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…

A long promised tale: part 2

So. Here I sit, in my living room, ‘Newsnight’ being mainly ignored in the background, red blanket wrapped around me because I’m still recovering from this damn cold (on antibiotics now!) and at last I think I might actually be in the mood to tell this story properly.

We left me before having just entered the studio theatre, peering around at the assorted strangers. Were there any cute ones? The honest answer is: yes.

The even more honest answer is: there were maybe two but on second glance, was that one a woman? A really masculine looking woman… surely it was a man? And yet he brought to mind my sewing teacher from school.

Looking back, I’m honestly not sure how much I ever believed that the person before me was a woman. He had a slightly feminine haircut and way of moving. And there was that resemblance to the sewing teacher (on reflection I think she just looked manly). But really it was just something I mentioned to J which then became ‘A Thing’.

Anyway. If he was a man: he was a rather cute one. If he was a woman: um. Not so much. I hoped for the former as I only swing one way (and if I did swing the other way, I don’t think ‘she’ would be my type).

Anyway. The second cute guy was shorter and blonder and muscular(…er?). Younger too I guessed but I stink at guessing ages. The rest of the group was made up of a pretty wide range of people – a couple of girls who looked to be around my age, some older women, guys from maybe 25 to 40 and finally, two older gentlemen.

I took my seat. I remember that first class pretty well. We had to think of a character and then come up to the front one by one. We then acted like our character and answered questions from the rest of the group who had to guess ‘who’ we were. I chose to be a rock star as I had recently become somewhat obsessed with David Bowie. It was a bit awkward. Actually. It was a lot awkward. I think people struggled to guess.

Next we were paired up. Then we had to stand in front of the class, one pair at a time, and improvise our two characters meeting in a lift. I was paired with E. She looked my age (I thought) but turned out to be around 8 years older. I stink at guessing.

Our ‘improv’ went fairly well, I guess. Nothing stands out about it now! The two cute guys were paired up. I forget what the blonde one did… I think he was some sort of young delinquent. The other one was ‘World War Two Veteran’. He did it really well – he sounded so weary and lonely! We watched as these two guys put together a strangely sweet little scene from nowhere – an unexpected connection between the very old and the very young. Memorable. As were the men themselves.

A long-promised tale

A while ago on here I promised to tell the story of my first serious boyfriend: ‘The Guy I Liked’ Actually it was on this post:

Now I hope it to be a tale worth telling and as such I am just going to plunge straight in…

A English city. A girl who suddenly feels alone even though she’s still at home.

Alone because all of my friends, except one, had just gone off to university. I decided not to, it wasn’t the right place for me at the time (I did go two years later). But I was lonely. I think it was my mum who saw the advert:

‘Local Theatre Company seeks new members. Come along to our Tuesday welcome evenings and get involved!’

So I did. And I learned about the weekly actor’s workshop every Thursday. I was very nervous but I knew I had to do it. Unfortunately, approximately one minute before I was supposed to leave I nipped to the toilet with my phone in my pocket. My phone did not stay in my pocket. My phone jumped down the toilet. That was a bad time.

Anyway. Off I went. I’d persuaded my friend, J, to go with me for moral support. I dressed in what was hopefully a creative, artistic yet casual manner. Possibly I just looked like an ass.

My nervousness increased as we entered the building. There were about twelve other people in the black painted ‘Studio Theatre’, including that week’s teacher. A few others appeared to be new and the teacher had everyone introduce themselves. As usual I couldn’t help but have a quick scout out for interesting looking men…

To be continued (as this is gonna get long. Figured bite size chunks would go down better!)

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.)