Saturday, 10 July 2010

Agonised Faces, Shared Interests & Marital Hubris.

Greg's finally taking his turn at doing supermarket surgery, so I am looking forward to a very long lie-in. This proves to be impossible. Greg likes to share the joy, so I awake to a barrage of texts in which he uses every bit of punctuation available on his mobile to denote various agonised faces. He doesn't add any actual words. At 09:45am I give up the attempt to sleep, and get up.

Over brunch, cooked as usual by Max - who is far more competent in the kitchen than me - Sam updates us on the progress of his internet dating. This does not seem to be without its pitfalls. The last woman to contact him sounded perfect, and after a series of increasingly flirtatious and innuendo-laden texts and phone calls, Sam arranged to meet her in a National Park somewhere out in the wilds. (The location alone would have given me pause for thought, but then I am constitutionally mistrustful - comes with the job.)

Anyway, Sam drove up to the parking spot and saw what looked to be a very butch Park Ranger standing near a picnic table. Apparently she'd have made a convincing prop forward. Sam panicked, turned the car around and drove off again, hoping she hadn't seen him. Now he's blocked her calls and changed his email address. God knows what he expects when he will keep insisting that any prospective girlfriend shares his interests. I really doubt Kate Moss likes rugby and hill-walking.

The Boss phones mid-afternoon to tell me that he will drop off his surgery notes sometime tomorrow, so that I can "get on with them." Tomorrow is Sunday! I try to find a subtle way to explain that Andrew's so-called notes will be worse than useless, and that Greg will have taken his own, far more coherent ones, but Andrew never takes a hint. In the end, I have to resort to saying that Max and I are going out for the day and that it would be far too hazardous to leave the notes with Josh or Connie, as they cannot be trusted with sensitive information. Both look up reproachfully as I say this, but luckily don't start moaning until after I have hung up. If I have learned one thing about handling The Boss, it is never to agree to do anything he claims will be a one-off, unless it is a genuine emergency - as otherwise he will expect it to become a regular fixture thereafter.

Later, Max and I have a discussion about what we would have looked for in a husband or wife, if we'd had to advertise for one. Max says that he would have sought someone who loved cooking and travel; whereas I would have wanted a partner who enjoyed foreign-language films and reading. Instead, Max got a travel-phobic who can't competently boil an egg, and I got a dyslexic who can't follow subtitles. Both of us therefore question the need for a woman to share Sam's interests quite as fully as he seems to think necessary.

Max and I feel oddly-bonded for the rest of the night, and sit there exchanging smug, affectionate glances while Sam explains how all he wants is to be "as happy as you guys." I don't mention Johnny Hunter and Max doesn't mention the business trips. Or his soft spot for Annoying Ellen. By the time we've polished off three bottles of wine between us, Max and I are madly in lust. By the time he and Sam have drunk another bottle, Max is asleep. The gold stars remain in the drawer.

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