'What time do you want to leave the beach?'
'I don't mind. I'm happy to leave whenever.'
This was the question OH asked me one day this week, around 4pm, and my honest reply. As I answered him, my mind was flooded with all the factors I would previously have weighed up and hedged my bets upon, terrified I would miss out on a drinking opportunity.
- I want to leave now but don't want to look desperate to get back to the apartment for a drink.
- I want to suggest a visit to the beach cafe but not for ice cream (or coffee).
- Does the beach cafe sell wine?
- What will be doing next?
- Are we going straight for something to eat?
- Did I leave wine in the fridge?
- Will we go out later for dinner?
- Is there enough wine in the apartment if we stay there all evening?
- Can we legitimately stop off at a supermarket on the way back?
- Can I, oh so casually, add a bottle to the basket because 'I'm not sure if we have any at home'?
- Can I justify more than one bottle?
- Will the kids notice? Will they remark? Is it worse if they don't?
- Does he know what I'm thinking?
- Can he see straight through my charade?
- Does he pity me or feel irritated by the confines within which I make us live?
- Surely he cannot know or why would he put up with me?
The truth is he does not mind when we leave the beach because to him it is a simple one-dimensional question whose answer is of very little consequence. The question does not induce anxiety, mental contortions of Olympic standard, nor does it have good or bad answers.
Only now do I agree with him. We packed up and left.