CONTRARY TO ALL dark expectations my life has become nearly perfect, katok katok. I’m reasonably healthy for a man my age and lifestyle, I’ve cornered a gig that not many people like but which pays better than the industry average, my anakis (kids) have all but grown up, are smart and clever (two qualities which aren’t always the same) and are on the cusp of solid careers. Hope you don’t mind my saying so, but I’ve a wife who is eye candy (to my eyes of course), considers cooking and readying me for work the high points of her day (WTF?), but also works on the side and earns a steady income, and outside of a bank account that’s by far unready for my twilight years, I’m not doing too badly.
Now, the only Everest that remains for me to scale is mastering the etiquette of shopping with Mahal, especially during the silly season. Here are a few off-the-cuff rules I’ve devised for my brothers-in-arms who catch themselves in the same sticky situation:
[Silly by the way is no facetious or light-hearted definition, judging by the way you elbow, bump hips with or push fellow shoppers during the Christmas season. And that’s just BEFORE the gates open. But I digress.]
first rule : Do not complain at any point of the shopping period. Bro, any time you complain using physical, mental or spiritual reasons, you are putting yourself in an awkward situation. The first reason is the Missus has set aside a lot of time to doing this; she could be painting her nails, preparing your baon for tomorrow or prettifying herself for some mindless occasion, but because you and she have agreed to to this, you are instead shopping. So, the less you complain, the better.
The second reason is even more compelling. She didn’t ask you to come with her. In fact, having forewarned you that said shopping will take hours and hours of discerning inspection of potential items of sale, you were quite aware of the perils involved. But no, out of a sense of duty, because you were out of internet data or because you had nothing better to do, you still came out to be with her. So you are barred, at least for now, from whining and groaning.
Not even the fact that you were the designated driver or that she needed you to drive for her can serve as a good reason, good reason though it may be. This time, this event and this dedication on your part are all part and parcel of being the dutiful takusa asawa that you are. So for the time being, just grin and bear it. Mamaya na lang tayo babawi.
second rule : never complain about the budget, whether said budget is exceeded, or by how much. Unless you’re asking for trouble, you don’t sweat the details of this shopping enterprise. You’re just there to agree, to support, and possibly to carry the bags (even that is taken care of by helpful sales assistants).
As you might imagine, there are many reasons for this, but chief is the reason that shopping and making gifts and things available for Christmas is outside your jurisdiction Precious Reader. It is squarely in the territory of your Mahal, esposa hermosa or wifey, and you should be happy it is. Selecting everything, and I mean everything related to Christmas, buying the same, and distributing them is something that the love of your life has taken upon herself to doing, believe me when I say you’re much better off leaving such important things to her.
If you want to help, just give her a little more money for the season. In fact, just surrender your ATM and credit card to her. Then, wait outside the stores, or have a coffee and wait for her to text you when she’s done. That would be a great help.
third rule : Do not be surprised, if you have to return to the store for extra purchases. In fact, don’t even bat an eyelash when an additional trip or trips are scheduled for unforeseen buys, crazier sales or additions to gift lists at the last minute.
In any other case this would sound unreasonable, inconsiderate or disorganized. But when was Christmas ever reasonable to you? When did you ever complete giving all your godchildren gifts the first time you listed them all? When were your inaanak, friends, or relatives ever considerate of your forgetfulness regarding gift-giving? And when, God forbid, when has Christmas ever been organized?
Buti na lang, there’s your ever-dependable, ever-understanding and ever-organized wife who’s always there with extra energy and extra ideas whenever you need Christmas shopping beyond the call of duty. You don’t even need to ask her. And you know that she knows that cash gifts, angpao, or gift vouchers / gift certificates just won’t do.
Dont’ worry, she’ll have the time, and imagination to select every gift, or buy for that extra Christmas handa. All she needs is you. Or your wallet. Preferably both.
Thanks for reading!