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Friday, February 23, 2007

Why it's bad form to ask about the weekend

In the days, a couple of years ago, when I was a singleton there was one question which struck terror into my heart. On a Friday, "what are you doing at the weekend?" and on a Monday, "what did you do at the weekend?"

Quite often I would have a great reply having been to a spa, or down to Plymouth, or a dinner party / cinema / shopping.

But occasionally, if it had been a busy week and I hadn't made any arrangements, I would have to mutter "oh this and that, quite a quiet weekend really," while secretly seething.

The truth is, that when you're out of the first bloom of youth and back on the market after a divorce, it's hard work to organise a social life. Most of your friends are married or coupled up, or, in my case, very far flung because I've lived in so many different places.

Even now that I'm approaching the status of smug married, I still get vexed if I'm asked on Mondays what I did at the weekend. Quite often, it's just "stuff." You know, doing the shopping; housework; going to B&Q to look at light fittings; doing a Sunday roast; going to the gym. But you're made to feel inadequate for not having rushed off paint balling or abseiling whatever it is you're supposed to do at the weekend.

When I was a singleton I was convinced that people were asking me about my weekend for a specific reason. If they were coupled-up, and enjoying the sort of weekend I describe above, they wanted reassurance that even single people have a dull life and are not tripping the light fantastic in London or Las Vegas at the weekend.

I have to confess that on a couple of occasions I did make up some activities I'd done at the weekend, just to confound the questioner. "Oh yes, well on Friday I gave a dinner party for the Saatchis (Nigella and Charles)and Jonathan Ross and his wife Jane, such nice people; on Saturday I went to a burlesque night in London and on Sunday it was great weather for ballooning." The mouths dropped open....

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