Silly spontaneous presents are brilliant, whoever they come from. Unless the present is a secret scorpion in your pants drawer or a restraining order.
A great thing about relationships is that you have someone to get silly presents for all the time. They don’t have to be deep and meaningful or expensive to be a good present. They just have to make you grin or cry (in a good way, like when you get a new best gun in Borderlands).
The cool thing about them is that the better you get to know someone, the more the presents relate to a personal joy, secret pleasure or just appease the 5 year old inside.
I recently bought Jen a Lego minifigure. It was sealed in a pack so I didn’t know what I was buying and was in pieces so you couldn’t even stand at the display squishing all the packets to guess what it was. I remembered that I had it in my pocket when we were on the tube so gave it to her.
Disproportionate glee isn’t the phrase to use here! It made me think that I should get her a Lego engagement ring, one with one of those little transparent square one-block micro bricks as a diamond. It would be a lot cheaper but I’m not sure if that’s the sort of area where girls appreciate a quirky gift.
It’s fair to say that she got her money’s worth out of it.
After taking about 3 minutes to open the packet, she then spent about 5 minutes assembling the 6 pieces. Some of this seemed to involve throwing bits of the man on the floor. The figure was one of those soldiers with the massive bearskin hat that guards the queen. The kind that tourists try to get to move.
Eventually, after some gentle coaching on how to fix the gun into both his hands simultaneously the piece was finished and later took pride of place on the bedside table.
Because Jen is awesome, I picked her up yesterday and she said “do you want your present now?”. As I didn’t know there was even a present to be had I said “YES!” through the gritted teeth of excitement, closed my eyes and held out my hands.
On opening I discovered in my hand a packet of mother-loving Star Wars lego!!! YES!
I wanted to play with it then but didn’t think that I had time to put the spaceship together. Jen did say that it wouldn’t take long but I pointed out that a single figure had kept her occupied for about 10 minutes.
In conclusion, Lego is amazing. Girls who buy me Lego are amazing. Girlfriends who buy me surprise Lego are the best girlfriends of all.
Do you reckon that anyone has ever had a Lego themed wedding before?
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?
On the Tuesday before the May 5th B-day* Jen was in town for work so came to stay for the evening. During the day she had been giving me a running commentary on her recent hair dying attempt.
She already has a kind of burgundy red hair but a hairdresser friend of hers had promised to dye it permanent bright red. Regular readers will know that I have a serious weakness for short cute girls with coloured hair. Actually, ‘weakness’ is probably not strong enough. ‘Total mental handicap’ would probably be a better explanation; mouth part open, tongue half out, powerless arms limp at my sides.
The appointment with her friend fell through (due to having an actual paying client, how selfish!) so Jen had decided to dye her own hair with a home kit instead. She did dye her hair but also died a lot of other parts of her too. In her own words: “It looks like I’ve been wanking off a Care Bear”.
I demanded pictures of the final results expecting usual camera phone closeups of her head. Instead I was treated to some rather well posed risqué ‘myspace’ shots. Blimes!
When she turned up that evening I couldn’t keep my hands off her hair. The plan for the evening was to watch The Human Centipede (true romantic fodder). Unfortunately despite two attempts to *ahem* ‘borrow’ the film from the internet we gave up in the end and watched a couple of episodes of “The Tick” followed by Casino Royale. This was an appropriate mix of macho and ridiculous, although the lack of German scat fetish was lamented.
After all the ridiculous drinking and partying dates this was the most ‘couply’ thing that we have done so far. It kind of feels a bit like we’re dating backwards, starting on drinking, dancing, gigs and boxing shows and finally finding time for a quiet night in, which feels more like a third date than a 8th (or whatever we’re on).
In celebration I promised Jen that next time I’d take her out for a ‘second date’ meal and then next date we could make smalltalk and exchange a slightly awkward ‘edge of mouth’ misjudged kiss at the end.
Of course, the next date was decision time, so if there’s any time to go out for a lovly romantic meal it was then.
Naturally, as I am such a spaz, any attempt to do anything romantic will probably result in me accidentally taking her to a Star Trek fans’ regional meet or the filming of ‘Shemale Bukkakke 3’.
Marriage Percentage: 61%. Still solid and a good run up to our 3 month dating anniversary.
Somewhere something has gone wrong. When we started this wager I was only really just finding my feet with women after 32 years of blundering around (well, I probably shouldn’t count the first 10 or so). Having spent most of the years since being 18 in one long term relationship or another, I never really did the wild and free behaviour that a lot of people went through in their youth. To be honest I’m not sure I could have if I’d tried as I’ve always been a bit rubbish at that sort of thing and a bit shy with girls.
Having a wager to win really focusses the mind and it’s given me the incentive to go outside my comfort zone and to really think about what I’m looking for in a partner. In this search I’ve met some great people and have kissed a lot of girls. A lot of the time I really don’t know how it happens as I doubt I could do that if it was premeditated. Much to my bewilderment it has happened a lot and I’ve generally viewed it as a good thing as I don’t have time to wait around for promising wife material to come to me.
However, on my last date with Shannon I went way too far. I crossed the line from ‘proactive’ to outright womanising. It wasn’t supposed to be like this and I’m utterly ashamed of my behaviour. I’m not entirely sure how I got here but this is not where I am supposed to be. Aside from being utterly caddish, it’s also in direct contradiction of Rule 10: This is a wager between gentlemen, so gentlemanly conduct is expected.
I have done a lot of soul searching and decided that I am changing things as of now. Dating Jen and Shannon at the same time was making me feel a little uncomfortable anyway so I am going to concentrate my efforts on Jen. If I’m hitting on another girl when I’m on a date with Shannon then I guess I’m not that interested anyway so will reclaim some dignity and spare her by calling her to call things off.
There will be no more reprehensible behaviour and naughty times with anyone else are off the cards whilst I’m dating Jen. It just gets too confusing and I do rather like her so will give this the chance it deserves. I have already turned down a meet-up with a potential internet date who I suspect I would get on very well with. I thanked her for contacting me but said I was in the very early stages of ‘something’.
Maybe sometimes you have to cross a line to know it’s there. I’m not suggesting that I didn’t know that my recent behaviour was bad, just that it’s taken that to make me take a stern look at myself. I don’t want to be bad Biscuit anymore.
- There is a fine line between being a cheeky rogue and a despicable cad.
- I need to focus my mind and not be distracted by pretty girls or I will NEVER get married.
- Rule 10 is very important.
Next step: date with Jen.
Having accidentally (but happily) gained myself a promised American wife AND having been on a great couple of dates with Kim, I felt that this qualified the New York trip as an unmitigated success beyond my expectations. I specifically wasn’t looking to kiss any more girls.
As Saturday was (supposed to be) our last night in the the city, I had arranged to see Kim after work for drinking on the town and had invited Toast and MyLoveLifeInYourHands to join me after we’d had our fill at the brewery. I knew that Kim was planning for a messy night as she had some naughty pills that she was planning to share with a friend but thought it would still be fun.
You probably already know what happened, since Toast has spilled the greatest spoiler since revealing the end of Titanic: I kissed a girl.
I have several points in my defence but nothing that really excuses the behaviour:
- She looked like a young Claudia Winkleman.
- She had an initial air of ‘bemused quizzical indifference’ that piques my interest (in a Ramona Flowers style).
- The moment I heard her accent I fancied her.
- She had an adorable laugh and beautifully coy but sincere smile
- She saved my beer from being stolen TWICE.
- She looks hot in a balloon hat.
As I had arranged to meet Kim I held back from kissing her several times when the moment was conducive to it. The tension was becoming almost intoxicating, but I also knew that there was an outside chance that Kim might be joining us if her plans didn’t work out.
I got some increasingly mashed messages from Kim saying that her plans were all on and we should join her. By this point I was rather mashed myself and having way too much fun with present company to want to negotiate the subway network for the best part of an hour.
Eventually I got a slightly garbled message saying that she was staying out and I should join her. It was shortly afterwards that I kissed Claudia. Toast was making us pose for a photo looking wantonly into each other’s eyes. I can’t remember the scenario but the basic premise on Toast’s part was get me to kiss her.
We spent a lot of time talking whilst the others played pool in the next bar. I had already decided to stay. I felt really torn but I knew I wasn’t leaving Kim by herself and I was a little reticent to go given that she had obviously taken the naughty pills (yes, I clearly am attempting to justify my actions).
In a moment that almost made me melt because it felt like something straight out of a trashy American teen film, I had paused mid conversation and was just looking at her when she raised her eyebrow and said “I know that look, you want to make out don’t you?”.
‘Make out’! I’ve never heard that term used in its native context before!
We did make out and it was very good making out indeed. However it was making out in a bar and I think we had already breached the etiquette of the situation. As the others were all happilly engaged in pool and fledgling bar brawls I said “soooo… would you like to go and make out somewhere else?”
That’s how we ended up with a house guest the following morning.
After we had all had morning tea and I had walked Claudia to the subway station, I sat back in the appartment and said to the others “Oh god, I’m such a bad person”. Toast replied “You’re not a bad person, you’re just acting exactly like one”.
At no point have I ever gone out with the express intention of kissing girls and I’ve never kissed any girls or done naughty things just for the sake of it. With all of them I’ve seen potential for something more than hijinks. This however, does not stop me feeling like something of a womaniser.
Perhaps I’m just not ready for the power that an English accent bestows whilst in the States.
Marriage percentage: 35%. I can’t believe I’ve met three people who I would happily pursue a relationship with in the space of a week. I’m still not entirely sure how it’s all happened.
Lesson learned: Applebee’s really does have the WORST coffee I have ever tasted.
In case any of you are unsure as to who you’re rooting for to win this wager, or may be having trouble really identifying the finer differences in our philosophies, I thought I’d share this little slice of domestic life.
Toast kindly brought home some ‘bake at home’ soufflé mix so I popped a couple in the oven for dessert. I’m fairly handy in the kitchen when I need to be and I worked briefly as a chef’s assistant, however I’ve not really baked many cakes in my time and Toast tends to do most of the cooking in the house as I will tend to eat a multipack of crisps or Jammie Dodgers if left to my own devices. Because of this I was extra pleased when I open the oven to see that they had risen to full puffy glory.
I lovingly removed them from the oven to cool. I do have a tendency to wander off and forget when I have things waiting in a kitchen and many’s the time I have offered a cup of tea only to forget and leave it to stew for 20 minutes and go cold. Toast asked a couple of times what had happened to the soufflés as I muttered something about them cooling.
When I went back 5 minutes later I saw, to my horror, that they had both sunk. As I looked on, slightly distraught at the suicide of my delicious baked treats, Toast said:
T: I knew that woild happen
B: What? How?
T: You took them out pf the oven and the cold air made them fall
B: Why didn’t you say??? How was I supposed to know, I thought it was loud noises that made cakes fall, like in the cartoons.
T: Haven’t you ever wondered why in films and books, people order the soufflé at the start of the meal?
I looked at him blankly. He might as well have been talking about the finer point of Georgian architecture or The advantages of early operation with splenorrhaphy versus nonoperative management for the blunt splenic trauma patient for all that I had considered it before. I cannot recall a single moment in my life when I have been aware of the ordering etiquette associated with soufflé, let alone witnessed such an event in dramatic representation.
T: It’s all OK, they’ll still taste fine.
Toast’s knowledge of fine dining is possibly why he can effortlessly circulate in high society and why he keeps being mistaken for a gay whilst I have a wardrobe consisting primarily of T-shirts and Adidas sneakers.
He was right about one thing though. I’ll never make that mistake again. Next time I’ll just spoon the raw mix straight into my mouth.
…so given that insight into our respective culinary knowledge and ability to multi task, who is your money on?
This week has been really rather stressful; I was playing catchup at work and for 24 hours Toast and I were threatened with eviction with only 7 days notice (it’s a long story but it’s all fine now). Come Friday all I wanted to do was have a quiet night with an iced G&T and the Xbox.
Toast’s offer of a free bar was all it took to shift me from the sofa.
If you’ve read his account of the evening, then you’ll know that he makes it look like I wasn’t there 5 minutes before I started kissing. You’ll also be aware that this is his 4th consecutive drinking engagement of the evening and by his own admission he was mashed by the time I got there. I think it’s fair to say that his recollection of timescales is not exactly reliable.
Within about 20 minutes of being there a pretty Irish girl started talking to me. She was there because the strange gay man was her client and he was so drunk that she felt he was her responsibility and was wondering how on earth she was going to get him home. She was fairly new to London and herself and wasn’t overly sure how to get home herself.
Having struck up conversation with me, the second hint that she might have been making a move came when she offered to buy me a drink. This is not overtly ‘hitting on’ in itself but it’s the first time in London that a girl who wasn’t already a chum had offered to buy me a drink. She didn’t even have to tell me I had pretty eyes.
After about an hour all the VERY drunk girls and the VERY drunk gay man moved away from our corner to dance so the girl, Toast and I claimed the sofa.
Clue 3 came as she touched my knee whilst chatting. Toast then moved off the sofa. either because he was being helpful or because he didn’t want to be in the kissing zone.
The music in the place was very loud, I am a bit deaf and the girl could not hear as well out of one ear either and I occasionally had trouble following her accent so we had to talk with our faces rather close. Then, with our faces only a couple of inches from each other, the conversation sort of paused and she looked into my eyes, parted her lips slightly and almost imperceptibly leant forwards.
Quite frankly it would have been rude not to kiss her. That wasn’t so much as ‘clue 5’ as ‘fairly obvious 5’.
The last clue came when she said “well, it’s too late to get the tube home and I don’t know how to get back so I’m your responsibility.
Toast was feeling very drunk and sleepy and so opted to leave. I did say that we were just going to finish our drinks and leave too but since I have past form of saying this then spending another hour kissing he did not believe me and so left to get a cab.
Since she had declared herself my responsibility I though to best to take her home.
Before toast slanders my good reputation, we kept all important bits of clothing on to sleep so all modesty remained intact.
If you’ve been following this wager for a while then you’ll know that I really don’t believe in the sky fairy and have had relationships fall apart over religion and spirituality issues before. Being Irish, I did wonder whether she conformed to any of the Catholic girl stereotypes.
The following day she had to go and meet her aunt who was visiting London. She had to meet her aunt who is a nun, and her aunt’s friend who is a nun, and would be going to some memorial service with them. In fact, she ended up meeting 40 nuns.
This is some small cause for concern but she didn’t look too thrilled at the prospect so I am holding out hope that she doesn’t subscribe to all that herself. Since I’ve arranged to meet up with her again I sincerely hope not!
Marriage percentage – 15%. She’s pretty with a cheeky smile but I need to see where she stands on the god stuff before there’s any hope of anything higher.