Word to your Mummy

At the frontline of middle class parenting


My husband has come back from Ibiza. Despite a nice tan he seems to have returned with no presents nor any bottles of sticky Spanish apple based spirits. Not even a giant bar of Milka bought in a blind panic in the airport for 19 euros. More importantly he is being remiss on the whole glamorous story front.

I am already fairly bitter that he went to Ibiza in the first place so the distinct lack of tales involving celebrities doing ordinary things like being on their holidays is getting me down. I want to hear about cheap tacky famous people doing holidays like the rest of us: getting giddy with excitement in Accessorise at Gatwick airport, getting pissed on sickly drinks by 11am, donning white linen slacks, visiting ethnic markets and nagging husbands to buy gorgeous local trinkets as a wonderful reminder of the holiday and having a row with husbands when they won’t buy said items and holding a grudge until the morning as a few general examples.

He stayed at a hotel that’s for the slightly older, more sophisticated clientele. I’m thinking Davina McCall or Jo Whiley. I’d even take Leslie Joseph if she was pissed, during the day, tipping out of a theatrical kaftan while listlessly humming the theme tune to Birds of a Feather perched precariously at the edge of the pool.

“Who did you meet? What did you do?” I ask repeatedly.

He gives me a teenage shrug.

“We didn’t do a lot,” he says. “Just kind of chilled.”

It’s maddening. Why is he doing this to me?

“Cool,” I say, nodding slowly “Sounds cool. I love chilling. What kind of chilling did you do when you were chilling?” I know my easy going nonchalance is wowing him. I briefly consider turning one of our dining chairs round before I sit so that I leaning forward onto the back rest in the universal “American sit com character shoots the breeze” pose. I find myself suddenly chewing imaginary gum.

He laughs and casually strides out the room.

If my husband knew anything about me he would not use words such as “kind of chilled” as sufficient précis of his holiday. It’s annoying. Why would he DO this to me?

I pad around the house following him. “A Gallagher brother, maybe,” I suggest. “Or Lisa Snowdon”. I’m getting desperate.

Nothing. He his eating a ready meal which adds to the general dismal gloom.

I am hoping for stories where the nights end at 7am, where the bars are filled with beautiful people wearing white flowing holiday clothes with no care in the world for a capsule-crinkle-free-travelling-wardrobe. I yearn for hedonism, epiphanies and people called Zach and Emmy who drink gin and tonic as their regular drink before spending the rest of the evening face down in a bowl of cocaine whilst listening to plinky plonky experimental acid jazz. I want to hear stories about reckless people who forget their responsibilities in UK and head to Ibiza to find themselves, find the real Ibiza and not angst about middle class worries such as the mortgage, clearing clutter from the hallway table or 3 for 2 offers on Baby Wipes from Asda.

“We met some middle aged Mums from Watford,” he announces. He has some spinach stuck in his front teeth.

I frown and look at him in genuine anger. Why would he say that?

“Really?” I ask. I am trying to stay calm I am expecting him to laugh ironically, tell me he’s just joking, don a white flowing shirt and pour me a gin and tonic.

“They were a lot of fun. One of them was forty five with five kids. She had a tattoo of a lizard on her foot”, he needlessly adds.

The spinach is still there in his teeth and he is dragging the fork around the edge of the foil tray that the houses the ready meal. I know with a sinking feeling that he is trying to lift the crispy bits. They are his favourite bit from the ready meal experience.

“I missed you”, he says with a flourish of the fork. I try to stop myself wondering if he’s thinking that he missed me nagging him and asking him endless questions about chilling strategies. Some of the ready meal has spat onto the sofa when he said “missed”.

But I can’t be cross. He seems so genuine. And celebrities would mean nothing to him. I scoop his arm over my shoulder as I sit next to him on the sofa.

I let it go. Hedonism, even second hand imaginary hedonism, is maybe just not for me.

Instead, I sit. I chill.

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