This has its disadvantages. Specifically, I am frequently on the go before our central heating system. And the wind that starts its journey on the Siberian steppes likes to finish it in our bathroom. Just as I’m coming out of the shower…
So I have this fantasy. And isn’t that a reflection of middle age? I have a fantasy about the shower – and it involves the enormous, warm towel that I wrap myself in as I stumble out of it.
Well, we don’t have an enormous, warm towel. That is, we didn’t…
“Come on,” I said to Ben as we walked through town, my son resplendent in the new winter coat I’d just bought him. “I’m going to buy a towel.”
“A towel? We’ve got towels, Dad. Then again, they are pretty disgusting…”
We found ourselves in Debenhams’ towel department. Not somewhere I’d previously visited in this incarnation.
“Does it need to match the bathroom, Dad?”
“It’s a towel, son. Besides, we’ve got all sorts of different coloured towels.”
“I think Mum likes things to match…”
“You might be right. What colour is the bathroom? It’s sort of peach isn’t it?”
“Isn’t it pale blue?”
“There aren’t any pale blue ones. Besides, that’s boring. Let’s have something dark. Something fashionable.”
“You may as well get black then, Dad. At least it won’t show the dirt. And maybe Mum won’t notice it.”
“Good thinking, pal. We haven’t got a black towel. This one’ll do. ‘Luxury bath sheet. Finest Egyptian cotton.’ And it’s reduced as well.”
That was Wednesday. Thursday, Friday, Saturday my luxury bath sheet did its job. Perhaps not quite as large as I’d like it to be, but maybe that’s a function of there being rather more of me to wrap than there once was.
Then Saturday afternoon arrives. Not long until the football kicks off. Suddenly there’s a scream. A hideous scream. It’s my wife. In the bathroom. You know what’s coming…
“I can’t believe you’ve bought a black towel.”
“It’s a bath sheet, dear. So I’m warm enough to make your early morning tea.”
“How much did you spend on it?”
“It’s Egyptian cotton. It was reduced.”
“I don’t care if it’s (and here my gentle, sweet wife uttered an expletive) Martian cotton. It’s hideous. It’s like having some… some sort of dirty black stain in the bathroom.”
Ben poked his head round the door and gave me his best Argus Filch impersonation. “Well, well, well, Dad. We are in trouble, aren’t we?”
“I can just about live with the navy blue ones, but black? It makes my flesh creep.”
“You put maroon sheets on our bed.”
“That’s different. I could even live with black sheets in the right circumstances (could you? Blimey, where are my blood pressure tablets?) But not a black towel in a pale blue bathroom.”
My son stuck his oar in. “I told you the bathroom was pale blue, Dad.”
“But you suggested black! Said it wouldn’t show the dirt.”
Prince Charming smiled at his Mother. “I suggested blue, Mum. But Dad insisted on black. Said it absorbed more heat. He said it was his towel and he didn’t care about anyone else.”
My wife swallowed this malarkey hook, line and sinker. She gave her son a hug. No, the butter in his mouth didn’t melt.
“As for you,” she said. “Make a decision. It’s me – or the towel…”
Thanks for reading this post. If you enjoyed it, you can buy the ‘Best Dad I Can Be’ sample book with 27 of my favourite posts covering all the years I’ve been writing: it’s all of 77p on your Kindle. Alternatively the first chronological book, ‘Half Dad Half Fish’ which covers the time when the children were 9, 7 and 4 is available here.