An amusing interlude during lunchtime today.
I was in one of London’s more popular chain sandwich shops. Handing over my sandwich (pastrami, very tasty, thank you) and Diet Coke, the guy serving me noticed the ring on my left hand.
“Nice ring”, he smiled.
“Um thanks?” I replied, more awkwardly than strictly necessary. Really, I’m used to just handing over a credit card and walking out of this place having barely exchanged words with the guys that work there.
“Is that an engagement ring? Do they even have them for men? Or is it a wedding ring?” he asked, in rapid-fire succession.
“Um,” I repled with my well-known suave demeanour, “It’s for…my…civil partnership”.
Bear in mind this is all taking place at the till of an incredibly busy central London sandwich store. In the City. Surrounded by Type A bankers in suits.
“Oh, that’s so cute. My friend did that.”
“Really”, I said, trying my best to look interested, but extremely aware of the passive-aggressive shuffling in the queue behind me.
“So, are you going to get married married next year?” he asked, crossing a line of familiarity I’m not that comfortable with. While simultaneously wandering into political territory that’s not my strong suit.
“Haven’t given it much thought to be honest. And how much for the sandwich?”
“I suppose Civil Partnership is pretty much the same thing, isn’t it?”
“Yes. I’m paying by Amex”, waving a card vaguely in his direction.
“Well, your ring is gorgeous and I’m really happy for you.”
I instantly felt like a heel and smiled like I’d just been told I’d won the Eurovision Song Contest.
Or at least been chosen to present it.
“Thanks,” I beamed, paying for lunch and walking off with a spring in my step.
People can be so nice. When I let them…