Not including tip…

Sometimes things happen to us and in that moment it can feel very serious. On reflection (many years later in my case) these ‘serious’ moments can be quite hilarious. One of those times in my life was when I had to buy my own Valentines dinner…yes, it is true and no, I was not a desperate soul alone in a restaurant. Let me explain.


I was seeing a guy and it was starting to fizzle out. I suppose I should go back to that Christmas as this was a point in time that I was feeling a bit trapped. We went out on Stephen’s night and I knew I didn’t want to be there, to be there with him. I wanted to be with my friends, having the craic and carrying on the tradition of shots and dancing.


At about midnight I had had enough, I wanted to go home. I suggested ringing a taxi but no, it was a ‘beautiful’ night out – we should walk. Great, my feet weren’t sore enough from standing all night besides trekking all the way home. But, I agreed and off we went. On the way he decided he had to ‘go’, so went down a laneway. I kept walking, I had taken the shoes off so was making quick progress. And as I was walking a car pulled in and I thought it was Christmas day again – a friend was offering me a lift home.


I jumped into the car delighted with the lift and left yer man high and dry down that laneway. In fact, once I was in the warm car and knew I’d be home in a few minutes I completely forgot about him. I made some tea and toast for myself when I got in home, put on my pj’s and went off to bed. I was just dozing off when I heard my phone buzzing – guess who was ringing! I answered to a tirade of questions: where are you, are you ok, how did you get home so quickly….bla bla bla …. I’m home (true), I’m fine (true), I walked (lie), I’m going to bed (true), see you tomorrow (not if I can help it)….


The next morning my doorbell rang and a little worse for wear I went to answer it. There he was standing at my door, his face said it all, he was fuming. He demanded an apology for making him worry – I mean he thought I’d been dragged off, murdered and left in a ditch…..come on, overdramatic or what!! I did feel a little bit sorry, so I started to apologise. And just as I got to the word ‘sorry’ I started to laugh, and then I couldn’t stop laughing – I laughed so much I had tears running down my face. However mad he was before, he was apoplectic at this stage and told me before turning on his tail that he couldn’t talk to me until I apologised seriously. I had to ring him later, after downing a couple of vodkas and ‘apologise’ without laughing. I broke up with him a few weeks later.


Not one to let things go though, he persuaded me to go out with him for Valentines Dinner. I knew it was a bad idea, but I went anyway. I drove, God knows why I decided to that, but I did. Maybe subconsciously I thought I could get away, if I really needed to. We arrived at the restaurant and it was jammers, I mean elbow to elbow with all the other ‘loved up’ couples. He ordered a bottle of wine, and even though it was tempting I didn’t have any because I knew I had to drive home. I started having the doubts again, and wondered why I had agreed to this but there was no way out and no friend driving by to save my skin this time. When we were finished he asked for the bill and then came the fatal blow…that’s €40 each not including the tip! I was stunned, he had asked me out for dinner. I was acutely aware of the other people in close proximity around us and not really wanting to start a row I threw €35 on the table and reminded him that he had drank the whole bottle of wine on his own! I went back to the car while he settled up. I have to say I did contemplate leaving him there and driving off but I waited. He hopped into the car as if nothing had happened, just waffling on about the great food and God knows what else. I pulled up outside my house, went inside and closed the door in his face. Needless to say I finished up with him shortly after that…


I guess we live and learn, and I learned something very important during that time in my life. For God’s sake, take the lift – run and jump into that car and don’t look back – because sometimes the person driving that car might have been the one you were really looking for.


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