So I'm in Sainsbury's contemplating whether to go for Cream of Tomato or Chicken on the old Heinz Soup/ Poor Actor's diet ( Dr Atkins eat your heart out...much cheaper and far more effective, I've lost a stone in three weeks), when Fellow Actress calls.
I've not heard from her for a while. She's been on the lay low for the last few weeks whilst I've been in my play, probably licking her wounds and making voodoo dolls of me for having "stolen" her dream role. I've been dreading speaking to her to be honest and was hoping this temporary divergence in our paths might become more of a permanent chasm.
I am almost about to press "cancel call", when I remember the time I did just that, only to turn around and find that she was actually hovering behind a bush and watching me from down the road, "testing" our friendship by seeing what I would do when she called. I failed the test and God did I suffer for it. I take a deep breath and press answer.
"Hi!" I say bright and breezily, glancing around me furtively .
"I'm in LOVE," she announces dramatically.
Here we go again.
"I'm fine thanks," I say, "thanks for asking.So you still with the Non Lesbian lesbian?"
"Oh god no,darling. That ended weeks ago!"
" But you only met her last month?" I say,somewhat confused
"Er yeh, well, actually it never started. She er..she got a boyfriend," she mumbles.
Aha. That old non lesbian lesbian trick.
"So, is this just a man then? Or another woman?" I say cagily
"A man ,silly!! That was just experimentation. And this is not JUST a man, this is The One.We've spent every second of every minute of the last three weeks together. I am 100% smitten." she sighs dreamily.
"Thats great babe," I say, trying not to reveal the envy in my voice." I'm really pleased for you"
"I mean, he's even introduced me to his parents and everything.And...he's taking me as his plus one to his sister's wedding this weekend. I think he might be popping The Question."
"Isn't it a bit soon?" I say
"Harry. Darling.When you know you just know."
I know. That is the problem.
"So.Hows things with you?" she asks , "Whats happening in your love life?Have you been out with Suit guy yet?"
"No" I mumble
"Whats wrong with you he sounds great?"
"I don't know, I'm scared maybe"
"That he might be boring, that I'll have to sit through an hour of agonising small talk, that he'll expect me to understand things like bear markets and influx management growth funds"
"Harriett," she sighs and pauses for dramatic effect, " I may be your friend but I am now going to give you some very good advice in the shape of two words. MOVE ON."
"Thanks," I say grumpily
"I mean it. Dom is with Betty now, he is never coming back. Never. Do. You. Understand? In the words of that twat from Big Brother. Comprendez??"
"I know," I sigh, "I know."
But i don't know atall. I don't want suit guy, no matter what he does with his eyebrows, I want Dom. I love Dom.
"So I want you to sit down, make a cup of tea and dial Suit Guy's number and agree to have a drink with him. OK?"
"OK," I say meekly
"Good Girl," she says, and I stare at the shelves of tins wondering what tomato and oxtail would taste like mixed together for a bit of a change, when she adds..
"Harry, men are like Heinz soup, there are 57 varieties and you've got to try them all."
"Where are you ?" I say, frozen to the spot.
"Aisle 14. Condiments and sauces," she says
And I turn and walk to the end of my aisle, and there she is, her mobile phone to her ear,grinning like a Cheshire cat, "Congratulations , my friend, " she says in a crap American accent, "You have passed the test."