Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps

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CC Image courtesy of Darice on FlickrI make a carrot cake for my colleague’s leaving party. At the end, there’s a quarter remaining. Take it home, someone says to me, give it to your flatmate.

‘No,’ I say, ‘we errr we don’t have that kind of relationship.’

Oh! is the reaction, more bemused than judgmental. I feel mean but can’t offer much by way of explanation.

Flatmate would say it’s because he’s very critical.  He might then describe how, in the early days of our tenancy, he pronounced the chocolate sauce on my profiteroles to be too bitter – which it was, but I’m never going to admit it to his face – and with those words forfeited all future offers of my cooking.
But his critical streak has its uses. The other day we’re talking men, or lack thereof. I’m arguing that a man who adds me on Facebook must have some kind of romantic interest in me: indeed I have empirical evidence that this is the case.

Flatmate looks amused. ‘Are you telling me you fancy all the guys you’ve added on Facebook?’

‘Yeah, pretty much.’

I’m exaggerating slightly, but only slightly.

He frowns. ‘I don’t understand why you never get any of them!’

I shrug. ‘Maybe they’re out of my league?’

I think of Nick, who incidentally isn’t on Facebook.

He shakes his head. ‘That’s not possible – statistically I mean. There are just too many of them!’

I laugh. ‘Sometimes it’s the same ones, recurring!’

Nice Guy, Nick…

He sighs. ‘So you don’t learn your lesson the first time round.’

‘No, it’s not that…’

He thinks a moment. ‘I can only think that you’re always going for the same type, and for whatever reason it’s not working. Does everyone you fancy have a posh accent?’

‘No.’

Yes, well, almost.  But I can’t help the fact that I find it sexy as hell, can I? Whilst I found Joe‘s pony club chat to be very annoying – but everything else about him was sexy as hell.

‘I don’t understand it.  You’re a nice girl….’

I make a mental note to start sharing carrot cake.

‘… you’re intelligent, funny, you’re good-looking…’

‘Aww you’re sweet.  Keep talking.’

‘… the only thing I can see which might be limiting you is that you’re quite tall, so you’d be too tall for some guys, but that doesn’t explain it.’

‘Perhaps I’ve just been unlucky,’ I say, with a shrug.

‘Perhaps.’

CC Image courtesy of cbgrfx123 on Flickr

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The IT Crowd

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It’s around this time that the phone-checking starts.  And the telling friends about him.  And the putting ‘Daniel‘ and ‘male’ (in case it didn’t know) and ‘London’ into the Advanced Search on Facebook.

The whole writer thing – prone to overthinking, obsession, depression, you-name-it – doesn’t seem to put him off.  No, instead I get an entertaining response which begins, ‘I’m a programmer’.  That’s not the entertaining bit.  It does however make me think of a funny post I read on a fellow Tinder-er’s blog, about a date she went on with someone who works in IT.  She tells him she writes a ‘fitness blog’, confident that he won’t be able to discover the truth.  Which he does, the next day, and comedy ensues.  It also reminds me of when I met Joe, who also worked in IT, and I had to remind myself that what I considered an anonymous blog was probably nothing of the sort.

So when Daniel asks me if I’ve published anything, I conveniently forget about the two hundred odd blog posts I’ve poured my heart and soul into for the past year and a half, and say no.  Which isn’t a lie, because his question referred to novels specifically, and the day I finish a novel, let alone get one published, is the day I go on a good second date; or get a stable job; or can afford to rent a room whose dimensions don’t contravene the European Convention on Human Rights.

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Anniversary Present

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‘Don’t read too much into it.’

It’s Beatrice on the line.

‘No.’  I hesitate before going on.  ‘You know – do you remember Joe in the blog?  We went on a few dates at the end of last year.’

‘Y–es.’

‘Well, it might be weird that I remember this, but the party where Joe and I met last year was on the same date as the house party which Nice Guy has invited me to!’

‘The same date?’

‘Yes, the exact same date!  And,’ I laugh, ‘it’s in the same place!’

‘What do you –?’

‘I mean – it’s in Dalston!  I only went to Dalston once last year, and that was the night I met Joe!  And I’ll probably only go there once this year, for this party!  Weird, huh?!’

There’s a pause.

‘You remember the date?’ Beatrice says.

‘Yeah, because, well, it was quite a big deal, the party, where Joe and I met.  We were sent, like, proper invitations – paper ones.  So yeah, I remember the date.’

Another, longer pause.

‘Yeah don’t read too much into it.’

CC Image courtesy of Kristin Roach on Flickr


Better Men

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CC Image courtesy of alexis mire on FlickrGoogle ‘how to stop obsessing over a guy’ on my laptop, and you’ll be met by a wall of red.  Frustratingly, I keep getting the same answer: something about being happy with, and confident in, your life as a single person.  Looking for a man shouldn’t be your priority, Google tells me.  Bit rich coming from a search engine.

Another piece of dating advice I frequently stumble upon is know what you want in a man.  Until recently, I’ve been fairly clueless on this front.  (Male and… male?)  But then a couple of things happened.

I had coffee with a colleague – a girl – and we discovered we had loads of mutual friends, including Will.  It was through Will that I met Joe.

‘So do you know Joe Buckley?’ I say.

She frowns.  ‘No, I mean, I know of him, but no, I don’t know him well.’

I hesitate.

‘And… Tom Randall?’

Joe’s flatmate.

Her face softens.  ‘Aaaw yes, he’s so lovely.’

The praise keeps coming.  I tell her about Joe and I.

‘It’s annoying because the night I met Joe, I also met Tom, and, well, I can’t help feeling Tom’s the better man!’

The kind of man I’d be looking for – funny, kind, passionate, artistic – were I not happy in my life as a single person.

She nods, smiling.  ‘He is a really decent guy.’

She promises to introduce us at some point.

Then at a party a few weeks later, I bump into Very Pretty Girl, and she gives me the lowdown on Nick.  He’s calm, she tells me, gentle, romantic yet down-to-earth, has beautiful manners and a terrific sense of humour.  Oh and he’s writing a book.  Correction, a publisher has asked him to write a book.  So there you have it: what I’m looking for in a man.  Or would be, were I not happy etc etc.

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Wouldn’t Work

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‘He talks about you all the time!’CC Image courtesy of Sandy Austin on Flickr

I bite my tongue and look down at the menu.  Charlotte’s not to know that I am kind of sick of hearing this!  I decide against ordering a sandwich. 

In such situations, I find it’s helpful to remind yourself why you and the other person would not work. 

Toby, for instance, thinks it’s OK to name children after weather patterns. 

Joe was disappointed to discover I had gone to private school, but not to Pony Club.  Huh?

Freddie.  Now, Freddie is a social animal.  He’ll talk to anyone, about anything, for any length of time.  It’s very annoying when you’re in a hurry.  He’s universally popular, which is just annoying.  He’s dependable, and loyal, the kind of guy you’d turn to in a crisis… moving on.  He says things to me like ‘you don’t enjoy anything!’, and ‘you’re never impressed!’.  For the record, what he means is that I need to lower my expectations and chill out a bit more.  So he knows me too well.  He’s basically like a brother to me – and you shouldn’t bang your brother.

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