A very good evening to you all! I’m back! Have you missed me? Did you notice my absence? I expect you did – life without the Lifestyle Support Guru is not really life, it’s just a meaningless existence. Fear not, I am here to give shape and meaning to your life once more and, to start you off, I am going to give you some advice on ‘avoiding people’ which may help you should you find yourself in similar difficult circumstances.
1. An acquaintance from another part of the country texts you to say that he would like to call in on you on his way to somewhere else. There are two problems –
i) you have already arranged to meet a friend for an outing to the cinema
ii) you know that ‘call in’ is a euphemism for ‘stop the night and eat you out of house and home’ (well, out of Pot Noodles at the very least)
You inform a friend of this and she says she’s quite happy to offer him a cup of tea and then send him on his way, so you pass this information on to the acquaintance, who’s quite happy with that. You head off to the cinema with a spring in your step and enjoy the film. However, all pleasure disappears when you leave the cinema and receive a text from your friend to say that the acquaintance is still around and is hoping that you will join them in the pub. Knowing that this will lead to the overnight stay mentioned earlier, and which you really wish to avoid, you reply and ask the friend to tell the acquaintance that she thinks you are going to be a while yet because you are going on for a meal.
Now, there is a slight problem here that I haven’t yet mentioned – if you catch the bus home, you will have to pass directly in front of the pub where the acquaintance is being entertained by your friend (who has far more patience than you) and the scenario you are dreading will come to pass if he spots you. So, what do you do? This method works:
• You hang around in town for an hour or more, calling in for a coffee now and again at nearby cafés, and helping a little old lady who has fallen over, before catching the bus and scurrying to the house where you sit in darkness for two hours, not daring to turn on the lights or television, until you get the ‘All clear’ text from your friend. What jolly japes!
2. An acquaintance from another part of the country turns up unexpectedly on your doorstep one afternoon, saying that he is just ‘calling in’ on his way to another destination. You invite him in and offer him a cup of tea, which he drinks and then promptly falls asleep, stretched across your sofa. He wakes up and says that he’ll take you out for a meal a little later (translation: I’m hoping for a bed for the night), then falls asleep again. So, what do you do? This method works:
• You go into the kitchen and ring your landline from your mobile (don’t EVER get rid of your landline!). When you answer the landline, you hold a one-sided conversation along the lines of: ‘NOOO!! How could he do that just after Christmas? And he’s left you with the kids? NOOO!! I’ll be straight round!’ You then turn to the acquaintance and explain that your best friend’s husband has just walked out and left her with two children under three and you need to go and see her, so you’ll have to ask him to leave because you may have to stay the night with the friend. The acquaintance drives off and you drive off behind him, turning in a different direction to drive up to the top of a local mountain in the Welsh valleys where you sit for an hour or two until you’re pretty sure that the acquaintance won’t still be hanging around (in case he saw through your story!) before you go home. What jolly japes!
3. You are at home one Saturday lunchtime, reading and enjoying a refreshing glass of lager, while your husband is upstairs doing some DIY. You look through the window and spot some feckless student coming down the road, knocking on doors and obviously trying to sell something. You’re not in the mood for small talk and trying to get out of buying something you don’t want, and the feckless student will spot you through the window, so you take your book and your drink to the cupboard under the stairs, where there’s a little seat, and settle yourself down until he goes away. This method almost works:
• As expected, the student knocks, but he doesn’t go away because … your husband answers the door and invites him in!! Said husband then offers the student a lager and sits talking to him and looking at the lithographs he’s trying to sell. Eventually, the student gets ready to leave and your husband says, ‘Oh, before you go, would you like to meet the wife?’ and he opens the cupboard door to reveal you sitting there with your book and glass of lager! The husband had spotted the student from upstairs and realised what you’d done to avoid him! The jolliest jape of all!
Good night all!