The Theatre Producer has met my brother. It’s a far less frightening prospect than meeting my sister.
My brother is a good egg and is terribly easy going so it wasn’t really anything to fear. I’m only really mentioning it for sibling completeness.
They got on brilliantly. He isn’t a very hard sell, if you are old enough to buy him booze (he is sub-18) and will talk about computer games he is onboard.
A few days later when we were alone he said ‘I like the Theatre Producer, she doesn’t appear to be mental like the other ones’
So there you go, a pass.
Marriage percentage: 63%
Hello all, this is Marty McFly, from the distant past! Well, ok, it’s Biscuit but it does feel like I’m from the distant past. It’s not that I don’t love you any more (promise) I’ve just either had NO time to write or Jen has been here, making it a bit difficult to do!
I have a few important accounts to write up, then there’s gonna be something of a montage post to bring us up to date. Here’s the first (from about 2 months ago it seems):
My favourite night out involves a lot of vodka Red Bull, several hours of rock music and dance moves to make your dad cringe with embarrassment. I had been promising to take Jen there for ages and eventually (sometime around late May) I made good on that promise.
She rocked up from work in a black leather jacket, tight jeans, and a figure hugging black vest top. First stop was the warm up pub wherewe were due to meet a friend of Jen’s who was due to join us.
They say “first impressions last”. The friend’s first impression of me was when I leant over his shoulder at the bar, whilst Jen was still looking for him. He heard a tall man order “4 double vodkas, straight, over ice” then follow with “Oh, I’ve left my money in the cash machine, I’ll be right back” and thought “glad I’m not out with him”.
But, lucky boy, he was out with me!
Once we’d all become acquainted we drunk a lot of vodka mixed with contraband Red Bull smuggled into the pub down my pants and made balloon models for strangers. After the customary spazzing around we hit the club.
I’m the kind of person who gets all fretful about plans until I’m settled in wherever I’m supposed to be. Because of this we were in the club before most other people had got there. The friend was wondering what sort of barren warehouse party I’d brought him to.
The magic of the place is that you don’t really notice it filling up or time passing until you look round and realise it’s rammed with long haired occupants dressed in black and throwing their best air guitar.
Jen was totally at home and did me proud.
We all got drunk. Very drunk!
At one point a boy sidled up to Jen when I was away at the bar and tried some terrible cheesy line on her. He was still there when I got back, which I found quite amusing, but my masculine imposing figure must have scared him off.
That, or the fact that I was wearing colours and he shuns the gaiety as a vampire would garlic.
Eventually, it was time to pack the air guitar away and join the nocturnal zombies on the streets in search of a ride home.
We said goodbye to the chum (we were now best buddies, the vodka incident just fuelled my mythos in the end) and made our way home for a lot of painkillers and very little sleep.
Marriage Percentage: 68% – Being able to rock out with your metaphorical cock out is an absolute MUST and Jen can flash her imaginary penis with the best of them!
This is something of a ‘highlight reel’ to bring you up to date with the present situation. It’s been tricky to find time to post during may as I have had a lot of work stuff on (over weekends too) and have mostly been either knackered or seeing Jen. Since it’s probably a bad idea to write up posts whilst she’s visiting I’ve slipped rather far behind.
The first time I saw Jen as boyfriend and girlfriend I looked like I was covered in serious sex scratches. No, this wasn’t a repeat of my ill-fated date with Indy. I had been to a very moshy ragga-metal gig the night before.
She is an excellent ‘concerned girlfriend’, wincing over my wounds which meant I could nonchalantly parade my war scars and feel extra manly as she hung at my arm like a medieval maiden (minus the pointy hat, those things are dangerous with the height difference between us; she could have my eye out).
We got to spend most of the day lounging around in bed with absolutely nothing to do, it was amazing. It has struck me since that that’s the first time we’ve really had the time to do it because we’re usually bolting from one place to another.
The following Friday Toast and I were busy at the Dominatrix’s birthday. Jen wasn’t actually coming but there was a telling incident involving strangers’ boobs.
Somehow the conversation got round to fake boobs and out of the table of four of us, I was the only one who had never felt fake ones. The friendy dominatrix (is that an oxymoron?) at the table decided that it would be her mission to rectify this for me as there were plenty in attendance at the party.
Now, I did think about this as it’s the sort of thing that tends not to go down well with girlfriends. I reasoned I could easily do it and just never mention it but that 2 things stopped me:
1) I don’t want to start down that road of little deceits.
2) If there were any good stories then I wanted to share them with Jen so we could giggle together.
I politely thanked the dom but said it would be bad form as I had a girlfriend. Then I text Jen to tell the amusing tale of enhanced norks offerings. The reply I got from her says a lot about why she is an awesome girlfriend:
“I say go for it, for science. But you are not allowed to do sexy feeling, more perfunctory”
Sadly I didn’t get to follow through with the offer but it’s reassuring to know that, in an emergency, I would be able to grasp firmly onto pumped ladybumps. Maybe for floatation.
The following night I had made plans to join Jen in town with her friends on the Saturday. Although she’s hung around with my chums a few times this was the first big friend test for me. Although I’d already spent the night drinking with her chums in the town where she lives, it turns out most of them were only casual acquaintences. Tonight it was the real friends.
No pressure then.
I’m usually fine so I pretty much just had avoid developing sudden explosive tourettes or backing myself into a conversational cul-de-sac about the Hitler Youth. By the time I arrived in the first pub all the friends were assembled and clearly curious to see who it was that had snared their diminutive friend.
Everyone was very friendly and played the ‘new boy’ game with me for a bit of pretending that different people were in couples, which was made all the more confusing as there was one gay couple there too. In all there were 6 friends there so I refused to let anyone move seats until I had all the names down.
The chums then took it in turns to quiz me about various tidbits of information that they know, much to Jen’s cringing. It turned out that her most recent ex was universally disliked amongst her friends for being a cock.
So far so good!
The main event of the evening was Eurovision so we all grabbed a cab to another bar which had a whole floor dedicated to the fiesta of trash pop. As I wasn’t bothered about standing shoulder to shoulder craning at screens of bad music performances I chatted to the few of Jen’s friends who remained when the others ran upstairs to see how our entry was performing against the competitors.
Towards the end of the evening as everyone was leaving, one of the chums leant over, slightly drunkenly, and whispered in my ear “well done, you’ve passed stage 1”, then gave me a knowing wink.
Very early on we had been on a date to see a filthy electro rock band. This establised the very important precedent that Jen is an excellent gig partner. Immediately after this we booked tickets to see the king of gangsta rap: Snoop Dogg.
We arrived at the venue much later than intended as Jen had a journey worthy of Ulysses on our much delayed public transport network so I was expecting to walk straight in and have to weave through the crowd to a good spot. Instead, we were faced with a queue that ran the entire length of the building, around the corner and the same length AGAIN.
When faced with so much time to kill there is only one reasonable course of action. Jen volunteered herself to run to the shop to grab some beers. THAT is the mark of an awesome girlfriend!
The gig itself was great and once again confirmed what a compatible gig partner she is. Music is a really important part of my life and being able to share that with someone who might be a potential wife is really important.
The following Sunday we had one more gig planned. Toast was supposed to come too but couldn’t.In stark contrast to Snoop Dogg, This was a Balkan Brass Battle. We were late getting there (again) so necked a couple of drinks from the off licence on the way there. The bands were amazing (I thoroughly advise you to check out both of them) and we danced our way through most of the 2 hours.
The more we drank the more I was convinced I had authentic gypsy dancing down to a tee… in retrospect I probably just looked like a spaz waving his arms around and gyrating badly but we both had a euphoric time!
Towards the end Jen needed to pop upstairs the terrace for a quick fag so I joined her for a rest from the dancing. The next bit is, sadly, a little bit of a blur but it unfolded something along these lines.
We were sat roof lined by flower filled planters and I was just filled with the joy of being out with someone who has proven to be consistently awesome, funny, tolerant, exuberant and an absolute delight to spend time with. Because I’ve rushed into things in the past I’ve been trying really hard to be measured and slow about this but that evening I felt like a freshly shaken bottle of pop and was having to try hard to contain myself.
It’s strange opening up to someone again after being burned so badly by Cupcake but I really feel like I can trust Jen. I would lend her my lightsabers and everything.
I gave her a massive hug and, with a big grin on my face, I looked into her eyes and said “I do love you!”. She hugged me back and said, with palpable relief, “Oh I love you too. I’ve loved you for weeks.” I’ve even talked told my mum!”.
I told here that I knew (about how she felt, not about her mum… her mum asked her what was wrong with me since I hadn’t been married or had any kids by the age of 3… but she is from the north), I could tell and tell that she was holding it in. I said that I didn’t want to say anything when I had been drinking as I didn’t want her to think that it was just because of the booze.
We made our way back downstairs for the last of the band and eventually left the venue hand in hand, buoyed along by amorous bliss and alcoholic exuberance.
The following morning we both had the day off work to lounge around, have sexy times and generally be work-shy hedonists.
What actually happened is I was ill. Very ill. There were lots of visits to the toilet as my body punished me, somewhat unreasonably, for the relatively meagre amount of booze I had drunk.
Jen was just really concerned and kept asking if there was anything she could do to help. Grimly I professed that there was nothing she could do until I weathered the storm unless she wanted to sit and stroke my feet for hours as that’s the only thing that seems to ease the pain.
She was just really happy to be ably to do anything to help so sat at the far end of the sofa stroking the soles of my feet as I suffered behind a pair of sunglasses, occasionally softly weeping to myself that I didn’t want to be ill any more.
I love booze, but occasionally we fall out and I always come off worse.
Eventually I stopped planning my will and improved. Jen was amazing all day and still loved me when I looked like I was suffering with cholera. This is one of the many reasons why she is awesome and why I am keeping her.
Marriage percentage: 65%. She has no problem with me feeling boobs for science, grabs beers in an emergency and will play Florence Nigtingale if I’m ill. What more could I want?
One of the things I really enjoy about dating Jen is that we’ve not fallen into any of the usual internet dating clichés. Amongst other things we’ve been on a ghost walk on an accidental valentine’s day date, licked dinosaurs, and fought off strangers at a sweaty rock gig.
A few weeks ago I quite fancied going to watch a night of boxing in which a couple of people who I knew were fighting. On a punt I asked Jen if she wanted to join me. She’d never watched boxing but was totally game. In a show of bravado she said she’d only come if we could sit at the front where we could get sprayed with blood and sweat.
As it was, we did end up pretty much ringside and having nabbed our seats, headed to the bar to fill up on booze before the punching started.
The other clientèle were amazing. There was a real mix of people there but the overwhelming theme for the women seemed to be a mixture of Cheryl ‘jigaboo‘ Cole style big hair, fake tan, leopard print and VERY short skirts or sort of ankle length playsuits. Many of the chaps looked very much the London ‘geezer’ type and there were quite a few shaved heads amongst them. Jen loved it.
The fights varied a lot. Some of the early ones were a bit rubbish to watch but as the night wore on and people put more booze into their faces the atmosphere heightened. Some fights had drawn a lot of supporters on either side so there was lots of cheering and shouting. Jen was really getting into it, so much so that I’m sure I heard her shout “KICK HIS HEAD IN!” at one point.
I was so proud.
In the second half the fights started to get a bit rubbish again so we decided to go and join Toast in town for more drinks. From boxing to a gay bar… I told you these dates were eclectic!
Talking about commitment
As the fight had been on a Friday night, we had plenty of time to lounge around in bed the following morning.After a selection of enjoyable morning activites we drifted into the subject of commitment, in a roundabout sort of may. I was talking to her about enjoying dating and taking it slow. She said that was really nice, although she’s generally got a policy that if it’s not really developed after 3 months then it’s not going anywhere.
This confused me. The conversation then went a bit like this:
B: Hold on… if you’re still dating after 3 months then it’s not going anywhere?
B: But you said that you have a policy of 3 months of solid dating before there’s any sort of commitment mentioned?
J: (totally unphased by the apparent mutual exclusivity of these two positions…) Yes.
B: (a little confused) So…. we have to wait 3 months before talking anything more than dating… but after three months we’ve been dating too long and it’s not going anywhere???
B: So…. that means… there’s only one day, three months in, which is not too soon and not taking too long?
J: (thinks for a second)… Yes.
I then spent some time working out exactly when this day was. It turned out to be May 5th. Jen’s ‘matter of fact’ attitude and blasé approach to what seemed to be mutually exclusive stances is really rather endearing logic. It’s sort of an entertaining form of the mads!
Marriage percentage: 61% – Blood lust and a hint of eccentricity are a strangely appealing combination of characteristics in Jen which could be SO scary in other girls.
In a bizarre twist of déjà vu (….didn’t you just say that?), the latter part of my night last night was exactly the same as one I had back in September. We’ll get to that in a moment though…
The Secret Gig and the Americans
A very old chum of mine was visiting town so we arranged to go out for some old skool rock in the evening. During the day I got really excited as I found out about a secret Frank Turner gig in a small Camden pub. The last time I saw this man play was with 4,999 other people in a sold out Brixton Academy so I was practically weeing myself with excitement!
Anyway (excited boast over) the gig was AWESOME in every way I could have possibly wanted it to be and we ended up staying for ages after as the DJ was playing a fantastic mix of dance-tastic anthems (Jackson 5, Blur, Rhianna, Stevie Wonder etc.). I enthusiastically started yakking to three girls because I thought someone said one was from New York. Actually, two were from Colorado and the other from Missouri or some other place I’ve only heard of in films.
I might have made them rude balloons, that never hurts.
Although I wasn’t actually intending on hitting on them at all, they are in the country for the next three months so I proposed hooking up for shenanigans and took an email address. The ‘.edu’ address confirmed what I thought, that they were clearly student age . *sigh* just when I thought I was meeting grown ups! I do love their accents though. There’s a post in that another time.
Little Miss Sunshine and Stripy Dress – round two
After much jiggling and shape throwing we left the Americans to it and moved on for a night of ’90s rock and metal. This was where I experienced a bizarre repeat of the same night I had there last time. I had arranged to meet Little Miss Sunshine there as that’s a regular haunt of hers. Stripy Dress was ALSO there. Stripy Dress’s ex was also there. Again. It’s a tiny venue so you can’t avoid people really.
Things played out a lot better this time though since I’m no longer in a weird hinterland with Stripy Dress. I promised my chum (and myself) that I would play it cool and disinterested.
Having failed at that I just gave her a beaming grin and a big “OHAI!” when I found myself standing next to her and had just ‘noticed’ she was there *ahem*. She actually looked really pleased to see me and gave me a big hug. Annoyingly I still REALLY fancy her. She has a really distinctive scent to her hair, possibly because she’s mixed race and so has it chemically straightened to avoid the afro hair, and several times in the evening I caught the smell and it makes me come over slightly adoring and weak kneed.
I was genuinely nice to see her and if I hadn’t seen her being very chummy and a little kissy with her ‘ex’ then I might have mistaken the friendliness for light flirting. Anyway, I know better than to get sucked back into THAT!
Playing cool: largely failed. However dignity still largely intact so I call that a low level win for team Biscuit.
Little Miss Sunshine was lovely and buoyant as ever it it was a joy to see her. We’re meeting up for a gig in a week so we’ll get to hang out more them.
I can’t imagine there’s many places in the world that you can cram all those different experiences into one night, barely 1 minute walk from each other. I have a really clear memory from last night of standing on the pub dancefloor with my fists clenched and my face screwed up whilst I kept saying to my chum, through clenched teeth: ” GOD… I LOVE London SOOO MUCH!!! I LOVE IT!!! SOOO. SOO. MUCH!!!!!”
I like silly bets. This blog rather proves that. Just under a month ago FleetStreetFox wagered me that I still wouldn’t be seeing The Virginian a month later.
I laughed at her suggestion and the stakes got pretty high, to the point that a whole mars bar was involved. Yes, we don’t mess about when it comes to wagers.
Anyway, give that it was a bet, I didn’t want to lose. A lot.
Not wanting to lose has extended the thing with the Virginian probably beyond the point when I would have normally given up. Even with the lure of a mars bar I’ve rather reached my limit.
The Virginian had wanted to meet up on Saturday night but I said it was unlikely because I was moving house. The move took far less time than I expected, and so I was lured out to a pub by Biscuit.
The following text exchange is from that evening and is completely unedited.
Toast: My word has got cold
Virginian: Yeah I had to get a hat on
Toast: What sort of hat? I am drinking with Biscuit in King’s Cross as part of a ‘hurrah London’ celebration.
Virginian: Knit. I have plans for tonight.
Toast: Good stuff.
Virginian: You insisted that you’d be busy so I made other plans. Have a good one!
Toast: I know. I am a spaz.
<five hours pass the next message is at 2am>
Virginian: You are. What’s shakin?
Virginian: Come over
<At about 5am I had to make an urgent call on the porcelain telephone so I was up and groaning about how I was never drinking again, ever.>
Toast: Crashed out by the time I got this. Nasty hangover brewing.
Virginian: I just woke up. Bad hangover as well. Pub hopped then met up with a group and went to a club? I’m going back to sleep.
Toast: I wish I could sleep
Virginian: Yeah I’m up now. Cuppa tea, toast, and a lovely sky.
Virginian: Hahaha my bedside clock was reset, I thought it was 1:30pm. Shit it’s only 8.
Toast: Yup. A whole day of being hungover ahead of you.
Virginian: I actually feel pretty good. Just had some oj and headache medicine. Just lost my voice again, but I think from yelling.
Toast: Can I come and visit?
Virginian: I don’t think that’s a good idea. I’ll see you at your party.
Toast: *sad face*
Virginian: You’ve taken me for granted. Congrats on the move and all that jazzzz.
Toast: Can I take you out for brunch?
< days pass >
And that ladies and gentlemen is how you piss off Toast. I offered her brunch and she never even replied. Brunch, who doesn’t like brunch?
FleetStreetFox gave this review of the Virginian
You should listen to me to start with. It will save on confectionary in the long run. A woman who is a mature student is mad. A woman who is not on her own continent is running from madness. And someone who chucks a bloke out immediately post-bonk has passive-aggressive commitment issues.
And she probably like cats too.
Needless anti-cat sentiment aside I think FleetStreetFox is on to something, and it looks like I’ll be buying her a Mars Bar.
She is wise, but also very smug.
The Virginian wanted to meet up this weekend. She was quite adamant about it, for some reason she felt a bit guilty after our last encounter and thought she should make it up to me by visiting with booze.
I was down in London for vague work reasons, well actually I could have done the same work from the wilderness but decided that it would be more fun to do it in London at Biscuit’s house.
The Virginian made her way over late in the evening. She was slightly concerned that the directions I’d given her were all part of some sort an elaborate prank to get revenge for being kicked out. I hadn’t even thought of being that cunning. I’ll save that for next time.
Eventually she appeared armed with booze and wearing an excellent pair of wellies (she had other clothes on too) and looking slightly sheepish.
I made the ‘This isn’t working out for me’ joke a few times, and I suspect I’ll make it a few times more in the future. She apologised for that again and said she had been deeply drunk.
I had to finish off a bit more work before we could drink or anything like that so the Virginian waited patiently until I was done and then pounced on me.
It was like a proper jump and everything, I was terribly impressed. Never underestimate the lure of athletic abilities
We were kissing like teenagers when Biscuit returned with his dad. This caused a briefly awkward moment that was covered up with more booze and laughter.
The Virginian then stayed the night and I didn’t kick her out of bed at any point.
In the morning I made her breakfast (fresh croissants, a selection of pastries and coffee) and we sat about reading the papers.
Biscuit and I forced her to watch British comedy DVDs as part of a cultural exchange, that also included crumpets and British chocolates. This was a mixed success but eventually we found some things that the Virginian liked.
At around lunch time I walked her to the tube station and said goodbye with vague plans to meet up again this weekend.
I suspect we might be drifting towards some sort of relationship.
Marriage percentage: 34%