Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Eschewing Togetherness.

I felt obliged to go into the garden centre pretentiously mid-brow lifestyle emporium again today. It’s Mel’s birthday in a couple of weeks and I haven’t a clue what to get her.

I stopped to look at one thought-provoking display of the kind of usually-pointless-and-always-overpriced merchandise they sell in there, thinking ‘why the hell do people buy this stuff?’ when an elderly couple came and stood alongside me.

‘That’s nice, isn’t it?’ said the old lady.


They moved around to the other side of me.

‘That’s nice, isn’t it?’ said the old lady again.


‘Oh, and look at that. Isn’t it nice?’


I moved on to the greetings cards, where one ‘design’ dominated the rest. It was a picture of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – smiling (smiling, both of them…)

It should really come as no surprise that I’ve always had difficulty with the togetherness thing, and that I now live alone which suits me much better. I mean, just look at the state to which it can easily lead (and so often does.)

And I didn’t find anything for Mel’s birthday. Her tastes are as particular as mine.

*  *  *

But then, do you know what? I went into Sainsbury’s and found myself engaged in the most delightful conversation with the most engaging young woman. Glasses, no make up, intelligent, articulate, soft of voice and sweet of disposition. It’s fortunate that the prospect of ever meeting her again is more remote than finding something suitable for Mel’s birthday, and it was nice while it lasted. Isn’t that strange?  

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