20:30. If you added up all the moments spent by men waiting for their better halves, it should roughly equate to the same amount of time it has taken for humans to decode DNA. It’s a very, very long time, just waiting and waiting and waiting.
I am here, sitting on my sofa, waiting for her to get ready. We’re only going down the road for a pint, but at 20.30 on a Saturday, I’m definitely ready to have several. Yet despite three precursory warnings of “So then. Shall we?” and “Let’s go?” and “Do you want a drink?”, I’m still waiting, stuck in a warp of existential anxiety; really keen for a drink, but knowing that I probably don’t have enough time to get twatted without really going for it. Waiting so long, in fact, that I decided I may as well write about it.
I was taken back to when I lived with my best mate. Then, we would make split-second decisions. “Pint?” This question was followed by what seemed an eternity for both the proposer and the recipient. It probably amounted to no more than five seconds, yet such is the questioner’s urgency – and his mate, so aware of how crucial his answer has now become – that those five seconds feel almost as long as the 45 minutes I have spent waiting this evening. But, decision made – “yeah, quick one” – we’d be inside the pub and a third of the way down our first pint in under 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, we’d be setting yet another gut-wrenching ultimatum. “‘nother one?” Another five-second chasm before the inevitable “well, one more won’t hurt, will it?” Once the third pint has disappeared, there’s no point asking or answering any more questions. The drinks will keep coming and you’ll keep watching them slip down your throat.
It’s those snap decisions you realise men and women, both, cannot make together. Well, we can. They can’t. And I will never understand why!
20.42. Still waiting.