In a parallel universe, the planets keep spinning.
While I am looking after my baby and sporadically thinking about sadder things, I have discovered the art of compartmentalising. And its rather handy.
In truth, I discovered how to stuff things into a box in my brain and park them, if you will, for later, years ago. I have just managed to fine tune it now with everything that has happened.
In other words, thanks to my Favourite Irish Gay Friend, I sometimes even manage to have conversations like the one below, even if I'm having a particularly bad (or busy with baby) day.
(Back story in five seconds: He's on Tinder, and he sends me pictures on WhatsApp of men he needs a second opinion on before he swipes.)
Irish: Check out this picture.
Peas: What a strapping man.
He is DEFINITELY Canadian.
His parents were lumberjacks.
He eats Quaker Oats and maple syrup in the mornings.
Takes his coffee black.
Owns an impressive axe (from his lumberjack dad)
His British relatives come from...Clitheroe.
But he doesn't talk about that. Ever.
Irish: I found out his name. It's Zane.
He is probably from Murica.
Now I am sure as ever he is from Canada.
Irish: His name rhymes with my surname.
Peas: I'll bet he catches wild salmon in the rivers of the Yukon Territory and eats them raw.
Irish: He's probably building a house with his bare hands.
Peas: Using 100% organic volcanic clay from Yellowstone.
Irish: He wrote back.
'Hey' he said.
Jesus. He had better have better chat than that.
Peas: He's Canadian. I wouldn't expect too much by way of chat.
He is beautiful to look at, will be very friendly and have a kind, quiet soul. But sadly, euphemistically dull.
Irish: My children will be dull but have shiny hair?
Irish: Well done. He says he is from Calgary.
Peas: Shut. The. Door.
Are you serious?
I should do this for a living.
Irish: He works for National Geographic.
Peas: Course he does.
Once he did an inuit pilgrimage to Labrador and ate pemmican - pure whale fat - out of a raw salmon carcass.
Irish:...He's an accountant. For National Geographic.
But he likes the outdoors.
Peas: He's a CANADIAN ACCOUNTANT.
Get out now. Otherwise you will end up having a soliloquy with yourself for your first date, because that's the amount of chat he is bringing to the table.
New day, new dude:
Irish: New guy. He's posh.
Peas: Send me a photo.
Right. His name is Roger. Or Arnold or Rafferty or Barnaby or Rufus.
Grew up in the home counties, my guess is Berkshire.
Has a horsey mum, but never really got into foals himself.
Preferred shooting hares and drinking whiskey.
Gets his tweed suits tailored in Vietnam, but don't tell anyone.
Is confident with a rifle, but often fires it too soon.
...Much like his bedroom rifle, unfortunately.
Irish: I see.
3 out of 6 so far.
FUCK I need to change careers.
Irish: Dude you're good.
Peas: Which did I get right?
Irish: Berkshire. Not horsey. Prefers whiskey and shooting.
Peas: What's his name?
Peas: Benjamin. That's what his parents call him.
Irish: He's a 'landscape architect.'
Peas: This man has stories. Architects are mad. Half the members of my family are architects and they're all mad as a bag of frogs.
Put it this way, your first date with this one will be the EXACT opposite of the Canadian one.
He will entertain and shock you.
Irish: He also likes polo.
Peas: Yeah, he is a raving lunatic and votes conservative.
Boozes himself bolshy; while being strongly opposed to the new high speed rail plans. Prepare your liver.
Irish: Bitch please, I'm Irish, I'll take him on.
Peas: Oh and. He definitely doesn't call it a 'lounge.' Or a * shudder* 'settee.'
Irish: Dude. Ew.
Never say those words.
Peas: 'Settee' is worse than - and I never thought I'd say this .....'innit.'
Benjamin is a Catholic. It's all going a bit Brideshead.
Peas: I love this conversation so much. I'm putting it on the blog this week.
Thanks for keeping me sane, Irish. I love you.