16. Writings on the Wall

Now, I am not a woman who counts her chickens till they’re hatched, so as much as my last date hinted at success, I wasn’t about to pull myself off the dating scene too soon A La Public School Boy.  With this in mind I decided after much consideration to drop a last ditch email to the Graffiti Artist who’d blown me out previously.  Ok it may well smack of desperation but these are desperate times – and yes I’m happy to admit that in this case I was willing to swallow my pride.  The email and text connection was that good that I thought it worth putting myself on the line again, so I wrote to him asking why he’d backed out of the date for a second time.

I wasn’t rude or whiney, I was just honest and straightforward.  I said how much I enjoyed our correspondence, and told him I was willing to take a punt on being stood up again on the off chance that he still fancied meeting up.  I didn’t really expect a reply but I thought – where’s the harm? I’ve nothing to loose, and all too often we don’t take a chance or put ourselves out there for of fear of getting hurt.  It makes you wonder how many opportunities we miss in love and life in general for fear of embarrassment and leaving ourselves vulnerable.  It’s like when I decide to wear a slightly more outrageous outfit like my ‘Mexican Peasant Lady Dress’ or my newest purchase of an 80s stonewash denim jacket complete with fringing and native American beading – yes sounds wrong, it’s kinda odd looking and yes it will attract attention and comments, some inevitably negative – and that’s just from my good friends!  But the point is, it shows daring, (albeit on a very superficial, fashion level), it expresses who I am, and you know what, occasionally someone will come up to me and say, wow! I love that outfit, I wish I had the nerve to wear that!  OK so this isn’t a direct parallel to dating.  But it’s about accepting that if we put ourselves out there, we may invite rejection and criticism, but without doing so we run the risk of hiding ourselves away from life, a chance to express ourselves and to the possibility of being loved.

Wow! I really didn’t mean to get all philosophical like that… I guess it because it’s the New Year and I tend to get a bit introspective around this time of year.

So, back to the matter in hand… After a few hours I actually got a reply from my wannabe Banksy.  He actually wrote quite a sweet email explaining that he’d gotten nervous about meeting me, thinking it was all a bit too good to be true.  But he appreciated my honesty and candour as well as my putting myself out there yet again.  So we decided to give our date one more attempt – third time lucky perhaps?

We agreed to meet outside a station after work one evening and to my immense relief he actually turned up this time!!!  First impressions, well I wasn’t immediately blown away but as I’ve found before, it takes more than the way someone looks for me to find a man attractive.  He was a good looking guy, not slim, not fat, but certainly not a fitness freak like myself – but I’d rather a man who carries a bit of extra fat on him over a skinny guy with chicken legs and a waistline slimmer than one of my thighs, so there was no problem there.  Graffiti Artist was dressed pretty hip in skinny jeans and an artistically distressed top –if I didn’t already know he was an artist it wouldn’t have taken long to figure it out from his style – the multitude of wristbands and necklaces, and one of those big scarf/cowl things that your typical bohemian metrosexual can often be found wearing.

I’m usually not a big fan of this look – tends to make me think of uber-ego Gap models who look so good that you feel like you’re spoiling their cool just by daring to breathe in the same airspace as them.  I usually find that I clam up around that type of guy, I assume invisibility to them and this feeling is generally reinforced by their lack of acknowledgement of my being in the same room, building or country as them.

But to be fair I’m sure they’re nice people too and that they’re just as, if not even more insecure than the rest of us.  In fact I can confirm that they are in fact human as I did actually get to date one of the ‘Beautiful People’ once – admittedly it was only for a brief time but still, it counts!  And so, with the telling of this short digressive story I can offer some sage advice to you all.  That advice being that sometimes, showing disinterest can be an extremely effective way of attracting a guy.

Going back a few years (okay, quite a few years) to when I’d just graduated from Uni and was living up North with my mother, I had dreams of being a make-up artist; and somehow I ended up doing the make-up and having a small acting part in a low budget student film.  As well as us amateurs there were also a few ‘real’ actors who’d been real films and real TV shows too!  One such person was an extremely handsome, tall, blonde haired and blue eyed Danish actor – the absolute antithesis of what I find sexually attractive in a man (excluding the tall and handsome part – what woman doesn’t like that?).  I ruled out this guy as being of potential interest for two reasons, 1) he was a little too Aryan looking for my tastes, and 2) he just looked too good and therefore was definitely out of my league.

Filming went well and towards the end of the shoot a few of us went out for drinks – now when I say a few of us, what I actually mean is about five girls and one guy – our Hot Danish friend.  All four of the other girls were fawning over Hot Danish and flirting outrageously.  I swear, at times it looked like they were all twiddling their hair and fluttering their eyelashes so much that they were in danger of their hair falling out.  There was so much pouting and lick-lipping that at times he must have felt like an actual Danish pastry waiting to be devoured by a ravenous hoarde of starved, hormonal women.

Having assumed that he was well out of my league and myself therefore a sexual nonentity, I took myself out of the running and only chatted to the Hot Danish guy now and then but generally didn’t pay much attention to him at all.  The funny thing was at the end of the night just before leaving, he pulled me aside and asked for my number!  Total curveball as far as I was concerned!

I won’t bore you with details of our short-lived affair, but when we did get together for a brief time, it involved a blindfold, a silk scarf and a red rose… and it ended with a rather strange tale of the Danish Army, a spy-ring and his being interrogated for 48 hours in a prison cell in Denmark.

So back to the matter in hand, Graffiti Artist and I decided to go for some food and went to a Dim Sum restaurant nearby – casual, quick and therefore less pressure.  The food was delicious and the company good – in fact I’d go as far as to say great.  We chatted nonstop the whole time, about music, art, the countries we’d been to and the places we were yet to explore.  It was like catching up with an old friend who you hadn’t seen in a few of years, comfortable, familiar and great fun.  But for me of course that meant little in the way of sexual chemistry, he felt too much like a best friend or a brother rather than a potential lover.  From his point of view, or at least from what he said, he couldn’t believe his luck in meeting me – and just before he was about to make a momentous decision about whether he was going to stay in the UK or accept a job opportunity he was being offered in Spain for the next 12 months.

Damn! This put the pressure on… under normal circumstances I would have loved to have met him a few more times to see if any romantic feelings grew.  But here he was telling me that he was thinking of turning down the opportunity to work as an artist overseas for me… – a woman he’d only just met (eventually) that day!  Way to make a woman feel pressured (and wanted and desired too of course).  I have to admit it was flattering, such passion and feeling so quickly inspired by such a brief encounter.

Now it may just be my messed up self esteem, but much like the date with my French Artist friend, I put this sudden revelation of feelings down to artistic temperament rather than being anything to do with my ‘magnetic’ and ‘scintillating’ personality.  And much as before, this tidal wave of passion and feeling made me want to run for the hills as if my arse were on fire!  Is my opinion of myself so low that I don’t believe I deserve such unreserved exultations of desire and romantic gestures?  Being told that he was prepared to stay in the dreary UK even though “there’s nothing else keeping me here”, just for me?  Oh God yes!  Waaay too much for my fragile ego to handle.

So what did I do? I burned my own bridges of course.  I didn’t think it right or fair for him to base a life-changing decision on a single date with me, and in reality I’m sure I couldn’t be the only consideration in his decision-making.  But at the same time, I thought it best to tell him where he stood, that I really liked him, that I did feel a connection on some level, but that I’d rather keep our relationship in the friendship bracket for now.

He was very sweet and understanding about it, a little surprised and disappointed that I didn’t feel the same passionate flame burning as he did, but he took it all in good humour.  But where does that leave me you ask (well maybe you don’t but I’ll tell you anyways)?  Well not too badly off as it goes, I’m still talking to my Sports Agent Toyboy, we’re arranging to go to the cinema next week and I’m getting excited about it already!  As for my Graffiti Artist, he decided to take the job offer and is living the dream in Spain – I guess there really wasn’t anything else holding him here in the UK after all…