My youngest daughter, Claire, was 21 on Friday. She says she's glad to be 21 because 20 is such a bland age.
I got a rare email from her father on the Sunday before this event asking what she would like as a present. He said - in more flush times he gave her sister a present worth £500 and felt 'duty bound' to do the same for Claire.
I think Helen's 21st birthday was the only other time he asked what the girls wanted. He usually gives them Amazon vouchers. Helen wanted a camcorder. Claire has simple needs. Money would be her first choice, but she knows he doesn't like giving money and certainly does not like to give what they 'need' only what they 'want'. So she plumped for a digital camera and clothes. I replied to him very speedily, thinking he wanted to get something that day, as he only had 5 days to get it to her.
At 11:56 pm on Wednesday night I got an email saying thank you and he'll get her a camera....(can you get digital cameras for £500? I was hoping he would get her a camera and some vouchers for clothes too.) and please engineer it so that no-one else gets her one as he didn't want her receiving two.
I had several ideas for replies to this.
a) Is this s bit late to decide what you are going to get her? Her birthday starts just over 24 hours from now.
b) Is this a bit late to ask me to engineer that no-one else gets her one? She has already received several parcels from people who want her to open her presents on her actual birthday.
c) No problem with anyone else getting her a camera because no-one else she knows can afford to get her one.
I decided not to send any reply. I just vented my thoughts to Helen via email, who agreed I didn't have to reply to it.
So Monday comes and still no sign of a present for her from her dad. She has decided not to care, but of course she does.