Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Memories

Christmas was always a difficult time in my childhood. My Mother almost never managed to buy exactly what I had asked for – nearly but not quite sums it up - and that was what made it so stressful. It was never the cost that was the issue since Dad was in a well-paid job up in London: it was that she always seemed to be taken for a sucker by some salesman who took the opportunity to offload some slow-selling stock on her.

I wanted a wrist watch. Specifically I wanted a Timex wrist watch like the cool kids had. So what did she do? She purchased an Ingersol watch instead “because it looked nicer”. Not because it was more or less expensive (I later checked in the shop window) but because she thought it looked nicer.
It was the same story with the electric cars – “Top-On Raceways “rather than “Scalelectrix”. Her version of what I had asked for didn’t work at all over Christmas and the cars went backwards and forwards to the shop several times before I got two cars that worked properly.

And again it was the same story with “Action Man”. She came home proudly bearing some substitute product that looked broadly similar but wasn’t what I had asked for.
The final horror story was the worst. My brother wanted/needed a new bike. So his old bike mysteriously vanished from the garage only to reappear shortly after as a Christmas present for me.  Repainted to look like a new bike? – no. Rust removed to make it look less like a rather battered second hand bike? – no.  A blank denial that this was Stephen’s old bike – yes.  To my Dad’s credit even he felt this was unreasonable and in January Mother found another bike for me. A second hand girls bike for which I was supposed to be grateful!

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