Long, long ago, in what is known as the time before children there lived a man-child who relived his childhood dream of the ideal birthday every year. This involved bowls of smarties, crisps and lemonade.
The lemonade wasn’t in bowls, it was in glasses but you had to drink it with straws. It came in two flavours. White and red.
There was a cake (Victoria Sponge) with his age marked out in chocolate buttons.
Everyone who hadn’t come up with a good enough excuse not to be there would be forced to hold hands and sing Happy Birthday to him. He took the day off work so he could lounge around and have a glorious day of pleasing himself.
And it would have continued that was if it wasn’t, as the unmasked monster in a Scooby Doo cartoon would say, for you meddling kids.
Now rather than January being the prelude to his birthday (which falls on the 31st of January) and February being a long warm afterglow he has to fit in around the birthdays of 2 of his own brood and 4 nieces and nephews.
Looking cuddly in your mid-40’s is a tough act when you’re up against a cute 3 year old.
So now the birthday celebrations are a bit more muted.
But I, sorry he, our protagonist, still gets to tell everyone what present he wants and that is the purpose of this post.
I have the list whittled down to three items – only one of which I’ll get.
- A pair of Hoka Cliftons – not the greatest present in the world but they will be used.
- A new GPS watch (Amazon are heavily discounting the Garmin 310XT and my old Garmin 405 is suffering from reduced battery life).
- An amplifier for a turntable I go from Santa – I have gone full middle aged by re-stocking my vinyl collection.
As you can see from this list I have a middle class middle aged existence of dog walking, porridge, regular bowel movements and tut tutting at random things while believing that I live an exciting and radical life on the edge.
There are pros and cons to all of these gifts:
A pair of brothel creeper runners from my wife would be tacit approval for my running plans for this year (that largely see her holding the fort at home and fantasising over my possible stupid death from running too much and her getting the house mortgage free…..and I hope being equally proud and worried about me but never letting on….).
A long life battery GPS watch would see me running long races without my trusty Aldi €14.99 stopwatch and would improve my post race analysis. OK, that’s not the real reason; it’s because the watch is more than 50% off and the one thing marriage has taught me is that women love a bargain even if the thing they’re buying is pretty pointless.
And finally the amp for my record player would mean that I could have a new hobby that (my wife hopes) would take my attention away from running.
There’s also the chance that she’ll get me an electric drill which would be a crippling blow to my training regime as it would remove one of the main planks of my reluctance to tackle domestic chores. On the up side it would move us one step closer to looking like a family who wasn’t living in a squat.
Choices, choices. What to do.