This is a story I thought about a few days before Father’s Day.
Mathew was the sort of man who was happy to admit that he had a quiet sort of temperament. He prided himself on the fact that he was very good under pressure and never lost his temper. His friends came to him for help when they had big problems. Especially the ones involving the ‘wife’.
He looked at himself in the mirror and smiled. He opened his mouth to see if he had created a stain on his tongue from the shiraz. He never drank beer, but preferred to sit and talk with people and it all seemed much better if one was drinking wine. His tongue was a slight purple, not too bad considering how many glasses he had had. He smiled at himself again and made his way back to the garden for the braai.
every Father’s Day, he invited a few of his friends over and their families to have braai. Too bad it was on a Sunday he thought, you could have a good party on a Saturday and not feel bad about it. His children had given him cards and the usual coffee cup, but he did not mind. Today was his day to enjoy and not have to do any house work or errands. His wife had made a cake and organised all the food and what the children should do, so that they could enjoy their company.
He was about to walk down the stoep when he heard the all too familiar laugh. It was Evie his wife, he knew that laugh. She must have had some wine. She hardly ever drunk but he had a mind to tell her one day that she was a bit too much when she did. His feet landed on the grass and he turned to the left. And there she was doing some kind of jiggle dance with the children. He stared at her and it appeared as if she was about to drop the wine glass. Of course, she caught it in time. Evie stopped dancing and walked to him. A big grin on her face. She was not walking very straight.
“you’ve been drinking Evie, oh come on you promised me you were not going to drink today”
“I just had one glass Mathew”
“one too many don’t you think. Look just don’t drink anymore and let us enjoy this day”, he hissed
“I am going to talk to Sipo over there. Go inside and have some water.
She looked at him and felt a sense of defiance. One glass too many, the nerve of him. She walked into the house and went straight to the wine. She poured herself a glass. She drunk it all at once and poured herself another. Just because it was Father’s Day she had to behave and be all proper. Well she was going to have a party too whether he liked it or not. Everything was ready and set, they just had to eat and feed the children. She took her wine out to the garden. She felt invincible. She walked towards the group standing by the fire pit. Mathew looked at her wine glass and gave her a look. Evie smiled at him.
There was a woman there she had never met before, Nancy Sipos new girlfriend. Nancy was talking about her job and how much she travelled. She swayed a bit as she listened to her. The wine had gone to her head now. She laughed at something Nancy said except it came out as a snort. More glares from Mathew.
Nancy turned around towards her and asked her what she did, Mathew turned around so fast when he heard the question, and braced himself for what Evie was going to say. He knew she hated that question.
“well” Evie said “I run a restaurant, a causality ward, a school, I am a musicologist, a sports coach, a swimming teacher, oh and a part time life saver. And that Nancy is on a good day” she laughed again but again it came out as a snort, “who needs Father’s Day anyway.”
Mathew stared at her in absolute disbelief.
Nancy looked around and tried not to stare at Evie. The woman was a nut or just a little drunk either way what a comment. She looked at Mathew and she felt sorry for him.
“ok food is almost ready guys, we can move to the table,” Mathew said as he quickly composed himself and smiled at everyone. People started moving towards the table. He was just going to get on with it. When Evie was like this he could not do much about it but keep his composure.
Evie looked at Mathew and gave him a little salute. Mathew groaned inside.
“I’m going to get some water” she said.
She went up to the house again and into the kitchen, she stood by the sink and had some water. What a great comment she had made, that would show that Nancy she thought, her and her perfect weave. She turned to go back outside but through the corner of her eye she saw the wine. Hmm she thought one more glass would not hurt would it.