20. Playing With Balls

Ok so the waiting over, let me tell you what happened next with Football Guy.  Last time I left off I had a decision to make, whether to give it a chance and see if something more concrete could come of what really amounts to an explosive level of sexual chemistry – about 147 times stronger than Chernobyl and ever so slightly less damaging to my general health.  Well it doesn’t take a genius to guess that my loins got the better of me and I decided to give it a shot.  But not before I’d set some important ground rules.  I told Football Guy that I wanted to go out, on dates, real dates.  Not just he comes round to mine, we chill and then we screw, I wanted us to get to know each other and that would involve leaving the house and meeting in public.  Yaay! Way to go me… for asking for the bare minimum I know, I’m not proud of myself, but what can I say? I’m fallible or is that I fall for bull…

On the basis of this new ground rule we set a date, we decided to o play pool, I actually really enjoy pool – as I’m always proud to proclaim, my skills range from moments of astounding fluke-ish brilliance to hour upon hour of beyond mediocre, tipping dangerously close to well below sub-standard one armed and partially sighted play – but I do enjoy it.  Plus the dating benefits are two-fold.

One, you get to see how competitive a guy is, whether he hates loosing and therefore doesn’t give you a chance at any shots (this is of course presupposing he can play to any kind of level too).  I’ve been out with guys where I’ve played a Tom Cruise in the “Color of Money” hustler-esque game (well it was the one time really but it felt damn good), the date I was with was shocked admittedly but totally cool with getting his ass summarily whupped three times in a row (he actually thought I was hustling him and I’ve never played him again for fear of breaking this illusion).  I’ve also been on dates where the guy has whupped my ass but at the same time they’ve ‘messed up’ a few shots to make me feel better about losing.  And I’ve played games where the guy has just wiped the floor, cleared the table and shouted in jubilation at beating me and winning yet again.

The second benefit of pool dates… surely it’s obvious… is all the opportunities to bend over the table in overly tight jeans.  Hell yeah I do that! I don’t have much to distract a guy with at the front, but I can certainly use my other ass-ets to great advantage.  Yeah sorry about the pun, I just couldn’t resist – yes we really have sunk to a new humor low.  Anyway, I decided that yes I was going to use all my womanly wiles on Football Guy at a local pool hall.

If you’ve never been to one before, let me explain… these places are always interesting venues to venture into as a woman.  The first time for me was with a boyfriend at Uni, it was back when smoking indoors was still allowed (yes I know I’m showing my age).  We were actually going to play snooker, or rather he was playing snooker and I was trying to knock a white ball into some other different coloured balls around what seemed like a gigantic raised felt covered football pitch.  It was around 2am, and became surprisingly busy as the hours passed; filled with smoke, a scattering of older working men and a lot of dodgy looking young local blokes who glared or leered at me aggressively over their flat pints of lager.   I was pretty much the only woman there – the only other one being a rather haggered looking older woman with over-bleached hair, standing behind the bar with a fag hanging precariously atop a resentfully curled scarlet red lip – to be honest I’d be scowling if life had brought me to this point too.  Anyway the point is these venues are not often frequented by women, and in some ways this can add to the charm… okay I’m stretching it a bit and thankfully pool and snooker halls across the nation are generally not as unpleasant as they were back then.  For one thing you can’t smoke in them anymore, which means that they smell slightly better (a mixture of spilt beer, BO and disappointment) and you can actually see the balls on the table rather than squinting through a smoky, carcinogenic haze.

Anyway back to the matter in hand, I was coming straight from work and had decided that to up the ante I would dress corporate.  Not so strange given that I work in the City, slightly more strange given that it was ‘dress down Friday’ but he didn’t know that.  I wore a blue pinstripe shirt with white collar, black pencil skirt, black patent heels, and of course every woman’s favourite – black hold-ups.  Ohh yes I knew what I was doing alright, I’d already checked that when walking or standing, there was nothing to see; but every now and then, if I needed to lean across the table just a little more to get that difficult shot – which of course I missed (I told you I’m crap at pool), just the merest hint of the top of my hold-ups would show.

The thing is, at the time I wasn’t really sure how successful my ploy was.  Sure every now and then I caught him giving me a furtive glance as I gracefully bent over and looked purposefully down the cue at the next shot I was about to miss.  But at the same time he seemed quite distracted, and not by me… He kept checking his phone, texting and disappearing off to the bar or the bathroom. And when I asked him (whilst trying desperately not to sound like a paranoid and attention demanding princess) why he was on the phone so much, he said it was because he was checking the scores of a big football match that was on which he’d sacrificed watching to spend time with me… Hmmmm.

Four games on and I was beginning to get hungry so I suggested we get something to eat.  There was a Nandos just round the corner and we headed there.  Time for the next alarm bell to ring… Now this may not seem like a big deal, but given his ADHD-like inability to stop looking at his phone all night, I felt my female spidey-senses tingle when he guided us to a table at the very back of the large and not particularly busy restaurant. But hey, you might think, what if he was guiding you to a secluded table because he was so excited by your provocative pool-play earlier?  Perhaps he was thinking of some under the table play of his own?  Nope, Nada, N-O-Thing at all!  He just continued checking the football scores and acting like he would rather be anywhere else but there.  It all just got me feeling like he just didn’t want to be spotted with by anyone he knew.

Alright so I should explain, I’ve been cheated on in the past, by someone I really trusted and loved for a long time.  So I’m aware I have trust issues, and perhaps because of this I tend to overcompensate and assume that my paranoia may be just that, the ghost of relationships past.  And in an effort to overcome this I do try and balance out what my woman spidey senses tell me and give each person the benefit of the doubt (though to be honest if I’d listened to them in that past relationship the first time I might not have stayed in it so damn long).  I decided to give him the benefit, but I also decided that I had to nip this behaviour in the bud early on and to overcome years of keeping my mouth shut and just accepting crap for fear of rejection by saying what I actually felt – minus the paranoia.  We got back to mine, and in a non shouty, non-confrontational way I made it clear that I’d found his behaviour pretty inconsiderate.  When I was out I wanted his full attention, well certainly more than the paltry 65 percent I felt I was getting.

I felt like a changed woman, empowered and strong for speaking my mind – I know it’s not a monumental thing, but for me it was big.  It signaled the arrival of a new more assertive me; a me that’s aware that I deserve better and more!

Now admittedly the new, improved strong assertive me really ought to have told Football Guy to sling his hook, but the hormones in me were flying again and the new strength I’d found meant I was horny as the French section of a brass band playing on Viagra.  So I succame, is that even a word? Perhaps not, but I like it and it’s rather fitting, as there was a lot of that going on too.  I found out that my outfit had actually had the desired effect after all and was put to further great and imaginative use – yes I kept both the heels and the hold-ups on, I told you I know what I’m doing.

So I’ve thrown myself into the pit, I’ve flagrantly ignored the warning signs and I may well have to pay the price at some point, but not right now and boy does it feel good right now.

But then again does it really?  I’m left with a feeling that this Football Guy is playing me like Ronaldo, or some other overpaid football player with fancy footwork that dazzles and distracts you so much so that you actually applaud when they sweep the ball away from your momentary possession.  That rather than feeling robbed of the ball as you have been, you feel like you’ve just been witness to a talent far greater than your own, and on some level you’ve got to respect that.

And this worries me, I have a strong sense that I’m willfully pulling the wool over my own eyes and setting myself up for a fall – perhaps I need to reconsider my position again, and I don’t mean how far forward I bend over a pool table in hold-ups and heels.

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