A few weeks had passed since Clive's return from America and Mrs Beechcroft was already feeling uncomfortable. He was now quite distant with her. Of course he was at work most of the day like everyone else, but he now seemed to find fault with her hair. It had always been mousy and she had worn it in a bob. Clive had hitherto not cared about it. While the style wasn't exactly his favourite, he had let her keep it that way because she liked it but now he kept looking dissatisfied whenever he saw it. He also dropped hints that he could change it if she wanted him to.
At last she yielded to his wish and allowed it to grow just a bit longer. Clive seemed impressed, and told her so. "Ah that's better" he smiled, "but it needs to be longer still."
"How long do you want it?"
"Down to your back, but it will grow quickly."
Mrs Beechcroft sighed but agreed to grow it if it made him happy.
"Thanks" Clive said casually and returned to his newspaper.
On Christmas Day, Mrs Beechcroft awoke to find that her hair was quite straight. She looked surprised and shook her husband awake.
He rubbed his eyes and woke. "What is it?"
"Did you do this? If you did, it's a lovely surprise."
"Do what?" Clive yawned.
"Straighten my hair".
"What? No, you did that, remember."
"I did? But when?"
"Last night. You wanted to straighten it for Christmas Day for a change."
"That's weird. I don't remember doing that."
"I assure you, you did."
Mrs Beechcroft leaned over the side of the bed and opened the top drawer of the pine bedside cabinet. A pair of black hair straighteners along with it's electrical cord was in the drawer.
"Where did those come from?"
"You bought them the other day".
When his wife still looked bewildered, Clive sighed. He got up, went to his wife's handbag and took out her shopping list. He gave it to her. The word hair straighteners was written clearly on it.
"Oh I see". She relaxed. "Sorry Clive. I'm so absent minded these days. Remind me why I bought them again?"
"I mentioned that I wanted your hair to be straight and you agreed to straighten it to make me happy but I didn't think you'd do it so soon. It was meant to be a surprise wasn't it?"
"Anyway that reminds me. I haven't yet wished you Merry Christmas or given you your card.