by JO ABI
I first moved out of home when I was twenty-six. My boyfriend and I were setting up a love nest in North Sydney. Everything was romantic – signing the lease, railroading our friends into helping us move our furniture, unpacking our belongings and learning each others’ habits.
It was from this cocoon of euphoria that I made a booking to have Pay TV installed. I imagined numerous romantic evenings at home watching movies and old Seinfeld episodes, sharing popcorn and snuggling up on our lounge chair.
The installer arrived at midday while my boyfriend was at work. He was a young guy, not bad looking and bathed in aftershave.
Struggling to breathe I pointed out where we’d like our service connected. He was chatty and flirty. He didn’t seem in a rush to get to work. I offered him a drink and he asked for water. I brought it to him and once again gestured towards the part of the wall where I’d like our serviced installed, explaining that my boyfriend wanted it there and I really wanted it up and running before he came home from work.
He reluctantly got to work and phoned someone saying, “You can come up”. In minutes, his fellow-installer came through the door, eyeing me closely as he came in. I felt like I had missed part of an important conversation. They shared a look and got to work.
It wasn’t until that night that my boyfriend told me what I had missed. “He was looking for a root, babe,” he informed me.
I was mortified. I had no idea. Had I known his intention I wouldn’t have been so friendly, I wouldn’t have told him his aftershave smelled nice (I assumed he applied too much accidentally). I told him my boyfriend and I had just moved in together and slapping myself in the head I remembered saying, “What’s the name of your aftershave? I might buy some for my boyfriend.”