THE MEETING A MATE’ S NEW FLAME
This is an agreement made by A Person Meeting Their Best Mate’s New Boyfriend Or Girlfriend For The First Time, __________________ (hereafter referred to as The Gooseberry)
The Gooseberry will receive a strict briefing from her best friend on things she’s not allowed to talk about. This will include but is not limited to: the best mate’s exes, the best mate’s Tinder matches, the best mate’s former job as a children’s entertainer, and that hairy mole on the best mate’s back. The Gooseberry will agree reluctantly. She will promise not to be too judgemental about the new person’s shoes.
To say hello, the Gooseberry will pull The New Flame into a long hug, while mouthing “HOT!” and doing a thumbs-up over their shoulder. She will silently judge their shoes. The New Flame will joke about needing to earn her approval and The Gooseberry will nod, as this is correct. Her mouth will say, “I’ll get the gins in!” while her eyes say, “Hurt them and I will end you.”
The Gooseberry will listen politely as her best friend and The New Flame tell an incredibly long story about going to a farmers’ market last weekend that ends with “You probably had to be there.” They will do this while somehow stroking each other’s knees and kissing each other’s necks simultaneously. The Gooseberry will order a bottle of wine. She will not ask what anyone else is having.
MARKING YOUR TERRITORY
To show she’s been around longer, The Gooseberry will get weirdly competitive. She will begin telling lots of long, nostalgic stories about things she and her best mate did 15 years ago. Remember that time they got detention for chucking that teacher’s wig on top of the modern languages building? Wasn’t it SO FUNNY? Her best mate will not remember. The Gooseberry will sulk.
When the best mate gets up and goes to the loo, an awkward silence will descend. “Soooo,” they will say. The Gooseberry will decide she must bond with The New Flame the only way she knows how: taking the piss out of her best mate. This will work a treat. When the best mate comes back, they will be five albums deep into photos of the best mate’s noughties haircuts, laughing hysterically.
Finally starting to relax, The Gooseberry will make a hilarious joke about something nobody could possibly be into – like fox-hunting or Coldplay. Unfortunately it will turn out that The New Flame is actually very into fox-hunting and/or Coldplay. There will be a long, awkward pause. Everyone will take a big gulp of drink. “Um,” The Gooseberry will say. “So how about that hairy mole, eh?”