|The "I Forgot" Card|
As we approach Valentine’s Day I often ask myself the question “What exactly is love?” How can love be defined?
Love manifests itself in many ways; it can be different things to different men and different men will have different ways of showing it. Some men will buy expensive jewellery for their partners, whilst others will take their loved ones out for a romantic dinner for two.
Flowers from the garage on the way home from work are always a good last minute option.
I don’t fall into any of those stereotypes because I show my wife how much I love her by going to the supermarket to buy feminine hygiene products for her.
Let me explain:
As a young man I never really understood all this feminine hygiene stuff. Obviously I’d seen the adverts on the telly that featured women extolling the virtues of these products – like how they had enabled them to swim, ride bikes and play tennis – but as far as I’m aware, in all the time I’ve known her, I have never once seen my wife playing tennis.
Does that mean the ones I’ve been buying her up until now don’t work properly? I seem to have been buying her the ones that enable her to swim and ride bikes – but playing tennis? Maybe there a special tennis-playing brand that I’ve never seen. And if she ever wanted to learn how to fly would I have to look for sanitary towels with wings?
“I want regular sanitary towels without wings,” she told me as I was about to leave the house.
Before I could say anything she told me to stop moaning and then went on to explain how it was all my fault anyway, having brought her out to Saudi Arabia, a country where women can’t drive to the supermarket or the chemist.
A short time later I found myself in Lulu Hypermarket,stood in front of a whole aisle of sanitary towels, all in different coloured packages. I felt like a minion on the Death Star in Star Wars; you know, the one sat in front of a confusing array of flashing colourful lights, knowing that if he pressed the wrong one he would experience the terrible wrath of Lord Vader .
There were purple packages, yellow packages, green packages and orange packages – strangely no red ones. Then there were the different brands like Always, Kotex, Stayfree, Carefree, Whisper and Love Moon.
I didn’t really understand the reasoning behind the branding of that last one and I think they should be sued for mis-selling their product. The name Love Moon suggests the promise of some serious love-making, but in this case it means exactly the opposite.
Anyway, back at the feminine hygiene aisle, my brain was started to hurt and I could feel the first flush of panic sweeping over me. Which colour did she want? Which brand did she want? Which ones had wings and which ones didn’t? Which ones would make her better at tennis?
Nnnnnneeeeeeerrrrrrrrrr!!!!! I didn’t know!
But then I had a brainwave – I’d phone her up and ask her – that should simplify things. The conversation went something like this:
ME: Hello darling, which ones are normal?
MY WIFE: What?
ME: Sanitary towels – which colour is the normal colour?
MY WIFE: Green.
ME: Dark green or light green?
MY WIFE: Look on the packets. It’s really easy. Even you should be able to work it out.
ME: But . . .
MY WIFE: Bye.
I took two green packages off the shelf; one dark green and one light green and although the dark green one was labelled heavy, it weighed just the same as all the others. The light green package said normal – brilliant! But as I rummaged frantically through the hundreds of packages on the shelf I couldn’t find a single one that didn’t have wings!
I started to swear and mutter uncontrollably under my breath and the awful realisation of my predicament hit me. There wasn’t a single man in the FHP aisle. Not one. Instead a gaggle of abaiya-clad women were staring at me like I was some kind of raving pervert.
I grabbed the first light green package I could lay my hands on and, salvaging as much dignity as I could muster, I headed for the tills.
The male cashier ran the package through the scanner and said something in Arabic to his mate on the other till. They both looked sympathetically at me and smiled.
“For madam’s dirty time,” mumbled the cashier’s mate.
I smiled back uncomfortably and said “I get all the best jobs.”
And then, in perfectly enunciated English, the cashier said, “Did you know that lawn mowers are on sale this week, sir?”
“Lawn mowers?” I said, a little bit flabbergasted, “Why on earth would I want to buy a lawn mower?”
To which the cashier replied, “Well, your weekend’s already ruined, so you may as well mow the lawn.”
And that’s how I show my wife how much I loved her.