Because of the present economic situation, The Englishman and I had decided on a giving each other just small Christmas gifts this year. So when I saw a package looking like a thick book, I was thrilled. When I opened the wrapping paper, this is what was inside.
I have to admit that I’m more of a Doris Lessing girl than Marian Keyes one, but I read everything and have nothing against the writer. Perhaps the Englishman wants me to read real romance novels for a change, I thought. But looking at the book, it looked a bit battered, with a ripped jacket. Plus there was a Tesco’s price tag on the front.
‘Thank you, darling,’ I said, knowing I couldn’t hide the disappointment in my voice.
He smiled across the coffee table at me and said, ‘My pleasure.’
We were not alone, but surrounded by family, so I couldn’t really ask him what on earth he’d been thinking getting me what obviously looked a bargain basement book from Tesco’s. Instead I tried to feign real interest in the novel by beginning to leaf through the pages. And this is what I found inside.
On opening the jewellery box, there was a lovely pair of pearl earrings inside. ‘I can’t believe you!’ I said and went to kiss the old husband. But I couldn’t stop looking at the cut up book. I kept thinking how I’d feel if one of the recently published copies of The Englishman would end up like that, cut up to hide a seemingly more precious gift?
‘You just cannot do that!’ I said jokingly, but really meaning it. I felt just absolutely awful.
‘You should have realised I’d never buy you a book that still had a price sticker on, but don’t worry I put it there; I didn’t pay ten pounds for it!’ the Englishman said.
I love my pearl earrings but I’ve told him that’s the last time he’s cutting up any book, by any author. In my book (see what I did there?) that’s just not on.
What do you think? Do you feel the same as me?