Blind-Date Baby
same. Shouldn’t there be at least one set of nesting tables in her living room? Where were the dinky ornaments, bought with a completely straight face and displayed with pride on the doily-topped mantle?
    Okay, maybe she was taking this a bit too far, but Noah was her age and she’d bet he didn’t have a stick of flat-pack furniture in his house. With relief, she reckoned he probably didn’t have any doilies or nesting tables either, but she’d bet his place still looked…well…grown-up.
    She turned into her bedroom and surveyed the turquoise and fuchsia Indian-inspired bedding. She loved it, loved the bright colours and sparkly embroidery, but nothing about it said ‘mature and sophisticated’. Should it? Did she want it to?
    She was standing next to the end of the bed and dropped onto it, staring at herself in a long mirror on the wall. They were more lines on her face than there had been twenty years ago—was that really all that had changed? When Daisy had been at home, all this noise and colour had seemed fun, had seemed right. Now, it jarred.
    She was living in a time warp.
    The urge to bury her face in her hands was irresistible, so she didn’t bother to resist it. She was going to end up like Mrs Sims who came into The Coffee Bean, wasn’t she? Mrs Sims, who at eighty still wore bobby socks, white plimsolls and a skirt that was just crying out to have a poodle appliquéd onto it.
    She stood up and wandered into the living room and flicked the telly on. After channel surfing for a few minutes, she stopped at one of her all-time favourite movies—an eighties high school, coming-of-age flick. It didn’t matter that she’d missed the first twenty minutes, she practically knew the lines by heart, anyway. It would fill the time nicely until her chat with Marissa and Dani and stop her thinking of poodles and figurines that were a nightmare to dust. is running 12 chat rooms, 41 private IM conferences, and 4955 members are online. Private Instant Messaging conference between Englishcrumpet, Sanfrandani and Kangagirl:

    Englishcrumpet: Come on, Dani. Entertain us with your dating disasters! I can’t ask Marissa because she’s disgustingly about-to-be-wed and full of the joys of love.
    Sanfrandani: Oh, you know…Same old, same old.
    Englishcrumpet: But that’s just it, Dani! We don’t know. You’re always so vague.
    Kangagirl: It’s time to spill the beans.
    Englishcrumpet: Look, I told you about my dating bellyflop! Don’t try and divert the conversation, Dani. Tell me you’ve had your fair share of no-hopers.
    Sanfrandani: I’ve had my fair share of no-hopers.
    Kangagirl: And…details, please?
    Sanfrandani: And your one date wasn’t a total washout, Grace. Has the mysterious Noah popped into the coffee shop any time recently?
    Englishcrumpet: Yes, he has. In fact, he’s got into the habit of appearing at The Coffee Bean pretty regularly—for coffee and something sweet, he says.
    Kangagirl: Awwwww. What does he do again? Not many men have time to lounge around in coffee shops in the middle of the day.
    Englishcrumpet: He doesn’t lounge —he brings his laptop and sits there alternately talking to himself, typing and staring into space. He writes stuff.
    Sanfrandani: What kind of stuff?
    Englishcrumpet: Oh, I don’t know. Military stuff. Spy stuff.
    Sanfrandani: And his name is Noah?
    Englishcrumpet: Duh! Yes!
    Sanfrandani: Have you looked for his stuff in a bookstore?
    Englishcrumpet: No. Do you think I should?
    Sanfrandani: Yeah, I really do.
    Englishcrumpet: Anyway, that’s irrelevant. I just want to stress (looking at no one in particular, Marissa) that Noah and I are just friends.
    Kangagirl: Just good friends. Now where have I heard that before?
    Englishcrumpet: We are good friends now. But I’m starved of girl-type gossip since Daisy’s been gone. Come on, girls! Give me something juicy!
    Sanfrandani: I might gossip a bit more if I could get a word in edgewise

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