1. So what I do?

OK, this is a "pick the mistakes" puzzle. Some are obvious, some are even deliberate <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>. Some will be completely transparent to Martians, but glaringly blatant to Venusians. All will doubtless be in the eye of the beholder. See how we go.

BACKGROUND
Better half has her birthday next week. She chose to "buy herself" a new food processor, which will become a birthday present. This morning she's assembling it on the bench and I decide to mosey on over.

INPUT
I ask what it can do that the old one can't.
After hearing the answer, I ask if we can therefore expect gourmet food every night from now on.
I see her inserting component incorrectly and suggest <img src=/S/rtfm.gif border=0 alt=rtfm width=24 height=23>.
Browsing through the manual myself, I ask if the results will look like the same as the ones in the pictures.

OUTPUT
Stare, glare, pursed lips, slap of hand on bench, the raised eyebrow of death (to quote JohnBF).

Having tried to help and show some interest, I ended up feeling berated and feel that my efforts went unappreciated. So what I do?

Alan

2. Re: So what I do?

Alan,
Firstly, you must point out that as a newly promoted WMVP (congratulations by the way!) you are entitled to considerably more respect than she is showing you.
Second, you have to realise that you are stuck in no-mans-land with this dilemma:
1. It involves machinery and is therefore men's work, BUT
2. It is about cooking and is therefore women's work. ( <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/duck.gif border=0 alt=duck width=23 height=23>)
There is therefore no correct solution (as is usually the case where women are concerned). I shall now retire to the hospital as my wife will shortly finish reading this over my shoulder...

3. Re: So what I do?

Alan, Alan, Alan Uncle Jezza here

You have fallen for the age old problem. The way I see it is this, and I shall break it down paragraph by paragraph:

BACKGROUND

1) You allowed her to buy herself her own present even if it did come, I assume, out of your wallet

Benefits
a) You have no guilt if it is the wrong colour, shape etc
[img]/forums/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] The decision was hers, not yours

Problems
a) If it is the wrong colour or shape it will still be your fault because you should have bought it yourself and then she wouldn't feel guilty.
[img]/forums/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] Now the decision is yours not hers

2) You moseyed on over

Benefits

a) None, you are instantly a threat as she may have decided that you can see she may be struggling and now thinks you think you know better

Problems
a) see above entry

INPUT

1) You asked if the new one was better than the old one

Benefits

a) None see 2) Benefits/Problems/a)

Problems

a) You are doubting her ability to choose the nicest food processor, we guys look for function rather than fashion

2) You have mentioned whether "we" can expect gourmet food

Benefits

a) None, see below

Problems

a) Was the question understood as "Can 'I' expect you to cook gourmet food from now on" <img src=/S/duck.gif border=0 alt=duck width=23 height=23>

3) You made comment on her ability to read the manual, you know all wives can read manuals and maps correctly!!!!!

No Comment <img src=/S/duck.gif border=0 alt=duck width=23 height=23>

4) You picked up the manual and read it and made comment

No comment <img src=/S/duck.gif border=0 alt=duck width=23 height=23>

Be me one not to comment on your marriage but I can see you have fallen foul to the age old "helpful husband" syndrome which is always misinterpreted by our other halfs as " Annoying <img src=/w3timages/censored.gif alt=censored border=0> husband" You will probably remember my intended joke to Mrs Jezza on valentine's day when I sent a spoof Tesco's card..... well I thought it was funny.

My sympathies to you

Oh by the way "Are you getting gourmet meals from now on?" <img src=/S/rofl.gif border=0 alt=rofl width=15 height=15>

4. Re: So what I do?

From a woman's point of view:

Background

Situation:
As it stands, you can't win - if you 'help', you make out she's helpless, if you don't, you're uninterested in sorting out problems for her.

Recommendation:
Let her buy her present if she wishes, but then she must pass it to you to be given to her on the day. If you're good with machinery and you think she'll have a problem, assemble it for her and present it, with bow on top, ready to be used.

Input

Situation:
Show some sense! Since when did you buy a new car because it "did something the old one couldn't"?! You buy it because it looks better, goes faster, etc. We are the same species, you know!

Recommendation
On presenting the item as suggested above, smile and say you hope she'll enjoy using it and you look forward to enjoying the results with her. Baiting someone deliberately on their birthday is unkind - surely you can allow her just that one day off?

Output
You deserved to be berated and feel unappreciated and you know it (in fact you set out to achieve that result)! Whereas the odd kind word might have made her more inclined to go the extra mile and perhaps produce the desired gourmet food ...

<img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>
Have a nice weekend!

5. Re: So what I do?

Thanks Rory (and for your congrats). You could be right - point out the deserved respect aspect of the situation and that should smooth everything over nicely.

Alan

6. Re: So what I do?

OK, Alan -- Are you ready for the woman's perspective? <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

BACKGROUND -- (a) Why do you have quotes on "buy herself?" Are you intimating that she has no funds with which to purchase items? ([img]/forums/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] Did she state explicitly that it "will become a birthday present" from you? If not, then I'm sure you've been a thoughtful hubby and have already purchased a gift for her from you.

Input -- (a) Your first question is clearly confrontational and implies she is unworthy of a new toy, and calls into question her ability to make an intelligent decision regarding the need for replacement tools in the kitchen. ([img]/forums/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] Does she prepare most (or all) meals? © Yet another confrontational statement regarding her cooking abilities. (d) This is the classic error of the male gender... you assume she wanted or needed your input regarding the assembly. By pointing out <img src=/S/rtfm.gif border=0 alt=rtfm width=24 height=23> and her error in the incorrect component placement you imply that you have never attempted to assemble or operate anything without first <img src=/S/rtfm.gif border=0 alt=rtfm width=24 height=23> fully. (d) Having increased her frustration and embarrassment, you take it a step further by once again denigrating her adeptness in the culinary arts.

Output -- Her reaction was reserved and tempered with love.

Recap -- She did not want, nor need your help -- she is not a child. You did not show a true interest. As to your feelings that your "efforts went unappreciated" I can only infer that you expected a stronger critical reaction than you received.

What you do? <img src=/S/whisper.gif border=0 alt=whisper width=29 height=17> Visit the Woody's Lounge Cooking forum and locate a good recipe to use with that new Food Processor. If you haven't already purchased a gift for her, buy her a day at the spa to help relieve the stress of her life with a WMVP, and use that recipe you get from the forum to prepare her a gourmet meal for her Birthday.

Good luck!

7. Re: So what I do?

Thanks for the wisdom Jezza. I think I see the error of my ways...

> 2) You moseyed on over
Benefits
a) None, you are instantly a threat as she may have decided that you can see she may be struggling and now thinks you think you know better.

OK, from now on I won't tear myself away to show any interest.

> 1) You asked if the new one was better than the old one
Problems
a) You are doubting her ability to choose the nicest food processor, we guys look for function rather than fashion

OK, don't judge by function or fashion. After all, it's the end result that counts.

> 2) You have mentioned whether "we" can expect gourmet food
Problems
a) Was the question understood as "Can 'I' expect you to cook gourmet food from now on"

Check. I will rephrase the question "Can <big>I</big> expect..."

> 3) You made comment on her ability to read the manual, you know all wives can read manuals and maps correctly!!!!!

Can't agree on this one Jezza. She operates on trial & error and gets lost, even with the map.

> Oh by the way "Are you getting gourmet meals from now on?"

I got gourmet hamburgers tonight <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> - lovingly prepared with the new birthday present and served with a smile <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> of course. <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>

Alan

8. Re: So what I do?

Hi Beryl

> Situation:
As it stands, you can't win ...

This is an axiomatic "given" I think... nothing new there.

> Recommendation:
Let her buy her present if she wishes, but then she must pass it to you to be given to her on the day. If you're good with machinery and you think she'll have a problem, assemble it for her and present it, with bow on top, ready to be used.

Good logical thought but
Problem - She actually likes to DIY, so that would be construed as a deliberate attempt to sabotage one of her few pleasures left in life.

> Situation:
Show some sense! Since when did you buy a new car because it "did something the old one couldn't"?! You buy it because it looks better, goes faster, etc. We are the same species, you know!

I bought my replacement (used) car because the old one wouldn't get from A to B any more. <img src=/S/hmmn.gif border=0 alt=hmmn width=15 height=15>... maybe I can utilize this in my defensive strategy. <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>

> Recommendation
... Baiting someone deliberately on their birthday is unkind - surely you can allow her just that one day off?

Leaping to my own defence here, her birthday is not till Tuesday. I have every good intention to "allow her just that one day off".

> Output
You deserved to be berated and feel unappreciated and you know it (in fact you set out to achieve that result)! Whereas the odd kind word might have made her more inclined to go the extra mile and perhaps produce the desired gourmet food ...

Poor little me sets out to show some interest and offer help where clearly needed. I even refer to the manual, being deeply sensitive to the potential embarassment of being shown/ corrected by another person. Then this... I don't get it. <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20>

Thanks for the input Beryl. You've clearly shown me the error of her ways.

Alan

9. Re: So what I do?

Hi Karen

> OK, Alan -- Are you ready for the woman's perspective?

Fire away.

> BACKGROUND -- (a) Why do you have quotes on "buy herself?" Are you intimating that she has no funds with which to purchase items?

No, she has plenty of funds of her own, so I don't think that one's significant.

> ([img]/forums/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] Did she state explicitly that it "will become a birthday present" from you? If not, then I'm sure you've been a thoughtful hubby and have already purchased a gift for her from you.

Curses! She did state that <big>and</big> I still went ahead a bought a gift <img src=/S/stupidme.gif border=0 alt=stupidme width=30 height=30>. Boy, I have made some mistakes here! But given the course of events, rather than returning my unused gift, do you think I could use it as a credit against some of the demerits I've appeared to have gained? How many points do you think I could I redeem from such a selfless gesture?

> Input -- (a) Your first question is clearly confrontational and implies she is unworthy of a new toy, and calls into question her ability to make an intelligent decision regarding the need for replacement tools in the kitchen.

Actually, I forgot the bit where she said "This is great - it can do everything". My question should therefore be viewed as words of encouragement, coupled with a subliminal compliment on her excellent choice of model... I like that - I'll write that one down.

> ([img]/forums/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] Does she prepare most (or all) meals?
Yep <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15> - she doesn't have a problem in that area at all.

©-(e) I may need a little work in these areas, as per other replies.

> Output -- Her reaction was reserved and tempered with love.

You might be right. She may have reserved her temper for later. <img src=/S/flee.gif border=0 alt=flee width=25 height=25>

> What you do? Visit the Woody's Lounge Cooking forum and locate a good recipe to use with that new Food Processor. If you haven't already purchased a gift for her, buy her a day at the spa to help relieve the stress of her life with a WMVP, and use that recipe you get from the forum to prepare her a gourmet meal for her Birthday.

Well, this bit I think I've got right finally. I've done one better and booked a table for lunch at a restaurant, where the specialty is lobster thermidor, one of her favourites. That should also serve the dual function of setting the tone for all of those gourmet meals, which should be forthcoming from the fancy new gadget.

> Good luck!

Cheers! <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16> I think I'm getting the hang of it now,

Alan

10. Re: So what I do?

>You might be right. She may have reserved her temper for later. <img src=/S/duck.gif border=0 alt=duck width=23 height=23>
<img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

>where the specialty is lobster thermidor
<img src=/S/yum.gif border=0 alt=yum width=15 height=15> Well there's no denying she has good taste!