Style: Generic workwear
Listening to: The monotonous buzzing of my PC and the girl behind me, who’s supposed to be on a diet, crunching her way through bags and bags of crisps.
What’s on today? 8am – 3pm: work
What’s the first thing you’re taught when you’re a kid? Counting to 10 and the alphabet are learnt pretty early on, saying hello and goodbye and please and thank you. Right? Right. Thought so.
I’m not a crazed stickler for manners but when you go to the trouble of buying a present for someone or sending them a card, I expect some sort of acknowledgement; even if it’s just a short text or a poke on Facebook.
Mr P’s family are all lovely (his mum, despite being matriarch to three boys is a gem; his dad’s great; his two brothers are fab) yet none of them are very good at saying thank you.
Mr P’s middle brother, S, and his lovely girlfriend, J, are my favourites. They have 3 kids. For the twins’ 1st birthday, I sent them a package in which was a multi-coloured, hippieish dress for Lulu and a cute hoodie for Cha-Cha. Thoughtfully picked clothing in designs I knew S & J would love and quite expensive (says the girl who feels guilty paying anything more £10 for a top).
I waited until a week after their birthday and still hadn’t received a response. I asked Mr P whether he had heard anything – no, he hadn’t, but didn’t seemed particular bothered / concerned.
I asked Mr P’s parents whether they’d mentioned anything in their weekly ‘phone call – no. Eventually, Mr P rang his brother on a separate matter and passed comment about the twins’ birthday presents. Had they been received?
S: Was that the package with the coloured dress in?
Mr P wasn’t entirely sure what I’d purchased for the kiddies – as the girl in the relationship, it is my sole duty to remember, purchase and send birthday cards and gifts (sounds like a generalisation? Just ask your coupled-up friends whose responsibility this job is in their household) so couldn’t confirm this. I was livid. Not only did they not know exactly what gift came from whom – despite handily signed birthday cards being included – they still didn’t proffer a meagre ‘thanks’ in return.
S & J used to be travellers before the twins’ arrival forced them into a council house, albeit a very nice one, just outside Newquay, Cornwall. They’re laidback, they’re chilled out, I can kind of forgive their scattishness so although I haven’t forgotten, they are forgiven.
On the flip side of the coin is Mr P’s other brother, D, his wife, G, and their two boys, Ads and Jakey. D & G are conventional and sensible, the polar opposite to S & J (but no less lovely). I sent Jakey a selection of books for his third birthday back in September and was convinced I would receive some kind of response. Not a dicky-bird.
It makes me feel like fucking all the presents for the children (and there are 5, remember, 5!) off this Christmas and using the cash to buy myself something sparkly to flaunt down the pub on Christmas Eve.
But I won’t, of course. I’ll buy them fun toys and cool outfits and pop-up books so that I remain Nice-Auntie-Rosie-Who-Buys-Great-Presents in their eyes, rather than Bad-Auntie-Rosie-Who-Sponosors-Animals-In-Our-Name-And-Passes-It-Off-As-A-Christmas-Present. It’s vain, yes, and I know I’m cutting off my own nose to spite my face but hey, that’s me.
Merry bloody Christmas.