"I had a terrible weekend."
"Oh! What happened?"
"I found out that my partner... you know, my partner?"
I recoiled slightly at the use of the word 'partner'. I still have bad memories of 14-year-old girls using it in lieu of 'boyfriend'. Still, I wasn't in the mood to argue. She's at liberty to use any word she wants for her boyfriend.
"Yeah, I know. Your boyfriend."
"His nan doesn't like me."
"Oh, that sucks. Sorry about that, really."
"It just doesn't make sense! Everybody likes me!"
She's not wrong about that. I have yet to meet anyone that doesn't like her. The fact that she's managed to stick in her job for over a month is staggering. I've been in this place since the beginning of 2013, but then again, I'm okay where I am. Ambitious people get out of there as soon as they can find something else. We truly have a superhuman here.
"It's not even as if I'm one of those girls!"
"You know, one of those girls!"
"Those girls with really short skirts and basically nothing on top..."
"What, go-go dancers?"
"No - I mean those girls with orange make-up..."
"Ah! Oompa-Loompas! They're not girls, and anyway, in the book they were..."
"No - I mean they wear all this fake tan and no underwear..."
"Ah! The Only Way Is Essex!"
"I'm not one of them!"
Of course she isn't. She's Spanish. Essex isn't in Spain. Still, I sympathised with her. It's happened to me, too.
"I sympathise with you," I said. "It's happened to me, too. My nan's a bit of a judge. She didn't like my previous girlfriends."
She noted the plural. "Girlfriends? How many have you had?"
"Four," I admitted. "Four long-term girlfriends. I haven't been very lucky particularly in the past."
"That's far too many!" she ejaculated. "In my country, three is the top limit!"
"It's not a matter of choice! You just try and find your love where you can and hope that your luck holds out!"
"I know - that's what I do. It's just that a lot of people in this country don't go straight for that. They tend to have... a bit of fun first, you know what I mean?"
"Yes," I said brightly. "I know exactly what you mean."
I may never get the chance to tell her that, the first time we met, my immediate thought was that she looked exactly like someone I used to have cybersex with.
But you can't blame me. I was just having a bit of fun.