When I was fourteen there was a boy in the year above me at school who had a bit of a thing for me. He would phone my house and then nervously hang up. He would hide little notes in my school bag. And he would ask his friends to ask me if I would sit next to him on the school bus. I even heard a rumour that he wanted to marry me. All of which I cruelly ignored.
Twenty years later, having not seen him since I left school, our paths crossed again. A few months ago when I was heavily pregnant, the doorbell rang early one morning. I ran downstairs wearing a hideously frumpy nightie which came to just above the knees (it is the only thing that would fit). I had unshaven legs, fat ankles, huge bump and nipples brazenly protruding, greasy unbrushed hair and no make-up on.
I swung open the front door and there he was, standing there in a courier’s uniform and holding out a large package for me. I have no idea who was more embarrassed. I quickly clung to the hope that he wouldn’t recognise me, but this hope was shattered when he handed me his handheld computer with my name emblazoned across it, for me to sign for the package. I didn’t know whether I should make a joke of it and comment on how unattractive I was looking or whether I should just say nothing and shut the door as quickly as possible. I did the latter. I imagined he would be down the pub later with his mates having a right old laugh at my expense and telling them of what a bloody lucky escape he had had.
Having got over this mild humiliation, the doorbell rang early again yesterday morning. Betty was crying because I wouldn’t give her ice-cream for breakfast and Dolly was crying because I had put her down to make Betty’s breakfast. I answered the door and there he was again, nervously smirking, and holding out another large parcel. I wasn’t sure whether to make a joke of the bedlam going on behind me. But again I said nothing, and I quickly signed for the parcel. This time, he managed a very chirpy: ‘Thanks then’ and I promptly slammed the door.
I got straight on the phone to my friend in Kent who I hold entirely responsible for these encounters and told her that the next large parcel she sends me (she has been returning baby items such as moses baskets, baby swings etc, that I had leant to her when she had her baby last year), can she please please please use a different courier service.