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E Updated
Just been lying here ruminating on the past year and naturally thoughts turned to Christmas last year. Remind me to have a sight test because I didn't see the freight train on the brow of the hill that eventually thundered past this station. In a few days time(this time last year)I found a carelessly discarded receipt for a large sum of money for perfume and products reportedly worn by Marilyn Monroe or so the current advert claims. Wow I thought Santa is being generous maybe to make up for being so obnoxious through the year.(error 1) I know you can see where this is leading....... I requested a fashion watch very reasonably priced and in the sale. Gifts should be about the thought and effort not the price tag and I thought this was doable for him.(error 2). You might imagine my surprise after seeing above receipt when on Xmas morning I was presented with a £6.00 (price tag on) supermarket watch wrapped in the supermarkets own plastic bag. Trying to contain my hurt and confusion from the family who incidentally were equally not impressed with gift proved too much and I won't bore you with the details of the ensuing discussion,needless to say it was the worst Christmas day so far. Excuses and plausible reasons were offered(error 3)and trying to salvage some remnant of Christmas for my kids I soldiered on. As my coping strategy is humour I've been looking at this event from this angle. Clearly the watch as is traditional was my "RETIREMENT GIFT". My preference would have been a luxury holiday. So my 30+ years of long service and good conducuct and effectively my career was going to an come to abrupt end.(error 4,lack of crystal ball reading skills) As I had no desire or indeed inclination that I would be retiring I wonder if there should have been appraisals and management discussions before my post of partner/wifey was readvertised and filled without my knowledge. I clearly missed that memo/email. I won't bother going to a tribunal. So this Christmas probably difficult and emotional will be spent with people that love me warts and all,whom want to be in my company and who I want to be with. Silver linings and no watches are on Santa wish list. xxx

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I to laughed when I read your blog

Despite the seriousness of why we are all here, I would like to say that I enjoy the way you write.

Here's wishing that the horrible time in the divorce world moves quickly on for you tick tock....

Warmest wishes to you em

LG xXx
Something to remember though,retirement brings it's own benefits.You only have to look after yourself,you no longer have to answer to the management,they were not a very nice company to work for,never had the employees best interest at heart. The best thing retirement brings is the freedom to be yourself........And who else would we want to be ;)
Hello Em and thanks for that. I laughed out loud at your retirement gift. Like so many here I had similar experiences and can look back on various events that maybe make more sense now (even if the whole nightmare is still inexplicable to me for the time being).

But I didn't even get a retirement gift, so consider yourself lucky!!

In fact I have lost my job but gained lots of new ones (unwanted and unwaged with no prospect of retiring). e.g. being father as well as mother to my kids, and having been a stay at home mum for 20 years, now having to be wage earner as well, just at the time when I am absolutely incoherent and incapable with grief and anxiety and sleeplessness.

Funny old world.

Had the cr*ppest of days yesterday, today not much better - will it ever end? I feel on top of my mind and my money and my hair and my teeth (and 17 stone in the form of stbx) I have even lost my sense of humour…

But thanks for making me laugh with yours xx

Hi Emerald,
De Ja Vu reading your post, a similar thing occurred on our Anniversary.
Won't go into it but I spotted a rather 'sexy' card in the car door which I said nothing about but was expecting to be presented with it on the day. I wasn't !
When questioned about it he told me, without missing a beat , yes he had got it for me, but had lost it!
Have to laugh now, what a t.....r he was.
Take care :))

as you said, this year may be hard, but you ll be with people who love you for YOU
Ah yes, the pre train crash Christmas - maybe the twenty pound note in the plain envelope under the tree was generous! I think the hammer is an excellent addition to the watch! Thank goodness you have those around you who do love and appreciate you - and remember - it is not us - it is about their lack of decency, not our lack of worth.
I think you have a good way of dealing with this stuff through humour emerald. Laugh or cry, your choice is preferable and they are certainly not worth crying over.
You have a remarkable ability to see humour in painful situations Em, and I'm sure so many of us must read your blog with admiration.
I see this more as a strength rather than just a coping strategy.
Emerald I think of it as the fog of denial - something was seriously amiss but we either didn't see it or didn't want to see it. Part of the pain of the aftermath now is when the fog starts to clear, these memories start to come back, and now make perfect sense. I had a similar Christmas experience - my boys and I watched my husband pile up his car boot with multiple presents for OW and her girls last year, and race over to her place looking very pink and flushed. I had already seen them ogling each other at the kids' christmas concert and heard whispers about their relationship in the audience but said nothing. I remember feeling deeply humiliated but didn't recognise I was retreating into denial, which by definition is an unconscious protective mechanism.
I'm sure you will treasure that "first wife retirement watch" - does it need some modifications with a hammer perhaps?!