Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: ‘If you ask Sorcha how she is these days, she says she’s having a good Q3’
'There’s nothing wrong with a woman having a career. I say that as an obvious feminist'
“I see the distant look in Sorcha’s eyes when she says it and I think to myself that maybe Amie with an ie was right.”
Amie with an ie says she was in a bor in town last weekend when the staff suddenly put a red rope around her table, told her that a big celebrity was coming in and suggested she might feel more comfortable if she sat somewhere else.
I ask the obvious question. I’m like, “Who was the celebrity?”
“I don’t know,” she goes. “Everyone spent the entire night just staring at this, like, empty table, waiting for someone to arrive, but in the end they never showed up.”
I shake my head. I’m there, “It makes me so happy to know that that kind of thing is going on again. And to think, 10 years ago, they said this country was finished.”
“That’s exactly what I thought,” Amie with an ie goes. “It’s genuinely lovely to think that our children are going to grow up experiencing all the amazing things that we experienced.”
We’re in Hamleys in Dundrum, by the way. Amie is shopping for a birthday present for a god-daughter whose name she can’t remember except that it’s a fruit and not one of the obvious ones like apple or orange or mango. I’m here with Brian, Johnny and Leo, who, I notice, are pushing a giant polar bear – stuffed, not actual – across the floor towards the top of the escalators.
“So,” Amie goes, watching this spectacle with me, “how’s Sorcha?”
How’s Sorcha? Two words – a hundred potential meanings. God, I love south Dublin girls.
I’m like, “What the fock is that supposed to mean?”
She goes, “I was just asking how she is, Ross. Oh my God, you are being, like, super defensive today! Is she still working in LinkedIn?”
“Yes, she’s still working in LinkedIn.”
“Because it’s all she ever talks about anymore. Everyone is saying it, Ross. If you ask Sorcha how she is these days, she tells you that she’s having a good Q3 and she’s looking forward to meeting the challenges of Q4.”
“There’s nothing wrong with a woman having a career, Amie with an ie. And I’m saying that as an obvious feminist.”
“Oh, come on, Ross, it’s like she’s joined a cult! That’s what everyone is saying. And, meanwhile, you’re struggling with the job of looking after the children.”
“Er, I’d hordly say I’m struggling with it.”
The boys, I notice, have managed to push the polar bear all the way to the edge of the escalator. Of course, I’m one of those glass-half-full parents, thinking, ‘Maybe they’re going to grow up to be forwards rather than backs.’
With one final shove, they manage to push the thing down the escalator, except it ends up being the up escalator, which means it takes ages to reach the bottom. Me and Amie with an ie stand there watching the thing tumbling for a good 30 seconds before it eventually hits the bottom and takes out a display of Jurassic Pork figures.
“Boysenberry,” Amie with an ie suddenly goes. “My god-daughter’s name is Boysenberry. Although, now that I say the name, I’m wondering is it a god-daughter or a godson?”
The joke’s on you, because they’ve already been borred for life twice, as a matter of fact
Then off she trots with a confused look on her boat.
I’m about to tip over to the boys when some dude with a walkie-talkie steps up to me and goes, “Excuse me, sir, are those your children?”
I follow his line of vision. Brian is shouting, “You bastard bear!” down the escalator, while Leo and Johnny are now spitting over the rail on to the heads of the shoppers below.
“I’ve never seen those children before in my life,” I go.
The dude seems genuinely – I think it’s a word – befuddled by that? “Well,” he goes, “I saw you push them in here in a stroller about 15 minutes ago. I don’t want you to bring them into this store again.”
And I’m there, “Hey, the joke’s on you, because they’ve already been borred for life twice, as a matter of fact.”
So I grab the boys, throw them into their stroller and push them back to the cor. All the way home, I end up thinking about what Amie with an ie said about Sorcha and how she’s changed since she went back to work and I became a full-time – I’m going to use the word – homemaker.
I’m still thinking about it that night as I’m defrosting one of my old dear’s pre-cooked dinners and Sorcha walks through the front door. I’m there, “Hey, Sorcha,” and she’s like, “Hey,” except without even looking at me.
“The dinner will be ready in approximately four minutes and 15 seconds,” I go, then I check to see what’s written on the lid of the Tupperware container. “It’s spring lamb, apparently, with ratatouille and rosemary sabayon.”
Sorcha – without even acknowledging me, or the effort I’ve gone to here – goes, “I’m sorry, Ross, I don’t have time to eat,” and she storts taking her laptop out of her bag.
I’m there, “What are you doing?”
She’s goes, “I’m working remotely tonight.”
Working remotely is modern business-speak for on your own time and for no extra money.
I’m there, “Come on, Sorcha, I’ve been slaving over the microwave to prepare a family meal for us. I’ve been on my own all day.”
“You’ve hordly been on your own,” she goes. “You’ve had the triplets with you.”
“Yeah, no, they’re idiots. Hamleys won’t take them back, by the way. They’re standing firm on that one.”
“Ross, I really have to get on with this.”
“Sorcha, it’s great that you’re working full-time again. But we never seem to, I don’t know, talk anymore?”
“You can talk to me while my laptop is waking up out of sleep mode. What do you want to talk about?”
I’m there, “Well, first of all, how are you?”
“I’m great,” she goes. “I’m on torget to meet most of my internal goals in respect of Q3. I’m also currently assessing my Deltas with a view to shortening my ‘Time to Yes’ on three outstanding projects. I’m planning to be in a position to action those by C.O.B. on Friday.”
And I see the distant look in Sorcha’s eyes when she says it and I think to myself that maybe Amie with an ie was right.