Here’s a humorous excerpt from my memoir BETTER OR DEAD, sequel to Shadow Across the Sun. I bet none of you guys reading my post can beat this for a Christmas present for your wives or girlfriends!
If it gives you a giggle and you think you’d like to read the book I’d be so grateful for a review on its Amazon page.
A week later, after Elliot had made his stage debut as a king in the Nativity and walked proudly down the middle of the hall carrying his gift, it was Christmas Eve. Barry and I – both sober – put the presents out, the boys’ filling the settee, ours on our respective chairs; I couldn’t resist a little glance over at the presents for me – not too closely, I didn’t want to spoil the surprise, but one in particular intrigued me. It was a small parcel; I touched it, it felt like a box and I felt a tremor of excitement. He’d bought me jewellery. At last! I was always telling him I’d love a ring – or earrings even, but preferably a ring. The only rings he’d ever bought me had been my wedding and engagement rings and that had been twelve years ago. He’d splashed out on the most expensive engagement ring we’d seen giving me the mistaken impression that he was generous but had somewhat taken the sparkle off it by saying it was an investment; not the most romantic of comments to your new fiancée. Now at last he’d got me another. I wondered if it was an eternity ring. I’d always wanted one but he hadn’t been very forthcoming when I’d suggested it. Perhaps he’d wanted to surprise me. I’d really like to have chosen it myself but then I’m sure it would be in keeping with my other two rings. I didn’t finger the present too much; I wanted to wait until morning.
I think I was more excited than the boys that Christmas in anticipation of what was waiting for me in the small, enigmatic parcel. Usually my Christmas was seeing the look of delight on Matt and Elliot’s faces, and it was of course that year, but I was dying to get round to mine. However I didn’t want to rush it, I wanted to enjoy it, to savour the moment so I watched Barry open his presents then he said, “Go on lovie, open yours.”
He wanted to see my reaction when I looked at the ring and I smiled a Mona Lisa smile as I opened all of the others and left that one until last. There it sat, the only one left in its wrapping. I felt Barry’s eyes on me as I picked it up. Part of me wanted to rip the paper off to reveal its hidden secrets but the other part wanted to hold onto the mystery and surprise for a few seconds more. I peeled off the Sellotape, pulled back the paper to expose…. a box of After Eight mints? A tiny box at that, not even full sized, it only contained five!
“Well I always said I wouldn’t buy you chocolates lovie so you don’t get fat,” said Barry totally oblivious to my look of incredulous disappointment.
“I thought… I thought… you’d got me a ring.”
“Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha!” He all but rolled on the floor in hysterics.
I could feel tears of dismay and loss for the gift I’d never have amassing in my throat but I wouldn’t give them their freedom and reveal my innermost feelings. “I really wanted a ring,” I said in a muted tone.
“Oh well never mind. Come on, let’s get the dinner on.”
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