Last week I dredged up some small ‘material’ I’d had on my mind for some time. I kind of shoved it into the drawer marked Kacky the Kittin, and it seemed to close without too much forcing, so I was pretty okay with that. And then a little bird told me – encouraged, as she naturally does – that I should do more of these Voices Pieces. And I thought – yes, I think so too; and at the sea by the weekend, early, picked at some deliciously horrible half-happeneds and again found they worked (well, I think), for my talking head females: Bristolian, one, probably, here (our present in-house voice of choice is Olivia Colman’s speeded-up Bristol/Dorset accent in Broadchurch) ; and a Brummie, maybe, too.
That’s When I Knew
… and then we were suddenly at the meet-the-parents stage. And I know he loved them and they were probably very nice people in their way, but meeting them was the kiss of death for us. Over dinner they kept going on about their favourite musical which they’d just been to see again for something like the thousandth time. Personally I can’t stand the things – musicals. I know they’re dead clever and popular, and fair play to them for that, I’m really just not interested. Period. At one point his mum says I’m crazy for not giving this musical a go. Crazy, she says, why would you allow yourself to miss out on the experience? I remember looking over at him and the look on his face was exactly like hers.
That’s when I knew. And the next day we had the talk.
Sometimes I try to remember what that bloody musical was. Miss Saigon, Madame Butterfly, I don’t know. I don’t try too hard. I like it that my mind is on my side by not remembering.
Well, we were driving up to my folks – to introduce him for the first time, I suppose. I was driving – he wasn’t feeling very well. I remember the traffic was rubbish and for ages we were crawling along behind a car – Skoda? – it was called an Octavia. Finally I remembered something about that name. Octavia was the ostrich in Pipkins, from on the telly when we were kids. And I laughed and said out loud, Pipkins! But then right at that moment he does this annoying snorty breath sound and he says, ‘God, I love Haribos’. So now I’m waiting for him to ask me about the Pipkins thing, but he doesn’t – he just leaves it. And about a minute later he says again, ‘God, I love Haribos’.
And that was the moment.
I didn’t mind about the Haribos thing – I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love them. But I was really mad that he just left my Pipkins hanging. I didn’t want to be with anyone who would do that. Funnily, the weekend went fine. He was pretty quiet, given he was ill etcetera. And I was just relieved to know I’d made my mind up.