Wednesday, 9 May 2012

How (Not) to Woo a Millionaire

My parents have met a pair of millionaires in the middle of the Baltic. The millionaires have a smart pad in London and a yacht on the Med. I am not interested in money. It is the soul, of course, that counts! But I am interested in the yacht. I like to imagine myself bobbing about on it if the friendship blooms. It would re-conjure our beloved old caravan holidays, only with plumbing instead of a bucket.

And the friendship does bloom. My parents are invited to the smart pad in London. My mother ponders a gift for a woman who has everything and decides on a jar of Lidl's pickled herrings. So irresistibly do they evoke their Baltic cruise that she buys another jar for herself and swallows a few spoonfuls for a night cap.

Next day they rev up the Skoda for the trip into town and my mother forgets the herrings. They speed back and she lunges into the fridge and grabs the jar and she hands it to the hostess who is thrilled and grateful.

Back at home again, my mother is probing the fridge and finds the second jar of fish. Unopened. The truth dawns. She has beguiled her grand friends with a half-eaten jar of herrings with the Lidl price tag still on.

I sadly relinquish visions of yacht bobbing and am looking into caravans with plumbing.

What should you give a woman has everything? I'll reward the most successful suggestion with a postcard from my first yacht holiday!

21 comments:

  1. hilarious....excellent gift love herrings a much maligned fish...but forget the yacht have you seen Dead Calm???

    ReplyDelete
  2. My family had a small boat that we holidayed on. Think caravan with added damp, no field to throw children off into and the endless risk of drowning. They must have been mad.

    For the woman who has everything -- home made bullus jam from my allotment. Truly made from unobtanium.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd expect more from a millionaire's yacht! Bullus - what's that? Should I be growing it with my school gardening club?!

      Delete
  3. Oh no, it didn't let me finish my comment! I was going to say 'Oh no! Bet she was devastated! An easy mistake to make. You never know, they may have thought she had tried them, loved them and needed to share them!' :0)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a very good thought. I'll tell my mother to tell her and maybe you'll win the postcard!

      Delete
  4. I have faced a similar problem with a woman who looked after my son for a night. She always looks like a model, and has a huge perfectly-decorated house. I gave her a couple of bags of individually wrapped Ghiradelli chocolate squares, but I wasn't very happy with the choice. Next time, I am going to try your parents' approach. When you're English in America, you can get away with pretty much anything, by letting people assume it's part of your English quirky charm. Though perhaps a gently-used jar of pickled herrings from Lidl might be stretching the quirky charm a little.

    The Ghiradelli chocs just felt feeble. At the time, I wondered about getting round the problem by writing a card that said "I'm so pleased for you, that you had the opportunity to enjoy my son's company for a couple of days. Please don't worry about any thank-you gift. It's a pleasure and only the right thing to do, for me to share him with others from time to time."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can give me chocolate any time - send your son over! If you're an ex-pat trading on your English quirks keep a stash of Marmite with which to express your gratitude and eccentric national heritage.

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. It's just that her hostess might not realise it!

      Delete
  6. What would I give to a woman who has everything? Crabs. Wonderful dressed with mayonnaise, or tossed with lemony pasta. The claws of the king crab, especially, have lots of tender, white, juicy meat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You make crabs sound almost palatable. But I'd rather have an artichoke!

      Delete
  7. Reading through my fingers whilst hiding under a chair. Mortification! Sounds like something I would do..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In my case, too, it's like mother, like daughter. I gave someone cast-off chocolates once and, not only had they melted into one another after prolonged storage in the kitchen, they'd actually been given to me by the recipient (who lost no time in remarking on the fact!).

      Delete
  8. And not just because my business is about gifting words....

    but I would gift them this blog post. Honest, funny and an unexpected punchline. They'll dine out on it FOR AGES, DAHLING!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a valuable compliment from an expert. Maybe you can print it onto a card for my mother to send them by way of explanation. I fear they won't be dining out on the herring for years. My mother says there weren't many left!

      Delete
  9. I'll tell you what not to give: wine, to anyone with a wine cellar. I handed over a bottle to a friend – to my mind a respectably pricey one – and without missing a beat she said 'Oh lovely, I'll use it in the cooking'. I stick to flowers and chocs now, but I peel the Tesco Value stickers off first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who was this repellant person? Do I know them? I have some very special liquid of my own making that you could hand over for their cooking next time!

      Delete
  10. If I received a gift like that I'd be thinking: hmm, they plainly loved this so much themselves they couldn't resist eating some but cared about me enough not to finish the whole lot off. It's the same reasoning behind giving someone half eaten grapes when you visit them in hospital. Trust me, people really appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love this comment. Just in time for me to have a bite from the chocolate box I've bought our hosts this Saturday!

      Delete