Sunday morning in a DIY store brings the kind of misery I usually go out of my way to avoid but this morning it was unavoidable. I did the unthinkable thing of not buying enough paint for my middle son’s bedroom. He's been camped out in my eldest son’s room for a few days but I can see the cracks in their camaraderie beginning to appear.
We had the option of visiting one of two DIY shops, both approximately fifteen miles from home. We made our choice and set off only to discover when we got there that the shade we needed was…you’ve guessed, out of stock.
Back in the car we got, both moaning about it being just our luck to choose the wrong store out of the two. If I wasn’t so desperate to finish today and get our son back in his own room I would have left it until tomorrow but as it stood we made the decision to travel the fifteen miles back the way we came and the further fifteen miles out in the other direction to the next store.
Hurrah! They had the shade we needed in stock. Then came the familiar phrase “I just want to look at something while I’m here.” Oh how I hate that phrase. It means another half an hour of standing in front of row upon row of tools that will in all probability never get used but “might come in handy one day.” We have a shed full of things that might come in handy one day. Eventually we paid for the paint and his ‘useful’ things and got back in the car. We pulled out of the car park and into another car park just down the road. Another of my Sunday woes- the supermarket. “I just want to pick up a film, I won’t be long.” He assured me.
I could have sat in the car like a petulant child but hoping my sighing would speed him up I followed him in and perused the book isle while he looked for his film. My mobile rang while I was reading the blurb on the latest Lee Child novel so I gestured to my husband that I was going outside to talk to my friend. I put the book back on the shelf and went outside regaling about what a horrible morning it had turned out to be. I had been hoping to finish the painting early and spend the rest of the afternoon writing while our youngest son was playing at a friend’s.
Much to my surprise my husband joined me only five minutes later, bag in hand and smiling like the village idiot. I didn’t smile back; it would have wasted precious seconds when we could have been on our way to the car. He carried on smiling for most of the journey home making me want to do something to change his expression. I really was that fed up!
He waited until we were safely back in the house before he gave me the bag. Inside was a book. For me. And it was the one I'd been holding in the supermarket when I’d spoken to him. It doesn’t sound like much but if you knew him you’d realise that it was. He'd remembered the cover of the book and gone in search of it after he'd found his film. As far as romatic gestures go it was a good one. I've never gone in for the flowers and chocolates thing.
It's now four o'clock, the sixty mile round trip has been long forgotten, the paint has been applied, dinner is in the oven and I’m about to spend a couple of hours with Jack Reacher. The writing will get done post bedtime, as is usual. It would be bad mannered not to read the book now, dont you think?