As promised, I’ll tell you more about Claire.
This Paragraph is for the men: Women please don’t read this.
Claire was one of those girls that was work, but not hard work. It was enjoyable going through he effort required to win the little battles with her because she made them easy. She bantered and badinage’d, but nothing was unreasonable, so it was the best of both worlds, a challenge, but also no hassle. Or, as I later came to think of it, she had done her calculus and come up with a formula for attracting, stringing, judging and consuming men that was if not perfect, certainly tuned for me like a thousand quid harmonica. She was hot, but not unreachably so, pretty enough when she didn’t put the effort in and could really look amazing when she did. So gents, you will understand what this equates to, she was a great girlfriend to win, and the difficulty setting was semi-pro. You didn’t have to be a world class gamer but you still felt like you’d won the game
This paragraph is for the women: men, you can read if you want.
Claire was a the sor of girl who doesn’t have many girlfriends. No obvious reason, girls that meet her like her and are friendly with her, but she or they never would extend the effort for that next step of friendship. She had a variety of male friends, colleagues she spent quite a bit of time with in after work functions and quite a lot of extended family. She was always put together well, even first thing in the morning, and she was always on. Even after a couple of bottles of Semillon there would be enough guardedness for you to always suspect she was nowhere near as drunk as you were.
Knowing full well you’ve all read the above this is the potted history that takes us up to the Event. And when I say the Event, you’ll understand why a man might end up billions of kilometres away.
We started dating regularly and became an item. She met my circle of acquaintances, I met hers. No red flags. I met her family, she met mine. No red flags. We got pretty serious and went on a holiday to the continent, starting in Nice, drove to Italy, across in to Lithuania, went skiing for 3 days, then back to nice and home. The trip was nice, we spent nice time together. We skid and .. you know.. and that was that. We were a proper couple, we spent every night together, mostly her place, sometimes mine.
And at some point after going to a networking style mixer with her, we go in to a discussion that in retrospect was the first rally in what I would describe as her concerted effort to make me less of a copy writer and more of a successful money maker who could support a family.