A COLLECTION OF STORIES BY LUKE TAGG
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SMOKE: The Horror Of Buying For Women

Originally published: 28 February 2006

I've never been good at buying things for people be they gifts, meals or pretty much anything else. The margin for error is so impossibly slim it causes me vicious bouts of angina just thinking about it.

Buying things for blokes is alright I suppose, largely because if you get it wrong they're more philosophical about it. But women tend to get emotional about things and are rarely philosophical about anything.

Take jewellery, for instance. I've never understood how blokes do it in the movies or on telly - they buy a big ole ring for their sweetheart and somehow their sweethearts always love them and coo about how beautiful they are.

The rings, that is - not the blokes.

Yet from what I've seen chicks are very particular about their jewellery. A guy will think some ring is nice and big and flashy, but a girl will see it as gaudy and cheap and not something to be caught dead wearing.

When I got engaged I sent Tashi off to buy her own damn ring. Same thing when we got married. As if I'm going to be responsible for buying the piece of jewellery she has to wear for her entire adult life - what if I'd bought her something she didn't like?

See? I was preserving my marriage before it even started.

It's not just jewellery, of course. Many's the seedy oke who's had to hover about for hours in the Intimate Wear section of some department store, nervously fingering bits of satin and lace and trying hard not to let his woody get out of control.

It's impossible to appear as the man-of-the-world you want to be perceived as - you just look like yet another pig-of-a-husband forcing his wife into immorality and sin.

Appalling, man.

All around you are stout, sturdy mothers buying their beige granny panties and sensible, god-fearing brassieres, while you stand about wrestling with the complexities of kinky black satin versus virginal white cotton.

You're always the odd man out, and your intentions - no matter how good they are, despite the fact that they usually aren't - can be construed as nothing but objectification of women and the work of a sad, pathetic pervert.

Knowing glances are exchanged amongst the wholesome matrons, and yet another addendum is added to the big black book entitled The Bastard Pig-Losers That Are Men.

It's a best-seller, I hear.

Having to buy feminine hygiene products like tampons is also a stress - not because a period is something to be ashamed of, but because it raises awareness of a woman's 'condition' at that time.

If you see someone with a box of tampons your mind flits briefly to what they're for. I get embarrassed at the thought of people thinking those private thoughts.

But my worst is when you are given instructions by a woman to buy her sweets or something at the shops. If she can specify which sweets, fine - no problem. But when she says "Oh, anything", or "Surprise me" I break out in a cold sweat, because invariably I'm going to get it wrong.

When a feller says "Oh, anything" he means it. When a chick says it she kinda vaguely means it ... but not.

What she means is "Oh anything, as long as it's not something I don't want", and since women never know what they want until they know what they don't want it makes buying off-the-cuff things very tricky indeed, and highly stressful.


I always end up getting pretty much the only thing she didn't want, and it's pointless going on about how she should have been more specific. Never point out a woman's shortcomings if you ever want sex again in your entire life.

So these days I insist on knowing precisely what a woman wants as well as a minimum of two back-up wants, before satisfying myself that I can safely venture out and spend money.

I've tried to make it a policy of mine never to do anything that can get me in trouble, but just doing that would get me in even more trouble because I'd be doing absolutely nothing. Chicks hate it when okes do nothing. Trust me. I've looked into it.

And it's completely the opposite the other way round - women will buy men clothing and food and anything else without even asking them, knowing there'll be no complaints.

What they don't realise is that the lack of complaints is less about men being happy with everything that is bought for them and more about the fact that men still want sex one day. Telling a woman you don't like the jersey she bought you is tantamount to sexual suicide.

The only possible solution to the problem is to get filthy rich and buy everything in sight. Have it all delivered to your wife by a hung stud boy and give her 12 hours and 12 inches to rediscover her love for you.

Chicks, huh? Sheesh.

All Smoked Out,
Luke Tagg
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Copyright © Luke Tagg. All rights reserved. A few lefts as well.

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