I am surprisingly grateful that step teen number 2 took over my house last night to host a Come Dine With Me thing with other teens. Honestly, it’s a stonking relief that that was the prime time tv she went for and not some episode of Jeremy Kyle involving a minimum of three paternity tests or turning our downstairs into the Little Crack Den at the End of the Lane. I was marginally less grateful at being chucked out of my house for the night but she was doing weird things with chicken and the screeching. Oh the humanity! Tell me Clarice, have the teens stopped screeching?
Husband and I gathered up our coats and hounds and toddled off to the pub for some peace and quiet. Dinner for four devoured (dogs and humans, obvs. Insert peace sign emoji or whichever one of those things makes me look a lot cooler than someone who double dates with their dogs) and all reasonable marital conversation exhausted – notes dutifully made for future Marriage Chats – we were basking in the romantic eye stinging glow of a log burner and eaves dropping on the sad faced lady and her Man With Two Shirts. He had an unbuttoned button up shirt over the top of a buttoned up button up shirt. Your fancy big city fashion won’t fly in Devon my friend, have a word with yourself. Nor will it fly anywhere with people who have functioning eyes. Seriously, who wears a shirt over a shirt? A shirt over a t-shirt I don’t mind, a shirt under a jumper is alright but a shirt over a shirt? No.
Feeling the burn of the judgmental glare they shifted round the corner. That departure of the entertainment was our cue to leave.*
The dilemma: still 2 hours until we said we’d be home. What fresh teenage hell would be waiting if we rocked up now? No no. There must be another way.
Piddling down, pitch dark and it being Bonfire Night and all ruled out a walk along the seafront. The single legit seaside town activity being off the table, I guess we could have gone to the arcades but we were out of 2ps and Betty doesn’t like the grabbers, we racked our brains for an alternative. It was at this moment a voice from the dark of the drivers’ side quietly offered ‘shall I take you up the new road?’
Pete let out a single whine and lay down quietly in the boot. An awkward silence fell and went on and on and on: he was patiently awaiting a response, my soul was silently screaming. ‘Up the new road?’ WHAT DOES HE MEAN?? Is it a new sex thing? How does he know new sex things? Is it an old sex thing? Am I dead inside? Should I have been re-watching old Sex and the Cities instead of The Walking Dead last night? What if it’s weird? Love is….saying ‘no, you’re a freak sometimes’ right? RIGHT? And the dogs are in the car, has he no shame?
I glanced up as my frantic fingers scrolled for mama bears’ number, looking for local landmarks to text her ‘send help, I’m being taken ‘up the new road’ in the car’ only to see….roadworks. And workmen. And diggers. And flashlights. And a shiny. New. Road.
Oh. The New Rooooaaaad.
Stand down mama, stand down.
After a really quite thrilling ride up the new road, complete with tarmac themed running commentary, I was offered ‘a walk round Sainsburys’ to pass the time’.
But they don’t let dogs in Sainsbury’s so home, to find the house still standing and the teenagers drinking squash and debating the oppressive nature of their school uniform enforcement which, and I quote, is ‘utterly ridiculous for a place of learning’.
Shame. SHAME! Actually I think it was my favourite marital moment to date. Except this one, this one was pretty good.
And you and love? Have you been taken up the new road?
* Oh Christ, I wrote that for effect but what if it was my fault? What if I had sartorial vengeance in my eyes enough to make them shift tables. Like a really naff, adult version of Matilda. Actually, I appear to have talked myself round: that would be an INCREDIBLE superpower.