Tag Archives: manual

T – the manual


I have a very nice girlfriend. She’s pretty, is a master in relativity (which is a good quality to have in a partner when you are a drama queen yourself) and provides good service where good service is due (trying to keep this child-safe to American standards…). So with it being Valentine’s day today, I can imagine there’s a ton of people out there that want to take her out on a date. This post is directed to these people. Because – however cute and smart and funny she may be, she also comes with a manual. A quite substantial manual. And just so aspiring lovers know what they’re getting themselves into, I provide them here with some excerpts.

§2.1 Do not surprise

A jack-in-the-box

Not a good idea. (Image via Wikipedia)

§2.1.1. No surprise parties of any kind or size shall be organized in the subject’s honor, nor shall you surprise her with a night out and/or tickets for her favorite band (see also §4.1. Do not plan anything without the subject’s consent). Jokes about these subjects shall not be tolerated either, and will result in a very edgy, uncomfortable, and nervous subject for several days.
§2.1.2. Do not kiss the subject while she is under the shower washing her hair with her eyes closed – you will get smacked in the face. Do not let the cat jump on the subjects’s lap unless she’s seen him coming – he will get smacked in his face. Do not wake the subject with a romantic wake-up kiss on the mouth on a lazy Sunday morning – you will … you get the picture.



Too early. (Image by brookeduckart via Flickr)

§4.2 Do not plan ahead
§4.2.1. No arrangements should be made for dates more than 2 weeks ahead since it is impossible to tell whether these plans will fit with the mental and physical condition of the subject at that particular time point. Failure to do so will require you to take full responsibility for the poor planning of the event.

§5.1 Do not interfere with decision making
§5.1.1. Decision making for purchasing material goods can take anytime from 1-2 weeks for basic needs such as the purchase of a t-shirt or a pair of jeans, to up to a year for more important purchases such as a photo camera. Interference with any of these decisions will only be tolerated if and only if sufficient credentials on the referred purchase domain (PhD or higher) can be presented.
§5.1.2. Life-influencing choices, including moving in together, having children and/or getting married do not have a maximum decision time-limit. Any attempt to help in the decision making process will result in longer decision times.
§5.1.3. After receiving permission to assist in the decision making, limit yourself to rational arguments and quantifiable parameters. The use of tables, graphs, and charts is encouraged. Appropriate references are highly appreciated.

Not Ts philosophy.

§5.2.3 Decisions you make yourself are better, therefore under no circumstances the subject shall involve in or help with decision making on behalf of other people.

I will briefly mention §7.3 (do not talk when watching a movie), §8.2 (always sleep on the subject’s left side) and §10.2 (countries where spiders roam freely are excluded as a travel destination). In case you still plan on taking her on a Valentine’s dinner: I hope you invited her no more than 2 weeks and no less than 2 days ago, that she knows where you are going, and that there is only 1 veggie choice on the menu.

Totally out of context. But incredibly funny.

Merry Christmas!


Sunday I’ll be going to Copenhagen with some friends to visit a certain museum (the fact that I don’t even remember which one only shows how eager I am to visit museums) (It’s not like I don’t wanna go. I do. I feel I have to work on my general culture/knowledge. But that’s really the only reason I’m going. That and my friends :).) and as we were making arrangements, one of them suggested we’d go a bit early so we could taste a bit of the “Christmas atmosphere”.

Is it Christmas already?

The thing is: she’s right. It is perfectly possible to go to a Christmas market mid-november. I was in Copenhagen last weekend. I was in Göteborg the day before when there was the grand inauguration of the first part of the walk of light (3,4kms in length) and the christmas market at Liseberg. And you know what? It ruins Christmas.


I like Christmas, I really do. I like the tree and the presents and the lights and the candy and the christmas market and everything else surrounding it. I even like the family dinners, uncomfortable as they are. And the cities are simply beautiful in the evening, with christmas carols playing and lights everywhere.

But it’s too much too early – Sinterklaas hasn’t even come yet! (the fact that Sinterklaas (the ‘real’ Santa Claus) doesn’t come to Sweden or almost any other country is thereby completely irrelevant.) And really, I get cranky from all this Christmas stuff. Christmas means holidays, so I get all happy and holiday-ish – until reality strikes: I got to work another 5 weeks. It’s depressing. But at least they’ve gotten rid of the “X-mas” thing that seemed to dominate decorations the past few years … .
Christmas lasts one day, but it’s celebrated for almost 3 months: once Halloween has passed, the Christmas decorations quickly take their place (when I was shopping for my Pippi-costume on October 30th, the boxes with Christmas cards and stuff were already standing in the store, ready to be unpacked and placed in the racks) and they won’t disappear before end of January (or if they do, they are replaced with Valentine stuff. which is worse.). So basically, we celebrate Christmas 25% of the time.

I suggest we bring this percentage down. Drastically. And thus I present: my personal Christmas-celebration-manual.

Tivoli, Copenhagen

First of all, I like the lights in the city – it’s a bit depressing and all, this whole winter- and early dark-thing – so they can stay. But I don’t want to see any Christmas market, fake smiling Santa’s, toy commercials, decorated trees, Christmas cards, … before December 6th. December 15 (my mother’s birthday) you’re allowed to set up the tree: this gives you 10 days of counting down. 10 days is a nice number to be counting down from, and then you can actually look forward, because it’s REALLY coming closer. Next, there is a week of holidays between Christmas and New Year – yey! The tree and everything else can then stay another week or so, but by January 6 (Epiphany) all decorations should go back in the box, until next Christmas.

It will be a great month.

Rudolf, employee of (next) month