Tag Archives: date

All Signs Point to …

I have been talking about relocating to a new city for a while.

Over pints, with a red, flushed face, did I all too often, dramatically announce, “I’m leaving! Remember this face! I am gone! I am sick of Dublin. Sick of it. There are too many ghosts in this city.”

Eyes were often thrown to heaven. “Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard this before”. Sometimes I even received, “what do you expect to get from London that you can’t get in Dublin?”

A month ago, Best Friend proposed he and I spend some time looking for jobs in London using the internet. We did an in-depth, intricate search on Google, using scant terms such as “London VAT jobs”. We received a few matches.

Best Friend  perused one particular job spec. “I think this job would suit you.”

I read the detail on the screen. I shook my head. “Oh, no, this sounds very technical. No, no, this is not for me at all.”

We came across similar jobs. I shooed the notion of them away.

A day or so later, I pondered the job spec. The more I thought on it, the more I realised this job was for me. I could do this. I could be good at this. This is my job! I called the recruitment agent. We chatted about my experience and interest in the role. He forwarded my CV to the recruiters, who instantly expressed interest in my profile.

Faraway, in another land, removed from flights of fancy of living the London Life, Best Friend and I addressed our living situation. The duration of the lease on the apartment, slowly wasted away; to extend the lease or not.

“I could just quit my job – for the first time in my life, throw caution to the wind and leave! Oh wait, no, I have no savings. This won’t work.”

Best Friend disagreed. “You need a job before you move. We’ll look at the matter of the lease, when the need arises.”

Meanwhile, elsewhere, away from employment opportunities and living arrangements, did I happen to meet a handsome, English man – London Bloke – in Dublin for a business trip. We arranged a date. The date went well. In fact, it went very well. I like him very much. I am lazy in romance and for what is a rare occasion, I made the first move on our date.

Roughly one week later, events progressed nicely. Before I knew it, I was required to go to London for a second interview.  London Bloke and I had been in contact prior to the interview. We arranged a second date, deciding to meet in Soho.

I arrived late, having spent fifteen minutes wandering around Soho in search of Compton Street. I walked into the darkness of the bar and looked around for London Bloke. I spotted him within seconds. He looked good. I awkwardly greeted him. I was nervous. Do I shake his hand or kiss him on the mouth?  What is the etiquette for a second date? I opted for a kiss on the cheek.

“It’s really nice to see you again,” he said.

My head spun. Wow, Irish men never say stuff like that. Well, the Irish men I’ve known never would. “It’s nice to see you too,” I replied somewhat coyly, looking to the floor.

“You’re in my city this time. Let me buy you a pint.”

We moved to a nook of the bar. Conversation and laughter radiated from that corner.

London Bloke supped his pint of ale. “So, how did the interview go?”

“It went OK. My head was completely fried afterwards. It was two hours long. I spoke for two hours! I am naturally talkative, but even I found that challenging.”

“When will you know the results?”

I hesitated. “Thing is … I already know the results …”

He raised his eyebrows in expectation. “Oh?”

“I got the job.”

A sexy smile crept across his face. “I am so happy for you. And, I am happy for me too.”

I was stunned. I’m sure my smile beamed. “Thanks.” I felt very strange right then, unaccustomed to the sensation of shyness.

I returned to Dublin the next day, slowly and gradually communicating my news to friends. Events were slowly settling in my own head. Since then, I have handed in my notice at work. I am due to finish my job 15th July; the same day the lease ends on the apartment.

I fancy the arse off London Bloke. As sad – or hopeful – as it sounds, I have not felt like this about anyone in years. I no longer feel dead from the waist down.

I never subscribed to the “whatever is meant for you won’t pass you by” train of thought. In my opinion, our lives are what we make them. Recent events have caused me to wonder if sometimes, now and again, things just go right and fall tidily into place.

It’s really quite nice when this happens.


A Close Shave

The sudden realisation you are single is a severe blow to the psyche. Obviously, the worst part of any break up is the emotional stress. A break up roughly tosses you naked from the warm, insulate cocoon of a relationship onto the cold, concrete street of the Singleton. Casually dismissing the emotional turmoil of a break up, there are other superficial considerations that a Singleton is presented with; you have to give a shit about your appearance again.

Admittedly, it is grossly unfair to impute couples have given up on their appearance; there are many beautiful, well dressed couples, but I know that while in a relationship, I regularly opted to sit with a tube of Pringles in my pyjamas rather than join my friends for a night on the town. Perhaps, singledom encourages one to make more effort in their visual appeal for obvious reasons. Since my break-up, I’ve changed my hair, lost weight and had my teeth done. While I might have considered all this while in a relationship, I can’t say would have done anything about it.

When I turned single last year, the consensus of my friends was I should get back on the horse, firmly believing the best way to get over was by getting under. Well, in hindsight, they were all wrong. Wrong! The best way to get over a breakup is by locking yourself in a dark room, meditating for hours on end and unravelling each and every emotional issue on the list you spent weeks compiling. Only then, will you be exorcised of the demons from your previous relationship. However, back then I did not know this. I obsessed with finding a new horse.

“It has been a while since I was on the horse,” I told Brian one evening, walking through the after-work hubbub of O’Connell Street. “I misplaced my saddle.”

“Giddy up,” chortled Brian.

“I am a bit out of practice and there’s another matter I must address.”

“What is that?”

“Let’s just say, I am sporting a full bush.”

“Ah I see. Get yourself to Boots and buy a Philishave.”

A Philishave is a body grooming device found in the beauty-maintenance kits of most gay men and some straight men too, I presume. It is a shaver which grooms, trims, sculpts and tidies body hair. This process is referred to as “manscaping”. There are a number of advantages to manscaping. The main benefit of maintaining a tight shave in the pubic region is that it makes a penis appear larger. This factoid will encourage a flurry of men to visit Boots and purchase said body groomer. Another benefit to muscular men is that less hair causes muscles to seem larger and more defined. I’ve never had a discussion on manscaping with any of my gay, male friends, though I am interested in the frequency they do it and the areas of their body they attend to.

As necessary as it is, I hate manscaping. I have no patience for it. The stupid Philishave comes with a number of clip-on devices that allow you apply the blade to varying degrees of tightness. I guess one is meant to gradually apply the tighter blades until happy with the result. I never do this. I generally just go for it, regularly resulting in a sparse result. I often undertake a manscape at the most inopportune moments – an hour before I am due to meet friends or just before I embark on a date. My most comical incident was when the battery died about ten minutes before I was due to meet a guy. Let’s say, had the date gone well, there would have been an interesting topic of conversation later that night.

I went on a date last Thursday and in true form, decided to manscape before leaving the apartment. I took up the buzzing blade in my hand and without hesitation, ran it across my stomach. I examined my work. I had just left a clear hairless line across my stomach.

I screamed aloud. “Why do I always do this? Agggghhhhhhh”

From experience, the worst part of such a mistake is the follow through. You have to shave off all remaining hair or risk looking odd. I am now completely bare-chested. I stood in the bathroom, looking in the mirror, chewing my lip.

“Whoops. Fuck it anyway.”

The date went well and yes, he saw my bare chest. He laughed when I explained myself.

I dismiss the embarrassment of such a mistake, but what does fill me with horror is the likelihood of ingrown hairs, which I suffered from when I waxed my chest years ago. I am moisturising and exfoliating like a man possessed by chaetophobic demons.

You couples have it easy.

I Wanna Know What Love Is!

This month, I am single a year. A year is a good amount of time. Ideally, my life should have moved along nicely. It seems many things around me have, yet I remain stationary, admiring the change around me. This clearly is not the case. I’m just impatient.

The biggest indicator for me that I am moving on from the Great Break Up would be to meet someone. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a boyfriend or a sex friend. What I would like is to go on date and actually have an interest in seeing the person again; a second date. I would appreciate meeting someone who won’t say something so stupid that I take them down a peg. Is that really a lot?

I’ve felt a little dead from the waist down for some time. It has been years since I fancied someone proper. It would be nice to remember the sensation of a crush. How does one describe a fancy? If this were a Disney movie, I’d burst into song.

“Boom bang-a-bang, boom bang-a-bang,

When you are near

Boom bang-a-bang, boom bang-a-bang

Loud in my ear

Pounding away, pounding away

Won’t you be mine?

Boom bang-a-bang-bang all the time

It’s such a lovely feeling

When I’m in your arms”

Or …

“He’s a one stop, gotcha hot, making all the panties drop

Sweet sugar candyman

He’s a one stop, got me hot, making my ugh pop

Sweet sugar candyman

He’s a one stop, get it while it’s hot, baby don’t stop

Sweet sugar”

Or …

“You’re the one that I want

You are the one I want

Oo-oo-oo, honey

The one that I want

You are the one I want

Oo-oo-oo, honey

The one that I want

You are the one I want

Oo-oo-oo, the one I need

Oh, yes indeed”

Following a qualitative analysis of the above information it would seem love is an intense emotion. It should make your heart go “boom bang-a-bang”. He should “make your panties drop”. He should make you declare “you are the one that I want oo-oo-oo honey”. These highly credible sources can perhaps be summarised by physiological response, lust and declaration of love.

I’m waiting … and humming.

Awkwardness Is …

About a month ago I was on a first date with a guy I quite liked (at the time). We did drinks in the Secret Bar, during which the laughs and conversation flowed. He then suggested we grab some food. Over noodles in Wagamama, he declined my invite to another pub.

“Let’s go back to your place,” he casually suggested.

By this time I’d had four glasses of wine. Despite my drunken haze, my date’s forwardness caused me to choke on my fifth glass of wine. I thought for a moment, weighing up the situation. “OK then!”

He had consumed only Sprite that evening and so drove us home in his small, pratical car. I’m sure my merry chirp irked him slightly. He parked the car and we made for my apartment block. He walked on ahead of me. Compacted snow was thick on the ground. My impractical brown shoes made the short journey treacherous. I slipped two or three times.

About twenty metres or so from the apartment block door I heard a loud squelch.

“Did you just fart?” I asked.

My companion cautiously turned on the ice and looked at me. “Eh, no.” His surprise was evident. He turned and recommenced his slow trek along the icy pathway.

I should have stopped there. “Are you sure you didn’t fart?”

“Eh, yes,” he replied in a bewildered tone.

It then dawned on me the squelch could only have been caused by his step on the snow. The five glasses of wine had caused me to bypass my already flimsy think before you speak policy. I said no more to him until we were in the lift, hoping the elapsed twenty seconds may have induced some sort of amnesia.

Popcorn for One, Please!

I was on a date a few months ago. It wasn’t so much a date as much as meeting a guy I had been on one or two dates with.

I arranged to meet him on Stephen’s Green on a sunny, Sunday afternoon. I sat on the grass in a pair of blue and white, floral, Hawaiian shorts, sipping a coffee. I waited patiently. The weather was glorious. The park was busy with families and tourists. Summer attire was abundant. There was a hubbub about the place. It was one of those days that transforms Dublin; you must regularly remind yourself of your location.

My pseudo-date eventually rolled up. He sat next to me cross-legged on the grass.

“How long have you been sitting here on your own?”

“Around half an hour,” I responded, simultaneously trying to suss the cause of his smirk.

“I’d love to be able to sit out on my own in a park.” He looked ahead, squinting in the sunlight.

This comment was odd. Was it that big a deal to sit in a park alone on a warm afternoon?

“Then, why don’t you sit out in the park alone?” I asked. “I always do things alone. I regularly go to movies. I think little of it.”

He laughed aloud; a laugh that was no doubt of the laugh-at-me variety.

“It’s about having confidence,” I said cuttingly. I decided not to recommend he acquire some.

It won’t come as much of a surprise I didn’t meet this man-child for a follow-up date. This failed interaction was the final nail in his coffin. His comments (and general view on things) bugged me.

Coincidentally, last weekend, a friend reacted similarly when we chatted about Inception.

“Did you go see it with Best-Friend?” He looked towards Best-Friend. “Did you see Inception with Stephen this evening?”

I interjected. “No, I went alone.”

No sooner had I said this when he reached out and squeezed my shoulder (rather affectionately, if I do say so). “Awwwww, poor Stephen”.

“Eh, no poor Stephen,” said I. “I love going on my own. To me the cinema isn’t a social experience.”

Ex-Boyfriend was a massive fan of the cinema; he relished the experience from start to finish. He hated missing the trailers; as if the trailers were as good as the movie itself. During our visits to the Big Screen, he was often impatient with me. He would frown from a distance, as I gleefully skipped through Cineworld’s vast pick ‘n’ mix area, paper bag in my left hand, yellow scoop aloft in my right.

“They have sour lips,” I’d exclaim. “My favourites!”

“Get a move on, Stephen,” he would respond with a sigh and deepening frown. I usually cut my dally short.

I’d return to his side and attempt a wind him up. “Come on! We’re running late! Stop slowing me down. We’ll miss the trailers …”

The furrows of his brow deepened. “How much did you pay for that?” He glowered at the burdensome, bag of pick ‘n’ mix swinging by my side.

“Seven euro.”

“You spent seven euro on pick ‘n’ mix?” I was surprised at his shock.

“Yes, seven euro.”

“That is ridiculous, Stephen. You are such a glutton.”

When I think back on my cinema experiences, is it any surprise that I prefer to go on my own? Negative experiences aside, when I go alone, I can see any movie; there are no compromises. I can plan my movie on my schedule, taking account of no one else. I can spend twelve euro on pick ‘n’ mix and a large vat of coke; there’s no one to judge. I can cry during the emotional parts of movies just as I did during Up; no one will laugh at me.

I go to the cinema alone and I love it. Pop corn for one, please!


Beautiful Irish Expression

My Dad, for all his faults is a funny fucker. For all the issues I had with him in the past, my mates loved him. To them he was clever and funny. He was good for the critical one liner that would cause a congregation to erupt into laughter. Outside of home, those critical comments were entertaining. At home among the family, those comments were hurtful and perpetuated major self-esteem issues. He isn’t a bad man. He just knows no different.

When Dad changed jobs in 1987, the family packed up and moved to the UK. Dad took a job at the Beeb. Working in the UK during the 80s was difficult for the Irish. The Brits didn’t understand the feud in Northern Island. Maybe they didn’t need to. The loss of life from the bombings was tragic. My parents, like other Irish in the UK at the time, faced critical comments and bad jokes in work and their daily lives.

Dad seemed to get on OK at the Beeb. I recall one story when a colleague of his asked for advice on how he should ask an Irish girl on a date. Dad taught him a “beautiful Irish expression” that would make her go weak at the knees. Dad’s colleague was chuffed. He learned this greeting off by heart and checked in now and again to ensure his pronunciation was correct. He couldn’t wait to impress the knickers off her.

The Irish expression Dad taught his English colleague was, “An bhfuil aon gruaige ar do bhosca?” Any Irish reading this will immediately understand its meaning. For those of you not blessed with the native Irish tongue, you will have to read on for its meaning to be revealed. In my own way of phonetically explaining how it is pronounced, it is “an will ayn grew-a-gah air deh vusca”. Don’t go casually throwing this at Irish women. 

The big day came. Dad’s colleague was going to ask the Irish girl out through this “beautiful Irish expression”. Dad encountered his colleague in the canteen later that day. Dad asked if he was successful. His colleague responded sharply. “You’re a fucking bollox,” he said and stormed off. When he was out of ear shot, Dad explained the meaning of the expression. The occupancy of the lunch table burst out laughing.

The expression, “An bhfuil aon gruaige ar do bhosca?” is in fact a question. It means “Have you any hair on your box?” Charming I think you’ll agree.