I woke up Christmas morning to a room filled with presents. Goatee had asked the concierge to rustle up a little tree, and they found a small plastic one with lights. There were presents all under the tree, and Goatee had ordered room service for breakfast.
The phone rang and Goatee answered. There were some unhappy children on the other end, and Goatee was begging them to come up to our room. Within minutes there was a knock on the door. I’d just finished my eggs, and with coffee in hand I went to open it. I was nearly knocked over by two little boys: Goatee’s nephew and Goatee’s grandson.
They were yelling, ‘Santa’s come here? Has Santa come here?’
They were followed by very lackadaisical parents. Both GoateeBrother and GoateeSon had shipped all the Christmas presents to Vienna ahead of time, and GoateeSister was holding on to them. Last night they were put in the taxi, and after I’d been to bed the Goatee Men set up the tree and presents.
Goatee told the boys, ‘Santa said it would be easier to drop the presents off up here.’
GoateeNephew was nearly in tears, ‘I thought Santa didn’t come. I’d only been naughty once.’
But he cheered up when he saw that there were numerous presents for him under the tree.
Everyone was dressed except for myself and the kids, we were still in pyjamas. I felt so bad, GoateeBrother and GoateeSon both gave me presents, while I just had my name stuck to the presents Goatee gave. GoateeSon and his wife gave me a small aboriginal print. It’s painted on rolled up canvas with red and orange background, and these blue and purple designs on it. It’s bright and cheery, and it’s so cool that they brought this for me all the way from Australia. GoateeBrother had been in the US recently for business, and he and his wife gave me a beautiful red DKNY cashmere scarf.
Then came time for Goatee and I to exchange presents. I had spent so much time trying to come up with the perfect present for Goatee, I ran out of time and ended up getting him nothing. So, he’s been regifted the Mark Twain book I was going to give TheBoy. Yes, I know it’s kind of cheep. But I honestly couldn’t think of anything to get him. Well, anything that I could afford. However, he liked the book all the same, and said that he’d been wanting to buy it.
He gave me one present. This small wrapped box the shape of a ring box. My heart skipped a beat. I know it’s cliché, but I really think my heart actually fluttered when I realised that there may be a ring inside.
I looked around and unwrapped the silver paper. On the inside was this very distinctive blue ring box. I thought I was going to faint. What would I say? Would he be so brazen as to give me a ring? In front of his family? We’ve only been dating a few months? I only moved in with him because I was living with gangsters. My hands shook as I opened the box.
Inside was a little dragonfly pendent. It has green lacquered wings and three little diamond looking stones on them. The pendant and chain are silver. I absolutely love it.
I told Goatee as much and tried to restrain myself as I through myself on him to say thanks. I told him that I so much prefer to silver to gold, to which he said, ‘It’s not silver. It’s white gold.’
I told him that ‘I don’t care if it’s aluminium, I love it all the same.’
I felt like a fool for thinking it would be a ring.
The kids had already opened their presents from Santa, when Goatee gave them presents from him. He gave them so much stuff that both children’s mothers wondered aloud ‘How are we going to get all this home?’
The present Goatee was most fond of was two signed copies of A Dangerous Book for Boys, one for each child. He told his brother, ‘All the things we used to get up to during our summers home.’ And he told his son, ‘Make sure you take the time to do some of these things together. The stuff I never got to do with you.’
Sometimes Goatee can be too outspoken. There was an uncomfortable silence before GoateeSon’s wife said, ‘We’ve already got the Australian version of that book.’
Goatee smiled but looked hurt, so I said, ‘Perfect. Now he can be dangerous in Britian and abroad.’