I am searching for Thelma.
Just Thelma, I don't need to find Louise. In saying so, I do apologise for the many Louises of my acquaintance. Please believe me, it's nothing
What happened is this. The telephone rang. I was in the shower at the time. This happens a lot though I don't know why. Possibly it is all a matter of proportion. Or perspective. Or, possibly both.
The point is, I only remember the times the phone rings when I am in the shower, not all the other times.
Mr B yells from downstairs: "Phone!" As if I hadn't worked that one out, despite the soap in my ears.
Mr B, it has to be said, is much nearer to the phone downstairs than I am to the upstairs extension. Long experience, however, tells me that if I should have the temerity to point this out, Mr B will simply argue: "It's bound to be for you!" By the law of
averages he will be right at least 50% of the time.
I wrap a towel around myself and drip into the study to pick up the receiver. Guess who it is? Yes, yes, you are right again. It is Thelma. I have never
spoken to her before but, sure as eggs is eggs, it's Thelma.
"Hallo," she says, "I'm Thelma." There you have it. Proof positive.
Thelma sounds perfectly lovely,
as far as can be told from the other end of a phone line. She is really keen, she tells me, to join our U3A Nomination Whist Group. Do we have any spaces, she asks, in a voice which suggests she may have tried other groups which were full up. It's a voice
which is preparing itself for disappointment. I am so pleased I can tell her that there is, indeed, a place for her on our group.
Mr B and I have decided that we can add two more people to our group, bringing
its merry membership to a round dozen. Helpful Penny has offered the use of her card table and we have enough spare dining room chairs stored away in the garage. We will be a little pushed for space but if everyone breathes in a bit, we will be just fine.
Quite cosy, in fact.
I don't feel the need to inform Thelma of all the above considerations; all she needs to know is that she will be most welcome to join us. I scrabble round for a pen and paper and take
down her address and phone number. I will be in touch! I assure her, with conviction, before I say goodbye, replace the receiver and return to the shower.
A couple of days pass before I remember Thelma and
the need to contact her with details of our next get-together. I am pretty sure I told her we would be meeting next on the 16th of the month but, since then, I have rearranged a few dates so that I can pay a visit to Cardiff for a (Not So Very Little) Welsh
Boy's birthday. I need to head Thelma off from turning up on the door-step on Wednesday 16th where she will come face to face with Mr B who will be as confused as she will be.
be too much of a problem except that I have lost the piece of paper on which I scribbled her contact details. It is as if Thelma never existed. Though I know I wouldn't have made her up. Not Thelma.
desperation I emailed our Membership Secretary to ask if he had details of a Thelma, possibly a new member. He has ridden to my rescue, providing the address and phone number of a possible Thelma. "I do hope she is your Thelma," he writes, encouragingly.
Not half as much as I do. I shall ring her tomorrow, with every finger and toe crossed. Uncomfortable as that might be.
Oh, Thelma, please be My Thelma! If that's not
too much to ask...