IMG_2337It’s a sorry state of affairs when you get an email from saying “We miss you” and it might be the most emotional message you have received in years.

I mean, I am away from my parents 9 months of the year, and they don’t send me emails saying we miss you.

I have friends – good friends – who live across oceans and continents, and they don’t feel the need to tell me they miss me with any kind of regularity.  I mean it is taken as read.  I miss them and they miss me, because we live far away and everyone has their own thing to do and kids, and jobs, and no one has the money to fly to wherever for any length of time and if they do there are people they would rather see, and commitments that come first.  All of these things are a given in any relationship where the parties live more than an hour’s drive away from each other.  (And sometimes when parties live 5 minutes from each other).

But there you go, has dared to express what friends and family have not.  They miss me.  I am touched really, so here is my response:

Listen man, I think of you all the time, I really do.  Every time I reach for the toilet paper and there isn’t any on the roll, I think, I must give ASDA a call.  Every time I run out of washing up liquid midway through the evening dinner’s dishes, I think – Ah ASDA where are you?

And the thing is – it isn’t that I don’t care.  I genuinely do.  I love that you do that roll back thing, and stuff is cheaper at yours than anywhere else.  But the truth is, there are supermarkets that I visit more often that are nearer.  Also, (and I know this isn’t really an excuse) my sister visits you regularly and brings me stuff.  I always assumed she caught you up on how I was doing.

I mean, it doesn’t mean anything that I don’t spend as much time with you as I used to.  It’s just that what with one thing and another,  I get busy and then before you know it it’s Christmas again, and where did the year go?  And it’s not as if I don’t know what is going on with you…  I read your emails, and watch the ads on TV.  I know when fairy dishwasher tablets are half price, and I arrange to meet you accordingly.  I mean, I read your facebook updates  and everything.

But anyway.  Thanks for caring, babe, I appreciate it.  You missing me is a tender message in amongst all of the other messages I get from shops asking me if I know what time it is, or if I want to take advantage of their offer to ingest my weight in cholesterol and then have an ice cream for free.  On any given day, I will receive about 25 emails telling me to get with a programme, or join a group, to lose weight, or spend more.  Or even to bulk up and spend less.  To eat healthier, but still take them up on their 7 for £5 crisp offer.    And I am really careful about signing up for stuff.  I read the small print before checkout where they try to confuse you with quadruple negatives:  “If you do not want to not receive emails from us, then please don’t uncheck the box that is already checked unless you are prepared to receive a missive from us every day (sometime two or three times a day) for the rest of your life and beyond.  If you don’t not check this box, we will badger you forever and don’t even try to say we never warned you because this is us warning you right now.  So, do or don’t check or uncheck as long as you’re sure.”   I am not remotely sure.   I can’t never be sure what not to do in these situations. Should I check the box and risk a lifetime of feeling pressured and bombarded?  Or should I leave it blank and risk a lifetime of feeling pressured and bombarded?   It’s hard and lonely trying to work out what they mean … [insert poignant violin music here].  My point is: no one seems to care.  Until now.

I miss you too, ASDA.  I miss you too.