Thursday, 21 March 2013
A hot date.
We're going on a hot date, Husband and I. I've been nagging for ages, "We never go anywhere." "You're not romantic." "Why can't we go to the movies?" Nag. Nag. Nag. Husband doesn't like going out much, you see. And I do.
So I'm a bit taken aback when he grabs the bull by the horns (as it were) and announces on Friday morning, as I'm standing in the shower, that he's booked a restaurant and a film for us to go to on Saturday night.
"Booked?" I say.
"Yes," he says, somewhat triumphantly, before turning back to the shaving mirror.
"What? You mean you've chosen the film?"
"Yes," he says, "and booked it, just like you want. Don't tell me you're not happy with that!"
"No, no," I say quickly, "that's fine. That's great. Thank you."
"What is it?"
He sighs. "The Paperboy."
"The Paperboy?" I say, despite myself.
"Yes," he says, "I read a review in the Guardian. It said it's good. Nicole Kidman."
This rings vague bells. Alarm bells.
On Saturday evening we go to the film. We leave Eldest in charge at home. We bump into a lovely old uni friend with his partner at the cinema, in the bar, and have a drink with them. I talk to her. Husband talks to him. As you do. So far so good. But it's not exactly a hot date. Not yet anyway.
We watch the film. It's set in Florida in the 60s. It's about a woman obsessed with a serial killer. It's brooding, slow, menacing. There's nasty sex, a gay rape scene, blood on a plastic sheet, graphic throat slitting. We nearly get up and leave halfway through but then we don't. It's not a hot date movie.
At the end of the movie we meet up with our old uni friend and partner in the lobby and commiserate with one another. Turns out they read the same review.
"Where now?" says old uni friend as the four of us huddle together in the cinema doorway, peering out at the rain.
Perhaps, since we've known this friend for as long as we've known each another (27 years), the thought that we might be having a hot date doesn't occur to him. If so he has a point.
His partner reads the situation differently. Maybe they want to to be alone? she says.
I'm torn. On the one hand it would be fun to go for dinner with two lovely friends, whom we hardly ever see. On the other hand it's meant to be a hot date.
We say goodbye, and as we walk across the road to the restaurant the alternative evening we might have had with the two lovely friends plays out in my head (it was great).
By now it's late and we're hungry and they can't find us a table even though Husband booked one, so we have a drink at the bar. Or two. Eventually they find us a table in a corridor, jammed up against a wall, where it's draughty.
"It's draughty," I say. Husband raises his eyebrows. He thinks I have a 'thing' about tables. This is true, I like to get a good one. This annoys him.
I spot a better table about to come free nearby. It's also in the corridor but might be less chilly so when it's available we move.
It's busy at the new table. Waiters are dashing past and keep knocking us. So when another table becomes free, a round one, set back a bit but still in the corridor, sort of, we move there.
A heavy silence descends. This is because Husband is not amused by all the table hopping, we have had two drinks, and we still haven't eaten, or even been given a bread basket. We are rapidly becoming what a friend of mine calls 'Hangry'. And drunk.
Then I spot another newly vacated table, a really good one this time, not in a corridor, with a banquette. "Look!" I say, "there's a great table over there, not in a corridor, with a banquette!"
Husband scowls. He's got a no-way-am-I-moving-again look on his face. I slump back dejectedly in my seat just as the manageress swans past and reads my mind. "You want to sit over there, don't you?" she says, "on the banquette."
"I really do!" I say.
"That's fine," she says, "I don't blame you, that's my favourite table." She moves our cutlery and our drinks for us. I snuggle into the banquette. It's cosy and romantic with no draughts and no one banging into us. I'm happy. We still haven't got any food but I don't care. We have a banquette!
"We just moved tables three times," says Husband.
"I know!" I chirp, "how funny is that!"
He leans across the table, our fourth table, the one that's cosy and warm and romantic with no draught and no one banging into us and that has a banquette. He looks me straight in the eye. This is it, I think, this is when the hot date starts in earnest.
"It's not funny," he says darkly, "it's a disease."
P.S. The uni friend we bumped into with was John McNally, author of the Infinity Drake series for kids. Check them out.