Saturday Part One.
When we first got married, for Christmas my Husband Paul bought me two of the most horrible shoes I’d ever seen, as a gift!!!! He’d paid fifty pounds each for them, one was black the other identical in brown, he was looking at me when I opened my Christmas gift, he said, “Do you like them?” I lied and replied, “Yes,” He added, “Here is the receipt if you want to change them.” After New Year I took them back to Beatties and made a point of showing the sale assistant the shoes. I was able to buy super cool shoes that made me feel like me. On my return I showed them to Paul, I told them, “They weren’t quite me, the ones you bought.”
I remember buying arty paints for Paul and he saying to me, “They are the wrong ones... this brand is not as good… I need more white colours so I can mix them.” So, the following day, I’d take them back. On other anniversaries, he’d buy me £45 boxes of chocolates from Thornton’s or huge bunches of flowers, about both I’d say, “Please don’t buy me flowers or chocolates, I’d rather just have the money or a voucher.”
Gift giving would be difficult at birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s and Father’s Day, even our wedding anniversary was stressful! We, forever were taking things back, so after years of this I decided, “Let’s not buy each other gifts, when you see something you really like, even if it’s not on the date due, then it’s from me or if I see something I like, then it will be from you.” This was a great idea, a complete success! I’ve learnt in Life, “You can’t know something, before you know it, (you can only know it, when you know it and not before). It worked, for even if were skint, and saw something later on, Paul or myself would buy something, that we wouldn’t usually spend that amount on ourselves, say something for thirty quid, usually it wasn’t anything more than that. So, we got exactly what we wanted, no more returning items to the shop. Oh, forgot to add in the past, If I’d bought Paul anything, his first words were always, “How much is it?” Having heard the price, his second words was always, “Take it back.” At times it would be frustrating.
Recently, my beautiful silver torque bracelet broke! Before we got married, we were in a beautiful shop and I saw it in there, Paul bought it for me, I never took it off, it was slim-lined and had engravings on it, the other silver torque bracelet that I also wore was smooth, that I’d bought myself soon after. And about ten years ago a work colleague, gave me a Debenhams voucher and with it I bought my third torque silver bracelet, then I bought in the sale from Argos a small, silver square link, bracelet eight years ago, I loved it. Another work colleague gave me a wonderful black thin leather string, she tied it on for me, “For there is a certain way to tie it on so it won’t come undone.” I have two other silver items on the same wrist, they all mean a lot to me and complement each other. Each of the items are in harmony with each other and myself. My Daughter Megan said, to me when I showed her the broken bracelet, “All my life I’ve heard you walking around, because of your bracelets, it gives me comfort.”
Paul had wanted to file it down, so I could still use it! I told him, “No, it’s no good now.” It now had no value to me, I told him, “I’ll buy another one.” I was in no rush to buy another, for I knew when I saw the right one I’d buy it.
It was Saturday and I was selling at a huge craft event at Lichfield, I’ve been selling my Tie & Dye there for over eighteen years, there are one hundred and forty craft stalls there, all hand made crafts there. Some years I do well there, usually when it’s hot and sunny but if it rains no one wants to buy Tie & Dye in the rain, then I make a loss with the stall, travel, my time, the cotton and linen clothes, I buy and insurance costs. About three years ago I made a loss and I was devastated, I broke down and cried buckets on the way home, I felt it was all a waste of my time. We were skint and now we were even more skint, because everything cost money. But Paul didn’t like to see me SO upset, it makes him sad too, it’s not very often I spurt negative talk but that day three years ago I did. I let all the pent-up anger out! I was driving too, which wasn’t wise. But a few months after that, I told Paul I’d not be sad again after an event, if I don’t do well, and that I won’t talk negative about it. So, I made a conscious effort to say nothing, even if it meant I cried the following morning while he was still asleep, as I wrote in my diary!
So, today I could tell I wasn’t doing so well, but it wasn’t because the sun was not hot in the sky, for it was perfect, hot and sunny but we were by the pool, my choice, more space there, than been cramped in like sardines around the cathedral, there as Paul tells me, it’s SO full of customers they can hardly get to the stalls! Does sound like a nice problem to have.
So, I was sitting at my colourful stall, I’d bought two spaces this year, it’s £60 for one stall. I hadn’t made £50 after many hours there, in fact the whole day I only sold £80 pounds of Tie & Dye, but I wasn’t sad, there was no point, I just enjoyed the sun, so at the £50 mark, Paul came up to me, he said, “Close your eyes and open both hands,” I did and he put something into each hand, he told me, “Open your eyes,” I did and in my left hand was a melted Magnum Ice-cream still unopened, in my right hand was a small black material bag with a pull string to close it, Paul said, about the bag, “I saw this and went back to the stall three times to look at it, I liked it, so I bought it for you, it is very expensive but do NOT ask me how much it was, the other one I bought you many years ago broke and I felt It is I who should buy you another one back.” I opened the bag and took out a silver bracelet, it was in the style of a torque bracelet. An excited Paul went on to say, “It is real silver and heavy, can you feel the weight?” I replied, “Yes, I can – thank you, it is lovely.” Paul said, “I knew you’d love it!”
He was wrong of course, it was hideous! I hated it! It was HUGE!!! It was like a zig zag, but smooth and it met another zig zag and they touched, a happy Paul said, “The man who I bought it from, said to me, “Wives and girlfriends will say they love it, but will bring it back to my shop and say, I hate it can I change it for something completely different!” I repeated my lie, and said, “Well I love it, thank you.” So, my day went from bad to worse! And I said to Paul, with a fake smile, “So he’s had a good day then that man you bought it from,” He said, “He certainly has.” During the course of the short conversation he’d said, at least three times, “It’s very expensive, do not ask me how much it was.” So, I was bound now never to ask him how much it was, but what would he call expensive? But whatever the amount it was unfair to ask me not to ask how much he’d paid for it.
A young family had a hysterectomy, unexpectedly she came to a family function and she could hardly walk, we all felt her pain, she came and sat next to me and Paul. Paul was SO moved, at the end when she was about to go home with her Husband he took off his silver 2” crucifix, his second most prized possession, other than his wedding band and put it into her hand and said, “I want you to keep this until you are better.” She seemed SO grateful and said, “Thank you, I will, you are so kind, I will keep it safe.”
Now she still has it and she it better. If I’d gone out and bought Paul a 6” silver crucifix and said, “I bought this for you, for the one you’ve not had back or likely to, the one you have mentioned to me that you have not had back, but do NOT ask me how much I paid for it!” Do you think he’d accept it? Heck no! He’d want to know the price, he’d say, “I don’t like it, take it back, it’s too expensive.”
All the other items on my wrist kept getting tangled up in the zig and the zag of this heavy item! The peaceful harmony of my wrist was now unbalanced, it was awful, he’d say to people, while looking at me, “Show them your new bracelet,” reluctantly I did…..
Megan said to me, “I know how much it is, do you want to know, he told me, but has sworn me not to tell you.” I was a tad tempted, but I said, “If he has asked you not to tell me, then don’t tell me.” It was on the tip of her tongue, but what difference would it make, if I knew or not?
Then seven days after I’d been given the bracelet I said to Megan, “I’ve got to take it off, I just gets all my bracelets tangled up into it and its heavy, I just can’t wear it any longer!” I went on, “I’d rather take it off now, than after we’ve had an argument.” So, I took it off and Megan said, “Now do you want to know how much it is?” I said, “No, for what’s the point, it’s in a black plain bag with no name on, no card, no contact details, nothing” Megan added, “It’s second hand now,” And I pipped up, “Yes, I can sell it at a car boot for £2” She replied, “No Mum you can’t,” For she knows the true value of it.
He hasn’t noticed I’ve not got it on, when he does, I expect there will be an argument, but he broke all the rules that we had built up over decades that we have been married. I see it as a waste of money. It’s simple, either be with me, but that’s impossible, as I shop on my own, it’s the best way, or give me the money or TKMaxx vouchers so I can buy my own things.
The bliss when I took it off! Normality was resumed! My quest continues to find a replacement, but there is no hurry.