Monday, 27 December 2010

Blood and Goats

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas! I had a lovely time, apart from Partner’s mother disowning him again on Christmas Day, although this does happen every six months or so so it is not as it we are not used to it. It is just a little unfortunate that he was on the phone to her this year being disowned just as I was unknowingly on the computer in another room buying her an Oxfam Goat for Christmas, so in a few days’ time she will get a card with a great big picture of a goat on it and my cheery message inside, and I can’t think that it won’t look pointed. Anyway, at least someone gets a goat out of it.

Actually, I might start a Christmas Tradition of a charity donation/ sponsorship in Partner’s Mother’s (possibly unknowing) honour. I once sponsored the most unpleasant cat in Cambridge with some money she gave me as a contribution towards petrol costs, which I couldn't get her to take back but felt I couldn't morally keep (we were inbetween disownings, but there is always one coming up). Her name was Cruella (the cat – really, it was) and before she passed to roll in catnip in the Summerlands we used to receive newsletters about her exploits, with pictures of her crouched, looking absolutely furious, in corners and under furniture. The newsletters were always very bouncy and cheerful: ‘And we think the cat groomer who Cruella bit last week is going to be absolutely fine! He’s on his third set of antibiotics now, and the swelling’s gone down quite a lot!’. Perhaps I should sponsor something else unrehomable? (I didn’t tell Partner’s mother about Cruella. Cruella was a secret. That would have looked pointed).

I am frantically getting presents together now because we see all my family for New Year, and I have left it right to the last minute, I am rubbish. Partner only buys presents for me, and so he is done. However, it was quite an experience this year. Partner leaves all his wrapping until 11pm on Christmas Eve: his approach to wrapping is roughly what mine would be to abseiling, i.e. do it as quickly as possible, without looking, and take a year to recover. So at 11pm on Christmas Eve I pressed the Sellotape and a pair of scissors into Partner’s hot little hand and went upstairs to read Moby Dick. Half an hour later, Partner appeared like a Wraith by the side of the bed, holding the sellotape.

‘This sellotape is faulty’ he said, furiously.

And handed it to me. I had used the sellotape to wrap presents earlier in the day so I knew it wasn’t. I corrected the horrendous mess Partner had made of it, folded over the end so he wouldn’t lose it, and gave it back. Within 2 seconds he had buggered it up again. I decided to choose my battles, so went and got some parcel tape. ‘Why don’t you use this?’ I said, encouragingly. ‘Or give me the things in their carrier bag?’ But no, apparently at midnight on Christmas Eve after a bottle of wine, aesthetic standards become elevated. So Partner stomped off, muttering about parcel tape ‘not being very pretty’. I resumed reading Moby Dick.

Half an hour later and again a Wraith rose up at the side of my bed, this time bleeding quite a lot. ‘I need a plaster’ Partner muttered. Apparently at some point the idea of Mastering The Sellotape With A Craft Knife had occurred to him, and he had blood dripping right down his arm. I ascertained that all digits were still attached, plastered him up, and sent him on his way. 15 minutes later there he was again. ‘I just need you to check I’ve got all the blood out of the carpet’ he said, mournfully. ‘There was quite a lot of blood’. At this point I suggested that an alternative, but equally much-appreciated, gift, might be the Gift Of Not Having To Drive Anyone To Casualty At Midnight On Christmas Eve. But no! Apparently this couldn’t compare to having a DVD of The Third Man wrapped in spotty paper with the correct sellotape! So I sent him off again with some trepidation and sounds of paper being folded and swearing were heard until 2am, when apparently enough blood had been extracted from the carpet and everything had been wrapped to his satisfaction. (Everything folded in a mad origami-type fashion and then secured with one tiny piece of sellotape. No wonder it stresses him!). Although obviously I try to encourage any embryonic signs of altruism I see in Partner, I do think next year I am going to insist on a different wrapping system. Perhaps we need to start a fornight earlier so teething troubles can be ironed out and any necessary coaching given.

I think actually this is why the goats are so popular. You don’t have to wrap the bloody things.


Kezz said...

Once again I have lol'd at your post.
For next years wrapping google "Furoshiki" or make him some festive drawstring bags to put stuff in?

Absinthe Fairy said...

You are lucky to have such a romantic partner. My other half, thrusts my gifts at me about a week before Xmas and declares that as I am so anally retentive as to require wrapping paper I had best do it myself as I will only be disappointed to find random crumpled bits of paper stuck together with 2 rolls of sellotape around a CD.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say that I find your blog laugh-out-loud funny and since I work in a library that is VERY quiet this is inconvenient; but I love it. Thanks.

Susie said...

Aww, thanks everyone ;-).

Absinthe Fairy, Partner is unused to thinking of himself as romantic and this has thrown him. He keeps looking at me sideways and muttering, 'hmm. People saying things on your blog'.

Denise said...

Partner's mother sounds like my dearly departed ex-MIL. Wish we had online back then and I could have gotten her a goat. She would have had a cow.

I highly suggest this product for partner's gift wrapping. Or pretty gift bags are useful, you can reuse them.

Susie said...

You can buy manure as a present for someone on the Oxfam site, and she nearly got that ;-).

I may try him with the exciting pre-cut dispenser. It is hard to see how he could mess that up - which will make it all the more impressive when he manages it! ;-).

J.G. said...

Those letters about Cruella must have been priceless. Refusing to take bad behavior too seriously is quite the effective coping technique (as you know, works for humans too!).

The Gingerbread Lady said...

Am also powering through this season in questionable hats, though I have The Lovely Gladys to model them for me. My family would have a hard time picking a photo for my News At Ten insert as they all feature me squinting, blinking, scowling or crosseyed - less a question of picking an undodgy photo and more a question of picking the least dodgy photo.
And I know the MiL feeling: at this point the only goat suited to mine would be the one sacrificed on a ritual altar in a Carribean voodoo ceremony.
Anyway, chin up, old girl. 2011 has begun. Can only get better :-9

Marushka C. said...

A thousand new year's blessings, Susie! You made me laugh until I cried. The Family was quite concerned. After reading my favorite parts to them, my husband expressly forbade me to send Oxfam manure to his mother. I am holding Gingerbread Lady's suggestion about the sacrificial goat in reserve, what he doesn't know about he can't tell me not to do, right?