I’ve just spent two hours, I repeat, TWO HOURS looking for my husband’s main Christmas present.
I had hidden it, unwrapped (I know that for sure because other people keep nicking my wrapping paper, so I’ve not been able to do any careful packaging) but I suspected camouflaged by a carrier bag, in the walk-in cupboard, in the office.
I decided, after buying more paper (we had an embarrassing moment at the weekend when I had to hand over a gift wrapless) that today is the day for parcelling up the family packages. After all, my husband had been hovering in close proximity to the cupboard.
I waded in in a relatively relaxed manner and found a scrunched up carrier containing one or two little silly bits and pieces I had purchased for him, but the main present had gone. Vanished. Disappeared.
I attempted to stay calm as I pulled everything out of the cupboard and then put everything back in again. Then I decided I must have missed it, so I took everything out and looked through it again and shook my head and pulled out a few hairs and swore a little. OK, a lot.
It wasn’t there.
I panicked muchly as I realised that we’d recently visited the recycle place with loads of boxes. Perhaps it wasn’t in a plastic bag, but in a box and we’d chucked it?
The idea sent me quite dizzy so I decided that it was more probable that I’d accidentally parcelled it up and sent it to a friend in Scotland and that I would have to call her and tell her to return it. That I wasn’t quite that generous. I knew that it wouldn’t be here in time for Christmas, but at least, one day, he would, finally, hold his present in his hands.
I breathed and I thought through the parcel packing procedure. But I couldn’t imagine placing my husband’s gift, along with the other articles, in my friend’s box, in my mind’s eye. Not that that really meant anything. Last week I handed over a card to a friend and when she opened it, the card inside stated it was actually designated for a completely different friend. Who happens to live in Scotland. And is probably wondering who on earth Lili is. I apologised for the mix up and hoped that it was only two way. As in, not that Lili’s card was actually in the hand of yet another friend. And really, should that be the case, where could that friend’s card be?
I decided, after emptying the cupboard, and all of the boxes inside, three times, that there was no way that my husband’s present was in there. So I started ransacking my bedroom. I found shells under my bed. Along with straighteners that I hadn’t even known that I owned. And my blue rucksack disguising itself as dirty washing. But no matter in which drawer or in which cupboard I looked, I found no present. I scratched my head as I stared at the added mess I’d newly created.
I headed to the living room. Perhaps I’d been pawing his gift and he’d entered the house and I’d ran to the wall cupboard and lunged it up, up onto the top shelf? But no, I hadn’t.
I thought about Aden. He had hidden a present from his little sister and had hunted for it, distressed, the whole of last week before one of his older sisters had finally found it for him. He’d hidden it extra safe. Inside his wellie boot.
I stood still and just thought.
And then, I ran upstairs to my daughter’s wardrobe. And there, on the top shelf, stood a box, barely visible, I opened it and I remembered:
I’d given the darn present to Joni, so that I wouldn’t lose it.