Sorry that I've been away for a while. Things have been manically busy on the course I'm doing and I've not had the time to scratch my bum let alone blog!
I left you all with a lovely mental image of a cheesy cock a couple of weeks ago... Well it's time to move on from all of that.
It's almost my 30th birthday.
The Big 3-0.
Wow, I’m going to be old. Well, older.
The fact that my birthday celebrations start now is going to sound completely ridiculous when I tell you that I don’t actually turn thirty for almost a month. It’s all my friend Louise’s fault though so I’m going to blame her. I’m not the one who decided to have a “Birthday Month”. Why have a “Birthday Week” when you can stretch it out to a month instead?
Well, it is a landmark birthday so why not?
The reason why my birthday starts now is because Louise, as my best friend, wants to do something special for me and this weekend was the only weekend I am free. Next weekend I’m heading down to London with my university friends, the weekend after that is my Official Birthday Night Out™ with all my friends, and then I am heading off to Vegas for five days which is where I’ll be on my actual birthday (but more about that later).
Therefore this Saturday Louise has something planned and it’s all a very big secret. She is getting so giddy about it she must have planned something good. Bless her, I can’t wait! It’s Louise’s thirtieth birthday in a few months time so she knows she has to be nice to me as otherwise I will get her back... in the nicest possible way, of course...
Now where was I? That's right, giving you the low down on my pathetic sexual past. If you liked Mr Nik-Nak Knob then cop a load of these bad boys. It's amazing that I've not given lesbianism a shot when I remember all these monumental f*ck ups. Well, apart from one of them.... :-) Ahh, c'est la vie...
In at number 5 we have....
5. Cottage Cheese Cock
I came face to er, face with Cottage Cheese Cock when I was still 20 and still single. It was during the summer holidays in between my second and third year at university. I worked at a pub in my hometown to earn a bit of money to see me through the year and that is how I knew Liam, aka CCC. Liam and I had worked behind the bar when I’d been back at home over Christmas, but at the start of the summer he’d left to get a “real” job. I’d always fancied him, but with my rubbish hair and unattractive uniform I figured the feeling wasn’t mutual. It turned out that it was.
One Saturday night he came into the pub with his mates and we ended chatting for ages while I pulled pints. He invited me back to his house after my shift, and as I already knew him I thought why not? In an effort to set the mood, Liam led me to his bedroom and lit one dingy little candle. Romantic. We kissed for a bit and inevitably our clothes started to come off. I removed his pants and was about to give him a blow job, when I saw what looked like lumps of cottage cheese. On his knob. Ughhh. I have never seen anything like that before or since, but I was not about to put my mouth around THAT. I made my excuses and left, laughing at his ultimatum that if I didn’t call him the day after I would never see him again. Thanks, but you can keep your cheesy dick. I didn’t call him.
6. The Hottest Sex of my Life
It was still summer and I was still working at the pub, and that’s where I met my next fling. For the first time in nearly a year my sex life took a turn for the better. His name was Stuart, he was a regular and he was loads older than me (relatively speaking. He was 28). He was gorgeous, with piercing blue eyes, a mop of shaggy brown hair and an athletic body. He drove a red Ducati motorbike (we're talking VERY sexy in leathers here people) and I fancied the arse off him. Never in a million years would I ever have the courage to ask him out and I never thought he would like me, but my workmate Duncan got so pissed off with me going on about him that one night he got chatting to Stuart and asked him if he liked me. The rest just happened.
Every Saturday night after my shift finished at about midnight, Stuart would be waiting for me. I’d drive us back to his house and we would have sex on his couch/chair/living room floor. He had the most perfect six-pack I had ever seen and he was amazing at oral sex. Definitely the best I have ever had in my life (true to this day). We carried on with our Saturday night romping rendezvous until I returned to university that September. Ahh, he was amazing. Perfect fling material. Absolutely perfect.
7. The Two-night stand
My sex life in my third year at university had an inauspicious start. I was still very much single and it was the beginning of December. I hadn’t had sex for a couple of months, and as a horny twenty year old I had an itch that needed to be scratched. (Not literally you understand. I was always careful). This is how I ended up having what I call my Two Night Stand.
I met Nick on a Friday night in the student union bar, we snogged and I gave him my phone number. He called me the day after and we went out the following week to a local pub for a few drinks. I was tipsy and horny so after our date we ended up going back to my place and having really, really bad selfish sex. Neither of us cared whether the other person was enjoying it or not and it was a really crap 'going through the motions' shag. It wasn't sexy in any way. To be honest, I don’t even think we really fancied each other that much on the date. I didn’t get his number and he didn’t call me again, hence the Two Night Stand.
8. The Virgin
It was only a couple of weeks after my depressing dalliance with Nick that I started seeing Adam who was on the same course as me. During the day he was painfully shy, but by night and with the help of beer he was chatty, outgoing and a great laugh. He was a bit of a challenge and was so nervous he could barely speak to me when we first started going out. Yep, he definitely was a challenge.
I also think Adam was a virgin. He rold me that he had only slept with one girl on a one night stand but I think this was a big fat lie. Either way, I like to think that I was the one who really popped his cherry. This meant I had a blank canvas and I could teach him exactly how I liked things to be done which was great, but it was such hard work at times. Sometimes I wished Adam had a few tricks up his sleeve like Stuart, but despite this we stayed together for the rest of our last year at university and for the whole year after that. In the end we had started to grow apart once and when it boiled down to it we were just too different. A few months ago I caught up with him on Friends Reunited and found out that he’s engaged now. I’m really happy for him as he was a nice guy. My parents hated him though.
9. Vlad the Impaler
After Adam, I had a dry spell that lasted for almost a year. I kissed a few men when I was out with my friends but nothing more exciting than that. The only reason why I got less action than the Jonas brothers is because I was completely smitten with Pete, my manager, and no-one else got a look in.
I was working at my first “real” job after university on an IT helpdesk. The job was pretty crap but everyone was about my age, including Pete who was a couple of years older than me. The social life was fantastic. I ended up getting together with Pete on a work’s night out and I spent the night with him in his bed, but nothing happened other than sleep and after that night nothing was ever said and the moment just seemed to pass. I didn't want to shag him on the first night as I wanted him to be my boyfriend and didn't want him to see me as a slapper. That plan worked remarkably well, as a month or so later he started dating another girl and my chance with him had completely gone. Tragically I was still head over heels in love with him so I remained single.
I was still looking for graduate jobs as I hadn’t been out of university for a year, when I found a role in IT that was offering three months all expenses paid to be trained up in Cape Town. The salary was a lot more than I was earning already so I applied for the role not expecting too much as competition was so fierce. After endless rounds of assessment centres and interviews, I somehow got the job and before I knew it I was waving goodbye to my parents at Heathrow airport and bound for South Africa.
The three months training was almost like being back at university – only better. I was one of thirty graduates who were sent over to Cape Town where we lived in a hotel. We were paid each week so we could afford to eat out every night and drink ourselves into oblivion as the exchange rate was so good. Relationships and sex were rife between the graduates, even though some people had boyfriends or girlfriends back home. I ended up getting together with a bloke called Calum after a month and a half. He was a totally bloke’s bloke - real jack the lad and it turned out that he had very little respect for women. Come to think of it now, he wasn’t even that good looking.
Calum did have a massive penis though, but sadly it didn’t make him any good in bed. Instead of ensuring that there was plenty of foreplay to get me turned on and ready, he would just try to lance me from across the other side of the room. I split up with him (before he succeeded in splitting me in half) after we had been back in the UK for a month as I’d decided that he was a bit of a twat. I’d also met Paul (who eventually turned into the Evil Cockbag) whilst I was working on a project over in Ireland. Even though Calum was a knob, I wanted to do the right thing by him, so I finished with him one Sunday night... and then got together Paul on the Wednesday. Close, but no overlap.
10. The Heartbreaker
Paul, the only man to ever break my heart and more familiar to you as The Evil Cockbag. We were together for nearly four years and he is the one man who I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. Sadly, he decided to pork a slapper from work which shat all over that happily ever after.
11. The Latest
Matt. My most recent ex. Together for just over two years, even though it felt like several lifetimes.
And yet I still keep on believing that the right man is somewhere out there for me.
But why have I started playing around with boys when I should be looking for a man...?
Oh my goodness I have been so rubbish at updating my blog recently. So much has been happening that I've hardly had any time to write about it - but it's all coming, very soon!
But here's a quick update: I binned Stephen off. He of the drunken snog in the club. After ten minutes of swapping spit and 100 stalky texts from him later, our one-sided liaison was over.
It reminded me of a very valuable lesson: I should not give my number out to wonky-toothed weirdos with a penchant for collecting restraining orders.
Anyway... What is it they say about learning from your mistakes? I'm sure we're all supposed to learn valuable life lessons during the twists and turns of our complicated lives. Especially when it comes to love and sex.
Except I'm not exactly sure that I've learnt that much. All these years on, I'm still making the same lapses in judgement and ending up dishing out my number to undesirables.
But why? Why haven't I learnt anything?
It's time to delve into my romantic past to try and find some answers. Oh yes. Buckle up and prepare yourself for the most embarassing rides of my life. Part 1.
1. Ginger Buns
I was 18, still a virgin and I wanted to get some sexual experience before I went away to university. I worked weekends at a supermarket in the fruit and veg department and had been lusting over David from the bakery for months. In hindsight I have no idea why, as he was pale, ginger and a bit of a chubster. Maybe handling all those bananas had warped my judgement, but he had something about him: a swagger and a certain look. He loved himself, and that confidence was attractive to the young, inexperienced me.
After several halves of cider one Saturday night out I ended up back at his place. His parents were away on holiday, and we got naked and fumbled round for a bit. I didn’t have a clue what to do or how to give a blow job, so I just licked his cock like an orange ice-lolly and he half-heartedly fingered me. All the time I tried my best to ignore his ridiculous ginger pubes.
The next morning he gave me a tenner for the taxi home and I left feeling like a really shit excuse for a prostitute. Not a great sexual awakening.
2. No shit, Sherlock
My first real boyfriend was Alistair at university. We got together after the first two weeks of term, in those heady, alcohol fuelled days of zero responsibility. I lost my virginity to him after about a month, and from what I remember the sex was pretty good. He’s one of the few men I’ve slept with who knew where my clitoris was - but it wasn't all plain sailing. Alistair had a weird condition. Well, OK, he had a plastic stomach and arsehole. One time after we had just finished having sex, his man-made man-hole got a little bit too excited and he shat in the bed right next to me. I suppose you can’t have it all. We were together for ten months, tissues on standby.
Now aged 19, my second year at university wasn’t the best year of my romantic life.
It started off with an ill-advised hook up at a house party held by me and my housemates. I ended up snogging a bloke called Mike who lived with my housemate Suzanne’s boyfriend. We ended up seeing each other for a couple of months, and I liked him because he had a clapped out Volkswagen Polo and drove me to the supermarket. He was a nice enough guy but we never really clicked. Mike was terminally boring and I couldn’t understand a lot of what he said due to his ridiculous southern accent. He wasn’t exactly a leader in the style stakes either. His hairstyle was worse than my pre-GHD frizzy mess and he insisted on sporting a centre parting and some really dodgy ‘curtains’. The sex was mediocre and he had a small penis.
4 Nik-Nak Knob
Now at the age of 20 and still in my second year of university, I was single for what turned out to be about six months. Six long, sexually frustrated months. One weekend I went to Liverpool to visit my best friend Nicola as she was studying at university there.
After a brilliant night out with Nicola and her friends I fell into bed with her housemate Luke. I was horrified by the sight of his dick as it was all knobbly and bent out of shape like a crusty scampi-flavoured Nik-Nak crisp. He tried to have unprotected sex with me, I said no, and then shat myself for a couple of weeks thinking that I was pregnant as his penis had brushed past my pubic hair. I was still pretty clueless at this point.
So far, so crud. Is it any wonder I am so f*cked up when it comes to men?
So there I was, out in town with my work mate Dan and his two friends, Gav and Liam. The boys were all having a lovely time as women were circling them like vultures, all hoping to find a juicy bone to gobble. I, however, was doing my best impression of a spare wheel. It was time for me to have some fun of my own...
To give him his dues, Dan spotted that I was being pushed to one side by the adoring ladies, and he came over to chat with me, leaving Gav and Liam to lap up the other female attention.
It’s weird going out with just a group of boys when they are on the pull. (Well, they were with the exception of Dan). Even though I'd seen a few blokes that I fancied in the bar, I didn’t have the backup of my girlfriends to help me get chatting to them and their mates. You see, we generally hunt in packs.
I tried to explain this to Dan, but he just didn’t seem to get it.
“You see that guy over there?” I said to Dan over the noise of the music which was blasting from the speakers.
“Yeah, what about him?” Dan replied.
“Well, I think he’s really fit, but I’m never going to just go over there on my own and try and talk to him. If I was with my girl friends it would be OK, as we could go and dance next to him and his mates, and I could try and catch his eye… But with you lot… Well, you’re all busy with your cheerleaders over there,” I said nodding towards Gav, Liam and the four girls who they were chatting up.
“Course you can go over there if you want,” Dan replied, not getting it at all. “Although he looks like a bit of a cock to me,"he continued.
Undeterred at his last comment, I persisted.
“Oh come on Dan, please help me out! He’s really fit!”
And he was. Tall, dark, broad shoulders, and a tapered waist. And he hadn't been hit with the ugly stick either.
“You’ve got to be joking!” Dan replied, blatantly not joking. “What do you want me to do? Go over there and chat him up for you?”
“Well, er, yes.” I replied. “Well, not chat him up exactly. Just make out like you think you know him or something and then you can introduce me.”
Despite his protestations I think Dan realised that he wasn't going to hear the last of it until he helped me out.
“OK then,” he sighed. “I’ll do it, but I still think he looks like a knob.”
Dan sidled on to the dance floor with me and ended up chatting to the object of my affections, asking him if he went to the game and if he played rugby. It was brilliant - like having a proper wingman, although I didn't tell Dan he looked a bit gay as he chatted up a random bloke.
After about a minute, Dan stepped aside as it was obvious that the guy I was lusting after had finally spotted me. I batted my eyelashes at him. Subtle.
“This is Greg,” Dan shouted above the music. “He went to the game tonight too.”
Greg. Gorgeous Greg.
“Oh right,” I said, smiling my best smile. “So what did you think? Close match...” I said, whilst checking out his gorgeous, muscular arms.
As I started chatting with him, Dan made his excuses and headed back over to Gav, Liam and their harem.
I ended up talking with Greg for a while, but it was blatantly obvious that Dan was right: he was a bit of a cock and he was also definitely not interested in me. I made my excuses too and walked back over to the bar, feeling slightly miffed.
“So, any luck?” Dan asked as he swigged his beer.
"Nah. You were right. He is a cock.” I replied.
I wasn't going to say that it was obvious he didn’t fancy me at all. That’s just too embarrassing in front of one of my work mates.
“Oh well never mind,” Dan said without sounding upset for me at all. “You don’t know if you don’t try”.
Dan wandered back over to Gav and Liam, and as my drink was dead I went to the bar to get another.
An afternoon and evening of drinking had made me nicely drunk. But it had also made me pretty damn horny. That's just not fair when you're a single girl stuck on a boy's night. Damn you alcohol. Damn you.
Yes, alcohol was my only defence as to why, only minutes later, I found myself locking tonsils with Stephen. That, and the fact that Greg blowing me off had made me determined to kiss someone to prove that I could. I'm a bit weird like that.
Stephen started chatting to me at the bar and he seemed pretty nice. OK, so he wasn't a stunner like Gorgeous Greg, and I seem to remember that his front teeth were a little wonky. But he was a good kisser, and that is exactly what I wanted: to be kissed, maybe with a cheeky arse grab thrown in there for good measure.
The only problem: a kiss was the only thing I wanted. A good snog and goodbye.
Sadly, Stephen had other ideas.
"So, can I get your number then?" he asked, after I told I needed to find my friends before they left.
Just say no, Kate. Or give him a fake number. Or...
"Yeah, course," I replied, never having learnt to say no properly. He handed me his phone and I tapped in my number.
"Great! I'll call you tomorrow!" Stephen said, smiling.
Please don't. I only wanted a snog and a quick feel up.
I wriggled my way free from wonky-toothed Stephen's grasp, and wandered back over to Dan who was standing on his own.
It was getting pretty late and we all had work the next day. I glanced over at the other boys and saw that Liam was snogging some bird at the edge of the dance floor and Gav was chatting to some girls and getting a phone number.
“I’m going to head off now,” I said to Dan as he finished his beer.
I saw Stephen looking at me as he talked to his mate from the other side of the bar. Just go away.
“Yeah I’m ready to go too,” Dan replied.
It looked like Liam and Gav would need to be prized away from the limpet like women who were stuck to at least one part of their anatomy or another.
“I think it’s best if we leave those two to it,” I said.
“Yeah definitely,” Dan replied. “Come on," he continued, "I’ll make sure you get a taxi OK."
Bless him, he’s a gent.
Thankfully there were plenty of cabs lined up outside. As I climbed into the back seat, Dan held the door open and smiled at me.
“Thanks for coming today. It’s been really good,” he said, as he leant in through the open door.
“Yeah I’ve really enjoyed myself,” I replied. “It’s good to go out and have a few beers with you and your mates. Gav and Liam are really funny, especially with all those girls surrounding them. I’m not exactly sure how that ended up happening though!”
Dan laughed as he knew exactly what I meant. Whilst Gav and Liam are both a great laugh, neither of them exactly have the gift of the gab with the ladies. Well, until tonight.
“I’ll see you at work tomorrow then,” Dan said, and with that he shut the car door and waved to me as the taxi pulled away.
I had a really good night but it left me with plenty to think about.
I don’t want to be like those women who were desperately trying to pull Gav, Liam and Dan. The way they just started circling the boys all seemed pretty tragic. But I knew I wasn't a million miles away from being like them, thanks to the way I flirted with Greg and then snogged Stephen.
Do I look like those women when I’ve had a few drinks and I’m trying to get a bloke’s attention? I hope not. The thought of it made me inwardly cringe.
I stared out of the window as the taxi weaved its way through the city centre streets. As I watched weekend revellers pour out onto the pavements I couldn’t help but feel a bit down. It's nearly half way through the year and I'm still nowhere nearer in my quest to find Mr Right.
At that moment my phone vibrated with an incoming text message.
So I went to watch a game of rugby with my work mates - and got the evil eye from Dan's girlfriend, Vanessa. Here's what happened next...
After 40 more minutes of rugby and beer drinking, the game was over. It was too early to call it a night so we piled onto the bus to take us into town.
It was time to hit the bars. For some of us.
“I think I’m just going to head straight back to the station,” Mick said as the overfilled bus carried its semi-sweaty passengers to the centre of town.
“Yeah, I think I’m going to give it a miss too,” Jason said as he played with his phone.
I wasn't surprised about Mick as he never really comes out, but Jason? He is usually a total beer monster. He must have been meeting up with one of his many laydeez. The man whore.
Despite her evil eye glaring from earlier in the evening, Vanessa seemed to be OK with me as we walked from the bus stop to the first bar. Was I just imagining things before as she seemed to be fine with me now? As we chatted about shoes and kittens (you know, girl stuff), I heard Gav absolutely wetting himself with laughter behind us.
“Oh shhh!” Dan said, whilst Gav continued in fits of giggles.
“What’s up?” I asked, turning around to see what all the fuss was about.
“Er, nothing," Dan replied with a smile.
Hmm. Whatever. They were up to something.
"We were checking out your arse!" Gav exclaimed.
"Oi, stop perving you too!" Vanessa laughed.
"Don't worry, we weren't looking at yours," Gav replied.
Vanessa blushed and didn't say anything. Gav and Liam giggled. Dan didn't leap to her defence. That annoyed me.
But I felt strangely pleased that they were checking me out - but a bit weird all at the same time. I was flattered I suppose.
"Er thanks," I said, pulling my top down over my bum a bit.
Vanessa remained quiet but she surprised me as she linked my arm as we walked on.
We ended up in one of the chavviest pubs in town. I was having a good night though, but my hair was starting to frizz ridiculously and I looked like a bit of a twat. We were in there for a while and when we decided to move on to the next bar, Vanessa stopped suddenly by the door.
“I’m going to go home,” she announced.
“Oh right. Why?” Dan asked not seeming too bothered.
“I’m really tired,” she replied, “and I’m not really up for a night out with all this...” She paused and looked at me.
“...I mean, I'm really tired.”
“Oh OK. Are you going to be alright?” Dan asked.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. I’ll get a taxi at the station. I’ll let you know when I get home,” she continued.
“OK.” Dan replied without putting up a fight.
Dan quickly kissed her on the cheek and she disappeared into the night.
Great. Now I was on a boys' night out.
Gav and Liam chose our final destination for the night: a pretty cool bar that plays laid back funk/dance music. As we all walked up the stairs I sensed that Gav was still staring at my arse.
Hey well, what's a girl to do?
The bar was busy and we were all up for a good night. Gav, Liam and Dan attracted a lot of female attention and soon women started to circle them, making it seem all too easy for them to pull if they wanted to.
I can see why. They are all good looking, strapping guys who were out having a laugh.
But I did wonder when the tables started to turn and when women started do all the chasing? Is this is what I look like when I am out with my friends? If it is then I’m going to stop immediately, as watching at those women dirty dancing and trying their best to pull Dan, Gav and Liam was slightly unsettling.
And I have to admit that during all this I felt a like a spare part. Even though I was dancing with the boys, the women around us either ignored me or gave me the evils, thinking I was their competition. The boys just seemed intent on messing around with their newly established fan club.
On Sunday I watched my first live rugby league game. It was great. The sun was scorching, the beers were flowing and the players' shorts were VERY short.
I went along with Mick, Dan and Jason from work, a couple of Dan’s friends, Gav and Liam, and Dan’s girlfriend Vanessa.
We all met in a pub in town and had a few pre-match drinks to start the afternoon. Well, with the UK in a mini-heatwave it was rude not to! I’ve met Dan's friends and missus a couple of times before and they all seem pretty nice, although when Dan gets together with Gav and Liam they do tend to end up giggling like five year old boys.
Vanessa and I get on OK, even though she can be a bit moody. Occasionally she and Dan will have spats in public which can be quite uncomfortable to be around but usually she is fine with me. Saying that, Dan did tell me she has accused Dan and I of being more than just good mates which obviously isn’t true. Despite this, Vanessa is friendly on the odd times that we do see each other and we get on alright even though we don’t have that much in common.
As for the match - it was pretty good as it goes. Not that Mick would ever admit to it.
During the first half I stood in between Dan and Mick and we engaged in our usual banter.
“This game is shit,” Mick stated in an obvious attempt to wind Dan up. “What is it, a game of chase the egg?”
Mick is a die-hard football fan. I only think he came along to drink in the sunshine.
“Yeah whatever,” Dan retorted. “The only crap thing about this game is the venue."
It's true. The open air stands were falling to pieces. Thank God it didn't rain. “Will you two keep it down please,” I said as I tucked my increasingly flyaway hair behind my ears. The heat was turning it into a frizzy disaster. “I can’t concentrate on the foxy rugby players with you two going on!”
I smiled at them both, and Dan laughed.
“Yeah, typical bloody woman,” he replied, but did so with amusement. He knows that I actually do like the game and not just the players.
As half time approached I found myself thinking about Mick’s question about who I find attractive at work.
I still hadn't worked out if there was a hidden agenda in there somewhere.
The early summer sun was really hot and I fanned my face with my ticket to try and cool down. As I did this, Dan leant towards me so he could catch a bit of the makeshift breeze.
“It's bloody boiling," he said, "Or is it just me?"
“Ha! I think it's them," I replied, nodding towards the pitch.
The players were trotting about in the skimpiest shorts I have ever seen.
Dan looked over, before starting to fan us both.
“Well if you want to stay cool, whatever you do, keep away from Mick's moobs.” Dan said. “Those bad boys are like a hideous human hot water bottle!"
As he said this, Mick pressed his man baps together in an attempt to create a bit of cleavage under his t-shirt, making both me and Dan laugh.
Dan carried on fanning and smiled before casting me a sly wink. As he did this I felt my cheeks flush pink - and it wasn't sunburn.
What was that all about? Why was I blushing?
I was about to thank Dan for cooling me down when my eyes were drawn past him and along to where Vanessa was chatting to Jason. She was glaring me.
Dan might be really good looking, but we’re just friends. Nothing more.
But Vanessa didn’t seem to think so.
The hooter blew to signal half time, which also made me snap out of my thoughts. I quickly dashed off to loo in the short interval, and when I returned I saw that Vanessa was standing next to Dan.
I hadn't really spoken with Jason yet, so I made my way over to him. Happily, he had just got the beers in.
“Ahh, Jason!” I said as I re-adjusted my sunglasses. “I see you’re still the man with the best bar technique!"
I don't know how he does it, but even in the busiest bar he always gets served in less than 2 minutes. “Yeo, that's right!” Jason replied proudly. “Here,” he whispered, handing me a pint of cider. “This will keep you cool!”
“Cheers!” I replied, lifting the plastic glass to my lips.
As I took a drink I saw Vanessa watching me out of the corner of my eye. She had a firm grip of Dan’s hand which she yanked back towards herself after he smiled and waved at me and Jason.
Is it just me, or had I done something to piss her off?
I've been in a bit of a fud for the past few days. It's probably because I've got exams at the moment and all my free time is being eaten alive by hours of tedious revision. As a result, my social life is about as exhilarating as staring at a blank wall.
However, a few things have cheered me up.
Firstly, and I know Fishy will whinge, but Cosmopolitan magazine has a steamy selection of male centrefolds this month - all to raise awareness of male cancer for the Everyman campaign. It's a great cause, especially when they snap hot rugby players who look like this:
Ben Foden, England and Northampton Saints full-back
Ugo Monye, England and Harlequins wing.
Acres of sexy male flesh somehow always manages to put a smile on my face. ;-)
But then, looking at this foxy pair made me kick myself all over again about Mr I Wish I Had. Damn it.
Anyway, on Sunday I'm going to watch a rugby game with my mates from work which should be a good laugh. A few drinks, a bit of gossip and watching some men in shorts will no doubt help to cheer me up.
Fingers crossed I meet a guy who looks like Ben or Ugo, eh?
Do you have one person who you feel like you missed out on?
One man or woman who could have been everything you wanted, but who you let slip through your fingers?
I do, and I still kick myself about it to this day...
Mr I Wish I Had was the rugby player I met one night in town. It's not an epic love story or a dating disaster - more a moment I will probably regret forever.
Mr. I Wish I Had played for the rugby team I support, and even though he was a few years younger than me I was a bit star stuck when I met him. I spotted him out with his friends in a bar one Saturday night, but being a total wuss I didn't dare to go over and say hello. Fortunately my friend Beth has balls of steel, and she went over to check that it was actually him. When I say check, she actually walked up to him and said:
"Excuse me, are you X and play for Leeds?"
But it was him. My vodka visor wasn't on the blink.
When I finally built up enough courage (aka did a couple of shooters), I walked over, got chatting to him, and offered to buy him a drink.
It was great and he was lovely. In fact, Mr. I Wish I Had and I were talking for ages. He was out with a few friends and his brother, and they were all genuinely nice guys. Thinking about it, he was probably flattered that someone had recognised him. After all, Leeds weren't exactly a fashionable team and didn't have millions of fans.
To make things even more amazing we kissed. It was very nice. Very nice indeed.
And then we full on snogged for 15 minutes without coming up for breath.
Everything was going great guns. And did I mention his ARMS? They were to die for, as was his arse - the finest I have ever grabbed to this day. Ever.
The only problem with the whole situation was that I was too drunk to think straight. Drunkety drunk drunk. So what could I possibly do to spoil my rugby player fantasy? Well, I left him to go and tell my friends just how lovely he was.
But the best thing is, once I was back with my mates I didn’t have the courage to go back over and talk to him again. I just stayed with my friends and watched Mr. I Wish I Had leave about an hour later.
I was such a FOOL!
He probably thought I was being a total prick tease or that I just wasn't that interested in him. Damn it. I kicked myself as I didn’t even get his number.
There went my rugby player fantasy, right there.
The weekend after my sporting snog it was the first game of the season. I stood and watched Mr I Wish I Had play, half smiling about our game of tonsil-hockey and half kicking myself for not setting up a rematch.
At the end of the year his try secured a cup final win and the first silverware my team had won in years.
And I was still gutted.
I think it's something that will annoy me forever. I could have been in there - or at least got a shag out of it.
If only I’d got his number...
So do you have a similar story?
(By the way, he's not the bloke in the picture, but you get the idea...)
OK, so I've been a bit lax at keeping you up to date on my internet dating shenanigans with the recent distraction of Joe. I'm really sorry, and it's time to bring you up to date.
I've received quite a few messages but none from sexy cat guy. Hmm. I'm a bit disappointed as he did look pretty hot, but If I'm honest we didn't have that much in common.
Early favourite of you guys, Peter the rugby league fan, hasn't replied yet either. However, the stalker in me sees that he's not logged on again since I replied, so I'm not writing him off just yet.
Most of the messages I have received are from guys who are tedious/fugly/freaky/a combination of all three.
But there have been some more interesting ones too...
The first message is a reply from Graham. Remember him? He was the project manager who sent me a lovely opening message, but who looked a bit like Quasimodo's twin brother. I replied to him out of politeness.
Here is what he sent to me one hour after my initial response.
Thanks for your message, and yes I know, supporting Leeds United is a pretty large cross to bear but someone has to do it!
I see from your profile that you love travelling. What was California like? I’d love to go to America but I’ve never quite got round to to/found someone to go with. The best place I’ve visited would be Greece I think. I went a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. There is so much to see and so much history, and the people are really friendly. Gotta be careful of the Ouzo though! One day when I was there the funniest thing happened. I....
And he went on, and on and on...
To give you a quick overview so you’re not reading his message all night like I was, Graham discussed his holiday to Greece in great detail, including the food, drinks and what he did on almost every day. Then he moved on to a long list of where he would love to visit, swiftly followed up with a rundown on what seemed to be his entire music collection and love of modern jazz.
By the time I’d finished reading his message I felt quite exhausted.
TOO MUCH INFORMATION!
However, the thing that swung it for me in deciding not to engage him in further conversation was his signoff, which read:
Anyway, it’s been great chatting to you! Would you like to meet up so I can explain just why Steven Segal is undoubtedly the finest kung-fu actor in the world?
I don't think he was joking.
Ah so I was right it was you! So you’re living up North now too? It’s been years since those days at uni. I went back with my mates last year to see how things have changed and you’ll never believe it but our old halls of residence have been bulldozed and replaced by some swanky new student apartments. No more skanky shared bathrooms and one kitchen between thirty people. Students don’t know they’re born these days!
So what are you up to now? I work as a Financial Advisor which is a little bit of a shock considering I did Geography at uni, but everything seems to be going pretty well. I live in Headingley with a couple of mates and still support Barnsley. Do you still any people from the old days? I still see Mikey (it was his stag do the other weekend – I’m best man- aagh the speech!), and occasionally I meet up with Chris, James and Ed when I’m down in London as they’re still all down there living the high life.
Anyway, got to go, work to do and all that. See you later,
I’m a bit confused by this message. You might have guessed that it’s from the guy I went to the same university as, and I can’t quite work out why he’s suddenly interested in finding out what I’m up to. We hardly said two words to each other when we were at college and I don’t think I even knew his real name back then as everyone always called him Barnsley - after the football team he supports.
The only reason I replied was my visions of him reintroducing me to sexy Mikey, but he's pissed all over that dream with his revelation he's getting married.
I sent Andy a message back letting him know what I’m up to and who I still see from the old days. I’m pretty surprised about our halls of residence though. That’s a real shame as I’ve got so many brilliant memories from that place... and so many that are a little bit hazy due to alcohol...
The big old 1960’s red brick accommodation blocks of our halls were so outdated but I bet each room could tell thousands of stories if the old cliché were true and that walls could talk. Security was so lax and you could break into each floor using an old credit card and a flick of the wrist. It seems like a million years ago...
The next message in my inbox is from James, the guy who sent me the initial stock opener. He seems to have perked up a bit now though:
Good to hear from you! Ah so you were at the Bloc Party gig last year too! They were brilliant weren’t they? The Academy is a fantastic venue isn't it? Much better than the uni. What’s the best gig you’ve ever seen? I think mine would be Sigur Ros at Manchester Apollo. It was a completely different kind of gig as everyone was sat down but it was one of those amazing concerts where all the hairs on the back of my neck stood up on end.
As for Australia, I travelled round with my mate for a month or so before we headed to America. In Oz we went to the usual suspects: Sydney, Melbourne, up the Gold Coast to Brisbane, Fraser Island then worked our way up to Cairns, stopping off at the Whitsundays on the way. It’s an amazing place and I’d love to go back. I agree with you that the Whitsundays are beautiful and I’m disappointed that we didn’t stay there for longer as in the end Cairns didn’t live up to my expectations. So have you got any hols to any exciting destinations planned for this year? You say in your profile that you’d like to visit Thailand? I’m desperately trying to save up to go to China as the place absolutely fascinates me.
Anyway, take care and hope to hear from you soon.
Aw that’s nice. He hopes to hear from me soon AND he seems really interesting and into his music and travelling. I send him a message back talking a bit more about music and gigs that I’ve been to (and the ones that I’ve got lined up. Oooh maybe he could be a contender to come and watch some with me in a few months...).
I’m Tony, I’m 29 and I live in York. I liked your profile very much and we have quite a few things in common. I also support Liverpool but the less said about this season the better! I also like walking in the countryside and am quite an outdoorsy type of person.
I have to be up front and honest with you though as I am only partially sighted which means that I have to walk with a stick but I am very self sufficient and do most things that everyone else manages to do. I even managed to do a sky dive earlier in the year to raise money for the RNIB!
Please have a look at my profile and it would be lovely to hear from you.
I feel really bad now as Tony sounds like a really nice guy, his profile is great and he’s good looking too.
But he is disabled and as much as I hate to admit it to myself, I don’t want to get involved with someone who walks with a white stick (and not just because of the obvious jokes that I’ll get about only being able to pull a blind man).
It’s terrible, but I’m discounting him purely on his disability. If I’d met Tony any other way we might have really hit it off, got to know each other and his blindness might not have been an issue. On the internet however it’s so easy just to say “Next”, discount him and move on.
Is this any different to deciding not to get back to a man based just on his looks like I have been doing?
Somehow it all seems a bit too superficial now.
I’m still beating myself up about Tony and whether I should reply to him or not. I don’t want another Graham style sympathy vote but I feel so bad because of the reason why I don’t want to reply to him.
I get the feeling that signing up for internet dating might be signing up for the long haul - and it looks like it could be a bumpy ride.
I told my work mate Mick about the lingering kiss from Joe, but since it happened I am almost doubting whether it actually did or not. Did I imagine it to be more than it was or did Joe try to kiss me?
Oh I don’t know anymore. Either way, when I relived the moment and described it to Mick I could see his face light up and his eyes twinkle, partly because he had almost predicted it but mostly because he now had some brilliant material to wind me up with for months and months. The wanker. I suppose that as a married man he has to get his kicks from somewhere and I seem to be an easy target. If only he knew what happened with me and Foxy Scott!
On hearing my news, Mick went into overdrive.
“Ha ha! I knew it!” Mick exclaimed loudly so the entire office could hear him. “I knew that Joe always had a soft spot for you.”
I slid down my chair and inwardly cringed.
“Just imagine,” Mick continued as he stared into the mid-distance. “You and Joe start a passionate affair, and after only a couple of months you move into his palatial mansion and give up work to start podding out babies. I can see it now: baby Tarquin in one arm and baby Fifi in the other. Of course, you can afford to give up work as Joe earns so much he can probably afford to wipe his arse on £50 notes. It sounds perfect. Don’t forget who saw it all coming first. I’ll expect a seat on the top table at the wedding.”
“Ha ha very amusing Mick,” I replied, “But that’s not happening anywhere other than in the twisted fantasyland that is your brain.”
“Ooh, get you,” Mick chided in an overly gay fashion. “Well, let’s just see what happens with you two on the next work’s night out. You could share a taxi back to his maybe? A couple of drinks, who knows…?”
“Shhh, will you be quiet!” I whispered to Mick.
I didn’t want everyone to hear my business, let alone make them think that something was happening with me and Joe.
As Mick babbled on I could see that Dan’s ears had pricked up and that he was taking it all in. Fortunately, unlike everyone, else he knows what Mick is like (and is my friend) so I wasn't worried about him spreading any gossip. Usually he would be piling in with the wind ups but he kept out of it, I guess because he doesn't really know Joe very well...
But why did I decide to tell Mick about Joe when I knew he’d make me the butt of all his jokes? I’m struggling to remember. Oh yeah, it was to get a second opinion as to whether the lingering kiss on the cheek actually meant something. Not that Mick has any clue. Blokes are rubbish at that sort of thing, so I guess I’ve just embarrassed myself and received no real insight.
Must turn my attention back to internet dating. I can hardly wait...
My friend Joe had never put a kiss on the end of a text message to me before and I’ve known him for a couple of years.
I read hs message again:
I can’t believe Leeds have stayed up! Sorry if I was a bit quiet after the game. I’ll look forward to seeing you soon for a few drinks :-) x
I had two choices:
1. Reply to his message and just be friendly, ending it without a kiss and hope that he got the subtle subtext. Do men understand subtlety?
2. Reply to his message and be friendly and end it with a kiss, therefore effectively encouraging him and potentially setting the creaking wheels of romance into motion.
As I drove home from the game I considered all the pros and cons of leaving that one extra character at the end of a text message. It’s amazing that one little ‘x’ can mean so much. It can turn a friendly message into so much more.
Pros of the ‘x’:
Joe likes rugby.
He has a good job.
He’s not that bad looking.
We get on well.
I’ve known him for so long that I know he’s not a wanker.
Cons of the ‘x’:
I don’t fancy him, and I mean really fancy him enough to put our friendship on the line.
He’s a bit older than I’d like my boyfriend to be.
It would be weird hanging around with him and my friends at the same time as they don't have much in common.
I don’t fancy him. I mean, I just don’t fancy him enough. I must learn from what happened with John for goodness sake.
But Joe is good on paper, so should I settle for that? I’m not getting any younger and on paper he is an excellent catch.
No, what am I thinking?
I didn’t start out on this experiment just to “settle” for someone because I think they might be the best I can get, especially if there’s no real chemistry between us. If I did that then I would feel like I had cheated myself despite everything I promised I wouldn't to do this time around.
To clarify my decision I matched Joe up against my Perfect 10:
The Perfect 10 Checklist: Joe
Joe is sort of good looking but more average I think – well, in my opinion anyway. As he’s a bit older things might have started to sag too... Put it this way: I don’t look at him and go weak at the knees/experience any dampness in the knicker region. So it's a no.
2. Sense of humour
I never really laugh that much with Joe and he certainly has never had me rolling around on the floor in hysterics. Mostly we have quite serious conversations, and even when it’s light hearted I don’t really get much from him humour wise. Therefore as lovely a bloke as he is, it’s a no in this section too.
3. Being Down to Earth
Joe works as an IT consultant so you might assume that he’s up his own arse, but this is so far from the truth and I couldn’t be friends with him if he was, so it's a yes here.
4. Loyalty and Trust
Yes, I think so. He’s definitely loyal to the team we both support, but when it comes to romantic relationships I’m not sure as we’ve never talked about his romantic past. I mean, I assume he's had girlfirends? He was always trustworthy at work though and I think it’s enough to earn a point.
Sometimes Joe can be a little detached but on the whole he’s a lovely, generous man, so it's a yes here.
6. Have a strong sense of family
He holidays with his brother and his nephews and spends a lot of time with his family, so a definite yes. Bit weird holidaying with his brother though, don't you think?
8. Ambition and a drive to succeed
He is self employed and is successfully running his own business, so yes.
9. Different interests
I’m not too sure. I know he loves skiing (which I’ve never tried as I’d probably kill myself) so that counts, as does golf, but rugby is his main love. I’d still say yes to this one and give him a point.
No idea as I didn’t get far enough to find out. As I’ve said, I’ve never heard anything about any previous relationships so this will have to be nul points for this criterion due to lack of information.
Marks out of 10: 7
Conclusion: I think that Joe is the typical “Mr. Looks Good on Paper” but in reality there’s still something missing. I think in his case it is the spark that lights up and shines when you really fancy someone. I’ve never felt that tingling sensation when he touches me and I’ve never felt my stomach flip when I see him. To me he’s just lovely, dependable Joe, who has dozens of amazing qualities but who just doesn’t set my world (or pants) on fire. I suppose that at least I learnt to step away this time before burning my fingers.
I sent him the following text:
It was a brilliant game - I'm still bouncing! I’ll definitely see you soon and I’ll remind Mick to get a night out organised. :-)
Friendly, funny and no kiss. Although, reading it back to myself was I a little bit too flirty? Oh well sod it, I sent it and it was too late to change it.
A few minutes later my phone buzzed with an incoming text message, again from Joe:
Great I’ll look forward to it. I’ve not seen Mick and the other guys in ages. I’m off to go and have a couple of pints and celebrate our win! See you soon. Take care :-)
Phew, no kiss and problem averted. I think.
I’m going to have a chat about this with my work mate Mick to see if he’s picked up on anything from Joe, but then again it will probably be very painful as Mick will undoubtedly whip his big shit-stirring stick out and have a field day.
I’m glad I screwed my head on firmly over this one as I’d hate to ruin another friendship, especially as it would mean that I’d have to find another willing soul to watch the majority of home games with next season.
Joe is a brilliant guy, but just not perfect for me.
I had been to watch a crucial end of season rugby match with my friend Joe and we had shared a friendly hug. It was just friendly, right? Here's what happened next...
After we clapped the team off the pitch, Joe and I were swept along with all the other fans towards one of the many exits. We were both absolutely buzzing about the result and I'm pretty sure I bounced down the street with the biggest smile on my face ever.
Joe had parked his car in pretty much the opposite direction to mine so after a few minutes’ walk it was time to go our separate ways. All of a sudden things seemed a little awkward between us and I wondered if he was freaked out when I grabbed his arm during the last five minutes of the game. I really hoped not. I didn’t mean anything by it - I just felt so stressed and nervous and needed a bit of steadying. And what about our hug after the final whistle? It was just a friendly hug between two mates. Wasn't it?
“Well, I guess I’ll see you in a month or so when Mick finally arranges a night out,” Joe said as he stood opposite me, his hands firmly in his pockets.
“Yeah definitely,” I replied. “I think I might just have recovered from today to go for a night out by then!” I laughed.
“OK then. It was really good to see you today," Joe said. “So I’ll see you soon...”
With that he moved towards me, put his hand on my arm and kissed me on the cheek.
Unlike when we met and he kissed me on the cheek before the game, this time he seemed to linger. His lips were gentle and and for a couple of seconds I thought he was going to kiss me on the lips. I felt myself blushing and I gently touched his arm and pulled my face away from him. Joe looked uncomfortable and like he was lost in no-man’s land.
"Er, would you like to go and grab a drink now?" he asked cautiously. His hands were back in his pockets and he was looking sheepishly at the floor.
Gulp. Suddenly it didn't feel like a friend asking a friend if they fancied a beer.
"Um, I'd love to but I'm really sorry, I can't," I replied.
It was true, I couldn't, as I had to drive over to my parent's straight after. But why did I say I would love to? Was that encouraging him - if there was anything to encourage?
"Oh, yeah, that's right. You did tell me you had to shoot off straight after the match," Joe replied.
I smiled at him.
“Right then. Well I guess I’ll see you soon,” I said quickly as I opened my bag and searched for my car keys.
“Yes. Yes, I’ll see you soon,” Joe replied in a fluster. “Bye then.”
As soon as he said goodbye he dashed off in the opposite direction, leaving me standing alone like a confused statue.
What was that? Did I just imagine it? I think something just happened back there. Did Joe try to kiss me as in properly kiss me? No, that’s not right. Joe’s my rugby friend. My friend! I know that I’ve flirted with the idea of what it would be if we got together in my head but I’ve never seriously considered it. I mean, I don’t even fancy Joe, do I? Well, maybe an ever so tiny little bit, but that’s not enough to put a friendship on the line.
And then there’s his age. I mean, he’s over forty and I am in my prime. Does age really matter so much?
I think that Joe and I are at different points of our lives. I very much doubt that he’s going to want to go out and party as much as I do and it would be weird socialising with him and my friends at the same time. I remember what it was like with John and the disaster that turned into. John was a friend who fancied me and because I felt so flattered I went along with it, even though I knew deep down that I didn’t really like him in that way and it wasn’t right. Why was I even considering doing the same thing with Joe? And more to the point, I might have got this all wrong and have completely misread the situation in the wake of our team’s amazing win.
As I walked back to my car, totally lost in my thoughts my phone vibrated in my pocket and snapped me out of it. It was a text message from Joe:
I can’t believe Leeds have stayed up! Sorry if I was a bit quiet after the game. I’ll look forward to seeing you soon for a few drinks :-) x
Oh, that’s new.
He has never put a kiss on the end of a text message to me before and I’ve known him for a couple of years.
Does that mean what I think it means?
I think he likes me...
So there I was at the crucial rugby game having just met up with my good friend Joe. If my team won they'd be safe. If they lost they could be relegated. I was as nervous as hell and so was Joe. I could sense it when he kissed me hello on my cheek... My colleague Mick had been winding me up and saying that Joe could be the perfect guy for me, and on paper he is. But at 13 years older than me I just didn't know. And I wasn't sure if I fancied him - even with his villa in Spain...
As I'd arrived at the ground just before kick off there was no time for me to have a nerve-calming drink. Instead Joe and I headed outside and assumed our usual position in the South Stand, just to the right of the touchline and behind the mini-orchestra.
The drummer banged his drum and the crowd cheered as the team line-up was relayed over the tannoy. The tension was building and I could feel it in the air. The cheer leaders dashed out onto the pitch with flags waving and pom-poms bouncing as the players readied themselves in the bowels of the stadium. The butterflies in my stomach were flapping in anticipation as to what would happen next. Only eighty minutes separated my team from possible relegation and the desperate feeling of disappointment that it brings. Not even a couple of text messages I received from my work mates Mick and Dan with jokes about “going down” were going to make me smile. Well, maybe a bit.
The crowd roared and everyone was on their feet as the team ran onto the pitch. Flags waved and chants circled the ground before being whipped away on the wind. Joe looked pretty nervous too, and over the next eighty minutes we lived and breathed every tackle, scrum and lineout, cheering our hearts out for the team we both love.
The first half began. Three successful penalties for us in the first 25 minutes. A score for them. We almost get a try but ball is knocked forwards.
At half time we were winning 12 – 3. It was a lead but I was starting to feel stressed. The half time entertainment didn’t do much to lighten the mood and the entire crowd was on tenterhooks. Whilst I watched the cheer leaders bump, grind and shake their thang, Joe disappeared off to the burger van and returned a couple of minutes later with two polystyrene cups of steaming hot tea. It’s as if he’d read my mind.
We chatted about the game so far and how we'd been playing pretty well, just as the players started to run out for the second half. I could see in their body language that they looked really up for it. I said a little prayer under my breath.
The second half started like a whirlwind, with the opposition throwing everything at us. A stupid mistake let them run in a brilliant try, which was converted to take the score to 12-10. I was feeling really uncomfortable now. Ten minutes left. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Joe jigging up and down. I couldn’t work out if it was from nerves or if he trying to keep warm as it wasn't that chilly.
“Are you OK?” I asked.
“Yeah. Well, no.” Joe replied. “This is torture. I can’t bear it."
“I know what you mean,” I agreed. “I kind of wish I’d just stayed at home and listened to it on the radio.”
Joe looked at me and pulls his most wounded face.
“No I didn’t mean it like that!” I exclaimed. “You know I love coming to watch the rugby with you!”
“Yeah, whatever,” Joe laughed.
We turned our attention back to the game.
“Come on Leeds! Get your tackles in first time!” Joe shouted anxiously.
I could tell by the look on his face that he was hating every second, so in an effort to try and calm him down I gently placed my hand on his arm and gave it a squeeze.
Joe diverted his eyes from the pitch and looked at me with a grateful smile. At least I think it was a grateful smile.
Five minutes of the game left and the score line was still 12-10. I could hardly bear it any more. The crowd cheered in time with the drum to try and lift the tired bodies of our players. If we could just hold on or score another penalty, that would hopefully be enough.
Just as I was silently praying for this, the opposition are awarded another penalty themselves. It was 55 metres out. Surely they aren't going to go for goal? The kicker pointed to the posts and the entire stand held its breath. A few people jeered in an attempt to put him off as he lined up his strike. He ran up, boot connected with ball..... And it was short! He missed!
The linesmen waved their flags to indicate that the kick was bad, leaving the score still agonisingly poised at 12-10 with just a couple of minutes left to play.
The butterflies in my stomach started to flip over and over and I just couldn't watch it any more. I turned to Joe and placed my cheek on his shoulder and linked his arm with mine, then faced the opposite way to the pitch.
“I don’t want to know what’s happening unless it’s another score for us,” I said into the wooliness of his jumper. “Please, please let us score.”
I really couldn't look.
One minute left and the crowd was still cheering and willing the team on, when all of a sudden the noise stopped and for a few seconds there was almost silence. I felt Joe’s body tense up before the crowd erupted into cheers.
“What just happened?” I shouted and span around to face the pitch.
Everyone is punching the air and the rest of the squad is running onto the pitch.
"It's over! We've won!" Joe yelled. "They tried to go for a drop goal, but we charged it down and kicked it out! We've won! WE'VE WON!"
I started leaping around and clapping and screaming. A few tears welled up in my eyes. Tears of pride. The atmposhere was amazing. Everyone was clapping and cheering. It was brilliant.
I looked at Joe and he smiled. Suddenly he stopped clapping and grabbed me for a massive hug. I was so caught up in the excitement of the victory it felt totally natural. And nice. It felt nice.
But it ended all too quickly when a drunk guy stumbled into us. Joe made sure I was OK then carried on smiling at me. I quickly turned back to the pitch and started applauding the players again.
What was that?
Was I imagining things or did he want to be more than friends? I was about to find out....
We all had a great time. We talked, drank copious amounts of wine and shared the blogging love. Well, something like that.
Happily on Sunday morning I woke up with no real hangover, and I got back to Leeds just in time for the main event of my weekend. (No offence ladies!).
The big game. The crucial game. The rugby game of the season.
The game that ended up with two results: one that I hoped for; the other that came totally out of left field.
And yes, one of those results involved a man.
In order to get there I have to tell you about the rugby first...
Call me weird, but I really love the feeling I get in the pit of my stomach as I walk toward the rugby ground with other fans on the day of a crucial match. It feels like there is a kaleidoscope of butterflies flapping around before they manage to escape and burst into a shot of pure adrenaline.
As usual, I was wearing my replica shirt and I was rushing to get into the ground as I was running late. There was absolutely no way I was going to miss kick off though. Sunday's game was so important as it was a dog eat dog relegation battle. If my team won they would survive in the Premiership and the other team would be relegated. If my boys lost, it would mean a tense final game of the season with the spectre of relegation looming large. I was as nervous as hell.
I really hoped it would be a big turnout to support the lads, as over the past couple of months the crowds had been dwindling. As I approached the ground and the number of fans increased I could see a sea of yellow and blue flags pouring in through the turnstiles. I sensed a buzz in the atmosphere that I only seem to feel on days like this. I smiled and felt thankful that the faithful were back out in numbers.
I was meeting up with my ex-colleague Joe to watch the game, as he’s also a season ticket holder and is one of my regular rugby match day mates. If Joe’s not around then I’ll either drag my Dad along (having learnt never to bring him when I’m going with a bloke, oh the embarrassment) or if he’s not up for it then I’ll go and watch the game on my own. I know, it sounds a little bit tragic but honestly it’s not. None of my friends like rugby but it's fine, as when I do go and watch games on my own I still feel part of a combined force of fans all willing the team on to win. I invariably end up chatting with the people around me and have a bit of a laugh.
Oh, and I silently drool over the players and any fitties in the crowd. Obviously.
Headingley Stadium is a fantastic venue but then again I am rather biased. As I finally reached the turnstile and heard it click when I scanned my ticket I could smell the unmistakable smell of fried onions and hotdogs wafting on the breeze. From the South Stand I could hear the trumpets and the banging of the drum which roused the supporters into song. Ten minutes to go until kick off and I rushed towards the bar which is where I was meeting Joe.
Joe and I used to work together until he left about a year ago to follow the more lucrative path of the self-employed IT consultant. We still see each other pretty regularly though at rugby games and on the occasional work night out. I really like Joe and we get on brilliantly well.
I’ll never forget the first time we had a proper conversation with each other when a few of us went out one Friday after work. Everyone had sunk a few shandies and I was busy mingling when I bumped into Joe and we ended up talking to each other for the first time. I knew that he liked rugby so we chatted about that for what turned out to be a couple of hours. At the end of the conversation he announced that he was really impressed: finally he’d found a woman who could talk intelligently about sport. I felt rather pleased with myself, but then grimaced slightly. I didn’t always like the tag of being “one of the boys”, but it was nice to meet someone with similar interests.
Since then Joe and I started to watch games together and when he left the company we stayed in touch. My colleague Mick takes great pleasure in winding me up about my friendship with Joe and pointing out that he would make an excellent Sugar Daddy. It’s true, Joe is thirteen years older than me, is quite attractive, very single and from all accounts very comfortably well off. The problem is I just don’t fancy him and I’m not sure if I ever could.
I have thought about it though. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like if we did get together: amazing sex (with age comes experience after all); fantastic holidays; great lifestyle, and maybe he would want to have children reasonably soon (he’d definitely be able to support a family with his income).
But then again he probably has a saggy arse, is incontinent and struggles to get it up.
However, all that aside, I’m not sure if we would have anything to talk about other than rugby...
Mick does make a very good case for Joe, painting the picture of spending a month chilling at Joe’s Spanish villa or swooshing down the slopes with him in France (as Joe goes on at least one skiing holiday a year) but there’s something missing. A spark maybe? Or is it because he’s so much older than me?
Either way, I tried to put all these thoughts out of my mind as I swept into the bar and caught Joe’s eye. I worked my way through the scrum of people and we said hello and kissed each other on the cheek.
It was a slow morning at work yesterday so I had plenty of time to slyly check my emails and see if I’d received any more messages or winks from potential online suitors. By lunchtime I had been sent two more messages and had been winked at three more times. As I pressed Ctrl+Alt+Delete to lock my computer to walk to the sandwich shop I felt positively upbeat.
I mean, I hadn’t actually read the messages or seen who they were from (as that would involve logging on to an internet dating website at work and running the risk of everyone seeing what a loser I am) but that didn’t matter. Some men out there thought I was pretty and interesting enough to take the time to get in touch with me, and that alone was an ego boost.
I was in my own little dream world as I put on my coat and grabbed my bag, so I was a bit startled when my colleague (and very good friend) Mick interrupted my thoughts. It resulted in a very interesting conversation.
“Oi! Slapper!” he shouted across the office.
“Are you off to the sandwich shop?”
“Yeah,” I replied with a smile.
Not many people can get away with calling me a slapper, but Mick is one of them.
“Can I come with?” Mick asked, already slipping on his coat.
“Yeah, of course,” I replied, knowing full well that a walk to the shop with Mick meant a full on gossip and slag off session of some of our other work “mates” who we loved to hate.
Mick is a few years older than me and is very happily married with a young son and another baby on the way. He’s got a wicked sense of humour and has the amazing ability to make me crease up with laughter over the most stupid things. We used to sit next to each other before he got moved as we were told that we talked too much and apparently had “too much fun at work”. Now we have to chat over email and synchronise our breaks.
My other really good mate at work is Dan. He works on the same team as me and has only been with the company for about a year. Mick, Dan and I have such a good laugh with each other and sometimes that’s the only thing that keeps me going. Dan isn’t married but he lives with his girlfriend and they’ve been together about five years or so. His favourite way to wind me up is to slag off rugby union he is a die-hard rugby league fan. But Dan’s not the only one with the wind ups as we all take the piss out of each other on a daily basis. This usually involves jibes focussed on Mick’s ever increasing moobs, my beard (which is a LIE as I do NOT have facial hair) and Dan being a Manchester United glory supporter.
My team leader once said that Mick, Dan and I are like the three amigos of the office, and I suppose that it’s true. If it wasn’t for those two then the office would be a much duller place (especially now that Foxy Scott has moved on to pastures new and I can’t while away my time flirting with him).
On the way to the sandwich shop Mick and I chatted about the weekend's football and rugby fixtures and the usual sort of stuff. On the way back he steered the topic of conversation in a completely different direction which took me totally by surprise.
As he munched on his tuna baguette Mick asked me who I thought the best looking blokes in the office were. What a question.
“So come on then,” Mick asked through a mouthful of sandwich. “As a young - well youngish - single woman, you must have given some thought as to who at work is hot and who’s not whilst you lean seductively against the photocopier?”
“Ha, ha, very funny Mick,” I replied, trying my best to evade his ridiculous line of questioning.
It’s not that I hadn’t considered this before, but why on earth did he want to know?
“You’re only asking as you’re desperate for a quick ego boost because you’re careering headlong into your mid-life crisis!” I teased.
“No I’m not,” Mick said as he picked bits of tuna mayonnaise off his sandwich wrapper.
“Yeah, yeah,” I replied. “I’m not going to massage your ego so you might as well just put yourself out of your misery and buy that impractical red sports car you’ve been eyeing up on the internet.” I continud.
“Ha, ha, very funny,” Mick replied. “I’m not buying that car as it goes, and as for my question? Well, I’m just interested in who you think the resident office bog-creatures are. So go on, tell me,” he persisted.
Er, OK then...
“Well, Scott would have been top of my list but he’s left now so I can’t really count him...” I said thoughtfully.
“No you can’t count him”, Mick replied, as he rammed the last bit of baguette into his mouth. “So who would be your number one?”
That was a difficult question. Undoubtedly Mick would rush off and tell whoever I chose straight away, but at the same time there was no point in lying about it.
“Number one would be Dan I think”, I said quite decisively after a few moments of thought. Mick looked quite surprised.
“Don’t look at me like that!” I said hurriedly. The expression on Mick’s face had changed to that of a schoolboy who had discovered pictures of naked women in his science text book.
Shit, I had to qualify the statement before his mind started whirring.
“What I mean is, Dan is unquestionably good looking and has a lovely smile but obviously I don’t actually fancy him as he’s my mate and is more like a brother. Oh, and he has a girlfriend.”
Phew, good save. It's true though, he just just a mate. A very good mate.
But Dan is good looking. Very good looking. He’s not especially tall but he is taller than me. He has broad strapping shoulders and is quite stocky, and his short dark hair is sexily flecked with grey at the temples. Oh, and that gorgeous, winning smile. He used to play rugby for a local amateur side, and yes, he does have rather lovely arms under his work shirts (from what I can make out).
“OK then,” Mick said, wiping his mouth with a serviette. “Who’s number two?”
“Ha! I should say you as you are a total shit for asking me this!” I joked. “Er, number two would be Sean I think”.
“Yeah, I can see that,” Mick replied.
Sean is a trainee in our department and is pretty fit, but he really knows it and is a bit of a slag with the ladies.
“Again,” I continued, “I think Sean is good looking but I don’t fancy him as I know what he’s like. Number three would be Tim from next door,” at which point Mick and I both stopped walking to do a really bad impression of Tim’s strange nasal inflection.
“I know he’s got a weird sounding voice,” I said, “but he is good looking and I could always gag him or something!”
We had almost arrived back at the office and I had reeled off numbers four and five as one of the team leaders and the new guy Jason. Mick looked surprised and said
“Jason? But I’m better looking than Jason!”
“Ahh, so that’s what this was all about! It was an ego trip for you after all!” I said with a slightly mocking tone. “Oh well I suppose that I’m starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel now so you’d be number six”.
Mick looked quite put out.
“I’ve been told before that I could have been a male model you know,” he said despondently as we climbed the stairs.
After I’d peeled myself up off the floor and stopped laughing I sensed that he might have felt a bit hurt.
“Well I’m sure you could have been... in your day! At least you’re above doddery old Malcolm.” I laughed again, before continuing, “You know me - I like my men young!”
Mick laughed and we went back to our desks. As I ate my sandwich I heard him muttering “Jason?” under his breath.
Male model my arse! But what was all that about? Was he just being nosey or is he trying to set me up - either with a bloke from work or for a fall? I can't work it out... What do you think?
OK, so my internet dating profile has been flirting away in cyberspace for a couple of days now. But has my painstakingly crafted sales pitch ensnared any desirable men?
Well, why don't you have a look at a selection of messages I've received.
Oh, so they make sense, I should tell you that my profile starts off with the "Do you look good in shorts?" line and goes on to say how I love rugby (Leeds Carnegie), football (Liverpool), a bit about the bands I like and where I've been travelling. Mindblowing stuff people.
Hi! Yes I do look good in shorts (or so I’ve been told!). I also support Liverpool, but I’m more of a rugby league fan than rugby union. Have a look at my profile and if you like what you see then I would love to hear from you. Peter
I think you have a lovely smile. Would you like to go out for a drink sometime?
Hi, and I’m really sorry if I’ve got the wrong person, but did we used to go to University together? I think we were in the same halls in the first year?
Hello, Great profile, I really enjoyed reading it. My name is Graham and I work as a project manager. I share a lot of the same interests as you, although I have to admit that I support Leeds United but please don’t hold that against me! It was a great win for Liverpool yesterday. Anyway, if you would like to get in touch it would be great to hear from you. Take care, Graham
Hi there! Fancy going out for a meal with me? We could go to that new French place in town? Gary
I think you very sexy.
I only wear shorts on holiday but apparently I have very good legs! The question is, do you look good in shorts?!
Hi there, I see from your profile that you don’t like Thunderstorms. Why ever not? They’re amazing! Will
Hi I’m James, I enjoyed reading your profile very much. If you like what you see in mine then send me a message back!
Whatever are you doing on here? A gorgeous, single girl that loves football, rugby and cricket AND has a great taste in music? I’m off down to the gym to go and work on my legs to make sure I’m not embarrassed if I put a pair of shorts on! I’m Tom, I support Liverpool too and love the Leeds Rhinos (wrong type of rugby I know). I’m 28 and live in Sheffield. I get to most Liverpool home games as I’m lucky enough to be a season ticket holder. Do you get to Anfield much? Anyway I’d love to hear from you! Bye for now, Tom
There’s a few promising looking messages in there and I’m pleasantly surprised.
But what about the blokes who sent them?
Time to be brutal.
I discount messages 2, 5 and 6 straight away as I don’t like the look of them and we don’t have much in common, especially the man who wrote “I think you very sexy”. Er, cheers, but you’re about 5ft 2” tall, look a bit like Gollum and seem to have issues with basic grammar. Oh, and you’re old enough to be my Dad! World of wrong.
I send a reply to Peter who sent me message number one. He’s 30, works in sales and lives about 5 miles from me. He’s not bad looking and has very short, shaved blonde hair and a nice smile. Not drop dead gorgeous but he is quite good looking. Well, worth a squirt at any rate.
Next up is University boy. And wow, yes I did go to college with him. He used to hang around with some of the people I knew and I spent the first year lusting after his mate Mikey. I send him a quick message back confirming that yes I do remember him and ask him what he’s up to these days. I’m not sure if he’s got in touch with me just out of curiosity and to catch up or if he actually does fancy me. Oh well we’ll see.
Message number four from project manager Graham is a nice message to receive, as it shows that he’s read my profile and has taken an interest in some of the things that I like. I check him out and discover that he is 34, lives about 15 miles away, and is a minger. I send a polite reply as I don't want to be rude.
The guy who sent me message number seven is hot, but from the way he’s written his profile I think that he knows it. He’s 6ft1” tall, and has short curly jet black hair, broad shoulders and a gleaming white smile. He has classed his body shape as “Athletic and toned”. So far so good. But after reading his profile I see that we don’t seem to have too much in common. I’m not sure if the fact that he’s only commented on my “shorts” tagline is a good thing though. Has he actually read the rest of my profile, and if he has did he realise that we have nothing else in common? I decide that I’ve got nothing to lose and he is the best looking one yet, so I send him a quick reply saying: “Yes I look great in shorts! As you can see from my profile my legs are my best feature!” It’s getting a bit late and I can’t be arsed to think of anything else to write, especially as he didn’t say much to me.
I ignore message number eight from Will. Why on earth would he pick up on an answer I’ve put in the wanky internet dating section rather than anything else in my profile? Plus, he’s student with ginger hair with a profile so far it’s own arse that I’m surprised I didn’t need a torch to be able to read it. I can’t be bothered with that. Next.
I think that James from message number nine has just sent me a stock message that he must send to everyone that he gets in touch with. I suppose it’s a good time saving device but it is a little bit lazy. James looks quite cute from the one photo on his profile and I also learn that he is a commodity trader (whatever that means). It sounds pretty posh though and also pretty lucrative. Ker-ching! I reply to him and ask him about a trip to Australia that he mentioned in his profile.
Tom from message ten has loads in common with me, but he’s about twenty stone and I just don’t fancy him. I send him one of the stock “Thanks for your message but I’m not interested” replies and then log out.
So all in all a bit of a mixed bag.
I got a load of "winks" too from men who were too lazy to send me a message, but I’m too tired to deal with them or do any searching for myself tonight.
I hope I get some replies to the messages I have sent, but I'm going to bed quite positive about the whole internet dating thing for the first time in my life.
No hot rugby players yet, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time. Please let me know what you think of the first batch of contenders!
Newly single and rapidly approaching my thirtieth birthday, I’ve realised that I need a new game plan in order to find the drop dead gorgeous, rugby-playing boyfriend that I’ve been lusting after for years. Or at the very least: a man just like him...