Two weeks ago we went on a date to Decathlon. Now traipsing round a European sporting department store in the West Midlands might not sound like the latest in salubrious date hang outs, but for a couple saving for a big holiday later in the year, we’ve got to make the most of the options we’ve got. Decathlon is a lush place for a date, especially in the summer as, not only can you play on the ping pong set up indoors, they also set up a mini playing field outside, complete with goals, basketball hoops and a mini tennis net. It was a busy Thursday evening and the sun was shining, parents were playing swing ball with their children, and pink scooters with price stickers still attached, presented multicoloured hazards around the court. Something- not least the metre high net and half sized racquets- was suggesting that this space wasn’t exactly aimed at twenty-somethings on a hot date. Nonetheless, we were unperturbed. Our selfish want to have a knock about outweighing any guilt we might have felt for depriving the seven year olds in the tramlines of a go.
This then, random, unconventional and potentially publicly embarrassing, is the sort of dates we go on. No surprise then, that we’ve made good use of our sole Decathlon purchase to continue having fun dates.
We bought a kite. A blue, two handled, £8 kite. Which, despite its long blue ribbon is a boy kite. The kite belongs to my fella. Not me. It’s not for sharing. Oh no, as I most unceremoniously found out this weekend, on our latest in a trio of kite dates.
Kite dates numbers 1 & 2 happened last weekend when there was no wind. We were literally attempting to fly a kite on optimism alone. My fella held the strings taut, I, twenty metres away, held the kite aloft ready to launch it on a substantial gust at any moment. Unfortunately, no such gust came, and my efforts to incite the kite to take off quickly ended in it nose diving two inches away from me, having never gained any height at all. Mostly I just got to stand their until my arms ached. My fella sulked. And I mean sulked like a five year old sulks. He kicked a pine cone. Toe poked it though so hard he then had to hop around in a moody agony.
Date number 3 though was an almighty triumph. The kite took flight. It lifted off the ground, and propelled by mother nature alone, swooped into the sky, where it stayed until the wind dropped or my fella attempted some sort of a trick with it. My fella’s face lit up. Like a kid at Christmas, pure unadulterated joy spread across his face as he flew his kite. There’s that old adage, about finding happiness in simple things. Nothing much more simple than flying a kite.
It was fun for him. I was knackered. I spent my time alternating between running away from the impending kite, about to conk me good and proper on the head, and trotting to wherever the kite had landed so I could hold it aloft once more. It felt like I was having a work out. And in a pencil skirt and sandals, designed for looking cute on a summer date in the park, I was not equipped for a jog around the park. “Can I have a go?” I asked, innocent, and worn out.
“Hang on, I just want one more go”
“Now can I have a go?”
“That one didn’t go right, just one more go.”
“Is it my turn now?”
Eventually he relinquished the string. For one flight. “My go” he trilled across the grass, hands outstretched ready to resume his position as chief kite flyer.
I was better at flying the kite than him. I had as much fun as him, and yet my turn involved ‘one go’, whereas his was the continual… “one MORE go”
It was the same when we had to leave. It took me twenty minutes to coax him out of the park and back to the car. “One more go” turned into one more, and one more and one more.
He doesn’t know how lucky he is really. Kite flying isn’t really a solo sport. You need someone to help out, to get the kite off the ground. To launch it. To find the wind. To help you not to look like a total loon. Gosh, he should be so grateful I’m his girlfriend.