Sunday, September 24, 2006

  Hard of hearing

"I don't want you to get the wrong idea!" she reassures me, "I just think you'll get on."

I despise that, I think. An old friend popping up after so long, without explanation, carrying on as is everything is normal.

Into my inebriated lughole, her conversation goes on to explain how she absolutely, definitely isn't trying to set me up with her friend. How despite our friendship picking up after the best past of a decade, I still seem to be an open-minded, easy-going bloke. How, to my naturally knee-jerk probing, she isn't embarrassed at (re-)introducing me to her (now long-standing) husband and (now two) child(ren) to just make up the numbers and to avoid complete and utter social embarrassment*. How she isn't trying to do the equivalent to her friend.

"She may be a thirty-five year old divorcee," I hear, as if this is making the situation somehow better, "but she is really good fun."

And yet I still feel I've become a single-person, Single Person charity.

"I'm worried I've offended you…" I subsequently hear, in response to my perhaps over-enthusiastic hmmms of agreement.

"Over what?!!!" I exclaim, perhaps a little bit too high-pitchedly.

She reassures my concerns some more. No, it won't be awkward. No, the event needn't have to be a dinner party - in fact, she and her husband would quite like to use the opportunity to go out. No, I didn't HAVE to shag her friend, necessarily. No, in fact, how that had been an irrelevant, uncalled-for and downright presumptuous question.

"She's only forty" I hear, "and, let's face it, we're not that far away ourselves."

The lesson, if there was one for me to learn here, was to not agree straight away then express my concerns, no matter how legitimate they may seem to me, later on.

I hmmm agreeingly some more. Whilst pondering the merits of agreeing to anything ever again at any time in any place after any more than six pints of bitter.

"I'll get back to you", she responds quickly, emerging victorious, regarding my having agreed to meet the aforementioned apparently-suddenly forty-three year old, quite soon actually.

I, having misheard, await.

* This sentence in particular Microsoft grammar-corrected.
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