One morning I was repairing some cabinet doors for a woman who was just finding her feet as a new mother.  This became especially evident when her friend came over with her own child.  They sat at the kitchen table with a full pot of tea and a lot of catching up to do as their respective infant children bobbled in their baby bouncers.  I was less than three metres away, an unwilling eavesdropper.

‘Has everything been okay?’
‘Yes, mostly.’
‘Growing into motherhood, then?’
‘You know, it’s hard … it’s different … but it’s great.’
‘And you’re getting your energy back?’
‘Well, not sleeping of course.  But the tearing has healed.’

Tearing?  What the …?  I’m right here.  Hello!  My head may be stuck inside your dried goods cupboard but I can still hear everything you say.  Here, let me make some more noise to remind you I’m still in the room.  (Clang! Clang!)  I don’t want to be party to any discussion about tender body parts or a particular kind of itching.   We’ve just met, for heaven’s sake.  I’m hardly in my comfort zone talking about these things with my own wife.

‘And what about … the other thing?’

Oooh, cryptic.  That’s better.

‘Yeah.  It’s … um … ‘
‘Did you go to the doctor?’
‘Yes.’
‘What did she say?’
‘She said … it could be.’
‘Hmmm.’
‘But … ‘
‘But it’s not …’
‘No, it’s not … ‘
‘Okay, good.  And have you had …?’
‘No, not at all.’
‘Right.’
‘But she did say that I could easily get one over the holidays.’

Hold the phone.  Now you’re just being silly.   I appreciate your using shorthand but at least have the decency to finish your own sentences so I can get the gist of what you’re saying.  I don’t mind a hint of intrigue whilst I’m elbow-deep in your tea-towel drawer.  It’s not like DIY is my life.

‘That’s good news, then.’
‘I’m a bit apprehensive actually.’
‘Why?’
‘You know … the noise, the blood.’

Eewwww.  Stop.  (Clang!  Clang!)  Too much information.  Go back to speaking in code please.

‘So then, what … ?’
‘I don’t know.  Maybe we’ll do what we planned before.’
‘Oh, right.  The … ’
‘Yes.’
‘And what about … ‘
‘Yes.  That too.’

That’s better.

‘And how does Darren feel about that?’
‘He likes the idea.  But of course, he’s going through his own issues.’
‘Since the baby was born?’
‘Even before that.  There were problems … functioning …’

Too much information.  Too much!

‘Oh dear.’
‘Another cuppa?’
‘Yes please.’
‘Help yourself to the milk.  There’s another bottle in the fridge.’
‘Is this Earl Grey?’
‘No.  Darjeeling.  Like it?’
‘It’s very nice.  I’ve never bought Darjeeling before but I think I might.’
‘Makes for a nice change, doesn’t it?’
‘It’s lovely.’

Good.  Talk about tea.  Tea and milk, that’s good.  Talk about shopping and handbags and the price of public transport and kittens and the weather and which school you’re going to send your kids to and yoghurt.

‘Anyway …’
‘Anyway.  With everything that’s been going on I’ve completely forgotten about that nasty infection.’

That’s it!  I’ve got to (Clang!) get out of (Clang!) here.