Saturday, 14 February 2015
I don't want to sound mean-spirited, but it's always pissed me off a little that when you get invited to a wedding, you're expected to take a gift.
The fancy register, in particular gets my goat.
Isn't it enough that they've found true love? Do they really need a toaster or an iron to sweeten the deal? "Wow, a stainless steel potato peeler! Now this really is the best day of my life."
The gifts, however, don't stop on the wedding day. Oh nooooooo ..... then come the anniversaries. A couple of my friends celebrated their 10th recently, so I jumped online to find out what might be an appropriate gift. That's when I made a startling discovery.
Did you know that they've updated the traditional wedding anniversary gifts? It's true. Let's start with the 10th year anniversary. In the good old days, f you made it to ten years, the appropriate gift was tin. But these days, some baked beans and Alphaghetti in a can, don't cut it. Tin has been replaced by - wait for it - diamonds!
It says something about the state of modern marriage that in the old days you had to wait 60 years for diamonds, but now, if you're lucky enough to make it to ten years, t's time to crack out the bling. In fact, if you do make it to ten years, you'd better ensure that you're making some good coin, because the next few years are going to cost you big time.
There are diamonds (ten), a girl's best friend; fashion jewellery (eleven), a girl's best friend's best friend; pearls (twelve); furs (thirteen); and gold jewellery (fourteen) - which, if they're not her best friends, they would certainly make her Facebook top 10.
And it's not just the big anniversaries that are more costly - they've all changed. Traditionally the first anniversary was paper. So a card and a copy of the daily paper had you covered. Actually, you really didn't even need a present. Just what you would have wrapped it in.
These days it's a bit more difficult. I suspect that if you tried to give your missus something made out of paper, the only paper you'll get in return will have the word "divorce" written on it. Apparently nowadays, the appropriate gift for the first anniversary is a clock. A clock isn't such a bad pressie, I guess. Unless it's an egg timer to measure your performance in the bedroom.
If you manage to make it to the second year, traditionally the gift was cotton, which means you could basically cover it with a t-shirt. These days you're expected to fork out for china, which I think means plates and cups and not sweet and sour pork from the local takeaway.
The third year anniversary used to be celebrated with leather, which makes me think that in the old days if you managed to stick at your marriage for three years, things started to get a little kinky. Sadly, now you have to wait nine long years for the leather anniversary - perhaps it's an incentive to make marriages last longer.
Today the fourth anniversary is celebrated with appliances, which is quite fitting as it about this time when all the warranties on your wedding gifts expire and everything stops working. Traditionally this anniversary was celebrated with flowers, but these days, flowers are the gift when blokes forget your anniversary - any one!!
All jokes aside, some of the changes are just plain stupid. In the old days, the gift for the seventh anniversary was simple - wool. Nice. That could be anything from a fluffy jumper to a crochet tea cosy.
Not now ..... oh nooooooooo. Do you know what they've replaced it with? Go on, give it a go!!! Nah forget it .... I'll tell you - desk sets. Once more for the cheap seats - desk sets!!
Desk sets! Can you believe it? How romantic. I know I've personally lost track of the number of Hallmark cards I've seen with "Roses are red. violets are blue, I've got a stapler, paper clips an post-it notes just for you."
The problem with weddings, they make you re-evaluate your own single life.
Speaking candidly, recently I found myself desperate and dateless, so desperate and dateless, that one evening I found my eyes lingering over the romantic profiles in the personal column in the paper.
As far as I can tell, the most common requirement of single women is to find someone with a ‘good sense of humour’.
Now, while this may sound good, I’m not sure this is actually true. I mean, if that’s what girls really want, they’d be tearing down their posters of 1 Direction and drooling over Billy Connolly. And it should also be pointed out that when we say we’re looking for someone to make us laugh, it normally doesn’t mean we want someone who is funny looking.
Another massive cliché of personal ads is, “I enjoy long walks on the beach.” If it's a guy. it usually means, “while I’m taking photos of the topless women on my mobile phone.” If it's a girl it means "I'm sitting on the couch in my PJs with a hot water bottle, cuddling my cat and watching Sex In The City."
My brief study of the profiles has already taught me a few lessons, such as when someone claims, “I’ve never done this before,” it normally means, “I have done this before, but I don’t want you to think I’m a desperate loser.”
When someone says they ‘enjoy the simple things in life’. This generally means “I’m poor.” And when someone says they’re ‘petite’, they’re short. When someone say’s they’re ‘curvy’, they’re – well – fat, and when someone says they ‘enjoy working with their hands’, it means they didn’t get very far at school. Although I have to confess that petite, curvy and enjoys working with my hands sounds a lot more enticing than short, fat and dumb.
If you study the personals closely, you’ll also notice a few warning signs to look out for. For example, when someone feels the need to point out that they’re ‘normal’, that’s code for, “I’m not normal. I have 72 dogs and there’s a real chance I’ll end up making a coat from your skin.” Oh, and when someone says they’re looking for a soul-mate, that’s code for “I’m really full-on and if you dump me, I’ll probably stalk you.”
Let’s be honest here, folks. If you’re looking for a soul-mate on these sites, you’re probably aiming a little too high. Maybe lower your expectations to a mate who enjoys soul music!
“Easy-going” is a little more difficult to work out. Does that mean they won’t mind if you leave your coffee cup in the sink and put your feet on the couch? Or does it mean they wear the same undies for 7 days in a row?
When people describe themselves as ‘adventurous’, what exactly does that mean? Does it imply that when they read the Karma Sutra, they stapled a few extra pages of their own notes to the back? Or does it mean that they're willing to take a punt on the Ethiopian restaurant at the end of the street?
'Athletic' is another interesting one. Does it mean they can walk up an escalator without the need for oxygen, that they go for the occasional jog or they need a urine sample at the end of the date?
When someone says they're searching for 'a partner in crime', this probably means they want someone to have some fun with. I doubt it means that they'll lend you their stockings for an armed hold-up or that they'll help you bury a body.
I've got to admit, though, some descriptions are downright confusing. Like when someone claims 'they're not into playing games', does this mean with your mind or do they have some sort of aversion to Candy Crush?
Or when someone says they are 'looking for chemistry', does this mean a) someone they have a spark with. b) Someone who passed chemistry in their HSC exams, or c) someone who knows how to make speed in their basement?