“Hello is that Tara?” said a voice on the phone.
“Yep, speaking.” I replied.
“This is Jane* from the DVLA.” she said.
Oh crap, I thought. What’s happened? What had I done (or not done)? I was sure I’d paid my car tax.
“Errr, well, this is all a bit awkward.” she said.
Jesus? What the chuff was it? What had I done?
“We’ve, err, received something in the post. <cough> This isn’t usual. We wouldn’t normally do this. In fact, I probably shouldn’t ring you, but it’s nearly Christmas and it’s the season of goodwill and all that, and I thought, err, I should at least ring you to tell you.”
WHAT THE HELL JANE? “Err, right, OK, go on…” TELL ME.
“We’ve had a Christmas card through the post.” Right… “They gave your number plate for us to find you, and £5 was in the card, for postage for us to send the card onto you or for us to give this person your address. Oh, not that we would pass your details on of course.” OK… “I thought it was kind of sweet, and thought you might want to decide whether you’d want it or not. This guy obviously was taken with you.”
Well. Not quite what I was expecting. I was just relieved I hadn’t broken the law in some way.
I glanced down at my engagement ring. “I’m in a relationship, so I don’t really want the card or to meet this guy, but I am curious about what it says. It’s all a bit strange. Could you read the message to me?”
So Jane read the writing in the card. I can’t remember the exact words now, but basically this guy had seen me driving around Lincoln in my mini (it was a pretty distinctive red and white mini with big wheels and a loud exhaust) and wanted to meet me and had hoped that the DVLA would help him in his quest. He had a mini too, so we had something in common. He signed off the card with some initials (I think JP?) so I never knew what his actual name was, and this was in the days before social media, so there was never any way of finding out.
I asked Jane to ring him and say thanks, I’m flattered and I appreciate the effort, but sorry, no. Oh, and to wish him a Merry Christmas.
Still to this day I’m impressed by his initiative, creativity and the fact he took a punt. Would I have met him if I was single back then? Probably. In a public place with a friend knowing where I was, just in case.
It’s a hell of a lot of effort for someone to go to, when some men don’t even ask me out for a drink.
*May not have been Jane, I can’t remember