Article by Roxana Florina Popa
I am in Munich and I can’t wait heading to the centre to write what has been on my mind for a couple of days. I get off at Odeonsplatz and look for the Literatur Haus Café. I am walking on the Brienner Strasse and I realise new shops appeared. An impressive shop of Leica decorated in Christmas colours matching the brand’s red, as well as the boutique of the jeweler Herbert Mayer give an imperial air to this street. It is the time of presents, love and flickers. Flickers in fir-tree decorations, vitrines and preparing-to-arrive snow flakes.
I enter the Café and ask about a table where I can plug in my laptop. It has just become free. So, I am happily going up the staircase. I order a hot white chocolate and start writing.
Unexpectedly, my laptop changed its cosmetics and starts writing with Cambria, a font which I welcome to celebrate this first article on this blog. It contains stories about men buying jewellery for women – a door to a place where women can secretly enter to understand men.
First, I am going to write about men buying alone a present for the woman of their life. Their will to buy lightens up their faces despite not always knowing what. They do want the best. It should so much be something that she will love, however, they seem not to do the connection with what their beloved wears, likes or might make her beauty shine. These are the customers sale assistants love to help because they have the opportunity of showing them a whole range of brands and jewels and advise on what suits better. They might be men who have just started a relationship and may be perfectly entitled not to know her so well. Beyond the will to make their partner happy, what comes across is the search about what to buy. I know many women who just dream to be offered the ring of their life, exactly like in the movies, who pass on shopping streets and every jewel in the vitrine raises their deep emotions and makes their love-story imagination fly. It is in the landscape of this type of «clientèle masculine» that sale assistants can reveal women’s wishes and aspirations for beauty, recognition and appreciation.
Many men buy the present together with their partner.
The most happy and confident about their purchases seem to be couples. How interesting it may seem, there are men advising their partners on what to wear, making sure nothing goes wrong, nothing has the slightest defect and taking a stand on why a certain jewel is more appropriate. So was this young couple where she seemed in her late 20s and he in his mid-30s. When the sales assistant proposed a stainless-steel bijou in modern elegant design, he replied that his girlfriend wore only silver or gold and it would have been too much to ask her now to change her taste. He preferred a sterling silver necklace from Esprit. This is not all, since he kept his severe and doubtful attitude while the sale assistant and the girlfriend exchanged tacit agreement glances about the necklace underlining the youth and finesse of the latter. The coule has finally bought the necklace after few hours’ reflection and shopping for Christmas decorations.
In couples over 50s the choice seems to be left to the woman. Sometimes, women go on to discover what attracts them in shops, decide, reserve the bijou and come with their partner for a last opinion and buy it.
Men on a trip might worry for not finding the right present within the limited time they have. Shoppy-shop what is the most beautiful jewel I can bring home from elegant Europe? Recently, a Chinese customer wanted to buy an engagement ring for his fiancée back home. It was night time in China and he kept on taking photos of different rings and sending them to her checking whether she likes them or if the size was right. He was waiting for her answer while not sure she was sleeping, kept coming back again to the sales assistant for advice, trying new products and asking again his fiancée. For a while it appeared that she did not like the ring, however, later she agreed. No small size was available for the fine Chinese fingers among European standard sizes. He decided to buy a Guess watch since he found the brand very appreciated in his country. He wanted so much to buy something for his fiancée that he inspected the watch very closely and gave his own suggestions to the sales assistant on the packaging. He chose an extra cushion for the watch although it was not part of the brand´s standard package.
Men take sometimes their female friends for shopping advice. So was a Turkish young man who liked the watch from the Guess poster presenting a blond woman whose overalls’ braces let uncover her black & white bra. The product in the advertising is always the most wanted and the best looking for customers. He would love to buy a rosé-plated watch while his friend displays frank practicality: “Buy a black watch. She wears black and it goes with everything.” He is unhappy about this proposal and mentions he should also like what his girlfriend wears because he is the one who sees her. The price should also be appropriate compared to that of the Armani necklace he had just received from his girlfriend for his birthday. He is not sure. He finds the sales assistant´s suggestions for brand, price and design good to consider. He will come back and see her again after he contacts his girlfriend´s close friend. His relationship is only five months old.
What can be felt from all customers are their hopes and desire to easily and, though unexpectedly, find the product that makes click with them and fascinates. That kind of combination ensuring the promise that the present will be enjoyed at home and will spark magic light when their giving hand will offer it to somebody else´s receiving hand. The slightest doubt would make clients take time to think about it and say what an Indian man told a sales assistant about two products he looked at: “If one of these sells until I come back from the perfume store, it means the left one is for me.”