The 10 things men should NEVER say to their wives at Christmas
Oh, what a perfectly timed survey. According to the National Obesity Forum, a third of men won’t tell the woman in their life that they’ve put on weight, for fear of hurting their feelings or provoking a bad reaction.
Well, excuse me while I reach for another mince pie, but what about the other two-thirds of those men who were asked the question
This implies that the majority of men are happy to tell their partner she’s too curvy and should cut down on the cake and chocolate. Are they mad Don’t they realise that there are some things that should always be left unsaid
Never is this more true than at this fraught time of the year, where the list of taboo topics is as long as a seven-year-old’s letter to Santa. Here are a few of my favourites . . .
It”s just a roast… But if it was “just a roast”, then why does the meal involve three sauces, four veg and a creature that needs to be cooked from dawn
1. ‘It’s just a roast, I don’t know why you’re making such a fuss’
This is supposed to be reassuring, and to make us look upon the Christmas lunch as if it were like any other Sunday with a piece of meat in the oven.
But if it was ‘just a roast’, then why does the meal involve three sauces, four veg and a creature that needs to be cooked from dawn
If it were like any other Sunday, there wouldn’t be complete cookery books dedicated to recipes for this one day of the year. Nor would BBC2’s December schedule be entirely devoted to celebrity chef specials, or magazines filled with military-style lists counting down the minutes until the turkey hits the table.
So, no, it’s not just a variant on meat and two veg.
2. ‘I wish you could make mince pies the way my mother does’
Despite his mother coming from the culinary age where a sophisticated pasta meal consisted of opening a tin of spaghetti rings, there are some things we’ll never make as well as her.
This is particularly true at Christmas, when we’ll be reminded about mince pies made with ‘traditional suet’, a cake that contains more alcohol than fruit — and the ‘perfect’ bread sauce.
Apparently, those expensive pine-scented Heston Blumenthal pies bought from Waitrose aren’t the same.
3. ‘I can’t believe you’re crying at that John Lewis ad AGAIN!’
No, we’re not. It’s the effect of having to peel all those onions while you are watching Sky Sports.
The same goes for the 11th viewing of It’s A Wonderful Life, or the bit where Captain Von Trapp sings Edelweiss in The Sound Of Music. In fact, there seem to be plenty of things getting in our eyes at this time of year that men don’t understand.
4. ‘You should chill/take a chill pill/chillax’
Avoid any sentence including the word ‘chill’ unless referring to the aisle where they keep the fresh goods in the supermarket. There is nothing more counter-productive than telling someone to relax.
It’s what gynaecologists say when they’re about to do an examination, or what pilots announce when the plane hits extreme turbulence. We need an adrenaline frenzy to get through this business.
5. ‘We could have walked to the party if you’d worn trainers’
While you might have a point to make about the ridiculousness of six-inch heels, its not a good idea to mention it as we slide around on our blistered toes
It’s December, it’s cold and taxis are as rare as economic good cheer.
Of course, it would have made sense to wear sensible shoes, but the dress demanded leg-lengthening heels and the fashionable clutch bag was too small to hold a pair of spare trainers.
So while you might have a point to make about the ridiculousness of six-inch heels, it’s not a good idea to mention it as the rain comes down and we slide around on our blistered toes.
6. ‘Another Quality Street Really’
Ouch. Suggesting your better half needs to watch what she eats is never going to go down well, and it’s unlikely we’ll be unaware of the fact ourselves. It’s like asking: ‘Did you know you had a spot on your forehead’ Don’t think you’re safe with the ‘You’ve lost weight’ comment either, because that will be understood to be a reference to how you thought we were fat before.
Likewise, remarks such as ‘I thought they called them skinny jeans’ will be roundly ignored. In fact, here’s a free tip for you all: stay well clear of any reference to weight or shape. Even the increased cuddliness of the family dog is best left unremarked upon.
7. ‘Is it your hormones’
And its sub-variants referencing pregnancy, periods or the menopause.
No,it’s not anything to do with them, it’s merely a strange coincidence that once a month our lives are spent as if we’re TELLING YOU EVERYTHINGIN CAPITAL LETTERS, GOT THAT
8. ‘Whoa, your legs are hairier than Dumbledore’s chin’
December is the most stressful time of year for relationships, with the average couple arguing 124 times during the month
Or any other hilarious comment on the state of our body hair. Unless you’re like the Victorian art critic John Ruskin, who prior to his wedding night had never seen a women’s naked body except in the form of a classical statue (and was instantly repulsed by his new wife), you’ll be aware that women are naturally pretty hairy all over.
Some may choose to depilate on a daily basis. The glamour model Katie Price, for instance, allegedly shaves her arms every day. The rest of us may prove more slovenly, however, especially when it’s winter and there is no need to bare an inch of our flesh.
Normal women tend to find that everyday life gets in the way of a rigorous depilatory regime.
9. ‘I’ll empty the bins later’
Don’t kid me! And then, when ‘later’ comes, we’ll ask again and it will seem as if we’re nagging, and then we’ll get into a discussion about whether it is nagging or a polite request — and anyway, I wouldn’t need to keep on at you if you did it when I asked the first time.
All the while, the festering little task remains on the to-do list when it could have been crossed off hours ago.
10. ‘I definitely gave them to you’
This is the reflex response to any question over the whereabouts of keys, probably when you’re running late for Boxing Day lunch with the in-laws. And yet somehow, they turn up half an hour later in the husband’s coat pocket.
In my particular case, he insisted that he’d given them to me, only for the said keys to be found the following day in the car door where they had been left overnight.
PS: The fact that women may reserve the right to use the same tactic from time to time doesn’t make it any more acceptable.