‘I’m giving you a cheque,’ my grandmother says, folding the slip of paper, ‘but if there’s anything else you want…’
‘Like a wedding dress,’ my aunt puts in.
I laugh. I don’t know how long my relations have been suppressing the urge to quiz me about my love life but today, finally, they’d cracked.
‘Has your brother got a girlfriend?’ is how it starts – a complete non sequitur to what we’d previously been talking about.
‘No,’ I say, ‘not as far as I know.’
‘He needs a strong woman,’ my aunt says.
I laugh. ‘I doubt he thinks that!’ I take a sip of my drink. ‘What do you think I need?’
‘I don’t know,’ she says slowly, ‘but I suspect you’re looking for perfection.’
‘Why do you think that?!’
‘Well, you can’t even choose a draining rack!’
The draining rack had gone back, hence the cheque.
I laugh. ‘Mmm yeah. But it was too small! There were things wrong with it!’
My aunt doesn’t say anything. I take another sip.
‘So there’s no one…?’
This from my grandmother.
I think of my Saturday date. Tall, charming, successful… looks a bit like Tom Hiddleston: I know better than to mention him after just one drink.
‘Hmm no,’ I say, ‘but I’m trying!’
‘Is there anyone at work?’
My relations look almost as disappointed by this as I am, which is saying something.