His And Hers

I’m sure I’m not the only one. There must be many others among you who have noticed the domestic temperature moving from “comfortable” to “gentle simmer” on account of wine? No, I mean before you’ve drunk any…

A licorice-textured, black fruit-driven, herb infused Southern French red. It's quite nice.

A licorice-textured, black fruit-driven, herb infused Southern French red. It’s quite nice.

It’s a familiar scenario. Two people are idling around a living room with a glass each of an untried wine. One of them is clearly enthused. He starts tilting his glass to precarious angles, squinting and frowning, scrutinising the colour of the wine, despite the room being lit only by two small lamps and a television set. He takes a sniff, and he’s off! He sniffs again, taking on a pensive look and beginning unconsciously to gurn a little. He rests the glass on his knee, swirls it somewhat unsteadily, and sniffs again, and again, seemingly in an effort to reach aromas from beyond the wine itself. His other half looks on kindly as he purses his lips and starts to frown intently at the wall, the blankness of his outward expression betraying his inner tumult. Eventually he sips the wine, and after whole minutes of facial contortion in the pursuit of some arcane vinous pleasure,  he looks up like an eager puppy, gazing imploringly at his other half until finally she delivers her verdict: “Quite nice, isn’t it?” qualified, rather distantly, by “yes, very fruity.” And straight back to Holby City.

Collapse of stout party! He breathes in and doesn’t exhale, lips pursed and eyebrows furrowed as he seeks a tactful way of asking the question formulating in his mind. He breathes out and repeats the performance, this time more briefly as the only question in his head now is whether he can really be bothered pursuing the matter. Fizzing with unspoken imprecations about the calibre of her choice of entertainment and its ability to distract from the really important matters, he selects a few favourite CDs from a shelf and retreats to the reassuring world of his headphones and his visions of vine-strewn hillsides. After a couple of minutes of inattentive listening, he begins to smile softly to nobody in particular, as he realises that one day, to return the favour, she might make him read Middlemarch. He knows his opinion will be “er, yeah, it’s really good,” and to prove he’s been paying it due attention: “Proper long sentences. Not like nowadays.”  Then Holby’s credits roll, he tops up the glasses, and the dial goes back down to “comfortable.”.


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