Tag Archives: embarrassed

How to Give a Good Nose Job

My favourite gay club night was Spice, when it was held in SPY night club, South William Street. The plush interior of SPY, three rooms of amazing music and the crème de la crème of the gay scene made these nights memorable. The hay day of Spice coincided with the time I broke up with my boyfriend of three years. I spent many a night at Spice, dancing energetically to nostalgic tunes, attempting to convince myself I was happy as a singleton. Denial aside, I did have fun. Spice will forever be my Studio 54.

Later the same year, Boyfriend and I reconciled. We made another go of it on the basis we attempt remedy the issues that caused us to break up. Both of us felt we needed to socialise more as a couple. We injected a healthy dose of “coupley” outings into our relationship. One such outing was a visit to my favourite club night. On this particular evening, we encountered some of Boyfriend’s friends he made during our six months apart. One friend, Mike, was what you might term a ‘celebrity’ gay; a Eurovision song writer with an on-off-even-more-celebrity-gay boyfriend. He was – and always is – groomed and well dressed. He sported an air of self-importance and a tight t-shirt, showing his fine arms and pecs. I should chat with him and make an effort, I thought. He and I stood side by side in the nightclub. Dance music pounded from the massive speakers under the DJ’s decks. Strobes flashed in time with the music. I leaned in to deliver some small talk. I spoke loudly over the music.

“I love Spice. I’ve had more fun here than I have in any other night club.”

“The music makes it. I love it,” he agreed, nodding energetically.

I withdrew from his ear. What could we talk about next? Still thinking, I turned to survey the room, checking out the eye candy. I can only say I intended to talk to him again; I turned my head right, while looking to my left, absorbing the visuals on offer. As my head pivoted, my peripheral vision detected my companion’s head was much closer to me than expected. He was clearly doing the same as I, turning his head towards me, with no knowledge of where I was. It’s hard to describe the exact dynamics, but our heads collided at such a warped angle, just as I was about to speak, that Mike’s nose entered my mouth. It did not just graze or slightly poke my mouth; it went right in, withdrawing a coating of saliva as it exited. I was mortified.

“Eh, I am so sorry.”

He wiped his nose dry. “Don’t worry about it.”

The small talk continued, Meanwhile, I awkwardly remained next to him, praying we would leave his company. My face was red with embarrassment. I just sucked this guy’s nose, was all I could think. I just sucked this guy’s nose!

Weeks later, Boyfriend invited me to attend dinner with his friends one Saturday night. He noted my hesitance to respond.

“You really don’t like them, do you?” His tone was accusatory.

“No, they’re OK,” I said. I looked down at the floor. “I am a little embarrassed about seeing Mike.”

“Why on Earth would you be embarrassed about seeing him? Mike specifically asked me to bring you.”

I told Boyfriend the story of sucking off Mike’s nose. I can’t recall him ever laughing so hard as he did.

I never made the dinner in the end but I did provide a topic for conversation; Boyfriend repeated the Nose Story to the ten or so people in attendance. Apparently, the gathering, including Mike who had no memory of the incident, burst into convulsions at the tale.


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.

Nice Guys Come Last in Line

The airport on Saturday morning was busy. The queue for security snaked in a visually deceptive manner. On my last visit to Dublin airport, when I flew to Brussels, the queue was longer, but only took twenty minutes to get through. I remained calm. After all, I had more than forty-five minutes until boarding.

Five minutes later the line had barely moved. I stressed. Others in the queue panicked. Numerous queuers made telephone calls to vent frustration. One such person tried to engage a DAA staff member, to receive a courteous reply that he should have allowed ninety minutes to pass through airport security.

I continually monitored the front of the queue to assess the pace at which it moved. I recognised a few people who had been near me only minutes ago. Somehow, they had managed to navigate to the front of the line. Minutes later, after crawling a few feet, I witnessed a group of girls duck under the partition and scramble towards the security check. I watched. No one protested at their brazen disrespect for the queuers behind them. Even the security guard said nothing.

I have never been a skipper since I greatly disapprove of cutting in line. Depending on my mood, I will object if someone tries to cut in front of me. Perhaps, it was the tiredness or the stress, but there and then I decided I too would skip the queue since so many others had done it with ease. I slipped under the guide rope, pulled my suit case and stood up tall.

My rule-breaking-induced adrenaline rush was rudely interrupted by a shrill, annoyingly nasal, American accented, female voice. “Get back! Get back!” I heard. I turned to observe a small lady, maybe five foot or so, with curly hair, fanny-pack and woeful, white sneakers. Her hand gestures were as if she were shooing away a misbehaved puppy. “Get Back!”.  I made an assessment; she was short, no threat at all, and her husband took no interest in the situation.  I could take her no problem, should it come to blows, I thought.

“Sorry,” I said insincerely and turned my back. I prayed the queue would move quickly.

“He just skipped the queue! Who does he think he is? He just skipped the queue. He can’t do that.” The Yankee dwarf’s volume dial and pitch was on max.

I listened to the loud, attention grabbing, nasal hissy fit emanating behind me. Again, I willed the queue forward. I felt another tap on my back. I turned around and stooped over to look my challenger in the eye. The American pointed towards a security guard and boy did she have a smug look on her face. “He wants to talk to you,” she said with her arms folded.

“Is it true you skipped the queue?” asked the security guard.

“Yes,” I answered like a scolded child.

The greying, middle aged security guard commenced his lecture. “You know you can’t just skip the queue. All these other people are ahead of you so you can’t just pass them. Where were you in the line?”

I raised my arm and pointed to the floor beside me. “There,” I answered, looking down in shame. Much to the amusement of others in the line, he unhitched the guide rope and returned me from whence I came.

A gentleman whom I stood next to minutes earlier smiled in amusement, despite the fact he had by now probably missed his flight.

“Well, it was worth a try.”

IT Savvy Mum

I told Emer this story last night at Pinxto, Temple Bar; my new favourite place for snacks. She said I had to blog it.

I bought Mum a laptop for her sixtieth last year. I was concerned whether she would use it much; she is not the most technology savvy. Initially, she spent a lot of time admiring it from a safe distance across the room. One year later, she has surprised us all; she surfs on a daily basis, paying bills, researching holiday destinations and clothes for “middle aged women”.

One weekend, not all too long ago, I returned to the homestead in Athlone. It was around 10.00 on a Saturday morning. I entered the kitchen. I stretched elaborately, feeling refreshed from my shower. Mum busied herself with the blue J-cloth that is permanently in her hand.

I walked towards kettle. I switched it on. “Tea, Mum?”

“No, Stephen,” she replied firmly. “I will have coffee. I allow myself two coffees on a Saturday morning.”

I stood at the window, awaiting the kettle to boil. I blankly looked out onto the garden. The unkempt grass was in abundance.

“Stephen, I was checking the history of the laptop …” Mum turned from the freshly wiped kitchen counter. The cloth marks left circular, wet trails, indicative of Mum’s elbow grease. She looked me in the eye for a moment and motioned towards the laptop.

“History?!” I choked. Do you mean she actually knows how to check the history on a PC?

“Yes, the history …” she confirmed with a nod. “Someone was looking at porn on the laptop.”

Fuck! I had looked at a site on it the night before. I panicked a little. A red flush rose from my waist upwards. I imagined an awkward conversation to follow.

We both stood in front of the laptop that sat on the kitchen counter. Mum fingered the mouse pad and clicked a few times. A detailed history appeared on the screen. I read the names of the sites. They were straight sites – “Sexy Minx”, “Busty Babes” and the likes. I felt instant relief. My blood pressure and temperature dropped.

“Well those sites are straight sites. It definitely was not me. Maybe they came from pop-ups that you get when you log into certain sites?”

“Pop ups?” Mum asked with a slight laugh. “That’s what your Dad used to say when I checked the history on his PC.”

Small World and Even Smaller Gay Scene

I arrived at Panti Bar last night. I was a little spaced after seeing Inception – was or was this not reality?

Gay bars make me edgy. I wonder if Labrador Man will be here, I thought as I entered the premises. Low and behold there he was, two feet in front of me as I stood in the door way. I felt a little nervous. I managed to shimmy under his line of vision and crawl under one or two tables, thereby avoiding detection.

I met Best-Friend near the entrance and convinced him to join another group of friends further down the bar. Evictor was among this posse. I chatted to him a little despite my awkwardness. He is cute and very fanciable; when I talk at him it sounds a little like “blah blah blah blah … blee blah … blah blah blah”. 

While looking down the bar – to avoid staring at Evictor – I noticed Longford Man ordering a few pints. Things with him are amicable, but I didn’t necessarily want a conversation. I mouthed hello and resigned myself to talking with him later at the bar, while waiting an inordinate time to be served.

I made small talk about Inception with Evictor. I kept note of Labrador Man’s location so I could keep my back turned to him. Within seconds Labrador Man was behind me, trying to get my attention. I stood firm and did not turn around. I even turned when he an approach from alternate angles. He quickly moved on.

Suddenly, Housemate appeared. He looked at me. “Hi,” he said warmly. I returned his greeting. I did not know where to look.

So there I was in a bar surrounded by all these guys with whom I have had various awkward moments.

From reading this you might assume I am very active on the dating and sleeping around scene. This could not be further from the truth. In the last four or five months I have been on dates with three guys and I’ve only kissed one guy (twice).

The Dublin gay scene is so small that on busy nights out you are bound to bump into your entire love life in one evening. If you regularly go on dates it seems awkward moments are just something you have to put up with regularly.

The above extract starred the following:

Longford Man

I got talking to Longford man on George’s Street one morning at around 04.30. He was good looking, funny and chatty. We exchanged numbers. I met him for a date a few weeks later. I declined a second date as politely as I could. I have chatted to him out and about a few times since.

Labrador Man

 This guy was a knob; incredibly pretentious and full of his own worth. He said he was from an island off the coast of Cork; “the island of Cobh”. He said “naturally, I speak two languages; French and German”. I kissed him once.

Best Friend met him out during a drunken, consecutive night. He liked him and convinced me to give Labrador Man another chance. I chatted to him again. The event can be summed up in “kiss me badly once, shame on you. Kiss me badly twice, shame on me”.

The following night, when he invited me out, I texted him to say I was home alone enjoying a can of coke. He got the message.

I’ve called him Labrador man since I figure my black lab, Shelly, may she rest in peace, could probably give a better snog.


This guy is friends with some of my friends. I think he is gorgeous. He has beautiful brown eyes and a radiant smile. Any time I talk to him, I just babble.

I met him for the first time one Sunday night. I was taking it easy; everyone else was drunk. We went back to Evictor’s apartment where we had more drinks. Evictor’s housemate was there with some other people. The crowd dwindled until Evictor and I remained alone. He gave signals. I made a move.

We entered the boudoire where he went a little weird. He told me, “This doesn’t feel right? I think you should leave”. He said more, but little made sense.

He walked me to the hall door and waited impatiently while I got my coat. I turned to thank him for making my birthday so special. I did not get the chance. He slammed the door on my face.


One night while on a very well known dating site for gay men, I got talking to a guy. He seemed nice. For some reason he seemed vaguely familiar.

We messaged back and forth over a few days. I struggled to recall his face. One day, while out for a jog, it dawned on me. This guy – whose name eludes me – was the housemate of Evictor. He had gone to bed while I and the group remained in his and Evictor’s living room.

I eventually revealed myself to him, explaining I had met him before in his apartment. He did not recall. I pursued nothing with him. The whole thing was just too weird.

I’m coming out …

My first day of college was daunting; I did not know a soul. Luckily, day one of college involved what can only be termed an “integration exercise” to facilitate students’ getting to know one another. My “integration group” consisted of ten people. Everyone took part in tasks such as learning one another’s name using association games. Hours later we were blind folded and touching one another (often inappropriately), trying to guess the identity of the misfortunate subject. At the start of the day I knew no one. Hours later, I knew the name of my entire group. I even knew some random information about them.

At the end of our get-to-know-each-other-day we hit the pub. By three in the afternoon I was sitting the Hill 16 on Gardiner Street with my group, making banter over a pint of Bud. This was my first day of college. I hoped everyday thereafter would be the same as that day. As the hours creeped in, the numbers dwindled. Eventually, I was left with two red heads – Aoife and Fiona. This was the day I met Fiona, the girl I am good friends with to this very day.

Fiona has been a great friend over the years. We have never lived in one another’s pockets, but always made time for one another throughout college and our working lives. If one of us was blue, the other listened. We have had seriously funny moments in the past and will continue to do so long into the future. Fiona moved to Australia last year. I spoke to her by phone for the first time in a year on Sunday night. Although the line was bad, it was nice to hear from her. I have been thinking of her a lot since then.

She and I often make reference to the time I came out to her. This was around the end of my first academic year. I had worked through countless issues with my sexuality and was gradually revealing myself to one and all. Fiona was someone I wished to tell. The moment came late one night when Fiona and I were on the Mystery Tour*. We had been drinking almost ten hours at this stage. Booze always made the task lof coming out seem less daunting.

Fiona sat at a table with some students from my class. I shimmied in next to her. We attempted conversation over the loud music that blared through Rockin’ Robins, Carrick on Shannon. I stooped as close to her as I could without disturbing her friends.

“Fiona, I have something important to tell you?” I shouted into her ear.

“What, Steve?” Fiona clearly struggled to hear me over the music. She leaned forward, almost falling off her stool.

“I have something to tell you!”


“I need to tell you something you probably already know. It’s important for our friendship that I tell you for the sake of it”

Fiona leaned away from me. She looked down and placed her hands on her lap as if contemplating something. “I think I know what you are going to say, Steve.”

“You do?” I asked. I was elated she would make this easier on me.

“I’ve known for a while. I have been meaning to talk to you. I know how you feel and I can honestly say I just don’t feel the same.” She looked at me sympathetically.

Shock coursed through me. “Eh, I’m gay.”

“You’re gay?” she asked in surprise.

“Yes, gay.”

Alcohol deleted my remembrance of her reaction to this news. Since I know Fiona well, I imagine she laughed uncontrollably in the incredibly contagious way she does. She probably even banged the table in front of her.

This was been a defining time in our friendship. I even laugh away to myself as I recall it. When we are alone, and I suggest we do something, Fiona will often respond by saying “sorry Steve, but I just don’t feel the same”. It never fails to induce laughter.

I miss you babe. Look after yourself.

*The Mystery Tour involved setting out around 11AM with the intention of visiting three mystery nightclubs over about fourteen hours. The freakiest moment was dancing in a nightclub in Enfield at 3PM in the afternoon. Some windows had been blacked out with bin liners. We finished up in Rockin’ Robins in Carrick on Shannon. I remember getting home at 6AM the next day. It probably took me a week to recover.

Fiesta Fiasco

I was home in Athlone last weekend. On Saturday morning, my brother, new born Jack and Jack’s Mum called out to the house. We sat around the kitchen, chatting over tea and biscuits. The conversation was plentiful. The atmosphere was relaxed.

“You’ll never guess what happened to me yesterday after work!” said Mum, holding back a laugh.

“What happened?” asked Bro, smiling.

“Last night, I left work around six o’clock. I left the building and walked towards my car. I stared at the back of the car; something was wrong. The registration plate was damaged. I got down behind the car and examined the number plate.”

“What happened to it?” I asked, naively thinking someone attempted stealing Mum’s registration plate.

“It had been pulled away from the car with force,” explained Mum. “I examined it closely and suddenly it dawned on me that this car registration was not mine. This car was three years older than mine. It wasn’t my car. I stood up and then noticed a woman sitting at the wheel of the car.”

We all laughed.

“I wonder what she thought you were doing inspecting her licence plate,” I said, giggling.

Laughter echoed throughout the kitchen. Mum was visibly embarrassed while recounting the tale.

“What did you do?” enquired Bro.

“Well, I went over to the driver’s side of the car. I tapped on the window. The woman lowered the window. I was very embarrassed. ‘Sorry,’ I said to the woman. ‘I have the exact same car in the same colour. I could have sworn this was my car’.”

The mental image of this scene was hilarious.

“What did the woman in the car say to you?”  I said, choking back laughter.

“She was understanding,” recalled Mum. “She said, ‘oh don’t worry about it. I spent almost ten minutes trying to get into your car.”

This sent us over the edge.

God bless my mother.