Dating Stories: The Camping Lady

Some friends invited me to go camping. They said their friends Sam, Jo, Emily and Scotty were coming. I could tell Emily was a woman’s name. The others, they could go either way.

I got asked once, “Hey is Gab here?” and I had no idea who Gab was, but I didn’t want the other person to know that, so I said, “I haven’t seen them.”

Even if they said, “Have you seen Gabrielle?” that wouldn’t have helped. It would have been better if they said, “Blonde hair, yay high, often wears a shirt.”

I could go, “There, there, there,” pointing at people. It’d be a game of Guess Who but it narrows it down. Don’t come at me with names. I don’t know who your friends are.

I get to the camp and there’s Jo and Sam, female and male, and Emily and Scotty, female and male. So, it’s three couples and me. So I think there’s no point in being honest this weekend, I’ll have some fun, so when Emily asked me what I do for a living, I told her “I’m a vascular surgeon”.

I said, “I just do stints in legs at the moment for varicose veins, but I’m starting to do some compression injuries from sports.”

Playing it down makes it sound believable, but hope for the future makes it cool.

Mum said I’d oversold it by having hope for the future. She said she didn’t have any hope for my future.

I said it was my fiction and I could make believe whatever I wanted.

She said she likes to make believe that one day I’ll move out of home.

She had me there.

I was telling Emily I was a vascular surgeon and she was believing me. Then she said, “My brother Scott works as an anaesthetist. You haven’t worked with him have you?”

I said, “No,” and a heavy weight fell on my chest, like a thousand stuff-ups crashing into me.

After a minute of silence she waked away and went to sleep in the two-man tent she was sharing with her brother.

I thought that was weird, but then I slept alone and got cold, and didn’t actually sleep, and the next day I felt terrible, and they were fine. So good on them. They were


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