Women can be manipulative – even the ones who say they aren’t having a more subtle undertaking to the art. As long as there is no element of de-masculation, where is the harm? My mother used to say “Ask don’t get; don’t ask, don’t want.” I disagree.
Let me set the scene for you…
I was at Westfield Shopping Centre ten minutes from Paddington this weekend with a rather delicious companion named Victor. Among the throngs of shoppers, and designer stores, I actually managed to get a lot of my shopping done. I do love shopping dates because usually I wouldn’t get the opportunity to spend a day queuing among other commoners, preferring to “add to cart” on Amazon.
So there we were, fingers entwined, our arms becoming full of branded carrier bags. Victor had dragged me into practically every man’s clothes shop there was (who says men aren’t fussy?) and I was thinking longingly of Kurt Geiger up on level one. I desperately wanted to slip my foot into the multi-coloured glitter stilettos that had been whispering lovingly to me from the website. As he tried on his fiftieth jumper, I was mentally itemising my wardrobe to justify £150 while subtracting the balance of my MasterCard from my credit limit.
Sensitive to the needs of others, I am pretty adept at diffusing a situation before it gets out of control and Victor was getting frustrated. I wanted my shoes and he wanted a change of scenery so I suggested Pret a manger which was “coincidentally” on level one. Smelling the lure of coffee and fresh sandwiches, Victor offered me a smile as we ascended the escalator and I mentally calculated that it would take 30 seconds to pass my beautiful shoes once we were nourished.
A man with a full belly is a happy man – and a man open to bribery. Close to the cafe was a huge Apple store with plenty of shiny laptops and iPads murmuring sweet nothings. Attention diverted from Fair Isle knitwear, Victor swung his hips through the door and took in a lungful of Broadband. A London escort such as me must have patience as a virtue: the patience to accept her needs come after those of her date. I watched Victor dribble over a MacBook Pro and counted down the minutes until I could lick the heel of that display shoe.
And then… a boom! Victor planted a kiss on my forehead and said, “darling, you have been so patient with me today. Let me buy my beautiful girl a present. Shall we look at something for you?” I could have wept. “Oh you don’t have to do that…” I said through my lashes. He made a sort of pooh-pooh noise and we fell into step… right past Kurt Geiger. And there they were… in the window, dazzling under the lights as I knew they would be… my shoes. Ten minutes later I had a shiny gift bag dangling from my arm and my date was looking very pleased with himself as I let him “choose” a pair, though I can’t say product placement didn’t play a part.
Call me manipulative then, if you want but you can’t say that my gentleman friend wasn’t completely happy to make me happy. The date had, as always, been about him and a trip to W12 I’m a big fan of West London, especially now I know where Kurt Geiger has an amazing store!