by Sara Dinnen:
I’ve been thinking, clap your hands. Or, since I was in Singapore recently, crap your hens.
It all started after meeting up with a girlfriend I hadn’t seen in years. She’s grown up since we last met, sort of, and we had a grand old goss about some of the stuff we got up to when we were younger. It may be a valuable for other young women reading this right now to know these things, as an abject lesson on what not to do.
Let’s go back. Sarah (no relation) found out her husband was having what is generally called “a bit on the side”. Let’s not beat about the bush, to use an entirely analogous expression. He was shagging someone who wasn’t his wife.
So Sarah, being a fairly forthright girl, decided to check it out for herself. Her husband was arriving back in the country after a “conference” in Melbourne. “No, no,” he said. “Don’t worry about meeting me, you have enough to do, I’ll make my own way home,” he added so considerately.
“That’ll be the day,” she thought, and decided to go the airport to see if he and the other woman in this saga were arriving back home together, as you do. But she didn’t want to be obvious so she dressed up.
She wrapped a scarf around her head babushka-style and added sunglasses like Audrey Hepburn incarnate out of Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Bridget Jones in her ride to the country in a cabriolet with that cad Daniel Cleaver. In any case, incognito Sarah was not. I mean, who dresses like that these days? Actually, Kate Moss if you must know. But we digress.
Undeterred, this intrepid wife on a mission gets to the airport arrival lounge and the only place she could see to hide behind, and not be seen by incoming passengers walking out through the Customs Hall door, was a fish tank. So here she is, dressed like a parody of High Society, and crouched down behind the fish tank in the arrivals’ lounge of the airport. I’m not making this up.
Except, all she managed to see besides amorphous swaying strands of oxygen weed was the occasional Peppered Corydoras and an odd Kaligono, or something like those, opening and shutting their mouths in consternation at her plight in that universal facial gesture of “oh, no!”.
She started to laugh – quietly at first but then she couldn’t help herself. Tears were running down her cheeks, dripping into the chin ties of her Audrey Hepburn faux Hermès and fogging up her fake Dior shades as she heaved with helpless mirth at her own pathetic predicament.
She couldn’t see anyone – let alone her husband and his amour – coming through the double doors except as wavy vertical smudges beyond the weeds so she didn’t know he if was the solo traveller she hoped he was or whether the dreaded femme fatale was with him all along. Nothing. Zilch. Nada.
When she got back home her husband was already there. “Where have you been?” he exclaimed. He missed her, he said, and then they had one of those conversations that marriage guidance counsellors call two people discussing semantics at either end of the factual spectrum.
She sure as hell she missed him too, she said, but ah, in ways you could never imagine, she added entirely to herself.
Now comes the corollary to the story. He walked out on her a couple of months later and not, as you’d think, to be with the woman he was with in Melbourne (the one who was missed entirely beyond the fish tank vista) but someone else!
Holy mackerel! That was a red herring. Sarah was obviously green around the gills or living in an aquarium not to have noticed that coming! What a fine kettle of fish. But, as they say, there are plenty more fish in the sea.
To finish this poisson discourse, and in a wonderfully serendipitous connection, guess what star sign Sarah is. Yes indeed. Pisces! How’s that for a theatrical punch line?