24. Turning it Off and Then On Again

Well after the excitement and sheer wanton abandonment of last week’s post, I guess things had to calm down somewhat… Plus it was Football Guy’s turn to have his son for the weekend.  Which means of course date night for me!  I’d already arrange to meet up with IT Guy again for a second date – this is the guy who’d lived in Japan around the same time as me, same sort of age and we’d had a great first date reminiscing about all things Japanese.

This time we were going to meet at a Korean restaurant.  It’s another small, family owned place, very grubby looking and the wallpaper looks like it has more grease on it than an un-hygenic mechanics’ hands that have just been working on a leaky oil tank for the past week.  But the food there is delicious!  We ordered some kimchee and Korean pancakes, along with pork dumplings to share and I decided to be adventurous and order a weird soft drink, the name of which I’ve thankfully forgotten as the taste will stay with me for years… fermented cow dung with a hint of ginger!  The starters were great and conversation started well, just catching up on what we’d been up to – admittedly I did miss out telling him about my night of mild debauchery and light bondage, somehow I just didn’t think he’d be that interested.

Our mains arrived and I had an amazing dish of tender stewed beef ribs with yam-like vegetables and rice… I’m practically salivating at the memory of the taste!  Sweet, rich and satisfying – much how I like my men!  OK, I apologise for the cheesy joke, I just couldn’t resist.. it was just staring me in the face begging me to say it.

From here the conversation didn’t flow as easily as it had on the previous date.  We’d pretty much talked our way through all our reminiscences of Japan-life and we were left back at the “so what do you do in your free time?” stage.  He told me of his love of Jazz  and how he often goes to late night jazz clubs on his own.  As for me, I tell him that I play netball, I go to the gym and that I used to play volleyball but had to give it up as I kept dislocating my thumb.  I decided to give it up after the 7th dislocation, with each and every injury due to an abject fear of balls.

Yes I know you may find this hard to believe but I’m actually afraid of balls, more specifically of being hit in the face with them.  At school whenever we played rounders (a game a bit like baseball but on a smaller scale) I was fine when it came to batting (well actually I was pretty nervous doing this too), but fielding? I just couldn’t do it.  I’d see the ball heading my way, raise my hands and then close my eyes and back off by about 15 feet just in case it looked like I might be in range of the ball.  Softball??? Oh jeeze, that scared me even more – the ball was even bigger!  And what the hell are they even talking about? If that ball is soft then my ass must be as hard as the lightest of soufflés in comparison.  And then we have netball, an even bigger ball.  But I’ve worked through my fears with this and I’m told now by my fellow team members, that I no longer close my eyes or look away every time the ball is heading towards me.  Though I do have to admit I do still do this occasionally and oddly enough those seem to be the times that I get hit full on in the face by the ball!

Ok, so enough of my odd-ball-phobia… look, see what I did there…? Yes another cheesy joke… and I wonder why I’m still single… Hmm sometimes I fear I may well be the only one laughing at my lame-ass jokes…

Back to the date in hand – we were talking about our hobbies and interests. IT guy was into computer games (no surprises there), jazz music of course, and photography.  Now whenever I tell a new guy about my hobbies I’m always faced with a bit of a dilemma.  You see along with the tamer interests I have like netball and the gym, my favourite activity by far, in fact I’d go as far as to say my abiding passion in life, is pole dancing.  I love it! I love the physical and mental challenge, I love that it has an element of expression in the dance and I love that it makes me strong, much less prone to backache.  But most of all I love the sense of achievement when I crack a particularly hard or scary move that’s taken me weeks to do.

The thing is most guys hear the words pole dancing and all they can picture is lap-dancing clubs and strippers.  To be fair a lot of women think that too, but there is so much more to Pole than that.  And this is where the dilemma is, do I lie to a guy about my favourite pastime or not mention it at all?  Do I make up another activity like Zumba or Salsa?  Or do I come clean, tell the truth and then spent the next 10 minutes explaining that it’s “honestly not like that” and that no, I don’t dance professionally and no I’ve not thought about doing so either.  I usually then spend a further 10 minutes trying to legitimise my hobby, whilst his eyes glaze over watching an internal video loop of some semi-naked hot chick with bigger tits than me (they all have bigger tits than me in those internal videos) gyrating round a pole, and twerking so hard it would put Miley Cyrus firmly back in her skinny-ass place.

I’ve tried all the above explanations in the past.  I have tried being honest and explaining my hobby, renaming it ‘Circus Pole’ to try and make it sound un-sexy.  I’ve even told a white lie and totally renamed it Aerial Hoop – which to be fair I did do a few times before returning to my real love of the pole.  And I’ve tried claiming that I’m passionate about Zumba but it just doesn’t ring true.  Now you may ask why mention it at all, but for me it’s a really important part of my life, it’s what horse riding is to my equine obsessed sister.  Yes admittedly there is more to both our lives, but saying that, our hobbies do take up a fair chunk of our free time.  So the long and short of it is, I either tell a guy about my pole obsession at the start and he makes certain assumptions, or I tell him later… and he makes certain assumptions.  With IT Guy I decided to go with ‘Circus Pole’ and to be fair he handled it very maturely saying that he has female friends who do it too – Phew!

After dinner I suggested we go for a drink at a nice basement martini bar round the corner, but IT Guy wasn’t drinking, I asked him if he had any other ideas of somewhere to go and his answer was nada, no ideas whatsoever…  In the end I suggested we just have a wander and see what we could spot to do along the way.   Eventually we went past a gelato place so I suggested we go for ice cream as it was relatively warm.  Whilst eating our ice cream we got to talking about careers and life expectations.  It seemed that IT guy was no longer satisfied with a job telling people to turn their PC on and off over and over again and wanted more from his career but was afraid to take a chance and try something else.  He was also wondering about the point to his life being in his 30s, not married and childless.  To be honest the whole thing started to turn into a bit of a therapy session.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that he felt comfortable enough with me to talk about these things, and further down the line I think it’s all good, but on a second date… well it’s not exactly romantic or inspiring to hear your prospective ‘Prince’ bemoan the state of his life and the lack of meaning it has therein.  On the upside though, after further discussion we worked out a career plan and he seems to be cheered somewhat by that.   He was admittedly still not sure whether he should just “settle” for just anybody to marry and have kids with, but it was only the first therapy session after all.  So as you’ve guessed I’m not about to volunteer to be the lucky lady he’s prepared “settle for”  – besides, I’m sure it’s against the rules to date your patients…

After we’d tried to sort his life out, I made my excuses and we headed back to the station.  As we were walking back he said he found me quite difficult to read and that he couldn’t quite tell if I was interested or not… I didn’t exactly help clarify things for him either.  At that point I was still making up my mind but did concede that I’d like to see him again some time.  I managed to get away with just a chaste kiss on both cheeks and made my way home.  About 30 minutes later though, I got a text from him, asking if he’d mis-read something I’d said earlier about my flatmate being out for the night, and if I’d in fact been hinting for him to come back to mine.  MOST DEFINITELY NOT!!!  I politely clarified that this was not in fact the case – he had not missed out on a potential shag – and to his question of whether I fancied him or not, I said quite honestly that I wasn’t sure.  No I know it’s not the nicest thing to say to a guy but I’m not about to lie to soothe his ego!

At the moment the jury’s out on IT Guy, he’s a nice bloke, seems very sensible although granted a little mixed up about what he’s doing with his life, but other than that he’s not an altogether bad prospect… God that sounds so uninspiring… and I’m not quite sure I’m prepared to “settle” for just anyone at this point, although I’d quite happily settle for another night of hot sex with Football Guy… maybe I’ll just drop him a quick text…..

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