Wednesday, 28 March 2007

You Lost Me At ‘Hello’

I was watching my daughter play hockey this afternoon. If you could call it that. To the untrained eye, it looked like a dozen mini Grim Reapers, scything away at each other. For most watching parents it was an exercise in flinching, and fretting about likely dental bills. For those with private health insurance and the number of a good plastic surgeon, it offered the prospect of an early introduction to corrective rhinoplasty.
Halfway through the match, I noticed a rather good looking father arrive and join the opposition spectators. With an almost audible cinematic whoosh, I was transported back over twenty years, as I realised I knew this man from university days, knew him really well in fact (although not in the biblical sense). I went over, said his name, and gave him a hug. He was speechless, but that may be because I omitted to introduce myself, and he couldn’t for the life of him remember who I was. We talked for a few minutes about jobs, families, children, old friends, and gradually he made the connection with the person I was twenty years ago. As the second half of the hacking match started, I started to wind up the conversation, leaving him with the honest assurance that he “hadn’t changed a bit.” There was a dreadful, lengthy pause. Then in a manner worthy of Hugh Grant, he stuttered and said “Gosh” and “Well” several times, but couldn’t quite bring himself to return the compliment. I limped away.

Now I’m back in my kitchen, licking my wounds and the last of the Shiraz.
I’ve decided that the reason my old friend thought I had changed so much isn’t because two decades and three children have left me decayed and ravaged beyond recognition. No, I think he was shocked that I had morphed into a respectable mother with a ten year marriage and a cliché-ed hairstyle. The last time he had seen me, twenty years ago, I was drinking cider and CherryB and sporting my favourite ‘Tight Butts Drive Me Nuts’ T-shirt. Thinking about this transformation, I am rather shocked myself.

3 comments:

spymum said...

Silly man!

And he probably fancied you like mad way back when, so your unexpected appearance probably prompted naughty thoughts about the past (and the future maybe.... you know what men are like!) That's why he was tongue-tied!

Drunk Mummy said...

Spymum, your kind comments have allowed me to indulge in the sort of self-delusion that I can usually only achieve after several glasses of champagne. In such circumstances, I also start believing that not only am I devastatingly foxy, but my laugh is a delicate tinkling noise, rather than the hoarse braying that everyone else hears.

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