Over eleven years and two months you collect a lot of birthdays, valentines, Christmases and anniversaries. Nearly one hundred of these occasions between a couple, if you’re counting.
That’s a hundred presents.
Small ones at first, signs of intent and interest, romantic ones in the hope of wooing, practical ones to help along the way, right up to ridiculously overpriced and over the top gestures.
Making up gifts, jokey gifts, and spur of the moment for no good reason gifts.
Somewhere in there, are a few special ones, ones that mean as much to me, the giver, as they do to her.
She has everything she could want, gadgetry, clothes, holidays, sparkly things, time to herself, some money to spend, and a house to do with as she pleases.
There’s nothing I can give her.
On one hand it’s a great complaint to have, she and I have both been working full time for 8 and 11 years respectively, and we have pretty much managed to exhaust our wish lists.
On the other, it’s a screaming reminder of what’s gone so very wrong, like some nightmarish fairy tale where we are supposed to learn our lesson, and emerge enlightened as to what really matters in life.
We get it.
Our house is full of ‘stuff’, but it’s horribly empty. Music, games, and movies could deafen you in any room over three floors, but it’s still eerily silent.
Silence that’s amplified when you stand on the spiral stairs and listen to the Saturday morning screeches and giggles from next door.
We have spare bedrooms living lives disguised as offices, storage space, giant walk in wardrobes, or dressing rooms. Not as they were intended, just bedrooms.
I don’t know if it’s possible to feel any stupider as you do when you realise the clichés were true all along, and the joke is on you.
“The best things in life are free” or “Money can’t buy you happiness”
Cheesy, overused, and scoffed at, but stomach sinking true. Yes, we fucking get it.
We have everything, all adding up to nothing.
Yesterday was ET’s birthday and there was nothing I could give her.
She got a gift from Aunty Irony today though, her period.
Twenty four, over and out.