It’s all in the timing

I’ve being doing some thinking about timing.

1.I was at a dinner party last week. It was delightful. Well, the company were a little risque for the extremely modest dress I was wearing (I had come straight from the office) but the food was absolutely splendid. So good, in fact, that once I had finished I simply started again. I’m certain repeating your meal in its entirety does in fact exactly adhere to the terms set out by ‘seconds’. No one asks you if you’d like ‘a little bit more but obviously much less of the food you just ate’. That’d be ‘halves’. No, like every gracious hostess my friend asked if I wanted ‘seconds’. And I did. So there I was, smugly full, having a lovely time. Until not 10 minutes later aforementioned gracious hostess brought out pudding. Pudding?! I didn’t know there was pudding! I would have planned my eating entirely differently! What a dreadful turn of events. I felt like Federer after the 1st set. How could everything have gone so terribly wrong? Obviously I dug deep and polished off half a litre of frozen yoghurt, but still. I was all out of sorts. People simply must inform you at the start of the meal as to what you are going to be offered. Or else tapas would be an exercise in ferocious food snatching from those impossibly small plates. It would be terrifying.

2. When I was at school, there were two must-have watches. The Baby G, and the blue Storm watch. Now in a tale that has terrible parallels with my dinner party seconds fiasco, I begged and pleaded and sulked and generally used every weapon in my 12 year old arsenal and finally received a purple Baby G.

(In 1998, the watch of schoolgirls’ dreams)

Now I cannot describe how much I liked this watch. In fact, I liked it so much that I was extremely loath to take it off. Ever. I was completely  unfazed by my nanny’s disgust at the line of dirt that collected across my wrist. What I was crushed by was how dirty the outside of the strap appeared to be when compared to the pristine lilac that had sat so comfortably against my schoolgirl wrist. No amount of carefully dabbed on water and  smeared fairy liquid made any difference at all. Well, to be honest, it wasn’t the end of the world (I can say this without sobbing after a pretty intensive therapy course on ‘loss’). After all, at this point I was still rocking that year’s must-have watch. I was still pretty cool. I mean, it was pretty grubby and smelt slightly of strawberry (we had a upwardly mobile cleaner who only bought ‘special edition’ cleaning products). But it was still a Baby G. I was still ‘in’. You already know where this story is going, and why 1999 was the worst year ever. Those bloody Storm watches. So elegant. So easy to slide on. So absolutely certain that I was not going to get one. If only I’d had the foresight to pace myself. Yes, this is a story with a moral. It’s absolutely imperative that you find people (parents, friends, lovers) who will buy you watches on a yearly basis.

(I have to walk past their shop on Carnaby Street on the way to the office. It still hurts)

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