I had just popped a rather sizable chunk of garlic bread into my mouth when the dreaded question once again reared its ugly head.
“So, Laura, are you dating anyone at the moment? Tell us everything!”
With that one request, six heads all instantly sprang up from their phones, their half-filled wine glasses and the menus we had spread out haphazardly across the table, and quickly zeroed in on me.
I knew instantly there were only two ways this conversation could now go and neither of them were very pretty.
The first option was to just give up the goods I knew they were salivating to be dished up for them. With their preferred confessional menu including a range of scandalous dating stories, preferably ones littered with awkward encounters and cringe-worthy endings, we could all shriek and groan about until dessert was served.
The second option was that I just allowed myself to choke to death on the slice of garlic bread I still held clenched in my mouth.
Thus ensuring I would be wheeled out of the restaurant on a stretcher and spared any further questions on the subject while also leaving my dignity behind next to my still full glass of rosé.
With a sigh of frustration, I decided I had just better live, mostly because I’d already paid for the wine, and now I was left to dig hurriedly through my mind for some kind of enticing, crowd-pleasing story to offer up to the table.
Of course this wasn’t my first rodeo when it came to having a small stand-up routine filed away in the back of my head, ready to whip out at a moment’s notice should a horde of couples decide to treat me as a dancing monkey. Anyone who has walked this same path knows that offering up a jovial and entertaining take on single life and dating is the currency you bring to these types of gatherings
Even when the occasion is packed with people whose company you enjoy, much like this particular rosé and garlic bread filled night was, playing the specified ‘single gal’ role in a group will always lead to this particular and slightly stinging side effect.
It’s just something you know you’re signing up for the moment you confirm your attendance on the group text.