Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Birthday letter to the CFO

Dear CFO,

Happy birthday!

Your birthday was a bit shit, wasn't it? Sorry about that. What with your flu, dull presents, dinner of chicory and sausages on sticks and "poo cake" as the children hilariously called it. Oh, and your parents completely forgetting. You were even feeling too feeble for birthday sex with your lumpen snotty spouse type person, who was prepared to put out, though not with overwhelming erotic enthusiasm.

I am sorry you got four jumpers for presents, and a Wii game chosen by the children on the basis that it came with a free mercenary dolly. You were not even allowed to keep the mercenary dolly, though we did leave you the CD of Bulgarian chanting. It must seem a little ironic to you that I bitch endlessly about how rubbish you are at buying presents, but have been unable to get it together to find you a good one for, ooh, at least 5 years now. I am sorry that when you say how old 39 feels, I agree heartlessly that you are, indeed, very old indeed. And speculate about what I will do with the extra twenty years I will have after you die, and what breed of misanthropic small dog to get.

I am sorry we had your poo cake a day early so as not to waste it, and that Fingers whispered to you that "the poo cake has chocolate brownie in", giving away any shred of suprise. I am sorry I did not manage to shove any of the filth away to allow you to enjoy some semblance of order or cleanliness for your birthday. I am sorry I did not even get it together to transfer all our money under your mattress to quell your galloping anxiety at the financial crisis.

More generally, I am sorry that I am such a prickly, difficult person to live with, that I yawn openly when you try and tell me about work, that I get to be the "fun" parent while you do the discipline, that I bitch tiresomely about your family and that I am an unenthusiastic cook and crap at cleaning and tidying and paying bills. I am extra sorry that I make out that your concern for basic hygiene standards means you are unbearably bourgeois, whereas I am a Free Spirit. I am sorry we make you read The Big Wide Mouthed Frog aloud so we can laugh at your prononciation. You bear all this with great fortitude. Even when I take pictures of your ugly shoes and mock them openly on the internets.

You have been endlessly tolerant of my fucking insane family stuff, my mental health wobbles, eating lunacy, post natal gloom, incredibly repressed inability to talk about sex, or indeed, do very much of it. Not to mention my baldness. Yes! You have a bald partner! Glamorous. You still, mysteriously, find me sexy, which is frankly deranged since I wear jumpers and socks to bed. There is no accounting for taste, I suppose.

I will never ever forget and am endlessly grateful for how amazing you were when my mum died. You fought like a Rottweiler to get her body back from Italy when I didn't have any fight left in me, and you managed it. You found, and arranged, the most beautiful, wild, isolated spot for her in the cemetery, surrounded by brambles and long grass, a small but perfectly formed tree, and a couple of rather dashing sounding first world war casualties. There is even a bench. It suits her perfectly. You did that. When I took Fingers to meet her just after he was born, I laid him down on the little mound of grass in the spring sunshine under the tree, had a little cry and thanked you yet again in my head. I hope I thanked you out loud too, but I'm not sure I did.

You spent endless hours in the back yard smoking and drinking to keep prog rock step dad company as he raved on and on, mad with grief. You probably understood about 3 percent of what he was saying (we didn't understand much more), but you hung on in there with him. Seriously, that was amazing. It was fun when he jumped over the wall to run away from the neighbours and rang us up to tell us he was in hiding behind the Portakabin, wasn't it? There was plenty of dark humour to be had then, and you were around to share it with me. You listened to lots of raving mad Scottish people and wordy academics with enormous politeness, when the Space Cadette and I were too mental to string a sentence together. You were perfect company throughout the whole shit storm.

You are way nicer to the Bearded One than I am, and sweet and generous and tolerant to the Space Cadette. You are amazingly lovely with my brother's kids and you hate his bastard brain tumour so much. You are properly angry with it, and this translates into fantastic feats of entertaining and loving my (and your, truly your) nephew and niece. You can hypnotise pigs by scratching behind their ears. You are a fantastic father, sweet and funny and loving and not adverse to putting pants on your head. Your boys are beautiful and funny too and when you gave Lashes a huge hug yesterday for getting 15/15 in his maths test, I watched his face and he was incandescent with pride. Fingers adores you. Whenever you go away he adds up in his secretive little head how many days it will be 'til you return, and counts them down, feverishly. He isn't quite himself until you come back.

Happy birthday sweetheart. You could have done a whole lot better than me, but I'm very glad you didn't.

Here's a picture of some tortoises for your birthday.





The Dotterel said...

What a birthday card! Doesn't have to rhyme, does it?

Potty Mummy said...

You just made me tear up.

Helena said...

Gah! You bitch, you made me cry and now I have to go and do the nursery pick up and chat to all the posh mummies with a red nose.

kelly said...



Lulu LaBonne said...

Awwww, he lives with a great comedienne - and one that makes poo cake and marrodiles, I bet he thinks he's lucked out

Léonie said...

Please, Miss Emma, do we know what "CFO" stands for? What a lovely letter, you made me snivel a bit and need a Love Bar.

Happy Birthday from The Internet, the CFO.

parisgirl said...

Sniff. That was all lovely (except for the picture of the really very horrible slippers).

parisgirl said...

...sorry, I forgot. And happy birthday to the CFO.

SUEB0B said...

I love your writing. What a sweet letter.

peevish said...

Aww, like all the others, I have been reduced to mush by the sweetness of it.

Happy Birthday, CFO!

Though the shoes are truly horrible, he has clearly more than made up for them with his lovely actions. He has earned the right to wear them proudly, even with black socks.

Perhaps you could cook up some turtle soup for him?

J.N. said...

Happy Birthday, CFO!

Red Shoes said...

To the CFO: Happy birthday and thank you for being such a wonderful person in the world. Clearly, you are a treasure, salt of the earth.

La Belette Rouge said...

Really sweet, even tear inducing. I am sure CFO will love it and appreciate it more than a doll or even sex.

Happy Birthday, CFO!

Mya said...

Welling up here too - and I'm a really hard bitch.

Happy Birthday CFO - hope you get your birthday BJ!

Mya x

Mr Farty said...

What a lovely birthday letter!

Happy birthday, CFO!

justme said...

Happy Birthday to the CFO ( Chief Financial Officer?) He is lucky, lucky, lucky, to have you, and it sounds to me like you are pretty lucky to have him too......warm thoughts and hugs from the internets for both of you.......
But, very seriously, I was really touched by this post. It's so lovely to have a partner who really is that.

valley girl said...

That is far too lovely to keep on the internets. You must print it out and frame it.

Anonymous said...


(Very) Lost in France said...

Thing is Jaywalker, I bet the CFO knows that no only does he have the best, brightest and funniest Eurodrone in Eurodrondom, but also a pretty mean veggie carver. He's got a pearl and he knows it. Now,what does CFO stand for? Something for you chez moi. VLiF

Mom/Mum said...

Arrrrrr, that was lovely. And makes me think I owe my hubs an apology for the rubbish birthday I gave him. I could never say it as well as you wrote though. Beautiful.

Laura Jane said...

Now thats love. Sniff. I wish I could write something so eloquent and honest to my dear one.

For better or worse, in sickness and in health. With or without hair. Not to mention the extremely and laughably unattractive footwear. You two are stuck with each other, in the best way.

Happy birthday CFO (which stands for....?)all the way from Australia.

P said...

This is the most fantastic birthday letter ever written.

livesbythewoods said...

He gets you, the tortoises and a marrowdile. The man lucked out. And he sounds like the ideal bloke to wander though life with, even in those shoes.

A Confused Take That Fan said...

How beautiful. I hope you showed him. Maybe he will see the error of his ways with those shoes, which are a small blip in an otherwise perfect person...lucky you.

Jaywalker said...

Hi everyone
The CFO is indeed Chief Financial Officer. And I am sorry for not replying, my internets are dead and I have RSI from trying to make it work. Should be back tomorrow! But thank you all for your lovely comments, and the CFO thanks you for your birthday wishes. He is in a Travelodge in the outskirts of Paris sharing a cupboard with a colleague and waiting for a delivery from Pizza Hut.

Tarte Tartan said...

So beautiful that I read your post to my mum, who got a bit teary-eyed too.

Miss Julie said...

And the best part, is all of your lovely, funny foreign accents! I can hear them in your comments, even! From a mommy of 3 in America, who's husband is not a CFO, but close enough, thanks for a sweet reminder of how wonderful these silly men are, after all.

Iota said...

Poo cake and a picture of tortoises. What man could possibly want more? Oh, and a love epic from his wife that brings tears to the blogosphere.

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