What’s the most romantic or unromantic present you’ve ever received?
Delightful or Frightful?
Here are some of our most memorable…
Laura: Delightful - My husband got it absolutely right a few years ago when he presented me with a hardback copy of Roget’s Thesaurus. I’m sure it doesn’t rate as highly for most, as a dozen red roses or diamond ear-rings, but I not only wanted this book, I NEEDED it. I mean, REALLY NEEDED it.
I had an old paperback copy that smelled of an antique bookshop (in itself, a good thing), but the sticky tape holding it together was no longer holding it together and it had turned that particular shade of urine yellow that suggests something is well past its use-by date. Inside, the pages that were desperately hanging on didn’t have the strength to ridicule those that had fallen away. It was a very sad, very unhappy paperback. It now lives a life of comfort tucked on a top shelf of my wardrobe, enjoying its hard-earned retirement amongst its friends, the Rhyming Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary.
My new Thesaurus sits besides me, at my desk, always ready and always willing. It not only looks good, but smells good and can express ‘love’ in a multitude of ways. What’s not romantic about that?
Frightful - A black and white silk scarf. I know. Call me ungrateful, but I was twenty-one at the time and did not appreciate the finer things in life. The reason it upset me was because I felt my then-boyfriend hadn’t a clue who I was or what I was about. I learned from that experience and now regularly remind GAJITMAN who I am. xx
Frightful - Back when I was at University I really wanted flowers from my boyfriend on Valentine’s Day and told him so on several occasions. So when Valentine’s Day arrived and he handed me a clear plastic box with a teddy saying ‘I Love You’ with some small plastic fake flowers, I was gutted. It was horrid. And one of the reasons he’s my ex. Word of advice, boys, listen to the Mrs when she states her preferences
Celia: Delightful - A book about one of my all-time favourite authors Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie, etc) by her daughter. I didn’t know the book existed; I’ve got the whole set of the Little House ones but this was about Laura’s family life and made her seem real. The gift was from a man who had only known me for 5 days, and who’d listened at some point to my burblings about books that meant a lot to me. He’d searched the book shops of San Francisco for it, and gave it to me on our first day as a couple. Needless to say, dear reader, I married him.
Frightful - Garage flowers. Note to men – please leave them in the garage.
Sue : My delightful and frightful are actually the same thing. One afternoon sat at the top of The Trundle, watching the light aircraft take off and land at Goodwood airfield, I had said something whimsical like, ‘Oh that would be a fun thing to do – fly a small plane.’ I thought no more of it and the conversation moved on. Anyway, all credit to him, he’d been listening and remembered – my birthday arrived and he proudly produced my birthday gift voucher of a one hour flying lesson. I was genuinely pleased, at the time. Trouble was, when it actually came to it, I couldn’t bring myself to book the lesson. I hold my then boss totally responsible as he spent several weeks telling all sorts of small aircraft horror stories. In the end I just chickened out. I regret not doing it now, so maybe one day…
Vanessa: Delightful – I don’t want to make everyone gag by being too gooey, but I’ve received a few delightful gifts from my lovely husband, most of them of the money can’t buy type. The one I’ll mention here is writing related… Like many people, I’ve being trying this writing lark for a while – short stories as well as novels. Two years ago, I had my first printed success, winning 1st place in a Writing Magazine competition. When the magazine came out, my husband bought an extra copy and framed it for me, gift-wrapping it with a lovely message about it being the first of many. His complete faith in me made it one of the most delightful gifts I’ve received.
Frightful – Socks. Not novelty socks, or cashmere socks, or designer socks. Just one pair of cheap, plain black socks for my birthday from a college boyfriend. I don’t know why – despite being a poverty-stricken student, I was not suffering a sock shortage. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been frightful if he’d been a long-standing boyfriend, and it was one present of many. These days I quite like receiving socks. But it was my first birthday with this brand-new boyfriend and it was my 21st. My hopes were set the teensiest bit higher.
Debbie: Delightful – My (now) ex was very thoughtful and I could list many lovely and romantic pressies he bought me. However, the one that sticks most in my mind is not long after I’d had my second son, approximately eleven years ago…
Hearing a knock at the door, I opened it to find two men in a van trying to deliver a piano. I thought they had the wrong house and argued with them for a while until they showed me the delivery note and made me ring my then husband. He had bought me one as a surprise as he knew how much I’d missed my piano and hadn’t played in over 25 years. I was so surprised and touched, I couldn’t speak for three days. Believe me, that’s saying something!
Frightful – This is easy peasy. How much worse can you get than a staple gun, girls? Admittedly I’d asked for one as I was trying to get a little craft business off the ground, but I ask you…
Talk about from the sublime to the ridiculous. Piano to staple gun. Jeez, is it any wonders he’s now my ex!
Lucie: Delightful – As some of the other ladies have said, I’ve had many lovely gifts from my husband. One of my favourites was presented to me just months after we got together (me being 17 and him, 19.) I am very much interested in acting, dancing, singing – I was studying performing arts at the time, at college – and for my 17th birthday he gave me tickets to go and see the musical Chicago in the west end. We got all dressed up and spent the day in London, going for dinner and then to the Adelphi Theatre to see Chicago. It was a wonderful gift and I loved the show.
Frightful – My frightful gift wasn’t actually from a boyfriend, but just a friend, who went on holiday. She bought me back a pen. Now it doesn’t sound too bad, but let me tell you a little story. My name is different. I grant that. It is not the usual, conventional spelling of the name Lucie. And you know those pens/mugs/books you can buy with your name on? Well I got one of these pens from said friend. However, the shop didn’t have ‘Lucie’, they only had ‘Lucy’. So my gift was this; a pen, with the inscription, ‘they didn’t have my name!
Jan: Delightful – I’d planned to go to York for the day for research purposes. I was on a really tight schedule but knowing how much I love the place and with my birthday looming, Mr B decided to come with me and booked us into a hotel for a couple of nights so it wouldn’t be so rushed. Very thoughtful. And a lovely surprise.
* Our lovely Liz is currently sunning herself in Cuba. A delightful gift in itself