When I’m full of a cold – tired, grumpy and a just a little bit emotional – that’s when I really miss being coupled up.
Since waking up with a sore throat and snuffly nose this morning, I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself. It’s quite selfish of me, I know, but at times like these I just want someone to give me a hug, smooth my hair, make me a cuppa and pass the aspirin.
Naturally, I’m not just after a nursemaid; there are – obviously – other moments when I miss having a mate. But somehow being poorly makes me want to be cosseted by someone who loves me and still wants to cuddle me even if my nose is red and I’m wheezing like a pair of broken bellows. Someone apart from my mum, that is.
Of course, I’ve got plenty of kind-hearted friends who’d be more than happy to indulge me in a bit of meals-on-wheels. But unless I’m at death’s door, availing them of their services just feels a bit like taking advantage, whereas with your other half, it’s pretty much an inalienable right.
Beyond that, you can snuggle up to your companion in a way that’s quite likely to alarm all but your closest cohorts: I take great pleasure in leeching body heat from more thermically charged partners, but it’s a benefit that friends tend to bestow less readily.
Anyway, today I’ve spent almost the whole day in bed in the company of my hot water bottle, feeling slightly tragic.
If I’m honest, I’m still a bit miffed about the Darkly Intriguing Man From The Gym. Not only because I really rather liked him, but also because the whole situation is yet more proof of my abysmal judge of character: I really thought he was one of the good guys.
However, after speaking to a friend, I’m wondering if I’ve misjudged him. After all, I’ve known him for more than six months, and there’s never been mention of a girlfriend in all that time. Admittedly, we’ve never been out at night, but we’ve been for extended coffees that have lasted for hours on various lazy Sunday afternoons.
“So,” says my dear, wise friend. “What’s the evidence for him having a girlfriend?”
“Um…well…” I mutter. “They mentioned him and this girl in the same sentence, like… three times. And one of those times was about him taking her somewhere abroad. So…”
“So really, you haven’t got much evidence, have you?” says Friend. “She could be his housemate for all you know.”
I consider this. If I’ve got my rose-tinted glasses on, then yes, she could be his housemate. But I thought he said he lived alone … didn’t he? Oh, rats! I just can’t remember.
“Or his sister.”
OK, OK. I admit my evidence is flimsy.
“For goodness’ sake!” says Friend. “Why don’t you just ask him?!”
Ask him. Yes.
I could ask him. I suppose I could. But that’s like admitting that I care whether or not she’s his girlfriend. And also admitting that I’m interested.
And if by any chance he is interested, and he hasn’t got a girlfriend, he might think I’m asking because I’m not interested.
“What?!! What kind of logic is THAT?!” splutters Friend. “You know what? You think too much. It’s no wonder you’re still bloody single!”
Chastened, I hang my head.
But I have to admit … he may have a point.