18 Jul 2024
Love Refugee: Potato Pot-aah-to
Fiction Love Refugee

Love Refugee: Potato Pot-aah-to

Love Refugee is YLC’s new fiction serial; a romantic comedy about expat and confirmed singleton Ellie, determined to avoid commitment at any cost… who discovers that she has an inconvenient weakness for Swedish men (it’s not autobiographical at all…) 🙂

The thing is, for me, relationships are a bit like doing marathons. Well done to you if you are into all that getting up at horrific hours to sweat, eating nothing but pasta by the shovel load, blisters, dodgy knees and becoming an annoyance to your Facebook friends with “just ran to Oslo and back! Feel great!” nonsense, but if anyone wants me, I’ll be on the sofa with a magazine and some cake.

There’s a big difference though : if you tell people that doing marathons isn’t really your cup of tea, they accept it without comment.

Try telling people you’re a 35-year-old woman who changes the locks when some dude starts making noises about moving in (that was a bit awkward actually, he took it quite personally): they look at you as though you have two heads.

All the funny looks in the world won’t change my mind, though. There isn’t any deep dark sinister story behind it, either. Of course I’ve had my heart broken my fair share of times – haven’t we all? – but I’ve never been so devastated that I’ve sworn off men or anything. Nor do I hate men in the least: on the contrary, I’m immensely fond of them. So fond of them, in fact, that that’s part of the issue: I can’t bring myself to limit myself to just one.

The other part of the issue is that I’m even more fond of being able to do crunches with a glass of wine whilst watching the most brain-rotting reality TV imaginable in the comfort of my own home without anyone judging me or muttering about a ‘game’ about to start.

Nor am I even a child of divorce. In fact, my mum has just texted me to let me know that she and Dad are now onto the fourth season of Breaking Bad and do I think they can get a small business loan to start producing crack in West Tything? The worst part is, I have no idea whether or not she’s joking.

It’s just how I’m wired, really. Horses for courses, potato pot-ahh-to and all that jazz.

If only I could convince the rest of the world just how a-okay I am on my tod. It all got a bit awkward at my friend Kate’s wedding a few months back. There I was, happily minding my own business half way down a bottle of champagne, when I heard the cry: “spinsters! All the spinsters gather on the lawn!”

Not bloody likely, I thought to myself, and retreated into the shadows, only to be found by a couple of Kate’s giggly 20-something cousins who dragged me, along with a little old lady with lilac hair who may have been a spinster or may have just followed us, down onto the lawn. I say ‘down’ because the reception was being held on a sort of terrace-y thing attached to a hotel and the lawn – a bit squelchy thanks to a week of showers – was indeed down a flight of stairs.

So there we stood, we little group of oddballs, cowered and vulnerable, looking up at 80-odd jeering (it seemed) wedding guests, wondering (at least I was) whether rotten tomatoes would come flying at us along with the bouquet.

But no, it was just the bouquet. Sailing gracefully through the air…

Oh arse.

Right at me.

Just in the nick of time, I ducked.

The bouquet landed, forlornly, at my feet. In a puddle. Mud instantly seeping its way through the cream ribbons. Oops.

Seeing Kate’s lower lip start to wobble, I swiftly picked it up, held it triumphantly above my head and, calling on all my reserves from school drama classes, shouted, “… yay!”

A sigh of relief zipped through the crowd, the day was saved, and for the rest of the night I had people congratulate me on being “lucky” enough to “catch” the bouquet. The lilac-haired old lady promised that ‘he’ would come along and swoop me up soon enough, and just cocked her head to one side in confusion when I replied, “not if I see him first.”

So when Andreas started talking enthusiastically about something called “pappaledighet,” it was time to show him the door.

Featured Image: Adrien Leguay/Flickr (file)

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