So, Uni Boy has been staying at mine for a few days and a relatively tranquil state of bliss has descended.
Clearly, I’m not resting on my laurels, since we all know that a dramatic retreat could be just around the corner, but he makes a good house guest (he’s clean and tidy and even puts my pointlessly decorative cushions back in their place) and an even better bedfellow (despite my incessant demands, I have yet to exhaust his supply of hugs).
I’m feeling quietly contented … so it’s only logical that I should check when this joyous state is likely to end. Not one to beat about the bush, of course I get straight to the point:
“So, when are you going to tell me that we shouldn’t see each other anymore?”
He looks at me for a moment, apparently pensive.
“I’m not going to do that.”
I raise an eyebrow. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sceptical, but I decide to take his reply at face value. And why not?
Lately I’ve started to realise that the only way to be happy is to stop my mind contemplating the future. Since most of my predictions turn out to be pretty wide of the mark anyway, I’ve decided that turning off the crystal ball and enjoying things as they happen is a far smarter strategy.
It means that I sometimes accept things I would normally rebel against, but it also means that I don’t waste time and energy worrying about situations that may never come to pass.
I’ve also adopted a strategy of selective ignorance: I’ve decided to ignore the fact that The One I Almost Married and his new partner now have beautiful twin boys, for example. I saw the pictures on Facebook. Both little boys are perfect in their newborn innocence, and mum looks utterly radiant…
Of course I wish them well, but they’re safely outside my sphere of existence: they’re just another couple blessed with two tiny human beings to look after and call their own. I don’t have to let it affect me, for better or worse.
Anyway, this morning I’m off to the hairdresser for a quick pre-work chop. My hairdresser is a kind-hearted Mexican lady who’s a hard-working mother of two, but since I have the first appointment of the day and she’s still on her way back from the school run, I’m greeted by the guy I secretly refer to as Mr Silky Smooth.
Mr Silky Smooth is young and cheeky, and looks like he could be in a boy band. Actually, he’s older than he seems and has been happily married for several years, but that doesn’t stop the silken words from tumbling from his mouth in the direction of any and every passing female.
This guy is charm personified: from schoolgirls to pensioners, he has them all simpering with delight at his fabulous flattery. And yet, since all his compliments are based on at least a grain of truth, he narrowly avoids being oily or obsequious. Of course, his customers are almost exclusively female, and he has them all eating out of his hand.
This morning, I’m the lucky recipient of his charm, and despite arriving windswept and rain-spattered, within seconds he’s complimented me on my tan, my coat and my hair. He’s long been a proponent of the “Why are you still single?” school of thought, and makes it his business to check on my relationship status every time he sees me.
He does it so often that he doesn’t even have to pose the question any more. He just raises his eyebrows quizzically.
“Still single,” I address the eyebrows, “though in possession of a part-time squeeze.”
“Only part-time?” he replies, indignant. “Well, it’s progress, I suppose. But really, what is wrong with these men?”
I laugh as I allow him to hang up my coat.
“Now if I knew that,” I say, smiling, “do you think for a moment that I’d be still bloody single?”