Saturday, 10 May 2014

Let's Be Honest

My son, having been unceremoniously dumped by his latest, has been home for the last couple of weekends looking for a shoulder to cry on.  Well, cry isn’t strictly true.  But you know what I mean.  He’s looking for comfort.  Distraction.  So, on Friday night, we went to Pizza Express and had mother-and-son time.  Which, believe me, isn’t something I’m honoured with very often.  After all, I am still very much an ‘embarrassing parent’ according to both my children.
          ‘I do hope,’ said Robbie, ‘that when we go to Canada you won’t suddenly announce to family and friends, “Oh excuse me, I’m having a hot flush,” and then start fanning yourself with whatever you can get your hands on.’
          ‘Honestly, what sort of uncouth person do you take me for?’ I asked, picking up the menu and flapping it about.
          ‘Look!  You’re doing it now!’ my son hissed.  ‘It’s so embarrassing.’
          ‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ I snapped.  ‘Look around this restaurant.  Every woman my age is fanning herself with the menu.’
          ‘But not setting fire to it,’ said Rob grabbing the menu from me and bashing it against the table.  ‘You constantly set fire to menus.’
          ‘It’s not my fault the menus are tall, made of paper and that there’s always a candle burning on the table.
          ‘I just wish you were, you know, a bit more composed.’
          ‘You mean seen but not heard.’
          ‘No, I mean composed.’
          ‘I am who I am and can’t pretend to be something I’m not.’
          ‘Why not?’ asked Rob, giving me a frank look.
          ‘Because I tried all that long ago and it’s impossible to keep up.’
          I was instantly transported back in time to my late thirties when I began dating again.
          ‘Don’t tell any potential date that you are a rubbish cook,’ advised a friend.
          So there I was ordering take-outs from restaurants and pretending to be a marvelous domestic goddess.
          ‘Good heavens,’ said the first man brave enough not to run a mile upon finding out I had two small children, ‘this is a superb curry you’ve made.  It tastes just like the one from my local.’
          That’s because it was.
          And when I produced an Italian three course meal right down to ‘home made’ tiramisu, my date thought he’d died and gone to heaven.  A woman who cooked like his mama!  It was un miracolo.
          ‘Tell me, you don’t happen to play golf do you?’
          ‘Do I play golf?’ I rolled my eyes.  Do I play golf?  That’s like asking me whether I can cook!’
          ‘I knew it!’ my date sighed happily.  ‘I’ll book us a round.’
          ‘Er, I’m a bit rusty,’ I nodded my head vigorously.  Bugger.  Things were getting seriously out of hand here.  And then a light-bulb went off in my head.  I picked up the phone to the local golf club and booked a course of lessons.
          ‘Yes,’ said the golf club, ‘we can give you regular lessons and have you playing a decent handicap within six months or so.’
          ‘Make it six days,’ I replied, ‘it’s an emergency.’
          My date took me to the local club where fortunately there was a nine hole option.  I persuaded him to play this shorter course on the grounds of me ‘not having played for years’.
          ‘Of course,’ he said magnanimously.
          The fact that I teed off and promptly did a fluke hole-in-one had my date in raptures.  At the second hole I wasn’t so lucky and ended up in the bunker.  However, the Gods were looking down on me and miraculously I chipped the ball up and out where another fluke took place.  The ball shot across the green and rattled straight into the hole.
          ‘One under par!  Is there no end to your talent?’
          I think it was at that point I collapsed on the green in a gibbering heap and said something like, ‘Yes, I’m an accomplished fraud.’
          Needless to say I murdered the rest of the game.  And the golf course.  Divots and sand everywhere.
          I came back to the present and looked across the table at my son.
          ‘Trying to be something you’re not is exhausting.  Honesty really is the best policy.’ Well, most of the time anyway.  Which reminds me.
          A wife looked in the mirror and didn’t like what she saw.  ‘I’m old, wrinkled, grey, and fat.’  She turned to her husband.  ‘Give me a compliment to make me feel better.’  ‘Well,’ he considered, ‘there’s nothing wrong with your eyesight.’ His funeral will be held next week... 

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