‘Do you know how difficult it is to get a window cleaner on this side of the city in Communion month?’
Illustration: Alan Clarke
I ’ve always had this, like, rule, that whenever I see my wife sitting at the kitchen table with her day-planner and her colouring pencils, it’s time for me to run and hide. Unfortunately, despite my famous acceleration from a standing stort that the great Gerry Thornley wrote about in these pages back in the 1990s, sometimes I’m still not quick enough.
“Ross,” Sorcha goes, “sit down here with me and help me work this out, will you?”
I’m like, “I was just about to do something, erm . . . something else.”
“Well, now you’re not. You’re going to help me figure out this scheduling problem I have for Saturday.”
Saturday, I should mention, is the day of Honor’s First Holy Communion – which, in this part of the world, is basically a dry run for the debs. It’s a massive, massive deal, in other words, not least for Honor, who’s had the money she thinks is coming to her spent since the first day of January.
“No matter what way I look at it,” Sorcha goes, “there aren’t enough, literally, hours in the morning to do all of the things I have to do . . .”
She’s talking at a pace that I would usually associate with, like, proper crazy people.
She’s there, “I’ve moved my tan and my pedicure to the night before. I thought that would free up some time, but it actually hasn’t?”
I’m like, “Okay,” deciding to just go with it, like drowning, “explain it to me – what do all these colours represent?”
Just looking at her desk diary, it’s obvious that more planning has gone into this than the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
“7.30am,” she goes, “I’m getting my hair done in Glasthule.”
I’m there, “Okay – and does your hair really need to be done?”
“Is that a joke?”
“No, it’s a genuine question. I think it actually looks nice.”
“Okay, I’m just going to ignore that. After the hairdressers, I’ve got to – oh my God – rush from Glasthule to Blackrock to get, like, my make-up and nails done at nine. Then I’ve got to drive to Stillorgan to collect my dress, which is being altered. I want to wear my red maxi dress, except it’s, like, an inch too long? Then I’ve got to get back home by half-ten because the window cleaner is coming.”
“The window cleaner?”
“Ross, we’re having, like, 90 people over. I am not having dirty windows. This is a major event for us.”
“Could the window cleaner not come, I don’t know, the day before?”
She laughs – like I’m the one being ridiculous?
She’s like, “Do you know how difficult it is to get a window cleaner on this side of the city in Communion month?”
I’m there, “I’ve never given it much thought, Sorcha.”