Went to meet up with Gill last night in the Moon Under Water, it's a Weatherspoons pub, so not exactly a classy joint, but with my financials in the state they're in, I need to play it sensible. I got myself a pint of lager and settled down at a spare table. Gill was nowhere to be seen.
You've got to watch yourself in the Moon, if you're sitting alone for more than five minutes you'll almost certainly draw the attention of Seamus. He's in there all day, every day. God knows where he finds the money, but he pisses it all up the wall and won't stop talking about the 'old country'.
I was practically at the end of my pint when Gill walked in, "good timing," she said and went to the bar without even taking her coat off. Result. Actually, I really don't appreciate being kept waiting in the Moon, Gill knows this, but I managed to hide my anger.
"Sorry, I'm late," she said as she sat down with the drinks.
I told her it was OK and that luckily she'd arrived before Seamus had joined me. She laughed looking around, "just like old times eh!?"
I had to smile. It really was. I tried to make a bit of small talk, told her about my email from Kenny and a new charity thing that I've got in mind (women love charity) - I've always had a good head of hair, but over the last few years, it has been thinning a touch, so I thought I'd shave it all off and at the same time raise a bit of money for Tibet. I was thinking of booking out a pub and making a bit of party of it. I thought Gill would be all over the idea, prior to the breakup she'd been nagging me for ages to get a haircut and grow up. But she didn't even acknowledge what I'd said.
I raised the idea of renting out and moving back to Lincoln for a while (thought it might be too soon to suggest she move in...!). "Have you still not got a job?" she asked. But I'm better than Blockbusters, that was only ever a temporary measure anyway. I can't just take any old job, I need a challenge. Besides there's a global recession on, so finding work is easier said than done.
I'd rattled through my second drink fairlt sharpish and got up to go to the bar to get myself another pint, Gill had bearly touched her orange juice, "fancy a refll?" I said, "a bit of chardonney?" I didn't want to push it too much, but I figured the night wasn't exactly going as I'd planned, I'd probably need a bit of assistance from Cupid's Cup of Love. But Gill just asked for a glass of water "I'm late," she said.
I couldn't believe it, I'd kept this night totally free, had a shave, made all the conversation and now here she was turning up late and turning my drink offers down becasue she was late for something else. Two can play at this game, I thought, she clearly wasn't going to be coming back to my place for Round II, so figured I'd just see how long it was before she say anything. We sat there in stony silence for 15 minutes, I took a few sips. As predicted, she cracked eventually....it's a classic piece of negotiating that I learned while I was in sales.
"Aren't you going to say anything?" she asked.
"What! I've been trying to talk to you all night," I said.
She just shooked her had, gulped back the remainder of her drink and stood up to leave, "I'm late," she said.
"Well, you'd better get yourself off to wherever it is your going," I said, and she stormed out.
WOMEN. I will never understand them.