He loves this towel.
He’s used it for longer than he’s known me.
He pulled a funny face when I suggested that I could give him a new one.
I already had: For Christmas a couple of years ago.
Bright and stripey.
And in one piece.
But this one’s better. Apparently.
I’ll mend it, he says.
If you’ll just get the sewing machine organised.
I can do it.
I know he can.
He sewed the plastic and vinyl cover for his stereo, on his mother’s Singer treadle machine.
It looked like a professional had made it. I wouldn’t have been so patient or meticulous.
But he has no idea how my newish fancy machine works.
Nor that it will take ten minutes to pack up my stuff, mid major project.
Another five minutes to change threads – because anything other than cotton would shred what’s left of the towel.
Another ten to show him how to work it.
About thirty seconds to sew it.
And another fifteen to reset the settings and get my project back to how I had them.
It’s a bit like cooking a barbecue really.
I’ll do it and you can relax.
And slightly reminiscent of a tempestuous two-year-old.
I do it. I do it.
You’d better do it.
If I get my hands on it, it will be in the rubbish.
But before I get to think about it for too much longer, it’s going through the machine
with the scientist looking as excited as if he’d just discovered the cure for cancer.
He did mend it.
He holds it up for me to admire.
It’s still old and faded and frayed.
But he loves it.
Reassuring – for the wife
who’s growing older and faded and frayed.