I was at the checkout in the supermarket with my weekly shop, throwing stuff into bags, and being a bit grumpy. The checkout boy was trying to chat to me throughout. “So, how are you doing today sweetheart?” he said. Feeling a bit flustered about being called ‘sweetheart’ by a boy less than half my age, I replied: ‘Fine’, while I clumsily tried to open another carrier bag. ‘Here, let me help you out with that darling,’ he said. While he was opening the bag for me, he then said: ‘So what are you up to tonight then sweetheart? Are you going down Night-Owls?’ This is a local nightclub for the under 18s. ‘My god, does this boy think I am the same age as him, or is he taking the piss?’ I thought. I could feel my face burning - I have no idea why, normally I can hold my own with teenagers. I think I was a little taken aback that I was seemingly being chatted up by a spotty faced, gangly boy, something I haven’t experienced for years. It certainly felt very odd, as I now have a Betty, and am a mum, and do mumsy things, and certainly don’t go to bloody Night-Owls.
I ignored his question and carried on packing, although at this point I was hastily throwing it all straight into the trolley. But the boy wasn’t giving up and asked me again: ‘What are you up to tonight?’
And so without taking any pauses whatsoever, I blurted: ‘I am cooking a huge roast chicken with all the trimmings and we are going to eat it at 5pm so that our baby daughter can join us and we can all eat together which will be the first time and so it is a very special occasion and it is a very significant step because she will be eating what we are eating which means she is growing up which is sad but also happy and she is such a wonderful baby and she is nine months old and I am a mum and I am married and I am 33 years old and we are all looking forward to our big roast chicken.’
The boy stared at me for a second, and then held up a pack of two tiny organic chicken breasts that he happened to be scanning at that moment, and said: ‘What? A huge roast chicken with this?’ Hats off, he was still persisting, even after that mental barrage of information I just gave him. ‘No, I have a whole chicken at home, actually,” I said. I could tell he didn’t believe me though, and he just smirked.
It was all true though. I did have a big chicken at home. We invited my mum and my brother round to share in the excitement of this special occasion, and we all ate together with Betty. We had champagne with our meal, to celebrate our little baby growing up, and me seemingly still looking like a 16 year old.