I’ve opted out but she still did it!

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Christmas gifts

Christmas gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So at last the end of yet another busy week which turned out to be the busiest and most profitable so far for the entire year! I’m not about to complain though. Friday morning then was hopefully going to be the last time I would work in the week but from what my client told me over the telephone I was expecting the work I had scheduled to be a little messy. My client, a lady about the same age as myself, mentioned something about lowering a power outlet to allow more space in which to fit a wall-mounted electric fire. I had asked her if the room had solid flooring, concrete for instance and she confirmed it had. That meant the wiring to the outlet would be either coming through the wall from behind or else it was coming down the wall from up in the ceiling. It was hardly likely to be coming up from the floor and that meant the existing wires would be too short to move elsewhere. A new cable would have to be run down the wall from the space above the ceiling and sunk into the wall itself, hence the messy job. As it turned out the job was entirely different. The ‘room’ was a glass conservatory that had been erected against the gable end of the house and the wall was built with bricks. The power point didn’t require repositioning as there was just enough space alongside it to mount the fire. My task it seemed was to fit the fire too, which I did. Not only that but I repositioned the glass shelf that had been fitted over the old fire which I also had to remove before fitting the new one. All the cabling was then ¬†neatly hidden in the trunking I’d fitted to end up with a really professional job. The lady was very much impressed and told me that was why she employed a woman to do the work. What can I say? I was accordingly paid well for my efforts but stayed a while to chat with her over a cup of coffee before driving home. I made a slight detour to purchase one or two things from the supplier and soon after midday I was home. Whilst having my lunch the doorbell rang and E, who had not yet joined me at the table, answered the door. I heard her speaking with whoever it was before she entered the room carrying some gifts wrapped in ‘Christmas’ paper. They had been presented by our next-door neighbour. It was only a week or so ago we had taken her a huge bunch of flowers on the anniversary of her husband’s passing. On that evening we chatted about many things, one of which was Christmas and the giving and receiving of presents. She had asked me if I do anything at Christmas and I told her that no, I didn’t and in fact I don’t celebrate the day nor do I give presents or wish to receive any. I explained that I had opted-out of the world’s version of Christmas and the materialistic and hedonistic revelry that passes to commemorate the birth of our Saviour. I have not partaken of such things for some years now. I celebrate the event in a totally different way. Well what I had told her must have fallen on deaf ears for the presents were for E and myself and she had told E that we were not to open them before Christmas Day! Yeah, sure, I was going to do that! I duly opened them to see what they were, a pen (?) and a very large and beautiful silk-like scarf. Now one of the other things I had mentioned when we had visited her was the enormous amount of scarves I possess but hardly ever wear! It is a case of not getting much of an opportunity to wear most of them. What was she thinking? Naturally I shan’t say anything to her but I will thank her for the thought when we next speak. I will insist that she doesn’t give me presents again though, I don’t want them from anyone. It is enough that people are there, they have no need to ply me with gifts to know that they are appreciated or that I am to them. I will not be tempted to reciprocate and fall back into the ways of the world. To me it is totally meaningless. So no Christmas cards from me or anything else for that matter. It has been that way for quite some time.

Shirley Anne

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