TheBloke (TM) has a working theory that I didn't have a childhood. Tied together with my friend Hazel's assertion that I was born aged 42, I think it's fairly safe to say that I was a tad on the square side.
TheBloke (TM) loves asking me questions like, "Well, what did you do for fun?"
The reply to that - like most children, I imagine - is, "I read books. I did my piano practice. On Sundays - if I'd finished all my homework - I went to Tesco."
He guffaws with delight. "Have you ever climbed a tree?" he goads.
"Why would I want to?"
"Well," he says, "it's fun. Did you ever ride your bike down a really steep hill?"
"No," I say. "That would have been dangerous."
"That's the point," he says.
"I did love that Friday feeling though, when school finished and the weekend stretched ahead of you," I muse.
"Aha!" says TheBloke (TM). "Now we're getting somewhere."
"Because," I continue, on a Friday night Mum would take me to the library, and then it was choir practice."
TheBloke (TM) laughs. I am fairly sure it is with me, rather than at me. Fairly sure.
Well, fast forward a few days and we are at the very lovely wedding of very lovely Hazel herself. TheBloke (TM) decides to use this as an opportunity to tease me in front of my school friends.
"Hey, Erica," he says. "Laura didn't have a childhood. She has never climbed a tree!"
Erica replies. "I have climbed a tree."
I am surprised by this. "Why?" I ask Erica.
"I don't know. I think I read about it in a book once."
TheBloke (TM) says, "At least she climbed a tree."
"Don't start," I say. "Erica is famous for being the rebel amongst us, as she was the only one who ever got a detention. It was for skiving school... and she was discovered hiding in the local library."
Erica cannot deny this.
TheBloke (TM) then tries several other of my friends and comes up with the fact that we are so square that between us we had:
- Christian Union
- Church youth club
- Further Maths club
- Extra curricular literature club
- Computer club
- Chess club
- Handbells club*
and very little underage drinking. At which point he gives up.
He should have known better than to pick a "who's squarest" battle with the alumni of Miss Harvatt's Academy for Very Studious Girls. Though honestly, I think I might have won.
* OK, admittedly five of these were mine.