So here I am, back in the lion pit. I’ve dusted myself down from the newly christened ‘Frodo Feet’, AKA Public School Boy, renamed after those horrible appendages I was so willing to overlook whilst still wearing my jauntily set hat of optimism. No I’m not bitter, but it’s just the new name was his all along, I was just being polite before.
Anyway, back to the point in hand, I have swiftly lined up two new dates to help me get back into the swing of things. The first is with an accountant, he’s early thirties so my friends approve of him already. His profile pics show he has short dreads in a bit of an 80’s Omar throwback way, and he seems to be hugging a monkey on one of his photos – well who doesn’t love an animal lover!
We arrange to meet in a pretty nondescript bar in the centre of town and I’m left standing at the bar waiting 10 minutes checking out the bar staff before he arrives. When he does finally join me I notice he seems a little nervous so I use all my chatty skills to chill him out a bit. Thankfully he did eventually relax, but perhaps not quite enough… It would seem that no sooner has he taken a sip from his pint than he’s off to the loo for a piss break. Ok no judgement here, but when he was about to go on his fifth visit to the bathroom in under an hour, I begin to wonder if he’s got some kind of condition… I would have put it down to some other reason for the frequent visits, but it’s not like he was coming back each time sniffing vigorously or grinding his teeth, so thankfully that rules out a bad drug habit at least.
On the sixth trip, I begin to wonder if he’s meeting someone down there to feed him chat up lines like Cyrano de Bergerac, but that seems highly unlikely given that he is interminably boring! Yes he has lived up to the stereotype of being a dull accountant. In fact I’d be willing to wager that I’d be likely to have a more stimulating conversation with an amoeba if they could actually talk.
By the seventh trip I start thinking up exciting reasons why he had to go so much… maybe he ‘s an international spy and this date is in fact a rouse so that he could send special coded messages through the toilet cisterns. But sadly even my fertile imagination could not entertain me sufficiently to make the passing millennia (it certainly felt like I’d slipped into a different time dimension where stuff happens really, really slowly) feel any less painful. The problem was – correct that – one of the problems was that I totally led the conversation. I asked him questions about his interests, his opinion on different topics, what books or films he liked etc. I dutifully listened to his replies and asked more. I even paused now and then to give him a chance to reciprocate, to ask me about my interests, opinions, preferences… God anything about me! But no, whenever I paused, no question came, not one query, not even a “what’s your starsign”… In fact I got so fed up with this one-sided conversation that after yet another awkward pause, I ended up answering my own unasked questions, to which he appeared oblivious.
Finally the date came to an end and he walked me to the station. Ah well, they can’t all work out I thought, another one to chalk up to the long, and well graffitied blackboard of experience. I figured that he would’ve come to the same conclusion, so started saying my thanks for the lovely evening and that it was nice to mee-mmmmmphfffffffff…..!?! He obviously thought the date had been a raving success… his kiss goodnight was not so much a gentle brush of the lips, as it was a full frontal assault! He literally hijacked my mouth and thrust his tongue in. I was in an absolute state of shock, so much so that when he eventually stopped kissing me and I attempted to speak again, I still wasn’t prepared for the second wave of attack…
Really! I struggle to think how anyone on that date could have come to such a differing conclusion but the man clearly thought there were sparks flying. Trust me the only sparks flying were coming from my heels as I scarpered for my train at breakneck speed! And so here endeth the tale of the Boring Accountant, needless to say we didn’t meet again – though something tells me that although he may have been as dull as a clutch (or whatever the appropriate collective noun is) of accountants conducting their centennial tax review over cheese and biscuits, I would be willing to bet that he’d be a bit of a demon in the bedroom. There was fire there – it’s just that any chance of experiencing that fire would be mitigated by the strong chance that I would be sound asleep by the time we’d reach an appropriate, hell even an inappropriate place to consummate.
It does make me wonder though about how differently people can perceive the same shared experience. It also helps explain those times when I’ve been on dates in the past where I’ve thought there’s been great chemistry, and yet I’ve heard nothing back. Perhaps rather than fooling my delusional self, imagining a guy hasn’t called because he realises I’m too good for him after all, and that he doesn’t want to mess me around, isn’t the reason why they cut all contact so abruptly. I guess chemistry can be one sided at times. And to be honest, there have been plenty of times where I’ve felt little or nothing for a guy who’s been whole-heartedly convinced that I’m the one for him.
Take Train Guy for instance, a gorgeous tall guy – looked like Michael Jackson in the Thriller era but minus the dodgy Jerry Curl. We’d taken the same train to work almost every day for several months, passed furtive glances at one another, only occasionally catching each other’s eye. Over time we got to the stage of adding a nod and a smile, and finally to a half-mumbled “H-Hello”. Eventually we started actually talking and he seemed quite nice, was a similar age, lived not far from the station and worked in the central part of the city. We exchanged numbers and flirted a little more on text.
Over the next couple of weeks we chatted on the train each morning but although I found him extremely attractive and a lovely, intelligent guy, there were certain elements of his character that just rubbed me up the wrong way. It was then that the ‘chase’ really began for him, I started to withdraw, thinking there wasn’t really anything there worth pursuing. This of course meant he was all the more interested, he couldn’t understand why I wasn’t that interested. But he clearly found my lack of communication and slow responses to his calls and texts intriguing. And no I’m not being big-headed about that, he actually told me that was one of the things that made him infuriatingly drawn to me. Why was I turning him away when so many other women actively pursued him?
I even remember having a conversation where he asked me why I took so long to get back to him “I text you and sometimes you don’t answer for days….” Oh My God! I had turned into one of those guys!!! The ones that keep you dangling by a thread…. The ones that for no logical reason, we want all the more for their lack of interest in us. I finally understood what it was all about, you see I wasn’t intentionally keeping him hanging on as such, it was just that I wasn’t that into him. Years of confusing mixed messages were finally explained by my being put in that same position as all those men I had felt so bitterly rejected by.
Eventually I did acquiesce and did go on a date with Train Guy, I felt after so many doggedly determined months of pursuance he deserved a real shot. It’s fair to say that it was a lovely date, and the two more I had with him after that were too, but my initial feelings and concerns were left unchanged and I decided that it was not to be.
But on the upside, although love clearly didn’t blossom (if it had I wouldn’t be writing this blog…) I did gain a new friend in Train Guy. We still see each other occasionally (he gets an earlier train since he changed jobs – at least that’s what he says) and sometimes I pop round for a cup of tea. Mind you saying that, I did bump into him on the way home from a night out the other week and when we popped back to his for a cuppa and a catch-up he did try to go in for a snog…. Well you can’t blame him for trying!
But as often happens, I digress…back to the present day – The next date I’ve arranged is with a young Shoreditch-esque Graffiti Artist. So far the online banter has been pretty good so I’m looking forward to meeting him and will tell all next time…