Today I received a completely unexpected proposal of marriage. From a total stranger. In the local newsagents. Where else?
It is well over fifty years since I last received
a marriage proposal so I am not well practised in appropriate responses. I did, however, modestly demur on the grounds that my husband (known to you all as Mr B) would possibly have something to say about it. My admirer replied that we simply would not tell
him about our approaching nuptials. Scandalous, don't you agree?
Actually to describe the stranger as an "admirer" is pushing it a bit for, I am sorry to say, the marriage proposal did come with certain strings
attached. What my would-be Romeo actually said was (and I quote): "If you win a million on the Lottery tonight, will you marry me?" As I wasn't purchasing a lottery ticket, not even a single Lucky Dip, this could be described as a long shot on his part. I
think it is safe to say that this aged Lothario was trying his luck. Or, to put it more accurately, my luck.
At home I enjoyed relating this Tall Tale to Mr B and to Kay, who helps me keep our house in some
kind of order. Mr B said he wasn't bothered while Kay mused that I obviously looked better than I felt, otherwise how and why would I have attracted such attentions? I think she meant it kindly. Unlike Mr B (who knows a Tall Tale when he hears one) Kay wanted
to know all about my Encounter with a Stranger so I was forced to admit, in the interests of honesty, that he was quite a lot older than I am so wasn't exactly the greatest of catches.
It was the second unexpected
approach I have received over the last few days - as I delighted in telling members of our Nomination Whist group who gathered at our house this afternoon. The other approach came from a TV company planning a programme about the fact that there are more centenarians
living in our home town of Worthing than in any other town in the whole of the country. Did we have anybody approaching 100 years of age in our card group, the programme researcher wanted to know?
What a shame,
everybody said when I told them, that Our May was not still alive. She would have been perfect TV material. I explained that I had already told the researcher all about Our May, including her assertion that she put her Great Age down to Assiduous Washing of
Hands. The researcher responded that her 96 year old gran credited her longevity with enjoying an ice cream cone every single night. We all agreed that a nightly ice cream cone sounded a perfect recipe for a long life. Provided, of course, we all washed our
Would it be possible, I queried, for one of our number to pretend to be 100 years old, for the sake of our Nomination Whist Group achieving fifteen minutes of fame on TV? This did not go
down too well, nobody being prepared to concede that they could possibly be mistaken for a centenarian. Ah, well, it was just a thought. And a bad one at that...
You are probably still wondering about
my suitor and whether I saw him again after our chance encounter in the newsagents. Indeed, I did. Emerging a few minutes later, I caught sight of him walking towards the chemist's shop, arm in arm with - yes, you are there before me, as usual - another woman.