x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Married life: Husband sets the tone for gifts

I would be delighted with a handbag or shoes, but I keep receiving the latest technological device.

I am not exactly technologically adept.

Electronic equipment always seem to miraculously malfunction when I'm in the near vicinity. Computers freeze. Important documents disappear on deadline. Our satellite throws a tantrum whenever I want to escape into a mindless home makeover show.

I'm against buying those fancy coffee machines where you have to insert a shiny capsule in order to make an espresso, because I'm too embarrassed to admit to Mr T that I might not ever be able to work it.

Mr T is the one in charge of making sure our machines function as they should. He's the one our friends call when they can't figure out how to connect their laptops to their TVs. Having to make the tedious decision to choose one TV over the other, or go with one surround sound system in lieu of another, is his area of expertise.

My inadequate abilities to make informed decisions on the electronic front mean that Mr T has taken it upon himself to act as my adviser, whether or not I want the complimentary service. My choice of phone, laptop and MP3 device all have to meet his approval, not mine. My Dh100 Nokia was replaced with a BlackBerry without my consent. I was consoled with a fuschia pink cover for it, but I still can't figure out how to change the background picture on the stupid phone.

On my birthday last year, I was presented with the smallest laptop I have ever seen. It is so small, in fact, that my fingers look like giant sausages tripping over the keys. Its Microsoft user interface was so different from the Mac that I have become comfortable with over the years, that it intimidated me for months. Now, I only bring it out for show, approximately once a week, so my husband doesn't think it's a wasted purchase. He doesn't have to know that I never actually switch it on; as long as he comes across it every once in a while, then he'll automatically assume I was just using it. Everyone's happy.

Which begs the question: why is he presenting me with gadgets as presents when he can guarantee a home run with the simple purchase of a cobalt blue clutch, or a pair of towering neon heels? Heck, even a voucher to the type of establishments that sell colourful clutches and chunky platforms would be met with glee. I suppose that as long as he's not buying me a pressure cooker, a hi-tech vacuum cleaner or some kind of super blender, I shouldn't complain. I draw the line at kitchen and cleaning equipment, however. Too much subtext comes with such a gift.

hkhalaf@thenational.ae