6 03 2012

In this wondrous era, where anyone who has been on telly is celebrated, it’s hard to know what to share. I quite like sharing. I mean, I put my wedding online for anyone to see, in my stand-up I try to talk about how I really feel and my tweets are basically me sharing the minutiae of my day.

The weirdest thing for me is that none of these things are thrust upon anyone. There has never been a clockwork orange style pinning open of eyes. The internet is an idea based on ‘opting in’, not ‘subjecting to’. So, if you don’t want to know what I think, click ‘unfollow’ on Twitter. If you don’t like me on TV, turn over and if you don’t give a shit what I got for my birthday, stop reading now. I’m blogging it because, sometimes, I like to read about nice things that people do for each other. I’m a sucker for surprise marriage proposals and shit like that, they make me cry. They remind me that in amongst how shitty I think most people are, I’d do better to remember that most of us aren’t. So, If you’re the sort of person that likes that too, keep reading, otherwise, thanks for popping by, but so long.

Have they gone? Good. I hate those c***s.

So, here’s a brief story by a man who can’t get over what a wonderful woman he married.

It’s my birthday. I’ve known that I would turn 33 today for the last quarter of a century and, sure enough, it’s happened with clockwork precision. What I hadn’t known was what my wife would get me as a gift.

It had three parts. The first was an envelope, in it was this:

Now, this is lovely, right? It rhymes and everything. There’s some clues there, but if you haven’t worked them out, don’t feel bad. I’m married to her and still didn’t have a clue what was about to happen. But I opened envelope 2, whereupon I was met with this glorious image:

Yes. That’s right. That’s Guy Garvey off of Elbow. Me and the wife’s band. Not that we’re in Elbow. I mean, like y’know how couple have their song, well Elbow are our band. Grace Under Pressure has been my song by that band. I get wound up sometimes, by the industry I work in. Hucksters, schysters and liars abound but the trick to being a better man must surely be the display of grace under pressure. Like I say it’s my Elbow song. Also, I believe – more than anything – in the redemptive power of love, and this is a song ends by warding off those that don’t. I love it. I sing it to my baby daughter as a lullabye; yep – even the swearing bit.

So, a photo of the writer of this magical song, holding up a sign is… well… I mean, what is it? Is it a picture that my missus has found? Or has she asked Guy to do it? Cards on the table for a mo – I know Guy. Really not very well, but we hung out once or twice when I lived in Manchester and have always found him to be a man of extraordinary warmth. Since Elbow became the awards magnet that we now know them to be, our paths have crossed a few times. Twitter has allowed Beth and I to chum up with other members of the band, chief amongst them, Mr Craig Potter. So, what I’m saying is, he might have done it just for me. Please understand, just because I know him a bit doesn’t mean I’m not totally in awe of him. I am a fan. The possibility that this was a personalised gesture put an excited warmth through me.

However, I still have no idea what the bloody present is. On the back of the photo of Guy read the instruction ‘Now open number 3’. I was lead into the front room.

There on the floor was a peculiarly shaped box. I was told to open it carefully. I did. And there it was.

Please realise, I got married in Vegas. I used to live in Brighton. I work – regularly – on Piccadilly Circus. Me and Neon are pals. And my wife, my clever, lovely wife – with additional funding from her parents, my Mum and her husband, my brother and his missus – had asked a neon artist to render Mr Garvey’s exact scrawl in pure, purpley light.

I can’t get a photo that does it justice, but here is is:

I sat, properly gobsmacked. Whether you like it or not… frankly, I don’t give a monkeys. It’s amazing, and will look bloody lovely in my front room. But more than anything, my family gave me something so utterly thoughtful that I feel totally loved by them – especially the mental one that I married, four months after our first date. I really hope something as lovely as this is waiting just around your corner too.

Coincidentally, turns out I wasn’t the only one born on March 6th.

If you wished me a happy birthday today, I really did have one. Thank you.





24 responses

6 03 2012

That’s a great birthday tale – the best presents never tend to cost the most money but have lots of love invested in them. Good luck to you on your b’day & for the rest of the year – @rtbh

6 03 2012

Guy is such a gent, chuffed you love Elbow too and what a lovely present!

6 03 2012
Johnny Hoy - Wonderboy

Holy shit, that is beatiful. I too am loved…nice isn’t it?x

6 03 2012
Chastity Flyte

I bloody love this. It made water in my eye and everything. x

6 03 2012
Ms Red

The best presents are the most thoughtful ones. You got a lovely mrs there!

6 03 2012
Olivia Warren

This is gorgeous. Your wife and family sound gorgeous. Happy birthday, Rufus. You bring all of us little fans joy, and you deserve a birthday to remember!

6 03 2012

You are a very lucky man always cherish the people who love you – they give your life meaning -happy birthday xxx

6 03 2012
Laura shwenn-poole

What a lovely and thoughtful present! 🙂
Really wonderful meaning behind it.
Brb gonna take the hubby’s birthday watch back to Argos….
Hmmm he likes helicopters!
Does Prince Harry have twitter?

6 03 2012
Katie Weatherington

So blessed to have you in our family. Such a lovely story of love and appreciation xx

6 03 2012

I really enjoyed reading that. It’s my wifes, Louise’s birthday today and you sent a tweet to her. She was made up. Little things don’t always cost much (except diamonds) but they can make someone feel special.

I’m made up you had a good birthday and thanks for helping Louise have a great one too.

6 03 2012
Sam Hawkes

My eyes leaked after reading the hand-written poem, your wife is amazing

6 03 2012
Dan Hearn

What a lovely story. It wad my birthday today and my lady also spoilt me rotten. It started with a card with contents not unlike your letter, then curious boxes and finally a ring that I have dreamed of having for the past 30 years! I think we are both truley blessed to have such wonderful women in our lives. I hope you had as great a day as I did. 🙂

6 03 2012
Matt Patton

What can I say? You have a lovely wife and that is the neatest birthday present I’ve ever seen. Heck, the message on the envelope was pretty wonderful all by itself . . .

6 03 2012
Gemma PinfieldThomas (@LadyP_T)

Awww, that’s awesome! I’m LOVING a thoughtful gift. My husband’s pretty hopeless with gifts, so gets me to buy my own! Had I known it was your birthday today when I met you on Sunday night (I was the one with the fecking stupid blue camera with the forever-long delay on it, that you ended up holding at arm’s length to get that picture for my little girl) I’d have said it then, but hey… HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! 🙂

7 03 2012
Emma Dunham

Thank you, think I believe in nice men again.

7 03 2012

Was lovely.

And happy birthday.

20 03 2012

What a thoughtful wife and family you have! That is a wonderful present. I bet your smile on receiving that glowed as much as it does!

29 03 2012

That is utterly BRILLIANT. I too am a big fan of Love. Your family are fantastic, but I think you know that x

29 03 2012

How utterly BRILLIANT. I too am a big fan of Love. Your family are wonderful, but I think you know that. Hurrah! x

29 03 2012
Simon Guerrero (@fiatpanda)

This is very lovely.

Although I *am* wanking as I write this.

3 04 2012

Ah, what a thoughtful pressie and what a lovely relationship.

9 04 2012
Grace Louise

I’ve just found this post and it has totally made my Easter Monday. You are a lucky boy indeed! What a wonderful story.

19 12 2012

A great man my Dad was also born on this day, he was a veteran from WW2 in Bomb Disposal, so yes you are in amongst some great men!

4 05 2013
bruceb_uk (@bruceb_uk)

It is a thing of beauty. And a Rush album, but you know that…

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