Monday, 23 January 2012

Just a quick spouting of vitriol...

So, two Thursdays ago I found myself pootling along on the London Underground with a merry bunch of colleagues, on our way to a work shenanigan in darkest Holborn.

There I was, daydreaming away when I spied an advert for an online dating site whose lure on said bulletin was that "Mr Right could be sitting right under this advert" -- which in itself was a little misguided as my lovely, but slightly more mature, and also by the way ineligible, colleague was sitting directly underneath.

The ad then went on to proclaim that "He's in London somewhere".

At which point the bile did begin to flow. Well, given I was in polite company it was more of a spurt of vitriol but my rant went along these lines: "What if the mythical 'he' is not in London?! What if he's in Brighton? (Yes, please...) Or Barnstaple? Or New York???" There are a good few gazillion cities, towns, villages, hamlets in this world -- why should I be forced to assume my Lobster's a Londoner?

London is so flaming egocentric these days (case in point: the Pushy McShove-Me's who barge me onto the Overground on a daily basis and breathe last night's garlic/egg/vodka in my face) that no wonder all London-based industry operates under the delusion that if you don't work in London then you must want to, and if you do, well, London is the still axis of your spinning world and don't you dare look elsewhere.

Capital city? Cr@p-it-all city more like. London egocentricity was one of the reasons I had to step awaaay from QuirkersAnonymous (that and all the "secret shenanigans" that went on down there that eventually just seemed like London was trying too hard). And just because I work in London does not mean that when I clock off of an evening I think, "Gosh, I don't care that everything in this city is grossly overpriced and people walk five abreast on the pavement and stop dead in front of you and spit, or say 'Can I get...' instead of 'Please may I have...?' I am blessed and privileged to even set my measly little foot in this mighty city, my world revolves around it..."

As Mercedes in Glee once rightly decreed, Hell to the No!

There are other seas in the fish... oh wait, that analogy doesn't work. But there are other seas.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Listening to Sad FM, easy listening for the over-30s...

Well, hello there!

I thought I would use the opportunity of this little postette to, quite crudely I might add, paraphrase my most apposite film* heroine:


* the Bridget-in-the-book is just as worthy though my word I'm in trouble if 9 and a half stone is what's considered overweight these days...

Regrettably, I have now passed "my 32nd year of being single" -- harrumph -- and without so much as a Cleaver or a Darcy in sight, but my goodness I spent a good part of 2011 trying to rectify that as well you lovely (pair of) readers know. And as I think I mentioned in my previous post I came to the conclusion (that I suspect I was driving at from the first moment I gave someone a Nudge on QuirkersAnonymous) that this quirkster is not cut out for the internet dating malarkey. (Which is ever so slightly unfortunate when you've committed to writing a dating blog.)

BUT! Not so long ago, when I was younger and braver (before my friends all coupled off, copulated and duly produced offspring as normal adults are wont to do) I made a resolution of sorts with my best friend to accept every invitation in an attempt to broaden our social circles. Make More Friends.

Which was a noble ambition in theory.

In practice it was... anecdotal. The first -- and only -- invitation we accepted was to the flatwarming of a friend of a relative of mine, someone said relative had unsuccessfully tried to set me up with previously. He was a nice enough chap but chinks appeared in his suspect armour of cool the moment we arrived at his party to find all his other friends (who were all very earnest monetary types) standing in a circle not unlike one might find at a cult gathering (we imagined).

via here
The fun then got up and left when the host freaked out over quiche crumbs on the floor and got out the dustpan and brush... and my friend and I received all manner of odd looks from People who Clearly Don't Respect John Hughes as we shrieked "Judd Nelson! Breakfast Club!" the moment Don't You Forget About Me rocked out on the stereo. We took our cue to leave shortly after, waving goodbye to our host ... and the hawge graduation portrait (of himself) hung above the fireplace.

Bless.

He's now married with two children. And I'm not. I try not to think about that too much.

...I had a point.

Oh yes. Last time the Accept All Invitations Resolution was acted upon it was of questionable success. But I'm older now, wiser and considerably braver. (And marginally more desperate but let's not go there.) In the past I've shot myself in the foot by passing on invites and subsequently painting myself as a veritable Miss Havisham

via here
sadly more of this ilk than this:

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in social terms, hiding myself away in a figurative attic (third-floor flat, will that do?) and Keeping to Myself. Well, no more, I have vowed. Or at least given myself a thorough talking-to on this matter.

And dear reader/s, my Determination to Get Out More has already reaped rewards -- why, just before Christmas, I went out for drinks with my choir buddies and Spoke to Men. And was subsequently added as a Friend on Facebook by Men.

Quirky Brunette is a social pariah no more.

Happy New Year!

qb xx

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Brief Encounters

"Oh, Elec, dear, I am so frightfulleh fed ahp of this Interweb dating malarkeh..."

 
via here
No, not that sort.

The sort that begin at 5.30pm and end but two hours later.

I became quite skilled at those over the summer. Dating lite, one might call it.

I prefer to call it a portent. But I always have been a little melodramatic.

After the shocktail of a date that was SSM, I was of the opinion that...


So I kept an open mind.

And I went on a duck-feeding date (that's not a euphemism) followed by Malaysian dinner-in-an-underground-yes-secret-but-only-to-the-non-Malaysian-population restaurant in Bayswater with an Australian-Malaysian; and by definition the date was a vast improvement on the last if only because this Aussie was friendly, easy-going and unpretentious -- genuinely nice.

...Needless to say he and I had nothing in common, so we did actually run out of conversation matter round about half seven. But that was OK. I think I'd decided by this point that I'd had my fill of internet dating -- plus it was bankrupting me, financially and emotionally.

So... since September it's been somewhat quiet on the Dating Front.

via here

But that's fine by me. Either a person is suited to the Whacky Whirlwind of Internet Dating...

...or they're not.

And I'm, er, not.

Sorry about that.

I just don't enjoy it.

Shocker.

...Of course, if I come by a date by less artificial, more personal means, I'm not ruling it out. Bring it ON. I'm open to that.

What I'm less open to is the judgment, the expectation and the subsequent disappointment leading to the inevitable Puncturing of the Morale time after time.

I'm significantly less open to having everyone tell me that their sister's housemate's cousin's neighbour found their life partner on the internet dating treadmill*. My closest friends (with the notable exception of J) met their partners because their partners appeared naturally in their lives.

But. BUT! In spite of the last few colourful months, I have absolute faith that if a person is meant to be in my life, he'll fit into it as it is and as I am (give or take a small amount of effort to Get Out More, admittedly).

*Speaking of treadmills... I've joined the gym, to train for a charity walk next year. And You Never Know how that might pan out...

Screenshot from Sex and the City, Series 4, Ep2, The Real Me

As a footnote, I should assure you, my two lovely readers, that although I have officially Leapt Off the Internet Dating Merry-Go-Round, this 'ere blog, in the manner of a certain theme tune about a certain sunken ship, will... go on for as long as it takes me to Find My Lobster.

Sorry about that. :-)

Oh and as another footnote (how many footnotes can you have before it becomes a legnote?) you may remember Back in the Early Days of Dater Overload I took issue with this advert:


There's been a new MisMatch advert out of late, and it's safe to say that the bile/vitriol currently rising in my throat is a direct result of having seen this MisLeading Schmaltz-fest:


in which a young man serenades a young woman (of 26, 28 -- because anyone over 30 is just not worth the effort, let's face it...) across the train tracks, only to have her disappear (yeeaaaah, you go, sista, don't fall for it) and then rock up at his side (Oh.).


My issues with both of these adverts are two manyfold:

1. These are both the sorts of people who in reality, will never, ever find themselves needing to internet-date.
2. Both of these scenarios imply that the couples are meeting spontaneously and not via the internet dating site they're actually promoting.
3. The virtues upon which Boy in the Second Ad is serenading Girl are as follows:

Best smile he's seen for a while
Great skin
Hair colour (he's fond of her because she's a blonde albeit not a natural one -- that's refreshing...)
Beautiful beguiling eyes...

So, her appearance, then. Reassuring.

Let's hope that if they get together it soon transpires she's a slob who leaves her toenail clippings on the side of the bath, never takes out the recycling, won't let him watch the Grand Prix because there's a Kardashian marathon on and only buys top-of-the-range clothes thus leaving them in £20,000 of debt by their thirtieth birthdays. That'll learn him.


4. The train that goes past at the beginning of that ad is a Southern Failways train going through a Southern-line station, shortly before an announcement is made for a Southern service, so how on earth is she just "off" to Hull? Leeds? Wigan, home of pies (yes, because this girl clearly feasts on pies on a regular basis...) on a Southern service?! (Well, via London Victoria then Euston but it's at least a four-hour journey, dude. You're never seeing her again.)

Congratulations, MisMatch, you just shot yourself in the foot(note). Again.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Shaken, Not Stirred...


007 he wasn't.
via here
Tom Cruise he wasn't.

via here
(Well, the height was similar but we'll gloss over that.)

But Smiley Salsa Man (SSM), the self-proclaimed cocktail aficionado, seemed to have a spark in both his photo and his profile description that led me to harbour High Hopes about our Date, which had been some weeks in the planning as he was in the throes of moving house.

I'd been prospecting SSM after he had viewed or Nudged me on QuirkersAnonymous, and I admit that while I was still on the fence about KIB/IHP I was reassured that there was still the possibility of SSM to keep me buoyant.

He was definitely Good on Paper -- he described himself as successful in his job but still a kid at heart (tick), into cocktails and salsa dancing (tick -- not that I've ever been into these things myself but I could be) and by the way he marketed himself he was something of a cheeky chappy with a cheeky smile and sounded like the sort o' chap to show a gal a Good Time (and no kinky business). WIN.

So, one Wednesday evening, with the reassurance of a virtual wingwoman (my work friend K who was also participating in The Dating Game) I took myself off to Covent Garden to meet SSM for cocktails. Our original plan of visiting an aquarium, as decreed by the QA website, was kyboshed by the ridiculously early closing time of such establishments, and I was more than happy for SSM to educate me in the ways of flaring and such.

via here
See? Check me out using cocktail terminology.

I was in Covent Garden early and I hovered as unsuspiciously as I could outside the exit to the tube station, witnessing as I waited a man approach the girl standing next to me on the offchance that her disgustingly handsome boyfriend wasn't about to turn up and embarrass the chancer. He did, of course, and I found myself pondering how some girls (usually the empirically pretty ones, less so the quirkettes among us) are magnets for nice, normal men, leaving the hair-pullers to the rest of us...

Anyway. I got a text from SSM apologising for running late as work had been chaotic (See?! See, KIB?! Some men are capable of being civil after a mad day at work and don't feel the need to send blunt huffy texts... Watch and learn...).

At around 7.40, I got another text, asking more exactly where I was in the heaving crowds outside Covent Garden tube; I gave him Ordnance Survey co-ordinates the details of the shops opposite, and shortly thereafter he found me.

The greeting was polite, and we made with the small talk as we walked towards a very well-known cocktail bar in the area. He told me he worked in I.T. for a financial institution in the City, which is fine, you know, I can cope with that even though in principle I object to the pretentious capitalisation of the C in City. As if the arty crevices of London aren't quite as relevant as Canary Wharf.

As we approached the cocktail bar, which I'll call Eaglestether (!), SSM, who I think had Smiled once in the last few minutes (and just seemed more intense, and a lot more Serious than he had portrayed himself in his profile) said, to my slightly flabbergastery, "I need to tell a little white lie to get in here".

OK...

Was this his idea of charm, lying to get us into a bar? I wasn't charmed, yet...

via here
Colour me Jiminy.

But... I went along with it. And when he bluffed his way in with, "Bill told me to stop by" he was quite believable, and lo and behold, the bluff got us in.

And it seemed as though he did know people there. He shook a couple of hands, made with the banter... and left me notably unannounced.

Deemed Persona non grata in the first ten minutes.

This was promising...(!)

Admittedly, how was he to introduce me? Bill, this is QB, my date?

...It doesn't have a particularly jazzy ring to it, does it.

(Well, actually, it does. But hey, I clearly didn't make the grade for an introduction even as a date. Either that or in the throes of pants-on-fire methods of bar entry he'd forgotten my name. It happens.)

We defected to the bar immediately. Never mind that it was 7.45 and my evening meal had thus far consisted of an apple bought to tide me over until SSM rocked up, though admittedly I had told him in a previous email that I'd probably grab something to eat before we met as it was quite late. I'd kept my options (and stomach) open just in case things went well and we progressed to dinner. But given his lack of ability to make eye contact with me all the time we were walking to, er, Eaglestether, I'd gathered that I was an aesthetic disappointment that he was somewhat embarrassed to be seen with. Dindins seemed unlikely already.

"So what cocktails do you like?" he asked, as I gazed at the rows of bottles.

At this point, dear reader, I made my first faux-pas.

I listed a Woo Woo as a cocktail.

Yes, a Woo Woo.

One of these. Peach Schnapps, vodka, cranberry juice. Job's a good'un.
via here
Well! It's schnapps + spirit + fruit juice, does that not render it by definition a cocktail?

Apparently not.

With a barely veiled haughty sniff of derision SSM informed me that "They don't serve Schnapps here".

Well, that was me told.

After that, I found myself thinking that he was only asking me questions to grade me by his "high" standards, as if I was answering a questionnaire to enable him to see whether I was worthy of his time and attention.

So far, I was doing as well as I did in my cycling proficiency test age 10. Which I failed, by the way.

We came by a cocktail menu.

It was like reading a restaurant menu in a foreign language. I was waaaaay out of my league.

He ordered a Martinez

A Martinez, incidentally, is gin, vermouth, bitters & maraschino. Hardcore.

And it was knocked back pretty quickly.

I ordered a White Lady. It appeared on the menu; I'd had one before (as made by J). I felt safe.

Oui, c'est moi avec une Dame Blanche, faite par J. Photo aussi par J.
And then the barman cracked an egg into it.

An egg.

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O...K...

"White Lady cocktails have egg white in them. Didn't you know that?" I was enlightened by my aficionado compadre.

Not the one I'd had at J's; that was gin, Cointreau and lemon juice. And perfectly delectable thank you.

"That's fine," I bluffed.

He can bluff, I can bluff. Bluffing marvellous.

Despite the egg white froth on the top (could have done without that, frankly) it was pretty good though at that price (£8 thereabouts) it chuffing well ought to have been.

And I savoured it. My word I savoured it. I was drinking on a near-empty stomach. (My stomach and I have a very earnest relationship. She's needy.) I'd barely got through half of mine when he ordered another cocktail. No idea what it was. Something commoners like me would never have heard of.

We made Conversation. I asked him how his move had gone and he said he'd been worried he would go home after his first night out (on moving day) to the wrong house.

I made some remark (an attempt to jest, dear readers) about how it was probably just as well he hadn't gone out drinking that night (or words to that effect).

Oh but he had, he informed me.

And it seemed like mass drinkage was the order of the day most weekends/evenings for SSM. Which was a resounding indication that he and I would never gel. Never mind that in the world of cocktails I was a rank amateur and should probably hereafter stick to bars that serve Schnapps-based cocktails.

I didn't drink alcohol until I was nearly 19 (peach Schnapps was my seal-breaker, so I've always had an affection for it) so even now I drink in quiet moderation (with just one or two seasonal exceptions), and I grew out of disclosing regular-drinking anecdotes when I rocked out of my twenties.

SSM? Not so much.

I admitted, at this juncture, that these days (i.e. maturity, i.e. my 30s) I was more of a wine girl. And I honestly thought that to say this would be enough. That he could finally, after an evening of looking down on me, just accept me for the quirkette I am and the quirkette he had signed up for by Nudging me in the first instance and arranging this date.

But no.

"What sort of wine do you like?"

"Red. Mostly shiraz or merlot."

"Old World or New World?"

??????

I don't know; is Australia classed as Old World or New World? I like wine, dangnabbit, do I have to classify it?!

Either way I'd obviously committed another faux-pas.





Shortly thereafter he related another anecdote about how he'd been up all night not long after he'd moved in, playing cards. Or, specifically, a card game with some very arbitrary name. Something like Clodhopper or Crockalock or something. In my commoner-naivety I asked how one plays said game. He then elaborated and my eyes glossed up as he explained the contrived set of rules which involved having to have a certain number of kings, aces... I don't know.

"What card games do you play?" he asked.

At which point I made the third faux-pas of the evening in terms of Keeping Up with the Joneses.

I listed UNO as my pastime of choice.

Yep, UNO.

via here
Hey, my mother and I get very competitive with this game.

"I don't know that game," he said, in the same derisive tone in which he'd told me This Bar Doesn't Serve Schnapps.

"Oh," I breezed, "you have to get rid of all your cards by changing the number or colour. ...We also used to play Pontoon and Newmarket when I was younger. With buttons for money..."

I'd lost him for good.

I was clearly Not His Sort of Person. I was TOWIE 

via here
to his Made in Chelsea.

via here
And ya know what? I didn't care.

I couldn't have cared less about trying to impress him or live up to his standards by this point. I felt short-changed -- where was the carefree salsa-dancing smiler as advertised on his profile?

Who had bodysnatched him and replaced him with possibly the most pretentious individual this modest little chick had ever met?

I made a last-ditch attempt at dating the man I'd hoped to be dating, and asked if he'd been salsa dancing lately.

"I don't do salsa much any more. I'm more into tango or merengue..."

Yep, bodysnatched.

"Excuse me..." he said, then.

And promptly disappeared into the toilets for the best part of nearly ten minutes. (Or so it felt.)

Which -- at the risk of sounding a Little Wrong -- for a man seems like a mighty long time to be in the toilet...

I suspected he was Phoning a Friend (maybe the friend he'd told me was a winner of Mixology Mastermind... and although SSM himself had renowned knowledge about the make-up of cocktails he wasn't a professional mixologist and couldn't possibly have partaken in Mixology Mastermind although his friends thought he would have definitely won... More pretention from the house of extreme pretention...).

Either that or he was diabetic and topping up his insulin. But the imbibement of cocktails would suggest that wasn't the case.

Or he was making a dive out of the window having decided that I wasn't the skinny Sloane-Clone he probably thought he deserved. (Though he'd left the dregs of his second cocktail on the bar so he was clearly coming back to finish it off.)

Either way, in my (limited) experience of Men, anything longer than five minutes is considered a long time to be in the toilet. IMHO. I sat at the bar on my own for quite some time, making desperate eye contact with the barman who I hoped had appreciated my conundrum (How did a nice girl like you end up on such a pretentious date?)... and eavesdropping on two Americans asking for "bourbon" (which to me will always be a biscuit). And thinking, somewhat drunkenly, and crudely I admit, for someone with such potential, with your combo of arrogance and snobbery you re-hea-lly put the c**k into cocktail.

He returned, and I took the cue to utilise the facilities myself.

When I came back (a mere four minutes later), he had already paid for the drinks (one last tick in his diminishing favour), and was looking to make a move.

It was about 8.45 at night; we'd barely been able to impress each other for an hour. FAIL.

...I think it was inherent that we wouldn't see each other again.

But later, in messaging friend K, my wingwoman, to advise of my safety, then in ringing my mother to bewail another sorry date and complain of the utter snobbery of SSM, the idea of this blog came to me.

So it wasn't a total waste of my time.

And the rest, as they say, is history...

Thursday, 20 October 2011

We're Gonna Score-ore-ore Tonight...

Yes, my friends, I am back from a temporary blog-abyss – I'm running out of anecdates so in order to keep you interested it has become necessary to string out these entries I like to keep you lovely readers both in suspense. :-)

And in case you're misled by the post title into thinking I gave in to the demands of the KIB (far from it) this blog title paraphrases a song "ostensibly" about bowling; really about, well, 30-year-old teenagers getting it awn, from the filmic fabness that is Grease 2.

Here it is, just in case you feel you're missing out on something having never seen Grease 2*:

Yes that is a young Michelle Pfeiffer. She went on to better things. I'm told.


During my last meeting (I shan't say Date) with KIB in which he poked his noodle salad and narrated the Museum of 1951 to anyone who may be hard-of-caption-reading, he had managed to bait me again and subliminally persuade me to give him one more strike... with the promise of bowling.

Oh man. I'm making bowling/baseball puns. This is not good.

Now. I like to bowl. I'm fairly heinous at it (see: all sports and games involving co-ordination) but occasionally I pull one out of the bag (like when I play pool after a couple of drinks) and hit a pin or two.

...like zis. via here
And from what KIB had said, and based on his fetish penchant for all things vintage** he would find us an old-fashioned bowling alley where You Actually Had to Keep Your Own Score. Imagine.

Well, he didn't. He found us a contemporary alley in Bayswater and was (typically) keen to have me commit to the bowling so he could book it. And by book it, I genuinely thought he meant, just ring and reserve. So after his barrage of texts (including two within twenty minutes without even waiting for the reply to the first…) I said aye, or, in non-committal language, "That sounds OK".

Of course, there was a small amount of time between PseudoDate The Third and DeciderDate the Fourth (six days) and in those six days I'd Done a Lot of BrainThinking and Worrying and Overanalysing that Actually I Wasn't Sure I Wanted to See Him Again.

And I'd been doing a lot of Overheating too.

Yes, the day we'd chosen for our bowl-fest was a Wednesday in early August when it had been absolutely broiling all day. And the air-con (or lack therein) in my office had left me lethargic and in need of an evening of Doing Nothing and essentially feeling a little bit like this:

Yuuuuuuuurrrrhhhh... via here
Bowling, i.e. Something That Involved Exertion and Also Finding My Way in the Heat to Bayswater was not something that appealed. Plus, I knew I'd be grumpy in the heat, and for all his flaws (and one of mine) I didn't think I could inflict Grumpy QB on him yet again.

So just before the end of my working day I sent him a text to apologise, and pull out. It went something like this:

Hi KIB. I'm afraid I need to cancel this evening. I'm sorry if this is a pain as you've already booked. QB

Which I thought was fair. Wasn't it? Who knows? Much like Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory my grasp of social cues isn't all that strong. I thought it was polite, anyway, and apologetic. A little cowardly, maybe, but hey, that's just me.

via here
I did not expect this reply five minutes later:

30 quid non refundable

That was it. No salutation, no signoff. Just STROP.

WHOA. Back it up, huff-boy, no need for that.

At which point, I hate to admit, I think I gave a little primordial growl, right there in the office, to the tune of, "Arrrrrgh! MEN!"

This little one-liner actually served two purposes: 1) it guilted me into retracting my cancellation and yet 2) made me see KIB in a whole new light, and let's say, it wasn't flattering. It was the sort of light that makes Dates who were Once Good Prospects actually seem Scary and just a little bit Sociopathic. The kind who if irked will lash out. And I wasn't sure I could be doing with that.

But yet. I then sent a grovelling apology (that I'm not sure he deserved).

And he sent an overlapping apology asking me to excuse his last text. It had been "a rough day at work".  

Yes, I have those too. And when I do, I try to spare relative strangers from Grumpzilla QB by calculating my responses. But anyhoo.

He said he appreciated my text and was sure I had a good reason. Which made me feel even guiltier because, well, it wasn't like my pet gecko had died or I'd misplaced a limb under a vehicle somewhere.

I was just hot and bothered, and wanted out of the Date.

Colour me this bird:
BOK! Bok bok bok! via here
but I also still had considerable reservations about KIB after the Hair-Pulling Incident and although he'd been well-behaved enough at our last meeting, the Over-Narrating (or, as I perceived it, Treating Me Like an Illiterate Imbecile) was also Something of a Deal-Breaker.

And yet… off I toddled to darkest Bayswater via my coffee retailer of choice (which rhymes with Foster Toffee) for something cold and tasty, and sat in Hyde Park for about an hour with my book and my continuing reservations over the integrity (and incidentally the mental status) of KIB.

We met, we chatted, we popped into another coffee retailer (which rhymes with Tar Sucks) then headed to the alley. And by and large, we were actually fine. It was actually sort of fun. He was kind enough to steal back our bowling balls from the Japanese teenagers in the next lane who appeared to be stockpiling them. Plus there was an interview with dishy Dominic Cooper playing on the TV that hung over the alley so I was neatly distracted.

...Smoulder. via here
(Yes, I was ogling Le Cooper while KIB was bowling. But I did mention it wasn't a Date, not really. And besides. Mr Cooper is but fantasy. Sadly.)

All was going well.

Except for one small snag.

Either KIB is the worst bowler known to humankind, or I'm the worst bowler known to humankind and he was humouring me but I Won. Two games in a row, I won.

And he seemed almost incapable of accepting that I was winning. Maybe it's a Male Competitive/Ego Bruising Issue but he seemed to feel the need to give me a near-patronising congratulation every time I hit more than two pins (Well done, little lady! You can throw a ball in a near-straight trajectory, even though you're a girl…) and then proceed to throw a ball down into the gutter as if that was the way to score.

Je pense que NON.

I did ask him outright if he'd let me win and he denied it… but I have my suspicions.

After my TRIUMPH we decided to grab something to eat and settled on a Tex-Mex place on Notting Hill Gate. Ordered a non-alcoholic cocktail (some sort of daiquiri) and a heap o' nachos and he ordered some sort of potato-skin dish. And I thought, marvellous, we can just eat and be.


No chuffing chance.


Now, not that I'm one to disclose the ins and outs of my innards but I'd recently been suffering quite horrid bouts of indigestion whereby I'd actually looked somewhat pregnant after eating (talk about a food baby…) and felt really uncomfortable and balloon-like.

...like zis. via here
After much Google-based self-diagnosis I'd finally put it down to not letting myself sit and just eat quietly whether it was at lunch at work, or out with KIB – there always seemed to be the need to talk or break up the monotony of digestion with, I don't know, doing something less monotonous. Like Holding Conversation.

He hadn't helped matters in the past -- on the night of the Incident we'd been looking for somewhere to eat after the gallery, but I was just after something small following our chips earlier that night, and he'd made some comment along the lines of, "Ah, are the chips layin' heavy on you?".

A world of urgh.

Concern it may have been, but there's nothing less attractive than a man drawing attention to your stomach and its contents. Of course we then had that Black Forest Gateau but we'll gloss over that.

So having concluded that talking-whilst-eating was my problem I was all ready to sit quietly and scoff my little self silly on tortilla chips and cheese (and yes I expect my carb-tastic diet may have contributed to the afore-mentioned discomfort but we'll gloss over that too). And bask in his company comparatively safe in the knowledge he wouldn't try pulling my hair again, and there were no captioned pictures nearby for him to narrate to me.

But of course not.

He talked.


And talked.


And talked.

Which would have almost be OK if at each juncture he hadn't waited for my response on questions relating to my recent activities. Such as my visiting friend J for a weekend in Somerset.

Now. Before you label me Queen of the Hypocrites after smiting down ODNU for not upholding a Conversation, at least with ODNU we were just conversing over a drink, not trying to eat as well. Two very different media, people. Very different Kettles of Fish.

via here
Subsequently when I did respond to KIB's Spanish Inquisition – or should that be Texan-Mexican Inquisition – after pointedly finishing my forkful very slowly I felt the need to emphasise that one of the many upsides to spending that weekend with J in Somerset was the Quiet.

Yes, the Lack of Need to fill every moment of silence with Words.

And he seemed to agree.

Yes, the man who could not just let me wander in Silence around a gallery or exhibit without filling the void with his insights claimed to like Silence.

Je pense que NON!

**you thought I'd forgotten those double asterisks, didn't you. No, never. I never abandon punctuation.

(Except maybe parentheses.

) < there you go.

**KIB was one of those overly perky puppies for whom London is not the overcrowded, overpriced every-man-for-himself metropolis that it really is; it is full of tiny vintage hidden alleyways, secret vintage dinner clubs, secret vintage cinemas, secret clubs for Those Who Like to Pull Hair, secret vintage rooftop pubs, everything that a Londonophile with a Thing for Vintage could dream of.

And yes, to begin with I was almost convinced that there was more to our c(r)apital than this:

"MOVE DOWN THE CARRIAGE!" via here
but then reality set in and the London Love was soon lost in the crowds of Very Unvintage Pushy Me-Me-Me-ers barging me onto the Tube of a morning/evening/mid-afternoon.

I did find a good opportunity to "sit quiet for a while" (as my grandmother used to say) and ingest my nachos while he regaled me with the details of an Average Week in the Life of KIB. This usually went along the lines of:

Monday, tea in a secret tearoom
Tuesday, secret gig
Wednesday, secret vintage car rally
Thursday, secret BSL class
Friday, secret evening class in Gallery Narration for Insecure KIBs
Saturday, secret cinema screening
Sunday, watching a motor race on a rooftop. A secret rooftop, natch.

[some incidences contrived for comedy value but not by much.]

And yet here he was telling me that, just like me, he liked his Me-time, and his Quiet.

I'm not quite sure when he ever had time to be Quiet with all the secret vintage carryings-on with which he filled his every day.

And then...

...he raised the Big Question.

"So… I really like you, like. How do you feel?"



WHOA.

I have to answer that?!

OK. OK, admittedly I'd seen this coming and if anything I was hoping this discussion would happen as at this point I had reached the inevitable conclusion that if KIB and I were ever anything more than Friends we would just get on each other's gourds he would just get on my gourd. And that's not criteria for a Lobster, I'm sorry to say. If he were my Lobster I could have overlooked all of this.

But no.

So, I took a deep breath, finished my forkful of nachos, and decided that honesty was the best way to go.

…uhmmm…

Oooh!

…Er, well…

I'm not sure what I want at the moment. [Read: Or, I know what I want and it's not you. Soz.]
 
Aaaand... I think I'd like to try just being Friends. [Read: Abandon hope, ye KIB. Soz.]

...

Silence.

Actual silence.

REJOICE! I'd actually left him with Nothing to Say.

...

After that little bombshell I may have mentioned that I'd be incommunicado for the next couple of weeks as I was off to Austria.

I may or may not have committed to getting back in touch.

Either way, I didn't.

To his credit, neither did he. Obviously he wasn't in to being Friends, and all honesty I was relieved to sever the connection at this point.

So... thus endeth that nonDate... And subsequently thus endeth all Dates with KIB.

...It was too weird an experience and also far too stressful given how friends seemed to be promoting Dating as Fun when I found myself all too often trying to find a way to get out of a Date, or to concoct an answer to a question like, "Do you like having your hair pulled?"

So, onto the next...

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Flaws and All

When I started this blog I should have included in my sidebar a proviso that, for comedy value, I have deliberately masked about 95% of my flaws in order to portray my Poor Unsuspecting Dates in the most unfortunate light possible.

That proviso aside, I'm not taking all the blame for unsuccessful dates upon myself although I can accept some, being peculiar and unused to the Dating Malarkey as I am was. Because my word I tried my hardest to spark with Mr Shorts in Winter aka ODNU. And as for KIB no human being is at their best after a twelve-hour day and a blatant display of follicle-fetishism.

But yes, it's safe to say that I'm no Meg Ryan-in-any-rom-com-she's-ever-been in. I'm not cute and sparky, I'm just quirky. And flawed. And I accept that.

Yes, I acknowledge and bewail my manifold quirks and weirdnesses.

Here be they:
  • I'm picky.
  • I can be judgmental.
  • I'm pedantic about spelling, grammar, punctuation and punctuality. And the misuse of the word "myriad".
  • I have fluctuating levels of tolerance especially of people who have no handle on the above.
  • I cringe at the use of the word "foods" (plural) as in "I like all sorts of foods" – arrrgh. I don't even care if it's grammatically correct versus "food" plural, and that's saying something.
  • I'm not fond of "movies" for "films" either. We're British. It's a film.
  • I'm grumpy as feck when I'm tired or hungry. Or tired and hungry.
  • I'm stubborn as. 
via here
  • I have my whiny moments.
  • I have my drama-queen moments.
  • I can be insecure about my mediocre intelligence to the point whereby I can't be patronised … but I also can't Miss Out and need to be Kept in the Loop.
  • I obsess about odd things, about which most sane folk wouldn't have any interest. Aussie serials. Actors in Aussie serials. Bad 80s dance films. 80s rock and 80s rockers. Camels.
Yes, camels. via here
  • I have my moments of immaturity.
  • I also have my moments of old-lady-dom.
  • I play The Sims on Facebook or chain-Sudoku in my spare time.
  • And I'm not a great hugger. In fact I'm a pretty appalling hugger. I suspect shoulders have been bruised in the process of my attempts.
BUT!

BUT!

I'm also arty, daft, quirky, medium-maintenance, and capable of love.

And if someone transpires to be my Lobster, two things will happen:

1. They'll love me for all those flaws above
and
2. I'll love them, flaws and all.

I've been told that's how it works.