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The perfect gift

The Southland Times
Last updated 05:00 03/10/2009

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Secrets of Garston Two dads are better than one Spirit of the ages Take the high road It's murder on the dance floor Reading lesson Sometimes when you lose, you win Dye hard dad The key to a good relationship Romantic getaway with two women

OPINION: The Good Woman's birthday is fraught with danger: make a fuss and I'm telling the world that she's a year older; don't make a fuss and I won't hear the end of it till the next birthday ... and I'm back in the same bind, writes Gerry Forde in this week's Southlander.

So, should I try the big gesture or go-with-the-flow and something spontaneously fitting?

I planned a surprise weekend away with a minor celebrity. (She got sick of that joke before I left Mercury TV). The perfect escape for a woman whose head is full of a dozen other people's concerns.

Here again it's like picking my way through a minefield.

To check the weekend was free I had to take an undue interest in everyone's life.

That led to suspicion.

Nothing was ever said, but it was funny the way she insisted on booking a barbecue with friends on the Friday night when any day during the week also suited.

From that moment planning was over and I was going with the flow. All I had to do was buy a present and see what happens.

It's hard to defend the fact that I never remembered to buy that present.

Maybe I was still half planning the weekend away.

At the frantic last minute, I found a card in the bottom of a drawer and wrote something romantic: "This card entitles you to a shopping date with my card."

The envelope looked pathetic next to the girls' presents.

Then I remembered that someone had presented me with a wrapped box of chocolates for giving a talk. It was the most professional looking present on the table – I was in the flow at last!

At the unwrapping, she saw straight through the chocolates but was pleased with the shopping offer.

We went on the Saturday and we went alone — all the kids had scattered for the two days.

It was a weekend away at home, exactly what she had really wanted. How did that happen?

On the Sunday I checked my phone and there was an old message from the girls on the Friday: "We're away for weekend, better wear your best undies!"

They were all in on it. There is no point in the one bloke in a house of five women organising anything.

» Gerry Forde is the Venture Southland regional identity brand manager.

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