I am a very generous and giving person, even though I say so myself! When I go out shopping and spend hundreds of euros on shoes, handbags and clothes to add to my already enormous collection of shoes, handbags and clothes, to assuage my guilt I always buy something for my husband, usually a pair of socks or a bar of chocolate. He never seems to notice that I have spent hundreds of euros on myself and bought him a lousy pair of socks, or perhaps he knows, that given that I earn my own money and I can do what I like with it, if he complains about said socks or chocolate, I may stop bringing them home and then he’ll get nothing.
On the other hand, sometimes I go mad and buy him shoes and shirts and trousers and other nice things, and being the rather inexpressive man that he is, he doesn’t jump up and down like a crazed lunatic and shower me with kisses for being such a good wife. That sort of stops me from bothering with him.
The thing is, that he is a simple man, from a simple town. He might be a very intellectual and clever vet, but he would rather have a spade and some weed killer than a Ralph Lauren shirt.
My dear friend Marga from Ibiza has much in common with him, although she is not averse to a bag or two. She lives a simple life with her cats and her garden. When we met years ago, in the eighties, and I was an impoverished tourist guide on her island, she would bring me a type of Ibizan sausage to eat called sobrasada, which I later suspected was loaded with lard and stopped. My husband, however, adores all pork products and will drive huge distances to buy them. Sometimes the dog steals them!
When Marga presented him with a genuine sobrasada that she had lugged all the way from Ibiza on the ferry yesterday, I saw more enthusiasm on his normally unreadable face than I have since he got to eat fried cockroaches in Thailand. He abandoned the perfectly great Indian takeaway we were eating and started noshing on the sobrasada.
So now I know. The next time I treat myself to an entire collection of Lancôme skincare products, I will make myself feel less guilty by buying him a nice big red sausage!
The moral of the story (according to my friend) is that simple things make us happy. The picture is the remains of the sausage in question.