I was very young and very infatuated. We wanted to go to medical school together (No, you would never want me at your bedside). She and her mother were titled, and her father was a high-ranking medical official in the RAF. So, it came time to ask permission for my lover’s hand in marriage (yes, waaay too young). Then came the weekend of hell. We drove to my future in-laws’ home in a very posh part of the home counties. I had to stop the car to be sick on the way, twice (yes, I was that anxious). We arrived on Friday night for a small supper. Beforehand, we hastily chose to take the senile little dog for a walk and y’know “stuff”. The dog didn’t get much of a walk, infatuation came first. That dog kept a grudge. We returned to supper eat on our knees in the front room. I think this was to put me at ease, it didn’t. I picked at the food which and tried to make conversation. Dudley Moore was on the television and I commented that he “was getting on a bit”. My future mother in-law replied, “hmm he’s the same age as me”, I died, inside, a lot. I decided to drink some of the wine on offer, on a very empty stomach, naturally it went to my head, quickly. Then I looked to my right to see the little senile dog eyeballing me from beneath the dining room table. Having got my attention, the little bugger decided to do a shit, right there under the table. I was briefly paralysed, glaring at the dog staring back at me. I would have avoided saying something, but the deadly stink was already on its way. I had to act, anxious, flushed, mumbling a mouthful of food, I tried to point and indicate what the dog was up to. Instead I did an anxio-drunk lurch, this came with slurred speech, an upended plate, spilled wine and the dog calmly walking away from its dirty deeds. I have no clue when they discovered the turd. But I was marched in shame, up to my separate room to bed. But not before a telling-off, a hissed row and me really, really, wanting to go home. Failure at my mission seemed a good option, but I was too drunk to drive. Needless to say, didn’t sleep much. I was escorted downstairs for breakfast, bacon and eggs which I simply could not face. Conspicuously, I was left alone to converse with my maybe father in-law. I had to actually sit on my hands to stop them shaking. Honestly I can’t recall what was said, but miraculously he said yes. We agreed to go to the pub down the road to celebrate, I started to feel a little better. Holding up my end of the conversation quite well, we walked out to the “new Volvo”, which had been described at length the night before. I approached the passenger side with a little swagger, pulled on the handle with gusto and…….. It came off……..in my hand. There I stood gawping, speechless. I briefly considered running, fainting, but really I just wanted to evaporate, immolate, anything to disappear. We never did get married, the relationship ended in a throwing things row in our flat. I left, never to go back, probably a very good thing for us both. On reflection, thank you door handle, thank you for saving us both.
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