sue” had a lot of help— albeit of the pharmaceutical persuasion. The Mister can replicate the early 1960’s all he wants; I am firmly entrenched in the 21st century, thank you very much. Even if I cannot text message for shit.
This post is dedicated to Mister Heather— and not just for points 1-3.
P.S.: I do not want this tome to discourage the ladies reading this from purchasing dishwashers and such sundries for their hubbies. As far as I’m concerned (with tongue firmly in cheek)Â it’s their turn to take one for the team. Be sure to hang mistletoe over that Amana or Frigidaire to soften the blow!
P.S. #2: For those of you who are wondering, the lady who graces the beginning of this post is not yours truly. It is Eva Gabor of Green Acres andÂ “non-slapping of Police officers” renown. I’d have to win the Nobel Prize to tolerate being manicured in such a fashion. I am not a glamor girl. I do not cyber-schtup for $1,700Â sofas. Repeatedly. Sweats, sunblock and shabby chic are my M.O. “Slob” is the new black!