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?
Jane Hanbury says
I have to agree with you Helena. It was a nice gesture and I can see why he wrapped his 'real' gift in that way. I would have mixed feelings like you though. Books are too precious 🙂
Kandy Newton says
What a lovely idea to hide a gift! I must admit, when I first looked at the photo I thought "he could have at least taken the price tag off!" but no, I don't think have a problem with cutting up 'cheap' books (I've never actually done it myself though. It's only a few bits of printed paper really, the original manuscript is a precious thing (especially to the Author), but surely not the thousands or even millions of reproductions out in the world. Just my humble opinion anyway.
Helena Halme says
Kandy, you make a good point, the original manuscript is still intact!
Jane, 'mixed feelings' is a good way of putting how I felt!
I'd like to think Marian would appreciate the romantic gesture.
If it helps my husband bought me a ladle…
Helena Halme says
Amy, Surely it was a diamond encrusted ladle?