Wednesday, 31 March 2010

In which I'm on show

“I can’t believe I’ve not seen you since January,” Speckled Lad said when he called one recent Sunday afternoon, the noise of boots being bulled unmistakeable in the background. “I feel a bit like I’ve lost my right arm.”

He's right. We've not gone three months without seeing each other since he was living in Argentina.

“Ah, well,” I said. “Not long now.”

And it’s not. Speckled Lad is coming rapidly to the end of his third term at Renowned Military Academy and the bit we’ve – well, the bit I’ve – been most looking forward to is in sight: the commissioning ball. Cue a ballroom filled with several hundred strapping, young, newly commissioned officers, all in the shiny, newly acquired mess dress of their recently joined regiments. Complete with swords. Oh, and plenty of champagne. Hurrah, and indeed, huzzah.

“So, what time do I need to be with you on the day?”

“Um, ten I think would be best,” Speckled Lad said, catching me off-guard.

“Really? That’s an awfully late start, isn’t it?”

“Um, no, not really – I mean, the parade doesn’t start till ten-thirty, and you don’t want to be waiting around outside for much longer than that.”

“Sorry, Speckled, I was talking about the ball.”

“Oh, that’s not till the evening, but the parade starts at half ten.”

“Oh. Am I coming to that, then?” For all his military precision, the Lad still seems to be terribly bad at organisation. And telling people about events he assumes they’ll turn up to.

“Of course you are. I mean, I couldn’t have got through this year without you. I want you to be there to see me pass out.”

“Oh. Right. Sure, of course. I’d love to.”

“Great! I know mum’s dying to see you.”

“So, er, who’s going to be there?” I said, a vague notion that this might be about to get slightly uncomfortable.

“Mum, dad, the grandparents, my brothers and you. The key players.”

Of course.

A couple of hours in the company of Speckled’s immediate family, the only non-relation, watching him commission into the British Army, after what sounds like one of the hardest years of anyone’s life. So that shouldn’t be at all weird.

I’m sure it absolutely won’t be a morning of hugely friendly, almost familial, chat with his parents, or awkward questions from his grandparents about how we know each other, or trying to ignore the sly glances and giggles from the two youngest Speckleds, who find my dalliances with both their older brothers the stuff of (excuse the pun) unadulterated hilarity. No. Not at all.

Just as well I’ll have the sight of hundreds of gorgeous chaps marching around in their uniforms to distract me. Because I’m going to need it.

8 comments:

nuttycow said...

I am not envious. I am not envious. I am not envious. I am not envious.

If I keep saying it, it might be true.

Zstep said...

They all know you've gotten nekkid with the 2 oldest? If SL knows, how has this not been its own post? The comedy potential is absolutely astronomical.

On a diff note, do you think SL sees you as the girl he's going to settle down with once he decides to be respectable? Inviting you to that seems like a fairly big deal.

Blonde said...

NC: You won't be when I start to bitch and moan about the inevitable week-long hangover.

Zstep: Because, like so much else in my weirdass relationship with the Lad, we've never discussed it, and it doesn't seem to have made any sort of practical difference. Ah, the good ol' elephant in the room. Re: the other thing. I have no idea. Again, it's a discussion we've just not had.

Emily said...

Should be interesting!

It does seem like a significant event to be including you. I think the question you need to be asking yourself isn't if he sees you as the girl he wants to settle down with, but rather, is he the guy, with his charm and faults, that you would want to settle down with?

Michele said...

Hmm ... might be starting to sound like an R rated Jane Austen novel

Blonde said...

Emily: That's the right word! I don't think I could ever trust a man who I've never known to be faithful to a girlfriend, no matter how I feel about him.

Michele: Erk. With my dislike for Austen, that's not a good thing.

Brennig said...

I can't even remember the bird I took to my passing out do. And it wasn't that so much alcohol got quaffed...

Lynx said...

I think you should drink too much champagne and end up copping off with one of the younger Speckleds. That would be interesting.

Seriously though, I too am wondering if he sees you as just a good friend, or the eventual Mrs Speckled. In the good old days your father or guardian would have enquired as to Speckled's intentions towards you, which, although highly embarrassing, would have saved you the trouble of having to do it yourself.

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