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This is a question Tightwads

There's saving money, and there's being tight: saving money at the expense of other people, or simply for the miserly hell of it.

Tell us about measures that go beyond simple belt tightening into the realms of Mr Scrooge.

(, Thu 23 Oct 2008, 13:58)
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My Bloody (Cheap) Valentine
It was February 2006. I had been with my girlfriend for nearly four years. She was from Archangel in Northern Russia. She was funny, clever, and very pretty, and I hadn't even needed to buy her off the internet!

To give a little bit of background, she was the daughter of, what I subsequently discovered to be an arms dealer (could have been worse, I assumed he was Mafia). He owns a house in Archangel, a flat in Moscow, an apartment in Paris, and a small chateau in the South of France.

They rub shoulders with French aristocracy, high ranking members of African governments, and he has a permanent account with the Sultan of Brunei's favourite taxidermist.

What I'm saying is, not exactly begging for loose change in the street.

Lovely people though, they always made me feel very welcome, and very drunk. Her dad was slightly prone to ostentatious displays of his wealth, but that I took as characteristic of his poverty-stricken upbringing turning to post-Soviet prosperity fairly rapidly.

They seemed pleased that I was making their daughter happy, and had brought her out of her shell a fair bit, as she was very shy when we met.

Unfortunately, four years in the relationship had started to get, if not stale, then definitely slightly brittle.

Tempers were frayed a lot of the time, and each other's little quirks and foibles that we had found endearing in the early stages, now lurked just below the surface, like floaters in a festival loo.

For instance, she would pull me up on drumming on my knees along to a song.
I would question her need to wear a jumper in bed.

"Christ sake woman, you're from Russia! Doesn't it get down to -40° there?"

"It's different kind of cold!"

I'd been drinking heavily, her mood swings were becoming worse and worse. She would criticise my lack of ambition, that I wasn't more romantic, and my cynicism amongst other things.

I thought, Right! I really want to salvage this. I'll pull the stops out for Valentine's Day. Now this was a momentous decision for me. I hate all Hallmark holidays with the same venom I reserve for paedophiles, rapists, and Kerry Katona.

I booked a table at our favourite restaurant, I bought her flowers, a box set of Nina Simone who she really liked, chocolates, wine, and a massive card with bunnies and all cutesey shit that she used to coo over.

On the day, I watched, proud as an expectant father, as she opened the gifts. I poured a glass of wine, basking in my own glow, and then told her I had the table booked.

She fairly beamed, gave me a kiss that was certainly the most passionate she had deemed to bestow upon my unworthy countenance in some time, and produced a small parcel, wrapped fastidiously, with a little bow on top.

To my shame, I did the full 'Oh, you shouldn't have...I really wasn't expecting..' charade. I may even have gushed a little (not like that you dirty fuckers, I wasn't that excited).

I opened it with maximum respect, teasing myself a little, my breathing becoming slightly ragged both in anticipation, and arousal from the kiss.

I finally removed the presesnt from it's packaging. Was it jewellery, a nice chain perhaps? A pricey hipflask? A decoratve paperweight? A scale model of the Ground-Effect Lotus '79?

It was.....

Hands trembled, eyes widened.

......a block of cheese.

Now, in all fairness, despite all the evidence to the contrary above, I'm not materialistic.
I hadn't expected anything amazing, particularly expensive or dazzling.

But a block of fucking cheese?

On inspection, it was particularly nice cheese.
It was stilton with cranberries, encased in a thick red wax in the shape of a loveheart, suggesting some thought had gone into it. It was a good cheese, a fragrant cheese, a cheese you would present to visiting royalty and assorted dignitaries.

Still a cunting block of fucking bastarding cheese though!

I feigned delight, I hugged the love of my life with every iota of enthusiasm I could muster from my shocked core, kissed her perhaps a little too hard, and led her to the bedroom (making sure I got something out of this unmitigated disaster).

Typing this, I feel like a right ungrateful sod, as she had put thought into it, but I was still gutted like a turkey in Bernard Matthews' kitchen.

Length? Two months after that incident.
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 21:13, 24 replies)
This to win!
Beautifully written.
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 21:25, closed)
The title wins my "Title Of The Week" prize.
I'm afraid that the prize is a cheese of your choice though... Perhaps given the circumstances it's not the best thing.
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 21:39, closed)
I love cheese though
*is ungrateful*
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 21:50, closed)
Oh fine.
*punches you in the brie*
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 21:53, closed)
^this gave me a coughing fit from laughing
you swine

great story BK!
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 21:58, closed)
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 22:01, closed)
Stilton with cranberries
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 21:26, closed)
You've had a strange life.
Haven't you petal.
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 21:55, closed)
I have rather
At least I have plenty things to laugh about:D
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 21:58, closed)
You poor fucker
I still couldn't help laugh though; a block of fucking cheese! On Valentines day! I can't think of a day when a block of cheese actually *would* make a suitable present.
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 22:04, closed)
If you love cheese, and it was a special cheese that took care and thought to buy, and she know you werent into valentines day. It seems like a caring and intimate gift to me...
but i too love cheese so I'm biased. Good tale though. It made me feel a bit sad but this is a shallow QOTW.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 0:55, closed)
Beautifully written
"floaters in a festival loo" - haven't laughed that hard at something I've read in a long time, good on ya
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 1:27, closed)
You must have ...
balls of solid rock to date the daughter of a Russian arm dealer with connections to a discreet taxidermist.

What do you think he did with her other boyfriends?
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 2:55, closed)
Well written as ever :)
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 7:43, closed)
Click for the title alone...
I was once given a small box of assorted cheeses as a Christmas present. I enjoyed every one.

I am, however, well-known around these parts for my cheese loving ways.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 9:48, closed)
You tightwad!
Normally posts written with that much craft and elegance have a pun at the end. Couldn't spare one, eh?
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 10:39, closed)
She did have a tight twat if that helps?
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 10:40, closed)
Just what your current other half wants to read.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 11:48, closed)
Sorry sweetie!

Just trying to shoehorn a pun in there.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 12:23, closed)
by the sounds of it
you wouldn't have been able to shoehorn anything in there.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 12:26, closed)
I see what you did there!
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 12:28, closed)

But where does the arms dealer come in to it?
I thought you might have lost kneecaps or something. More details!
Hmmm I have to say though that I reckon cheese would be the best valentine's gift I've ever been given, mainly because I've never been given anything.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 11:35, closed)
If my wife gave me stilton
i'd be really happy cos I love it!

Its better than a card and chocolates.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 11:44, closed)
I love stilton
And I've never received anything on Valentine's Day. So I think I'd have been grateful. Albeit rather confused.

Great story. Have a click.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 14:00, closed)

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