Saturday, 9 January 2016
How do you do?
I was going to do a series of posts imagining the conversation between us bloggers meeting each other in person for the first time, but I need to have at least a little spark of inspiration to do that, and today is not the day.
I think that I have met two of you so far in reality - Britta and Shawn. I know Shawn a lot better than Britta, because I have never lived with Britta, and have left it a little late to move in now.
I wouldn't want you to meet me in person, because heros are so disappointing in real life. Ask Shawn. There is no point in asking Britta, because I was on my best behaviour when in her company for an hour or two, and H.I. and her daughter outshone me in any case. Britta knows a well-dressed woman when she sees one.
John did invite me to his wedding, but I think the Prof put him off the idea. I know that Rachel was looking forward to going, but I don't know if she did. If she did, she must have been sworn to the same sort of confidentiality agreement that my clients force me to sign, which is why you haven't had any photos for a couple of posts.
Heron has threatened to come and find me in May, but I hope he will not pursue the notion. I would hate to be disappointed as well. The trouble with pubs is that they let anyone in at least once, otherwise they would be called 'clubs'.
For all you others who live thousands of miles away, as much as I would like to call in on you during my next visit to your gaff, countries like Australia, the USA and Canada are very large places, and we don't always fly into the same airports. I would probably have to take an internal flight to where you live, and that would take the spontaneity out of it.
I don't know about you, but I hate the way people think they can just turn up on your doorstep without warning and expect a warm and hospitable greeting. This is probably why nobody ever does at our house these days. The ones that used to, all left with the strong impression that I am a permanently hostile and grumpy old git, but they never stopped to consider the part that they played in my mental state by arriving unannounced. If they had given me a week's warning so I could put on a pair of trousers before opening the door, they would see me in a completely different light.
Half of the Christmas cards we get these days are addressed to H.I. only, and if there were cards that said, "I hope your New Year is shit!", they would probably be addressed to me only. There is an opening in the market for these sort of cards which Rachel could exploit.
I used to make friends with people on trains and also in cars when I hitch-hiked as a young man. The beauty of these relationships is that they have a very distinct, built-in end, so nobody has to worry about opening-up too much.
Then there are the 'Brief Encounter' potential relationships which are so doomed from the start that we just take pleasure in imagining what could have been. I had one of these very recently, and it was the most perplexing and tantalisingly impossible, briefest of moments that it has supplied me with food for thought ever since.
There is a Spanish cleaning-lady I know who is about 45 years old with an almost grown-up daughter and a somewhat blase, English husband. I find her very attractive, but not in the way that men simply lust after women. I think it is the reality which I like.
She was sitting in the pub the other night waiting to be picked up by him and taken the ten or so miles home in the car. She told me that in all the years they had been married, he had never arrived on time once, but always, always, kept her waiting.
"I wouldn't keep you waiting," I said.
"Well, you're twenty years too late as it is," she said with a smile.
You can read so much into that one sentence, with so many different interpretations. Wonderful.
Posted by Tom Stephenson at 05:56