“Oh, so you’ve got a real job”

“Oh, so you’ve got a real job”

We were sitting at the dinner table getting to know each other.

I’d been on a few dates with their daughter so I wanted to make a good impression. I was a mix of nerves and confidence. Nerves because I was 17 and meeting a girls parents for the first time. Confidence because if there’s anything I’ve been able to do well it’s first impressions.

Her Dad was a surgeon, her Mum some kind of medical profession too, I can’t remember.

Making dinner I was offering a hand where I could. But her Mum insisted I didn’t need to worry, everything was taken care of.

When it was ready, we all sat down. Me and their daughter on one side. Her parents on the other, her sister on the right. I was careful serving myself. I usually ate a lot but this time I kept it to a reasonable amount.

We all got to talking. They asked how she was doing at university, asked me the same thing. I was doing poorly but offered up a good cover story.

Her Mum asked when she was working next. The next day. Then she asked me.

I told her I only worked Thursday’s and Friday’s.

“Where do you work?” She asked.

“At a building company in the city.”

“In an office?”

“Yeah, it’s a big office. But I’m only in the records section.”

“Oh, so you’ve got a real job.” She said with a slight intrigue.

“Oh yeah? What do you mean by that?” I asked.

“You get dressed and go to an office rather than work at a fast food restaurant or something.”

“Yeah, I guess you could say that.”

“That sounds impressive.”

I let out a cheap smile. And sat there thinking, "this doesn't feel right."

I was too young and naive to know it at the time. But it never would’ve worked out.

It didn't anyway.