A Slice of Disappointment

July 3, 2011 § 5 Comments

A divorced, broken man who had been left by his wife came to tea with me a while ago.  We had sat next to each other four times at various mutual friends’ suppers.  We had talked animatedly about our shared experience: divorce.  Comparing notes.  Laughing.  Sympathising.

I did not fancy him though I liked him.  His shirts were a bit loud and he was thinner than me which is always a no-no as I don’t want to feel even fatter than I already feel and be bigger than a man.  But my older sister who has never married but has more success than me with plenty of (inadequate) men hitting on her – she lives in a country where men date women in a way they don’t over here – maintains that you cannot write someone off, fancying-wise, till you have met them three times.  I was prepared to give it more than that.

He rang and said he was coming to the town where I live.  One of his children is at college here.   He suggested tea.  I said, a bit chaotic with children all around, maybe supper?  He again said, tea.  Weird, I thought, but I said, Fine.

It was a very hot day.  He arrived with a white cardboard cake box.  It looked as if it might be an upmarket Raymond Blanc-type tart.  It augured well.

I opened the box.  It was a coffee and walnut cake; more farm-shop-posing-as-home-made and a whole deal less organic than its ruffled icing implied.  I noticed a little ingredients label on the side with a list of e-numbers the length of a ruler.  That was nothing compared to the fact that one slice was already missing.

He looked a bit embarrassed, though not quite embarrassed enough, and offered a barely audible apology.

I didn’t feel I knew him well enough to ask where the slice had gone.  He didn’t look like the type who would have been overcome in the car with hunger and unable to keep his hands off it.  It was a mystery.

And I didn’t know what to feel?

Flattered, that I was obviously the laid-back, creative, boho, interesting type for whom presents such as whole cakes, or cakes in the round, were too bourgeois for words?

Insulted, that I was such a trifle that he could off-load on me a cake with no slice and pass it off as a present?

In my twenties, I had never managed to be an expensive girl.  I was not once the type men took to really smart restaurants or clothes shops and paid for.  No, I was, more, the type they took to Pizza Express and when the bill came informed me we were going Dutch and was still expected to sleep with them.  The cake with no slice chimed well with that old image of myself.

Perhaps more interesting and less scratched record was speculation as to the fate of the missing slice?

I’ve had family and friends puzzling over it for weeks and we’re none the wiser.

He never did contact me again.

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§ 5 Responses to A Slice of Disappointment

  • martin b says:

    Glad to have found yr fascinating blog via the times newspaper

    Im a nice ,kind male aged 45 single never married, who is, believe it or not, on yr side.

    You’ve written a guy off for the following reasons. Do u think u might be fussy , or scared? His shirts were loud, this cd be fixed by advice frm his nice new girlfriend eg YOU . He was thinner than u is a non reason, … take a chance ;-). The episode with the cake was naff of him , but not a crime or reason for a total write off.

    The best book on dating I ever read was he’s scared shed scared, find it on the internet . No im not on commission.

    Plse Excuse the rambling style. Im usually very sympathetic , and far less direct than this.

  • foxylady says:

    There are men out there, just as sad and desperate as you, but from what I have seen, they are often fantasists who want some unreal person who can never exist… Try the internet, but don’t expect much from it. At our age the men are all carrying a lot of baggage, and on the net most of them have been dumped and so are very wary.

  • Lizzie says:

    I loved your writing. I think he had had a visitor recently, poss potential girl or just elderly aunt…(cake more effort than pkt of shop bics).
    She only had one slice and in a bachelor way ….. Thought that’s a waste . Sure X won’t mind ..its only one slice…..wrong!!!
    I empathise with your writing… After a lot of frogs..I have nice man who is thinner than me and very computer techie… We wd never have looked at each other 20 yrs ago.. But kindest heart ever which is a lot at 50 plus!
    Wish you well and know that life moves in funny ways
    Kind regards
    X

  • Mary says:

    oh thanks for that blog, I am falling around laughing here..not at you..with you…very witty…that has cheered me up.

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