Remember my story about the awkward case of mistaken identity from a couple of months back?
A week goes by and I’m back in the kitchen stealing a dribble of someone else’s milk for a cup of tea (please don’t judge me) and who should walk in, but Polly.
After the mix up last week, I’m tempted to ignore her, but that’s just not my way. I need to sort this one out and put things right.
‘Ah – along came Polly!‘ I say brightly.
‘Oh – hi‘ comes the flat reply.
‘How’s your ferret?’
‘I beg your pardon‘
‘You know like in the film ‘along came Polly’ with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Anniston? I think she has a ferret…‘
‘Right. Look I’d like to chat’ (I’m not convinced about this by the body language I’m receiving) ‘but I only came in here for a cup of tea‘
‘Well then, Polly put the kettle on!‘ (Ha – a classic, surely that will help put her at ease)…
‘Do you normally have a biscuit or something to eat with your tea?‘ I ask, gearing up for another punch line.
‘If so – does Polly want a cracker?!‘ I added a mock american accent this time for added effect.
Still no response. This was not going well and I was starting to get flustered.
‘Oh and I like the dress your wearing by the way. What’s it made of? Polyester?‘ I stifled a laugh, I was starting to surprise myself now with the jokes (although more the quantity than quality)
But Polly looked directly at me with what can only be described as a sneer on her face (because it was in fact a sneer) and said coldly:
‘I don’t eat crackers, and the dress is 100% Egyptian cotton actually.’
She stepped to one side, opened the cupboard and took out a mug. Then took out a box of teabags, removed a teabag and put it in her mug. All without saying another word.
Those 5 seconds felt like an eternity. I realise I’d been inappropriate and overly familiar with someone I didn’t know and that my attempt to get over my previous screw up had gone badly wrong and now I’d screwed up even more.
It was time to cut the jokes, put my cards on the table and leave her in peace. I needed to show her that I’m someone of integrity. A stand up guy with only good intentions. So I had one last attempt to explain my actions.
I finished making my tea and turned to face Polly whilst looking down sheepishly at my shoes.
‘OK look, I’m sorry for the misunderstanding last week. I think we got off on the wrong foot and I was just trying to make light of it.‘
‘My bad jokes were just my way of trying to break the ice again. I’m sorry if I made you feel awkward or uncomfortable. Please just ignore me, I won’t bug you again. I’ll leave you to make your tea.’
I picked up the milk and headed over to the fridge to put it back on my way out.
Polly looked directly at me for the first time during the whole conversation.
I was hoping that my apology had succeeded. That my openness and honesty had shone through. For a fleeting moment I had a vision of us being friends, about going for coffee and laughing about all this in the future.
Then she said:
‘You can leave that milk out – it’s mine…‘