Provocative opinions aired on the clothes line of life.

Monday, 21 February 2011

The Art of the Double Park

 Subtly does it

Living a single lifestyle can be very much like a constant flurry of traffic; brief encounters containing varying degrees of intimacy with people who flit in and out of your life purely by chance. The possibilities are seemingly limitless but it can often feel as though all you're doing is going around in circles, much like that of a perpetual revolving door. It's a perfectly practical solution in reaching your desired destination, but has a tendency to leave you feeling dazed and unsure of where you are. But as a single girl who enjoys an active and healthy sex life, I've grown rather accustomed to the headiness of it all.

And as with most single women, having been confronted by a veritable array of men has also led me to become very adept at developing a nonplussed attitude towards their appalling behaviour. Of course I'm aware that gaining respect from people who you behave promiscuously with is a tentative and unlikely endeavour. Nevertheless I still expect an element of moral decency or at the very least a well thought out lie. Neither of which I was treated to recently, when I bumped into someone who I had engaged with on a casual and drunken basis from time to time. We'll call him Nolan.

Everyone has had a Nolan at some point in their dating life. A person who falls mid-way between a one-night stand and someone who you'd like to spend time with on a regular basis. They're reasonably intelligent, enjoy the same comedy television programmes as you and the sex isn't half bad. In theory they seem to be someone who you could have an intimate relationship with which could continue for a duration not uncommon of your average summer romance.

Of course after a few haphazard online conversations with them you discover that they're just using you to fulfill a fantasy from the stunted adolescence that is their life. Being the recipient of text messages which simply read "I have a penis, you have a vagina. Shall we?"  isn't how I wish to be spoken to by anyone, not even a casual enounter. I have more respect for myself than that. (Really I do). So I ceased contact with Nolan, something which he did bring to my attention but I feigned ignorance and was content in the knowledge that we'd just gradually drift out of each others lives.

Foolishly however I made a drunken decision to re-stamp Nolan for February use - with disastrous results. And I say that with much joviality intended, because he's not a bad guy at all. Just an incredibly stupid one.

After a debaucherous evening out with friends, at 2am I found myself accompanying Nolan home in a taxi (naturally it was his parents home who were away at the time) and as we drew increasingly near I became all the more regretful. I've never felt inclined to be with someone in order to feel validated so I questioned why I'd made the decision in the first place. The simple answer being that I'd recently been through an incredibly dry stint and was feeling insatiable. It happens. Although I still had an uneasy feeling that I wasn't going to be satisfied, which turned out to be an incredibly accurate premonition.

It always amazes me how people can assume that they've covertly contained their deceitfulness despite clearly displaying their glee in every mannerism. Or in Nolan's case via his iPhone. Though my memory of the events is somewhat hazy, I clearly remember lounging in the living room sipping white wine which I suspect was South African (figures) and being in full view of his drunken texting efforts.

Ordinarily I'd be peeved that someone was being so rude when I was in their company, but it was only Nolan so it was of little consequence to me. He claimed to be texting a male friend who he named, but by glancing at his phone (which was near impossible not to do given our seating position) I quickly discovered that the names didn't correlate. It was a name of indiscriminate gender, but I could have cared less if it was a girl or not. Fidelity wasn't what I required from him.

Suffice to say it didn't take long for the activity to descend into what we both required from each other, but I remember his phone constantly making irritating alert tones throughout and finally I demanded that he answer it for goodness sake. Also I was beginning to tire of the incessant whispering in my ear, "how can we take this to the next level?" Christ, I'm not having a threesome Nolan. Not with you. Not tonight. I silently cursed myself for being there and tried not to laugh at the sight of him squinting at his ergonomic oblong piece of crap with his erection.

At this point I'd resigned myself to scrambling around in pursuit of my earrings and am unsure as to his exact activity, however he declared that he had received either a text message or a phone call from a friend who had gotten into a fight and it was his intention to go to his aid. I was skeptical but unphased and started to ready myself to leave. Nolan however was insistent that I stay, as he assured me the endeavour wouldn't exceed an hour at the most.

I found the notion of my waiting for him pretty humourous given that he meant so little to me, but I was forced to consider the logistics of my situation. It was past 3am, I had no idea where my friends were, much less if any of them would even answer a phone call and effectively had no where else guaranteed in which to reside that night. I was indignant but reluctantly agreed to stay. I had no intention of resuming any activity upon his return and was already planning on leaving ridiculously early the following morning so as to avoid any further contact with the imbecile.

His behaviour became increasingly erratic with the conversation littered with assurances and apologies. All of which I mentally rolled my eyes at. He escorted me to bed, tucked me in and continued to explain the situation further, none of which made any semblance of sense. I attempted to query it but he provided answers which were so unsatisfying that I didn't have the strength to argue. Why bother? He'd made up his mind to go and I was too concerned with my silent urges for him to just leave already so I could have a furtive rummage around his house. I didn't even enquire as to how he planned to get back into town. Now of course I can only presume he constructed a set of make-shift wings from the web of foolish lies spilling out of his silly little mouth.

As soon as he hastily sped out of the front door I sprang out of bed (again his parents) and padded downstairs to finish off the wine. I wandered around the modest three-bedroom property in my underwear examining various items of unnecessary clutter and bric-a-brac. It was all rather uninspiring so I attempted to contact my friends in an effort to make an early exit, only to be greeted by consecutive voicemails - just as I'd anticipated. Terrific. So the only thing left on the agenda was to pilfer around his bedroom. I sauntered back upstairs and entered a room of unholy destruction. Here was his disordered mentality personified: disorganised, sloppy and utterly revolting.

Repulsed I tentatively fought my way to the desktop computer. Predictably he'd left his Facebook signed in - the boob. I logged out of it however as I was utterly uninterested in the mundane trivialities of his life. It was at this point, while positioned with my knees to my chest on his puny little swivel chair (glass of wine in one hand, mouse in the other) that I received a text message from Nolan simply saying that he was going to wait for his friend as he'd been arrested, accompanied by a sad emoticon. This blatant idiocy proved too much for me. I already knew exactly what was going on and refused to let him get away with having me believe that he was essentially going to sleep in the front desk of this fictitious Police Station. I expected something a little more imaginative than that, even from a Computer Forensics graduate.

It took a second phone call before it was answered, the first was diverted mid-ring.  At the time I didn't think anything of it but now I envision him to be utterly panic stricken thus doing the first thing that any coward about to be caught out would do: abort the call. Yes, hello I'm Nolan and I'm going to buy some time before I come to the decision of committing the cowardly, foolish and not to mention callous act which is about to follow: letting the girl answer.

Yes, you've guessed it. The friend who had been arrested was code for the girl I intend to have sex with shortly after you. He'd attempted to pull off the elusive yet doable double park: the art of coitus with two separate sexual conquests in one night. While I don't blame him for attempting it, I was still pretty outraged. Purely at his method. His blundering, flawed and utterly moronic method. It just wasn't good etiquette. You don't leave person # one in your house and insist that they stay. You're already being greedy as it is. Thinking that you can then go back and resume is just bad form. As with anything there are rules for double parking. And by allowing both parties to communicate with each other you've pretty much lost the concept of the whole endeavour: they're not meant to find out about each other Nolan. It's not rocket science or even forensic science.

So even though I was prepared for the prospect of him being in the company of another girl, I certainly didn't expect her to answer the phone. Whether he offered her the opportunity or she demanded to answer is unclear, neither would surprise me. I was a little surprised by her indignant tone, although I could barely hear her over Nolan's injudicious chortling in the background (which I must admit stung a little). Yes very funny, you've got me. Good one. Still I relaxed back into the chair, stretched my legs out onto the desk and calmly sipped my wine while I listened to her reel off a few insults. I then calmly proceeded to inform her that I had been having sex with Nolan a little over an hour prior on his living room floor no less and was just wondering if he was available to speak as I was still in his house. I paused and took another sip of my wine as I waited for her reaction.

Disappointingly it was clear she was taking Nolan's side in this hideous debacle. I believe she laughed and berated me a little, but I don't really remember. What I do remember is being astounded. Where was the sisterhood? I tried to put myself in her position and immediately felt sorry for her. Here was a guy who obviously liked her far more than he liked me, but he didn't even have the respect to save himself for her that night. Hell, he didn't even shower before he left and her reaction was to preserve her ego to me. Why did she care what I thought? I was hardly in a position to judge having just been jilted halfway through a sexual encounter. Perhaps a less self-assured person would doubt their prowess in that area, but really speaking Nolan's actions are a reflection of his personal inadequacies - not mine.

Relatively unperturbed I terminated the call and got dressed. Definitely time to leave. I couldn't help but chuckle to myself as I reached for the front door handle. Only to find that it refused to budge. I wrenched it a few more times before coming to the realisation that the hapless buffoon had locked me in. I immediately rushed to the back of the house, trying first the back door and finally the conservatory doors. Both locked. No sign of a key. I admit I was initially more than a little panicked, but soon discovered that the living room windows opened wide enough to allow me to escape in the event of an emergency. I wasn't feeling agile enough to hoist myself onto the high windowsill in my state of 4am intoxication however and decided to give Nolan a phone call again as this had quickly devolved into kidnap territory.

Unsurprisingly person # two or Nolita answered, "still ringing I see?" Seriously sweetheart I know I've essentially put a big cloud over your perfect 3am drunken rendezvous which you planned over a duration of six seconds while presumably falling out of a chavy establishment on Greyfriars Road, but give me a break here. Still, her abrasive attitude didn't rile me in the slightest but instead placated me. This was just too comical to be angered by. I was certain that Nolan had managed to wriggle out of my earlier depiction of the nights events to her like a slimy little worm slinking around in the earth blind and incapable of lateral thinking in any capacity. But was certain that the next card I had to play would be my winning hand. Surely by informing her of my hostage status she would throttle him to within an inch of his pathetic little life and march him back to the house to free me.

Sadly not all girls are as impetuous I am, for that is precisely what I would have done. And what was her reply to my telling her that I was imprisoned against my will after the boy who was still wrapped in my scent came knocking at her door? "Well, I'm sure you'll think of something." Yes, I have thought about something. I've thought about the fact that you've essentially had sex with me as well as Nolan. What do you think about that? Of course I didn't say that. I didn't even give her the satisfaction of replying or maybe I was too dumbfounded at her incredulous lack of sensitivity to my plight. I suppose she's the kind of girl who thinks that by getting the guy she's essentially one upped me in this scenario, but sadly in a scenario such as this there are no winners. There are prisoners. But no winners.

I distinctly remember wandering around the house with gritted teeth, running my fingers over various surfaces and eyeballing valuables which I could destroy or take ownership of at my own discretion. iPad, digital camera, widescreen television, a stamp collection (yes a guy who has two girls to choose from in one night collects stamps). Technically it wouldn't be burglarising, considering I hadn't broken in. I contemplated calling the police, but I didn't want to behave in a way which would lead Nolan to believe that I was hurt or upset by his foolish actions. Because I wasn't. I wasn't at all shocked at his lack of integrity. It's not like he'd ever displayed so much as a hint of it ever before.

What did shock me though was his flagrant disregard for not only his parents personal property but his own. Tactlessly rubbing a girl's misfortune in her face which was created by your premeditated actions is one thing. But then forcing her to spend the night unsupervised with all of your worldly possessions? I considered causing serious criminal damage and leaving the place in a chaotic whirlwind of spurned disarray. Not because I'd been scorned, but just to teach him a lesson in basic household security. I refrained from any such activity however, settling on the decision that no reaction at all trumped that of vengeful retribution. Suffice to say half an hour after hanging up on the bitch who was subjecting herself to any undiagnosed gynecological conditions I may have lying dormant, I was sound asleep.

I awoke the following morning (which in essence was a mere few hours later) feeling as though I'd had a refreshing power nap. The kind where you smile to yourself while wiping away the drool on the side of your face, always a good sign of the perfect snooze. The previous nights events were still fresh in my mind, only now I had a clear head in which to assess them. I made Nolan's parents bed and affectionately stroked his two little dogs who had slept on the floor. I took one last look in his room and picked up the disc of a video game. Call of Duty. I felt the suppleness of it between my fingers and chuckled at how easy it would be to damage it irrevocably. I placed it back on a surface already cluttered with discarded plates and empty crisp packets. Too easy. 

Although it did tickle me to think that a guy who doesn't even care about the well being of his video games isn't likely to care about much else. Which should definitely be a wake-up call to Nolita, whose real name I'm fully aware of. I remembered the first and last name from Nolan's iPhone the previous night and typed it into his Facebook. He'd saved the logging in history on his browser. A solitary inbox message confirmed that Nolan had behaved in a poor manner to her prior to the previous nights shenanigans. How predictable. He didn't go into detail but mentioned something about promising to make it up to her. And we're all aware of how he did that.

As I was waiting for my taxi to arrive I received a text message. Nolan. "Are you OK? What was last night about?" Oh seriously, I was so done with this assclown. You tell me Nolan. You're the one who rushed out of the door probably still nursing a semi only to go and stick it in someone else. Someone you must like an awful lot to go to all that trouble for. And what a lovely gesture it was. I only hope I experience romance such as that at least once in my lifetime. I didn't reply.

The house phone then proceeded to ring continuously off the hook. I can only assume it was Nolan trying to decide if coming home before 10am was a good idea. I for one wouldn't want to come home to someone who was potentially ready to murder me. But I didn't have any hard feelings. Far from it. On the whole I'd found it refreshingly entertaining. As did the taxi driver who surveyed me throwing my shoes and bag out of a ground floor window before hurtling myself out on to the driveway. After coquettishly clambering into the backseat he enquired as to why I hadn't used the front door. I simply replied that when you're faced with the situation of a double park, sometimes tricky maneuvers are required if you want to get out.

Friday, 18 February 2011

You're A Little Crazy

“I just want to be with someone normal,” he said. “I just want to have a normal life.”
“Excuse me?” she said.
“You’re a little crazy,” he said. “You’re too old to act the way you do. You’ve got to grow up. You’ve got to take care of yourself. I’m afraid for you. You can’t think that people are going to take care of you all the time.”
“So what?” she said.
“You can’t act like you’re twelve,” he said. “You can’t come home at four in the morning.”
“Most twelve-year-olds don’t come home at four in the morning."

Sex and the City.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Playing Too Hard To Get - Part Two

 So, a cane. Kinky.

This post is dedicated to Lucy Sheriff who has been waiting ever so patiently for this belated second installment.

Having explored the fickle scenario of securing a date through the process of unavailability in Part One, I was keen to test the waters of that transitional period where date; the noun becomes to date; the verb. Entering into a situation where you've made it past the initial checkpoint and are attempting to secure a regular occurrence of seeing someone, which if all goes smoothly should inevitably lead to relationship-ville.

However this often proves to be a tricky endeavor as daily commitments take priority and slotting your new love interest into your life can be easier said than done. Of course when you're hopelessly infatuated with the person and find yourself proclaiming to skeptical friends that they're the one after just one casual tryst (I've never done that, seriously I haven't) you'll find yourself pushing aside important aspects of your life without a second thought. But is this really the best method in achieving the coveted monogamous union in which you have free rein to digitally secrete all over each other much to the rest of the online worlds distaste?

I've been reading from the scriptures of the Holy Bible again (aka the extreme self-help book simply entitled The Rules) and according to them, continuing with your life as normal is essential in maintaining his interest long-term. Now on the surface this seems to be pretty standard advice. There's nothing new there. I mean who in their right mind would put their responsibilities on hold for someone they're only casually involved with?

But it sounds familiar doesn't it? There you are drifting around somewhere near cloud nine and you'd do anything to push the relationship further along just that little bit faster. Suddenly you begin to act completely out of character in your fledgling attempts to gain a commitment and in doing so project an unrealistic fantasy onto him which fails to materialize because it simply never existed.

If the situation were to appear in a Facebook newsfeed it would read something like: "Miss head in the clouds has been painfully and embarrassingly rejected by Mr saw this one coming and bailed."  

So with that in mind, here are a few basic guidelines to follow during this transitional period:

"You should never accept a Saturday night date after Wednesday."

No date yet but at least I have my period

This seems a little extreme to me. Wednesday is that magical mid-week period when people start thinking about their plans for the weekend. So if anything post-Wednesday is ruled out that only leaves two days prior during the bleak part of the week for him to ask you out. (Going by the rule that Sunday is excluded from date planning procedure). Unless of course you've woken up together from Saturday night or he's your Sunday boyfriend.

Do we really have to start throwing them away purely because they're disorganised? It's incredibly difficult to find someone who you genuinely want to see again. So risking the courtship simply to ascertain that one has already made fictional plans seems incredibly childish to me.  

Why you should follow it: Not being at his beck and call is the key here. Men enjoy to be challenged and while I'm all for being spontaneous he'll ultimately have more respect for you if you're not rushing out of the door the minute he asks you what your plans are.

Why you should cheat it: In these early stages your turn of phrase is everything. Believe me, I recently engaged in a drunken late night conversation via the ever convenient medium of the mobile phone where I conducted myself in a way which I considered (at the time) to be a forthright and no-nonsense approach. When in fact it was nothing more than a psychotic misinformed tantrum. (Or from the segments I can remember anyway). I had the right idea but my words and the way in which I chose to orchestrate them failed to achieve the desired effect.

So, my point is, by all means accept a date after Wednesday. Accept it on the same day if you really want to (I don't see the harm) but just phrase your reply in a cool and collected manner. And don't reply straight away. Also, ammend the details of the arrangement he proposes. If he wants to meet at a certain time push it back or move it forward to accomdate your schedule. 

"Fill up your time before the date."

Hmm which bag of lettuce...oh who cares I'm so marrying him

This is practical but easier said than done. Presumably (if you've adhered to the first rule that is) you have a few days to wait until the big date and therefore more time to obsess about it. You fluctuate between frissons of excitement and paranoid feelings of self-doubt. Idle musings on what to wear lead to insecure thoughts about what their perception will be of you in broad daylight (very unforgiving).

Why you should follow it: When you're in the first flush of meeting someone new, it's very difficult to separate the reality of the situation from the fantasy in your head. Don't get your hopes up because ultimately you won't be doing yourself any favours. You should treat the date as thought it were an impending New Year's Eve celebration. The spontaneous gatherings at the local Pub almost always trump the pretentious parties you've been planning for weeks in advance because you haven't over-analyzed every minute detail and just left the events to occur naturally.

Why you should cheat it: OK, you can't physically stop yourself from envisioning the date, you're excited and it's only natural. It's like trying not to think about a red dot. Impossible. But don't let your mind wander anywhere into the immediate future beyond the date. That's risky territory and at this point not at all certain. Don't let your crazy fantasies manifest themselves by talking about him or the date to anyone else either. Especially not to mutual friends the two of you may share. (There's nothing worse than people assuming the relationship is more serious than it is and attempting to force it along).

"Don't see him more than once or twice a week."

  Absence makes the heart grow fungus

So you've been on three or more dates together and are talking to each other via some medium virtually every day. Naturally you're beginning to form an attachment and are beginning to reassure yourself that you're not going to die alone and wind up in an advanced stage of rigor mortis before anyone discovers you.  

Why you should follow it: Resisting the urge to say yes every time he asks you to do something is a sensible move as a new love interest is a novelty which should be kept that way. And note that I said sensible. Yes it's a wonderful feeling when you've met someone and you think it could really be something. But don't enter into a relationship with someone just because you're fed up of being single. Also it's important to remember that you had a life before him and if things don't work out you'll have one after him too. He won't. But you will.  

Why you should cheat it: Don't cheat it. That's right you heard me. And I know exactly what you're thinking: I can always e-stalk him. No. Not a good idea. There's nothing wrong with having a cheeky gander at his Facebook photos, but don't let yourself fall into a habit whereby you're checking his profile as much as you do your own. It's not healthy and is essentially a form of modern torture. You'll have access to a plethora of information without any of the context around it. So any girl that he's photographed with or has a message from will obviously provoke an unnecessarily jealous reaction. If anything you should hide his updates from your newsfeed to avoid temptation entirely.

"Stop dating him if he doesn't buy you a romantic gift for your Birthday or Valentine's Day."

No scrubs
While I enjoy being treated I'm certainly not the type of person to be bought or to be taken in by wealth and pretension. I don't think it's necessary to have to break the bank in order to have a good time with someone, especially not in the beginning stages - if it doesn't work out it feels like such a waste. Besides there are other far more important qualities I look for in a man which don't include how generous he is with his wallet (of course I'm not advocating that you should let yourself be taken advantage of by a shameless freeloader either). Similarly being lavished with gifts so early on just seems so insincere. But I think the key thing to remember here is the thought.
Why you should follow it: This is the most personal rule and one which I can't really advise you on because it's purely down to the individual. I wouldn't be the least bit offended if a guy I was casually seeing didn't indulge me with a sentimental gift on Valentines Day. But that's because it's never been important to me, whether I've been in a relationship or not. Sure I've exchanged cards and received gifts, but I've never behaved any differently on this particular occasion. Going out for a romantic meal is something I enjoy on a regular basis not just once a year.  

Birthdays are slightly different, but in no way do I expect a gift. A small gesture as simple as a thoughtful message will suffice. A sign that they're putting in a little bit of effort is more than enough to keep me happy. I'm not a fan of public gestures at all.

Case in point: A few months ago I went on a date with someone I wasn't overly keen on. He arrived with a bouquet of flowers. Which was very sweet, but I felt it was a bit dramatic for the casual drink we were having. Ultimately the flowers worked against him because it felt too contrived and although the thought was there the sentiment just got lost.

Why you should cheat it: If you're a particularly materialistic person then you should at least admit it to yourself and find someone who will indulge and spoil you if that's what it takes to truly make you happy. After all life is too short to settle for anything less.