Mind you, he’s just at bad at receiving presents. It is not unusual for him not to bother to open them at all, if he thinks he knows what they are, or just to tear the paper enough to look. Several weeks later, there will still be a small stack by his chair until I lay the law down and make him move them. And I think there are few things more boring than a wife who is houseproud and nags a husband about his stuff, which he has every right to leave just where he wants because it’s his house too. I don’t want to be pushed into it, but honestly his stuff stays where he dumps it until the cobwebs grow dusty, he’d literally never bother to put it away. I’ve tried leaving things and always am the first to crack, though sometimes it’s taken a couple of years.
But even if a lot of thought has been given into a present, it’ll probably not be appreciated. For example, a couple of years ago I thought I’d had a brainwave. We had a very dear friend, Norman, who was a professional musician, a pianist. He played regularly in the restaurant at the Ritz, in nightclubs and variety shows, in orchestras in the theatre and on television, that sort of thing. And once he was on the Morecambe and Wise Show. He played for them regularly, but didn’t appear on stage except that once, when he was mentioned on the credits. And I was thinking of him (he died several years ago) and looked him up on IMDB and found the episode, tracked it down on Amazon and bought the series for the Sage. It took quite a bit of time to do. I’d already got the Sage’s present, a peculiarly unattractive antique mug that he wanted, so gave it to Ro to give his father.
It seemed to tick all the boxes. The only visual record of one of the Sage’s oldest and most-loved friends, the Sage loves nostalgia and, though he’s not that interested in television, even he enjoyed Morecambe and Wise and might reasonably be expected to watch the whole DVD, not just the bit with Norman in it. I thought it was a brilliant idea.
But. He’s never bothered to watch it. I reminded him after a few weeks and again after a few months, when I asked if he maybe didn’t care to watch a video of someone who had died, which he said wasn’t the case. I watched it myself in the end and it was lovely to see darling Norman again. But the Sage has never seen it. So, pfft. I won’t be imaginative again.
It’s only fair to redress the balance a bit and I’ll write about some of the excellent presents he’s given me. But it’s proved to be safer by far to lower my expectations way down. I don’t care for disappointment.