Meaning: A gift a man gives to his wife to apologize when he’s done something stupid (typically staying out way too late).
A relationship is most often a tightrope walk. There are certain stereotypes about men and women, and many that are true. While men are often depicted as clueless and confused, women are depicted as sensitive and dramatic. A happy relationship is a fine balance between gifts, love, fights and those little stolen moments of happiness. While both men and women have high expectations from a relationship, and more so in a marriage, women’s expectations are in the roses and pampering (going according to the standard stereotypes). When a man goofs up, or does something thoughtless, it has become a societal norm that he would pacify his wife’s anger with gifts.
English has many words that come close to this, many made up in the last three decades where men use gifts to cool down their wives’ anger, and there is no single actual word that explains it beautifully. Germany comes up with an answer, and gave us this beautiful word. When a man does something thoughtless or careless, he comes up with a gift that is simultaneously one of apology and love, one that would hopefully make the woman smile and forgive the faux pas.
Flash Fiction #4
Deepika was angry. The man at the restaurant had been polite enough, and had even offered to move her reservation to a later hour or even a later day. But she had refused and was now fuming at her husband. Her mind told her that she would be better off at least ordering pizza to satiate her hunger but she refused. Looking morosely at her mobile once again, she tried calling his number, hearing the recorded voice that informed her that he was unreachable.
Dinner reservations were always his forte. He seemed to find the right restaurants around the place, being an excellent cook and foodie. But to her, it was more about the time he spent with her, away from all the hullabaloo of their routine lives, just the two of them. The romance was more in his efforts than the food and the gifts. He had always surprised her with reservations and had never missed one so far. But the only time she had taken it up, he had to go and mess it totally. He had forgotten that she had reserved for dinner at the newly opened restaurant.
She almost threw the mobile away in frustration. No calls, no texts, not even a reply to the one where she reminded him to be home two hours before his usual time. As time wore on, her anger grew way to worry. It was ten past eleven, and she was getting worried. Her eyes drooped, not having been used to staying up late. But worry kept her awake. Right when she was about to get up and do something drastic, like maybe going to his office, she heard his car in the driveway.
Deepika sat down in a huff. When Deepak entered, the house was unnaturally silent. The lights were off and with the glow from his torch, he switched on the lights. The sight he saw stunned him into silence. Sitting on the couch with tears in her eyes and her face resolutely angry, was his wife. His feeble attempt at an apology was brushed off as she got up and said in a quiet and steady voice, “No replies, no calls, no information, you forget the promised dinner and waltz in three hours late with a single ‘sorry’? And I am supposed to accept it?”
Before he could react, she stormed off and locked herself in her room. He looked down sadly at the box of chocolates and handmade cookies. Sighing, he knocked on the door to his room and not getting any response, tried to explain himself.
Deepika fell into a fitful sleep, and was woken what seemed like minutes later by the smell of food wafting from the kitchen. She sniffed and wondered when he had opened the door. Following the aroma, she got into the kitchen and looked at her husband in his apron, humming as he cooked. A strange smile crept upon her lips as she watched him work. As if he sensed her presence, he looked up and gave her a hesitant smile. Deepika found herself smiling back automatically. He held up the ladle in an apologetic gesture, showing that he had cooked for her. She walked towards him.
“I guessed you were hungry… I am sorry I was late.”
“Not accepted. Until I taste the food and find it satisfactory.” She arched her eyebrows at him.
As he playfully lunged at her, she squealed and ran away, her anger forgotten. Her eyes fell on the box of chocolates and cookies and she looked up at him, surprised. He grinned and shrugged.
“The level of anger exceeded the credit of chocolates this time. Hence…” He nodded towards the simmering gravy.
Deepika smiled. Sometimes, Drachenfutter was not about the most expensive gift money could give.