Wednesday, 14 November 2012

In which I disapprove of a practical present

It’s something of a theme at the moment: first there was my recent struggle for inspiration for a suitable Christmas present for The Writer, and now Pa Blonde has got in on the act by being impossible to buy for, and having an imminent birthday. How unthinking.

Pa Blonde has a very different approach to TW when it comes to presents. Whilst TW is inordinately fussy, he does at least recognise that presents should have a sort of luxurious element – not necessarily that they need to cost a lot of money, but be something that you have a hankering for, and feel a bit naughty or decadent if you buy them for yourself.

Pa Blonde fundamentally disagrees with this principle, instead requiring immense practicality to run through all gifts like lettering on Brighton Rock.  After all, we are talking about the man who, in 2003, bought my mother a Dyson for Christmas, and followed it up in 2005 with a vegetable steamer. Romantic, no? Both years I had to convince him he might as well have gift-wrapped divorce papers, and took him on emergency Christmas Eve trips to buy sparkly things and handbags.

And so, rather than splashing out on interesting spirits, or a nice cashmere jumper that would sit in the wardrobe earmarked as “too expensive for everyday wear” and would thus be never worn, I did what I thought would be most productive, and asked Ma Blonde if he’d mentioned anything that he was after.

A few days later, an email arrived.

Hello Blonde,

You asked your mother for suggestions for birthday presents. Well, I need some new drill bits which you can get from Wickes online. I need 3mm, 4mm and 5mm. Each pack contains two drill bits.

I also need a new claw hammer.


Pa Blonde

Which, devoid of charm and soulless as the request may be, rather solves the problem of what to buy him. Whether these are any steps up from the Father’s Day wellingtons, I’m yet to work out. Darned sight easier to wrap, though.


nuttycow said...

Ha! My father's the same. Although it's requests for near out-of-print classical music (the 1980 recording of the Marriage of Figaro being the latest) and seeds. Oh, and sausage skins.

At least it makes things interesting coming through customs.

Sylvia Warren said...

My father has no concept of waiting, and will buy his new camera lens/computer program/tool accessories precisely when he wants to, then looks blank if you ask him for Christmas suggestions.
I generally end up getting him books, which are easy to wrap but lack the 'luxurious and special' quality when picked up from Amazon.

Blonde said...

NC: Ah, it's not just me, then. Clearly a phenomenon of men of a certain age.

Sylvia: Now, my father used to be like that, but somehow we've coaxed him into putting off purchases. For all the good it's done me. I mean, drill bits. Honestly.

Martin said...

My Dad buys his own drill bits, so I don't even have that to go on.


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