Birthday wishes from Dad. XX
Dad phoned on my birthday to ask me to say thank you for his present: cash in an envelope.
‘I wasn’t impressed with your response to my email,’ he said. ‘Apple is a nasty corporate and you should be ashamed of yourself.’
‘I’ll just use your cash to buy the iPod,’ I said cheerily. ‘So what do you want for Christmas?’
‘I asked your sister to buy me a nice, single malt whiskey,’ he replied. ‘It costs £50 so you can split it with her. She always splashes the cash. Unnecessary.’
‘Yes,’ I agreed. ‘Money can’t buy you love!’
‘I won’t love her, no matter whats she spends.’ He laughed. ‘I can’t think of anything else I need. Sarah already got me a snowboarding helmet.’
I spluttered into my celebratory glass of red wine.
‘A snowboarding helmet?!’
‘To cycle to work,’ he said. ‘Now, listen, I don’t want you girls spending all this money on me. A nice, single malt whiskey, please.’
‘But you don’t drink, and you don’t snowboard!’ I protested.
‘I cycle to work!’ he said, irritated. ‘And listen, I need you to help me with something when you come home. I’ve built a new log house – a prototype mini log – and I need you to post it on your Facebook.’
I downed the wine. ‘Really dad, you need to learn to use Twitter.’
‘I don’t have time for Twitter!’ he snapped. ‘Just come home and teach me your Facebook.’
‘If you’re a willing pupil, I’ll be a willing teacher,’ I warned.
‘Right, so what do you want for Christmas? An Apple?’
‘After what you gave me for my birthday, that would be extravagant.’
‘No it’s not. I bought Sarah the new prototype mini log home in her garden, and I furnished it, and varnished it, and built it. And I used it as a show-house for clients.’
I didn’t like the thought of dad borrowing my iPod every so often to show to clients.
‘How about some lights for my bedroom?’
‘Ok, good, I’ll go to John Lewis.’
‘But not Christmas tree lights, dad. I mean bedroom lanterns?’
‘I’ll get white lights on a string, from John Lewis.’
‘Money can’t buy love but Christmas tree lights for £4.99 may encourage the opposite.’
‘I said John Lewis!’ he shouted. ‘If you don’t like it, you can give it back to me and I’ll put it in the mini log.’
We went silent for a minute and I poured myself another glass of red wine. We eventually came to the same conclusion of yesteryear, and the year before that. I don’t know why we even bother to discuss it.
‘How about a lump sum of cash?’ he asked.