Confessions

1. Today I ate an entire bag of microwave popcorn. Not even in the evening with a film or a friend. Just alone, mid-afternoon. I’d been eyeing it up in my cupboard for days, resisting it, but then I thought ‘eh, I’m gonna eat it eventually. Why wait?’

2. Last week I went to Nando’s twice. I justify this by deciding that since one meal happened randomly after a night out, it was still ok to go the second time as I’d actually planned that before the first trip. Also my boyfriend was there both times too so it wasn’t just me. He didn’t have one stamp left on his loyalty card and decide to get it filled by ordering ALL THE SIDE DISHES and having the main for free there and then though. I may have done that.

3. I so very couldn’t be bothered to unpack after my holiday that I left the jewellery I’d taken in its travel bag and just used it from there. When I’d worn it I still didn’t put it away; I put it back in the travel bag. It got to a point where I’d taken off some jewellery I hadn’t even taken on holiday with me and I still just put it in the travel bag. Eventually everything I own will be in that bag.

4. Also I didn’t bother to unpack anything for ages after I got back because I kinda just thought ‘hey I’m moving house soon, part of my crap is ready packed!’ Then I realised that was a month away and my mum wanted the suitcase back. It’s all unpacked now.

5. Instead of working on the articles I’m doing for a website I write for, when I got home this afternoon I read all of Snopes. I now know everything that didn’t happen ever.

6.I’m awful with remembering who the hell people are. I’m mostly bad with faces. I once didn’t recognise a teacher I’d had for a year JUST because he’d put a hat on. He came down a corridor smiling and waved and I was just confused.

7. I’m also bad with names. Recently I was chatting with a really nice girl I’d met a few times and worked on a one-day film shoot with. The subject of how awkward it was when you couldn’t remember someone’s name and they knew yours and it was too late to ask came up. After this I went ‘Oh do you know my friend G? I’ll introduce you’, walked her over there and FORGOT HER NAME. ‘This is G…. errrrrr’. Complete blank. In the end I just went ‘Oh B is calling me, excuse me!’ and ran away. Which may have been a bit rude but I was panicking like hell (also they’d already started talking to each other so it was kiiiiind of ok-ish).

And that concludes this chronicle of utter ridiculousness!

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The time I went on a date: Part 2

Another lengthy tale of my awkward life, handily divided into two parts. Part One is available here.

Eventually it was time for the film. I’d promised an Orange Wednesdays voucher and failed to deliver (friend never got back to me with it!); he tried to contact a friend last minute to get one but that didn’t appear either. Discussion of this failure took up far more of the conversation than I would have liked.
Thus when he tried to insist upon paying for our tickets I outright refused. I felt bad enough as it was. Not to mention the fact that I thought he had a car and it would be no problem for him to get there: turned out he had to take a taxi straight from work. All the way across town. Expensive. Oops. And of course I had to ask where he lived: and of course it turned out to be 4 streets down the road from me. I couldn’t not offer him a lift home.

We chatted while the adverts were on. An interview was played in which a man had a thumb war with an actor, whereupon B turned to me and declared that he had never been beaten in a thumb war. This did make me laugh; he was clearly messing about but then he insisted on challenging me. He wasn’t lying when he said he was good: I nearly lost that thumb then. Guess that would have brought the date to a swift close.
He heard it click as it bent backward and apologised, holding out his hand as though ready to take my hand and ‘inspect for damage’. Far be it from me to judge such tricks, as we know I am not above that shizzle, but I just wasn’t into it. I laughed it off (I was going to stick the good old adjective ‘awkwardly’ in there but really? I think we can just take that as a standing situational thing. It was all awkward).

The film itself was fine. Part of a series, the rest of which I’d never seen, so I was rather confused throughout but whatever. It was alright. And the lead actor was kind of cute.

As we walked down the steps out of the screening room B ended up ahead of me. My glance happened to fall on the back of his neck: two small silver bars poked out of his neck. Like tiny, tiny Frankenstein’s monster bolts. It was a weirdly deep-looking piercing as well. Anyway, regardless of depth, I’m not a fan of piercings in men (personally I don’t like any piercings but that is due to my combined needles and holes phobias). Not important but still.

I drove him home. He didn’t actually show me where his house or even his actual street were: he just said the layby under the bridge was fine. So ok, I pulled over. I was extremely worried that this would be the moment he went for a kiss. He began to lean over… for a hug. Relieved, I returned the hug and promptly SMACKED HIM IN THE FACE with my upper arm. Hastily I began to withdraw and apologise: mid-apology I once again SMACKED HIM IN THE FACE, this time with my hand. He just got out then.

I drove home ever so fast and hunted out my housemate and her boyfriend. Like surrogate parents they listened to every detail, offered me about 20 pieces of conflicting advice (while B texted me about the good time he’d had) and then we went to the drive through for McFlurries. So that was good.

The time I went on a date

It’s another random and long ongoing tale! Some may say I should finish one before I start another but yo, this is how I roll! Mainly cos I couldn’t be bothered to write the other one right now.

I originally wrote this in the before time – the date in question happened last year – but, as I had started telling this saga here before (and cos I read this and thought it was alright) I reckoned I might as well publish it. I want to state: I mean no offence to my datee here. Awkwardness was due to me. He was a nice guy who I just ultimately wasn’t interested in in that way.

Well I did it. I went on a date. A rather awkward date but that was to be expected. And hey, it wasn’t terrible.

Our original plan had been to meet at the cinema just before the film, however, B texted and asked whether I could meet him for a drink first. I really wasn’t sure about this – I’d thought that he might suggest going for a drink after but before? According to my friends and family: before is better. Gets it over and done with, it’s got a clear time limit and then at the end you can just go. I hadn’t thought of any of these things but, on reflection, I agreed.

And so we met 45 minutes before the film. I know that’s not long but hey; one drink (cos how early can I eat dinner, huh?) I’d driven there and as I opened my car door my phone bleeped: a text from him. He was already there. Fighting the sudden urge to leap in my car and keep driving until there was no more Britain to drive on, I headed toward the cinema. There he was. He looked… strangely red around the eyes. Like he’d been crying. I don’t know why – I wasn’t that late (two minutes tops).

He hugged me. Previous statements have declared how I feel about physical contact so I need say no more on that front.

He’d never been to that area before and so I suggested a bar. He offered to buy drinks – a coke for me, a pint for him. Pleasant but stilted conversation ensued. As we moved to sit at a table he decided to do a ‘cheers’-clink move with his glass. Sadly I had just leaned down to sip through my straw, half way through that sip I realised why he was shoving his glass at me and quickly tapped mine on his. I didn’t quite twig that some coke had just entered my mouth, the movement whipped the straw out of my mouth and the coke followed. I spluttered and dribbled awkwardly.

As I listened to him speak I began to feel awful. He told me about his life – his family back down south and his upcoming visit for his nephew’s birthday. There was a whole life there with just one gap: a gap for a girlfriend to slot into. I felt like I could see a path I would never take, it would never be me in that gap – it was all there before me but I knew, even then, that I just wasn’t interested in dating him.And no, it probably was no great loss to him, I’m sure he had no trouble finding dates. But it was the strangest sensation of seeing little snippets of a whole life laid out like a patchwork quilt with a square missing. I’m sure it’s just my overactive imagination but in that moment I really felt like I’d Seen Something. I don’t know. Just my own guilt talking really.

Part two will follow shortly (this got long. Like, seriously long. But I swear it’ll just be two parts).

A long-promised tale: part 3

The ongoing saga of my first serious boyfriend continues (click ze links if you’ve missed parts one or two)

Week one of theatre was over. My friend J had enjoyed it but declined to return. I, however, knew that I had to continue – it was the thing that was lacking in my life back then. I needed a creative outlet or I’d go crazy!

The weeks went by and my theatre adventures settled into a routine: every Thursday one of my parents would give me a lift into the city. I’d take part in the workshop (fast becoming one of ‘the regulars’) and then we’d all retire to the bar after for a few drinks.

Although every episode had its fair share of low-level stress and awkwardness (I really do struggle with talking to people I don’t know), looking backing I mainly remember a very pleasing sensation of belonging. A core group of around 10 of us become good friends. I fit there. The things I wanted to talk about were the things they wanted to talk about too. I’m pretty sure that any measure of confidence I have with approaching strangers was sparked off in that old, dusty red bar room.

I always think: however it may have all ended I don’t regret a single moment of it. It was a pretty important part of growing up for me.

And it was a vastly important part of Men As An Actual Concept Rather Than Just A Theoretical Distant Thing.

I’d become good friends with the younger man, C, I remember in particular standing outside the Theatre with him one week before the class started. He was wearing mirrored sunglasses and smoking a cigar. A cigar.

I was hopping about feeling like the ‘cool kid’ I’d never been at school. One of my friends arrived and asked if I was heading in. I told her I would soon. I wasn’t giving up this chance for one on one communication so quickly!

Looking back I can see how pathetic this was (and how pretentious he was). I know he liked me as a friend, he would often seek me out for a chat, but I equally know that he never saw me as anything more than that. I believed strongly in the power of hope I guess.

The other man, S, I had hardly spoken too. Until the props and scenery workshop that is…

To this day I’m not 100% sure why he particularly caught my eye that night. I remember he was wearing a nice jacket. I also remember I’d recently noticed his arms – slim but in a nice, defined way – and I suppose that was in my mind as he lifted the prop furniture. I decided that I had to speak to him that night.

Our communication began in an extremely insignificant way – I saw him approach a chest which really required two people to lift. My opening was there! I scurried over to help. He smiled and thanked me… and that was it. We had to carry on tidying. People kept talking to each of us. My grand plan of approach seemed to already be over.

Of course then, I had no idea what the rest of the evening would lead to or, indeed, why it was so lucky I had chosen to put on the particular t-shirt I was wearing…

Left Unsaid

There are always those things, things you want to say or wish you could say but you just can’t. And there are plenty of reasons why keeping one’s mouth shut could be the best decision one could possibly make – perhaps the niggling thought is too blunt? Too childish? Too potentially explosive? Or maybe it’s just something that needs to be dealt with in a different way. This, of course, does not necessarily stop the niggling.

As someone who constantly over-analyzes everything, I am all too familiar with these scritchy little bits of thought that hover at the edge of the mind. I try to let them go; I breathe in, I breathe out and I think ‘Let it go, Crimineaux, let it go’. I just don’t think I’m zen enough.

And so here, in the hopes that shouting into the ether will release these pests, are my top five ‘Things I really, really shouldn’t say….’

5. ‘I actually don’t think I find that funny. I think I tricked myself’ (A show I watched and then got loads of my friends into but, on reflection, a show that has rarely actually made me laugh. It’s too late to clear it up now, nor does it really matter.)

4. ‘Stop trying to always top everyone’s stories. If I have a cold; you have the flu. If I know someone who broke their leg, you know someone whose leg spontaneously fell off one day. Well congrats on that. And it’s not just that – it’s telling me also how my story is WRONG. How I must be wrong because you knew someone… BLAH BLAH BLAH’ (Acquaintance who drives me round the bend. But our mutual dislike isn’t going away and it’s best if we just attempt civility for everyone’s sake!)

3. ‘I find your attitude to alcohol sad and extremely childish. We are not 13 year old kids who stole a bottle of cider to impress their mates.’ (This may need saying but it’ll be in a much less confrontational way. The person drinks very rarely but when they do they get desperate to impress and prove themselves interesting.)

2. ‘You are a terrible friend. We arrange for me to travel to see you and stay over; I text the day before to sort arrival time and you go: ‘Oh yeah sorry, something came up. You can’t come’. Then you don’t contact me again until your latest ‘disaster’ when you want sympathy and attention. You don’t ask about me; even when I mention that I’ve been ill. And when I say some nice words you shoot them down as predicted. Cos nothing is ever right is it? I’m done.’ (Something that really does need communicating but not that bluntly!)

1. ‘I don’t know how you can fail so hard at seeing how attractive you are. Your deep, sparkling eyes are actually beautiful. And the lazy smile that stretches across your face when I make you laugh makes my heart feel like it’s jumping inside me.’ (I am freakin’ never saying that. T’would be disastrous.)

It’s not like I’ve calmed down

So. Christmas meal: all is fine. Then, once again, no contact with B for ages.

Six months later and I was about to graduate. He congratulated me online, I thanked him and conversation occurred. I suppose I should have handled this better. I don’t know. I struggle with stuff like this; I guess I just want to be friendly and end up being a weirdo instead. Probably.

And so he asked me out again. To the cinema this time. And I didn’t know what to say. I stalled for a bit… and then I said yes. My reasons are many fold and I’m not that proud of all of them but here goes:

1. If we go on a date at least I’ve tried that; he can’t keep asking me with the justification of ‘You haven’t tried it, how do you know you won’t like it?’
2. My housemate was not remotely attracted to her boyfriend but since they were kind of friends she agreed to a date. Soon her opinion had completely changed and now (one and a half years later) they are an awesome couple. So sometimes you should give people a chance.
3. I’m young and single and have been for a while (like really, a while) now and I feel that I should be doing this stuff.
4. I have a… well… a friends with benefits situation going on (which is a vast other story and so unlike me) and he kissed a girl at a nightclub which of course is fine because we’re very straightforward and honest with each other and we’ve agreed we’re just having fun occasionally as two consenting good friends. But if he can do that I kinda want to do stuff too.

Number 4 isn’t great, I know. Some might call it a wee bit childish but there it is. I like to think the others are ok… I hope.

So I feel terrible. Like I’m not giving this a proper chance. I want to because he’s nice and you never know… except a little part of me thinks I do know and it also thinks that I don’t really, really want to give this a real chance. Shut up little part (snigger), shut up!

In which I panic

So I have a date tomorrow. Oh boy.

I suppose pre-date anxiety is normal. What may not be so normal is this feeling of absolute dread. And I mean no offence to my datee; by all accounts he seems to be a very nice guy. This is all me.

To understand the whole story I have to take you back to November last year… I’d recently been to see Alice Cooper’s Hallowe’en show and had loved the feeling I’d had of being among ‘my own people’. I belonged for once.

And so I’d developed an urge to get more involved at uni – to try and make more friends. Being in a state of Alice, the Rock Society was the first thing that stood out. Giving myself a stern ‘Look here, what would Jagger do?’ I grabbed hold of all my available courage and went to meet them at a local bar.

I’d checked them out on Facebook and identified a couple of potentially cute guys (that’s just what I do) so I was looking forward to seeing if there were any ‘nice young men’ as my mother would call them. Over that evening I talked to some great people – including one of the cute guys from Facebook. While chatting with one of his friends I learned that both also attended the uni fencing group – I love fencing and decided to sign up immediately (tangentially; his friend took a shine to me and I awkwardly repelled him for a while (see below), cute guy barely turned up but I went on to join the varsity fencing team which is once more: a story for another day).

Back on track. I continued to attend and one night I chatted to a guy who we’ll call B. I’d spoken to a lot of people, mainly about music. He was another nice person who I had a good conversation with – and that was all.

He added me on Facebook. He talked to me on Facebook. He followed this with an invitation to ‘do something over the weekend’. I had not seen this coming (I know, I know) and panicked. Unfortunately so did Facebook: it crashed. For hours. It looked like I was completely ignoring his message: full radio silence. Urgh.

I later sent him an apologetic message and mentioned how I wouldn’t have been able to do anything anyway as I had had a very busy weekend.

I didn’t see or hear from him again until the RockSoc Christmas meal where he sat one seat away from me. I apologised once more and (glad to see a familiar face) we chatted a bit through the meal. That night ended in me being the only one not drunk (having come straight from my parents’ I’d had to drive) and having cute guy’s friend walk me to my car. C G Friend had also been talking to me a lot and I was bit nervous about whether he’d try to make a move or something (although not as nervous as I was about being mugged on a long walk through a dodgy area. He was a big, tough guy and I was very grateful to him for offering to walk me). So I lunged at him and hugged him with my face turned away as a preventative measure. Yeah.

As for B; it seemed like awkwardness had been averted and we were, not friends, but maybe on track to be. All seemed ok…
To be continued (as this was getting insanely long. I’d be crap on Twitter.)