Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge



wedliftTwo good friends of mine, who I’m very fond of, were married recently. (That’s not them in the picture, by the way – but it does, I think, convey something of the occasion.) At any rate, the groom emailed me a few weeks later looking for my new postal address. He and his wife, he said, wanted to thank me for my generous gift. No bother, I told him. They were very welcome. He persisted. It had taken them quite a while, he said, to work out who the gift had been from. The handwriting was so bad they literally had to cross reference my signature against the entire guestlist before figuring out I was. My handwriting is appalling, I conceded. But the gift was no big deal.

It did occur to me even at this stage that their gratitude was a little on the lavish side. But as it happened, I had chatted to at least one other guest that evening who, being out of a job, hadn’t been able to give anything. So I suppose in that context, I figured, my gift could have been termed generous. But I have a job, so it wasn’t a big deal.

Anyway, the thank you note arrived this afternoon:

Dear Eoin,

Thank you so much for the incredibly generous wedding gift. It should enable the replacement of quite a few shoddy, soiled and/or insufficiently stylish items around the flat – much appreciated!

Now… here’s the thing. I’m pretty sure I only gave them a hundred euros. Sure, I had a few glasses of wine on board when I nipped out to get the card midway through the reception and, I suppose, money wouldn’t exactly be my specialist topic. It’s possible that, on the spur of the moment, I threw in a hundred and fifty maybe. But no more than that, I wouldn’t think.

So the upshot of it is that I’m now pretty certain that this is a case of mistaken identity. That I’m accepting the plaudits for someone else’s generosity. I mean, there aren’t too many shoddy, soiled and/or insufficiently stylish items could realistically be replaced for €150, are there?

Any suggestions on how to extract myself from an embarrassing situation?

October 6th, 2009.


  1. The Guy You're Talking About Says:

    Granted, the phrase ‘insufficiently stylish items’ could imply things like couches or dining room sets, which obviously would be out of the €150 price bracket. But have you been to Ikea? No small number of less expensive items (bed linen, crockery, even bookshelves) might be – and indeed have been – replaced for that kind of figure. My initial thank-you note still stands. (I’d rather you didn’t post pictures of the wife and I on your blog though.)

  2. clare Says:

    when was the last time you bought furniture or any house related things? For €150, if you’re smart or shop in ikea you could quite a few bits and pieces.

  3. Eoin Says:

    Minding a screaming child again today so taking me ages to post replies:

    @ anon – Shite, didn’t think you’d see this. Granted, I know nothing about furnishings. It’s just my mother thought you might have some rich uncle called Edmund or something, with really bad handwriting who’d given you like a grand or something, and the misunderstanding would quickly come and I’d look like a cad and a bounder.

    (Okay, well if you have a rich uncle Edmund, I can definitely be a cad or a bounder….)

    @ Clare – am, never, I suppose. Okay screaming baby, gotta run!

  4. Conal Says:

    @Clare: are you suggesting that shopping in ikea is not smart?

  5. Mr D'arcy Says:

    Are you a cad or a bounder Butler. There is a difference…


  6. Eoin Says:

    It’s hard enough to answer comments, let alone read articles at the moment… Screw it anyway Mr D’arcy, who’s on for a duel??

  7. Mr D'arcy Says:

    You swine!

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