I went on the website and received a message from a guy somewhat younger than me – OK, ten years younger than me. There was the usual rubbish about ‘Age is just a number’ from his side, and the usual response from me. Nevertheless, he was amusing and witty, very nice really, a gentleman, so I accepted his IM when it pinged up in front of me. That went well too -- the sort of conversation you might have with a new colleague. We got beyond the idea of a ‘date’ as such, but he was new to the area and would just like to have the odd coffee, meal, drink with someone who is good fun. (Alright, Stella, stop laughing. I am good fun sometimes.)
I gave him my mobile number so we could arrange this petit rendez-vous. On Saturday I was trotting round Marks and Spencer when I got a text message from him. A bit of harmless chitchat ensued with a query as to how far I was from the lingerie section… As it happens, I was right slap bang right in the middle of it because I need something to keep the blubber at bay, something – ahem - large. (You've seen the general state of affairs.) Of course, he was not to know the prevailing abdominal catastrophe, and I wasn’t going to tell him, so I played along with some of the banter. A bit of it. Some. Not a lot. After a few minutes I said I had to go because I was at the checkout, bye.
On Sunday morning, he texted me asking if I’d managed to get my shopping done, if I’d had a pleasant evening etc. I replied politely, normal fashion.
Then he said that since he was all alone, he had to find some way of keeping himself amused for the rest of the day.
Then he said he'd just go ahead solo.
Then he said he had pulled up my photo from the website.
Then he said he had enlarged the photo from the website.
Anyway, why didn’t the nuns warn me? What didn’t Stella warn me? I actually thought he was joking – I really, really did. What's more I thought the very notion was hilariously absurd, so I quipped back ‘Haha! Very funny. My kids would be so proud – must send a newsletter round the school… ;)’
Then he phoned me, and I answered - don't ask me why. I still have no idea.
We seemed back to normal. Following from some of the conversation we’d had on the website, he asked what I had planned for the day, whether I was going to be doing any gardening, or whether I was going out with my mates? I said I was going to do some gardening. He reiterated that he still had my picture in front of him, and I laughed and said perhaps my arch nemesis, Sharon Stone (spit!), might be a better option.
He made a weird noise. “Are you OK? I said.
More of the peculiar noise. He sounded as if he was having a heart attack: moaning, groaning, deep breathing. “Yes, thanks,” he murmured. “I’m having a great time.”