A British BBQ

What was I saying on Friday about not wanting to do this barbecue on Saturday? I couldn’t have been more right.

I wouldn’t say I like family get-togethers. I’m forced to sip warm wine and converse with maiden aunts and weird uncles whilst scanning the room for one of my many cousins, who may rescue me. It is, as I extricate an errant hand from my behind, that I realise they managed to bow out gracefully. How is it that my excuses of actually having a life never wash with my mother?

It was my Dad’s 60th birthday, so to be truthful, I would have endured Uncle Simon’s mauling just for him. I arrived at my brother’s in Swiss Cottage with a gift basket from Selfridges and a bottle of something more substantial than Lambrini. My mum kissed me, noticed my lack of a date, and I felt for the entire world like Bridget Jones. All I needed was a turkey curry buffet and Mark Darcy in a reindeer jumper. I wanted to scream at her that I was a London escort with more admirers than Cleopatra and a more-than-attractive dowry for any suitor. However, under my guise of a £20,000 a year job in PR, I had to endure her steely gaze.

I noticed my sister hopping from foot to foot in the background, and in my haste to reach her, I was tripped up by my niece’s skipping rope and landed at the feet of her boyfriend – ‘ginger Gerry’, my ex-client. He helped me up, and as usual, neither of us looked into the eyes of the other. I’ve seen (and heard!) more than enough of him in the past for this to ever be forgotten. I said “hi” and fled.

There are four of us in our family – my eldest brother, myself, my younger sister and my baby brother. I noticed, with distaste, that my little brother managed to get out of the party unless he was late, as he often is. My mum will forgive him anything, and it makes me quite ill.

Being the “middle child”, I have always been very independent and somewhat of an enigma to my parents. The eldest brother is married with 2.4 children, an excellent job in Canary Wharf and a five-figure salary. His wife is a stay-at-home super-mum who only feeds the kids the best organic foods and comes out in hives at the mention of Wotsits or Wagon Wheels. My little sister has decided to shack up with “Ginger Gerry” and whom I hoped wasn’t about to tell me what I dread… they’ve got engaged!!!!

So the rest of the afternoon/evening/next morning was spent admiring her rock, planning colours and what would be fabulous on me as the maid of honour. It pained me to think I would soon be related to someone who has paid for my time and company, but I know neither of us will ever mention it nor burst her bubble.

On a lighter note, my thinking time kept me up during the small hours on Sunday, so I managed to finish my book – yes, it was brilliant. And I need a little BDSM to help clear my head. I have a somewhat willing client who likes to clean my toilet with a toothbrush – maybe I’ll call him.

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