Any effort to elicit information from Patsy as to the status of her new relationship is being firmly resisted. Normally, Patsy can talk the hind legs off a donkey but, this time, her cards are being played close to her large chest.
"I'm not saying anything in case, by some chance, it ends up in the paper," she said, squinting at me as we sat around one ham and cheese panini which, as things are a bit tight, had been carefully quartered -- somehow, I had ended up with the quarter that contained neither ham nor cheese.
Maggie wasn't giving up, though. "He told me you are a grand girl," she said, giving the rest of us a wink. Patsy gave a ghost of a smile but remained mum, so Maggie went for broke. "How is he in the trousers department?" she asked too loudly. Josie did her best not to laugh as Patsy spluttered bits of panini across the table.
"Christ almighty, have you no shame?" she demanded. "He may be your brother-in-law but that doesn't give you the right to ask intimate questions!"
"Ah, don't be shy we won't tell anybody -- well, except for Marie maybe."
"And it's not like I use your real name anyway," I comforted her.
"The trousers department is between me and him," stated Patsy.
"I should certainly hope so," replied Josie. "Because if it's somewhere else then, Houston, you have a problem." (We may look like middle-aged ladies but, unfortunately, our mental age is somewhere around the Junior Cert.)
When we had stopped laughing Maggie said, "I read the other day that there is a boom in women over 40 buying risque lingerie?"
"When you say risque, what exactly do you mean?" asked Josie.
"Oh, you know, items like suspenders and stockings and those tiny knickers that make you feel like your buttocks are being flossed. Apparently, women our age can't get enough of them, sure they can't Patsy?"
Patsy started squirming in her seat, which is unusual for a woman who is used to being slagged off at every opportunity.
"Jaysus, you're not wearing them now are you?" shrieked Josie.
"Actually, I'm having a little trouble with my haemorrhoids if you must know," she replied before slapping a hand over her gob.
"Too late," I said. "That one's for the paper."