Having resolved to return to gentlemanly conduct (after my shocking behaviour on my date with Shannon) I had my next date with Jen to arrange. We bounced around a few possibilities then settled on a comedy night that Toast and I were going to with a few chums. This would be our fourth date.
Jen met us at home and travelled to the club with us. When we arrived, most of the gang was already there, including MyLoveLifeInYourHands and Fuckwittery. It emerged afterwards that I had neglected to mention there would be other people there and this caught Jen on the hop slightly.
As we sat down, I noticed to my amusement that I had done naughty things with all three girls at the table. This was not lost on Toast either who took a serupticious photograph of me with all my ‘wives’ as he put it.
I have since realised that this was the first time in this wager that I had introduced any of my dates to my friends. I hadn’t even given this any thought because Jen is such a gregarious person that I hadn’t considered that she wouldn’t get on with everyone. If she was nervous about meeting people she didn’t show it.
When we grabbed our seats Jen was sat next to MyLoveLifeInYourHands and the two of them quickly hit it off, even with some Hugh Grant style bumbling from MyLoveLifeInYourHands when he touched Jen’s knee by accident and got into a cycle of earnest hurried apologies. Fuckwittery excitedly enthused to us “Oh my god you talk the same!!!” after Jen used a phrase she’s picked up from me.
I met Toast’s sister later that evening and I’m still utterly baffled as to why she might have thought I was a womaniser as I’d been nothing but polite!
We watched the comedy. Some of the acts were very good. Some were rubbish. One was so bad that I had to hide my own face to cover the mortification of being party to such an atrocity. I was worried that I might be called to The Hague and be found complicit in crimes against hunmanity due to my silent participation.
Watching live comedy is a great gauge of someone’s personality as you can see whether they find jokes about Hitler, casual racism or cocks funny and see how comfortable they are letting go and laughing in public. If the night was a test, which it wasn’t, then Jen would have passed with honours, a lollipop and a gold star. She’s got a outgoing, miscreant sense of humor that often seems to be bestowed upon those that were raised in the North (of England, not the pole).
In further testament to her joie de vivre, when the comedy was finished asd we were all set to head off home she was the only one who was keen to stay for the late night disco. However we were all sleepy and it was a Thursday night so we sauntered off home for bed.
I am not very functional in the mornings, it would be fair to say that I struggle. As Jen was awake before me she was doing all sorts of nice things and extracting what little conversation she could from me. When she asked if we’d also arranged to meet Saturday (which was the following day) because she that had been on the cards in the organising stage, I mumbled “sort that out when I wake up properly”. After dragging myself to the shower to force myself into consciousness I did a lot of thinking.
I really like Jen and I didn’t want to give her the impression that I was being evasive or wasn’t interested, I just wanted to take things slowly as I value my ‘boy time’ (this might involve xbox with Toast) and don’t want to make the mistake of rushing into this. After the shower I made us a cup of tea and sat her on the sofa for a chat (it seems that a cup of tea is mandatory for any chats).
I took a deep breath and started my measured explanation, which went something like this:
“I don’t mean to seem evasive about seeing you on Saturday. I do enjoy spending time with you, I’m just very cautious after being well and truly burned by my last girlfriend. There’s also been a couple of people that I’ve been interested in but didn’t end well.
This is the first time I’ve really done ‘dating’ and I’ve been on a LOT dates over the last year or so but all the relationships I’ve had to date have happened really quickly from the outset. I’ve never done that progression from dating into relationship so I’m not really sure how it works.
Basically I’ve been WAAYYY too keen a few times recently and have then suddenly lost interest. I don’t want to do this with you as I really like you so I’m trying to be calm and measured. That’s why I’d rather see you in another week or so rather than tomorrow, I’m just trying to get things right this time”
Jen looked a little relieved and said that her last relationship was about 9 months ago and she was very guarded too. If I had been talking about any sort of commitment at this stage then there would be a Jen-shaped hole in the front door. She wouldn’t consider any sort of relationship without at least three months of dating first.
She said it would be really helpful to know if I was seeing anyone else too as she had a couple of people asking her out. I answered that I had been but I had already decided to stop because it all gets a bit confusing for me and I don’t want to put myself in a position where there were two people I liked at once. Apparently there had been three other people she was seeing at first but as soon as we did naughty stuff she knocked the others on the head, so I had sort of won the competition I didn’t know I was in.
It was such a relief to have got that all into the open and we both slumped exhausted on the sofa to finish our tea. This is the first time I have got this far with someone during the wager. It feels really promising but also slightly scary too, as I’ve no idea how I’m going to deal with the prospect of trusting someone enough to risk the kind of gut-wrenching fallout I went through with Cupcake.
After all this I promised to come and see Jen at her place the following weekend as she had made all the travelling effort so far. This is kind of a big deal as it involves going outside of the M25 and EVERYTHING! I must really like this one.
Marriage percentage: Still a solid 53%.
“The last girl that I loved she was a low and lusty liar
She set my heart on fire but made me choke
Her beauty was a sight to see, but she didn’t save it all for me
I found other fires by following the smoke.
I wish that she had either cared for me or let me be
But she chased me from mind and from my home”
Frank Turner, ‘Substitute‘
There is one person to whom at least part credit should go to for this wager, someone who is to some degree responsible for the strange situation I now find myself in. This is the story of Cupcake and this tale is rather timely because, as of a few days ago, it is now longer since we broke up than the total time we were together.
This dating lark is all rather new to me, which might help to explain why I am so bad at it. For most of the last 15 years I’ve been a serial monogamist and have usually been in a long-term relationship.
Hallowe’en 2007: I was single and looking as unpalatable as I usually do at this time of year; torn flesh, exposed teeth and an unhealthy pallor. I was introduced to a girl with an incredibly cheeky smile, naughtiest glint in her eyes and rocking a surprisingly sexy corseted zombie outfit.
Through the magic of Facebook I got in contact and plucked up the courage to invite her out for a drink. We got on well, VERY well. In fact we saw each other for 4 days of the following week.
I still clearly remember the moment I fell in love with her. We were sat in an old rustic beach front pub and I was listening to her talking with my elbows on the table and head cupped in my hands. The feeling suddenly hit me and for a moment my head swam and I all I wanted was to hold her in my arms and make her feel safe and loved forever. I’ve never had that happen before, or since for that matter.
For 7 glorious weeks I was the happiest I had ever been. I didn’t care that she was grumpy in the morning or that talking to her when she was putting eyeliner on was a major crime. All this was inconsequential and I could see myself still making her tea or breakfast in bed to alleviate the morning grump-head for decades to come. It seems such a fleeting period of time now but those 7 weeks were monumentally significant.
I got on brilliantly with the family, in fact it turned out that her mum was my 6th form chemistry teacher! She said to me that she hadn’t seen Cupcake this happy in years and she felt like she had got her daughter back. I even spent most of Christmas with them.
I’m not the sort of person to rush into big commitment lightly but for the first time ever I found myself on the verge of proposing. Cupcake used to look my in the eyes and say “Marry me”. I always held her back and said “yes” (although I do know that this doesn’t actually count).
We were inseparable, joyful, and very much in love.
Then, with the violence of caesium dropped in a glass of water, it all suddenly blew up in my face. There was a cancer in the ointment: cupcake’s ex’ ‘Ed’.
Ed and Cupcake had a relationship for a few months, just prior to me meeting her. Despite initially denying it, Ed had been getting it on with Cupcake’s closest friend on the sly. Throughout the first couple of months she was fuming with him, he even called her up on Christmas eve to shout abuse down the phone at her over a perceived misunderstanding. Basically he was a cunt.
I have never had any problem with any girlfriend’s being in contact with their exes. Marshall‘s friends used to comment that she was very lucky that I was so laid back. I judge people as I find them and I DEFINITELY did not like Ed.
Skip to January 2008 and Cupcake has the ills so I am nursing her at my place. I had to go to work so I equipped her with all the pharmaceuticals, distractions and comfort food that she could need and left her to recuperate in my bed.
When I arrived home something had changed. Apparently Ed had reconciled with Cupcake, apologised for screaming at her down the phone, for cheating on her with her closest friend and a myriad of other misdemeanours and suddenly it’s as though all the anger and hurt she felt had never happened. He was still with her (now ex) best friend but wanted to be super chums with cupcake again.
I was not OK with this as all I had seen was him upsetting Cupcake. That night texts were pinging back and forth. She would break midway through conversationwith me to reply to messages.
Whereas we used chat via text during the day, suddenly replies were sparse. She said she was just busy at work. In an attempt to be magnanimous I didn’t protest when she said she was planning to meet Ed and that circle of friends for afternoon drinks. We had previously arranged to eat at mine early evening so I had prepared a meal. She didn’t call me until 10P.M., drunk.
It was clear to me what was happening. I was losing her to someone who had treated her with contempt and then dumped her. She denied it, which left me in a vacuum, unable to piece any other explanation together for everything I was experiencing.
After a week of not really sleeping and having no appetite I cracked. Whilst she was in the shower I picked up her phone and read through her messages. Almost all between her and Ed and were absolutely unequivocal in their tone. There was no misinterpretation possible.
Looking back now, I should have ended it then but I just couldn’t see how something so right could suddenly have crumbled in my hands and was convinced it must be possible to reclaim it
Instead I tried to fix it. Much to my shame torturing myself with texts became an obsession. I wasn’t eating or sleeping properly and all sorts of other complaints were flaring up. It came to a head and I basically gave her the ‘me or him’ ultimatum. The fact that she wouldn’t even commit to one or the other should have been the biggest prompt I needed to get out.
We stayed together for a total of 18 months. That was 16 months too long. Although I didn’t recognise it at the time, the trust was broken beyond recovery. The ‘Ed situation’ waxed and waned but even at best was only in remission. At my worst I lost a stone and a half and looked wretched and under slept.
As if that wasn’t reason enough Cupcake gave me more reasons to distrust her. On two separate occasions (that I know of) she snogged other boys whilst she was out. The first time she denied it. When I called her on it she was utterly repentant. I made it clear that trust is more important to me than fidelity and I understand that people do stupid things and she promised to tell me if anything happened again.
That might seem strange but if a partner comes to me and ‘fesses up that they have done something silly then I trust them more because I know they will be straight with me in future. The second timeit happened she lied about it again to the point of deliberately making me feel bad for questioning her.
The final nail in the Biscuit/Cupcake coffin was a boy that she worked with who I could see was trying to slime his way in. Without even trying I found a conversation between then when I opened my laptop and she hadn’t cleared the screen. When I picked her up from work that night, no one else there would look me in the eye because they knew.
The positive bit about this is that I got to enact a classic movie cliché as I flew around the house (where we lived together) stuffing emergency packing into a bag and storming out. If that had happened after 8 weeks it would almost have been worth it. I recommend that you try it. If you’re not actually breaking up then just try packing for holiday REALLY fast and only look to see if you have enough pants when you get to your destination.
For me the sadest part of this is my loss of unequivocal trust. For a year and a half I became a person I didn’t like: supicious, highly strung and eventually controlling. Ultimately there was wrong on both sides but the things that cupcake complained about were a direct result of my behavior change from not being able to trust her. I have never been like that before and I hope never to again.
One valuable lesson that I have taken away from this whole experience is to cut my losses and not flog away at a relationship that is making me ill and unhappy. It sounds obvious but I just didn’t recognise it when it was happening.
Since breaking up with Cupcake and moving in with Dragonforce, then Toast, I have had some of the best times of my life. It’s been almost everything that life should be about, friends, fun, joy and a lust for life. All I’m looking for now is the right person to share it with.
“Well I’ve had many different girls inside my bed
But only one or two inside my head
These days I cuddle up to my guitar instead
But oh, what I would give, not to stumble but to really fall in love
And I could substitute my singing for the sound of someone sleeping next to me”
Frank Turner. ‘Substitute‘
Since moving to London I have been absolutely soaking up as much of the new lifestyle as possible. Unfortunately this is a little counter productive when it comes to write-ups as I have mostly been either drunk or recovering.
Toast has given me a very firm telling off on your behalf so I have returned, with my told-off face, to bring you up to speed on recent events.
A week ago (yes… I know!) I accompanied Toast to work-related drinks. Being the ‘plus 1′ at these events is great because you don’t have to talk about office politics or who left the skid marks in the toilet, but get to chat to all the interesting people.
I found out afterwards that I had briefly seen Mia. “Seen” in the sense of a flash dark hair and fringe over my shoulder as she left about 20 seconds after we got there.
There were three particularly notable girls:
Toast’s potential new boss
I didn’t REALISE she might end up being Toast’s boss when we first started talking. She was quite hot in a self-assured leather-jacketed kind of way. My mouth got a bit confused when she told me her age and I MEANT to say words that expressed my surprise that I thought she was younger. However I blurted “Oh, is that all?”, which conveyed exactly the OPPOSITE of what I was thinking.
She was good enough not to acknowledge and I apologised later but she took it with good grace, because she is that cool kinda unflusterable lay-dee. However being Toast’s potential new boss I felt I might have done enough damage already so extracted myself before I compounded my error.
This was the sister of one of the girls present. She was an intriguing mix of sweetly naive and wickedly miscreant. Her forthright opening gambit was to insist on a secret from me that Toast didn’t know. Before very long she was had us enacting a variety of poses and coaxing us into more suggestive stances whilst she took photos.
I felt a little dirty but kind of liked it.
The combination of childlike innocence and subversive grooming was positively joyous and rather sexy. We have plans for another group drinking session when she is back in the area.
The Buxom Brunette
I had seen her chatting to others earlier on in the evening and was very curious. Having tried several times I had failed to catch her eye and it was only towards the very end of the evening, after several pints, that we stated chatting.
Suddenly, almost mid sentence, she broke from the conversation, pointed at my shirt and asked
BB: “hold on, are those poppers?”
B: “Err, yes”
…at which point she whipped her hands forward and tore my shirt open.
I’m not shy about my body, but I generally refrain from subjecting others to it in a pub. She caught my eye with a wickedly mischevious grin as I sighed and re-clothed myself. I think this is the not so subtle grown-up version of pinging a bra strap. I might have sighed for the sake of saving face in front of others, but actually I was rather enjoying it.
She ripped them open again. I acquiesced and complied by tying my shirt into a kind of Daisy Duke get-up. I think a couple of other people did a little sick in their throat.
It wasn’t until the following day that I realised that she actually really reminded me, in looks, of Cupcake. That’s not unhealthy, right?
London is huge. For people who don’t understand the city, it’s a vast collection of villages. Each one is slightly different, different people, different clothes, different pubs.
It is also home to a lot of people, loads of them. Think if the most people you’ve ever seen in a room and double it, and you aren’t even close.
So big, but also specific. If you want to met a certain sort of woman locating her is just a matter of finding the right area of London and then going out there until you meet her. I like this about London.
It’s like take-aways but with dating. Fancy an edgy girl with coloured hair who makes jewellery and drinks tea out of chipped mugs? There is a postcode for that. Or if you’d like most of the above but would like her to wear summer dresses and have long dark hair. Just move a few streets north and west and you will find her.
The different dating postcodes of London is probably worthy of a post in itself but for now I want to talk about how London is just full of women (and men I suppose).
This is good and bad. It’s good because unlike the real sea, there are plenty more fish. It’s bad for roughly the same reason.
If you discover a type that you like it’s possible to just date variations on that theme. So if you have a fatal attraction to drummers with long hair, or moxy brunettes but it never seems to work out? Well you can just go about making the same mistake again and again and again. There are loads of them out there, so just keep trying until you get it right.
I mention this because Biscuit met someone who was very like Cupcake (in looks at least) on Wednesday and now they are frantically Facebook messaging each other. Oh dear.
I can’t really talk, almost everyone I’ve ever dated has looked roughly the same. If you got them all into a room together it would be like a casting call for a very exacting director. Actually I did get a lot of them in a room together once at a party, it was weird and far less sexy than I expected.
On Saturday I attended a good friend’s wedding. I have been anticipating this for some time because it would be the first time in over a year that I had been in a social situation with Cupcake (as opposed to the few ‘liaisons’ we had since) and the first time there would have been any contact since I broke off communication a couple of months ago in the name of sanity and moving-on.
However, that would not be nearly enough for a Wed or Dead Wager scenario so the following elements were due to be in place to further complicate the prospective situation:
- Cupcake’s new love of her life was likely to be there.
- Cola Lollies was also due to be attending.
- Another girl who I had done a sex on (but who, for the purpose of this blog, shall remain nameless and unidentified) was going to be there. This is a girl who has a boyfriend but still wants to do naughty things (but I do not out of a vague sense of morality).
- Nameless girl and Cola Lollies had met before and got on rather well so were likely to be drunk and chatty again, potentially leading to some squirm inducing situations for me.
As my friend and his fiancée are a quirky sort, they had picked a fancy dress theme to the wedding. It’s one that allowed a lot of latitude so, since Cupcake’s new boy was likely to be there I went for the threatening end of the spectrum. Armed with a small selection of weapons including a NERF style shotgun (painted to make it look brassy and SKILL) and a ‘butterfly knife‘ (the blunt Chinese kind, not the little folding Filipino stabby kind!) ‘borrowed’ from my brother’s wall and strapped to my hip, I looked like a neo-Victorian bounty hunter. I also threw in a mismatched set of freaky contact lenses and some huge Cuban cigars for extra unnerving effect.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) Cupcake’s boy did not show with her. Instead I had the 10 year olds pestering me for goes on my shotgun and impressive sidearm.
Having largely avoided her for about half hour, I decided to address the elephant in the courtyard and say hello to Cupcake. 30 seconds in to our greetings and I look over her shoulder to see that Cola Lollies has arrived and is grinning away, looking stunning, chatting to someone 2 feet away from us.
There was an awkward moment of trying to say hellos to them both almost simultaneously then I left Cupcake to it and went to catch up with Cola Lollies. In fact, I spent most of the day with Cola Lollies and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Cupcake pulled a numer of classic moves but she has no power over me anymore. These included:
- Texting me during the meal with “does it worry you that you’re always surrounded by children”
- Making comments about chatting up a pretty lady.
- Pulling me in for the ‘close’ photo [aka 'marking her territory'. I do not appreciate being pissed on... well.. depends]
- Coming up for the big hug in plain view of Cola Lollies and saying ‘I miss you’.
The great moment for me was when she said that and I thought ‘I really, REALLY don’t miss you’. I gave back an ‘ahhhh’ and a bit of a fake hug. She pulled back and said ‘is that all I get? “ahhhh”?’. So I gave a marginally less fake hug… but I still didn’t miss her. And that, THAT was utterly delicious. Finally, unequivocal confirmation that I was absolutely free of her. Bliss!
Whilst I was generally distracted, Cola Lollies was often chatting merrily away to others including great stretches of time with the girl who shall remain nameless. We were together most of the time and worked our way through most of the large bottle of vodka I had brought with me.
And as the drink was settling in and the frivolities and dancing ran amok, I kind of got it. I think I was finding that spark that had been lacking with Cola Lollies.
Thankfully the venue allowed camping so bed was only a short stumbling distance away. At about 11.30, sozzled with lots of rum and vodka Red Bull, we made our way back to my tent.
*camera pans away leaving a fleeting glimpse of silhouettes in the tent and audible suggestion of hijinks ensuing*
Cola Lollies spent the whole of the next day and night back at my place. A lot of this was spent recuperating from excesses of booze. What became very obvious though, is that the spark was very much a product of the moment (and possibly booze). I REALLY enjoy her company, but I don’t think there’s anything more. However it is still lovely to cuddle up for a night. Cola Lollies is about to leave for 6 months work in China so this is not really an issue.
Hmmm, why do ALL the girls seem to leave the country?
So, with Cola Lollies effectively out of the picture, and nothing further from from Stripy dress since I replied to her over 26 hours ago, it’s time to look forward. Tomorrow night I have my date with the tenacious Irish girl I met recently. Friday night I am going to hit the favourite rock club for a drunken night.
In addition to this, the Wildcard mentioned in the recent summary has actually turned out to be incredibly promising! She is funny in email and has a wicked and subversive sense of humour. She likes a lot of the same things I do, including music, and seems rather interested in learning more about me.
The other point worthy of mention is that our mutual friend, who has been subtly trying to set us up for a while, is fully aware of this blog and its contents. I don’t anticipate this being too much of an issue as the mutual friend is quite a clued-up worldly sort who would not break cover. That and I am lovely and treat people well as long as they treat me the same.
Mind you, skirting a bit close to the edge though, isn’t it!
Biscuit is off at a wedding with both Cola Lollies and Cupcake so I thought I’d do a state of play post too. From the slightly garbled text messages I’ve had from Biscuit it sounds like the events of the wedding will be amusing. I’m looking forward to finding out what happened too.
I’ve not heard back from Mia, so we can only deduce that Internet Rats ate the message. There is no way of contacting her again without seeming like a total mental so I think I’m going to have to leave that one.
However in Toast DreamsTM we have been going out for ages. I’m not talking about day dreams (I hardly know her) but actual proper dreams. In dream world we’ve been going out for months. It’s all a bit Inception really.
Last night I dreamt we met a load of her friends at the Tennis Club. I was wearing a red suit which seemed a bit off, but worked well against the green of the lawns. I was late to met her at her imaginary flat in East London (I couldn’t find it on Pretend Google maps) and she wasn’t ready so I had to go on with out her.
Her friends were nice, if a bit awkward because I’d never met them before and Mia wasn’t there to introduce us.
Eventually she turned up wearing an excellent plum coloured summer dress. She was delighted to see me and we danced in the afternoon sun to a band playing in a big white tent. We drank champagne and ate cucumber sandwiches in between songs. It was terribly civilised, and a complete mirage.
I have dreams like this most nights. Let’s not talk about what happened when I got a bit drunk meeting her brother that she might not have. Honestly, if I ever bump into Mia again it will be a bit awkward because she will feel like an ex.
On the rest of the dating side of things it’s gone a bit quiet. There was the girl Scalene and I met in a bar. I’ve now contacted her on a vaguely flimsy work-related pretext, well quite a good work related pretext but something she couldn’t get involved in and so we are in the hinterland. The awkward pause in a conversation. I think I’ll leave it for now. I don’t need anyone else to be haunting my dreams.
No, I’m not referring to the removal of cattle. Instead this seemed like an ideal moment to take a breahter and intertwine all the current loose threads into a big, fat bloggy rope.
…crappy metaphor? Anyway…
There are a number of girls currently in the picture whether they are aware of it or not.
- Stripy Dress – After all the recent adventures and camping debacle, she is still the one who I would currently like things to work out with the most. She’s not the easiest to get close to but I’m still allowing a degree of latitude. Maybe it’s a chemistry thing, I don’t know, but she still sparks something inside me that most others have failed to.
- Irish Girl – Irish Girl definitely needs a better moniker but she is one of the pair who I met on the streets at the tail end of the last big London trip. Because Stripy dress has been blowing a little hot and cold I have decided not to concentrate all my energies on her, so have booked a drink with Irish Girl next week.
- Cola Lollies – She’s not out of the picture yet, even though she’s leaving to work in China for 6 months. On Saturday she’ll be at a mutual friend’s wedding. The venue allows people to camp overnight so there will be drinking and partying to the we small hours. I have offered Cola Lollies one of my spare tents as she has nowhere to kip. However, I still can’t shake the feeling that I should fancy her more than I do, being gorgeous and generally awesome, so keep holding out hope for more of a spark. The other interesting part about this wedding is it is the first time that I will socially be in the same place as the ex, Cupcake, since we broke up June ’09. Cupcake will be there with her new love so this could be a very interesting dynamic. It is fancy dress and I will be sporting a variety of large and threatening objects. Y’know, just for effect.
- Local girl from recent date – I know, I know… I wasn’t going to see her again. The thing is she’s nice and so I have amicably been returning the odd text. I don’t really want to give her a ‘no’, I’m just kind of hoping that my imminent move may make logistics impractical and so let it go it’s own way naturally.
- Leia – This is the future colleague who Dragonforce will be working in Qatar with. Although barely worth a mention due to the whole ‘moving to the Middle East’ thing, DF is convinced that she is perfect for me so we have struck up Facebook chats. If ANYTHING is going to happen with this one then it is going to be a very slow burner, but worth mentioning now for context.
- Scarlet – Although she is currently living in Oz, there is a high likelihood that I will see her at Christmas. She’s not really sure what her plans are but certainly nothing is happening soon.
- Wildcard – This is a girl who a mutual friend enthused that I would get on with very well and who was supposed to be attending the London rock club on the same night I was some months back. Unfortunately some sort of trouble with her horse meant she couldn’t make it (maybe it threw a shoe or broke down on the way). Today we have ended up making contact on Facebook due to an enthusiastic bands/music conversation on a friend’s page. Unfortunately she is now ‘in a relationship’. BAH! However, relationships break down and I seem to get on with her so will stay in contact and see if anything develops.
So… what next?
Tomorrow night I have a date with Stripy dress. We have planned food and I am going to do my best to keep us off the booze to see how she is with me when sober. After all the recent uncertainty I hope to get a little clarity tomorrow so need a level head. Hopefully I should know by the end of the night whether there’s any real potential.
Knowing me, I’ll probably just become mesmerised by her eyes, drink too much, do some ambiguous kissing and come away even more confused than I started.
Briefly interrupting my camping report, I have a date from Tuesday night to tell you about first. For the first time in… ever… this girl was actually fairly local. This is something of a novelty as the ritual of jumping on the evening train to The London and then sauntering back (or, if it went particularly well, manically dashing back for the last train) has become something of a familiar ritual.
I’ve grown to quite enjoy the build up where I have an hour of train journey from the wilderness to relax, or bone up on who I’m meeting (if I’ve forgotten who they are). By contrast, Tuesday night I was at my date location a mere 35 minutes after walking out of the house. And I STILL almost missed my train there.
Local girl contacted me through a dating site. I’ve found over the last few months that I’ve had so little time to play with internet dating that the only girls I end up talking to are ones who message me. I should probably turn off my profile but I’ve already PAID for a couple more months dammit so I’m gonna get my money’s worth!
We’d already swapped texts over the last few weeks as I’d been too busy to fit in a date so had to delay it until now. She came across as pleasant and intelligent and was pretty from the pictures I’d seen. We met up in the Local Town… the one that I almost never go to as it’s Cupcake’s stomping ground and the odds of me running into her of one of the clique are very high. However it’s a very convenient rendezvous location for both of us.
I had picked a local quirky bar that is particularly chic and decorated with chintz of a bygone era. It’s nicer than I’m making it sound. We negotiated our way past the introductory conversation and settled into the well worn easy-chairs (which could have done with some attention in the spring department to stop that embarrassing move where you pitch backwards with a look of surprise on your face).
As we talked I found her very easy to chat to and to be open with. She is the same age as me but has done the kind of Grown-Up ™ things that I have managed to avoid, like buying a house. The question that I found constantly recurring in my mind is ‘why not her?’.
In my opinion, a degree of disappointment is built into internet dating. The majority of the time I believe people are meeting with much lower expectations than someone they might have won a date with in a social situation. As a result I don’t exactly expect to be awe struck and enchanted.
So ‘why not her?’. I could easily have arranged to see her again (especially as I had managed not to knock over my drink or get stupidly drunk) if she was interested. Potentialy, after a number of dates, it could have lead to somethng significantly more. So ‘why not her?’.
After we had said or goodbyes I though ‘the question really is…why not anybody?’. There are a whole number of lovely people I could meet and potentially form a meaningful relationship with. Why not any of them?
Why anyone in particular at all?!
This bothered me for quite a while… how do you know who has the most promise? Is it ‘settling’ to meet someone nice and build something with them, rather than becoming smitten and blinded right at the start and then getting entrenched in an unsuitable relationship?
I could see local girl again, but I think that the bottom line is I don’t want someone who is just ‘good potential’. I want the excitement. I want the rush and and the thrill of something which feels special. I want someone who crosses my wires a bit.
So ‘why not her?’. Well I found myself considering practical issues such as the fact that I am about to (possibly) move to The London and she lives about 40 minutes further away from there than I already do. That’s what told me all I needed to know. If she shook me up like a bottle of overcarbonated pop so that I was scared to take the lid off then I wouldn’t care about that. It wouldn’t matter. I would make it work.
It was the most I’d felt like a Grown Up in ages. I want someone who I can feel like a kid with even as I grow old.
Marriage percentage 22%
So as you’ve probably gathered, last night I went on a date with Stripy Dress.
I must say, I’m surprised. Surprised at a number of things last night. I’m surprised by how well we got on. Surprised by how close she is to what I want in a girlfriend/partner/spouse. Surprised by how much I just sunk into her gorgeous soft brown eyes. And surprised by quite how far I have let myself fall for her so fast.
It would be fair to say I’m smitten. It would also be fair to say that I’m now full of the frets!
At this point it’s probably useful to give you a little history. When I fall for girls I have had a tendency to fall very hard and very fast. This happened particularly with Cupcake and Aussie, my last two girlfriends. Both of them I was very serious about. One I moved to Australia to be with (good move) another I moved with (in the very latter stages) into her parents’ place (bad move. It’s a long story but basically, don’t do it kids!).
So it is with some trepidation that I approach this situation. I’ve discussed how there have been girls that I really should have fallen for but haven’t. If it doesn’t feel right then no amount of ‘box ticking’ will ever compensate for that. The fact that I have fallen for Stripy Dress like this means that there is something special that I am REALLY keen NOT to fuck up!
Unfortunately, like some quantum event, observing the process changes the outcome. I am now REALLY aware of how I play things and that is probably changing my behaviour negatively. Prior to this we were happily swapping Facebook message back and forth several times per day. It was all the ‘getting to know you’ stuff and it was fun! However if the last year has taught me nothing else it’s that being too keen is not attractive to girls.
So, the date. After being a spaz and sending Stripy Dress the update that I MEANT to sent to Toast, things kicked off brilliantly. We hit it off pretty quickly and wandered around chatting chatting with ease until we reached the target watering hole. One bottle of Rosé was quaffed and promptly replaced with another. We swapped tales, quizzed each other, giggled, took the mickey and I tried my best to play it cool. Playing it cool was becoming increasingly difficult as if I looked into her eyes for too long I started to lose my train of thought as my stomach fizzed and tingled.
After a couple of bottles we struck out on a mission to reach the river. Stripy Dress suggested this and it seemed an excellent idea as walking along riversides (even rivers that are as unappealing to come into contact with as the Thames) is exactly the sort of thing you should be doing with a slightly squiffy girl that you really want to kiss.
The reality of reaching the river was much more difficult than it first appeared, involving 2 busses, and so she proposed we strike off for her place. this seemed like an even better idea so, picking up another bottle en route, we jumped on the tube.
Around this point was pretty much when the remainder of my cool evaporated. Sat next to each other, faces close and pleasantly toasty from a bottle of wine each, I lost the ability to finish sentences. I had to fess up about the effect that her eyes were having on me.
At her place we sat in the garden, picking up conversation where we had left off earlier. Getting closer and more tactile with each sip, I found her head almost nestled into my shoulder. The kissing was just luscious, passionate and delicious. It was without thought and totally absorbing. …except for the bit where I nearly pitched over as I lost my balance.
Eventually I was pointed back in the direction of the train station and, saying goodbyes and promising to call, I made my way, gleefully bouncing along, back home. After Cupcake I promised myself that I wouldn’t fall like that again. But I just have. This time, however, I am determined to play it cool.
As it happens,she is going to the same festival that Dragonforce and I are going to in a week. Currently Stripy Dress is having trouble getting a lift up there with her friend so I have tentatively offered them space in the back of the car if they’re stuck. Obviously this would be a full on second date as it might well mean them camping with us too… but that’s to deal with later. For now I just have to concentrate on NOT cocking it up!
Marriage percentage: 55%. Shockingly, but excitingly, high!!!
On paper I should be really good at ball sports. I am tall, fit, athletic, can run fast, am nimble on my feet and can juggle (and do a variety of other similar skills requiring feats of coordination) pretty damn well. However I am rubbish at football. As in: always second last picked at school. I can’t coordinate my body to manipulate a football in any meaningful manner besides occasionally accidentally connecting with it and HOOFING it off the pitch.
On paper Cola Lollies should pretty much be my perfect girl. Paper, however, is a misleading resource. It is perhaps the Wikipedia of judgement making tools. It gives you a bloody good idea about something but sometimes completely misses the point.
Cola Lollies is the friend of a friend who I met at a party several years back. She is VERY pretty and I was interested but had no idea how to progress that beyond being a bit starey and attempting to develop my powers of psychic persuasion from afar. The night ended up with me swapping clothes with a girl at the party and waddling round with her skirt worn round my neck, like some kind of transvestite dwarf. Also, girls pants are way too small to contain testicles, as the photo of Cola Lollies’ horrified face will testify. This was apparently a BAD technique to pull girls.
Anyway, jump forward a few years to last August when I saw her again at the same friend’s party. It was this point when I was at the peak of my new found cocksure attitude. We spoke a bit, I was slightly flirty but in a thoroughly ‘I couldn’t care either way’ way and that was it for the evening.
After that she was suddenly rather keen (despite the ‘testicle’ episode mentioned above), came to visit on the bank holiday Friday and didn’t leave until the Monday! At the time she was interested in more than just a casual liaison but my head was in no place to deal with anything meaningful (post-Cupcake).
So, 10 months on and we get together again. I’m prepared to give it a real go and see if I feel more now that my head’s clear of Cupcake related nonsense).
As mentioned, Cola Lollies is VERY pretty, very fit and toned (singer/dancer type), great sense of humour, LOVES to eat food, enjoys ‘boy’ movies (ones with robots and explosions), great taste in music. All we’re really missing is the artificially coloured bright hair.
We had a great time, ate silly Mexican food served with meat and chocolate, ate cake, wandered round, chatted, giggled and enjoyed general shenanigans. I don’t have to put up a front; I can be the massive spaz I am. And yet, something is just not there… and I don’t know why. Call it chemistry, call it spark, call it the look that makes you melt into their gaze and want to cradle their face into your hands… it’s just not there.
On paper she should be at least 50% marriage potential. I really enjoy hanging out, cuddling up, giggling and watching trash telly with her. I didn’t even really want to do rude stuff when I stayed over, although I WANTED to want to.
I think the word for it is ‘friend’.
I would like to see her again, but if she feels anything more for me then it’s unfair not to be explicit about this as I don’t think it’s going to change. Mind you, this is largely academic as she is off to work in China for 6 months.
Marriage percentage, sadly: 15%
Just goes to show that the ‘list’ of things you think you want counts for nothing and that you really, really can’t tell who will make your stomach leap into your throat with a glance, a wry smile or a love of robots with really big lasers.