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« Bread, sourdough (not mythology) | Main | 250 words on the mythology of Christmas »


M Light

There is so much in this post, but I'll just respond to a bit (at length).

I didn't see this as women=good, men=bad. The expression on that woman's face when she drags him down the yard and orders him into the doghouse?! The vindictiveness on the judges' faces from the very beginning of that scene? Not women I'd want to know.

There were two types of guys here. First, there are the totally-insensitive-to-their-wive's-feelings
-only-in-the-relationship-for-themselves guys (the abercizer and mustache guys). I would agree that they're either mean or close to it.

Then there are the guys who are loving but clueless. One guy probably would like power tools for Christmas for helping with his work around the house so he assumes that his wife likes the same sort of thing (a vacuum). Another guy would be excited about memory for his computer so he assumes his wife would do the same. They're wrong, but they are being loving. They're maybe not seeing their wives clearly, but they're trying.

Are the wives always perfect in this regard? They never buy the guy a nice sweater when he'd really prefer an electric drill? A tie when he'd rather have extra RAM?

This is what makes the holiday season so dangerous. Every present a potential pitfall.

Maybe, being not particularly feminine, I'm looking at this from a different place. If my computer needed memory, I'd rather get that than something from the jewelry department.

I do understand the feeling these women have when they feel that someone doesn't really "see" them - when someone doesn't understand what sort of present would make them feel really special. I've felt it on the rare occasions when someone has gotten me a pink and overly feminine present. Dear husband has never done that. He knows that a stack of CD's makes me happy, and I buy him tubes of paint even though it doesn't seem romantic to me.

BTW, I have seen the opening scene of this commercial in real life, except that it was a can opener rather than a vacuum cleaner. However, in this case, the wife was pleasant because it IS the thought that counts.

I agree - it is a funny commercial. I got a different message than you did, and I didn't like mine either.


Moom, I don't think your perspective comes from being not "particularly feminine." I think it comes from being thoughtful, which is kryptonite to most mythology and ad campaigns.

It's possible the nuances you mention are what make the ad so funny. If it was more one-sided, then maybe people wouldn't believe it and identify as much.

The ad has certainly been a success in spurring discussion. I showed it to friends after dinner last night, and they laughed long and loud. Then we had a long talk about male-female dynamics. I don't know that I will be shopping at Penney's this Advent, but I'm happy to give them some free publicity, such as it is.


Ok DF - There's a lot to comment on here... I'm going to start with the video - because it's a concept my husband speaks about a lot... He feels that men are always portrayed (like in Everybody loves Raymond) as dolts...

I think it's a cultural thing - that's based in some iota of experience mixed with a lot of comic exaggeration... If I go into details here, I'm going to sound bitchy and ungrateful... but I've received gifts from my husband that I don't really see the logic behind (last year for my birthday, I received a bag full of seven pairs of pajamas. I like Pajamas - but thought the volume was a tad excessive...) (see? Giving examples makes me sound bitchy!)

Exhibit number two: Two years ago, Dave gave me a copy of his favorite album of all time (Joni Mitchell's Blue) - I sincerely appreciated the sweetness of the gift - because I felt like he was sharing his heart with me - because I know that music is very important to him.) I also know that if I gave him a copy of MY favorite CD's of all time (Bruce Cockburn's Charity of Night), he would not be nearly as open to my musical experience as I was to his. It's just the difference between us... I don't get it - but I certainly accept it.

Again, I don't want to sound ungrateful - I'm not - and I really liked the Mitchell album... but understand that I'm just going to be more open to new music than he is.

OK - now on to Wilde's observations - I definitely am an American woman who neither NEEDS a crowd of men around, nor in most cases WANTS a crowd of any kind around me... However, I know a lot of those kinds of women - and they make me weary....


VERY interesting discussion.
Read everything (now I need to go watch the commercial/video you alluded to).
Got to this site through a link on WLTV comments.
P.S. I love Joni Mitchell's "Blue".


So, Kelly, the survey: on a scale of 1 to 10, how interested are you in receiving jewelry for Christmas? I guess part of my impatience with this video is that I never have to be prompted to buy jewelry for someone special. I once had a regular store where the saleslady told me she loved it that I picked out the jewelry myself. "A lot of men just say, 'pick out something for me and I'll pick it up.'" What could be easier than that?

T, Welcome. I love WLTV ( for those who want to visit) and hope Gary has time to keep it going. Seems like he can be as big a fish as he wants.

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