Thursday, 29 July 2010

Dear Cougar...

Incredibly exciting news.

Yesterday morning I received a phone call from the firm I used to work at (over a year ago) saying some flowers had been delivered for me!

I was somewhat confused about who on earth would be sending me flowers that didn't know me well enough to send them to the right firm, but at the same time jumping around, silently whooping, with the telephone attached to my ear (much to the consternation of my colleagues walking past at that moment).

I asked my old receptionist if there was a note to say who they were from. Cheeky woman said that there was indeed an enclosed note and she would be happy to open it for me if I liked? I say cheeky because I could sense in her voice that she had jolly well opened it already and that something peculiar was going on…

"Dear Cougar, Love Mav xxx".

Oh. My. Word.

To the unknowing ear that could sound like I was a cradle snatcher (google puma, cougar etc – essentially old women who like toyboys) – which any of you lot reading this will actually be aware can very easily apply to me. To my old receptionist it was probably the most amazing gossip she could possibly start to spread around my former colleagues.

"Who might Mav be then Twenty-Single…?", she slyly asked.

To my knowing ear though, it was Diet Coke Boy. And he appears to given us nicknames already. Hmmm.

You may recall that after my first date with Diet Coke Boy I was on a mission to learn all the call signs from Top Gun before our second date. Which I duly did. And during supper he did indeed quiz me on them and was very impressed that I got all of them (including the call signs for the control towers and ship, not that it is of importance) – bar one… Cougar.

I have many thoughts on this at the moment:

1. Diet Coke Boy has sent me flowers! Hurrah! I have never had flowers sent to work before – how exciting!

2. He had, somehow, almost utterly miraculously in fact, sent them to the wrong firm – and indeed somewhere I worked a year ago. I have definitely mentioned that I used to work there but if the boy had been paying even scant attention, he should have realised it was a while ago. That old grey matter concern of mine is clearly now justified. He must be little dim-witted. Alternatively, he paid no attention to about 10 minutes of our dinner conversation. Neither option is ideal.

3. How cute of him. And I thought I might not hear from him again. Or is it distressingly keen…? I didn't even kiss him - could he be a bit of an oddball? He DID live with his ex for four and a half years… maybe he is looking for a quick step-in replacement for her?

4. Nicknames?! After two dates. Errrrr. And he gives me the one of the guy who utterly bottles it in Top Gun and himself the legend that is Tom Cruise as Maverick?!

Anyway. I went to collect them after work yesterday – it was immensely fun finally being one of those girls carrying a bouquet home from work that all of the other females around try not to look enviously at.

On balance I think I had better organise a 3rd date with him now he has treated me to two dinners and bought me flowers. There was talk of a monopoly head to head… I would probably prefer to get a little tipsy with the boy to see what he is like after a few drinks, but it doesn't look like that will happen anytime soon if he keeps ordering milkshakes and coke floats... So, if anyone knows of a cosy pub that has board games at the ready, that would be great…

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Diet Coke Boy returns

Yes - that's right – blue-eyed, blond-haired, Diet Coke Boy got back from his holidays last week– and he was keen for a second date - hurrah.

So, Diet Coke Boy had appeared to be non-drinking and potentially not endowed with many brain cells from our first date. On the plus side though, he was good to look at, and we had a fun first date (which he paid for – what a gent).

Towards the end of last week Diet Coke Boy had been telling me that what we were going to do was top secret - which was all very exciting - I guess... For anyone who knows me though, I am not that easy to surprise. I also like to know what I am doing generally in life. Further, while surprises are not unwelcome per se, it actually seems that when people try to surprise me, they usually fail. I admired his attempting to do so though.

He tried to give me a supposedly cryptic clue for what we were doing: "it started in ancient Egypt and is 60 foot long". I couldn't figure this out and neither could my cryptic-crossword-genius brother, at which point I began to suspect that he doesn't know what a cryptic clue usually involves. So I presumed he had in fact just given me a normal clue. Possibly the lack of his grey matter shining through here… Oh dear. But then again, if my genius brother couldn't figure out the clue then perhaps Diet Coke Boy was actually incredibly clever?!

So, I thought he could be referring to Cleopatra's Needle – perhaps we were going to picnic around that Embankment area – not the exact measurement but near enough…But he had also hinted he was quite keen to see my competitive side so I also thought we might be doing something like quasar or bowling or urban golf. I decided to take jeans into work with me and change from work outfit in case we were doing anything active and I had got the picnic thing wrong.

Which I had.

Technically he should get massive brownie points for trying to surprise me – and slightly succeeding. Last night we DID go bowling at the All Star lanes in Brick Lane: bowling lanes are 60 foot long I was reliably informed, and apparently bowling may have originated in Egypt (so definitely NOT a cryptic clue then). And he was very sweet – he deliberately tried to meet me somewhere else to keep me off the scent until we got into a taxi and he had to give the destination. How cute of him.

We had a quick drink on arrival pre-bowling. He ordered a strawberry milkshake. I had a beer. Felt very feminine. When we then donned the cool bowling shoes, I thanked the heavens I had decided to change into jeans because my chunky legs do NOT look their best in a suit skirt and bowling shoes.

We bowled. I tried not to let my competitive side show too much. He bowled with a pink ball weighing 8 whatever-it-is-they-weigh that the prep-school-aged-girl in the next door lane to us was using. I used a standard 12 weight green-coloured ball. Again, felt most feminine.

I noticed he bowled in a really odd fashion and that he walks a little like a cowboy does - wide-legged type of swagger. Odd. I was winning until the 8th turn when he got a spare… then he won overall by 4 points (though I must point out that I was the only one to get a strike). I smiled in gracious loser fashion a lot. Secretly most hacked off that I lost to a boy that throws a pink lightweight ball. He suggested supper in the diner - I was instantly appeased. He must have the general measure of me already.

Had a comedy moment whilst we were waiting for a waiter or waitress wearing a little red bowling shirt to show us to our table. He decided to accost an 80 year old granny wearing a bright pink blouse who was on her way to the loo to see if she could seat us at a table, and started with "excuse me, could we have a table for…." then tailed off as she looked at him most oddly and as it dawned on him that she was NOT a waitress. I was crying with laughter in a really unhelpful fashion in the corner at this stage… Absolutely hilarious! Poor Diet Coke Boy was bright red and the granny's family (sat about 3 metres away) were giving him filthy looks.

Then, when an actual waitress finally did come up to seat us, he said, "do you work here?" to double check! He gets massive brownie points again for recovering from this relatively well and not being overly phased at all by the fact that I was unable to stop laughing at him for about 10 minutes.

We ordered food - I went for double cheese burger and chips with onion rings, he went for grilled steak and green beans and no carbs in sight. I have no doubt that any normal man at this stage would be feeling somewhat emasculated taking into account the milkshake, pink ball and healthy dinner option compared to the clearly starving, beer-swilling, shot putter he was treating to supper, but he seemed rather unaffected by it all.

I questioned him about the fact he clearly takes quite good care of himself. He used to be VERY into his rowing apparently. Temporary concern about his banter levels fluttered, but I quickly reminded myself that his banter has seemed fine so far and not to panic.

He also didn't mind at all when I mentioned that I do drink fairly regularly and not necessarily in small quantities (though please note, I joined him in having a Coke Float for the rest of the evening - sober me for rest of evening – and yes, he ordered a Coke Float –with diet coke of course – what on earth?!!!). He never actually confirmed if he is a fully-fledged tee-totaller or not though but dodged the question. Curious. I suspect he may be.

All continued pleasantly and well; he chivalrously treated me again in a most lovely way ("no, I insist" - swoon) and then offered me a lift home. Don't worry - I did ask him if he was a psycho before I got in his car. Think he thought I was a little odd.

He drove me home in some sort of uber plush, snazzy car (am useless with cars – maybe a Lexus?) and then when we were about 5 minutes from home I began to panic about whether he would try to kiss me or not. It suddenly dawned on me that I haven't kissed someone whilst sober for nearly 18 months!!! All my kisses in the last year and a half have been drunken lunges! Panic basically suddenly dawned and I began to wish I'd drunk more beers rather than damn coke and ice-cream concoctions!

He pulled over outside my home, I got flustered, thanked him profusely, then leant over and gave him a little peck on the cheek and turned my head away rather quickly. As I looked back after getting out of the car I thought he looked rather disappointed. I felt mean. So, I am now convinced I won't hear from him again – and I am still trying to decide if that bothers me or not.

Friday, 23 July 2010

What a Week! Part 2...

So, still suffering somewhat from enjoying myself too fun from the previous two evenings, I enthusiastically threw myself into Saturday afternoon at a friend's house drinking Pimms and enjoying a most delightful BBQ, despite the weather conditions not being quite ideal.

Around early evening, a couple of the boys in attendance decided to head Parsons Green way to meet up with some (more) army boys so I, naturally, joined them (especially when they mentioned one had sticky out ears – an odd weakness of mine – I know, so weird).

At one of the PG pubs I met the sticky out eared guy - a most amusing chap recently returned from being on a tour of duty. He looked like Paul Bettany, had me in stitches all night long, and as we all gaily swanned off to yet another different cheesy-music-playing-South-West London nightclub (one of the golden oldies and a solid favourite of mine for years now), I thought, "hurrah – I am soooo going to pull off three pulls in three nights!".


The evening however then took a slightly farcical turn.

The first person I saw on walking into the cheesy-music-playing-South-West London nightclub was the Irish boy from Thursday. Ah. I of course said hello, and noticed he was with an entire contingency of other boys I knew from Uni. So I merrily flitted around catching up briefly and drunkenly with everyone.

Then, mid-conversation, I noticed Mr Friday Night was there as well. What are the chances. And Paul Bettany Lookalike was standing just behind him. Hmmm.

I had an immediate flashback to when I last properly played the field aged 19 on my gap year (post my first ever heartbreak boyfriend of 2 and a half years and whilst I was out to get my revenge on the male race - let's call him Cheating Chump - his name transpires from the fact that I had, rather late in the day, discovered that he had pulled about 15 other girls behind my back during our time "together", including 2 so-called friends….I digress…).

I had sort-of started seeing 2 utterly gorgeous boys at the same time (one was a chap I had a crush on since the age of about 14 at the school Debating Society - don't judge - Debating Society involved joining up with the boys school one day a week after school so of course lots of us joined up - we were otherwise deprived of male company!) Debating Boy was about 3 years older than me and so incredibly sweet. He had taken me out for lunches, been most chivalrous and I felt like I had proven myself to some of the cruel older girls in the school who had found out at the time about my crush and then taken the mick out of me in front of the entire school during the annual sixth form entertainment. Anyway - 5 years later, score, I had my man.

I was though also seeing an utterly divine, fit and smooth talking charmer of a hockey boy - ex schoolboy international, 4 years older than me, and I was pretty proud of myself for getting in there I must say.

Reason for flashback: it had all gone VERY BADLY wrong one night in a local night club (seeing more than one person at the same time in a very small community was never going to work out overly well).

Soooo, my Saturday night didn't end quite as horrifically as that night 9 years ago thankfully… (me standing there with drink in hand, suddenly seeing both hotties at opposite ends of the club, slow motion replay of them both closing in on me from either side and both kissing me on the cheek literally at the same time, Debating Boy looking most put out and leaving, the smoothie finding it all most amusing and not deterred by it at all, me feeling guilty generally and vowing never to play the field again).

Some skilful manoeuvring by me – or rather just plain old luck - meant I was saved from such an ordeal this time round. Mr Friday Night was too tipsy and took himself home. Irish chap kind of hovered a bit but not enough to be a problem, and then disappeared, also in a drunken stupor. So, come 2am and final dance time I was home and dry to have a cheeky dance with Paul Bettany Lookalike and a bit of a smooch on the dancefloor (kind of home and dry… Irish boy and Mr Friday Night had friends observing it all unfortunately but oh well - not like I am really misbehaving is it?!).

The delightful Paul Bettany Lookalike then swept me off for some 3am Eggs Benedict – the perfect end to an evening - what a dreamboat.

And what a fun week! Confidence at all time high for first time in about 2 years. Definitely a strong "week of yes" in what is now definitely my "year of yes".

Perfect timing because Diet Coke Boy is back from his holiday and ready for a second date…

Thursday, 22 July 2010

What a Week! Part 1...

I almost don’t want to go into too much detail on this to be honest, for fear I will come across as somewhat slutty…

I realised something on Sunday morning: I have two sides to my single personality.

On the one hand I have the relatively sensible, mildly tipsy, dating Twenty-Single persona – that part of me can chatter away with strangers on dates picked up from dating websites and tends not to kiss on dates, on the basis that it is odd to kiss someone you barely know.

On the other side of the coin is my non-dating Twenty-Single persona – the one that lets loose a little bit too easily when out with friends for drinkies and needs no convincing to merrily kiss anything relatively attractive and male that comes my way, on the basis that most of them are somehow connected to a friend, or friend of a friend and have therefore passed some sort of verification test.

So, the week that just was saw the latter persona really rage to the surface. Clearly after the horrors of the Canoe Boy date, and my recovery from my cough, I needed a bit of a boost in my life so I morphed the week into a mass of enthusiasm!

So, Thursday evening.

I went to a most delightful army officers bash, having been invited by an old University friend of mine. It was tremendous - army officers dressed up all over the place, and lashings and lashings of free flowing booze, of which I chose to get fully stuck into the Moscow Mules.

Whilst circulating and admiring all elements of the surrounds, I bumped into another friend I knew from Uni who was there with one of his old Uni chaps now in the army as well. I instantly registered his friend as a bit of a hottie (though possibly only about 5 foot 10) and pursued him - in a relatively subtle fashion - for the rest of the evening, getting gradually more lured in by his soft Irish accent.

Suffice to say that being Moscow Mule-fuelled with confidence I lunged sometime after midnight on the dance-floor, and woke up the next morning with an Irish army officer in my bed (no naughty behaviour mind). It transpired that I actually couldn't understand much of what he said (really softly spoken accent - and I struggle with any accent at the best of times) – our conversation can’t have consisted of much in depth chat. I had to leave him languishing in my bed whilst I trotted off to work feeling utterly awful and no doubt reeking of stale booze.

Throughout my Friday at work I was inwardly groaning at the prospect of having to go home and entertain at a dinner party for lots of my girlie friends, but thankfully I fought through the hangover and was back on form by 7pm and my girls' arrival time. My recovery was no doubt aided by the fact that upon trotting home I found a sweet little note from the Irish boy on my bed, leaving me his mobile number. Fabulous.

So – Friday evening and I enjoyed a glorious girlie supper at mine – following which we all merrily trotted off to a cheesy-music-playing-South-West London nightclub (not my usual favourite one though – we branched out) where I continued to consume at a rate of knots many many whiskey and cokes and jager bombs in order to fully embrace the flashing dance-floor fun.

Afterwards, I somehow ended up going back home with a friend of mine from law school I had bumped into in said cheesy venue and slept in his bed (he lived much closer to the venue than me, it made infinite sense at the time). Again, no naughty behaviour but a little bit of a kiss and a cuddle took place. Unusual – he is NOT my normal type. I awoke feeling fairly sleepy having had just under 5 hours sleep over the last 2 days. Oof.

Saturday stretched out ahead of me as I did a bus route of shame (without much shame I must admit) – the agenda looming involved BBQ and pimms action. I proudly reflected on my two kisses from two nights, and wondered if I would be able to pull off three out of three. Which I did. But in pure comedy circumstances – to be updated to you imminently!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Canoe Boy

Oh lord…

Poor chap.

I had misgivings before we even met up if I am honest. Firstly he had suggested meeting up, on a Friday evening, in a trendy bar in the middle of Piccadilly. Even the thought of the heaving bustle of Central London and all its tourists on a hot evening was not appealing. Secondly, in the emails we had exchanged beforehand (yes, another dating website date) he had gone on about canoes quite a bit. I was glad to hear that he had some keen sporting interest, but the lengthy explanations I had received detailing the differences between Canadian Canoes, just plain old Canoes and Kayaks had set a few alarm bells gently ringing…

So, Canoe Boy. First impressions:

- He had unfortunate teeth that not only looked like the front two of them were shorn off halfway through growing, but also had the unusual effect of making certain words he said come out with a whistling sound.
- He was also rather balding – something which I had not been able to pick up on from the photos he had displayed of himself as (I noticed on reviewing them when home later on) he was wearing different hats in all of them – cheeky.
- He was clearly suffering from feeling the heat as there were beads of sweat glistening on his head, and on more than one occasion, they rolled down off his shiny head towards his eyes… Which he seemed oblivious too, and I politely tried not to stare at them and wonder if the salt was going to affect his eyes at some point.

So, like I said, poor chap.

Canoe Boy is 34 years old, has brown hair (what remains of it), works in marketing, lives near Wimbledon, his home town is Shropshire, his actual name is John (and his surname is Smith with a middle name of Andrew - parents lacking some imagination there I feel) and he is 5 foot 10. (NOTE TO SELF: I have now (again) absolutely decided against any further dates with men shorter than 5 foot 11, minimum. I really don't like feeling the same height as the chap next to me if I am in heels)

I can’t quite put my finger on his accent/tone, but it really reminded me of something or someone (other than a choo choo train whistling before going into tunnels)… I think whatever the tone was, it had a definite effeminacy to it. Suffice to say, it was unusual and not overly attractive as far as voices go.

And I really don’t know why he went for somewhere bang in the middle of busy Piccadilly. Apparently it isn't near either his home or work, and he was aware that it wasn't near my home or work either. He did very kindly foot the bill for the drinks though, despite my offering to split it as I knew I wouldn’t see him again – so can't fault him a jot on dating etiquette in that sense.

I lasted for 2 G&Ts and then just as I was reaching my tether with Canoe Boy's explanations of different materials used to build canoes with over the years, I used my atrocious cough as an excuse to leave whilst it was still light and gloriously sunny outside (which was a shock I must say on emerging from the dark cubby hole we had been sitting in).

There will not be a second date.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Diet Coke Boy

Woohoo! Enter a tall, blond, blue-eyed man from a dating website.

He was funny, attractive, AND he took me for supper as well as drinks (I am so easily bought). I actually fancied this one as well which is, clearly, a big step forward in the right direction. Yippee!

I am trying not to get too excited though, as there are, as ever, a few negatives:

1. He doesn't drink much (as in, whilst I quaffed a G&T at Underdog on Northcote Road, and then a couple of Tiger beers in Banana Leaf on Battersea Rise on Sunday evening, he drank Diet Coke the whole way through - and frankly the less said about the fact he drank Diet Coke the better - I recommended that he at least tried Coke Zero so as to appear more manly);

2. He has recently come out of a very long-term relationship where he had actually bought a house with the girl - didn't talk about her endlessly or anything horrific but she came up a couple of times – definitely something to be wary of;

3. Diet Coke Boy went to a poly for his university - a proper poly – so his grey matter issues need to be determined (I know, I know, I really am a terrible intellectual snob – but I just KNOW that I won't ultimately feel attracted to someone who is a bit slow); and

4. Finally, skiing never came up in our sports played/sporting interests/holidays coverage so I don't think that he skis – BIG concern – I need a skier.

All that aside though, Diet Coke Boy is the first one who has made me properly laugh out loud, and he ticks a fair few boxes, so all good. A second date is in the offing once he is back from his holiday. Woop.

Apparently in advance of the second date I need to learn the 13 call signs from Top Gun for him to test me. I, for some reason tried to impress him by saying that I would be able to do this– but now I am struggling as I can only recall 9 off the top of my head. Woops – but god bless Google.

Oh - and no, there was no snoggage at the end of date despite it going well. I have actually decided not to kiss on first dates with people I have only met for the first time that night, on the basis that with no mutual friend verifying them, you simply just don’t know where they might have been… (Caveat: this will clearly go out of the window if Mr Dreamboat rocks up one night and goes for the lunge).