Thursday, September 23, 2010

Procurement

I've always had a problem buying things.  I'm cheap, so I always wonder if there's a better deal and I'm too analytical, so I'm always wondering if someone makes a better one.

It's bad enough when I'm buying for myself, but when I have to buy things for Lynn I'm hopeless.  It's very rare she gets a surprise birthday gift.  I need to know what she wants beforehand - I'd hate to waste money on things she doesn't need or want.  I can try to pretend that it's about not wanting her to feel obliged to wear or use something, just because I bought it for her.  That argument doesn't really wash though.

I used to think this was a male attribute, but then we spent one Christmas away from home.  That morning I watched as a lady who'd asked for and was expecting a pasta maker, received a gorgeous piece of jewelry.  Clearly that guy knows how to buy for his wife.  I'd probably have got a cookbook to go with the pasta maker...

In my defense, I'm normally ok on the day to day.  Sometimes she even gets flowers.  I know they have to be simple and cheerful, so I usually get sunflowers.  Our eldest likes nothing better than delivering flowers to his Mum.  And gadgets, I'm always the one sorting what ever she needs to get her writing done, from automatic backup devices to sourcing the correct software.  Not exactly a strong defense, I know.

On Tuesday, Lynn started emailing me lists of tasks again - Lynn hates Tuesdays and she likes to spread the joy.  One task stuck out.  She wanted me for go to a discount shoe store and buy her a new pair of trainers.  I can think of no task more horrifying.  Too much choice, too many bargains and there's too much pseudo-technology in sports-style footwear.  I think I spent over 2 hours looking at ladies shoes and still phoned Lynn twice with questions.   Still, I did buy 2 pairs of trainers and she says she's happy with them.

At school pick-up, I moaned about my email of tasks and buying the shoes.  One of the Moms looked at me incredulously and said, "And you did it?!  I want to know what Lynn's feeding you to gain that level of control."  So I can't be all that bad and besides, that Mom is assuming that Lynn does the cooking...