I can’t remember the exact conversation with the boy, but it resulted in me saying that I wouldn’t let him see how much I was suffering.
When I said it I wanted him to be all “no always be yourself around me, if you’re sad I want to know” etc etc. Which he was a little bit – and I mean a little bit. Not enough to make my stubborn self not do it, but you know what? It’s ok. It’s no more exhausting that the constant barrage of stuff flapping round my brain anyway, so maybe it’ll be easier. I’ve slipped a couple of times, mainly when he confused a going out with his ‘work wife’ with me, and a snide comment instantly fell from lips, how could it have been me, we didn’t go out for any Christmassy meals but what, three, four things with her? It completely gets under my skin the way he laughs when he talks about her, the way he doesn’t reassure me.
I need to get rid of that stupid umbrella he got from her and gave to me as a Christmas present. It’s currently behind the sofa. Every time I remember it’s there it’s like a rock drops in my stomach. One that he thought it’d be a good idea to give me a present that would so easily be tracked as being a free gift from her. I don’t need to be reminded of her every time it rains.
But two, I was genuinely disappointed with the present. Which sounds awful I know. I knew I wasn’t getting a lot on Christmas Day. I’d already had my amazing main presents earlier, and those presents were amazing. But I’d requested them. He obliged. But he didn’t choose them. I feel like I need to explain more, cos I sound like an ungrateful bitch. Which maybe I am being, but there was no me in some the presents.
I’m also going to have to bring in the ex as comparison. They both probably spent the same about of month of actual Christmas Day presents. It’s not about the money, but the thought that goes behind them.
The boy got me a scented candle. I hate artificial smells. I refuse to let him light the ones he got on an ikea trip. We talk about how smells make me feel poorly all the time – I was perplexed as to how he thought this was a good idea.
Socks. Both got me socks. Socks are great. I do not have enough socks. The boy got me some random black ones with a pattern on, completely acceptable socks. The ex got me Harry Potter ones. I love Harry Potter.
There was some thoughtful gifts in there, do not get me wrong. A Bluetooth shower speaker – however that broke before I got to use it, a heated car seat, which gets very mildly warm, but very thoughtful, ok maybe it is about the money, they were cheap and didn’t work great. Where as the ex still spent cheap but on things you can and should get cheap. He got me books. Books he thought I’d like because he’d listened to the conversations, he’d heard me talk about loads of my friends in America going to hear Michelle Obama speak and got her book, he’d heard how I wanted to learn more about American history and got me 1776, he knows I am passionate about finding out about personal stories from the holocaust, because I feel it’s so important these stories are remembered.
I mean I’m to blame too, I haven’t talked to the boy about these things for him to know I guess. All our talks are so serious, it never seems to get on to general chit chat. How would he have known to get me that stuff?
The boy did get me one present I loved, a water proof notebook for the shower – it was actually my favourite present from him, because he did listen and it’s useful as hell. Ok, I retract a lot of my previous statement. The boy did good a Christmas I think I just saw things through some darkened eyes because of the candle and the umbrella. The umbrella!! That’s what I’m here to talk about.
So, I was opening the umbrella and I was actually so excited, I remember walking around London with the boy, and we were actually just chatting about nothing in particular, and it was perfect. I told him how I once saw a brolly with a flamingo head, and I really wanted it and I still have buyers regret over it now. I was taking the paper off this present and my heart was literally filled with so much love. I thought he’d remembered the conversation and knew me enough to know that actually now a black umbrella with some kind of black birds head would be much more suited to me. I can remember the exact excitement I felt opening the gift, I even made some comment about looking forward to seeing the handle which must has just completely gone over his head. I felt like a little kid.i had that same giddy anticipation. Part of me wanting to rip the paper off, part of me wanting to drag it out as long as possible. I honestly can’t remember feeling this excited about a present in a long time. And then I finally get to the handle. A plain black handle. The I see the branding on the material, I know she gave it to him. All the emotions hit at once. Absolute disappointment. Insecurity. Embarrassment – at being so excited and wondering if she know this is my Christmas present. Sadness. And then hating myself for being selfish and ungrateful, for expecting more than I deserve. I fought back the tears. He didn’t notice. It isn’t even about the gift, it’s about the fact I don’t think he knows me.