It was bound to happen sooner or later. Myself and Mr Private had our first tiff, although it was far from a door-slamming/raised voices/finger pointing affair.
I, and eleven others were invited to speak at 'Strictly Speaking', a fund-raising event by Athy Toastmasters, where we were each given two random topics to speak about for 2-3 minutes. The contestants were to be scored in 'Strictly Come Dancing' style, by a panel of four judges. As the event got closer, I got more and more nervous. I really wanted a bit of support, especially after one of the event organisers, Maggie, sends an email encouraging us to bring friends and family. None of my family live locally and most of my friends in Athy have young children, with all of the logistics of childcare, so I didn't ask any of them to come along. Of course, I would know lots of people there, but it's not the same as having someone special, clapping that bit louder for you.
I thought that Mr Private was elsewhere that weekend, but when I found out that he would be 'around' after all, I sent him a text message the night before and asked him to come along. He sent back a vague text not committing to anything.
The following morning, the 'Day Of', I text him again. His reply was a firm 'no', with an excuse, equivalent to 'I'm washing my hair'. My text in return said 'fine', but of course I wasn't fine. If I was standing in front of him, he would have gathered that I was raging and disappointed, in equal measures. Maybe if I had put a string of emojis with angry and sad faces in the message, he would have better understood. That's the thing about text messages though, it can be difficult to read 'tone'.
I recalled how out of place I felt at Mr Private's family wedding a few weeks previously, hoping my flowery dress would camouflage me into the background. 'You fecker', I thought to myself, 'I did that for you'. Aside from that, I thought that he would been curious to see a whole other side of me, the Public Lucina. I was out of sorts all afternoon, upset, with the nerves building in my belly, but busying myself with children and Saturday chores.
Mr Private sent me another message, asking how I was. I text back saying that I was still 'fine', but that 'I am tired of going to events on my own'. He asked me to call him, but I said I was busy, and I was. Truth is, though, there would have been tears, and I felt a bit silly about that.
In the meantime, a fellow contestant in the Strictly Speaking, the lovely Trish, called me to see if I wanted a lift to the event, she being as nervous as I, bless her wee socks.
As I got ready for the evening, I called Mr Private. He told me that he was just out of the shower, getting ready to come with me. Words tumbled out of his mouth, saying how sorry he was, that he didn't realise that the night was such a big deal to me. I explained that I was now going with someone and I didn't want to let her down. Mr Private stayed home and watched rubbish TV. The nerves eased after I did my first speech and we had a great night. Throughout the night, Mr Private sent me lovely messages encouraging me along.
The following week, we meet for lunch and Mr Private listens to what I have to say, I mean, actually listens. He gets it. I like him all the more now. We are officially doing 'fine'.