Disclaimer numero uno – this post will unveil me as the ungrateful, spoiled and slightly mean-spirited harpy wife that I am. Disclaimer numero dos – “Vasegate” refers to a political scandal in my house relating to a decorative vase. Like Watergate, only less slick.
“Can she really deliver 900 words around a bloody decorative vase?” I hear you cry. Yes, yes I can. Dear reader, you may well be aware that Mother’s Day is on the approach – in just over a fortnight’s time, to be exact. This is a woeful tale about Mother’s Day 2016, where slightly dubious post-natal hormones and some erroneous gifting caused a week-long stalemate in the Mouse Moo residence.
Mother’s Day was early, in 2016. As was Moo – she arrived a fortnight prior to that oft-revered, oft-mythical Sunday where mums far and wide are encouraged, via a Hallmark card, to put their feet up. In reality, do we fuck – who’d get the six loads of weekend washing done?
Because I’m something of an organisational freak, I’d already got the fleet of Mother’s Day cards required to furnish the womenfolk in my life when they hit the shelves in February. As I waddled around the shops, I noticed a fine array of gifts….well, I say fine, 99% of it was sentimental tat. But, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a glorious vase in Sainsbury’s. I normally hate anything with writing on but this vase was really pretty, with discreet a “To my mum on Mother’s Day” motif. I think it was a duck egg blue and I just wanted it. I wanted that vase. They had one with Nana on too, which I pointed out in a wide sweep of my podgy preggo arm to my husband.
I’ve come to learn, through my near-thirteen years with the guy, that hints do not work. One has to be brazen, in the cold light of day. “I’d like that vase for Mother’s Day, please.”
Then, Moo arrived, and I was awash with emotion at having pushed her out of my vag and generally thinking I was the bees bloody knees. At this point, I floated the idea that I’d also quite like one of those necklaces with interlocking discs, with each of our names engraved. I found just the thing on Not On The High Street, which was very reasonably priced and could offer a 5 day dispatch. There was nothing for him to do but buy the vase, and order the necklace.
In the days that followed, the Nana vase appeared on the table and I was asked to wrap it up, because I’m supposedly handy with sellotape and tissue paper. “Bless the bones of him.” thought I.
Mother’s Day itself romped around and I was still riding the hormonal donkey, lactating 24/7 and eating my weight in Millionaire’s Shortbread. I was instructed to stay in bed, while a surprise breakfast was prepared. The burning bacon set off the smoke alarm so it wasn’t much of a surprise, but it was still most agreeable, and I opened my cards whilst sipping at a weak Bucks Fizz.
While I was getting dressed, I heard the familiar clamber and giggle of Mouse on a mission, and she appeared in my bedroom under a rustle of cellophane and Aldi flowers.
I laughed, I may even have swung her around in a Hollywood style embrace. “Thank you, my darling. Thank you. I’ll pop them in some water.”
Assuming that the vase would soon follow, for what husband would leave such fine blooms wilting, I took them downstairs and set about noisily trimming the stems in the kitchen while my husband scraped bacon shrapnel from the grill pan. Now, what with Moo being so womb-fresh, my house was already brimming with flora to the point that I’d had to use the cafetiere jug to house 25 daffs. I stood theatrically, casting my eyes around for a receptacle, when my husband pro-offered a fucking pint glass. “We’ll have to start clearing out some of the dead bunches soon, there are flies in the dining room. You look nice, by the way. Oh, but you’ve got sick in your hair.”
On the day rolled. Nana loved her Nana vase, of course. My neck remained chaste, devoid entirely of any themed and personalised jewellery. Bedtime loomed, and surely, SURELY, presents would be in the offing soon? At 6.30pm, after an hour of Moo screaming and vomming and generally being a sod, Mouse asked if I’d like my present. “A present? For me? Oh, yes please – although we’ve had such a lovely day, I really wasn’t expecting anything.”
An envelope was produced, from sticky hands. It contained a gift voucher for my usual beauty salon where I go every three weeks to get my nails done, and my eyebrows threaded. Plus a muff wax every two years, if I remember. The value of the gift voucher would cover precisely 1.5 hands, no eyebrows and certainly no muff. I feigned bowled-over enthusiasm to Mouse and mentally tore a great, fat strip off my husband.
The next day was incidentally my husband’s first day back at work from paternity leave, and I was a state. I didn’t want him to leave me on my own with Moo, but I was also pissy and venomous and still with all the raging hormones. So, I did what I do best, and gave him the silent treatment until 2.15pm. I stewed around, plotting the content of the shitty text I’d unleash on him. Yes – I often favour the shitty text modus argumenti over actual face to face confrontation.
Me: “Hi. Just so you know, I’m pretty disappointed in the frankly crap presents you got me from the girls yesterday. You knew I really wanted that vase. At least now I know that I don’t need to bother with anything decent for Father’s Day, I’ll just get you a Sweatshop voucher in a card. Let me know whether you think there’s any point doing cards and presents on our wedding anniversary.”
Him: “Right. Ok, I admit I dropped the ball a bit and the day kind of crept up on me, and I’m sorry. I did look for the vase but they’d sold out in the three shops I went in to and I didn’t want to get you a vase that wasn’t the one you’d seen. I should have got it sooner. I thought at least with the voucher, you’d definitely use it, and it would be a nice break away from Moo for you. I’m sorry. Of course I’ll get you something for our wedding anniversary but you don’t have to get me anything.”
Gah. See? I’m a horrible witchy wife. I’m also a twist the knife horrible witchy wife because, to prove a point, I went all out for Father’s Day. Not a gift voucher in sight.
This year, he assures me he’s got it all under control. We’ll see. We’ll see.
-SJW March 2017