Quite early in our first phone call he mentioned that his mother had died almost a year ago. Later I told him about losing Al. The conversations flowed quite freely and it was all pretty relaxed. We covered all kinds of subjects and seemed to have similar values.
We met for coffee and at some point, we talked about coping strategies. I mentioned that I’m good to have around in a crisis as I tend not to panic but instead, to appear incredibly calm and focussed on everyone and everything else around me. I mentioned how I had acted the night that Al died. His response floored me.
There was no acknowledgement of the enormity of what I’d just said (OK I didn’t expect an in depth analysis of it) but instead, “Yes I’m also good in a crisis – the weather was awful when I got married for the second time. My family were all late so I just took over as an usher.”
He actually thought it was perfectly acceptable to respond to my comment about the night my boy died, with an anecdote about his wedding – to compare the crisis of my son dying with the crisis of being an usher short at a wedding. And to casually include the info that he had already been married twice.
Later he asked if he could see me again and I declined and talked about him being a nice man but I felt there was a lack of chemistry etc. I spent the next half hour politely fending off his attempts to get me to change my mind.
Oddly enough, every time I think of this pillock’s response to my comment, I laugh. It’s funny because it’s so ridiculous. It doesn’t make me angry as it would if a family member had said it. Just a few months ago, I’d have seethed for days but now it just makes me laugh. Maybe this is ‘moving on’.