The suggestion to start a wine dinner for our group of friends came from Tom. This was hardly surprising. Tom is the most adult, adult I know. It’s not that he is the most mature grown-up but he is the most qualified and by far the most convincing. Tom knows intuitively what comes next in life and slides effortlessly from one phase of adulthood to the next. Like a migrating shore bird that knows instinctively when it’s time to rise and ride the thermals to the next phase of life, Tom seems wired to know when it’s time to move onto the next appropriate thing.
Tom knows how to give an off-the-cuff public speech, knows when to send thank you notes, and gets along with family as if family rifts only happen in TV dramas. Not only does Tom know what a smoking jacket is, he also owns one and has had at least one non-fancy dress occasion to wear it to. A fact made even more impressive because Tom does not smoke. Tom knows how to dance to all rhythms and yet is still at home with a beer in hand at the football. Tom doesn’t outgrow inappropriate behaviours, he sheds them like a cicada stepping out from its summer shell, naturally, and when Mother Nature intended.
So it came as little surprise that on the night of my book launch Tom suggested we start a wine dinner. ‘It would be a good chance for us all to catch up’, he said. I nodded at the idea; not only was I certain that whatever Tom suggested would be the right thing to do, I also felt it would be good to catch up. In what seemed like a short space of time but was only a year or two, our tight-knit group seemed not quite to be unraveling but certainly to be less tight-knit. Catch ups were no longer impromptu and always by appointment. There were entire pregnancies I had missed and babies I was planning to meet who were now walking. Friends leapt from having a new job to being the CEOs of things. People were becoming who they were going to be when they grew up. None of us could say what we were doing, ‘I’m well, thanks. Busy!’ So I thought catching up for a wine dinner was a great suggestion. I waited to hear more about Tom’s new plan but he just stared at me.
‘So do you think you can look into that for us?’ he asked.
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