She hears him say it, dozens of times a day, on the phone.
‘All of our houses are designed for modern living.’
What does that even mean, she thinks? What is it about houses with too few doors and too much glass to clean, that makes them ‘designed for modern living.’
She wonders if he thinks it’s bullshit too. He certainly looks like he buys into the whole deal, with his carefully-gelled hair, his chinos, his blazer and his shirt, with the top button casually undone. No tie. Ties are not designed for modern living.
She wants to ask him whether he thinks it’s bullshit, on the night when he offers to buy her a quick drink, but it seems like the kind of question that might spoil the mood. Instead, they talk about what they’ve watched recently on Netflix, the restaurants in town that they like, where they’re each planning to go on holiday this summer. One drink turns into four, and eventually he says, ‘Would you like to come back to mine? For coffee?’
For coffee? Is asking someone up for coffee modern?
They do drink coffee, made in his chrome Nespresso machine, before they fuck in his beige bedroom. He is on top, the clean smell and solid weight of him both reassuring and satisfying.
It is the only thing that is satisfying, though. The actual sex lasts less than five minutes. He is done in less than twenty thrusts. She, of course, is not done, but she pretends that she is nonetheless. It seems easier that way – or it’ll be easier in the office tomorrow, at least.
She understands now, what it means to be designed for modern living. And she knows that – despite the charm, despite the carefully selected smart casual outfits – he is definitely not.