When I was seeing Busty Blonde, Travel Gal and going on one-off dates with the two Russians at the end of 2013, I got an email off the newspaper site from an intriguing blonde. I had enough to contend with, so I responded with “Sorry, I’m not looking for anyone right now.” The biggest problems I had with her was that she was two years older than me and seemed a little flat-chested; other than that she met the paper-based criteria I have. As I write this it’s a year ago all that was happening.
A couple of months after I had finished with Busty Blonde I remembered this intriguing blonde as I clicked through the newspaper website, seeing who’s new and what’s changed. Her profile was exactly the same as before and she had recently been online. It had recently occurred to me that the dates who contacted me first tended to result in a higher quality of interaction. I used the free one-liner chat-up facility to see if she might still be single and interested in lil’ ol’ me. The next day she checked out my profile but didn’t respond. Hers was the only profile on the site that was of interest to me, but her lack of response told me that there was no point in subscribing.
Now fast forward six months to just after Christmas 2014 and matters between me and the MILF of Xmas have ground to a shuddering halt. The newspaper dating site has given me a free one week subscription and the intriguing blonde was the first thought that popped into my mind. I had nothing to lose so I wrote a polite approach email, not really expecting to hear back from her.
The next day she writes back with a lengthy, wordy response that I like the tone of. She even has the foresight to provide an email address, which impresses me. It also tells me that she really wants to be in touch with me. Just from her choice of words I can tell that we’ll get along, at least in the conversation stakes. Will we have chemistry? Will that all-important lust factor be there?
She only has three photographs in her profile, one of which stirs something in my soul, no, not my loins. It’s a photo of her in a light-blue cardigan, her golden blonde hair loose around her shoulders and a daring look in her eyes. It’s a wholesome her with a hint of naughtiness. That photo makes me want to step up to her, put a hand on her hip and with my other hand cup the back of her head, feeling her hair resting on the back of my hand and then stoop down to give her a gentle kiss that makes her body go weak.
Her primary photo is of her dressed in formal attire, presumably heading off for a day at the races and it makes her look so prim and proper that she looks dorky. Not as good look. The third photo is of her holding up a wine glass at some Xmas party or industry awards event. She’s smartly dressed, but her face is partially obscured behind the glass. The tone of that picture tells me that she is social but can be guarded. Are those the most prominent sides to her personality? Does one of those prevail and if so, which one?
The content in her profile speaks of someone who likes variety (same as me) and has an interest in high-brow matters. Her favourite television show is a political satire. She claims to like a good debate, something that doesn’t sit too well with me, but I can hold my own. In the past this has indicated an argumentative personality. I wonder if she’s a sapiophile – a woman whose knickers get wet when talking to an intelligent man?
I write to her personal email address and she responds. All very positive so far, but at the time I’m contemplating suicide. Not the best of mindsets to be in when meeting someone new. My heart isn’t in it really, I’m just going through the motions to an extent.
It’s New Year’s Eve, so I don’t write back, having learned that it’s best to pace things slowly at first, then to increase the level of attention as the day of the first date draws near. She then writes again, on New Year’s Day, asking if I had got her previous email. She’s either really keen or a little intense with OCD tendencies. There’s a reason she’s single, after all, so what might it be?
I give her my mobile number in an email and she responds with hers. We’ve agreed to meet this coming Saturday and I’m looking forward to it. I’m intrigued by her. I connect with her on WhatsApp and suggest we chat. It’s been a while since I’ve done that and I’m thinking nowadays that it’s still a good screening mechanism. I’ll treat this as an experiment. Given that she is Date #52, the harsh reality is that she’s unlikely to be The One.
Her email address has her full name so I Google that; it’s a popular name. There’s a lack of photos and through a process of elimination and findings on the internet I arrive at the conclusion that she’s a lawyer. That doesn’t sit well with me. Baltic Babe and Lusty Lass were both lawyers and Miss Indecisive worked in law. All were intense, rigid-minded individuals for whom fun was a luxury. Could she be different? Time will tell.
I’m really looking forward to this date. Could she be The One?
Not likely, but one day it’ll happen. It could be said that it’s overdue. However, if I am right in that she’s a lawyer, then I’m a little uneasy because I’ve seen her type before. Country Girl, Musician Gal and Pretty Teacher come to mind in that they were all ‘independent’ and married to their jobs. She is likely to be what I call a ‘London girl’, someone brought up on the idea of being an independent woman, secretly carrying an adversarial attitude towards men, bordering on disrespectful.
I’m going to make a concerted effort to lean back in my seat at the dinner table and see how long it takes for her to lean forward. That’s my little challenge for myself, just to keep my dating skills sharp and fresh.
The night before our date she cancels, citing work. I take her explanation with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless she makes a concerted effort to keep in touch via email and text messages. Apparently she’s working on a big deal at work. I noticed in the business news that her employer is involved in one of the biggest takeovers in British corporate history. My faith in her is restored.
Weeks of excuses go by, but I’m not bothered about this because I’m getting my own act together. I need to be in a better frame of mind if I am to find and makes the most of what and who I am looking for. Perhaps all of these delays are happening as part of a greater divine scheme so that when we meet it’s all just perfect? It might be a case of my suffering is going to be rewarded?
Towards the end of January we eventually meet. Some things will never change it seems.
Her photos are at least five years old. I wouldn’t have recognised her if it wasn’t for her walking up to me outside Tower Hill Tube station. That familiar feeling of deflation took its usual place in my being. As we walk to St. Katharine Dock I am struck by how upbeat and lively she is, a pleasant surprise, but I guess my spending weeks by myself in a morose state will eventually have an effect. I’m pretty sure that she likes the look of me given how friendly and tactile she is. We sit down to lunch in the Dickens Inn, but she isn’t interested in food or drink, only in talking to me. It feels like a replay of that first date with Brazilian.
We are definitely an intellectual match and I enjoy talking to her, but I just don’t fancy her. She is too old and wrinkly for me to feel physically attracted to her. We have much in common, want the same things from life – someone to hold hands with when we’re really old and decrepit – both love to travel, exploring strange lands, learning interesting things for ourselves, cooking exotic foods, etc.
Yes, I was right, she is a corporate lawyer, but I didn’t let that stand in the way of anything. She is also very flat-chested, something that would probably bother me more and more as time went by. In terms of personality she is wonderful: open, gregarious, fair-minded and funny.
I think of her as the Lovely Lawyer.
Conversation flows easily, but at times I feel myself getting a little too negative in terms of what we are discussing. She didn’t seem to mind and is often flicking her hair which denotes physical attraction and playing with her ears which speaks of intellectual pleasure. She is indeed a sapiophile and loves getting to the crux of a topic. I spot her nipples hardening under her pale blue cardigan as we discuss the state of the economy. I would have been happy to spend the rest of the day talking to her, but I think that speaks more of my loneliness than anything else.
The Lovely Lawyers starts telling me about her relationship history. It’s quite similar to mine in that she has had a weakness for and a knack of becoming involved with people who are wrong for her. In essence our issue is the same: we want to be loved more than anything else. I sense that she is capable of the kind of love I have to offer and seek in return. Like me, she can revel in love at the expense of everything else, usually at great expense. She could very much be the quintessential woman in love; a rarity in my experience.
It’s such a shame that I don’t fancy her, otherwise she’d be perfect. I really like her personality, but I’ve tried with Sweet Thing and Busty Blonde to look past the lack of lust and it just doesn’t work for me. It’s so sad and I get a little choked up about it. Perfectly good, decent women I am having to pass over knowing full well that I can trust and respect them.
That wow factor HAS to be there, it doesn’t work for me otherwise. I don’t want to go hurting and damaging a great person by trying to do what I know I can’t do. So, Stupid Boy here is growing up and learning to resist what he knows is wrong for him. I’m not going to hurt another innocent woman; I’ve done more than enough of that.
I can tell that she’s happy to spend the rest of the day with me and an earlier version of me would have done so, but I’m more mindful of the other person I’m meeting nowadays. I don’t want to give her the wrong idea and let her get her hopes up. I’m also not at my best right now, so even if I did fancy her, she would run the risk of becoming enamoured with someone who is going to change in the near-future.
Lunch ends and Lovely Lawyers suggests going across the way to a comfortable-looking coffee shop, but I take the opportunity to end the encounter. Her face shows her disappointment, but I think that is better than her becoming embroiled with me. I’ll be a cannonball that she’s dodged, she just doesn’t know it.
The next day I send her my standard ‘thanks, but no thanks’ email message. She responds with words of disappointment.
Meeting her has restored my faith in women to a small extent.
This Grey Knight has a weakness in his suit of armour. It’s difficult to spot and few assailants have ever got close enough to exploit it, but those that have managed to have done great damage to me. You see, just beneath the surface of this imposing frame, not far from what seems like a normal, well-adjusted person is a crinkle in my psyche, an imperfection in my emotional make-up.
Like anyone else, I guess, all my life I’ve thought that I’m normal and that most people are just like me, except for a few oddballs and nasty people. All along I’ve lived with what I thought was just one of the negatives of human existence.
It was when I was watching a YouTube video with The Cockaholic that I learned of ‘Cluster B personalities’. My enquiring mind demanded that I know more. There are four types of these: Narcissist, Histrionic, Borderline and Anti-Social. I saw that in my dating experiences I had encountered several Narcissists and a couple of Histrionics. A friend in the know has suggested that Krazy Girl was of the Borderline Personality Disorder variety. All good to know.
What my reading on the internet then led to is ‘Cluster C personalities’ of which there are the ‘Dependent’, the ‘Obsessive Compulsive’ and the ‘Avoidant’. I am the latter.
My blood ran cold as I read a description of myself that I could never extol or describe any better.
I’ll quote Wikipedia:
Avoidant personality disorder (AvPD), also known as anxious personality disorder, is a Cluster C personality disorder recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders handbook as afflicting persons who display a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation, and avoidance of social interaction despite a strong desire to be close to others. Individuals with the disorder tend to describe themselves as uneasy, anxious, lonely, unwanted and isolated from others.
People with avoidant personality disorder often consider themselves to be socially inept or personally unappealing and avoid social interaction for fear of being ridiculed, humiliated, rejected, or disliked. As the name suggests, the main coping mechanism of those with avoidant personality disorder is avoidance of feared stimuli. Avoidant personality disorder is usually first noticed in early adulthood, with both childhood emotional neglect and peer group rejection being associated with an increased risk for its development.
People with avoidant personality disorder are preoccupied with their own shortcomings and form relationships with others only if they believe they will not be rejected. Childhood emotional neglect—in particular, the rejection of a child by one or both parents—has been associated with an increased risk for the development of avoidant personality disorder, as well as rejection by peers.
It goes on to list a variety of issues that afflict most people at some time, but with AvPD most of these feelings are permanent.
The ones that I’ve never felt are: – Avoids physical contact because it has been associated with an unpleasant or painful stimulus – Severe low self-esteem – Emotional distancing related to intimacy – Feeling inferior to others – In some extreme cases, agoraphobia – Self-loathing
What I feel on a daily basis is the following: – Self-imposed social isolation – Hypersensitivity to rejection/criticism – Extreme shyness or anxiety in social situations, though the person feels a strong desire for close relationships – Feelings of inadequacy – Mistrust of others – Highly self-conscious – Self-critical about their problems relating to others – Problems in occupational functioning – Lonely self-perception, although others may find the relationship with them meaningful – Uses fantasy as a form of escapism to interrupt painful thoughts
The World Health Organization’s ICD-10 lists avoidant personality disorder as anxious (avoidant) personality disorder. It is characterized by at least four of the following: 1. persistent and pervasive feelings of tension and apprehension; 2. belief that one is socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others; 3. excessive preoccupation with being criticized or rejected in social situations; 4. unwillingness to become involved with people unless certain of being liked; 5. restrictions in lifestyle because of need to have physical security; 6. avoidance of social or occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact because of fear of criticism, disapproval, or rejection.
Every single one of the above applies to me. I’ll share how this all manifests itself in my existence.
I dread social settings. Being part of a group activity makes me go cold inside and my stomach tighten. I am at my best on a one-on-one basis. Even a third person being present makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. Anything more than three people and I’m instantly in defensive mode, even if I’ve known the people present for many years.
When I’m walking around my town’s high street all the time I feel that most people are looking at me. I try not to make eye contact, so when I do I always easily see several people looking at me. This just reinforces my beliefs and feelings that I’m not like other people. I don’t see other people staring at each other, but there are always people staring at me. As a teenager I put it down to my gangly awkwardness, as an adult I ascribe it to my height, build and dark hair. I know that many women like tall and dark men, but the attention makes me feel uncomfortable.
I don’t like being the centre of attention. At school, when it was time to present anything in front of a class, I’d make sure I wasn’t there. I’m never the life-and-soul of a party (not that I’ve been to many) but am more likely to found in the kitchen or doing something useful for the group. I prefer to be in the background, orchestrating events and suggesting ideas.
I’ve developed coping mechanisms to deal with my feelings towards other people. I always walk fast because I feel that makes me less visible so people can’t stare. I never maintain eye contact with anyone, am sometimes thumbing away at my phone, thus looking downward, but my favourite escape that calms me is to be listening to music via an earpiece. That makes it all feel okay because it’s like I’m moving through my own private movie scene being accompanied by a soundtrack of my choosing. Sometimes at work I pretend to be listening to music, but it’s just a ruse to get people to leave me alone, freeing me from idle, puerile office banter.
My working life has been the biggest challenge, pain and disappointment of my life. I’ve always found myself in an office environment, a most unnatural construct for most people, but for me it’s a particular hell because I feel so visible and thus vulnerable. My coping mechanism has been to put my head down and work like a Trojan. This has had the unintended consequence of me being perceived as a good worker by my bosses. I’ve been rewarded with preferential treatment from them which has perpetuated the negativity of the setting because people now look at me with jealousy or disapproval. Yes, I’ve been relatively successful in my jobs, but I’ve always been the outsider, the lone wolf. I am now so accustomed to it that I prefer things that way, not because I like it, but because I know how to deal with it.
Better the devil you know is not my preferred way of doing things, but whenever I can I orchestrate things so that I work alone, preferably physically so. I commandeer a free space somewhere, put up a physical barrier of some kind and then I can’t see anyone’s judgemental eyes. I find it much easier to do my own thing than ask permission or seek forgiveness. I am not afraid to be unpopular in a workplace, because that just makes it easier to move on when the opportunity presents itself. Permanent employment has felt like a prison sentence to me, working on a freelance basis has proved more emotionally acceptable because I know exactly when it will be over.
This lack of fearing unpopularity has been a mixed blessing. Because I feel it almost inevitable in certain settings with people I do not know, it has lead to me being ruthless at times. I’ll even confess that it has made me a horrible person, a heartless bastard especially when in an all-male environment. I have had no compunction in resorting to bloody violence to get my way. Men really are like dogs in that we adhere to a pack mentality…and there can only be one top dog: me. I don’t fear violence, in fact, I like it because I know I will always win. There’s a certain look men give off when they realize that they can’t defeat me because I’m always willing to go one depraved step further than them. I’ve never started a fight, I’ve only ever finished them. Sadly, the few times my ex-wife and ex-girlfriend saw my vicious streak when I was provoked led to them losing some respect for me and having it replaced by a little fear. On a positive note, I feel that my days of brutality are well behind me; I’m now too old for that shit.
As I have got older these feelings of social inadequacy have grown and become more prominent in my daily existence. As I did away with my young man’s White Knight Syndrome, this avoidant mindset and accompanying behaviour pattern has grown. I can see that it’s getting worse as I experience more negative things at the hands of people.
Why am I like this? All my life I have felt like the outsider in any group setting. It all started when I was little.
My parents were badly married. My father was a raging alcoholic and often out of work. My mother was always at work during the day. They fought every dinner-time and all weekend. I was an only child, so when the fighting started I used to run away and hide in my own little world. My mother was overly protective towards me; overbearing and controlling in fact. She had me when she was almost 41 and I was her way of dealing with her shit life. I was the one thing she cherished…and could control.
When both my parents had jobs when I was under six years old, a maid would come take care of me and the apartment. She was under strict instructions to never let me outdoors. For years I would sit at the window watching the other kids play. A couple of times I sneaked out to play with them, but the maid caught me and took me back inside, fearful of losing her job. I think that’s how I developed my observant, analytical, voyeuristic streak.
Then one day my mother said to me that one of the kids had invited me to their birthday party. I was so excited. On the day of the party, I woke up early, relishing the chance to finally get to play with the other kids. My mother had bought a navy-blue trousers with harlequin waistcoat, white shirt and sky-blue bow-tie. (Yep, my mother dressed me funny.) By lunchtime I was tired and asked my mother if it was okay for me to nap for a little while and that she must wake me for the party.
She didn’t wake me and I slept the entire afternoon. I missed the party and I was upset. I convinced myself that now, for sure, the other kids would never want to play with me ever again. I resumed watching them from a distance, in my prison, overseen by the maid.
The city where we lived was a compromise choice for my parents because they had married across the cultural divide. In Apartheid-era South Africa, although both were white, my father was an Afrikaner and my mother of English descent, this was a socially inappropriate union. Their families shunned them and they moved to a city where nobody knew them, thus neither had friends or family in this neutral city. I have no recollection of us ever having visitors in the first 10 years of my life. Sadly I also have no recollection of ever being hugged or shown any kind of affection by either of my parents; they were too busy with their private war.
I can count on my one hand (and have fingers left over) the number of times I interacted with other children before I had to go to school at the age of six. On the very first day of school, my mother said to me, “I want you to be the cleverest kid in the class. I want you to get the highest marks for every subject.” I said, “Yes, mom” and I did exactly that for the next eight years.
All the other kids in my class were different to me. They also all knew each other. They went to pre-school crèche together, which my mother didn’t want me to. From day one I felt like the outsider, but it was in effect, just a continuation of what was the norm for me. I couldn’t figure out how to fit in, but I figured out how to excel and I became the class “brain”. Not the typical geek, because I was bigger than the other kids, so nobody picked on me. I just felt that collectively I was being shunned. Inadvertently I had made things worse for myself by becoming the “brain”, but I only figured that out in later years.
Because of my intellect, physique and forceful nature (courtesy of being a badly-socialised only child) I was the captain of every team in my school career. I was unknowingly a so-called “alpha male”, but largely because all the other kids were intimidated by me. It was easier to lead and browbeat kids into line, than to learn how to compromise and fit in.
My mother then decided that I should go to a different high-school than what my few primary school chums went to. So I arrived at a new school, at the age of thirteen, knowing nobody. Again they all knew each other, having been to the same primary school for the previous eight years. Again I was the outsider trying to break in. Teenagers can be nasty and very cliquey. My first year of high school was awful; nobody wanted to be friends with me. I remember a couple of break times taking myself off to the toilets and sitting in a cubicle, sometimes crying. Eventually a couple of boys warmed to me.
Then tragedy struck. My father dropped dead from a heart attack a week before my fourteenth birthday. That was 1st September 1985; it was a Sunday. On the Monday morning my mother went to the bank to tell them that my father had died. The bank manager instantly froze all the bank accounts and my mother had no cash. There were no friends or family to borrow money off of. There was no food in the house, as bad luck would have it. By the Wednesday night my dinner was a cereal with hot water. That’s how the next 10 years of hardship with my mother began.
We were literally left penniless. I stayed off school for a few weeks and when I returned all the kids ignored me. Nobody wanted to speak to me, they were all so uncomfortable around me, not knowing what to say. I became a social outcast and, as usual, it wasn’t of my making. The last few months of my first year of high school passed in splendid isolation.
My mother decided to move to another city, where her family was, who had promised to help out. So at the age of fourteen I went off to another high-school. And guess what? Yep, as usual, I was the outsider looking in. However, money was a massive problem for me and my mother. Her nephew (my cousin) owned a scrap metal yard and he gave my mother a full-time job as his book-keeper. I worked for him on weekends (occasional Sundays too) and all my school holidays. I skipped being a teenager and got thrown into the adult world. This made it harder to relate to kids my own age, teachers even; they were all so immature.
I had very few friends in high-school. My best friend was the class “brain”, but he was puny, so us two outcasts hung out together. I had very little to do with girls because I didn’t have time and I didn’t have money. I couldn’t take a girl back to my place, it was a dump and my mother was always there. I felt like no girl would be interested in me because I was so poor.
My stand-out moment in high school was the prom. I didn’t have the money to buy an outfit and one day in class several of the kids, all of whose parents were wealthy, belittled me publicly for claiming to not have the money for everything that was involved. This public grilling went on for ages. They just couldn’t understand that my mother and I didn’t have money. I didn’t go to the prom; the only kid not to go.
I would say that my teenage years were characterized by a feeling of never fitting in anywhere. I sometimes think I haven’t really outgrown that. Whenever I tried to join a group I was rejected, so I learned to reject groups. As a teenager I aspired to normality, decency and respectability. Respect is something important to me. I didn’t get much of it growing up, so I value it. It’s why I can’t love a woman that I don’t respect.
Because we didn’t have money, I couldn’t go to university. The law of the land said that I therefore had to do national service. I am a mixture of Afrikaner and English, so I was fluent in both languages and mindsets. When the other conscripts found out that I was not “pure”, I was shunned. I only had one friend during national service. I was a target for everyone else after that because nobody would side with me. I learned to really fight, physically and otherwise, then.
After that was over I had to get a job and in 1992, the world was in recession. My best friend’s father got me a job in the local municipality. At the time, Apartheid was collapsing and as a white man I was, once again, a target. Local government implemented affirmative action policies and I was told that no matter how hard I studied or what I did, I would not be promoted. My then girlfriend (now ex-wife) was facing the same limited options in her working life, although she was a qualified accountant. We decided to leave South Africa, the only environment we’ve ever known.
We arrived in England at the age of 25, never having been abroad and knowing nobody. Life was tough in the beginning. We both endured a lot of discrimination because we were immigrants. Once again, I was an outsider. We went through a lot together and it pains me that today we are not on speaking terms. I have reached out to her a couple of times asking if we could be friends, but she rejected the idea.
Of all the aspects of this Avoidant Personality Disorder I’ve been blind to, that what has sabotaged me the most, I would say emphatically is the mistrust of others. I can see that I have found comfort of being with woman such as my ex-wife, Sweet Thing, Busty Blonde and Busty Czech because I felt that I could trust them. (All of them are Cluster C – Dependent). As soon as another woman or date gave me any reason to not trust them then my Trust Demon took over and events followed an almost predictable, speedy downward spiral as I emotionally withdrew. At least I’m aware of this now.
The second greatest effect has been that of judgementalism. On the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator I’m an INTJ – Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judgement – one of the rarest personality types. It’s the last letter that has become exaggerated in my being. Because I fear being judged, I thus am highly judgemental of other people as a pre-emptive defence mechanism. I’ll reject them before they reject me.
When it comes to romantic relationships I need to feel I’m in control of the relationship, that makes me feel safe. Any hint of vulnerability and I fear being taken advantage of. This started at age six when the girl next to me would hold hands with me, then ask me to help her with her maths. I eventually realised that she was using me, so I stopped helping her. My only girlfriend I had in high-school cheated on me when I had to go away to do National Service. My ex-wife didn’t love me for the last five years of our relationship. My ex-girlfriend lied to me from day one and all the way through our relationship.
People have always been a source of anguish in my life, never a source of pleasure. However, aside from this and Avoidant Personality Disorder, my greatest positive emotion is that of wanting to give love. I think that my disorder has influenced this because not having received much love, there is an innate need within me to express it.
A case can be made that I’m now scared of women, but I don’t think that’s true. I just haven’t met the right one…The One. I realize now that I need to be with a submissive woman. I’ve been oblivious to this. This might have played a role in some of the experiences that I’ve had dating. Non-submissive women will have detected my wanting to be the senior partner in the relationship and that made me wrong for them. Some of the stronger-willed women and I clashed and would have continued to do so if a relationship were to have been mutually pursued. I think this is especially true of my ex-girlfriend and I who clashed daily. The Saffa (Histrionic) and Musician Gal (Narcissist) would have been a replay of that.
In the workplace I express, vent even, but in my private life I bottle my feelings up because that’s what a man’s supposed to do, don’t you know? Sup it up. Don’t show any weakness in front of the womenfolk because it rattles them. Be a man.
When my last job came to an end in August last year, I was leading a team of people who didn’t like me and ganged-up against me. It got ugly and became my worst nightmare. I felt humiliated and I walked out. I got a settlement payment from the company. I haven’t worked since then.
The thought of going back into an office environment nauseates me. I was never happy in my working life, always prostituting myself for the money. I have absolutely no interest in IT, an industry populated by ego-maniacal geeks fussing over petty things, always missing the big picture. (Ever wondered why software is like it is? Now you know.)
Since August last year my ‘working days’ have been me sitting at home by myself, happiest when writing my heart out, only going out to get food (listening to music) and the gym at lunchtimes (again with headphones on). There have been times when weeks have gone by without my talking to anyone. I can not remember another time in my life when I have been so happy. I have felt so calm and tranquil. I’ve loved it.
Don’t worry, I’m not some anti-social, rude, obnoxious, control-freak retard who wants to be a hermit. On the surface I must seem perfectly normal. I’m polite, considerate, humorous, easy-going and a whole host of other good things. I can walk into a job interview, make a positive impression, get interviewers laughing and talk myself into a job. I feel my fears and I ignore them, because my desire to succeed is greater.
It’s just that I am at my best when alone with only one person. If it’s a group setting then it is preferable to be with people whom I have known for a long time. In typical introvert fashion I feel exhausted after a lengthy social engagement, even if it is with people I’ve known for years. An extrovert feels energized by socialising, but I don’t, I need to recover and I seek out solitude and silence.
All I want is silence. That can’t hurt me, that I am comfortable with. I am at my absolute best when alone, with my thoughts. When given time, space and the tranquillity to express myself, to be creative because, like manic-depressants before lithium, it all feels bearable then.
I don’t think I’m disturbed, I just need silence and solitude more than most. My scars need time to heal.
Oh, how I crave silence, for it is then that I feel I am on the comforting edge of heaven.
The disappointment of The Brazilian has taken the wind out of my sales. As I write this, I’m trying to have a galia melon for breakfast, but I’m struggling to swallow it, such is my emotional state at the moment. Stupid me had high hopes for her.
A week after sending her my goodbye text message , driven by a sense of curiosity, I sent her another message. I figured I had nothing to lose and if she answered I would have more of an idea about what was going on in her head. I wasn’t hoping for a reconciliation in the way her favourite movie storylines go, but wanted to further my education about women. My message read, “I’m really curious about something: what was it that I said or did that put you off me?”
To my amazement her reply came within half an hour and it read, “Nothing much really apart from your last text!! Unfortunately then that made me think about distance, work, commitments I’m not ready to have, lifestyle and so on. Maybe we shared too much information too soon as well, but that doesn’t matter. I was very put off by your last text. And I don’t think I can deal with that at all.”
From that message I took it that she was scared and commitment was her issue. I also deduce that she wasn’t so taken by me that her fears and issues were overwhelmed. Her loss. I’ve learned that the two strongest human emotions are fear and greed. Fear has kept our species alive. Our greed has kept us evolving. In my experience when someone says ‘not ready’ it means they are being governed by their fear(s). It takes someone who taps into their greed for something – lust, intimacy, acceptance, love, whatever because it varies – to make them ignore their fear.
The Brazilian’s heart is fragile and scared. She’s in passive-defensive mode, waiting for any man to say or do one wrong thing and she’s gone. It’s an example of the Grey Knight’s First Law of Dating Physics: for every male action there is a disproportionate female over-reaction.
I am also firmly of the opinion that there was at least one other person on the scene, the person whom she was seeing on Wednesday nights far away from her home.
It occurs to me that it is two years since I went online dating. This gives me pause to remember and wonder what has happened to some of the women I’ve met, as well as the ones I wanted to meet but didn’t get to.
First, the women I did get to meet…
Tech Titan I’m still in touch with, but strictly as friends. She and her boyfriend have just got back from two weeks in the Seychelles, where he proposed to her. I’m happy for her, but he only got divorced a year ago.
Baltic Babe has married her Frenchman. LinkedIn sent me an update with her new surname, so I check out her Facebook page, but she has tightened her security settings and I garner nothing new. I find his Facebook and LinkedIn profile. Let’s just say that he has a face for radio. He must be able to lick his eyebrows. Good luck to them both.
As I sit writing about my dates with The Model, looking back over our email and text conversations, it’s now – yes, only now because I’ve had no reason to think about this – becoming apparent to me that she was dating at least one other person. There were the classic lies/excuses of being at the gym, falling asleep in front of the tv, always getting her voicemail. I was totally blind to it at the time; it was my early days of dating. Apparently all’s fair in love and war. I’m starting to understand what that means.
Krazy Gal got herself a new job then lost it three months later. She’s unemployed again and still living with her parents it seems.
I come across Delicate Flower on Plenty of Fish (PoF). She uses the same photos from when we met 2 years ago. I know that she is now 37 going on 38, but she says on her profile she’s 33. She’s also decided that she wants kids. We swap some emails, but when I suggested that we meet for coffee it seems she blocked me because the message history disappeared. I just wanted to chat with her because I enjoy her company. I wasn’t interested in sex because she is an awful lay. I leave matters there.
PoF also tells me that Angry Yank has changed her location to Greater Boston. Does that mean her visa was running out when we met?
I noticed on the national newspaper’s dating site that Musician Gal has blocked me from contacting her. I find that funny. She was recently active on the site.
I search online for Lusty Lass and can’t find her anywhere. Her Facebook page that I have seen before has disappeared. Our LinkedIn connection has been disconnected and her profile is gone. I do a Google search and find out she had declared herself bankrupt in 2010, probably because of her divorce. When we met in July 2013 she was working for a firm on the outskirts of London, but in early 2014 she had a so-called ‘condition’ set against her by her industry’s governing body that she could not work with client monies. Then latterly she had the same condition set against her but this time she was working for a firm on the opposite end of London. The new firm doesn’t have her on their website as a staff member. Doing a search on her profession’s register returns a blank. Has she been silly and lost her accreditation? She has a penchant for bringing drama into her life.
Cat Lady has acquired a second cat and from the photos she posts on Facebook is spending her evenings knitting things for the kitten.
Busty Blonde has landed her dream job and is still active on the dating site where we met. I hope she meets someone better than me.
Now for the women I didn’t get to meet, the near-misses as I now think of them. These are only some of the women whom I spent time swapping messages with but who couldn’t bring themselves to actually meet me for a date.
A New Zealander whom I was very keen to meet but disappeared when I suggested a date has updated her location on PoF as now being in Sydney, Australia. We interacted a month ago, just before I met The Brazilian.
A local lady and I struck up a great online conversation and agreed to a date. On the Saturday in question she sent me a message at 5am saying that she couldn’t bring herself to meet me that day. I see on PoF that she has changed her profile to say that she “wants to get married”. I would have met her for a date if she suggested rescheduling, but now that I know what her agenda is, I’m put off her.
Last night I was flipping through Tinder when I recognised a pretty blonde whom I had seen on my Happy Humping Ground dating site. On Tinder it shows her name and that she is 41. I find her dating profile where she claims to be 35 and looking to meet men aged 26 to 34! I guess she’s just looking for mindless sex. She’s just the sort of woman I’m visually attracted to; perhaps more proof that the look I like is the wrong sort of person for me.
I love a good, shocking surprise…a woman I noticed on one dating site reveals on another site that she is bisexual.
A lady in my town who approached me and was very keen to meet up, but ended up flaking on me an hour before we were supposed to meet in a local pub has updated her location as being in the north of the country now.
I got an approach email on PoF from someone who looked interesting. Then I noticed that she said that she does drugs on a social basis. I pointed that out to her and said that if it wasn’t for that I would have been happy to meet her for a date. I hear nothing but check her profile the next day to see that she’s changed it to “no drugs”. I write to her but the PoF system says that she has blocked me. She is now someone else’s nightmare in the making.
A woman I’ve swapped messages with in the past responds with “I’m in lurker mode.” What the fuck is that? It’s a woman playing games. There are so many of them on dating sites. They love the attention, will swap endless emails but will never agree to meet for a date. They are not emotionally ready for a relationship. They draw power from the emails, they feel better about themselves for being on a dating site, but they are not relationship material. They’re too fucked up. They eventually acquire cats and their brains are addled with toxoplasmosis. They agree to meet within 6 emails or they’re history.
I’m starting to think that flaky women are just a waste of time. The best encounters, the smoothest experiences have started well and gone well from there. Bad or broken communication is a warning sign; it’s how they operate and will do so in a relationship too.
I’ve realized something: For much of my early dating experiences I was in a mild state of delirium. The disappointment of the Exgf destabilised me, Baltic Babe knocked me over and Krazy Girl stomped me into the ground.
All these women have taken something from me. I don’t exactly know what it is, but I know I lack it. Whatever it was, I want it back. Through Busty Blonde I’m getting to see that an innocence and naiveté I had is gone. That hasn’t made me a better person, instead a more cynical one. I don’t think its that, however. I think it’s a goodness that gave me an arrogant strength is what is gone. It gave me the notion that when it came to relationships, I was better than most men. Now that I have experienced what I have, I feel like I am like other men carrying the same weariness and delusion that they do. I am no longer as special as I once was. Can I be that again, or is the best that I can hope for a different me, built on the ruins of the old? Time will tell.
For the first time ever, the thought of another first date makes my stomach turn. I’m struggling to believe that The One is out there. I’m fully aware that these are my salad days and that I should be out there, mixing and mingling, because I’ve never going to be as good looking and energetic as I am now. Yesterday I found a grey hair in a sideburn; it’s life reminding me that old age is creeping up on me. At the moment I’m just not interested in women.
Thunder is beating its drum and lightning is crackling across the sky outside my window. My window on life. I’ve spent much time looking out that window, wondering about what is and about what could be, even what should be, but the latter only causes me pain. Of course I would love to lie on my lounge floor with Her by my side, whoever Her might be, the one that I am longing to meet, longing so much that at times it hurts. I’ve never had a problem with being alone, but lately I’ve been feeling lonely. That horrible old feeling is back again, to tease and torment me.
After this short and slightly nasty experience with The Brazilian that has left a bitter taste in my mouth, I’ve come to accept that I’m destined to be alone for some time yet. I’ll see it as paying my dues, serving my apprenticeship, hoping that one day I shall be rewarded. Of course there’s no way of knowing what the future holds and it might just be a massive, echoing nothingness for me. A dried up empty husk, devoid of life and of no use to anyone – that is what my love life might hold. It’s a fate that I choose not to think too much about for fear of it depressing and then paralysing me.
My friend, you’re a tourist in the jail that is my dating life, I’m a prisoner here.
I can’t continue like this. I feel that I’m being dishonest with two women who deserve honesty. I’m sneaking around behind their backs and I don’t like how that makes me feel. This is not me at my best, more like me at the worst I’ve been with people. I’m looking for love and this isn’t the way to find it. I have to make a decision before one of them finds out about the other and I might lose what I’m looking for. It’s decision time.
Busty Blonde: She is very considerate and sweet. I trust and respect her. I have a wonderful sense of tranquillity when I’m with her, a calmness that feeds my soul. Does she feel like “The One”? No. Well, not at the moment. However, on paper she is almost everything that I need: positive, fun, devoid of drama, same taste in almost everything, gets my humour. The only thing “wrong” with her is that she isn’t as pretty as I would like. With time all our looks fade, so I’m not letting a fresh face influence me like it used to. I know and accept that there are imperfections about me in her mind too, but she’s decided to live with them.
Travel Gal: Her positives are that we share a love of travel and dogs. She’s a great cook and I enjoy eating good food. I feel intellectually stimulated when I’m with her. I trust and respect her too. However, her negatives weigh more. Her way of speaking irritates me. She’s starting to feel like a ‘Misery’, someone prone to being down in the dumps. Our last date was no fun at all; I drove for two hours to be bored for over a day. I sense that her mask reserved for early dates is starting to slide and I’m getting to see the real her. A major issue for me is that she just won’t suck my cock. I love getting a blowjob and a lifetime of no suction would feel like a prison sentence to me. I think that most men would feel that way.
There’s something else going on inside me that is influencing my thinking. I’m tired of reading women’s profiles that bear little resemblance to themselves in real life. I’m tired of meeting women who are more than five years older than their photos. I’m tired of wasting time, money and effort on oddballs, baby-brainers, gold-diggers, Miseries, psychopaths, confused cuties and emotional black holes.
I’m tired of internet dating.
I’m tired of a dating life that feels like an emotional roller-coaster. Yes, it’s given me some great life experiences, taught me necessary lessons and delivered good and bad sexual adventures, but I’ve had enough of it. I really want to lose myself in the warm, fuzzy cocoon of a committed relationship, especially one characterized by mutual love. I want to hold hands with and face the same future with someone who, for once, has my best interests at heart. I want to feel like I’ve found the best person I could be with. I want to share life with someone who would push me around in a wheelchair if need be and wouldn’t abandon me, because she’s with me for who I am and not what I can do for her.
Worryingly I suspect that I’m not entirely ready for what I seek. My trust issues have abated but are still present. I feel somewhat brutalized by my online dating experiences. Baltic Babe and Krazy Girl were massive disappointments to me. I was falling for both of them when it abruptly ended and the surprise of that exacerbated the pain. I’m concerned that in some ways I might be on the rebound. My shenanigans with other women has rocked my faith in womankind. Country Girl and Musician Gal were bitter experiences. Realizing that my Exgf is a cold-hard psychopath was a stunning revelation that has made me doubt my ability to know what someone is about. Feeling emotionally safe with a woman is something I yearn for but am finding increasingly rare to experience. I’m terrified of being taken for a ride by another woman. I’m scared of making another mistake; I don’t think I can deal with that. I need someone who can be patient with me. I’m not sure of much in the relationship department at the moment.
Yet a life without love is a life not worth leading, that I am sure of. I’m just not a selfish person and perhaps that will always be my undoing. I have to share my life with someone because any other kind of life is just not good enough. In order for that to happen I need to be with someone who wants the same things as me. I need to proceed with caution, I need to be with someone who makes me feel safe.
Busty Blonde is the most honest, decent and positive woman I’ve met through online dating. She is remarkable for that alone. Is that a good enough foundation from which love can grow? Perhaps. I need to be patient for that to happen because I know that love can’t be hurried. Patience, yes, that’s what I need…and also have to give.
Decision made: I going to see where things lead with Busty Blonde.
I phone Travel Gal, emboldened by my decision, but I still hate this part of dating. This crazy little thing called life is so much easier when you have a plan because you know what you need to do and you know what doesn’t suit the plan. Sometimes other people are not part of the plan, I know this, but it will always pain me to tell them this.
Travel Gal answers in a demure tone. Has she been expecting this call?
“Are you feeling better today?” I ask because of her cold, trying to soften the impending blow with a bit of common courtesy beforehand.
“No. I had to put my dog to sleep today,” she answers.
Instantly I feel like shit. I’m calling to dump her and she’s upset over the death of her loyal companion. He’s been more faithful to her than I have been. There’s no way I can dump her now. I’ll give it a few days and then try again. Maybe I’ll just make myself scarce and let her phone me when she feels better?
“I’m sorry to hear that. He was magnificent, possessing the sweetest personality I’ve ever encountered in a dog,” I say, meaning every word of it. Shit, that’s going to make her feel worse.
Travel Gal starts crying. I fall silent. Idiot.
I hate it when a woman cries. It takes me back to when I was little boy and I’d catch my mother crying after yet another fight with my father. Acidic, sepia-coloured memories of those dramatic days of my childhood mix with my feelings about having decided to dump Travel Gal, then they blend with the sound of her snorting back tears over the phone. I get a lump in my throat and my bottom lip quivers; I fall silent again. It’s the best I can do right now.
There’s no way I can dump her on this call.
After a minute of stifled sobbing Travel Gal regains her composure. I’m struggling to think of ways to make this call more pleasant for her without raising her hopes about me. My brain has slowed down too much under the weight of her news. I’m struggling to think of a way out.
“I get the impression that you’re calling me for a reason of your own,” Travel Gal says, breaking the heavy silence.
Shit, is she a mind-reader? I’ve hardly said anything. What does she mean exactly? Have I missed something?
“Uh…uh…,” I stammer like a horny, virgin teenager arriving at his date’s front door only to have it opened by her father.
“C’mon, out with it,” Travel Gal orders.
Wow, is aggression part of her grieving process? Fuckit, this is awkward. I don’t know what to say right now. Shit, let’s get this over and done with.
“I’ve been thinking about us. I’m sorry to say but I’m not convinced that we’re right for each other,” I say as compassionately as I know how. Well, she asked for it.
“Why?” she says directly without any hint of tearfulness. I’m surprised by her sudden change in attitude.
“Um, I think that we’re in different emotional places right now. Being more than two hours driving time apart is proving more of a pain than I had anticipated. I also think that in bed we’re not that well matched,” I say.
Too much honesty? I hope that she doesn’t ask for details. This could get messy. I’ve given her enough truths and more will only add to her hurt. Please don’t say “why” again…
“I see,” she says icily.
I don’t know what to say next. This call hasn’t gone anything like what I expected or am used to. I’ve still got so much to learn.
“Can I tell you something?” Travel Gal says after a few seconds of silence.
What the hell is coming my way now?! Am I about to lambasted with a verbal tirade of man-hating nonsense? Is she going to tell me something that will crush my world? Is there another guy on the scene? Has she seen me with another woman? Did she crack the password on my phone?
“You need to get some new underwear,” she says snottily.
“Sorry, what?” I blurt out. Where the hell has that come from?
“The first time we got intimate I was put off by your undies,” Travel Gal says.
“Well, they weren’t brand new and I wasn’t expecting anything to happen between us that day so I didn’t give it much thought” I say.
“That’s good to know,” she retorts.
“I guess there’s nothing much else left to say,” I proffer.
“Yes, you’re right. Goodbye.”
That was unpleasant but I don’t deserve better. I’ve been a shit with her although she doesn’t know this. I must and can do better in my conduct.
Okay Busty Blonde and patience, over to you…it’s time for a relationship.
It strikes me as odd the coincidences that have befallen my dating/love life of late. On Monday morning I sat down and wrote about the weekend with Musician Gal. As I was sitting reading what I had written I was filled with a sense of anger and disappointment. Then I realised that the way forward for me was now clear: I could explore where things could lead with Career Girl. Just then a text message arrived from Career Girl.
“Was doing some soul searching while I was away – something you asked last week got me thinking….about if I have time for a relationship right now? I think maybe it’s not the right time. I’m sorry.”
My heavy heart plumbed new depths. I had forgotten having put this question to her and now it had backfired on me. I had asked her this because she seemed to have a busy work and social life. I took some time to digest this latest blow before I answered as follows:
“Having taken the morning to digest your message…I understand…I appreciate your candour. I do like you and I like how I feel when we’re together. I would have liked to see where things could have led with you. I’m in no hurry to be in a relationship, so if at some point down the road… X”
Career Girl responded swiftly with:
“Thank you. I just felt I wasn’t being fair to you at the moment. I will get in touch if things change. Look after yourself x “
Her comment about “she’s not being fair to me” made no sense in it’s context. It bothered me for several days, but I took a long hard look at that and am pretty sure that there was someone else on the scene who she preferred to me. Nevertheless, her having a brain aneurysm will have put the brakes on my ability to truly develop feelings for her. How things turned out was probably for the best.
I felt deflated for several days, but managed to laugh at how quickly the tables had been turned on me. In the space of twelve hours two prospects became none, for the second time in less than six months. At times it has felt like I’m on the verge of finding and being with Her, only for it to be snatched away from in front of my face.
Moments of reflection began in which I tried to understand why such a promising start with Musician Gal turned out like it did. I came to the conclusion that Musician Gal was out to catch a man with money to make her dream lifestyle become a reality. On our weekend together she had started to play her dangerous game of using sex as a weapon, a lever to exact power over a man. It seemed her modus operandi was to create a connection with a man in the early dates then switched to trying to play him. She was trying to use me. I have no time for a woman like that.
I started to wonder just what percentage of women regard men as an adversary. Just how many women see a relationship as an exercise in balance of power? A mechanism to get what they want. When a little girl is told that boys are physically stronger, what percentage then begin to crave power over boys?
I don’t want to be with someone whose motives I’m constantly wondering about. The woman for me has only one motive: love.
I got thinking about love.
Why do we pursue love? Why do almost all of us want it?
I blame your mother.
I blame my mother too.
In fact, I contend that all mothers are to blame.
We grow up feeling loved by our mothers and most of us by our fathers too. That love is part and parcel of everyday life and we take it for granted. As teenagers we start to wean ourselves off it and, without realizing it, we start to to look to others to provide it…and that’s when the custard hits the fan and it all goes wrong from then on.
Our parents’ love is unconditional and nothing like what the fruits of another couple’s drunken quickie at Xmas can provide. (I wonder what percentage of the populace are Virgos? Wait, I checked and it’s the second-most prevalent. Yes, I’m a Virgo too.)
As we evolve into adults we develop our own notions of what love is. Ask any room full of teenagers, hell, adults even, what love is and you’ll struggle to find an universally held idea. Each person has their own outlook on love.
No wonder we can’t find it!
What we have in our heads and hearts is unique to us and finding an exact match is almost impossible.
One of my favourite definitions of love is: “Love is seeing an imperfect person perfectly and then choosing as well allowing yourself to feel affection for them.”
I’ve never been one for compromising. I’ve always thought that compromise is for people who don’t know how to get what they want. However, when it comes to love, pragmatism is called for. The German Shrink’s words of “people don’t know what’s good enough” is still in my head and changing in significance.
As young adults we are far removed from the above definition and invariably stumble from one pointless fumble in the dark to another, all in an effort to find what we think we are missing, unknowingly all the time acquiring the life skills and experiences that, if we are lucky, delivers us eventually at the above outcome.
How unfortunate it is that, once we are in the adult world, we feel that something is missing or lacking. It is that feeling from our parent’s homes that we took for granted. Unthinkingly we are compelled to replace what we feel has been lost; to fill that void. We go in search of it, not entirely sure what it is, but we’ll know it when we find it. Is it not surprising then that it takes so long for most people to find someone that they have a relationship with? Some people are so desperate that they become involved with anybody. Witness people you know who have become embroiled in a patently doomed relationship with someone totally unsuitable.
It doesn’t shock me at all to hear people moan about how hard online dating is. The reality is that it’s not the mechanism to blame, but that society is seeing itself in a clearer light and it doesn’t sit well. In my experience it is especially women who complain about online dating. I think women are handicapped more than men when it comes to love and how it comes about.
In my experience women are brainwashed into the fantasy of being rescued by a knight in shining armour who will sweep down from the hills, pull her onto his steed and together escape her unsatisfying life and head due West to the setting sun where never-ending happiness awaits them. Most women cling to the fantasy over the best years of their lives and when going dating are hoping, expecting even, that elements of this much-cherished fantasy play out in the correct sequence with them being the stars of their own soap opera with a happy ending.
Men don’t have this debilitating baggage that they drag around with them. Nope, we have something entirely different to deal with. I believe that the vast majority of men are looking for a mother figure. They want a feeling that makes them feel secure and it’s that insecurity that drives some men to become control freaks and even worse, wife-beaters and stalkers.
Men and women are insecure and all that differs is the degree. This gets mixed up with love and complicates the relationship between a man and woman. In my experience a woman will deal with insecurity by providing sex, in the belief that giving a man that will lead to him making her feeling more secure. It doesn’t, but the irony is that sex is what makes most men feel secure.
I put forth then that we want love because it makes us feel secure. On the back of that sense of security we find a strength that enables us to deal with everything else that life throws at us. It is not unusual to find a highly-educated, intelligent, capable young man or woman whose life is malfunctioning and they will tell you that it is because nobody loves them.
Yes, there are the old cliches about having someone who understands us, that love makes us happy, yes love comes with physical intimacy, yes there is the thought of children that can stem from love and of course you’ve heard that it’s a basic need. However, those platitudes mask something far more profound.
Love helps make us the best person we can be and deep down we know this.
For me, love is what makes life worthwhile. One of my greatest character flaws is that I am not a selfish person; I’m a very giving person. That doesn’t mean that I’m weak, grovelling and co-dependent. It means I derive pleasure from giving what I can to someone else whom I value; keeping everything for myself is empty and pointless. It’s one of life’s best feelings to give something to somebody who really needs it and especially appreciates it. To be in a relationship in which you both give your all to each other, without hesitation and reservation because that’s how you both are…god, that must be heaven on earth.
For the record, I believe in love. I think it’s the best thing that life has to offer.
‘To love someone is nothing. To have someone love you is something. To love someone who loves you is everything.’
I know that She exists, the woman I am meant to spend my life with. I know that one day I will find Her. I don’t care how many more woman I have to date until I find Her. I don’t care how many more pretenders, manipulators, oddballs, misfits or deranged women I have to meet until I find Her.
I woke up a few minutes after 5am. It was still dark and Musician Gal was sound asleep. My mind immediately starting an endless sprint of images, memories and feelings from the previous day. My psyche was disturbed because I had high hopes of having a relationship with Musician Gal. I convinced myself that perhaps I was being too harsh and should give her another day. Perhaps it would be better later this day. There was much to look forward to. The farmer’s market, a lunch of exotic meats and a drive in the country could make it all so much better. She might relax and perhaps even apologize for her tactlessness. Telling myself this eased my troubled mind and I went back to sleep.
9am and I’m awake again, ready and cautiously optimistic that today would be better, remembering my inner dialogue from earlier in the morning. Musician Gal was doing her imitation of a corpse, lying almost in the exact position that I had last seen her in before I switched the light out. When I’m awake, I’m awake. I didn’t want to lie there, fidgeting or tossing and turning, only to irritate her and get the day off to a bad start. I got up as gingerly as I could and quietly made my way to the kitchen. I closed the two doors between the bedroom and kitchen so that any noise I made didn’t disturb her. The kettle boiled unusually loudly while I found the honey and soya milk for her tea. I made myself a regular cuppa of redbush tea and got a pack of milk chocolate hobnobs from the shelf reserved for my stash of them. I tidied the kitchen a bit from the previous night’s cooking and eating, trying to make it a bit more tidy as I didn’t want it looking like a dump when she entered it.
A mug of tea in each hand and a pack of hobnobs nestled under an arm, I carefully and quietly made my way back to the bedroom, using my feet to open doors. I was still naked and must have made for quite a sight. Putting her tea by her bedside without spilling, bumping or dropping anything was a small achievement. Safely positioning my tea and the biscuits by my bedside, I slid back in to the warm bed. It was a chilly morning and my morning glory had deflated by the time I got to the kitchen. Lying next to Musician Gal I could feel my blood warming again and the thought of Sunday morning sex, one of my favourite thoughts, appeared simultaneously in my two heads.
She started to stir from her slumber, finally moving and rolling slowly on to her back. As she turned I got a good view, despite the low lighting, of her left breast, just the shape and outline of it. I wanted to suck on it, take as much of it as I could in to my mouth and then twirl my tongue around the nipple. Women seem to love that move and it seems to turn them on. She still had her nightmask on and I thought that keeping it on during sex would heighten her other sensations. I was horny and hoped that she was too, having played all coy for a day and a half, building the sexual tension. The disappointments of the previous day were now forgotten and I wanted to have my way with her, see what she liked, how she reacted to my cock, see what she liked to do and have done to her. It was time.
I started caressing the side of her body, being careful not to immediately touch her breasts or anywhere sensitive like under her armpits, just keeping to the neutral bits. She took a deep breath and swallowed hard. I keep moving my hands over her body, slowly with just the lightest touch, over her belly, along her sides, up the ribcage towards her arms but never getting there, reversing direction instead. This was only happening for a matter of about half a minute, all the while neither of us spoke. I was about to cup one of her breasts, nipple erect, visible through her nightie when she suddenly promptly rolled over on to her belly, denying me the opportunity. Was she playing hard to get or just disinterested?
Wanting to find out, I slipped my hand under her chest and cupped her left breast. It felt a good size and of a good density. Almost instantly her left elbow came down hard on my forearm. She wasn’t interested.
I rolled away, not sure what to think. I knew that she wasn’t a morning person, so I wasn’t too upset. I was just trying my luck. Two thoughts came to mind. If she wanted to make love with me, then now was the time. But she didn’t, so she didn’t. If she’s not a morning person, then perhaps we have a massive difference between us already. I love mornings. I like the promise of a new day, the calm before the storm and all those other clichés which I believe in. Maybe we’re just not compatible.
Eventually she sat up in bed, lifting her eye mask and gave me a wry smile. I offered her some biscuits and she took one, perhaps just to be polite. I switched my ipod on and soothing, calm music started playing at just the right volume. I lay on my side, still sporting an erection, facing her, while she lay one her back, wearing her black pyjamas outfit, propped up against the headboard. The duvet came up to my waist and covered her knees. We made mindless small talk – the chemistry just wasn’t there any more. Neither of us made mention of my advance on her.
In my experience, if a woman fancied me, she couldn’t help herself but to lay hands on me in some way. It occurred to me that since she had arrived, Musician Gal had not once touched me out of her own free will. I was always the one to take her hand or arm. I always was the one to put an arm around her shoulder the few times when it seemed appropriate to do so. I was the one to initiate kissing or hugging the few times we had done so. Not once had she made any physical act out of free will that indicated that she any kind of desire for me.
We got up and she showered again. I knew that we would be walking again and I was likely to be all sweaty within minutes of walking. She made disapproving noises about my not showering. I was getting to the point where I couldn’t care less what she had to say.
We went for a walk around my town’s farmer’s market and ended up buying a few pieces of ostrich, zebra and kangaroo from my favourite butcher at the market. I was going to prepare this meat for her, come hell or high water! I was still intent on seeing through the day, ever optimistic that whatever was bothering her would either go away or we would talk about it.
Musician Gal seemed mildly pleased by the farmer’s market. We went back to my place, but neither of us were hungry. I suggested that we go for a drive in the countryside, something that she had spoken about several times. It was all part and parcel of her dream of being married and living in the countryside. She didn’t know this part of the world too well, so I expected that she was looking forward to this drive.
We hopped in my red sports car and whizzed through the town’s streets to where the countryside began, where open road was met by clear open spaces, punctuated by proud trees, the occasional grand home or charming cottage. Where life moved at a slower pace and the rest of the world was a bad rumour. This is what I had been looking forward to showing her, expecting her to show a positive change in demeanour.
What did she do? She took out a nail file and started carefully seeing to her nails! I drove past and through the best countryside this part of my county had to offer, while all the time she sat leaning forward, her legs apart, making sure her filing detritus fell into my car, never raising her gaze.
I was now starting to fume a little. We didn’t speak. She looked up as we were entering a historic town near mine. I suggested that we park and go for a walk. She agreed and it wasn’t long before we were walking along old cobbled streets, marvelling at old wonky buildings. Strangely, all the while we were holding hands, but only until she started to complain that I was too hot. We walked through a scenic park with a large pond filled with an assortment of birdlife, managing to make polite small talk. Inside, I was still fuming a little bit. This was starting to feel like a waste of time and money.
We walked back to my car and the sun was on our backs. For some reason only now I asked her if she had ever smoked. She said that she had tried to when she was younger, but didn’t enjoy it. Then she said something which surprised me. She said that she did enjoy an occasional cigar a few times a year. I found the thought and image of her smoking a cigar disgusting. My interest in her was starting to dig its way to Hell.
Musician Gal then said that she was thirsty, so we found a corner shop for her to buy a bottle of water. She opened the water, drank some, looked at me and then drank some more. She didn’t offer me any. I was visibly perspiring. Her thoughtlessness now became selfishness. My level of fuming had now risen to border on anger.
I kept my cool. A very clear picture of what she was really like was starting to emerge. I didn’t like what I was seeing. Not one little bit. Her public persona was all well and fine, but in private I was getting to see what she was really all about: selfish.
Driving back to my place I made up my mind that she wasn’t for me. I was struggling to see anything about her that I liked. Her behaviour the past two days had been unacceptable and at times downright offensive. I no longer had any desire to have sex with her, I found her that repulsive. After today I never wanted to see her again.
I was contemplating asking her to leave when we got back to my place. Before I could say this, Musician Gal said that she was ready to sample my culinary skills. I was now hungry too and was going to make myself food anyway after I had seen her off. I decided to be a gentleman and make her lunch before giving her her marching orders. I got to work making a barbecue while she set about preparing herself a green salad. Eating assorted countryside has never appealed to me and I have no desire in learning how to prepare rabbit food, so I left her to that.
I put some music on my stereo, but after only a few tunes she asked if we could listen to some of her music. The dye was cast and I wasn’t going to make a scene, so I agreed to her request. She connected her phone to a speaker and what she considered music started playing. I didn’t know what it was, but I didn’t like it. I really can’t find the words to describe the shit that came out of my once pure, unadulterated speakers. Would there be an end to the misery of this day – this woeful weekend?
I couldn’t wait for the fire to settle down to glowing charcoal. I wanted this creature out of my home and out of my life as quickly as possible. She had positioned herself on the sofa and was reading a newspaper. She looked quite comfortable and even somewhat serene as she sat there, oblivious to the turmoil that was stretching my insides, unaware of the harsh words being shouted in the cold, dark, quiet corners of my soul. “Get out! Out!” is what I wanted to scream at her, so hard that my throat would hurt.
I think it is testimony to just how English I had become that I managed to restrain myself and not show on the outside what I was feeling inside. Was this a good thing? I’m not convinced. Does a world of peptic ulcers and hernias await?
I cooked the meat to perfection on the barbecue, doing her pieces medium-rare, just how she claimed to prefer it and everything else was ready on the dining room table. We sat down and she seemed interested in which meat was which and I told her what I knew about each type of meat. It didn’t take too long for Musician Gal to complain that her meat was too rare for her liking. So I put her pieces back on the fire, continued eating my meats while she munched away at her rabbit food, heavily vinaigretted pieces of which were falling on to my white tablecloth. A real rabbit would have been a tidier eater.
After a few minutes I went and retrieved her meat, now more medium than mine. She took a dislike to the zebra and ostrich, gave these to me, but she enjoyed the kangaroo. This suited me just fine. Conversation was awkward and hard to come by. The air was filled by the hideous shrieking that her phone was pumping out through my poor, innocent, labouring speaker. I was now gritting my teeth so much that it actually came in useful in chewing my meat.
I decided to go on the offensive and asked her what she thought of my place. I suspected that my place was a disappointment to her. Her demeanour had changed for the negative within minutes of setting foot in my apartment. I needed to know if that was the cause of her change in attitude. She thought about it for a moment and said “Your home doesn’t match your profile.” I took that to mean that she was disappointed by what she saw. Was this the cause of the demise of our nascent relationship? I think so.
It was now late afternoon and Musician Gal said that she needed to be home soon. I was so relieved to hear those words. I wasn’t looking forward to asking her to leave. I’m not very good with those kinds of situations because I hardly ever find myself in them. She collected her belongings and I made sure that she didn’t leave anything behind. I didn’t want her having an excuse to come back.
I carried her heavy backpack as I walked her to the station. Once there, she bought a ticket at a vending machine and the turnstiles were open, so I went on to the platform with her. The next train was due in only two minutes, something I felt thankful for. Since leaving my apartment I had come up with the words that I wanted to use to say a final goodbye to her.
“Tell me, do you think we’re right for each other?” I asked.
“I’m still making up my mind” she replied.
“Well, I have very serious doubts that we are” I said with a stern face, looking deep in to her eyes.
“Why?” she asked.
I quickly elaborated the reasons why, her tactlessness on Saturday about discrimination, being the primary point. I said that her inability to apologize for her offending me was surprising and disappointing. She tried to debate this issue, but I wasn’t interested – the damage was done. I didn’t go in to all the other things that, albeit small, collectively amounted to a very unpleasant picture for me.
Her train arrived, we stopped talking, she got on board, without any kind of kiss or hug or touch of any kind. I stood on the platform, made eye contact with Musician Gal one last time, waved politely and turned to walk away, not being bothered with waiting for the train to leave. I literally turned my back on her, a sense of relief pervading my being.
When I got home there was a text message from her waiting on my phone.
“Thanks for a lovely weekend, was really good to spend time with you. Perhaps I don’t like to get too close because I got hurt, that isn’t your problem, it’s mine. And apologies, I didn’t mean to offend x”
Ten minutes later another message arrived:
“Oh and thanks for being a total gentleman, you are a rare breed. X”
I have not heard from her since. I did think about writing her an email explaining my view on matters, but thought better of it. It might have provided her with a sense of closure, but would most likely have resulted in a bitter email debate. I have no desire to contact her ever again. It seemed to me that she projected a brilliant disguise for her true self, but could only maintain the pretence for so long until her true colours seeped out.
Lessons learnt: 1) Get a woman to my place (or hers) as soon as possible to see them in a more natural environment, away from the public dating persona that we all have. 2) Not everybody is looking for love.
It’s a gloomy Autumnal Monday morning and I’m listening to the drizzle tapping at my window. Stevie Wonder’s “Lately” is keeping me company. I’m in a melancholic mood, sitting reflecting on the weekend just past. Here’s what happened…
Musician Gal called me from work late on Friday afternoon, seemingly just wanting to chat, to tell me how tired she was, still a bit jet-lagged from her trip to New York. She just wanted to veg on her sofa and drift off to a comforting sleep. In a moment of reckless inspiration I suggested that she come to me that night, instead of waiting another day. The idea resonated with her and she agreed to come over. Just after 8pm I’m standing on a platform of my local train station, watching weary wage-slaves spill out of a train. I spot her instantly, her beautiful blonde hair quickly and easily catching my eye. We kiss “hello” and I take her dirty weekend bag. I had forgotten how pretty she was. I looked forward to getting used to that. I was happy to see her, touched by the effort that she had made.
We walked to my nearby apartment, holding hands like long-established couples do, just before complacency, familiarity or one too many argument has taken its toll. She was scared like a little child by the spiders and insects in my stairwell and I had to coax her up, mocking her desire to live in the countryside whilst having a paralysing fear of spiders. Upon entering my apartment I could see a slight look of disappointment on her face. She was obviously expecting something far better, a response I’m not too unfamiliar with.
I quickly made her a dinner of grilled fish and salad and we ate together. I could see that she was tired and her normally high-energy demeanour was subdued. We slumped on my sofa and watched a dvd of “Secret Diary of a Call Girl.” We were both unimpressed by this viewing fare and I thought it the opportune time to introduce her to Californication. I was expecting her to be captivated by it, almost addicted and wanting to watch it all through the night. I was wrong. She was put off by the frequent use of the “f” word. Oh dear, she had failed one of my acid tests. Was she more prudish than what I could accept? I noticed that she didn’t say thank you for dinner, but put it down to tiredness.
I had no intention of making love to her that night. I wanted to show her that I have self-control. The next morning or the following night would be a different story though. Earlier in the week we had discussed my giving her a back massage. I was keen to show her my skills and to get a glimpse of her body. I carried her halfway to my bedroom with her protesting in my arms until a closed door blocked my way. I was surprised by how much she weighed, especially considering her diminutive size.
Musician Gal lay on her tummy, her naked back ready for the warm oil in my hands. I enjoyed the feeling of her skin under my touch. She had a good milky white skin, free of blemishes and stretch marks. She was carrying quite a few more pounds than what I was expecting, but I could live with at. After all, in my opinion I was too. Her breasts, just from the bit peeking out at me from the sides, did not seem as large as what I was hoping. Her back muscles were quite knotted and she was enjoying the soothing rubbing of my hands. I could have been a rake and tried to seduce her, very tempting considering the circumstances, but I had no intention of doing so. I wanted to build the anticipation, the sexual tension, so that when I made my move she was primed to let it happen and we could both enjoy ourselves. I was curious as to how well we matched when it came to the sexual side of a relationship, but I had to be patient because I wanted it to be special for both of us.
It was time to sleep and she had brought a very elegant, tasteful two-piece black silk pyjamas and a matching eye mask. I wore a pair of underpants and like that we spent the night. I tried to kiss her “goodnight” on the mouth, but all I got was pursed lips. I was not impressed by that, a little surprised and hurt in fact. Nevertheless, she lay in my arms for a while and our bodies fitted each other well. I do enjoy a petite frame wrapped against me, within my arms, feeling her body heaving gently with each breath. Why do I enjoy the sensation of spooning so much? I shan’t dwell on that question for fear of ruining one of life’s great pleasures.
The next morning I slowly awoke, finding the warmth of another body next to me a satisfying novelty. I lay there for a while, enjoying the almost forgotten sensation of a woman next to me. As I thought of the exciting possibilities of the day ahead, I became more awake. Musician Gal had warned me of her not being a morning person. I am one and thought that this might just have to be an area in which we differed, so I made no attempt to wake her. The previous weekend’s trip to New York and a hectic week at work had taken a lot out of her and she obviously needed rest. I was quite happy to have a leisurely weekend with her, doing whatever she wanted and pampering her when I felt I could.
She stirred from her slumber, but kept her eye-mask on while we made hushed small talk. She was wanting to doze, which was fine with me, so I got up to make her some tea. Having a woman lying in my bed while I prepare a drink for her in the kitchen does something for me. I think it is about me being ‘Man – The Provider’.
The previous day I went to my local Sainsbury’s armed with a very lengthy shopping list. I had promised to make her a Thai massaman beef curry for the Saturday night. It involves many ingredients and I had gone shopping before noon while the shelves were likely to be well stocked with what I needed before the maddened weekend shoppers arrived. I was glad to have done so because I had everything I needed, instead of going on the Saturday morning. I made her a strong mug of regular tea with soya milk I had especially bought for her, just how she had described on our previous date.
We lay in bed making small talk until hunger arrived. I returned to the kitchen and began producing a great British fry-up. Musician Gal jumped in the shower while I saw to breakfast. This ordinary domestic experience felt better than what I could remember. We only really know what we had only when it went missing, but we also only know what we were missing until it came along.
Musician Gal showered very quickly and came to the lounge and plonked herself down on the sofa. She asked if she could watch her favourite Saturday morning cookery show and I obliged. I carried on making breakfast while she sat transfixed by what she was seeing. She was a self-proclaimed “foodie” so what she was watching was pornography for her. It was the quietest and motionless I had ever seen her.
We ate breakfast at my dining room table. She was quite a messy eater. Pieces of food were falling off her plate every few seconds. I thought it cute, but remembered a joke by Lee Evans which made me wonder how long it would be before cuteness turned to disapproval then annoyance. Over breakfast she made mention of the fact that she didn’t like the underpants I wore in bed the previous night. They weren’t of the style that she liked. She wanted me to wear Calvin Klein boxers. I could only just blink back in response, my mind boggling with a variety of emotions, incredulity mostly. Was she testing me? Winding me up? I wasn’t sure, so I said nothing. I noticed that she didn’t say thank you for breakfast.
We then went for a walk around my town, with me constantly being careful of her knee’s requirements which involved using as flat a walking surface as possible. I created a route around the town with that in mind. Just getting down my stairwell was a bit of a uncomfortable mission for her. To her credit, I never once heard her mutter a complaint about her knee nor show any signs of pain save for a few facial expressions now and again. We walked along the high street, her right arm coupled into my left arm, using me as support. I didn’t mind and thought it quite sweet.
Conversation between us felt stilted and, at times, like hard work. She hardly initiated anything; I was making all the running. The interaction was becoming very one-sided. I put it down to her jet-lag and it still being too early for her. The perfunctory kiss goodnight still rankled with me, but I don’t dwell on small matters as a rule, it’s just that it felt like things had changed between us and I didn’t know why.
I had a route in mind that had a quaint pub at the halfway mark. Clouds were gathering and her slight limp had become more pronounced, a pitstop was required. We stopped in at the pub, with me getting us ciders from the bar while she found the perfect spot in a bay window with what sun there was on our backs. We sat quietly together, reading a newspaper she had found and sipped our ciders. She didn’t say thank you for the drinks. It was after noon, but we were still full from breakfast which wasn’t too long ago so she declined my offer to order some food.
Musician Gal came across an article about “friends with benefits” and we discussed this topic in depth. She told me that she had once had a “friend with benefits” and this lasted for a year. She was quite open about the fact that it was purely a sexual thing. I wasn’t disgusted by this at all, whilst a year ago I would have been. The past year had been a very steep learning curve for me and this was something that I had added to my repertoire of sexual knowledge.
I was pleased to hear that she was quite a sexual being, but slightly disappointed in her lack of morality. I’m such a hypocrite. I’ve done exactly the same thing, but expect “my woman” not to have. I think being with somebody purer than me has a strange attraction for me. Could it be that I derive a naughty, almost sadistic pleasure from corrupting them, perverting them, defiling them? Yes.
It was time to move on before we became too comfortable and it started raining. I led us along country paths back to the high street. In the town hall there was a vintage clothing fair on and Musician Gal was excited by this, so we went in. To my mind it was a musty collection of dead people’s clothing, but to her this was heaven. She studiously inspected rails of old clothing, having an obviously keen eye for this kind of thing. A pair of black shoes caught her attention, she tried them on and liked them. I bought them for her. She didn’t say thank you.
We went to the local Sainsbury’s to buy a few things that she thought we lacked for the curry and that she wanted for herself that I didn’t have in my kitchen, such as honey. Having paid for the groceries, I noticed that once again she didn’t say thank you. Not only was this getting annoying, but it was becoming a red flag in my mind. Was she selfish and all about the money?
Back at my flat she asked if she could have a bath. Her flat only had a shower and she loved bathing. I was happy to oblige and ran a bath for her. Once ready she occupied the bathroom, firmly closing the door. I pottered about, keeping myself busy, all the while trying to figure out what the hell was going on. This experience so far was not fun at all. Instead it felt like hard work. I wasn’t having a good time and I suspected that neither was she. The light, energetic chemistry between us was gone and had been replaced by a sombre, heavy atmosphere that felt like toleration.
Once she had had enough of bathing, which was longer than an hour, we both said that we were feeling hungry again. We got working on preparing the massaman curry. In my mind’s eye I had envisaged doing it all by myself, as I wanted to. Musician Gal wanted to be involved so I let her join in. I saw it as an opportunity to see how well we work together. To my surprise we worked well in the kitchen, nary a moment of friction, misunderstanding or mishap. I was surprised because so far the weekend had not gone anything like I had hoped (it was quite negative) and was suspecting that we would clash when it came to doing something together.
The curry was left to simmer, so we sat on my sofa having a poured a glass of wine for each of us. I thought it an opportune time to indulge in some petting. I was hoping that doing so would reignite the spark that had seemed to have faded for reasons unbeknownst to me. I got up and put my glass of red wine out of harm’s way and wanted to do so with her’s too, but she objected and I left it on the side table next to the sofa. I sat down, close to Musician Gal and leaned in to kiss her. Her reaction was lukewarm and we kissed slowly and gently for a few minutes. I started caressing her body with my left hand and escalated this to a little tickling. She was very ticklish and starting to resist quite strongly. Too strongly – an errant foot knocked her glass of red wine flying. There was red wine all over the wall, sofa, table, rug and carpet.
My heart sank as I had foreseen this happening because I knew what I wanted to do and had learned that she had a clumsy streak. I kept my cool, no point crying over spilt wine, even if it is red wine over cream wallpaper, a grey fabric sofa, a white wooden table, cream carpeting and my favourite white rug. We quickly agreed a plan of action between us, with Musician Gal wiping up with a cloth and me finding white wine and carpet cleaner. Within a couple of minutes we had done what could be done. I was fuming inside as I had tried to take preventative measures but had failed. My heart was cheered by seeing how well we worked together. It’s under a little adversity that you get to see what someone is made of and I liked what I saw in her. I was a little disappointed in my own reaction though.
We sat down to have dinner, the massaman curry was ready and it was perfect. Musician Gal agreed and we both were enjoying the meal. The conversation rolled, albeit a little bit stiff. There had been an uneasiness between us since she had arrived. I initially attributed it to her being in unfamiliar terrain. As it continued I kept making excuses for her. Perhaps she was pre-menstrual. It had to be that she didn’t like my bachelor pad. Whatever it was, she just wasn’t comfortable, but not that I was being lecherous or sexually demanding, far from it. I had been a perfect gentleman and hadn’t even tried to feel her up. Not that I didn’t want to, I just wanted her to relax and enjoy herself, which she wasn’t.
The conversation turned somehow to the topic of discrimination. I told her of my experiences of being discriminated against in British society by a small number of individuals. I told her how while walking around the National Gallery a black security guard muttered under his breath “Fucking whites!” as I walked past him. I recounted how a white train station ticket seller was refusing to sell tickets to people with non-English accents, myself included. Musician Gal’s gruff response was “Well, if you feel you have been discriminated against in this country, then you just don’t have the balls to succeed in it.”
This to me was so rude, unacceptably rude. Someone else might think nothing of that remark, but I found it deeply offensive. My first two years of life in the UK were very difficult for me. I didn’t give up and kept going when almost everyone else would have surrendered. I am proud of what I have achieved in my adoptive country, the bigots don’t bother me. It was her unintentionally belittling my life that irked.
However, what bothered me most about her words was the tactlessness of it. My previous girlfriend had many times embarrassed me in public through her tactlessness. I had no desire to be with another woman like that. I could now clearly see that Musician Gal had a smart mouth on her and I didn’t like it.
I didn’t say a word for a noticeable few minutes after she had said what she did. There was no point in confronting her and telling her what I felt. She was who she was and angry words from me would not change that. A younger version of me would have let her have a broadside of hostile words, but nowadays I realize the futility of doing so under certain circumstances. I’ve developed a fiendish relish in letting people stay as they are: their own worst enemies.
My thoughts and feelings about her distilled down in a very few moments to a very negative perception of her. Careless, tactless, selfish and rude.
All the little negative things I had noticed over the previous 24 hours came together like iron filings against a magnet. Her being messy, her outspokenness, her ingratitude, her tactlessness all made for an unacceptable picture. I knew in that instant that she was not the one for me.
We sat silently at the dinner table, finishing off the meal. I was contemplating asking her to collect her things and I would escort her to the train station. Being aware that I too can act in haste, I decided against this. I resumed making small talk, but found making eye contact difficult. My plan for the evening always involved ending with a good movie. I thought this a good distraction from the situation, us sitting not having to speak.
Nicholas Cage’s “The Family Man” is one of my favourite movies and Musician Gal had not seen it. It’s sentimental and romantic and could lighten the mood between us. So there we sat, eyes fixed on a television, speechless, motionless as red wine dried into everything it could around us.
We hardly said a word to each other for the duration of the movie. When it ended she turned to me and said, “Have I said something to upset you?” Was she being facetious, trying to wind me up or was she genuinely so insensitive. It was hard to discern. I decided to tell her exactly what she had said that was so offensive and why it was so.
She tried to explain herself and wriggle out of the situation, but the damage was done and I wasn’t in the mood for a debate. It was going on for 10.30pm and I couldn’t bring myself to ask her to leave. It would simply have been wrong and ungentlemanly to have done so. Instead I suggested we call it a night and go to sleep. I had no desire to have sex with Musician Gal…perhaps ever.
We readied ourselves for bed without saying a word to each other. We briefly pecked each other on the lips and turned to go to sleep. A good night “kiss”, although lame, was progress compared to the previous night. I lay there, not touching her, blinking, thinking about everything that had happened in the previous 24 hours. It was pretty much the opposite of what I had been hoping for.