Tag Archives: looking for love

The Fifth

I started my blog five years ago today.

It was hot outside – though not as hot as today – and I was sitting in my tiny, muggy top-floor flat, baking gently on Gas Mark Bored. I was probably wearing just my underwear, which would be a terrifying proposition now, but back then I was 34 and ran every day and hardly ever ate because I had forgotten how to cook for one.

I don’t know for sure, but, if I know me then, there will have been washing up in the sink.

I was feeling sad and a little bit lonely and like everything was possible and yet nothing was.

I remember a thing on Twitter a while ago where people would tweet about what they’d say to their 16-year-old selves. I wouldn’t say anything; 16-year-old me would not be interested in anything anyone my age had to say, but also, any words of encouragement I would have for this awkward teenager would feel false. I’d be too much of a coward to tell him how hard things were going to be, and that being himself probably wasn’t an option for quite a while. How to explain to someone enduring the 1990s in Yorkshire that things would one day be really great, but for a long time they’d be awful? He’d give up, he’d never try. He wouldn’t believe.

So instead of time-travelling to my badly decorated wankpit of my teenage years, I’d instead transport myself to 2010, the day I started the blog. Continue reading The Fifth

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17 things single people do that make couples want to kill them

When you’re single, it is very easy to blame smug couples for all your ills. But, here’s a newsflash, you can be just as irritating.

And every once in a while, couples are dragged out of their loved-up reverie by their single friends who are, almost without exception, an absolute nightmare.

1. Arrive to every social engagement hungover.
Whether you’re making a beautiful lunch for all your friends, meeting for a few drinks for your birthday, or getting married, your single friend will arrive either drunk or woefully hungover. This is because they can.

They have no partner to tell them they’ll feel rough in the morning and nobody to give them the silent treatment if they ignore that advice. Before they’re even halfway through their starter, they will push their plate away and signal the waiter to bring them another martini and every couple around the table will dream of lacing it with arsenic.

2. Ask if you have any friends to hook them up with.
“Surely you must know some nice, single, hot men for me?”

3. Then get offended when you try to hook them up with somebody.
“God, I’m not that desperate. Don’t you think I can do a little better than that?!” Frankly, no.

4. Moan “I just want to meet someone” yet reject perfectly acceptable people for ridiculous reasons.
“I didn’t like his hair.”
“You should have seen the way he twisted the noodles round his fork.”
“She pronounces ‘bath’ like ‘hearth’ – it’d never last.”
Christ. Continue reading 17 things single people do that make couples want to kill them

Valentine’s Day: Say no to romance at gunpoint

Thanks to the internet and snark becoming an acceptable way of life, moaning about Valentine’s Day and deriding everyone who gets involved in it is almost as big an institution as buying your beloved a bouquet on the day.

And it’s highly monetised, with cash changing hands for a billion think pieces on the death of romance.

We mock those who simply must book a romantic meal for two on February 14th, because either their partner will give them the silent treatment from the 15th until the end of March, or, more usually, because everyone else expects you to be doing something for it. And if you’re not doing something, they want to know why not. Welcome to the dictatorship that is Valentine’s Day.

I’m not bitter, though. I don’t care about commercialisation, tacky helium-filled balloons or bright red valentines imploring you to roger me senseless. I’m unmoved by special Valentine menus and badly  mixed ‘romantic’ cocktails named after cocks and tits. Lovers inspired by Fifty Shades Of Grey and throttling themselves with chicken wire? Up to you. No problem. All good.

What bothers me about Valentine’s Day is that it’s not a day for lovers to show how much they love each other. It’s actually a chance to show off, to not-so-humbly brag about how happy and in love you are. Like a really cheap annual wedding. If nobody else were watching, you’d be on the sofa scratching your arse and arguing over the takeaway menu like any other normal day.

My least favourite parts:

People getting flowers at work
If you have ever sent flowers to someone at their workplace: fuck off. Go on, just eff right off and don’t come back. You’re shameless.

It’s awful, beyond cliché, but people can’t help themselves. I know people (mainly women, I’m afraid) who have actively encouraged their beau to send a stonking great bouquet to their office. I can only imagine the devastation caused by Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday this year, denying many 9-to-5ers their moment in the sun.

These floral deliveries serve as a massive “fuck you” to anyone with less considerate (or less easily manipulated) spouses, plus it has the added bonus of making all the single people – who we will come to later – feel even more fantastically inadequate, dreading the endless crowing about it all afternoon long.

The bouquets get bigger and more ostentatious every year, as everyone tries to outdo each other. We are probably about seven years away from someone just having done with it and Kew Gardens airlifted and delivered to Tracy on Reception. Continue reading Valentine’s Day: Say no to romance at gunpoint

17 things couples do that make single people want to kill them

Aside from the mindless shagging, off-the-peg hedonism and thrilling Uber rides to the clap clinic, being single can be something of a trial. Sure, you can do what the hell you like, when you like, but sometimes you long for the touch of another, for someone to care that you’ve left the fridge open, the thrill of orgasming with someone else in the room.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, you’ve got dickhead couples pulling this kind of crap all around you, reminding you how unloved, lonely and insignificant you are:

1. Share puddings.
“Two spoons, please” is a knife in the throat of any self-respecting singleton. And food-sharing is really unsexy. Especially if it’s a recently defrosted cheesecake in a Harvester.

2. Hold hands everywhere.
No, seriously, you’re in my way. I have to be somewhere. You may want to spend your days ambling dreamily hand-in-hand, but, guys, you’re in the middle of a really busy Tesco Express and I’m trying to reach the tenderstem.

3. Argue in Ikea.
The most boring, cliché, coupletastic thing any gruesome twosome can do. Even worse is boasting about getting round the entire store without arguing. Well done you. It’s a shop, not the north face of the Eiger. Continue reading 17 things couples do that make single people want to kill them

The 25 stages of Twitter courtship

Twitter isn’t just for cat GIFs, cod politics, think-pieces and bitching about reality TV, it’s also a place to find love!

Spotting someone getting it on over Twitter is easy to do once you know how. Here are 25 signs those two faves you follow might be about to move on to being more than serial retweeters.

1. Regular liking of tweets – especially really boring attention-seeking ones.

2. Increased retweets.

3. Starting an @ conversation in response to nothing, not even a blogpost or a thirst-trap selfie.

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4. Meeting up and tweeting about being in same place but not mentioning being together.

5. Meeting up and tweeting about being in same place but not mentioning being together until they have an @ conversation about it two hours later.

6. Meeting up and tweeting about being in same place and tagging each other. There’ll probably be a photo around now.

7. Retweets start to decline so nobody notices how obsessed they are with each other. Everybody notices.

lucille dismissive

8. @ references slow down somewhat. Mentions of “the boy” increase. Frequent DMing.

9. Pictures from a club night start to appear. It all looks quite handsy. There is facial hair assimilation. 

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10. Flathunting is mentioned in passing. “The boy” references gather pace.

11. There is a request for a bacon sandwich from “the boy”.

12. Using @mentions to request a bacon sandwich.

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13. Matching lattes photographed. December variation: Santa hats.

14. Using @ mentions to bemoan the other is away and can therefore not make them a bacon sandwich.

15. Using @ mentions to bemoan the other is in the next room and will not make them a bacon sandwich.

16. Requests to strangers to make them a bacon sandwich.

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17. Bacon sandwich is made grudgingly and tweeted about. No photo.

18. One’s retweets are modified by the other to include sarcastic commentary or contradictions.

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19. One of them shaves their beard off. Subtweets reach nuclear stage.

20. Flirty messages to a third party about possibility of what will follow a fulfilled bacon sandwich delivery. Casual mentions that “the boy” is away. 

21. Pictures of moving boxes and/or a stark bedroom with Blu-Tack marks on the wall.

22. A Marilyn Monroe-style quote about moving on but remaining friends.

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23. Night after night of pornstar martinis with friends who haven’t been in pictures or @ mentioned before.

24. Increased regular liking of somebody else’s goodnight selfies. One unfollows the other.

25. Go to 2 and repeat until you get the fail whale.

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Note: If you found love on Twitter, I am very happy for you. I know I did. And I am.

Image: Flickr

Things I have pretended to like in order to get sex

Football
I remember a very miserable afternoon – a rainy Saturday – spent in a pub that smelled of cauliflower and dog, staring with great concentration at a TV up on the wall. I didn’t really dare look away in case I looked like I was bored and I couldn’t have given two bronze fucks about what was happening on the screen so I fixed my gaze on a spider at the corner of the TV. The spider span a web and then fell onto a table and crawled into a crisp packet. Spider, 1. Man eating crisps, 0.

Opera
Luckily, he didn’t take me to the opera, just played me one on his speakers that were bigger than Kensington and made the floor throb. I recognised a bit in the middle from an advert. He told me what it was but I was too busy wondering when I was going to get to play a concerto of my very own all over his alabaster rack. It turned out to be a very staccato experience.

Radio comedies
When asked whether you’ve heard of something, you should be honest lest you embarrass yourself and get a fact wrong. When my date asked me if I had heard of a particular comedy on Radio 4, I lied through my shiny white teeth and said “Why, yeeeess, it’s brilliant”. He used to play it to me before and after sex – never during, because “that would be weird” apparently – and when we got to the end of the first series I decided I would not be recommissioning him for another go.

A terrible food blog
Never have I pretended to like Instagrammed croissants and love hearts drawn in lattes so fiercely in my entire life.

Aaron
Aaron had very, very pert nipples and I was absolutely dying to see what they were like in the ‘flesh’, so I ignored his boring politics chat, the way he looked at every waiter’s arse as they walked by our table and his penchant for telling me how tired I looked and, when it came down to it, bit those tiny pink beauties very, very hard.

What have you faked so you could get more bang for your buck? Tell me on Twitter.

Image: Flickr

The Boy in the Apple Store

The Apple Store is a strange place. It does its very best to pretend it isn’t a shop. There are no tills ringing or sour-faced shopgirls stacking shelves with garish product or hurrying along pretending they’re too busy to help you, no groaning rails or higgledy-piggledy stacks of boxes. The Apple Store, especially the one in London’s Covent Garden, is more of an ‘experience’. Smiling pretty boys in skinny jeans loiter at the doorway with eager smiles and eyes so wide they can only be the result of a recently dropped ecstasy pill. They have youth, enthusiasm and a handy line in charming condescension. You could be excused for mistaking it for a bar or café, not a global corporation desperate to get its hands on your hard-earned cash – the more noughts at the end, the better.

But where there is wireless, hardware, oak beams and credit cards, there is retail; and here I am, wandering around it on a Saturday, looking for nothing in particular. I’m glad my own MacBook Pro, which wheezes like an asthmatic vuvuzela every time I turn it on, is at home and not here to see the sleek, steel-encased upstarts that will one day replace it both in my affections and upon my knee. The place is crammed with Apple fanatics in all shapes and sizes and with every variety of facial hair imaginable. Ageing computer geeks, tight-skinned students, emo girls, hipster grandmas, confused middle-class parents rife for a fleecing by their offspring and me, peeking over everybody’s shoulder to get a look-in at a machine so I can check my email, as my ever-unreliable phone is about to gasp its last in battery power.

I’m having no luck, so decide to move upstairs to find a free computer. As I make my way to the staircase, I notice three younger people – two guys and a girl – standing at the foot of it and looking my way. One guy is whispering in the ear of the other guy and looking at me. It’s making me a bit uncomfortable, but I carry on – I’ll leave being afraid of youths until I’m elderly. They’re dressed in that odd, young way – nothing seems to fit them properly and one of the guys looks like he hasn’t taken his baseball cap off since he was a toddler. They are, of course, all beautiful in their own way. One of them especially so.

I walk past them and start up the steps. I manage only two or three paces before I feel someone rush past me and stop right in front of me. It is Guy 1, the whisperer, sans baseball cap. I don’t have much time to take him in, but he is young, cute and staring quizzically at me.

“Excuse me?” he says, in an accent I immediately recognise as French. By stopping, I’ve already excused him, I guess, so I don’t reply. He goes on: “Are you gay?”
I’m confused. It’s not often I get asked this question in public, let alone in the middle of the day. And even though we’re in the middle of the uber-liberal, peacenik outpost of sun-kissed California that is the Apple Store, I’m wary. Why would he be asking? Is he a homo or a homophobe? Is he going to kiss me or punch me on the nose?

I can’t think of what to say, so I say nothing. His eyes search my face, desperate for an answer. I eventually say “Sorry?” to fill some stale air.
He begins to falter, before continuing: “It’s just that you are very good-looking.”
He pauses for a second, bows his head in embarrassment and looks like he’s about to say something else. He doesn’t, however, and darts off, away from me, just as I manage to blurt out a stunned “Thanks”.

Thanks? Is that it? The best I can do? It’s not as if I get told this every day. Not since my adoring grandmothers died have I received such enthusiastic (not to mention unsolicited) compliments on the way my face is set out. How are you supposed to react when someone praises your looks? And why would they be doing it right here, right now? Does he want me? What for? Should I be flattered? I am more than flattered. Would I feel the same if he hadn’t been such a mouthwatering proposition himself?

I start to make my way back down the stairs, I don’t know why. To get his number, maybe? To ask if he’d like mine? Instead, I notice him leave the store. As he does, he gives me a backward glance, full of mortification and missed opportunity.

And then he’s gone. Shit.

More like this:
– The Hogmanay Kiss
– The Steal
– The First Crush
– The Late Great Letdown

Image: Flickr