Larry David and me
April 21, 2011 § 6 Comments
Relatively frequently, I imagine I am Larry David from Curb your Enthusiasm. Outwardly, you may think, relatively few similarities. He from LA, gangly and grey. Me from London, rotund and russet. But I have a feeling our inner dialogue is in tune. And we both seem to stumble along from one awkward social situation to the next. (If you haven’t watched Curb your Enthusiasm, you can view an episode here. I have to watch it from behind my fingers.)
This morning, for example. I herded two happy bouncing boys out of the car and into the childminders, ready for another day of running feral in the park behind her house. Her husband was late for his train, and as he left I apologised for not being able to drop him at the station, as I had a doctor’s appointment before my commute. I drove back towards the house only to find Other Half and Doris dog awaiting my arrival on the corner. I had forgotten I had offered them a lift to the station. So…you guessed it. As I pull out of the station from dropping them off, who presses the lights and runs out-of-breath across the road ahead of me? Childminder’s husband. Cue confused look in my direction and me hopelessly trying to roll window down and holler a flimsy explanation after him. Definitely a Larry moment.
Right up there in my personal league table of mortification, was an occasion when on first maternity leave and leaving in East London, we popped out to buy some ice cream from the corner shop. Other Half was fumbling in his pocket for change, so I pulled out a fiver to pay, saying to him “of course, I’m not earning anything at the moment so it’s all your money, I’m being a bit of an Indian giver here.” Indian giver?! Where on god’s earth did I pull that phrase out from? I can honestly say that until that moment I had never ever used or entertained using such a phrase, in fact I don’t think I even consciously selected it. Of course the Indian man behind the counter made no reaction, and OH was of the firm belief that he was actually Pakistani therefore wouldn’t have been offended but really, what a time to come across like Alf bloody Garnett.
I was anticipating an embarrassing social scenario yesterday, when at the swings in Brockwell Park 3yo’s football got half-inched. It was a really quite nice orange leather football, and he cried. A lot. As we headed out of the park, me heavily pregnant, puffing and panting in the heat pushing 1yo uphill in the MacLaren and carrying 3yo’s scooter (do they ever ride the bloody things?) I am explaining to him that we’ll buy another one, not to worry, etc etc when suddenly he points and wails “MY FOOTBALL!!!” He’s right. Over the crest of the hill there’s a group of about 20 lads, all late teens, some wearing, god forbid, hoodies, kicking around an unmistakeably orange football. I steel myself for the inevitable confrontation as I puff up to them, (3yo’s hands on hips all righteous indignation), and say in a small voice “excuse me, but I think that could be my son’s football.” To which the lad nearest me, towering over me, says politely “yes, here you go. Really sorry about that. We found it and didn’t know who it belonged to.” Clearly not every group of ‘hoodies’ hanging around in a South London Park are knife-brandishing hooligans. If I were a Daily Mail reader (farts in its general direction) then I probably would have had a heart attack. As it was I thanked them, gave my son a big kiss, and lazily kicked the football back towards the car in the hazy late afternoon sunshine, feeling that all was right in the world.