Perfect Strangers

Posted on

CC Image courtesy of ketrin1407 on FlickrMatthew’s reply is, of course, perfect.  He would have loved to have come, but can’t because of a clash (family commitments, aw).  He would however love to meet up.

Of all the men I contact, he’s the only one to say this.  Nice Guy and Swiss National are non-committal in a ‘thanks and have a nice life’ kind of a way.  Benedict being Benedict is effusive in his regrets…

He begins by suggesting I drop by where he works for a drink on the way home, then tells me he’s just moved to my neighbourhood so we must meet up soon, and sends me his mobile number for ease of contact. Coming from any other man, this medley of attentions would have had me dancing naked down Oxford Street.  But Benedict, like I said, is Benedict, and in Narnia they do things differently.


I don’t reply to Matthew’s message until my birthday a.k.a. The Apocalypse has been and gone.  The balance of my mind has been restored, and I’m probably a little bit more cynical about love stuff than I was twenty-four hours before.


There’s a scene in Sex & The City, where Carrie is running to a first date.  She bumps into her ex on the sidewalk.

‘I had a baby!’ he says.

‘I have a date!’


Small talk ensues.

‘Good to see you,’ she says, looking up at him.

‘You too.  We should get together and have coffee sometime, and catch up.’

‘Yeah, great!  OK we’ll do that.’

As Carrie walks away, the voiceover comes in: there is the type of date you can’t wait to keep, and the type of date you both know you’ll never keep.


Part of me – the cynical, pessimistic part that’s big on self-preservation – reckons that ‘meeting up’ with Matthew is like Aidan and Carrie’s coffee: it will never happen.  And with that in mind, I reply, saying it would be great to catch up, perhaps one night after work, and to let me know when would be good for him.

CC Image courtesy of Daremoshiranai on Flickr

Related Posts:

Boys, Boys, Boys

Invitation Only

If You’re A Bird…

Anywhere But Here

Boys, Boys, Boys

Posted on

CC Image courtesy of srsldy on FlickrMonday evening, my brother comes round.  I’m looking forward to having a shoulder to cry on.

‘It probably wasn’t a good idea to invite the guy,’ he says, when I tell him about the events of the weekend.


He’s touched a nerve, so much so that I forget to cry, I’m too busy being indignant.  Despite my mother’s assurances that I did nothing wrong in inviting the guy to my birthday celebrations, there’s a nagging doubt in my head, the feeling that I brought this all on myself.

Five minutes of denial later…

‘OK, so perhaps you shouldn’t invite someone you’re dating to your birthday…’

‘No, it’s fine to,’ he says, ‘it’s just, if you don’t know them very well, or if you’re not sure how things are between you… the danger is it will make the event all about them, when the focus should be the event itself.’

He’s well wise, my bro.

‘I know.  But, when I invited him, everything was fine!  I couldn’t have known…’

‘Oh, right, then… you were just unlucky.’

I spread my hands.  ‘Admittedly by mid-week, what with radio silence etc, I thought, were it not for the dinner party, I wouldn’t be hearing from him again.  But I didn’t know what to do!  I could hardly un-invite him!’

No.  Instead what I did was issue an invitation to pretty much every guy I’ve ever fancied, so that if FFS did show and everything went tits up, I would be sufficiently distracted not to notice.  Which, as a strategy, might have worked, if any of them had been able to come.

Swiss National, Nice Guy, Benedict… the declines come thick and fast, and in the case of Benedict, couched in wonderfully eloquent language.  Last on my list of men to contact is Matthew.

CC Image courtesy of Oskar Ferm on Flickr

Related Posts:

Happy Birthday

Forget Me Not


Anywhere But Here

Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps

Posted on

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?’


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.


CC Image courtesy of cbgrfx123 on Flickr

Related Posts:

Performance Review

Love in a Cold Climate


What’s Your Type?

Pins & Needles

Posted on

‘… and then I’m meeting my man!’CC Image courtesy of coop925 on Flickr

I shriek.  ‘What?!  And… WHAT?!!!’

Perky grins.


Five minutes later, we’re sitting in a cafe.

‘What can I get you?’

I look up at the waiter ‘Could we have a couple of minutes please?’

Or, like, fifty?

‘You were saying?’

Just before Christmas, Perky’s onetime university crush and sometime tennis partner, asked her out.   I’m vacillating, between dutifully excited, and wondering why I haven’t yet made a voodoo doll of Nice Guy.


The following week, I see her at a party.  She’s not her usual perky self.

‘He wants to take a break.’

‘Oh I’m sorry.  What did he say?’

‘That he wants to go off travelling.  He brought it up at the Sexual Health Clinic of all places!  Awkward!’

‘’Scuse me?  What were you doing there?!’

‘Getting tested.’

I’m lost for words.

‘You actually do that?!’

‘Of course.’

‘Before doing anything?’


‘How did he react when you asked him?’

‘Well it was over text, luv.  I didn’t ask him to his face!’

My face must be a picture.  ‘Blimey.  Well, good for you!  You’re an inspiration!’

‘Thanks darling.’


‘A friend asked a guy she was seeing to get tested before she slept with him.  How would you react if a girl asked you to do that?’

The guy, who I reckon I know just about well enough to canvas his opinion on this point, appears lost for words.

I prompt, ‘I imagine you’d have to be really into her….’

He’s no closer to speech.  I’m starting to think I’ve misjudged the degree of acquaintance between us.

‘… or do you find the girls offer up the goods quickly enough…?’

Eventually he says,

‘How would I react?  I – I honestly don’t know.  To be honest, it hasn’t happened, but then, I don’t have that much going on on the dating front!’

I laugh.  ‘Join the club!’

CC Image courtesy of superkimbo on Flickr

Related Posts:

What If?

“Manners Makyth Man”

July Days

Parental Guidance

An Idiot Abroad

Posted on

CC Image courtesy of erin_everlasting on Flickr

‘He said hello and then ignored you the rest of the night?’

Ever the optimist.

‘No, because… that would have required him to turn up!’

Flatmate laughs.  ‘Oh God.’

I follow him upstairs.

‘But it didn’t matter!  It was such a good night – probably the best night I’ve had since moving to London!’

Flatmate sighs.  ‘Who did you meet?’

‘No one!  That’s what’s so great.  It was the first party I’ve really enjoyed where I didn’t meet anyone!’

I do a little dance in front of the mirror.

‘That’s not entirely true…’

He rolls his eyes.

‘… there was someone, but there’s a girlfriend.  But it wasn’t just him – it was just a really fun night!’

Flatmate is looking at something on his computer.  ‘I hope you realize now that this guy is a complete idiot.  I can’t believe you’ve liked him all this time.’

‘I didn’t!  I was over it, and then – he invited me to this thing.’

‘Which he wasn’t at–.’

‘He didn’t know I was coming.’

‘I thought you said he invited you?’

‘Yeah, but on Facebook.’

‘Ohhh it was a Facebook thing.’


I do a pirouette in the doorway….

The flatmate was dreamy though.’

… and skip downstairs.

What an idiot.

CC Image courtesy of masochismtango on Flickr