The Demographic Shift - 41
It's not true of course. I have not been on a mini-break, I swear. A long weekend away with platonic friends who are girls is a totally different affair.
Actually, Susan is kind of wailing about it, she's taking it all a bit personally and really, to be honest, it's not a good look. Susan has a thing about mini-breaks. The thing is she got dumped on one in Rome by her last serious boyfriend but one and, really, she is still kind of sore about it now. Let's be fair, dumping someone on a mini-break is rather bad form and I am in no way condoning the behaviour of said boyfriend. I mean come on, have a heart, everyone knows that you do it once you get back. I mean seriously, what was that guy thinking?
In light of the Rome mini-break dumping, Susan has vowed never to go away on such a trip again and will tell this to anyone who will listen.
"I'm never going on another. In the future I am only ever going to go on proper breaks. None of this mini stuff. If they want to take me away it has to be for the entire week at the very least."
"So what are you saying? You're like a city break, but not a mini-break kind of girl?"
"Gord, city breaks are exactly the same as mini-breaks. You won't catch me on either, it's all long weekends."
"So, what, at weekends you're going to stay in London, like forever?"
"Absolutely, I'm going to be a permanent weekend residee?"
"A residee? You know, I'm not sure that's even a word."
"Of course it's a word, I'm definitely a residee and not a resident."
When Susan started to tell me this all again for like the 10th time, she said I had committed the most heinous crime. Going away on a bank holiday.
"I can't believe you went away, on a bank holiday of all things. What were you thinking I was going to do while you were away on your mini-break?"
"Hey, I've already told you it wasn't a mini-break. I went with friends. It was all good clean fun, so strictly not mini-break activity. Drunken hugging and a bit of bad dancing to Irish country music was really as bad as it got."
Susan looks horrified.
"OMG, dancing to Irish country music? What were you thinking? Were you shaking your legs?"
"Suze, there's no leg shaking, really it's all more of a shuffle."
What can I say somehow there was the black stuff, the wine and the Bushmills... and, oh did someone say bad combination? Well, you know how it is... you become susceptible. Besides I had been bouncing around all day on the back of a horse in the Mountains of Mourne in County Down, Northern Ireland. In all, having the most perfectly relaxing time in the world, you know, if you like your horses, country air and... oh yes a couple of glasses of various coloured liquids.
In a crazy and not entirely unexplainable way, one of the highlights, other than the cantering through the forests, was going to this typical community Irish bar where majority of locals were pushing 80. But really those people could dance and the sight of a couple of girls who were a good 35 years away from retirement did create a little excitement or as my friend put it, "You know that, glint in his eye, is really more like a blowtorch."
See, strictly not a mini-break and Rachel, who is a mini-break expert, is in full agreement. Rachel is like queen of mini-breaks. She has like the full set: Paris, Milan, Helsinki, Barcelona, New York and the ever popular Norfolk, which was the scene of her most recent outing.
"That's definitely not a mini-break, it has to be two people. Gord might have gone with two women, but let's face it he has never been that lucky."
"Ha!" says Susan laughing.
That girl is so harsh, but I digress. Rachel's recent trip was one in which she duly dumped the poor boy immediately upon return. Talk about make or mini-break...ahhh forget it.
"So what did he do that was so bad?"
"Looking for tips?" Susan goes.
"Of course, tips on how not to get dumped on a mini-break are always handy. You could have used these in Rome...."
"Boys are mean, and you are really mean," she says huffily folding her arms.
"OK, Rach, what did he do?"
It wasn't just one thing, she said, it was like a whole catalogue of things that just got her thinking maybe this one was not the boy for her, starting, she said, with him wearing his T-shirt inside out.
"I told him 'you know you're T-shirt is inside out', and he sort of grinned and went, 'pretty cool, hey?'. That's when I first started to think, OK mmm..."
"Not sure what I think about that, I think I'm on the fence," I say.
"Oh me too," says Susan, "not a dumping issue."
"Oh no, I agree," Rachel said, "next it was the music."
Rachel's one of those firm believers that men should be men and women women when it comes to certain things in life and music is one of them.
"Later he put on Norah Jones... you know like to get in the mood."
"But that's chick music," I exclaim.
"That's incredibly sexist," Susan says.
"Oh, but he's right, it is. It's like it's OK for a girl to own Norah Jones, but for a guy to put it on it's..." she shakes her head.
"Corny boring predictable middle of the road dinner party pop jazz?"
"Just the phrase I was looking for, but if that had been it I probably wouldn't have dumped him. It was the last thing that did it for me."
"Well don't keep us suspended what was it, tell?" says Susan.
"Suspended? What's the whole language thing today?"
"He had a bottle of massage oil...
"That's so classy," I say.
"I know, but it's worse than that," Rachel says, "the bottle was only half full, he'd used it before."
Susan harumphs at this.
"Just like mini-breaks," she says.