Kayt Turner: ‘Nearly 30% of men intend to splash out £20 on their loved one – makes you feel loved, no?’

SURVEYS, surveys, surveys. Most of the time, I’ve got to say, they do little more than make me think of money and old rope. Do you really need an in-depth survey to tell us that women like chocolate? Or that kids are excited by Christmas? Or that fat people like doughnuts?

Sometimes, though, surveys can be enlightening and informative. Like the one this week from Bluebeards Revenge – a hip and happening shaving cream for gay blades about town, I’m told. Apparently they have their finger firmly on the pulse of young manhood. Although, I think it safe to say that most of us can guess where the pulse of young manhood is directed. Anyhoo, Bluebeard had a quick ask round of their customers about their festive shopping plans and my, oh my, does that make interesting reading for the rest of us.

Apparently, men hate Christmas shopping – so far, so earth-shattering (not.) It may well come as news to these numpties that it’s not exactly a piece of cake for the womenfolk either – and would be made considerably easier if they actually pulled their weight in the whole enterprise.

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Anyway – they don’t like it. They find it more stressful than losing their job, getting married or moving house. Not, however, more stressful than watching your sports team lose – they must have got a lot of Hibs fans in their respondents. But I am not drawing your attention to this survey to let you know that men aren’t good at shopping – or much else besides on the strength of this information.

No, the key point in all of this is when we get to the fine detail on how much they plan to spend on their nearest and dearest. Just under half of men questioned had earmarked less than £50 with which to grant their loved one’s hearts’ desire. Nearly 30 per cent of them were only intending to splash out £20 – makes you feel loved, no? I’m about to make it a bit worse. Scotsmen decided to pop themselves into every stereotype pigeonhole they could find. Sixty per cent – yes, that’s right, almost two-thirds of our nation’s menfolk – plan to spend £30 – or less – on their partners.

Now I fully appreciate that we are in a time of austerity, economic downturn, blah, blah, blah – I know, I know. Mr Turner tells me repeatedly that times are tough and money is tight – and if I could just leave my purse at home he’d be a happy man. If I thought that our countrymen were fully cognisant of this and were expecting a similar amount to be spent on their own gifts, I could just about swallow this miserliness. But these young men have gone on to bleat about what rubbish Christmas presents they get – from slippers and socks to ties and cheap aftershave. They want good presents – like a year’s supply of beer or Apple gadgetry. Good luck in getting any of that for £30 – or, ahem, less.

So, here’s the deal. I suggest, ladies, that you have two gifts under the tree. Gift A – which will have something truly wonderful in it. And Gift B – which will have that Brut For Men gift set that you found at the back of the cupboard. If you open your present and find that every notion of Survey Stereotype has been rejected by your other half, then Gift A is theirs. If not... then get ready to splash it all over.