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Friday, February 25, 2011

An awkward lunch in the city

Having lunch in a cafe at the bottom of an office block the other day I witnessed a familiar scene. A young woman, presumably on maternity leave, had returned with her baby to have lunch with another young woman, presumably one still working in the office above. The second young woman made the appropriate admiring noises in the direction of her friend's baby but you just knew her heart wasn't in it. At the end of the lunch she stood there patiently while her old mate gathered up the baby's extensive travelling kit and got ready for the road. They said their fond farewells. One skipped towards the lift, the other started to negotiate the revolving door.

I suspect this was the last time they would meet like this. On reflection the mother would not consider it worth the trouble. The working girl, who found the whole thing a bit boring, would find a reason to put her off if she suggested it. One's got a new centre to her world. The other one hasn't. In the half hour it took them to have lunch you could sense them both realising this.