I’m sure you all know how it is that, despite all outward evidence to the contrary, you feel exactly the same inside as you did when you were 20. The only difference, as far as I can tell from the inside, is that I’m not asked for identification any longer when I try to buy a drink in a pub. I was well into my twenties before I was able to buy alcohol without being challenged. Not that I get much opportunity to buy drinks in pubs these days, of course.
How times change. There I was the other day, idly browsing in a phone shop with GP2 (my mobile has packed up) whilst his older brother was next door in the Disney shop (yes, really) looking to spend money he didn’t have on a present for the girl who isn’t his girlfriend. She is a lovely girl, this girl who is NOT his girlfriend and I suspect she was the cause of an unexplained emotional upset, private teenage angst, during the summer. Anyhow, the Disney shop proved too expensive for someone with no money but we found some nice pashmina-things at a market stall along the road.
But I digress. There we were, in the phone shop, minding our own business, when we were accosted by one of the sales girls. In phone shops, it seems, they can’t leave you to get on with it. They have to interfere.
“Can I help you?” she said.
“No thanks, we’re just looking.”
“Who is the phone for? Is it for yourself or is it for your… nephew? No sorry I mean your grandson.”
“It’s for me. And this is not my grandson. It’s my son” as icily as I could muster. And thought “Well, that’s one sale you didn’t have that you’ve most definitely lost.”
We stomped outside and giggled. The boys decided that really it wasn’t polite to say “grandson”, whatever the evidence. Take the moral high ground and say “son” as then you’ve got “Surely you’re not old enough to have grandchildren” in hand. I have to say I agree.
Back to the girl. Make that “girls”.
He disappeared for a moment and game back with a second shawl. GP2 and I raised our eyebrows and looked at each other. Could there be a girlfriend who really was a girlfriend? There was clearly something serious afoot as he skeetered off into Thorntons to buy chocolate teddy bears with yet more non-existent money. It seemed that this one merited more than just a shawl – this from the boy whose approach to presents for the family is to head into the nearest retail emporium and buy the first thing his eye lights upon. No pondering and endless deliberation. Christmas shopping is done in moments as far as family is concerned. It appears, though, that a different strategy is required for girls. One requiring thought. This, I feel, can only be a good thing.
Sadly, though, the girl who is not his girlfriend is still not his girlfriend. It’s good, we say, that you can have a best friend of the opposite sex with no strings attached. And the girl who might have been his girlfriend was only his girlfriend for the briefest of interludes. She dumped him the day after he went Christmas shopping – that affair lasted a whole week, we think. He doesn’t seem too bothered though, and intends to eat the chocolate he bought for her with one of his mates. I’m not too sure what his plans are for the pashmina. And he’s still broke.
Photo credit: uniquelymoronic