Casual Father: Why razor didn’t cut it as wife’s birthday present

Casual Father

Casual Father - Credit: Archant

For her birthday last year, I bought my wife, who was pregnant at the time, a lady shave and a bar of chocolate.

You may think I’m either inconsiderate, stupid or simply have a death wish, but I can explain the situation fully.

The wife was suffering from quite a nasty bout of morning sickness last March, and I was clearly instructed to “not worry” about getting her any presents.

“We’ll go out for dinner or something when I’m feeling better,” she said.

Imagine my horror the night before her special day when I heard the words, “I can’t wait to see what you’ve got me tomorrow,” and “I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather recently, I could use a pick-me-up”.


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I panicked. It was already 8pm and the closest thing open to where we were lived at the time in south-west London was a local convenience store.

You all know the sort of place, friendly staff, and fine for a pint of milk and a loaf of bread, but not ideal for wife birthday shopping.

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“We have wine sir,” suggested the smiley shopkeeper. When I explained that the wife was pregnant and couldn’t have any alcohol, he laughed heartily and continued to blankly grin at me without ever suggesting anything else.

I bought a bag of wine gums and left.

I then managed to find a Waitrose that would still let me in and after roaming the aisles aimlessly for 20 minutes, the call came over the tannoy that it was chucking out time.

I panicked again. I walked past the offending ladies razor, and although I wouldn’t describe it as a lightbulb moment, I was satisfied that my selection held some practical value.

The wife didn’t quite see it that way, and explaining that we both now had our own special razor to use for our individual shaving purposes was not well received.

I tell you this story not only because it’s that time of year again, but because the wife’s first Mother’s Day follows the day after.

How’s my luck? A weekend full of it. Elizabeth probably won’t be old enough to sort out something for mum herself for at least another 10 years, so it’s like a double hit – and there are only so many lady shaves in this world.

I have racked my brains to think about what I used to buy my own mum for Mother’s Day, or her birthday for that matter, but all she ever asked for was Impulse body spray.

She always seemed quite pleased with a can of female deodorant, and I would sometimes even chuck in a bar of chocolate or some flowers if I was feeling flush.

But this is different. After last year’s birthday debacle, Impulse body spray – if they even still do it? – isn’t going to cut it.

“Just try not to get me a lady shave,” said the wife in an exasperated tone when questioned.

She still uses mine.

Happy birthday to the wife and happy Mother’s Day to all.

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