On the morning of my birthday I wake up in Glasgow. Not the place where I would usually want to spend such a day, but this time it’s worth it. I don’t remember the morning. Most probably it passed by in the shadow of the great expectations I had for the evening.
I meet Walter at 5pm in Buchanan Street, outside House of Fraser. We are going shopping! At least he thinks we are.
Shopping was his idea. The e-mail detailing the Master Plan for the day mentioned shoes, handbags, shoes, clothes, shoes, jewellery, shoes, books, shoes, and oh, did he forget shoes? And while he was being very generous, it can be difficult for a man to guess a woman’s needs, so I had to hint that a pair of shoes would be really nice.
This isn’t the first time I go shopping with Walter. We also went shopping for lingerie once, but this doesn’t count because it was a new experience for both of us. Shoe shopping, on the other hand, is quite ordinary. I don’t know how he usually does it, here’s how I do it. I need a pair of winter boots. I go online. Find the website of the shop I have in mind. Look at all the boots they have. Do they have something in black, with a round toe, 3 inch heel, leather, below ankle and with a concealed zip? No? Next website then! So when we meet and walk into a shop, all I need is to find the shoes I chose the night before and try them on. Walter, do you like them? Great, we’re done then! Now let’s go do something fun! If it’s not clear, shopping is an action, not a pastime. I think Walter was disappointed.
We have a drink at the bar of my hotel. I puzzle the bartender with my request for a non-alcoholic cocktail (come on, I’m allowed to let my hair down on my birthday! It can’t be sparkling water every day of the year) – they don’t have these on the menu.
‘Would you like Safe Sex on the Beach?’
‘Oh yes, I’m all for safe sex!’
Walter chuckles quietly.
And then, with pleasantries out of the way, it’s time to do what we’ve been looking forward to for a while. Walter pays quickly, we make for the lifts, I pinch his bum impatiently as we wait, doors open, we rush in, kiss passionately until the doors open again and we are in the swimming pool. It’s an ordinary hotel swimming pool: small, simple, mostly empty. When I come out of the change room, Walter is already there. The first thing he says is that my swim suit is classy. Not the sort of word you usually apply to a swim suit, and not the sort of word I’ve heard from Walter before, so I take it as a compliment. He gives my swimming attire another good look and points at the sign with the pool rules:
No heavy petting
Walter is a very law abiding citizen. During our multiple adventures I couldn’t make him climb a fence with me, and he wouldn’t stay in an empty ladies bathroom to wait for me. So I’m glad I made him break at least this one rule. Oh alright, so he didn’t need to be forced into it, but he still wouldn’t have engaged in this prohibited activity without me: heavy petting on your own is called something else. I am also glad I got to see him swim. It was almost as good as watching him drive. Most people do different things in the same manner. Walter has a separate personality for a lot of activities. Driving Walter (especially in his road-rage mode) never fails to amuse me, same as disgusted Walter; swimming Walter is a joy to watch, loving Walter is a pleasure to do, and filming Walter is someone I haven’t figured out yet. And now you probably wonder which one of us in on medication.
We then have a lovely dinner at a place called Kama Sutra, and spend some time practicing – not at the place. We practice some more in the morning, and then he has to go. Glasgow immediately loses whatever appeal it had the day before. A wonderful birthday nevertheless.