It is traditional at work to go out for drinks on a Friday. I don’t begrudge this because my work chums are excellent fun so it’s something I look forward too.
There are a couple of pubs we normally go to because they are close to work, but on rare special occasions we go to other places.
This was once such incident. It was a proper old man pub full of slightly grumpy men with shaved heads drinking pints. They all glared at us as we tottered (there are lots of girls at the paper) upstairs because we had booked out the room.
There was a roaring fire upstairs but more importantly a special offer on.
If you bought a load of shots you would get a free inflatable gorilla. I was mesmerized by this and so started buying round upon round of horrible tasting shots to ‘free the gorillas’.
It was far too early in the evening for shots but I felt I needed the gorillas. I needed to set them release from the bar. There were soon a lot of gorillas and a lot of people doing that slightly shocked face people do after downing a shot that tastes peculiar.
Mia got hold of one of the gorillas and stamped on it until it died. When someone asked why she said.
“Because I hate men.”
Lets all try not to read into that too much.
Just after I’d posted about fail Monday. I had a comment on my Facebook wall.
It was from the girl that I should not have kissed. She mentioned we would be working together and we should go for drinks.
Hurrah I thought, in a slightly guarded way – I wasn’t looking for a repeat of the last time we got intoxicated together.
Then she posted a strange follow-up message about her ears burning. I asked if she had poured Vodka into her ears and she called me.
apparently ‘someone’ at work had told her that I was spreading lies about her at work. Saying that I’d told people we had snogged (Which I hadn’t apart from Mia and that was only when Mia repeatedly accused me of it – How did Mia find out?) and that I had said she was obsessed with me.
I hadn’t done either of these things. But it took about an hour of careful negotiation to persuade her of this.
When I had managed to convince her she then changed the subject to how she couldn’t find a man and that all men were bastards interspersed with repeated journalist style questions about who I fancied in the office. I avoided them as carefully as I could just repeating that Lea Michele was the person I most fancied.
It was a harrowing phone call, one I didn’t feel I deserved and afterwards I needed some gin.
I do think girls are excellent but sometimes they don’t do themselves any favours.
The weekend was epic. I’m sure at least some of the events will get recorded on here. In fact I think Biscuit has to record it because he was up to his usual tricks.
Anyway, the great weekend caused me to go to work on Monday a little bit spaced out. I’d had about four hours of sleep, but I still managed to go for a run before work (I run regularly to stay ‘date fit’) I was a little bit excited because today was the day of the date with Mia.
Alas it was not to be. While out of the office doing some work stuff I sent her a message asking if it was okay for us to get an early table because I was feeling a bit broken.
Here was her reply.
I’m sorry hun but I can’t go to dinner later. I probs said yes before crying whilst very drunk on Friday, right? Sorry!
Of course replied with good grace (Saying it was a shame but probably wise).
This is baffling, but also classic girl behaviour. I have used some science to deduce some possible explanations of this weird phenomenon:
1) Over the weekend Mia became a vampire. Since she is now an immortal creature of the night she doesn’t feel she can be with Toast and so is being distant because she loves Toast so much and doesn’t want to have to bite Toast up and make him into a vampire even though he would be well aces at it.
2) Toast from the future made a time machine. He was going to visit present day Toast but knew present day Toast wouldn’t believe Toast from the future so Toast from the future visited Mia pretending to be from space and warned off from dating Toast. Toast from the future did this because he had dated Mia and it all went wrong so he wanted to spare present day Toast the bad times.
3) Mia owes her life to an underworld kingpin, the sort that wears smashing suits. As part of the arrangement she is not allowed to have relationships or fun stuff like that. She liked Toast loads and so that’s what the snogs was about, but then the kingpins enforcers found out and paid her a visit to told her off. They were probably ninjas, giant ones. So that is a threat you have to take seriously.
4) Over the weekend Mia accidentally created her evil twin. Evil Mia trapped Good Mia in a mirror and took her place. Evil Mia doesn’t go on dates to smashing restaurants because it cuts into her schedule of being evil – she does take aways only to save time. Evil people are more efficient.
5) Mia did some research into the Toast family name and discovered she and Toast are the Montagues and Capulets of England. They can never be together because their familes are at war. It is a forbidden love, one that will only bring war and Biscuit getting stabbed up by Tybalt.
So there you have it, there are five possible theories, but which one could it be?
She was a bit of a weird mood on Friday, but I was very busy so there wasn’t a lot of time for silliness. It late transpired that she hadn’t slept very well the night before for various personal reasons. She did make a point of having a word with herself to cheer up. That’s quite admirable.
The large amounts of mulled wine probably helped too.
We ended up in the pub after work with the rest of the people from the paper. It’s a tradition and it tends to cause some sort of event, although typically the event is ‘everyone gets terribly drunk’.
I didn’t get to have ‘a chat’ with Mia until way into the evening because people get getting in the way and I didn’t want it to be obvious you know?
Anyway after I’d had a bit too much to drink we finally had a moment to talk.
I said I’d like to take her out to supper to a restaurant, and that I’d found an excellent place.
She said yes but ‘as friends’. I said that was fine, lets just see how things go. She was excited by the choice of restaurant I’d picked out – Smiths of Smithfield
It wasn’t quite the outcome I would have liked, but it wasn’t ‘no fuck off’ either. On Monday we will go out and we shall see what happens won’t we? I think I should see how this meal goes and take a view on the whole situation.
Honestly it’s getting a bit ridiculous now. If this was a TV show I’d be moaning that the writers are trying to stretch this out a bit too far.
The most annoying thing about the whole affair is that all the other women at the paper are constantly going on about how they would like to date me (including a couple of lesbians) and yet the one I’ve got my eye on seems to be immune to my charms.
Maybe it’s time to break out the sexy dance.
I am Toast, and I get myself into very stupid situations again and again, and again.
Things were a bit weird on Monday with Mia after our first kiss on Thursday. Sort of stilted and awkward. It was not fun at all.
It was all the sorts of weird that we both wanted to avoid.
Today (Tuesday) things were better, perhaps we had got over the weird bump or perhaps snow just has that sort of effect on people. Snow is great.
Anyway, since we were back to joking with each other and the fact she was looking absolutely amazing I was driven to action. Seriously, if you had seen the slinky wool dress she was wearing today you would completely understand.
So I decided to email her to see if she was still up for going to a restaurant. I chose email because I didn’t want to have to try to lure her into a side room to ask her in private and all that.
Anyway here is the email conversation in full, edited lightly to take names out.
Toast: I’ve had a dig around and I think I’ve found the perfect restaurant that serves ‘lots of meat’, so would you care to join me for supper?
Mia: Ah I’d love to but I’m having dinner at my friend’s tonight, house-warming festive drinks etc. Lot’s of meat does sound ridiculously good though…
Toast: Well shall we co-ordinate diaries and find a free day?
Mia: Yes. Are you around for work drinks on Friday?
Toast: Yes, yes I am.
Mia: Cool, lets chat then x
So not a complete blow out, but not a raging success either. I think the following characters express it best
Let me set the scene. It was Thursday. Mia had turned up to work in a dangerously slinky dress. Dangerously, it should have come with a health warning.
This fancy dress wasn’t just a celebration of the week nearly being over, it was because a load of people from for work were going to an exclusive ‘intimate gig’ with Mark Ronson at the studio on Abbey Road.
Mia has a bit of a thing for this chap as does most of the female population, so she wanted to look good. She did look good.
I wasn’t going to the gig because I was working a late shift. So I was all alone in the office typing away.
Then this message appeared on twitter from Mia
‘Toast we are drinking in the local pub’
‘The local pub? You turned down Mark Ronson for the local pub? You are so cool’
‘Toast You know it’
There was a pause in the conversation here because I had to do some more work. Then one of the other people at work, who is very good friends with Mia sent a tweet at me.
‘Toast I am with Workperson1 workperson2 and Mia clang name drop. Come! Or don’t whatevs x’
I let them know I had to finish some work stuff first and then I’d join them. Mia sent me another tweet.
‘Toast get here fast. There are naked ladies dancing and that’s just Workperson1’
So I finished my final bit of work and went down to the bar. There were a couple of bottles of wine on the go, and I was the only man there. Mia cleared a bag of a stool next to her and I sat down to join in the nonsense.
I suspected something might be up, but I was being a cool observer at this point. Or at least trying to with Mia in her slinky dress. It mades any sort of concentration hard.
We talked about all sorts of things, about dating. She hadn’t been on many and I’d said I been on loads and I asked her some of my special dating questions which she liked. They are good questions and surprisingly revealing.
She revealed she knew about the unwise snog but since she kept touching my leg I thought I was probably okay. I did explain that cakes had been involved.
Mia did tell me that I should feel honoured that she had turned down Mark Ronson to get drunk me. I said I was honoured and that I’d tease him about it if I ever saw him.
There was more leg touching, and in hindsight it seems that I spent most of the evening just talking to Mia. Apparently she normally goes out with scruffy men, loves where we work and likes going to festivals. We talked about dating habits and I said I wasn’t looking for anything throw away.
The rest of the group were slowly disappearing off into the night. It felt like five minutes but we were the last two left in the bar. Mia got another bottle of wine.
We had a really, really indepth conversation about losing fathers. I lost mine to the big C, she lost hers to malaria. We talked about what a shit it is and the vague sense of being cheated out of quality dad time. I’m pretty reserved with people so that was surprisingly out of character for me.
The conversation swung back to lighter subjects. A promise was made to take her out to a lovely restaurant for ‘lots of meat’, she specifically asked for that.
The next bit is a bit blurry I told her I thought she was very pretty and I definitely remember saying.
”Sometimes you just have to take a risk and do things if you think you should.”
And I kissed her, there was less than a pico second of surprise and then she kissed me back. A proper kiss. There was more kissing and then talking and kissing.
She asked if this was going to make work weird I said no, it wouldn’t. There was more kissing.
The bar was closing and we stumbled onto the last tube home. I took a slightly weird route home so we could get the same tube as her. There was kissing on the tube.
I went home fizzling with excitement. I may have punched the air a couple of times.
Sadly she was off work the next day so I’ve not seen her since, which is fine because I’m playing it cool.
Playing it cool is hard.
I’d like to kiss her some more.
Final score – Toast 1: Mark Ronson 0
Marriage percentage: 25% (I don’t really know her, yet…)
I walked through the misty streets of London. Hustlers and tourists bounced off each other as I headed for the train home. The train to safety. My mind was reeling. Not from the cheap wine, not from the cheap whiskey although it had taken the edge off the world.
I’d kissed her, Mia, the dame who lured me back to London, on the lips. It was a goodbye, at the end of an interesting night. Nothing too brisk but more than was required. I was a little shocked, enough to make me blink.
As I got on the tube I thought back a few hours to try to work out how this happened.
We were in a bar, there was a contest going on. Six of us from work were there. Six brave souls on a chilly Monday night with nothing planned apart from self-destruction.
Mia was there, we were both drunk from winning the contest and the free-flowing liquor. To win the contest we had pretended to be married, it made sense at the time.
She was leaning on me as we drank more. There was subtle touching going on, nothing overt just more than was required. Occasionally she would lean into me a little with her hips. The air tingled with something, something unwise but tempting all the same. I thought back a few hours to try to work out how this happened.
We had just arrived in the bar. I knew a couple of people on the table, but most were strangers. Mia wasn’t going to be joining us, but people were sending her messages to get her to come down. She turned up after just enough resistance to make it seem like we had earned it.
We drank slugs of fortified wine and chatted. I’d been out with work people before, but not with her yet. It was our first chat outside of the office.
We talked of little things, and then as the booze kicked in more serious, interesting things. I’m not sure how the subject came up but I said I wasn’t in a relationship.
She was confused, someone at work, a guy who works for me had told her I was. We laughed. I said I was free and single. We both drank and laughed. A laugh with hidden meanings, filled with ‘oh really?’ and ‘Gee that’s interesting’. I thought back a few days to try to work out how this happened.
It was my first night out with work. I sat down with one the guys who works for me. Drinking had begun well before the final whistle of the day and so in the pub we had reached the point of dangerous honesty.
“Who do you fancy in the office then? Who is your top three?” He asked.
“Mia,” I said, “The probably The Doll and The Glasses.”
“Oh really, that’s interesting, not The Hair?”
“No, I don’t do blondes.”
“Well watch out for Mia, she is a bit mad.”
“You’ll find out, just watch out.”
I thought on this, Mia wasn’t there so I couldn’t find out more. I thought back to try to work out how this happened.
There was an awards party months earlier. I picked up an award and a girl on a nearby table caught my eye. She was pretty, pretty enough to make me walk over and strike up a conversation. The place was so loud I didn’t quite catch her name. There was something about her that was very intriguing.
That’s how it happened.