Monday evening, my brother comes round. I’m looking forward to having a shoulder to cry on.
‘It probably wasn’t a good idea to invite the guy,’ he says, when I tell him about the events of the weekend.
He’s touched a nerve, so much so that I forget to cry, I’m too busy being indignant. Despite my mother’s assurances that I did nothing wrong in inviting the guy to my birthday celebrations, there’s a nagging doubt in my head, the feeling that I brought this all on myself.
Five minutes of denial later…
‘OK, so perhaps you shouldn’t invite someone you’re dating to your birthday…’
‘No, it’s fine to,’ he says, ‘it’s just, if you don’t know them very well, or if you’re not sure how things are between you… the danger is it will make the event all about them, when the focus should be the event itself.’
He’s well wise, my bro.
‘I know. But, when I invited him, everything was fine! I couldn’t have known…’
‘Oh, right, then… you were just unlucky.’
I spread my hands. ‘Admittedly by mid-week, what with radio silence etc, I thought, were it not for the dinner party, I wouldn’t be hearing from him again. But I didn’t know what to do! I could hardly un-invite him!’
No. Instead what I did was issue an invitation to pretty much every guy I’ve ever fancied, so that if FFS did show and everything went tits up, I would be sufficiently distracted not to notice. Which, as a strategy, might have worked, if any of them had been able to come.