Yesterday evening was bemusing. Why? Because I found myself on a double date with my daughter and her boyfriend. This all came about because last week Eleanor informed me it was her anniversary.
‘Anniversary?’ I repeated. Had she, at some point, secretly
married? Given that she’s not quite 16
years old, surely not. ‘What anniversary?’
‘I've been dating M for a whole year.’
Well congratulations. But in my day if you had a boyfriend you
didn’t celebrate going-out-together-anniversaries. But apparently I’m way behind the times –
as always. These days teenagers
celebrate not just going out together for an entire year, but in some cases
going out together for a full month.
Particularly when some of them chop and change boyfriends at a
‘So,’ I furrowed my brow,
‘hypothetically speaking, you could even have a weekiversary?’
My teen rolled her eyes by way
of response. ‘Can you give me a lift?’
‘A lift? When?
And where to?’
‘A lift to the restaurant of
course. Saturday. To celebrate our anniversary!’
‘But I’m going out myself on
‘Well can’t you forfeit?’
‘But it’s my ANNIVERSARY!’
Geez. I have always tried to compromise where my children
are concerned. A little bit of what they want, and a little bit of what I
want. In this case we both wanted to go
out. And on a Saturday.
‘Okay. In that case you’ll have to come to the same restaurant
My daughter looked horrified. ‘You’re joking.’
My daughter prepared for the
event like a bride. A trip to the
beautician where eyebrows were shaped and various parts of the body waxed. Then off to the hairdresser where her hair
was curled into a zillion tumbling waves.
Next a visit to the nail bar for a manicure and polish, before finally
slithering into new dress, shoes and perfectly accessorised clutch bag. She walked into the restaurant looking like a
million dollars. Which was only right
considering she’d practically spent that amount preparing for the big event.
Mr V and I followed Eleanor and
M into the restaurant.
‘Your family table is here,’
said a bowing and scraping waiter.
‘No, no, no!’ my daughter
protested. ‘We have to have a table
somewhere else. Preferably a good mile
away from the parents.’
And so it was that Mr V and
myself found ourselves at one end of the restaurant while my daughter and her
boyfriend settled down to gaze at each other across a distant candlelit table. They instantly began to bill and coo like a pair of turtle doves.
How lovely, I thought. How romantic.
I looked at my husband.
‘Do you remember when you used
to look at me like that?’
My husband’s eyes met mine,
before diverting to the menu which he gazed at adoringly. ‘Ooh, beef medallions.’
‘I thought you were worried
about everything being horse meat in disguise?’
‘Not here,’ he stroked the menu
lovingly. At one point I thought he was
going to kiss it.
My eyes flitted across the
restaurant. Eleanor and M were holding
hands across the table. I could see them deep in conversation.
I tried to lip read but unfortunately I’m a bit myopic when it comes to
‘So,’ I turned back to Mr
V. ‘How about some romantic
Mr V put down his menu. ‘Manchester United won against Norwich
today. Four nil. Cracking.
And I’m warning you now Debbie, next Tuesday the boys are up against
Real Madrid, so absolutely no interruptions okay?’
‘You once told me my eyes were like
limpid green pools.’
‘Rooney scored a brilliant
fourth goal. And Van Persie’s back
injury seems okay now.’
‘Do you like my dress?’
broke sweat re-establishing their 15-point cushion at the top of the Premier
‘That’s thrilling. Can we talk about something else?’
So my husband talked to me about
mortgages instead. Offset ones. And money.
And how to save it. He’s very
good with money. So am I, but more so at
spending it. Although I did demonstrate
a major bit of money saving flair when I splurged on a new car a little while
ago. I bought a Micra. Fantastic at pootling around town economically. Does umpteen miles to the gallon, and thanks
to technology and carbon footprint wotsits and clean emission thingies, the
road tax is only thirty pounds a year. Thirty pounds a year. The fact that I recently forgot to renew the
road tax and was fined forty quid is neither here nor there.
Which reminds me. A man was driving behind a lorry. Suddenly he had to swerve to avoid a falling
box full of nails and tacks. Seconds
later a policeman pulled him over for reckless driving and tacks evasion...