It’s a pleasant Sunday morning and I’m knee-deep in eggs benedict with my boy. He’s there placidly reading the news and, as either a chivalrous gesture, or as an attempt to quell my rambling, he offers me a section of the paper. I’m not too big to take him up on it. I choose my sections with some degree of care: the magazine section, real estate and, sure, some catalogues.
The catalogues though, at this time of the year, have taken on a new meaning. For the previous eleven months of the year, I’d been able to happily peruse through advertisements, to mindlessly window shop without fear of retribution. In December though, apparently, it’s evident that I’m trying to subtly drop hints. I’ve learnt that dropping hints is a crime punishable by subjection to quizzical expressions and vague slights. I was met with “Jewellery, eh? Don’t even think about it.” In this instance, I honestly wasn’t.
A few weeks ago, an advert came on television raving about a cheap, hipster-fodder camera. I made all of the requisite “ooohs” and “aaaahs” that ‘hint dropping’ requires.
My boy said to me, “you want one, don’t you?”
I wasn’t coy in my reply. There was no room, in my mind, for bashful meandering. “Do I want one? …Yup.” In fact, I was inches away from following it up with “you should buy me one for Christmas.” That’s how you should drop hints –ask for what you want; just look the person in the eye and say ‘that would make a great Christmas gift.’
Maybe that’s not romantic. Maybe that’s just buying into marketing folks ingenious plans to make us all buy more garbage. It’s becoming my view though, that a touch of romance may be worth sacrificing to save the boloney.
Guessing what someone wants is a nightmare. The idea is, supposedly, that you’re supposed to know your significant other so well, that Christmas shopping should be easy. I think that’s a farce. “I love you so much – here’s a selection of hot sauces. It says that you’re in good taste and that I still find you very sexy. Geddit?”
I vote for honesty. Discuss whether you’re ‘doing’ Christmas with your loved one. Set a budget if you decide that Christmas is the way to go. Purchase sensible gifts and then exchange them.
Or, skip it all – because, for once Mariah Carey was right.