Friday, 28 May 2010

Bums, Spare Wheels and the Boys' Night Out

Music: The Girls - Calvin Harris

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.

It was time for me to have some fun of my own...
(To be continued... again...)

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Sun, Cider and Staring

Music: Steal My Sunshine - Len

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?

(To be continued...)

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

If only Everyman could look like this...

Music: Celebrity Skin - Hole

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?

Friday, 14 May 2010

Mr. I Wish I Had...

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?"

Subtle eh?

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...)

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Hollow Little Profile

Music: Had Enough - The Enemy

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.

Never again.

Here is what he sent to me one hour after my initial response.

Message 1


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.


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.

Message 2

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:

Message 3


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...).

Message 4

Hello there,

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.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Post-Joe Post-Mortem

Music: Girls and Boys - Blur

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...

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Kiss Kiss

Music: Kiss Kiss - Holly Valance

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

1. Looks

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.

5. Kindness

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?

7. Solvency


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.

10. Romance

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’ve decided.

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'm almost 100% convinced of that...

Monday, 3 May 2010

Mixed Messages

Music: Be the One - Ting Tings

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...

To be continued...