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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Of Mocktails and Ex-Girlfriends...

Hold on to your knickers my lovelies, and try not to let the excitement knock you over: Not my ex-girlfriends – Sid’s ex-girlfriends. Or ex-girlfriend. To be specific.  He likes to keep the tenses simple.

So, apparently the ex-girlfriend (one, uno, eins, ek) is in town and wants to have a drink with him.

We will get to the wants-to-have-a-drink bit in good time, but for now, lets focus on the one ex-girlfriend. 

I’ve asked Sid about this rather strange phenomenon several times, by the way. Because (and of course I'm biased) that when I chanced upon him, I do believe that he was quite the eligible bachelor. That, naturally, was back in his heyday. Just kidding, but, I mean – he’s not unattractive. And he’s mad brainy. And when he’s not grumpy, he’s actually quite funny. So, one ex-girlfriend? Really?

He has a stock answer, of course. Well rehearsed. So much so that it actually sounds somewhat convincing. Practice makes perfect, as the experts declare. He claims (I am absolutely serious here) that everyone he ever met was either “boring” or “ugly”

Don't laugh please. Because nobody's joking. We are all absolutely serious. This is what he claims.
Which should, in theory, leave me hugely flattered. And send me floating all the way to cloud 9. And some more, while we have one up on gravity, etc.

Except for one tiny little snag – I don’t believe him.

I rather think that not many, on this side of Saturn’s 62nd moon, are daring enough to endure his funny little ways long enough to figure out he’s not so bad after all. Not many – meaning two. Me, and the ex-girlfriend.

United together by unmitigated valour.

Not that I have a long list of spawned lovers waiting their turn to have a little catch-up when they happen to be passing through town. Come to think of it, I’m hard pressed to think of any of my ex-boyfriends (note, plural) who’d care to breathe the same air as me, let alone actually ask to have a drink!

But apparently the ex-girlfriend happens to be in town and wants to meet him for a drink.
Which is slightly bizarre but greatly intriguing.

“Why on earth” I ask, “would she want to do that?”

He raises his eyebrows till they disappear into his hair, sticks out his lower lip and gives me one of those famous shrugs. You know, the kind that’s supposed to mean “how would I know?” Or something to that effect.

“How come she doesn’t want to kill you?” I ask, from genuine curiosity.

“Oh, we had an amiable break-up...” he replies, with genuine sincerity.

Alien concept. Moving On.

Anyhoo – I’m all smiles and encouragement. “Of course, you should meet her for a drink,” I exclaim generously.

So, a few days hence and on the evening post the aforementioned occasion, Sid comes bounding down the stairs, into the living room, flings his coat dramatically onto the coffee table, grabs my shoulders, stares into my eyes and exclaims in a deep, husky voice: “Man, am I glad I am married you!”

I stare at him with a blank look on my face.

“She ordered a mocktail,” he declares in explanation.

“Let’s see...” I manage, unsuccessfully trying to free my shoulders from his steely grip. “...and that makes you glad you married me, why?

“Clearly, you don’t understand,” he says, his eyes darting frantically all over the place. “She ordered a mocktail!”

I narrow my pupils and pucker my mouth into an expression that resembles one of deep contemplation. Though it’s sorta hard to contemplate anything when you’re being held in a death grip.

But I stick with it. Courage, you see, is my strong suit.

And I stare up at the much-distraught eyes of my beloved husband.

“Ya ok, trying to understand.  She ordered a mocktail. So??”

He lets go of my shoulders with an exasperated sigh. Apparently only mind readers deserve to die of squashing.  (Hallelujah.)

“You know what? Forget it. Just forget it.”

Uhoh.

“Ok, wait, wait. What’s so distressing?  The fact that she didn’t drink alcohol or the fact that she called it a mocktail.

He looks at me now, with genuine annoyance. “Have you totally lost it? Who says mocktail?”

“Oh come on Sid! I say throwing up my (newly liberated) arms. Don’t you think you’re being a little harsh? There’s nothing wrong with mocktail!”

“Are you saying I should’ve married her?”

Wow. The logic of the male species will never cease to amaze.

“No. Of course not,” I say rolling my eyes.  “I’m much prettier.”   “But, the real point is –
mocktail is a perfectly legit word.”

“No IT IS NOT. It’s called a non-alcoholic drink.”

“...Or a mocktail...” I suggest bravely.

He gives me a look of pure disgust and proceeds to drown his sorrows in watching footie on the telly.

I choose to drown mine in a large Vodka-Tonic. At least it’s non-controversial.

But for good measure and because curiosity killed the cat, I decide to Google “Mocktail.”

And discover, that first (whether my silly husband chooses to believe it or not) mocktail is a word. And second (as anyone with half a brain would have pieced together) it is a derivative of two words:  'mock' meaning a copy or imitation of something and 'cocktail' meaning a mixed drink.

Duh.

Far more interestingly, however, I chance upon a number of mocktail recipes that keep me gainfully employed for the rest of the evening. Which, given that my husband is sulking by himself in a corner, could not be more timely.

And I have to admit – though alcohol has its very distinct advantages – the recipes do look pretty darn yummy.

So, courtesy of Waitrose, and the mutiples boxes of half-priced strawberries sitting in my fridge (We are matching Sainsbury’s prices! they say. Yippee for supermarket wars! I say), I pick one that involves strawberries, add a little twist of my own and take the plunge into the exciting new world of Mocktails!

This is a Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri!

And here’s what you need:

- 3 1/2 ounces (discount) strawberries.
- 1/8 cup ice
- 1/2 fluid ounce sweet and sour mix
- 1 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1 dash grenadine syrup (my twist)
- something else (I'm not telling)

Here’s how you do it:

Place strawberries, ice cubes, sweet and sour mix, lime juice and grenadine (and the something else) in a blender. Blend until smooth. Garnish with a half, half-priced strawberry!

True to its promise, the stuff is oh-so-good. I pour some into two high-ball glasses, and offer one of them to Sid. Peace offering, shall we say?

He reaches for it, eyes never leaving the television screen, takes a gigantic gulp, nods his head in a mucho-satisfied manner and goes in a crazy high-pitched tone that would get Batman to emerge from his cave: “aaaaaahhh, this is gooooood”

Just like that.

And we both burst into loud squeals of laughter, that won’t stop. In a few minutes, we are laughing so hard that we have tears streaming down our faces.

Yup. We are certainly meant for each other. I can't think of anyone else mad enough to marry this crazy guy who’s lying on the floor right now, going “aaaaahhh” and laughing hysterically, over nothing.

He stops the squealing just long enough to point his chin to the glass and ask, "Hey, is this spiked?"
"Course it is," I say - "You married the real thing."

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