Hairy, low voice, no interest in shoes

I wasn’t going to tell you, but I was out with a man on Friday night.

A man who likes shoes. This is NOT my non-date. (photo credit:

A man who likes shoes. This is NOT my non-date.
(photo credit:

Yes, you know, one of those; hairy, low voice, no interest in shoes.

I wasn’t going to tell you, because it wasn’t a date. And I didn’t want you thinking anything untoward of me. I didn’t want you thinking I was betraying my husband, cheating on Him in some way, enjoying the company of another male. Or perhaps it’s just me who was thinking that, and you have no such misgivings at all.

As I said, it wasn’t a date. It was drinks and dinner with a ‘mutual’ friend, who had, many years ago, lost his girlfriend too. It was in fact a widows support group with only two members.

But actually, we didn’t spare much time talking about our respective losses. He’s gone, she’s gone, what’s there to discuss? Instead, we quaffed red wine and had a laugh.

And, as anticipated, now the boozy afterglow has dimmed, I am in the throes of fervent self-interrogation.

Why didn’t we spend more time talking about them? What pearls of wisdom for getting through this shit did I miss out on from my non-date whilst we were guffawing in the bar? What would Mark have thought about me being out with one of his old school adversaries?

Truth is, it’s been eighteen months since I sat in a restaurant opposite one of those hairy, low-voiced representatives from the other half of the human race, and it was rather nice.

I miss the sorts of conversations men have. They don’t talk about feelings so much, they don’t tend to ulcerate about the minutiae. They’re totally ambivalent about the frankly SUPERB  pair of wedges I bought in the Office sale. (Twenty quid by the way. I shit you not.) I’m wildly generalising of course, but you catch my drift.

I like men, which is why I married one. And whilst I’m not interested in having a boyfriend, a friend who is a boy might be nice.

The Rule of Three

Dog sunny Day Afternoon

Dog sunny Day Afternoon (Photo credit: allert)

Do I resent the dog? I was signing a birthday card for my Dad today and there he was, the little git, his name third on the list of well-wishers after me and my daughter. I’d even drawn a cute little paw-print on his behalf in place of a kiss.

Thing is, the pooch wouldn’t even be part of the family, let alone sending paw-prints to my Dad, if M hadn’t died. He was a comfort purchase, a distraction. Something I’d always aspired to own, one day, once my desire to circumnavigate the globe and earn a million had been sated. Besides, M always vetoed such an acquisition. Ever the pragmatist, He worried it would end up like the dog pictured. Don’t worry – the hound is definitely part of the family now. Head on the pillow. Raincoat. Whiskey nightcap.  Much like the dog pictured, actually.

In the very early days, I found it hard to write cards without M’s name. I tentatively included Him on birthday cards, as if writing His name would magically mean our little family was still intact. Those in receipt of the cards must have thought I was delusional. But to not include Him was yet further evidence – if any were needed – that a) He was dead and b) I was now a single parent. My daughter and I, two lone female warriors in the cut-and-thrust world of greetings card etiquette.

When did I stop including Him? A few months after I got the dog, I think. The triumvirate that was M, me and our daughter became Me, my daughter and the dog. Not that the dog has replaced M, but somehow he makes me feel less alone. Despite his relentless bloody chewing and his exuberance to get up at the first sign of dawn, I like having him around.

It seems the rule of three exerts itself in grief, too.