I am constantly baffled by some of the things that other people choose to do. Spending Saturday afternoons being constantly disappointed by the performance of West Ham; screwing the office junior; and voting Green are all activities enjoyed by members of Social Circle Blonde that I’ll just never get my head around.
One thing in particular was hammered home recently when The Medic came down from The North to stay during the Christmas holidays.
A little context for newer readers: friends from the beginning of Uni, The Medic and Best Mate have always had a more-than-friends friendship, despite TM having had a girlfriend for much of the time we’ve known him. They’ve mostly been well-behaved, other than the night a few years ago - after a boozy dinner and several rounds of Pirates of the Caribbean II drinking Top Trumps - when things got a little heated and he spent the night in BM’s bed.
Shortly afterwards, the girlfriend issued a ban on TM spending any time with BM or me, and announced their engagement.
The ban has since been roundly flouted by TM - he’s wont to come down under the guise of visiting his godson, turning up to dinner parties clutching magnums of champagne and proceeding to get everyone riotously drunk.
This year, over the Christmas holidays, he came to stay with BM (I was irritatingly tucked up at home with the lurgy), drink much wine and then toddle to his parents.
“We were talking about how things were going,” BM said to me later as I leant against her kitchen counter early on New Year’s Eve, knocking back the caipirinhas and trying to stop the kitten from licking the trifle. “Things are good - there’s been no progress made on doing up the house, but work’s going well, and he’s decided to carry on with orthopaedics.”
I waited for the inevitable and most interesting bit.
“But it seems he and she didn’t spend Christmas together - she’s with her parents in Newcastle, and he’s down here. Oh, and I asked how the wedding plans are going. They’re not. His exact words were “there aren’t any plans to get married”.”
Now, leaving alone for a moment the fact that the dislike TM’s fiancée has for us is entirely mutual and also shared by his entire circle of friends (because the woman is BONKERS), and it’s probably for the best that they don’t actually go through with getting married (because she is BONKERS), who proposes to someone without any intention to follow through?
It seems to be more and more prevalent these days: seeing engagement as an end in itself, rather than the state one happens to find oneself in whilst planning a wedding. Surely if you’re prepared to propose to a gal, then you’ve actually contemplated that the result could be marriage? And if you’re not prepared to make that commitment to someone for what could be the rest of your life, why get engaged in the first place?
And proposing to someone merely to paper over a fight because that’s what she’s demanded and you like to take the easy option is surely the worst idea altogether?