THE BLOG

Leaving My Mark

27/08/2015 11:07 BST | Updated 26/08/2016 10:59 BST

Making a good first impression and leaving your mark is important, but sometimes circumstances dictate an outcome different from what you had hoped for. A particular incident that happened to me a number of years ago comes to mind. I don't think I left the desired impression, but I'll let you be the judge of that...

Feeling terribly virtuous, I had risen early to prepare in advance for some guests who would be coming to dinner the following evening. I decided to make a devilishly rich desert (not for the faint of heart or those watching their calorie intake!) which always seems to go down well. After all, who doesn't like chocolate mousse? I finished making the mousse and popped it into the fridge. Clearing up, I couldn't bear to waste a drop of the delicious dark chocolate mixture, so diligently licked out the bowl along with implements, for I'm sure you'd do the same and agree with me, this is the cook's prerogative!

Suddenly remembering I had been invited to a lady for coffee that morning, I franticly abandoned the mess in the kitchen, grabbed my bag and dashed out the door. Breathless, standing on her doorstep, about to ring the doorbell, I ran a hand over my unruly hair. Trying to smooth down a few wiry hairs that seemed to have a mind of their own, I wished I'd had time to make yours truly look presentable. But I told myself, this wasn't a job interview nor a black tie affair, it was simply an informal invitation to become acquainted with someone new over morning coffee.

I was beckoned into the lounge, and from the pristine off-white elegant furnishings I doubted there were any young children or dogs in the household. I sat down on a gorgeous armchair and wondered how often the suite had to be cleaned. The pale colour was totally unpractical but I had to admit, it did look totally stunning, like a sumptuous scene, shot for one of those glossy magazines. My immaculately dressed hostess sat opposite me asking how I take my coffee, and without batting an eyelid, she nonchalantly handed me a tissue, telling me I had something on my nose. Fearing the worst and a little embarrassed I immediately wiped my nose only to find the culprit was chocolate mousse!

Horrified I looked down at my arms that were resting on the beautiful off-white upholstery and noticed there was more chocolate mousse. Have you ever dropped a bottle of tomato ketchup, and days later found spots of ketchup in places you'd never think possible to reach, and you wonder how they got there? Chocolate is much the same and has a habit of getting pretty much everywhere. I had done a thorough job of licking out the mixing bowl, but apparently not such a good job of cleaning myself up and removing all evidence of chocolate before leaving home!

I excused myself and went to the bathroom, where I quickly washed off the last traces of chocolate. Fortunately I didn't leave a mark on the white chair I'd been sitting on and the remainder of my visit was without further incident. So one can definitely make an impression, hopefully a good one, and as for leaving one's mark ....well in some circumstances it's probably best not to! In case you are wondering if I was ever invited back, unfortunately I was not. I can't imagine why?!!!

http://www.elainebenton.net/