A Labour of Love

imageChristmas Eve afternoon and I’m sharing a touching moment with Brook my partner of 11 years. It’s a familiar scene, one that is played out in Australian homes every year the night before the most important day of the year.

After a brief but intense hug I look deep into the eyes of the man I love.

“You know you don’t need to do this. We’ll make it through… somehow” I say.

But he knows this is our last chance so he gently touches my cheek he reassures me “Don’t worry darling, Ill be fine, really I will.”

He squeezes my hand, squares his shoulders, and with his eyes cast to the horizon he strides stoicly out the door to the car.

Now, the wait begins. The afternoon shadows draw in and the minutes seem to drag endlessly as I worry about whether he’ll be successful in his mission, and if he is at what price.

Then 40 minutes later he returns, just when I’ve all but given up hope. His step is weary as he mounts the front steps and he seems older than when he left.

“Darling, how did you go?”, I ask as he staggers through the door. He drops the heavy load he is carrying and slumps against the door frame.

“Never again” he pants. “I cannot go to Dan Murphy’s on Christmas Eve ever again. It’s like Night of the Living Dead in there, full of lost souls condemned to wander the aisles and hauling cartons of average wine behind them. I was lucky to make it out of there you know”.

“I know,” I console him. “But what’s the alternative? I don’t know about you but there’s no way I can wrap all the kids bloody Christmas presents without a drink”.

And since I still haven’t techincally started this mammoth task I’d better get on with it!

Merry Christmas everyone 🙂