Contrary to recent popular perception, I am not Mother Theresa. I'd just like to clarify that, because I thought it was obvious but I discovered last night that - unbeknownst to me - I have been masquerading as some kind of modern day martyr. According to some people, the only things differentiating me from Herself of Calcutta are my eyebrow piercing, my lack of headscarf and my penchant for good wine, foreign cheese and watching crap like America's Next Top Model. Apparently, I live to help people. Who knew?
Last night I got a phone call from a family friend asking me if I would (do her a favour? Do my eternal soul a favour?)... meet a "lovely young man" for a drink. The LYM has been staying with her while studying English. The FF is very practiced in the art of bamboozling; I agreed. The FF neglected to mention, among the hyperbole about how charming, lovely, interesting and well spoken he is that the LYM is studying Business Law, has a facial tic and carries a bottle of shampoo on his person at all times. She did, however, mention that he is Italian which meant - of course - that I had to pay particular attention to my footwear, and put on an extremely uncomfortable yet fetching pair of something-something on my feet because everyone knows Italians are total snobs when it comes to footwear and even if you are prepared to despise someone before you meet them you still want to impress them. Big sigh. Now I'm home and I have sore feet.
I spent all day dreading the encounter, and calling everyone I know and love who might have been within a 25km radius of where we were to meet if they would join me to ease the pain. There were two things in particular that I was dreading. These were that he would either be stilted in the language department, and the entire event would basically be a verbal run through of the first 10 pages of his English textbook, or he would be just like the Golly-Wog*, another socially awkward colleague of mine about whom I will blog at a later date.
Initial impressions were not good. We said hello, how are you, how's the family (all on page 1 of the textbook) and that went so well that I metaphorically skipped to Chapter 2:
Me: What time did you arrive in Sydney today?
LYM: I will be here for 3 days.
As it turns out, that was really the only misunderstanding of note we suffered. He was just awkward enough for me to not have a fabulous time yet not awkward enough for me to get a really great blog post out of (without having to rely to my powers of exaggeration). So, in summary, I was sucked into performing a Good Deed. Now all I need to do in order to gain automatic entry into Heaven when I die is advocate the rhythm method for married couples. Piece of piss.
* It's not often one is able to insult two ethnic groups with one nickname, so I'm rather proud of having managed it here.