Saturday, 6 December 2014

Long Distance Love

Just recently, Dr Dad returned from a business trip to the other side of the globe. When he’s home, he hates to shop. Despises it. To be perfectly honest, as much as the weekly supermarket visit makes me want to bellow “Who died and left me in charge of trivia?!?…” it’s even more painful when he comes to help.

After almost thirty years of living with me, he still seems to think that the shopping list is a complete and total inventory of every item that we actually need/ will probably run out of/might fancy nibbling on at some stage. Nor does he have the vaguest understanding of how two teenagers can stand staring into the expanse of a vast fully stacked pantry and a double-door fridge that is groaning under the weight of stunning seasonal fruits and vegetables and declare disgustedly that there’s never anything to eat.  I swear; if you ever hear that the end of the world is nigh, head on down to our place. There’s enough in our cupboards to keep us all going until the smoke clears.

But truthfully, he whips that trolley around the supermarket aisles so damned quickly that on a number of occasions I have had to ask if I had missed the news that the sky was going to fall at 11:13 precisely, or whether he was just shooting for a personal best.  

When he’s away, however, if time allows, he shops for gifts to bring back for us. It’s kind of sweet, really.  I guess the habit harks back to those days when the kids missed him when he wasn’t around. Way back in the days when they made those ‘Welcome home, Daddy’ banners and knocked him over with enthusiasm as he came through the door. He’d let them rummage through his bag full of random documents and dirty business shirts for their surprises. A reward for each of them for being good while Daddy was away, and a prize for me for surviving.

He has no idea that these days they don’t even notice he’s not around.

This time, he arrived home in the wee small hours. We were all snoring. Even the dogs didn’t stir as he tiptoed in. But he did his wonderful good-dad thing, despite having been travelling for almost 27 hours straight, and before falling unconscious into the bed next to me ( by this stage I was, of course, just pretending to be asleep because surely nobody wants a welcome back kiss from someone with evil bed-breath)…before falling into the depths of jet-lagged darkness, he had begun to unpack his bag.

So that when we got up in the morning, there it was. His London shopping. Spread out on the table in neatly ordered groups so that we knew who was getting what. His way of telling us that he loves us and he missed us. 
You won't be surprised to hear that the Bombay Sapphire and wrinkle creams are for me. 


  1. We used to grocery shop together and it was great. Now if Fella tags along, I'm left without the cart (trolley) with arms full of produce, while he's clear across the store picking out the dairy. ;)

    I used to love when my parents would bring home gifts from their trips (which were few and far between). I encourage them to do it for my kids since I don't get to go anywhere these days!

  2. I'm so glad I'm not the only one left trailing at the supermarket.
    Dr Dad travels a great deal. The shiny shoes are for Miss 14. We took the kids to London/Paris/Burgundy for a month in june/july and my 1980s obsessed teen fell in love with patent DrMartin boots. My how the wheel turns.

  3. Such a lovely post. And, I hate to admit it, but I am with DrDad on the shopping. I hate it and will try for a personal best every time. My husband is the shopper (and the cook so that works well). He can spend hours checking out labels, making sure everything he is buying is worthy. Me? Grab the nearest bottle of olive oil and get the hell out of there!

  4. Oh how I wish there was another cook in the family... Bliss...

  5. Hi Wendy. I have been nominated for the Peace and Harmony award, and I wanted to share it with you, as I really enjoy your blog.