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Men vs. Women: Bling and toys
We all know the saying that the older we get the bigger the toys (we like). This edition in the Men vs. Women series is really an extension of the one on Clothes and Fashion. In writing that one, I quickly realized how bling and toys are a big part of our contemporary lifestyle choices and desires. And, I believe that my first instinct that women were more into bling may have been a snap judgment since I tend to think men are more into toys!
I will proclaim my usual disclaimer, which I don’t cut and paste but write, in some original form (or so I think) with each of these columns. The purpose of these columns is to tell the truth as I see it about the differences between men and women. I don’t care if I’m politically correct but I do acknowledge that my generalities will always have exceptions as all generalities do. That said, I believe to my core, that the essence of our differences is what makes the world rock.
On the subject of bling and toys, my first declaration is that women adore jewelry while men adore cars. Simply put, my wife gets a heckuva lot more joy from a diamond than I ever would while I get a ton of pleasure from my new car. The irony, of course, is that diamonds can most certainly cost as much or more than any car.
I will also declare that women are much more brand-conscious than men. Plus, they look at each other’s bling with extreme focus while the guys may do the same with each other’s cars, but mostly do so with the size of their wallets and perhaps the eye-candy that they may have on their arms.
A quick example of this occurred when I bought my wife a particular name brand handbag recently. To me, a Trader Joe’s shopping bag was equally nice, practical, and frankly had better colors, but she wanted the Louis Vuitton Spring-Line shoulder bag. Well, her friends all ooh’d and ahh’d, especially when she told them that I’d gotten it for her for no particular occasion.
The toys we guys tend to like are high-tech devices, great sound systems, and the afore-mentioned cars. The bling women like are the infinite forms of genuine jewelry to fancy decorative pieces that a kid might make in kindergarten IF it has the right name and cool-factor associated with it. On this latter point, we men are mystified in much the same way our women used to be mystified when we guys talked stereos.
My wife is a terrific skier and golfer. I’m a pretty good skier too but a beginning golfer (though I got a hole-in-one on my tenth round of golf -- much to her dismay). We both care about our “equipment” but the big difference is that I care a great deal about what skis I have while really not giving a hoot about what I wear. My wife pays equal attention to the look she wants to achieve on the ski mountain or the golf course. I would be perfectly happy to golf in cut-offs and a t-shirt. If it were not for my wife, I’d be wearing the same ol’ clothes much of the time.
As for jewelry, the only kind of jewelry I ever liked was watches. Again, this comes back to a mechanical appreciation of a fine movement and a precision instrument. I do care how they look – equally in this case – but it’s a machine, a device, something tech that I revel in with a good watch.
When the first high-tech watches came out, I was mesmerized by what they could do in such a tiny case. I got the Casio calculator watch, later watches that gave me the temperature, altitude, and many other useless information simply because they could and I thought that was so cool.
My wife wanted a particular Cartier watch. She got it. I have bought about 100 Casio tech-type watches for the cost of that one Cartier. I don’t get it. But, isn’t that wonderful?
Are there any toys that women like? Knowing there are exceptions to every one of my generalities, I frankly can’t think of any except possibly the right car. And, in that case, it’s mostly for show not for the reasons a guy wants a Porsche or Ferrari -- because it’s a speed machine with a wicked sound. The ladies care about the car brand and its color. I doubt most women could even site the horsepower or even the number of cylinders their car engine possesses.
I revel in the sound of my car’s engine, when I turn the ignition switch on. I get a big kick out my car’s ability to hug the road on a tight turn. My wife likes her car’s insignia and that she gets treated like royalty when she takes her car in for service.
What is your favorite adult toy – meaning a toy that you’ve enjoyed since becoming an adult? Take your mind out of the gutter! Where do you agree or disagree with my assertions? What have I missed?
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