When do you know it’s time to go? When do you decide that this job or this partner or this home or this country or this version of life isn’t for you anymore? When do you say – enough? I have a low threshold for misery. I will walk away from a job or a relationship or a friendship that’s making me unhappy. No. Scrap that. I will run away. I won’t just throw in the towel, I’ll throw in the kettle and the 3-piece bathroom suite and the keys to the Ford Escort and the pension and I’ll leg it screaming blue bloody murder.
But I’m not like most people. Most people are patient. Most people are triers. Most people work at things. They don’t give up or give in. They give it time. They give a shit. They cut their life some slack. Is that better? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe sometimes.
Recently, I was talking to a colleague about this – about how I broke ranks, came out and started again.
“Well done,” she said. “Lots of people just stick with something because there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s…you know…fine. It takes a lot of courage to walk away from that.” And the way she said it made me wonder if she was sticking with something. If she was…you know…fine.
My second date with Curly Sue is a ‘proper’ date. Proper dates are when you do something together. You’ve had your getting-to-know-each-other drink. You’ve seen each other’s real, live faces and decided you don’t think the other person’s a troll. You’ve established there’s a grain of something there and you’re willing to sprinkle a little more time and money and creativity on it to see if it grows. They are the beginning of your investment in someone, a deposit in your future happiness.
I’ve chosen a black comedy and a supper club where the cook is a former Masterchef contestant renowned for his innovative Thai cooking: satire and satay for the lady. The film is 80s odd: shoulder pads, surrealism, death, croquet and a humour that’s blacker than Trump’s soul. It’s like having a series of waking hallucinations about scrunchies.
Dinner is southeast Asian odd – and delicious. We stick savoury chocolate peanut profiteroles in our gobs and ooh and err and hmm and look confused and laugh and eventually decide we’d like to eat a bowl of them in a quiet corner wearing bibs. For mains, I stick my face in a pig’s bottom. Conversation flows. Wine flows. We make friends with the couple next to us. We get a selfie with the Masterchef guy. We don’t kiss when we say goodbye but only because we’re on the tube and my kisses are not tube-appropriate.
So, how was it? Well, she’s lovely. We have lots in common. We’re definitely on each other’s wavelength. There could be something here, maybe? Yeah. Yes. Definitely worth another date. It’s early days but she’s very nice. Maybe it was a bit…polite? A bit…safe? But no, she was great. It was, oh god, I don’t know, it was…you know…fine.