Snip. Snip. “What age is your wee one then?” Snip. “Coming two and a half”. Snip. Snip. Snip. “They’re some craic at that age” “Aye, indeed”. Snip. “Do you have any children yourself?” “No”. Snip. Snip. Snip. Snip. Snip. Snip. Snip. Snip. Snip. Snip. Snip. Snip. Snip. Snip. Snip. “What if I take another inch off the ends for you?” Snip. Snip. “Sorry?” “What about another inch off the end?” “Sure”
[later that evening]
Chat. Chat. “It’s a lovely party” [I still can’t believe I said that] “Yeah, it’s all confirmations and christenings with us at the moment”. “Good stuff, how are you enjoying your retirement?” “Very well. I’m just taking things at my leisure. And what about yourself? Aren’t you due sometime soon?” “Sorry?” “Aren’t you due in a few months?” “Ah, you must be thinking of my Sister-in-law….”
[earlier that day]
“No”. Snip. Snip.
Shit. What do I say? I know fuck all about this woman. What can I possibly say? Think, woman, think. I hate this small talk shit. Maybe she’s cool with it. Who am I to be volunteering on behalf of her private possibly non-existent disappointment. She’s what? late 40s? Maybe that was her plan. What do I know. What if it wasn’t? She must get this 50 times a day. And I only asked because it seemed like she probably had, and because I used to hate it when no-one asked me when I had none. As much as I hated it when they did ask me. I bet her thought bubble is urging my thought bubble to hurry the fuck up and say something. I’m going to have to think of something else to talk about.
“What if I take another inch off the ends for you?”
She did a great job of my hair.
[later that evening]
“Ah, you must be thinking of my Sister-in-law….”
*automatically sucks tummy in* Who the fuck heard that? *furtive glance around* Phew. I fucking knew it. And I can’t even blame this ridiculous floaty top. Just keep talking because this poor woman is mortified and I’d die if I were in her shoes. Don’t worry, love, we’ve all been there. Well, only once in my case when I thought it would be rude not to ask a hairdresser if she was due soon after maintaining a lifetime’s indifference to in-my-face bumps/women panting/asking me to get them towels/moaning about having a baby etc., just to be on the safe side. A sorry lesson followed by a tense 20 minute haircut, made worse by forgetting my purse and enduring an excruciating polite-off when both of us just wanted the ground to open up and swallow us whole. Like the ground was 89 months pregnant. Like a hump-back bridge. And now it’s my turn. Just talk this woman to death and move on, and hopefully I’ll get some of that Malteser cheesecake knocking about without her noticing.
“…Yeah, she’s due at the end of the month. Her other one is all excited, waiting for the new wee baby brother or sister. You know yourself. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah de fucking blah.”
The cheesecake was lovely.