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Quiz night

15 July, 2017

It was quiz night on Wednesday, and for one night only Fiona joined Team Woo Woo. Well hopefully for more than one night but we’ll see.

I had high hopes for the evening, and was looking forward to introducing her to some of my friends in a more relaxed context than a crowded bar full of cricketers and netballers. I was sure they would all get along just fine. But it seems my aim was just a little bit off.

You see Team Woo Woo is made up of all ex-colleagues from my last job, the few that I actually wanted to spend any sort of time with outside of the office. We always have a good fun night and we do OK at the quiz. And it just so happens that of the five of us, I’m the only bloke. This has never been any sort of issue, we’re all mates. OK, one of them is GAW but although I still think her incredibly cute, any possibility of anything happening between us is ancient history. But I sensed a bit of unease in Fiona as the others arrived one by one. At first I thought it was just nerves at meeting everyone. Yes, it was a lot less pressure than last week after the match would have been, but still a lot of meeting to do and I know I would have felt the same. I asked her a few times if she was OK, and she assured me she was but I could see she wasn’t totally relaxed. We stayed for the whole quiz though and she enjoyed it, but I knew something wasn’t right.

She told me afterwards she had been surprised the team was me and four women. I said I had told even her who would be there but she had assumed that the Sam and Jo I referred to would be Samuel and Joseph not Samantha and Joanne, and thus she had assumed the four we were joining would be two couples.

OK, I said, I’m sorry I didn’t explain that very well but to be honest it barely registers anymore that I’m the only bloke.

The conversation continued and I explained that I have more female than male friends. I’m not sure why, it’s just how it is. The people that I like, I like for who they are. For instance I have friends in their 20s and friends in their 70s and everything in between; I don’t really register or differentiate. I tend to have different groups of friends in different parts of my life, and it just so happens that the friends who are from that ex-employer are all female. Fiona understood all this and assured me it wasn’t that she assumed I wasn’t to be trusted or anything like that, and she did quite like them all. But, she said, it had thrown her a bit. How would I have felt if she had taken me to meet “her friends” and introduced me to a load of blokes?
And that was a very good point. Even if they were all perfectly friendly, saints fans, gentlemen, all that stuff, would I wonder how it was the she was socialising with them and there were no other girls there? Would a part of my brain spend the whole evening thinking that one or more or all of them was secretly lusting after her? Or her after him/them? I trust her as much as she says she trusts me, but your head can’t help but wonder.

This raises several questions – is she being, and would I be being, over-paranoid? Was I being insensitive inviting her to meet a load of female friends? Is it really that strange that I am the only bloke in that group? Would there be a different dynamic in a group of all girls and one bloke vs all blokes and one girl?

I don’t really know the answer to any of these things. And although I wouldn’t say this was our first row, because it wasn’t, the whole thing definitely left a slightly awkward air and I could feel our relationship cool just a smidgeon. Not fatally, but it was there. I haven’t seen her since then but we have been chatting as normal – maybe a teeny bit less, or am I imagining that – and I’m sure all will be fine. But I will mull this over and envisage all sorts of disastrous outcomes before then. Because that’s what I do best.

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