Valentine’s Day Approaches

So, Valentine’s Day is approaching, and as usual, I’m not caring that much about it.

I prefer celebrating our own special dates, such as our anniversaries and all that, instead of something that’s just a commercial day. Sometimes by coincidence of dates and work schedule we were unable to celebrate something one week, and ended up going out for dinner later, coinciding with Valentine’s (and having trouble finding a spot to have dinner on, on most restaurants, which were packed with people).

Last year I made a special lunch for the two of us at home, mostly for fun. We don’t exchange gifts on that date, though we’ve probably exchanged flowers once or twice, just preferring each others company.

But every year, when this day approaches, it’s impossible to forget it’s coming: every single store that may have anything to sell remotely related to ‘love’ will have a large sign stating that the day is coming a few weeks in advance.

It happened today, when I decided to head out to Fnac’s site and check out the price of a camera I’m fancying – the Canon Powershot G11, which the last time I checked, was (of course) much more expensive at Fnac than everywhere else. The camera is not listed there anymore, but there was an ad for Valentine’s gifts, divided (as expected) into two categories ‘For Her’ and ‘For Him’. Already preparing myself to enter A World of Much LOL, I pressed the button. Read the rest after the cut:

Although the main ‘lol/wtf?’ moments are usually found in the technology part of these lists, let us see what gems did I find between all of them.

Books

For Her: a large assortment of ‘pink literature’ (I’m including Twilight,  in this category since to me it’s more pink than fantasy literature). Yawn.

For Him: Sex books, Humorous books, lots of Fantasy novels, and some other more generalist stuff.

Music

For Her: romantic compilations, jazz, pop/rock, well… nothing much to point out here.

For Him: Pop/rock, jazz, and other generalist stuff. I *was* surprised to see a Tango album there , and a couple of Divas albums. My surprise came from the the fact that I don’t know a single straight guy who admits that he likes dancing or who makes the slightest effort to dance because he supposedly loves his girlfriend/wife, and I only know of a couple who do like a diva or two. I came to the (sexist?) conclusion that Fnac is catering to the gay guy market with these. Cool.

Entertainment

For Her: tons of romantic comedies, romantic dramas, romantic lolmovies (Twilight), Mamma Mia!, a TV series, and… OMG ARE THOSE GAME CONSOLES? :O I am, of course, talking about the Wii and the DS. What other could a female possibly want? Thankfully, this year they did not put the vomit-inducing pink version of the DS there, unlike what happened in previous years. Because everyone knows every woman loves pink (not). I found it odd there was not a single The Sims 3 item listed there. Did they -gasp!- forget this year?

For Him: tons of action movies, a few comedies, a TV series, and, as expected, three game consoles: the PSP (Go), the XBox Elite, and the Playstation 3., which are obviously manly game consoles. We can’t have any real men playing one of ’em Wiis and DSes, nuh-huh!

(Note: There’s also an ‘Experience Packs’ gift section, but I’m skipping that one more due to lack of patience than anything else. )

Now for my favourite part:

Technology

For Her: several PINK cellphones, accessories (phones, …), one whole! photographic camera (compact & cheap), one film camera, one iPod Nano (not pink, purple 😮 – maybe they ran out of pink plastic? ), and other various electronics, which included a cheap (as far as cheap Apple products go) Apple laptop. It wasn’t pink, but only because Apple – thank goodness – does not make them pink, and a 19” TV. Average price of all items listed: 193.3 euros.

For Him: two photographic cameras, an iPod Touch, a 32” TV, an assortment of several non-pink cellphones, a GPS (aren’t girls supposed to be the ones who get lost more easily because they supposedly can’t read maps? 😮 ), and a bunch of other manly coloured electronics. Average price of all items listed: 270.9 euros.

Now, I don’t really care how much gifts cost (*). For both the getting and giving of gifts, I just like that they fit the person’s taste, if possible what the person wants, and hopefully that they are really pleasant surprises, like getting someone something that’s been on their wishlist for so long they don’t even remember having a wishlist – happened to me with a couple of gifts last birthday and I practically squeed in surprise/delight. (* – and I’m not one of those annoying, whiny people who constantly have arguments around gender and its differences, and incur in a ton of stereotypes during conversations which, for some reason, can’t seem to move out of the ‘boys are different than girls theme’ (they ARE? really?? omg! o_o ), which frankly makes me just want to ignore them for being basic and uninteresting)

However, ever since I was a kid, I was annoyed and amazed at how boys in TV contests always got not only much cooler toys (in my view) as prizes, but also more expensive stuff than the female contestants, when there was such a distinction in prizes. Am I missing something here? It’s not an occasional event, I’d say the vast majority of times where I see a male| female list of toys or electronics, at stores, the most costly stuff, with more options, is almost always on the guy’s side.

Females have the fame of being shopping maniacs and wasting tons of money because they just want so much expensive stuff, but guys seem to get the perks of getting the most expensive stuff in a lot of fields, and not having the associated stereotype. Neat, isn’t it? I want to have that perk too. I mean, I’m not an obsessive shoe buyer, a huge fan of pink, and nor do I buy a million dresses/skirts/*insert other girly clothes*, so I get to compensate with something, right? 😉

Feel free to say that women in general don’t care as much about electronics as guys do, but, if you are making an electronics list for both sides, why in the world would you do stuff like put a different, cheaper model of an iPod on the girl’s list, instead of just putting the same item on both? Is it that hard to do? Copy/paste? Do you really think most women would prefer the Apple iPod Nano 5G 8GB over the Apple iPod Touch 8GB because it’s purple, despite having no apps, and less capabilities in general? Really?

I know I’m not exactly postergirl for the typical woman, but the time had come for me to complain about this stereotypical crap. Because really, it’s the same thing… Every. Single. Year.

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3 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Approaches

  1. Huh, yeah that seems to be the way most stores (here included) think women will want. Now, they are spot on for my g/f (except the pink cell phones, she probably would want another color, if any at all.. she’s not very technical). However, I know a LOT of girls who know their gadgets (and not just because they are in my circle and I’m a bit of a geek). Girls (women) these days are very savvy about technology. Especially the younger generations. They are growing up playing games, using smart phones, computers, etc on a daily basis. Heck most of them can work their way around a smart-phone better than I. Besides my g/f I don’t know a single woman who would want the nano over the iPod Touch (and more likely the iPhone).

    It really irritates me to see people stereo type (in any situation).

    FYI: I love to dance. I just rarely get out to do it, and usually need a drink or two to open up. But once I’m relaxed, I LOVE to dance. (disco-ish, not ballroom).

    Anyway, you should write this store an angry letter asking them to stop stereotyping women.

    On the V-Day front, Rhonda (g/f) and I usually keep it simple as well. We’ll make a nice breakfast or supper, we might pick up flowers or a card, but that is it. No gifts.

  2. Valentine’s day pisses me off because it implies that if you’re alone, you’re WRONG.
    Fuck you valentine’s day, go sodomize yourself with a pink cellphone! 😛

  3. @Christien Funny thing is, although I don’t loathe it, I don’t like dancing that much. For my wedding, we didn’t’ have time to practice, so we came up with an efficient solution to not falling to the ground (my dress was huge and not very ergonomic) – we would always dance with me moving forward and João moving backward. That way it would minimize the chances of me falling due to the dress, and him falling because I fell. 😛

    @AlmaMavis Hm… I don’t feel that about Valentine’s (even when I was single), the same what that I don’t think X-mas is telling atheists/agnostics (as myself) that they’re wrong. 🙂
    I celebrate X-Mas (not the birth of Christ, just the giving season, and maybe even the solstice) despite not being catholic, and the one annoyance I have due to it is the astronomical amount of people that invade stores at that time of the year.

    Besides, in several countries, Valentine’s Day is not just about your ‘other half’, but about friends, and people you care for in general.

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