Lost For Words

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CC Image courtesy of tnssofres on Flickr‘What do you write about?’

‘Err…. ermm… errrr….’

This is me, one Wednesday night back in January. Two cocktails down and a nice software engineer is asking me about my writing. I might complain that none of the men I go on dates with seem to be remotely interested in my life, but it’s a damn sight more complicated when they are.

‘What do you write about?’ ‘What sort of thing do you write?’ ‘Is it fiction?’

And I am lost for words.

I explained this dilemma to a male friend the other day.

‘Why don’t you just tell them?’ he says.

‘Because… it would take a very confident guy not to run for the hills, wouldn’t it?’

‘But don’t you want to date someone very confident?’

There’s a pause.

‘Yeah I s’pose.’

‘So what have you got to lose?’ He starts to laugh. ‘You can begin your next post, ‘Last night I decided to be honest…’.

I join in laughing. So this is what it would be like, discussing the blog openly with a clever, funny, attractive man. And it’s not so bad.

CC Image courtesy of Det.Logan on Flickr

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Saturday Night Fever

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CC Image courtesy of pedrosimoes7 on Flickr

Everyday for about a year I woke to the same piece of dating advice. Written in pencil on a scrap of lined paper blue-tacked to my bedroom wall, it read:

If you’re attracted to a guy who isn’t pursuing you, DON’T EVER BE AROUND HIM. It’s masochistic.

At some point, perhaps because I thought it had done its work or because it didn’t meet my stringent standards for interior décor, I took it down.


Saturday night…

‘Did he invite you?’

I laugh. ‘No… no, it’s never that simple.’*

Beatrice smiles. ‘No. So, what, he said, ‘I’m going to this thing, you should come’?’


What had he said exactly? He’d said: ‘I might be going to this ball. All Latin and ballroom dancing.’ Then a smiley face.

Cue puzzled face. He ‘might’ be going so, what, I ‘might’ turn up and find he wasn’t there? I recalled a guy friend’s insight into male dating behaviours (‘there are no hidden meanings’), waited a few days, then replied in a similarly ambivalent fashion.


By some miracle we are both in the same place at the same time on Saturday night, dancing. Well, he’s dancing. I’m sitting on the sidelines with Beatrice.

‘So, what do you think?’ I say. ‘Does he fancy me?’

‘Do you fancy him?’


‘Right. Well… why don’t you suggest going for a drink and see what happens?’

I stare, then spout the usual guff about how it should come from him.

‘Yeah, but what have you got to lose?’


Apparently nothing because an hour later I’m sitting opposite the guy in a pub, laughing more than I have in months. Then we’re walking to the bus stop. Then we’re saying goodnight.


And the next morning I’m contemplating reinstating the scrap of lined paper.

CC Image courtesy of Dr Stephen Dann on Flickr

*For the record, I am aware that sometimes it is that simple.

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‘It’s annoying because – all my friends who’ve really liked one of their guy friends…’

Clare, Lucy, others whose names don’t immediately spring to mind.

‘… they all ended up with them eventually!’

Beatrice shrugs.  ‘Maybe it’s not eventually yet.’


That’s nice.

When’s eventually?




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Every Breath You Take

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‘So,’ I say,this guy friend…’CC Image courtesy of Craft*ology on Flickr

A concept I clearly struggle with.

‘… I need to corner him into inviting me to something…’

Or just corner him.

‘… and if he doesn’t invite me, then it’s no-go?’

‘Oh gosh,’ Toby says, ‘I don’t know.  When you’re talking to him, make very obvious double-entendres – and play with a necklace.’

Presume he means mine. 

Wink constantly.’

He’ll certainly notice me.

‘And breathy voice.  That’s really important because it’s sexy.’

‘I’ll leave my inhaler at home.’

‘Smoke a cigar on the way over.’

‘Shall I strip as well, leaving the necklace on of course?  I don’t think you’re taking this entirely seriously, Toby.’

‘Well, this is just what I do.  Works everytime.’

The following evening, things are not going according to plan.  I text Toby.

‘I’m wearing a necklace.  Now what?’

I trust that he’ll assume I’m also wearing clothes.

Later that night, he replies,

‘Did it work?’


CC Image courtesy of Brian Birke on Flickr

Turning Heads

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‘How’s it going with Orla?’ I ask.CC Image courtesy of utnapistim on Flickr

‘We exchanged a couple of emails today.’

‘That’s good.  It’s when they’re one-way that you have to worry.’

‘It’s not good,’ he says.

‘Oh – why?’

‘She dumped me.’

‘Oh.  I’m sorry.  What did she say?’

‘That she’s too busy for a romantic relationship… I know what that means of course.  It means she doesn’t like me enough.  Because no one’s too busy for the right person.’

‘Err, well, errrr…’ What do you say to that?  ‘… yeah, well, you’ve kinda hit the nail on the head there.’  Not that.  ‘Aaaw I’m sorry.’  Better.

‘I don’t understand.  She just turned!  It was perfect – and then it wasn’t.  I hate women!’

‘Men do it too!  Look at Joe – he turned.’  Literally, in the street.  ‘We’re all fucking ballerinas.’  Poetic.  ‘It may well have been the ex thing, like you said.’

He’d told me the other day that he thought she might be getting back together with her ex.

‘Yeah, well, I’m gonna run with that,’ he says.

‘Yeah, good plan… and come dancing tomorrow!  It’s a good distraction from this kind of thing.’

It’s not, but I’d like you to be there.

CC Image courtesy of bichxa on Flickr