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DATING DIARY: COFFEE SHOPS

“Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye” H Jackson Brown

I sat in the coffee shop trying to finish a novel. It was one of those coffee shops where each square metre is utilized, ie – I’m sitting far too close to the couple next to me and I can’t concentrate on one god damn word in the book I’m reading. But I find myself more enthralled by the scene being played out in front of me. So it’s ok.

The young woman, mirrored that of an Arabian princess, she had the luck of long black hair combined with striking features. The man, perhaps twenty years her senior, might have used a whole tin of Dax Wax that morning to mould his balding hair into a tiny little pony tail. Each hair slickly held in place. I was intrigued by the match. And thought the same as I did when Kate Moss started dating Pete Doherty. What the fuck was she doing?

I sat trying to concentrate on my book.

I started to curse the lack of space in the café as I could hear the man fluffing his male feathers at the table…“When I walk into the room.. I know I am the best! I look around and I think. Yes.. everyone is beneath me!”. It was a declaration of ‘I love myself’ from a position of arrogance. “Now! I must go for a cigarette” I heard him announce. And he got up and left the table.

An uncomfortable silence filled the air as I tried to appear as if I was lost deep in words. I looked up from my page and the girl smiled at me. I smiled back and before I knew it the words… “Sorry but… punching above his weight isn’t he?” fell out of my mouth. Really. Not. My place.

She started to laugh. “My friend thinks I should date ugly men.”

She got her phone out of her purse and showed me a picture of a half naked man, his ripped torso taking up most of the frame. “This is my ex. He was gorgeous but I could never trust him. He was a dancer and always cheating on me… so I thought I’d try… well you know. We just split up.”

Oh. So it was about control? “Oh”. I replied.

“He’s fit don’t you think?” she asked. “Yeah.. he’s good looking” I shrugged. Impressed. At the torso. “Obviously took a lot of work to cultivate that” I acknowledged.

Her date came back to the table, and she shoved her phone quickly back into her purse. We shared a smirk. “Hi, Becki” I introduced myself to her date, now feeling quite guilty.

“Hello! I am Antonio!” he said “Nice to meet you!” he smiled a wide smile.. his yellow teeth glimmering through. He looked from me to the girl. To me. ‘It’s not all about looks Becki don’t be so shallow’ I scolded myself picking up my book – recognising my cue.

I reflected back to a time I had a date with a guy… “I went to Richard Branson’s rooftop gardens last night” he had uttered in conversation “As soon as I got there I thought woah – these girls are out of my league!!!!” he’d laughed.

“Excuse me?” I had replied… “you think… I’m in your league?” I had half mocked.

I had left pondering what being in his league and out of theirs actually meant. A situation which sent him into stumbling blocks and me into a confused mental state of ‘why do we have to have league tables? What does this league table mean? Why do we have to play these weird league games? I suppose this is what the mating game is all about right…’…

I looked back at the Arabian princess as I gathered my things. I wondered whether it was naïve, and perhaps contradictory to assume that potential mates should be “accepted any way they are”. And attraction… well it is also very personal.

“Er…so you want to come back to mine for some…. ?” I could hear him hurriedly asking her. And I left hoping that she would soon meet a fitting match.

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YANN DALL’AGLIO: LOVE – YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG

I thought I’d share this brilliant talk by Yann Dall’Aglio about the world of seduction…

The talk is cut short but he finishes with:

I believe that self-mockery
is one of the best means for the relationship to last.
There is a lot of beauty
and humanity in the fact of understanding
that I am too small, too mediocre
to confront the other and harm them, and vice versa.
In this regard, I would like to conclude this talk
letting you contemplate and meditate
on a sentence that you may already know,
but I believe it really deserves to be
rediscovered everyday:
“Us mere nothings should not be tearing
each other apart ”

Enjoy x

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DATING DIARY: VALENTINES

Film featured Candor by Christian Weber

She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew, and all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew “Edmund Spenser, 1596”

Valentines Day. I can remember the very first time I had a partner on Valentines Day. He was several years older than me and I had spent hours the day before creating a card for him. It was a piece of art work. When the day came he spent the time berating Valentines Day to his housemates and all the reasons why he didn’t celebrate it (yeah yeah he da man!). It was with great trepidation that I took out the card I had made him. And as I handed it over… my beautifully hand crafted card the look of cynicism disintegrated from his face. And as he stood there empty handed something inside both of us winced. Me with embarrassment and him perhaps with guilt. I suspect that despite his machoism, and his arguments against the culture of Valentines Day he had just secretly quite enjoyed the feelings he had felt in receiving something given out of care and love (bleurgh cringe cringe).

At about eight pm that night his guilt or some other overwhelming feeling took over and he finally went and bought some Tesco’s flowers. Carnations I think they were.

“Sorry last ones on the shelf” he shrugged. “That’s ok…” I smiled wondering if this late display was better than nothing. As it was obviously against his ideals.

And this is exactly the problem with Valentines Day. Like it or not it’s there on the calendar and for many people it brings with it good and bad memories throughout the years.

And perhaps that is one of the greatest things it brings. The memories. And the experiences.

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Oh it’s so hard to be a human.

Enjoy! X

 

 

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DATING: GAME PLAYING

Image on front by Malika Favre

“That’s no way to get it on
Five seconds in your heart
Straight to the heart I can’t to your heart
I’m not trying to make you cry
I don’t believe in you
You don’t believe in me
So how could you make me cry” Twin Shadow

It was one of those evenings where irritability had gotten the better of me, and I decided to literally raid the penny jar to buy some snacks at the big supermarket next door. I’d already showered and gotten into bed but couldn’t sleep. So I pulled on a coat and some jeans and headed downstairs for a quick walk not really paying too much attention to my unbrushed hair. I had mentally planned that this short trip should take no longer than ten minutes. As I walked past one of the tills one of the lads shouted at me to attend his “Come to my till, come to my till” he called across the lanes.

A few days earlier I had been served by him and my card had embarrassingly enough been rejected. But we had laughed at the situation and made light of it… “that happened to me just the other day” he had smiled. But I couldn’t bare going to his till again so hurried past to self service making my excuses. Great plan! Self service! Whoever designed them is a genius I thought. And so I put all the coins in and BAM ERROR ERROR!!! the machine blinked. My attempt to run swiftly into the supermarket had been foiled as attention in the store was now turning on me. Five minutes passed. Another five minutes. “You only put 10p in!” the supermarket lady on duty declared as I tried to claim my money back… “Er I think you’ll find that I put a bit more in that that!” I began. The self service experience was becoming traumatic and the packet of biscuits an unworthy prize.

The next time I went into the store I found myself compelled to explain the situation to the guy on the till that I’d run past. “Give me your number lets go out for a coffee sometime” he answered. Er ok. That…was not.. the response… I was expecting. Erm. I shrugged, and so I wrote down my number. Which I had just changed and thought I had learnt. But obviously not. So when I next entered the supermarket I wasn’t too surprised to find out he’d tried to ring but not gotten through. “Oh shit! Sorry!” I exclaimed. “I think I got a digit wrong” I replied.

But then I realised, that the lack of knowledge in my phone number, had probably just worked in my favour. As now I just came across as… coolly aloof.

“Look if you didn’t want to give me your number you should have just said…” he went on… “No I didn’t know it… really” I persisted feeling a slight pang of guilt.

GAME PLAYING

“I don’t play games! There’s no point!” my friend burst out crying. She’d just been let down by a potential lover. “Well.. I can see your point…” I offered up… game playing, an irritating part of the dating experience. I do not think it is always a necessity in dating, but I think game playing helps sieve the most appropriate/interested/interesting suitors. And the first few months, are probably the hardest to cut as both parties are trying to figure each other out.

Is he/she desperate… Is he/she a player… is he/she a weirdo… he’s/she’s a bit too keen… he’s/she’s not keen enough… they’re probably a psychopath…etc etc etc.

But the accidental “I’m too busy to play games I just texted him back because I need to know what I’m doing at the weekend” however logical doesn’t necessarily work in dating I’m afraid. It works in friendships though.

Having grown up with three brothers I’ve seen them go through their fair share of girlfriends. “Why didn’t you like that girl?” I asked my youngest brother one day. “I’ll show you” he said… and he text her. BEEP BEEP was the instant reaction of his phone. He’d managed to conjure up an instant reply. Shit that was fast. The girl was playing no games. But she had not just shown she was interested. She had shown she was keen. And that had seemingly put him off. Interesting.

I guess don’t most people want to be liked for who they really are, not for how they present themselves at a glance. How can anyone be that interested in someone they’ve only just met?

Although I do believe, that when both parties are just really into each other, games and all that go out the window. But until then…have some fun and enjoy… the game of life. However irritating parts of it might be. Have fun.

BEEP BEEP..

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DATING DIARY: THE LAW OF CHANGE

It was quite a few years ago that I met this guy. Back in good ole two thousand and four. I still remember the specific moment… he reminded me of the lead singer from Toploader – he had big shaggy hair and danced carefree like the lead singer of Jamiroquai.

We were in the Walkabout in Bournemouth. Yes.. It was that long ago. The glorious days of university. And I remember thinking how cool he was. But it only took a few dates for us to realise we weren’t going to gel. He was the kind of guy who.. would talk to everyone else in the room and pretend he didn’t see you, whilst you were meant to sit there and ponder on how awesomely outgoing and popular he is. I suppose this falls a little bit into negging again.

Since 2004 this man has been an accidental pop up in my life and every few years he appears back on the scene. After our short dating episode at university went a bit Pete Tong (I can’t remember why) that should have been a sign to keep a distance. ‘Look. We just don’t. Get. On.’ But the problem is that on paper he ticks a lot of the boxes.. good looking, nice hair.. surfs etc. But falls down on the ‘how to make a girl feel good’ part.

Ok so a few years after university I was at a festival in Spain…and randomly… right in front of me… there he was! Dancing! Looking pretty cool. And the problem when bumping into people like that randomly can be that the mind might issue a signal that this situation could be indeed fate. It’s meant to be! Here we are again! Together!

Well. I guess it could be fate – but it might not be for the reason one might think. It could also indeed just be random. Because you like the same music and scenes can actually be quite small. But at the time I obviously in my drunken haze must of thought it was fate. In the positive sense of the word. I mean this was a big festival and here we were in the middle of a field dancing within a metre of each other in a foreign country. Anyway, so there we were dancing together. Again. And my mates taking the hint. Head off, leaving us together. So hand in hand… we move on to the dance tent. But here is where I am forced to relearn the life lesson of why we weren’t suited in the first place.. as he suddenly starts dancing and grinding with all the other girls in the room. And I stand there for a bit… like a wally. Watching. Drunk and alone I leave… and must pay the price by stumbling miles back to my tent in complete regret that I left my mates for this.. this loser!

So perhaps a year after that was the awful implementation of facebook. And because he’d ignored me so much every time we were together I was surprised to get an add from him and a request to meet up in Camden as we were both now working in London. I was unsure. But…a few years had passed and maybe he’d changed. I worked and lived in Camden so what harm could it do?

A few drinks later and he’s having a go at one of my work colleagues who we’d bumped into calling him uncouth names. Apologizing I drag him off to the Good Mixer.. where he goes off yet again to talk to everyone else in the room. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t mind this behaviour of randomly talking and socialising with people at all.. as long as I get to be involved. But at this point I am alone. Again. And a bit drunk. And I catch the sight of a girl I’d seen in a new music video. I was working at this point as a music researcher. And this girl was heralded to be the next big thing. She was also alone. And also seemed pretty drunk. So I started up a conversation. Not a very intellectual one mind you.

“Didn’t I see you in a music video.. blah blah blah”… “yeah…” she replies we’re hanging out both alone by the pool table. She starts putting in pound coins so people can play. How nice of her I remember thinking. And shortly after that…she shot to fame. Her name was Amy Winehouse.

“Becki come on for facks sake!” the guy I’m with shouts at me from the pub door. “Bye..” I remember mumbling to the girl and I stumbled out the door wondering what to do about this silly boy.

The next time I would see her she would be at the height of her fame…perhaps bigger than anyone could have ever envisaged..  standing on a stage at V-Festival.. one of the most pain staking gigs I have ever witnessed as the obvious toll of drugs had taken over her body.

And this guy? Well…obviously we didn’t really gel did we? But it’s that time again and I’ve just had my yearly message inviting me for a drink. And…well sometimes…I guess men chase not because they want you but because they can’t have you.

And so I reply… Look. We… just don’t. Get. On.

THE LAW OF CHANGE:

“History repeats itself until we learn the lessons that we need to change our path”

 

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