Mother of SuperHero

On a not unusual Irish rainy afternoon, I was driving daughter number one to meet some friends. Half way through the other side of town, I realised she is not wearing her jacket. I, didn’t think necessary to remember her to take it, as I, honestly thought that at nearly 17 she would have taught herself how useful a rain jacket could come when you are going to stroll around with your friend in the lashing rain. 

“Mum, stoop! Why do you always have to make a big fuss of everything? I am telling you I won’t get wet.” Unfortunately, my concept of obvious doesn’t match with hers and this is what I get after pointing out the (my) obvious, along with a bombastically killing side eye. The front eye was still glued to her phone to keep texting.

I have now two options: 1- start the 135fth fight of the day; 2- simply acknowledge that my daughter has the superpower of repelling the rain.

I proudly go for option 2; I mean how many people out there can say they gave birth to a superhero with a superpower.!!!!!

The rest of the afternoon, I spend it thinking about who would she be more like in her parallel life: Clark Kent, a Peter Parker or a Diana Prince? And of course her superhero name: wet girl, rain girl, water woman…..unfortunately none of them sound enchanting, or the slightest right. 

It comes the evening, and here she is, my superpower girl, walking through the door as dry as I left her. Her superpower is real! But, if only that, after taking another look at her I also realise that it must not be her only superpower: she can do magic too. Yes, because her clothes appear to be of different colors and shape than when she left home. How amazing!!!

The following morning, when I go to wake her up for school, there are at least 15 paper tissues on the floor beside the bed, her nose is red and stuffed and she talks like a cartoon. You guess…It turned out that she had to borrow dry clothes from her friend because her superpowers failed her. She got in fact soaked and she is spreading cold virus and germs through the household.

Now, only one conclusion to come to: considering that, over the years, she is the one who brought to the house head lice, chicken pox, a few chest infections and covid, and maybe that is her real superpower: She is a spreader, and I can still proudly say I gave birth to a superhero girl with super powers.


Happy late mother’s day to you all as this post should have gone up two weeks ago for mother’s day….but, unfortunately, the spreader girl tried her new superpower upon us all.


The Avenge of The Tech Man, Episode 3. The last battle.

A couple of weeks ago the traveling husband came to bed showing off a brand new elasticated elbow support.

I looked at it, said nothing, and kept reading instead. It was only when he used any excuse to annoyingly branding his arm in front of me, that I realised he wanted to be asked.

“What’s that?” I ask in the end.

“Oh, nothing just an elbow support I bought at the pharmacy …” He answers theatrically bending up and down his arm.

-Seriously?- I think, -Do I have to beg to hear what’s wrong when it’s clear you are dying to tell me?-

“Did you hurt your elbow playing tennis honey? Do you think it’s a tennis elbow?” I ultimately give in doing my best to sound concerned.

“Don’t you see it’s my right elbow? I play with the left!!!”

Damn, I totally missed that! Quite clearly I was not giving him the attention I should have , or else I should have noticed which elbow it was. Now we both knew what a lousy wife I am.

In my defence though, because of the way he waving his arm in front of my eyes, to get my attention, I simply and obviously wrongly, assumed he was not in so much pain. 

What was going to be really painful, instead, was to learn what’s behind his strapped on elbow. That conversation, in fact, now that I had pissed him off, was going to take FOREVER.

-Karma is a bitch, when you are a bitch- Daughter number one’s favorite motto resonates loudly in my head and so, although all I want is going back to my book and find out who is the killer, I instead lift my reading glasses over my head, close my book and turn to face the traveling husband. 

“Are you that much in pain honey? What you think it is?” I ask.

He waits a couple of seconds, just to be sure to have my full and undivided attention, and then goes: “It’s the watch!”

“But you had always worn your watch on that wrist, and never had a problem before,” I say quite puzzled.

“It’s the smart watch,” he explains, “I think it’s the movement I do to wake up the screen.”

-Oh great- I think, -I have to sleep with the Garmin boy flashing at me again!-.But then I notice his naked wrist and think:-Great! I have a spent a fortune for a watch that is going to stay in a drawer indefinitely. Even worst!-

Technology 1- Traveling husband 0.

But it’s just a battle… the war is still on and …in the end.. there can only be one!

The Avenge of The Tech Man, Episode 2: Let’s Go Tracking!

When daughter number one started to go out on her own and ride her bike outside the village, we installed a tracking app on her phone. Genuinely it was merely for safety reasons and she never questioned it.

The tracker app has two admin, me and the husband, and when daughter number two got a phone, we downloaded it in hers too. Daughter number two, barely leaves the house and she is the last who should be concerned about been tracked, but because she is a “woman”of principles, she immediately challenged us asking why we were not trackable in the app.

“No reason really.” I genuinely replied.

“Switch your data on then, so you are as visible as we are.” She challenged back and so we did.

The entire family is now traceable in the family app; dogs included, thanks to their million dollars hunting collar, (but that is a story for another time).

To be honest, I barely use the app. If I want to know where the girls are or when they will be home, I just ring them and the same I do with the traveling husband. It’s not that I have anything against the app, that is a great instrument, just most of the times I forget about it.

The traveling husband, instead, since the beginning, was quite keen on the app and checked on his daughters regularly.

“Let’s see where they are…” He nonchalantly would say to me looking for approval for his urge to spy on his daughters.

Nothing wrong with it, he is just a concerned and caring dad. If only! A few times I came home, and he was waiting for me at the door. In the beginning I was just glad to get some help to unload the car but then, one day, I asked: “Did you hear the car coming up the road?”

“No, I saw you on the app.” He was tracking me too!!!!!

For a moment I nearly believed that, after 23 years together the traveling husband was eventually showing a slight hint of jealousy. Not the case, what he was instead showing was a tracker obsession that became quite obvious when I asked him where he was or when he was going to be home, and quite annoyed he replied,”Didn’t you check me on the app?” or “Why didn’t you just check in the tracker app?”. Then was when it hits me: The traveling husband wanted to be tracked!!!!

Now, don’t think it was out of some wish to be the object of his wife’s jealousy. It turned out, in fact, that it was merely out of a practical reason: If I only cared to check him up in the app, we both didn’t have to waste time phoning or texting each other. Of course!!!! What was I thinking????!!!

Truly Madly Ordinary Love Traditions.

In her lovely blog, “Keep it alive”, Sadie was asking if and how people celebrate San Valentine’s day. I am going to come clean here and confess that the traveling husband and I we celebrate it, but discretely. We contribute to the lucrative San Valentine’s business but only with cards and cakes.

Truth to be told, the cards are not the major priority and, in fact, twice I had received a card that said “to my lovely husband”. I have said nothing and simply assumed the traveling husband had bought it in a hurry at the petrol station near home; the alternative was that he had he mixed up my cards with the one for his partner of his parallel life. Another example of when in a relationship ignorance is a blessing. The cakes, are the real deal of the day! Every year I religiously buy from the local bakery five of their San Valentine’s cupcakes: One for each human of the household and one to share for the dogs, (for the record, the dogs share not because their mother is mean with money but because she likes her carpet, the color it is.). That’s our tradition but, this year , our tradition was at risk because of an unplanned business trip. Actually, the business trip was due on the 15th but because there was some family business the traveling husband had to sort out he left a day earlier we could both share the joy of 4 am start (because it would be very hard to keep sleeping while someone switch on and off the bedroom light and shout at you from the hallway asking where is the blue jacket, that he hasn’t worn for two years but just decided this is the perfect occasion to bring it back to life).

To be perfectly honest with you, I was totally fine with that, but there was one thing that bothered me: There were still be San Valentine’s cupcakes or not? Absolutely yes! After all, he is only one element out of a pack of six and the rest of us were all staying and spending San Valentine’s together. Not to mention that while we were all enjoying those delicious red velvet cakes, he would probably enjoy a fine five course meal in a luxury restaurant in Milan. Still it felt wrong. It felt like the ultimate betrayal of the tradition so hardly conquered and built over our 23 years together. Thankfully, there was a simple escape: we were going to celebrate the evening before and because he arrived home so late from the office by the time we ate the cupcakes it was nearly bedtime and when we got up, the following morning, it was so early that the taste of the cupcakes was still fresh in our mouths and it has been a bit like if we ate them on San valentine’s day. Life has always its way t sort things out!

Even for this year the tradition was safe and nothing else matters, not even the fact that while he was luxuriously dining in Milan I was eating popcorn in a semi-deserted cinema watching an idiotic pseudo horror movie with my youngest child. So who I really missed the San Valentine’s was not the traveling husband but good old Freddy Kruger.

Happy late San valentine’s to you all, and don’t forget: Love is for every day!

Stay tuned , next post Episode 2 of The avenge Of The Tech Man.

The Avenge of The Tech Man,Episode 1: The Beginning.

Those of you who read the blog for a while know that the travelling husband, despite working with three full screens opened in front of him and one on the side, doesn’t particularly enjoy technology. The travelling husband doesn’t believe in the power of artificial intelligence, he believes in the power of Excel spreadsheets!

Now, although Excel sheets are still used for EVERYTHING, (business or family related), over the years his attitude towards technology started to change.

It al started with the arrival of Alexa,that I gifted him a few Christmas ago. The idea was that he used it as an alarm clock so that she could wake him up and give him the latest news from the world. That happened only twice, and then he deactivated any function but the good old classic alarm one. “Why?” I asked, quite disappointed because, if I knew he was just using it as a simple alarm clock, I would have bought him something far cheaper. “The damn woman talks too much. I like quiet in the morning.”. Fair enough! And maybe after all these years together, I should have known better…Unless he was just using it as a metaphor and by the -damn woman- he meant me. Possible, but I just preferred not to enquire further. Like with teenage kids, even with husbands when it comes to what they really think is far better to stay ignorant.

Anyway, still determined to make him appreciate Alexa and her multiple skills and features, I decided to try something else. I bought a smart plug and a couple of smart bulbs so that with a simple voice command Alexa could switch on and off his bedside table lamp and the main bedroom light. That, was something appreciated indeed; especially after an entire evening at the pub when you eventually make it to the bed and the last time you want to do is get up and walk to the other side of a spinning bedroom because you forgot to turn off the light and your insensitive wife is complaining.

Unfortunately, good things never last and one day while vacuum cleaning the bedroom I realised he had unplugged Alexa.”Why?”I asked, again. “The damn woman was acting funny lately and never really got what I was asking. I had to repeat the same order over and over again.” “Well, if you say so..” I drily replied thinking that was no way to speak of a present I gave him but also thinking that if he was going to enjoy and appreciate Alexa no more, I was more than happy to take her. The problem was, how to say it without making it look like I was trying to get back a present or worst that I might have given him the present only to ultimately use it myself.
And so poor Alexa was sitting there unable to perform her duties and express her personality for months until close to Christmas last year when the travelling husband expressed interest in a smartwatch.
And once he had his Garmin watch on his wrist there was no happier man on the planet,(my wallet is still very sad instead.), and I got to inherit his Alexa and, so far, she never failed me. The travelling husband says that’s because I am a woman, and between women, there is always a certain solidarity. I think that it is simply because I don’t call her names if she can’t make sense of what I am saying half drunk at 2 in the morning. Anyway, as they say, the truth is always in the middle! What is on the contrary unquestionable, is that Garmin boy should use some training.
As the prodigal watch never leaves the husband’s wrist, except to be charged, it comes to bed with us, and like his owner, (or should I say “master”), it makes annoying sounds. I now have to share my bed with a heavily snoring man and his extra caring watch who, diligently informs us with a loud beep every time there is a software update or his owner’s heartbeats are too slow or too high or just right or when he simply reach his r.e.m sleep phase. Lucky him! His wife, on the other side, is still dreaming of reaching that stage of sleep because every time she is about to, a beep reminds her something unmissable in the world had happened.

Yes, the answer to your question is yes! The travelling husband didn’t figure out how to silence his new mate yet !!!

Yes, the answer to your other question is yes too! I thought about silencing them both …with a pillow……!!!

Freaky Saturday

The day when your oldest children act like they are the parents comes to every household, sooner or later. In mine, it arrived a couple of weeks ago.

Last summer, I bought tickets for the Dublin Megacon Live to go with daughter number two and a friend of hers. At the time I had no idea what it was but the two of them seemed so excited about it that I felt I had no other choice, and after all, I had seven months to educate myself about this mega convention for the anime, comics and fantasy saga/games/show lovers. That’s what it is, I later found out.

Eventually, the day of the Megacon arrives and I am in my bedroom getting ready when daughter number one barges in.
“Excuse me can you put on something please?” She says rolling her eyes, “We need to talk!” I just want to tell her that I am in my bedroom, my space (as she and her sister always like to stress about) and I can stay with as less clothes on as I please, but her face is so serious that I say nothing and just quickly throw my bathrobe on.

“I just want to be sure you are well prepared for today.” She says with a quite intimidating tone,” First, don’t be your usual chatty you, you don’t want to give them the wrong signal and end up stalked by some furry person. ..” I am trying to object to something but she stops rising her finger to my face and goes on, “You don’t go into the cosplay room, no matter what. God only knows what they are doing in there. And ultimately, you do not accept anything to eat that is not factory wrapped.”
I am touched by her genuine concern for her mama but I have to stop the none sense,”Honey I think you are exaggerating. Do you think if it was a dangerous place I would take your sister and N?”
“No, I trust you of course, but we all know how naive you can be sometimes and I am telling you: there are going to be lots of weirdos there, starting from the one child you are taking with you.”
(Oh boy, I suddenly am the poor naive mother.)
For the record, the one child I am taking with me is one of daughter number two’s oldest and dearest friends. To me, she is like family but unfortunately, she is at the top of daughter number one’s blacklist since first grade (seven years ago) when she had told her she had bushy eyebrows. The poor child doesn’t even remember the episode but obviously, someone else does and forever will!!!!
“Don’t worry honey, I can do this and I promise I won’t talk to anybody who looks even remotely weird,” I reassure her and she seems happy enough. She reminds me once again to keep to myself and not accept hugs and candies from strangers and to my relief she leaves.

Looking at all those kids and adults, lots of adults, dressed up like characters from movies or comics, I am starting to think that maybe daughter number one a bit right was. I kind of feel like I am in an episode of CSI Vegas and for the first half an hour I just go around looking for a body to discover until I realise everybody looks incredibly happy and content.. including me actually. Feck daughter number one’s paranoia and let’s embrace the Megacon!!!
And so like I found my freedom of spirit I chat away with the actor who played Flash Gordon, I talk to a guy who carries around a full-size gremlins puppet and also take a series of selfies with them both. I graciously accept a free hug from some random masked guy or girl… I am not sure. I shameless ask for selfies with anyone is wearing a costume I like. I play cards game and dungeons and dragons in the gaming area. I browse around buying any sort of strange gadget, trying on elf’s ears and chatting away with fantasy writers selling their books and, of course, I exchange socials accounts with them, feeling quite confident that nobody will stalk me.

Nearly five hours later I am exhausted and while waiting for daughter number two and her friend to finish their last shopping spree I sit close to the stall of a lady exhibiting the finest handmade costumes I had ever seen. I don’t know which fantasy series they are from but they are beautiful and I can’t refrain from talking to her and enquiring about her creations. She is lovely as much as her costumes and it turns out she is also in desperate need of a loo break. I am for once in the right place at the right time and straight away offer to hold her fort while she has gone to the toilet. She gratefully accepts and so here I am wearing the most amazing hat ever seen and showing marvellous garments at the Megacon live.

“It was amazing. so many interesting people, and so much to look at. I also tried on some dress and guess what? We already booked our tickets for next year and we are gonna go in fancy dress!! ” I excitedly tell daughter number one once back home and I proudly show her all the pictures and selfies I took. “A new world had opened to me!!!! ” She is not impressed and makes no effort to hide it. “Come closer.” She orders me.
“What are you doing?” I ask.
“I am checking you have not been injected with anything. I told you those people cannot be trusted and neither are you apparently!”

And just like that it came the day my eldest kid treated me like I was an idiot child.🤷🏻‍♀️

Because Girls Just Want To Have Fun

New year new plans: I and my friends decided that once a month we are gonna have one full girls’ day out.

First stop, The Cheaster Beatty Collection in Dublin followed by a fancy lunch. A kind of sex and the city experience except without the sex and the fashion side because considering the -3 degree outside our outfits of the day are more suitable for a ski resort than a NY cocktail bar. Also, it is just three of us and not four. We dropped our Samantha too, that was not a big loss but made us closer to their middle age menopausal late version.
Well in fairness our Samantha kind of self-dropped, long boring story for another time…or not.
Back to the day of our city escape, despite me still feeling itchy and tired and still unable to wear any makeup ( who cares at this point glamour had already succumbed to the cold)we decided to go ahead with our plan. It was hard enough to find a day all three of us were free. Postponing this was not an option, beside I had it all perfectly organised: I was going to drop the girls at school earlier so to walk the dogs also earlier and be ready to meet my pals at the train station at the designated time, for once. My neighbour, who I share the school runs with, was going to collect them and the travelling husband was going to take daughter number two to hockey practice. I only had to stick with the plan. How hard could it be? Very Hard!!!

That very same morning as soon as I turned my phone on it started to beep nonstop. Friend number one messed up with the dates and might have to go home early. Not the end of the world as the travelling husband forgot about my day out and went to the office so I had to be home early too, to take daughter number two to hockey practice. We just have to jump on the 11.00 am train instead of the 11.30. Problem solved, till I realised that all the texting back and forth delayed me and I ended up dropping the girls at school even later than usual and consequently heading to the dog park far later than planned. “Sorry boys, you’ll have a slightly shorter walk this morning,” I announced to their great disappointment,” but I got you pig’s ears,” I added and I was immediately forgiven. All good and on track if only someone hasn’t decided to race on the ice(because of course the previous night had snowed) landing with the car diagonally in the middle of the road preventing the traffic to move either forward or backwards. The good news was that the recovery track was already on its way.

20 minutes had passed and there was no sign of the recovery track yet. The guy in front of me lost his patience and after slamming his car door run up to the crashed car trying to move it but before he could even get close to it he slipped and badly fell on his back. So now we’re not only waiting for the recovery track but also an ambulance.

It had now passed more than half an hour. I had to get out of there. I convinced the guy in the car behind me to slowly reverse and turn around so that I could do the same. Slowly but surely we arrived at the dog park but it was quite clear that I would have never made it to the 11.00 am train. I rang the girls and after a brief discussion, we decided to not let the adversities win. We would have fought our destiny till the end and made it into Dublin for some fun, we just had to drive instead of getting the train. The whole point of getting the train was because that way we could all have a glass or two or three with our fancy lunch but as I could not drink because still under medication it wasn’t making any difference. All sorted, we saved the day and it turned out to be an amazing day, so amazing that once friend number one received a phone call informing her she didn’t have to go home earlier after all, I forgot about hockey practice too and instead of rushing home we stopped for cakes and tea.
By the time we left the city, it was rushing hours and we got stuck in traffic. There was no way I was gonna be home in time for hockey practice but, before I could call daughter number two and shamefully confess my lousy mother’s sins, she rang me first asking to skip practice because she was tired. “Well I don’t know honey….are you sure? Would the coach not be upset? Well ok then, but only for this time and since I don’t have to take you to practice I’ll make a stop on the way and be home a bit later ok?” She is a smart one and would have easily made her maths with the timing, but I played it well, didn’t I?

When times get itchy, you just have to scratch

The plan wasn’t actually to let pass all this time before going back to posting but as you probably by now know, nothing ever goes according to the plan here.

I was driving daughter number one to hockey practice like every Monday night when I started to suspect something was not right with me. My tongue felt far too big to fit into my mouth, the glands in my throath felt like they were the size of a coconut, my speech was impaired and my face and ears were on fire.

Pretending at my best that everything was fine I made it to the hockey pitch. Daughter number one, got out of the car and after looking at me said: “Bye, I love you, mum!” . Now, the fact that she inherited her father’s dislike for any kind of physical or verbal display of affection, gave me the final confirmation that there was something wrong with me. Something very wrong!

One look at myself in the car’s rear mirror and I immediately knew: the doctor screwed up with my medication.

That same very morning I went to my doctor to get some more antibiotics for an infection it was bothering me since Christmas. My usual doctor was not there, there was a substitute young doctor who missed noticing the big red flag on my chart saying that I am severely allergic to penicillin. Unfortunately not even me waving my new allergy bracelet in front of her face during the visit rang any bell to her and neither did the fact that I highlighted that the antibiotic I was already on was without penicillin. It wasn’t that difficult, she only had to give me another week of what I was already taking but, instead, she changed it. She probably just wanted to prove her knowledge and live a mark and…oh boy if she did so!!!

Back to Monday night, I rushed home, took an antihistamine and from there it all went ballistic. My body was burning, my face looked like it was exploding, I was freezing and shaking and gasping for air.
“You are in shock. We have to go to the hospital”, the travelling husband said and the next thing I remember it was me in a triage at the A&E covered in blisters and with a drip on my arm.
When they eventually discharged me, my ass was itchy and flat after 9 hours of sitting on a chair.

Once home I just wanted to sleep and sleep and sleep and suddenly I remembered that a few nights before I texted a friend of mine who was sick in bed saying that I could do with some resting alone day in bed. Well obviously this was not what I meant and from now on I can assure you I will be very careful with what I wish for.

By the end of the week, my bedside table was covered in tubs of pills and soothing creams, nothing seemed to work as fast as it was supposed to but I looked far less like a woman whose botox went terribly wrong and more like a zombie ready to kill and eat anyone on her way.

Now nearly two weeks later my skin is turning from purple red to pink red, the blisters are drying up and if I want to, I can even pick my nose. Not that this is a habit of mine but it is indeed a great achievement considering that just a few days before that nose of mine was so swollen that I couldn’t even see the holes of my nostrils and my earlobes were as thick as a steak fillet.

Now, still, with some itch and scratch and no make-up, life went nearly back to normal and we can all have a good laugh.

Crime comes with Christmas

The local hardware converted its top floor into a fancy homeware shop and they also opened a nice cafe, where I took the girls for a treat on their last day of school before the Christmas holidays.
As it was due to close soon, the cafe was not very busy. A young waitress welcomed us in and instructed us to sit anywhere in the front. We smiled and nodded but as we walked further into the room, it became quite obvious that we had no idea what she meant by” front”.
So here we are, standing in the middle of the room deciding which part of the cafe could be considered front, side or back. In the end, we decided on a nice round table by the window with a big comfortable armchair.
“I am sorry, but this area is closed.” A voice behind us said before we could make ourselves comfortable. A brief look at the big yellow cones crossing off the area should have actually already warned me but, as it didn’t, once again I smiled, rigorously avoiding making eye contact with my daughters who were already embarrassed, and lead the way back to the centre of the room to pick another table.

“Can I help you?” another young waiter came to take us out of our misery and we followed her to a cosy corner table with a velvet sofa.
We could eventually sit back, relax and enjoy our hot chocolate and cakes…and all this phone free.

Now, whoever is used to teenagers’ company knows that is better not to push the phone-free zone too much and so once we had finished with our cakes I suggested going and having a browse around the shop, with relief of the cafe staff that had already started to clean up the place eager to close as soon as we stepped out the place.

Happy and content with our bellies staffed we are looking at the ridiculously expensive and fairly tacky Christmas decoration when we see one of the waiters from the cafe running into the shop waving and shouting. I and the girls briefly look at each other wondering what may have happened but as it has obviously nothing to do with us we ignore her till I feel someone tapping me on the shoulder:
“Miss, you have to pay!”

In a flash of a second, my cheeks go through all the shades of red when I realised I just left the cafe forgetting to pay. I profusely apologise hoping they believe it was a genuine brain fart and pay.

“That was so embarrassing. Can we go now.?” The girls are already marching towards the exit and I follow them still with quite an excess of colour on my cheeks but now laughing at my forgetfulness hoping to share the hilarity of what had just happened with my daughters who, unfortunately, must have instead inherited their father an inexistent sense of humour.

Back to the car, we drive, in meritorious silence, straight to the next town for daughter number two orthodontist appointment.
The damn surgery is right at the centre of the Main Street where finding parking is nearly impossible, especially around Christmas time. After a couple of drives around the block, I give up and go to the big parking behind the orthodontist’s building. There you are always guaranteed to find a space and not because it’s great parking, but actually, right because the opposite. It must be the only parking left in the county not working with the parking app and with one of those old ticket machines that only accept coins. In between the three of us, we managed to pout put together 1 Euro, indeed enough if only the stupid machine wouldn’t ask for a minimum payment of 2.50 euros.
“And now what do we do?”Daughter number two asks while checking the time as we were getting late for her appointment and, unlike her mother, she is a very very on-time person.
“Don’t worry I got this” I confidently say and after rummaging for a few seconds in the glove compartment of the car I find what I was looking for. I wave an old parking ticket, in front of the girls’ puzzled faces, and carefully place it half-hidden under the insurance and tax road disc.
“I always keep it in the car for emergencies,” I explain to the girls who are now looking at me like I was some kind of genius.
“well well, first we leave without paying, now we counterfeit the parking ticket, what’s next then? “
Daughter number two, who lacks humour but not sarcasm, states.
“Well, next we get you to your appointment on time and hopefully without a fine.”
Desperate times call for desperate measures.

The Perfect Christmas Present

Here we are again, time to pick the travelling husband’s Christmas present. 23 years together and only twice I managed to surprise him. The travelling husband’s super power is, in fact, to always guess what I want to gift him. But this year his power is going to fail him. This Christmas I have it all figured out. Well, maybe not all, but the husband’s present for sure and he is never gonna guess it. How am I so sure? Because I will buy him a smart watch and he never showed any interest in one of those things, at least with me, but I happened to overhear a conversation he was having with a friend.

After some very discreet investigative work including also checking the browsing history on his Ipad, I knew exactly which watch he set his eyes on. What I did not know was the variety of different models. There is one for every frecking sport on earth.
What the heck? Could he not just go for a simple Apple Watch or a Fit Bit? For God’s sake, he is not even a fitness/sporty guy. He goes hunting and plays social tennis once a week, that’s all his fitness routine.

I crossed off the list all the runner, cyclists and surfers models because he doesn’t either run, cycle or surf. I crossed off the list all the too-chunky ones because he doesn’t like big wristwatches. Ultimately I excluded even the solar survivor models because, even if thanks to your new super-powerful watch you survive whatever extreme activities you had challenged yourself with, you are anyway going to die of starvation as after you had paid for the watch, you will have nothing left in your card for your grocery.

So, now I had just three candidates to choose from and feeling nearly accomplished with my mission, I confidently walked into the closest shop that I knew had them in stock. I only had to look at them, and choose. Since they all looked pretty much the same to me, I just picked the latest version, called for the free salesperson and expressed my will to buy.
“Very well mam, what size do you want?”
This, I had not seen it coming! Not only there are a ridiculous variety of different models but they all come in three sizes! These are not watches, this are evil matryoshka camouflaged as watches whose only purpose is to confuse you and make you feel stupid an d unprepared. But I was not gonna let them win.

I went home, measured the travelling husband’s wrist watch and the following day I went back to the shop, ready to make my purchase.
To my disappointment, I learnt that smartwatches are measured differently from the other type of wristwatches. Thankfully Phil came to my rescue, or so I thought.
Phil was the watch expert of the day. Phil was also not trying to hide the fact he would have liked to be anywhere else but at work. Phil hated his job and the fact that they made him wear a ridiculous Christmas jumper with Rudolf’s nose lighting up every time he moved, didn’t make it better.
“I am sorry mam but all you can see is on display. All the other models are boxed and we can’t open the box.”
“But how am I supposed to choose if I don’t see it?”
Phil didn’t need to answer me. It was none of his concern.
“So am I just supposed to buy blindly?”I Insist.
“OH, but then you can return it, once the box is still sealed, of course.”
“But if the box is still sealed that means I haven’t opened it yet, and if I haven’t opened it how can I see the watch and decide if it is the right size?”
“I am sorry mam, but I don’t do the rules. I know it’s unfair but it is what it is!”
After holding myself from screaming at Phil that this was not only unfair but also stupid and he could stick the watch along with his rules and attitude where you all can guess, I say instead that I was going to think about it and left. Actually, I did not leave. I just hid around the corner until some other unfortunate customer engaged Phil, at that point I looked for an other salesperson who was possibly showing a slightly higher interest in his job and his customers.

Here comes Brad. Brad is young, inexperienced and knows absolutely nothing about watches and even less about the shop’s rules but he kindly volunteers to go to the stockroom and bring back to me the watch I wanted in the different sizes.
As grateful as someone who just had been gifted a winning-lotto ticket, I made my choice, thanked Brad and informed him that I was going to buy the watch.
“Oh, I am sorry but we don’t have it in stock, you will have to order it online and have it delivered here.”
“But you just showed it to me. I am still holding it in my hand..” I say totally confused.
“Oh, yes but see because I broke the seal, now I can’t sell it, or the guarantee won’t cover in case something is wrong.”

As daughter number one always says: karma is a bitch when you are a bitch!!!! And this certainly was my payback for cheating on Phil.
In the end I had to order the present online and after a week of excruciating painful waiting hoping nothing went wrong , I eventually received the email that the travelling husband’s Christmas present was ready for collection.
Well, what can I say, It wasn’t a smooth purchase but in the end I made it. The travelling husband’s Christmas present was safe in my hands and it will be a surprise!!!! Except it will be not, …. Guess who I bumped into on my way out of the shop?