And so it came to pass that upon the 26th day of November, a certain lady whom I know became 54. And as I was sleeping at about 8.30am, having been up most of the night with hay fever, I was awoken by said lady who remonstrated, ‘you’ve forgotten my birthday, haven’t you’?
Rubbing my bloodshot eyes (from the hay fever) I worked out pretty quickly that had I been awake I would most certainly have offered her my congratulations, felicitations and whatever else it is that you offer to an old lady upon her birthday.
So the day, a day I have been dreading, a day I dread each year, has come to pass yet again. A day when the whole world needs to know that it’s J’s birthday!
The hints have been going on for quite a few weeks of course - as you would expect. ‘Oh don’t bother to get me much for my birthday darling, I know you’ve got all those French tax bills on your desk as well as your income tax demand from the UK’.
This translates as – ‘you’d better find an alternative source of funds dearest cause I’m going to expect a major celebration’.
I protested not only about all my tax demands but the fact that surely at 54, birthdays don’t mean that much any more? I mean, if my birthday went unnoticed, it would not bother me in the slightest, but then I’m a man!
‘I’ll take you for a nice dinner’, I foolishly said and before the final syllable had left my mouth I was getting e-mailed menus from every Michelin starred restaurant she could find within 50 miles.
‘A trifle expensive darling’, I said. ‘When I said a nice dinner, I meant something costing less than our monthly mortgage payment’.
That was it. Major sulk.
‘If you’re not taking me for dinner then, can I have a few people round for drinks’?
‘Of course darling, but just a few eh’.
Well, the Orange e-mail server failed with the number of invitations that flew out from her PC. Everybody, including some we’d never met before were invited which meant total evaporation of my Xmas champagne stock.
It would have been cheaper to have taken her to dinner in one of those Michelin restaurants!