What husbands, wives want for Christmas
Posted: Wednesday, December 24, 2008 11:09 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt
Marketing is a strange and wonderful thing. Take this billboard strategy for instance, “Diamonds ... what every man wants for Christmas.” A plethora of diamonds are piled up next to a man who looks as though he just won an F-150 extended cab. His wife bought him diamonds for Christmas and he simply can’t contain the joy. I’m sorry. I don’t buy it. Do you know why the man even agreed to be on the billboard? It involved a free flashlight and a year’s supply of pork rinds.
I feel sorry for women shopping for men. I feel more sorry for men shopping for women. Really. There’s always a man who walks into a store on Christmas Eve looking like he hasn’t been to a retail facility since the early ’80s. And all he can think about is last year when he ordered online and bought his wife “Jams and Jellies of the Caribbean.” This is a man who needs help. Retail facilities should have special personnel in place for these individuals. Equally pitiful are women who want to use Christmas as an opportunity to dress their man up like a Ken doll. I’m sorry. If a man has a farmer’s tan, eats bacon and eggs for breakfast, and chews tobacco ... he doesn’t want a Calvin Klein leather jacket. That’s not rocket science, ladies. That’s just a fact of nature.
What’s worse is when husbands or wives use Christmas as an opportunity to “enlighten” on a subject they feel is greatly lacking in their spouses. Let me illustrate with a story about fictional characters, George and Geraldine. For Christmas, Geraldine gives George a large book with tiny print. He opens the book and says, “Honey, I don’t like to read.” She says, “Yes. I know. But, I thought you should start reading.” George replies, “Sweetheart, I’m 71. At this point in my life, I’m probably not going to stay up late and read Tolstoy.” She runs from the room crying. George runs to comfort her. He says, “Sweetheart, don’t feel bad. Here. Open your gift.” She opens a large box of gardening tools and canning jars. “Oh, George, you know I hate gardening and canning!” “I know. But, I thought you could use a hobby ... and besides, I’ve been hankerin’ for some pickled beets.” KABOOM!
In order to be of service, I’ve constructed a few helpful hints:
Husband’s wish list:
1. I wish I could put my feet on the coffee table even with shoes on.
2. I wish my wife would love me more and stop obsessing about her weight, her wrinkles or whether she looks older or younger than Marianne, her best friend from high school.
3. I wish just once my wife would let me say, “You’re beautiful” ... without her saying something back like, “Well, I hate this haircut.” OR “These jeans don’t do a thing for me.”
4. I wish that during the holidays my kids would say, “Thanks, Dad. We appreciate you.”
5. I wish someone in my life would acknowledge, “You’re smart. I respect you and I think you’ve done something really significant with your life.”
Wife’s wish list:
1. I wish I could take a bath with expensive bubble bath and a good book and know that no one would bother me.
2. I wish my husband would look at me the way he looked at me when we were dating. I wish he would say, “You’re beautiful and I can’t live without you.”
3. I wish my kids would treat each other with love and respect. Just once, I wish one would let the other go first.
4. I wish I could eat my weight in chocolate ... and lose 10 pounds (Hey, it’s a “wish” list, remember?)
5. I wish someone would say, “I know you’re doing your very best ... and I appreciate you.”
Give these lists a try. And remember there’s always “Jams and Jellies of the Caribbean” to fall back on.
Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt’s column appears each Wednesday in the Friends and Neighbors section of The Messenger. Mrs. Smartt is the wife of Philip Smartt, the University of Tennessee at Martin parks and recreation and forestry professor, and is mother to two boys, Stephen and Jonathan. She is a freelance writer and speaker. Her book “The Smartt View: Life, Love, and Cluttered Closets” is available at The Messenger, The University of Tennessee at Martin bookstore or by mail for $10, plus $2 shipping. Send checks to Lisa Smartt, 300 Parrott Road, Dresden TN 38225. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 12.24.08
Lisa Smartt, The Smartt View