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How Sri Lankan Couples Shop for Christmas – Reality vs. Expectation

Thanks to a very generous office Secret Santa, I was able to indulge in a few more visits to the local department stores (only one) far more than usual. Unless you really carry the spirit of Christmas, you find it hard not to ambush the people who try to throttle their way full steam, bashing their bags and heels on passersby; dropping kadala and bits of vadey everywhere they went. Evidently, they’re far worthier than you because their shopping bill is far higher than what the local government has budgeted for national education in 2018.
This also gave me the inspiration to discuss how Sri Lankan Couples plan their gifts for their significant other. From the clueless blokes to the over-zealous girls, shopping for your partner is never easy. Let's look at it from His and Her points of view, because I've promised to be fair to the guys!

1
[Her]
If you’re a girl, you know what you want months in advance. You might even start for the next year, no sooner you take down this year’s Christmas tree. You’re a woman on a mission. Sometime in September, you start dropping casual hints about what you want, not because you cannot afford to get this yourself but because you don’t want yet another bad gift and you don’t think you can be fake-surprised for the third year running, 'Ah ney, just what I wanted Patiya!'

[Him]
Patriarchic society dictates that you don’t ask her, her friends, or question your peers on the matter. After all, you’re a man, men know everything. You don’t even think of procuring a gift until you realise that the gas station, commonly known as the petrol shed has a frizzy, ‘Merry Christmas’ banner strewn across its cobweb infested windows, missing a few letters. Oh, Sh*it, it dawns on you, it's Christmas already.

2
[Her]
Now if the point doesn’t seem to reach him you are sure to tag him on the item’s social media platforms so that you can strike up a conversation. You might be told, ‘Why do you like that ah, Baba? Too bright noh – too many sequins also’. At this point, you will need a Samahan to cure the mild fever of having your object of desire insulted.
You store your camera roll with a few of the said items, just in case he sees it and asks you why you have 8 types of pictures of the same ALDO shoes. Aiyo, hints have never been his strong point.

[Him]
Sometimes you think your Girl is probably losing her mind; she keeps going on and on about (item x), worse yet, she has them everywhere. On Facebook, keeps tagging me on Instagram, and has several hundred photos on her camera roll.

3
[Her]
Now, 3 weeks into Christmas there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that he had made the ‘Purchase’. You have no option but to tell him outright that you want it. Goodness, why are men so thick?

[Him]
So, now, you think it’s time to get her a gift, but you forget because of the many ‘responsibilities’ you have. Plus, the five-figured grand bonus didn’t last 72 hours in your account. You remind yourself to check on it with the bank.

4
[Her]
Now, every radio station has begun to play ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ but your True Love has given you nothing. Not even a hint that he has got the message! For the next twelve days you pray ardently. Praying that 1. He gets the point 2. That the store doesn’t run out of it.

[Him]
You panic slightly because you have no clue what to get her. She seems to have three rooms full of shoes, you don’t know how to choose bags, and you don’t know anywhere you can buy her make up from. Can you give her money? You wonder how your colleagues have done it. You know that she will bust your card if you give her an open invitation to use in on whatever she wants and you will be left eating at Nandana's roti kade for three months.
What was that thing she kept going on about?

5
[Her]
Desperation has caused you to admit to desperate measures. You now post a picture of your object of desire on your social media, tagging your friends who are now aware of your devious scheme. You will also make them comment, ‘Sha, yes men, this will be ideal for you’
You might even take him to the particular place and walk by in and try it on, hoping that he will catch on.

[Him]
Ah, that's what she wanted...
But, what if I went ahead with something else to surprise her.

6
[Her]
The day arrives, and his hands the gift and your heart sinks. It’s not shaped like the Tahiti block heels you wanted for so long – but hang on, it’s something better! Euphoria!

[Him]
That worked out nicely. Thank goodness for Facebook promoted campaigns.

On the other hand, if you’re a guy, you know for a fact that you will receive a minimum of seven shirts out of which only will pass off as decent. Luckily for you, your girlfriend possesses amazing dress sense and gifts you that fine wallet or shoes you’ve had your eye on for a while.

That’s it for now – Do you have any similar encounters? Don’t forget to hit the ‘share’ button and send this to your squad.
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