Friday, May 2, 2008

I'd like a broom and a blender please

As I sat here this afternoon and tried desperately to continue working on my book, I found myself distracted by just about everything else around me. After losing interest in staring out the window, I turned to those little fliers that come with the local free paper twice a week.

I don't actually read the articles in the paper most of the time, if I'm interested in the news, I'll read it online. But the fliers hold a special place in my heart. I am not a shopper. I can happily walk through a mall and only venture into one or two stores. If there is something that I am looking for, I'd like to be in and out as fast as possible. Of course, this philosophy goes right out the window if you take me into a shop that sells yarn, but that is beside the point.

So I'm sitting around shuffling through this pile of fliers (have you ever noticed how much junk we get with our papers now?) and I notice they're all labeled with something along the lines of "Perfect for Mom!". I'd like to know just who determines what is perfect for me. Perhaps I could spend some time with this person. Sure, there's the fliers that are full of jewelery, but the majority of it runs in the thousands of dollars and frankly Hotty Hubby is not the jewelery buying type. The rest of it though, is housewares.

I'd like to meet the woman who would happily smile and appreciate the new broom and dustpan set that her husband took the kids out to buy. Oh! A new apron. You shouldn't have. Really.

I'm a firm believer that unless a woman specifically asks for a household cleaning item for their birthday, Mother's Day or Christmas, that you should not take it upon yourself to purchase it. And even if it has been requested, there should be verification sought at least twice a week until the time comes to purchase. For instance, I once requested an upright vacuum cleaner for Christmas. You'd think the bottom had fallen out of Hotty Hubby's world. Was he brave enough to follow through? At the time, my mother was visiting and he was able to seek reassurance from her that I did indeed want this. Even then, I think he was petrified to present me with the gift on Christmas morning. It was almost as if he'd sooner be giving a bull an enema - as if that might be the safer option.

It occurred to me today that there are likely many other men sitting at home flicking through these little brochures that claim to be a glimpse into the female mind, wondering just what circle of hell they would have had to enter to get something like this past their wife without a specific request. Also, how many women are thinking the same thoughts as me, and polishing their frying pans? I pity the poor man that brings a beautifully wrapped, yet unsolicited vacuum cleaner home to surprise his wife.

I imagine the reason that these companies think they can get away with such advertising is because on Mother's Day, these men can use their spawn as shields. "But really, it was Little Johnny that wanted to get you the new apron and spatula. He just loves your cookies." Yet they persist throughout the year.

Just once, I'd like to see a hot shirtless guy posing with a duster and a can of Pledge. I might be persuaded to buy more useless products if I was able to harbour any delusions that they came with said man. Instead, the images we see more resemble this:

Well, really. Who could argue with that? I'll take a broom for Mother's Day and a blender for my birthday.

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