We all have times when we feel we’re becoming our mother, before mind slapping ourselves and shouting, â€œThis can’t be happening!â€ť But you’d never think you would turn all mammy-ish on a first dateâ€¦
Firstly, I felt all gooey because my date managed to turn up despite looking like death warmed him up, having thrown a nice shirt on before leaving the house dosed on Lemsip and Panadol and, what the heck, Solpadeine as well.
Ignoring all those medical warnings, he probably just wanted to look and feel good enough to meet me and survive. It was a first date so he was probably thought the chance of any closeness was slim anyway. Cancelling a date due to sickness sounds like cop out, even when it’s true.
So he’s there with a slightly red nose. I hear him cough before he actually turns to greet me. He puts his hand out. The last thing I want is to pick up germs from my date but I shake his hand anyway. He sits down and I know he’s as sick as a dog.
â€œYou’d better keep well back from me tonight,â€ť he says as he sits down on the opposite side of the table. â€œI’m not myself, not myself at all. Horrible auld dose going around, can’t seem to shake it off.â€ť
Aw, well he must be interested if he has battled illness to meet me. But without even realising it, I start dishing out the advice.
â€œSoup is the best thing going when you’re sick. It’s warm and full of everything good you’d need at a time like this. For the main, they do a good stew, there’s a beef one on the menu there, Look!â€ť I’m pointing at the spot on the menu where it is, in case he can’t see it. He is sick after all.
He sifts through the menu and I don’t know why he isn’t taking up my suggestion. The waiter smiles and tells us about specials.
â€œWhat can I get you?â€ť
â€œI’ll have the cheese and mushroom vol au vent and the lasagne please, thanks.â€ť
â€œOh. Well, cheese wouldn’t be good at all now. What about the soup?â€ť
He looks up from the menu, confused. I carry on.
â€œAny chance you could get him a small bowl of thick vegetable soup? Do him the world of good, it would.â€ť
â€œOkay, I’ll bring that too,â€ť says the waiter.
â€œAwful to get a flu this time of year, summer and all.â€ť
â€œI’ll manage,â€ť he says.
â€œWould you not invest in a good hot water bottle for yourself?â€ť
I’m actually gone past realising that this piece of advice is top drawer mammy-like stuff.
â€œOr Vicks Vapour Rub. Great stuff altogether.â€ť
â€œI’m grand really, thanks,â€ť he says.
â€œRight so. Fine.â€ť I get the hint. He’s not interested in my quality tips on getting over the flu.
He leaves right after the mains. Best not to order dessert anyway, I say to myself as he heads off without asking about a second date. I wait until he is a sufficient distance down the street before ringing my mother.