Yesterday, out of the blue, I received a telephone call from someone who would definitely qualify as (in my terms) as a ‘blast from the past’ – and I don’t mean romantically.
Over the course of perhaps fifteen or twenty minutes, we caught up on our respective family and other news.
I’m not a great one for prolonged telephone conversations and I’m not sure I scored very highly in providing a potted summary of what’s been happened to me over the past decade, still less what my kids and other relations have been up to. I tend to live in the present but – for the sake of etiquette – I didn’t see much point in sharing my family’s current dirty linen with a comparative stranger to whom I hadn’t spoken in ten years or more … and probably might not speak to again for another ten years from the moment we put our phones down.
That said, the episode was pleasant enough and it was moderately entertaining to hear this lady’s family news – or at least, her version of it.
More interesting still, however, was the news of one of her former boyfriends, and here we’re talking of going back about thirty years. I think my wife and I first met her when she was in a relationship with his chap that lasted about two years in total.
To an extent, when it ended, I guess we were amongst a small roster of friends that she turned to for comfort after the break-up. Part of the process involved her slagging him off and detailing his many foibles and inadequacies. It would be fair to state that, in the cause of supporting her, including by suggesting she was ‘better off out of it’, we added fuel to these flames by laughing heartily at the failings she laid out before us, and indeed from time to time offered some others that we had identified for ourselves.
People’s life fortunes are funny things, aren’t they?
Halfway through our telephone conversation yesterday, my caller asked if I remembered this former boyfriend. As it happened – perhaps unusually given my capacity for not being able to recall anything or anybody before the year 2000 – I did, even though he was deeply unremarkable and forgettable.
It turned out that my caller yesterday had bumped in to him quite by chance at some function or another over the Christmas period and discovered that he is now a particularly successful and wealthy banker.
Later, as I made myself a cup of afternoon tea yesterday, I did briefly wonder whether she’s now slightly regretting her decision to break-up with him all those years ago.