Iâ€™m never good at buying Christmas presents. I always seem to get outdone. Like the year I got my friend a double pass to the movies and then his girlfriend rail roaded me by giving him a baby. Itâ€™s not that a Hoyts cinema pass canâ€™t compete with a new born child; it was just the way she did it, all legs akimbo screaming his name. I went for a more a dignified approach having placed his tickets in a carefully chosen Wrongside card which featured the adventures of a dog trying to teach his owner how to roller skate. Classic Sanz. I remember months later he rang me up to say thank you for the present, what given all the chaos of now having a kid heâ€™d plumb forgotten his vouchers until he recovered them while tidying up the coffee table one afternoon.
â€˜Theyâ€™ve probably expired.â€™ I told him â€˜or been cancelled by someone who rang the cinema to see if anyone had bothered using them.â€™
â€˜I guess itâ€™s the thought that counts. Thanks all the same.â€™
â€˜Well we canâ€™t all just show up umbilical cord at the ready, some of us like to put more thought into our presents.â€™
Last Christmas was no different. Whereas my brother got my parents the gift of him getting engaged, I presented my parents with the gift of a nail file, Michael Chuggâ€™s autobiography, oh and news that my ex-boyfriend was moving into my house after a 5 year estrangement.
In my defence my ex was sleeping in another room, on the ground, but as friends were all too quick to point out â€˜how does that differ from last time Lou?â€™â€¦well played â€˜friendsâ€™.
So whereas my brother was looking to the future, Iâ€™d pretty much stumbled across an old garbage bag of clothes destined for St Vinnieâ€™s, opened it up and gone â€˜oh thereâ€™s that dress I really like, why donâ€™t I wear it anymore? I should so wear it more; like all the timeâ€¦oh thatâ€™s why I donâ€™t wear it â€¦it has an elasticised waist, but hang on Iâ€™ve lost weight so itâ€™ll probably look greatâ€¦no, it has an elasticised waist, why on earth did I just not burn this dress! Why am I giving it to someone else? No one looks good in an elasticised waist, even the poor! Oh for the love of god, why did I even buy it?…is my life just a landscape of regret littered with mistakes?â€™
We got on fine. For the most part until he started washing my dishes.
â€˜Really thereâ€™s no need to do the dishes.â€™
â€˜But I should, Iâ€™m a guest.â€™
â€˜Iâ€™d really rather you didnâ€™t.â€™
â€˜Theyâ€™re just dishes.â€™
â€˜No theyâ€™re not just dishes.â€™
â€˜I have no idea what youâ€™re talking about.â€™
â€˜Itâ€™s too much like a relationship if I let you wash my dishes.â€™
â€˜Is this about the fact I donâ€™t wash your dishes anymore?â€™
â€˜Iâ€™m just saying Iâ€™ve gone 5 years without you washing my dishes and I really donâ€™t think itâ€™s a good idea if you start washing them now.â€™
â€˜Weâ€™re not talking about dishes now are weâ€¦?â€™
He moved out a week later.