I found myself in the horns of a little dilemma earlier this week. You see, I had made arrangements with Hope to accompany me to a little soiree up in Cheltenham. It is one of those family affairs that one finds oneself attending from time to time. One of my cousins is celebrating his silver wedding and has invited just about the whole clan to join in the merriment. I had already booked us a couple of rooms and everything was set when, out of the blue, Dasher popped round and reminded me that we had planned to visit Aintree for the weekend’s racing. It is one of those events that we get to every other year or so, but I have to admit that our little arrangement had gone completely out of my head.
And that was my dilemma. To cancel the long-standing arrangement with one of my oldest friends, or tell my new girlfriend that I had made a mistake and cancel our weekend in the country? I know what Dorothy would have said if she had still been here, but she is in her own place now and I am going to have to get used to making my own decisions again.
I have to say that it wasn’t easy to tell Dasher I couldn’t make it, but faced with the same choices, I am sure he would have done the same thing. I really hate to disappoint one of my oldest friends like this but I could hardly renege on my arrangements with Hope. Whilst I am sure Hope would have understood if I had chosen to make my biennial pilgrimage to the Grand National, I am equally certain it would have put an indelible black mark against her opinion of my character.
I suppose that we all face this kind of thing from time to time, having to make difficult decisions that can have a profound impact on our futures. It is like approaching a fork in the road with no clear signposts. There is no telling where either path leads, so one just has to make the best choices one can based on the information to hand. In my case, it was fairly easy: the risk of upsetting Hope just when our relationship was starting down its own new path or change plans with one of my oldest chums. Hope’s reaction I could not predict, but I knew Dasher would be fine with it. I have often found that us chaps are so much more predictable than the ladies.
So tomorrow I will pick up Hope and drive us up the Cotswolds for what I am sure will be a very pleasant weekend. I am a little disappointed to be missing one of the great racing events of the year, but it can’t be helped. We all have to make sacrifices, and this is one of mine.