By Joannis Mousicos
I was in a relationship with a pretty, young lady a few years ago, and as a token of my affection for her, I bought her a Cartier watch, which cost me more than a month’s salary at the time. I thought she was ‘the one’. I was very young and wet behind the ears, and I don’t quite remember what I was thinking at the time but perhaps it was that we would marry and have lots of children so I thought she would need a good, reliable Swiss watch to time the hours ‘between feeds’. I’m not sure, but whatever my motivation, we split up the next week. I can hear you thinking, “did she give the watch back?” and you might be forgiven for doing so. Perhaps she should have. Back then, I certainly thought she should have. I would have. It was the decent thing to do – the thing that any proud, well grounded person would have done. She did actually. She put it back in its box, with the papers on top, and came to see me and she handed it over saying that she couldn’t keep it. We discussed the reasons it was best to split up and said a final sad good-bye and I traded it in for a Stainless Steel Submariner with date. I still own that watch today and my plan is to pass it down to my grandson one day, whilst telling him the story about how I came about it – a little like that scene in Pulp-fiction when Christopher Walken hands the boy the watch, explaining that his father had it stored in a ‘special place’ so that the Viet Cong would not find it, except that my story might be a little less dramatic.
My late stepfather used to say that you only really know your partner once you split up with them. The situation with the watch told me a lot about my ex. She showed great character. She could have quite easily taken off with it and, if she didn’t want to be reminded of our relationship every time she checked the time, she could have sold it. Why not? She wasn’t planning to see me again. Instead, she did the honourable thing. The thing that many girls, and boys, in a similar situation, would fail to do these days. It got me thinking about the things that tell us that a partner has good morals, is to be trusted and will be loyal and kind and all the other things that we all look for in a partner – the tell-tale signs we should all watch out for. It also got me thinking about the small things that should tell us to turn around and walk in the other direction. Sometimes it really is the small things that count, especially when you’re sizing up a new, potential partner.
The door test
In Robert De Niro’s directional debut in the 1990’s, ‘A Bronx Tale’, about a young Italian American boy growing up in the Bronx in the 1950s and 60’s, a local Mafia chieftain and avuncular figure to the protagonist, explains to the young teenage boy how to tell if a girl is a “good one” and “to be trusted”. His test goes like this – when you turn up to pick up your date, you walk around to the passenger’s door, unlock and open the door and let the lady climb in. You then walk around the rear of the car and look in through the rear windscreen. If she doesn’t lean over to unlock the driver’s door for you, she’s selfish and all you’re seeing is the tip of the iceberg. Based on this, you should “dump her and dump her fast”. I have tried this but the problem I have these days is central locking – she doesn’t need to flick the lock up and let me in. I’m sure that central locking is the reason for so many divorces in our modern times. Think about it – there are lots more divorces today than there ever were in the 1950’s and 1960’s and cars also have central locking which they didn’t have back then. The former must be a result of the latter. I’m considering buying a fleet of older, central locking-less cars and hiring them out purely for the door test. My business slogan could be, “www.thedoortest.com – filter out the bad ones and get that future you deserve! ” Perhaps I’ll wait for a better financial climate before I take this one to my bank manager.
Wining and dining
My cousin recently told me that the one thing he can’t stand when he is out on a dinner date is if he gets up to go to the little boy’s room and on his return, the food is there waiting and his date has started eating in his absence. He claimed that it is a symptom of self-centredness and a sign of things to come. He went as far as to say that this woman would run off with his kids if they ever got that far. Anyway, his date never got to dessert.
Now I agree with you that the waiter should be sacked for not keeping the food warm until he got back, and the part about running off with the kids – maybe the mere thought of it is sprinting before you can crawl – but good manners do say a lot about a person. They tell you whether a person considers others in their everyday conduct and they tell you that a person cares at least a little about how they are perceived. So to really know your potential suitor, go out to dinner with them and tip the waiter to bring the food out while you’re in the loo and save yourself years of heartache.
The really hot best mate
Girls seem to talk about this sort of thing more than men do – concern about their really attractive girlfriend being in contact with their man. Guys suffer this one too but we just don’t talk about it as much. We have something called an ‘ego’ that puts its hand over our mouth when we try to speak about these things. The ego is more effective than any gagging order could ever be. Nevertheless, the way a partner behaves around a sexy friend might tell you a lot about them early on. Therefore, get your potential girlfriend/boyfriend to meet your hot friend as quickly as possible. Talk about their washboard abs or hourglass figure and sit back and watch. If the flirting begins or she/he gets shy when they are spoken to, you’re on to something. Better to see it early before there is a lot more at stake. And if they end up together, it’ll be an interesting story to tell in your best man/woman speech. You’d have to be best man or woman wouldn’t you?
Eating the last one
This one is my personal favourite and says so much with so little. Women love chocolates. Good chocolates though, like the Belgian ones you buy in the swanky florist or specialist chocolate shop – I’m not sure the lady really does love Milk Tray anymore.
Men love chocolates too and men also love being bought chocolates. When you’re sharing a box with that special person and the last one is left sitting there calling out for someone to take it, what do you do? Do you offer it to the other person in the hope that they’ll say, “No I’ve had enough, you eat it” or do you just pick it up and chomp it down before they even get a chance to smell it?
Like I said, sometimes it’s the little things that count and it’s a really cheap way to find out if they are marriage material – the choc box experiment – so simple.
Getting out of bed on the wrong side
If you’re lucky enough to have started sharing a bed together during these cold winter nights, then you’ll want to make sure you keep warm and snug. That’s why it can be doubly annoying when, in the process of getting out of bed to deal with the morning call of nature, your partner throws the covers off you leaving you cold and shivering, without so much as a glance back. Surely this is yet another sign of selfishness and should tell you that you might be best off showing him/her the front door not the toilet door.
That’s it – you should have all you need to see the woods for the trees and make better relationship choices. Choose your partner well and take heed of those small but significant warning signs and you might just be OK. And if she’s worth it, buy her a Cartier watch!
www.officialwatches.com – I am a watch enthusiast and web developer and regularly work on my flagship project – Official Watches – where the owners allow me to write about what interests me. As well as Swiss Luxury Watches, I have a keen interest in people and relationships and enjoy discussion about these subjects. My favourite watch brand: IWC.