Wednesday, 16 November 2011
There’s an unwritten rule that at a wedding, the best man has the choice of the bridesmaids. Well, in this instance I wasn’t a bridesmaid and the best man was married. It had also been made very clear to me by my bride-to-be friend that there would be no eligible single men attending. It would appear that the odds were stacked against me, this was not going to be a wedding which would result in a drunken snog, let alone anything else.
The wedding reception was held a week after the hen night and as I walked into the little country hall I suddenly felt like the pressure had been lifted. As I wasn’t out to impress a potential lumber I could just let myself go (read – get absolutely shit faced) and have a good time. I wouldn’t cry into my glass of Champagne that I was the only single person there, that I was always the only single person, no, I would embrace the fact that no-one could tell me that I’d had too much to drink or that I was dancing provocatively.
It wasn’t long after I’d experienced this epiphany, that I suddenly noticed there was a guy looking over at me. My newly wedded friend came over to me and having originally pre-warned me that there would be no single men, pointed out two potential suitors, one of which happened to be the guy I had caught looking over at me.
I gave him the once over. The first thing I noticed was that he was short. Although I was wearing extremely high heels I still got the impression that even without those he’d be shorter than me. He was dressed in a kilt so it was difficult to tell what his dress sense was like or if he had any at all! But wait a minute – wasn’t this all a little shallow? Let’s face it, it had been a while and I really wasn’t in the position to be so judgemental without speaking to the guy first. The second guy looked in his mid 40s at least. He was wearing a red gingham shirt, tucked into jeans and a pair of brown suede brogues. He was the divorced husband of newly wedded friend’s cousin.
Comparing the two of them, there really was no competition. There was no competition because neither of them had made any initial impact on me. However, as I gave Mr Divorcee another appraisal, he looked like he might have the potential to be quite quirky. I decided to ask him for the next dance.

This is one of the advantages of being a guest at a proper Scottish wedding. Scottish country dancing allows you to get your hands on any bloke. However, I quickly regretted my decision. Mr Divorcee not only had two left feet, but he lacked any social skills whatsoever. I was relieved that the dance was fairly short lived and immediately quaffed another glass of Champagne to prevent any memory forming. That left Mr Shorty.
As it turned out Mr Shorty ended up dancing with me inadvertently and he was definitely an improvement on Mr Divorcee. I'm not sure whether it was the combination of the whirling around on the dance floor and the Champagne bubbles but suddenly Mr Shorty was looking more and more appealing. Not only that, but because I had removed my heels and put flat shoes on, he didn't seem so short. As the hall heated up I headed outside to cool down with Mr Shorty who was taking a cigarette break. The minute I stepped outside and the fresh air hit me, the effect of the many glasses of Champange I'd drunk suddenly took hold and my inner animal was unleashed. Before Mr Shorty had a chance to put his cigarette in his mouth, let alone light it, I had him pinned up against the wall at the back of the village hall and had locked lips. He seemed keen to particpate, in fact so keen I had to prevent him from moving onto 2nd, 3rd and almost 4th base!
In my very drunken eyes, this seemed to be going particularly well, in fact maybe this was the turning point for me. Perhaps Mr Shorty would win me over so much that my discrimination against short men would evaporate into thin air?
Of course, had I not drunk so much, I can pretty much guarantee I would have ignored that thought and I wouldn't have done the following:

  1. Ventured through the countryside in the pitch black night with Mr Shorty trying to navigate a route back to my newly wedded friends' house instead of my friend Julie's house where I was meant to be staying with my father.
  2. Tried to jump over a barbed wire fence not once but twice in my gorgeous Monsoon dress which resulted in falling down a ditch and losing one of my shoes. 
  3. Asking Mr Shorty to join me on an inflatable mattress that I was going to be sleeping on that night and finally,
  4. When asking Mr Shorty if he had "anything" with him and he responded, "it's ok, I've had the snip and last time I had a test it was negative", I really wish, I'd come to my senses and made a stagger for the hills.

To say it was awkward in the morning would have been an understatement.  Flashbacks began as I tried to piece together the evening that had preceeded the very hungover morning.  Mr Shorty sat directly opposite me in the living area, while the newlyweds provided cups of much needed tea and coffee.  I found myself trying to figure out how I felt.  Looking at him, he definitely wasn't my type but it had been pretty exciting the night before, or was that just the alcohol clouding my judgement?  Either way, I felt extremely uncomfortable and just wanted to get away from the situation.  I said my goodbyes and my newly wedded friend drove me back to my friend Julie's to pick up my stuff and get cleaned up.  I hadn't realised that the fall into the ditch had resulted in a number of scratches and scrapes to my arms and legs.  Well, at least I didn't have to do the walk of shame.

When I got home that evening and for the rest of the week I found myself feeling very guilty about the way I had brushed Mr Shorty off.  I suddenly realised that I didn't even know his name.  I decided to text my newly wedded friend and ask for his number.  I wasn't sure I was doing the right thing but I felt that I had to apologise for my behaviour. I pressed the send button and waited anxiously.  I waited a little more.....and then a little more.  In fact as I waited, I realised suddenly that I was thinking about Mr Shorty more and more.  Talk about playing it cool, after 3 days of waiting, he finally replied and the wait was very much worth it.  He had responded in such a humourous and articulate way that I found myself beginning to consider seeing him again, having previously ruled it out.  Amazing the impact of a well written text.

When I discussed this with newly wedded friend, she was somewhat surprised as she too didn't think he was my type but I explained that I felt there was something quite intriguing about him and certainly a lot more depth to him than I had originally thought.  As the texting continued throughout the following week, his potential as a future date became more likely but first I had to get Glastonbury Festival out of the way.

Saturday, 11 June 2011
Weddings. We haven't been able to get away from one in particular that happened back in April, that doesn't bother me though, I love them with a capital L. However, as everyone knows, preceding that romantic event of exchanging vows while staring into your loved one's eyes lies a much darker, albeit scarier event.....the Hen Night.

I hate Hen nights. Having lived in Edinburgh and Newcastle has only encouraged this hatred. Why the hell would you want to walk around a city wearing an "L" plate on your back and your Granny's net curtain on your head? Of course some Hens don't stop there. There's matching sashes, inflatable genitals and the slogan t-shirts. I don't need to know if you're Slapper Susan or Booby Brenda and I certainly don't want to know if you're the Mother of the Bride when you're gyrating on your knees in a nightclub.

Hen nights in a way only remind me of what I haven't got. A husband-to-be waiting in the wings. Fate really seems to be teasing me with that one and as I got ready for a very good friend's hen party I consoled myself to the fact that the note I'd left MOB had either disintegrated by the forces of nature or by the man himself.

The Hen night I was attending was being held in a place called Aviemore which apparently is a haven for Hen and Stag parties. I did not know this but then why would I? Hen nights were not my thing. Thankfully this was my lovely friend's second marriage and there had been strict instructions that there would be no tackiness. So it was a surprise when I walked into the hotel bar to find my lovely friend with an "L" plate on her back, "veil" on her head and a pink feather bower round her neck. I was quickly supplied with a pair of black sparkly horns for my head and bowing to peer pressure put the ghastly things on.

I had decided that I wouldn't drink as I had no where to stay and would just drive home. All the other girls were staying in hotels but I just felt that I couldn't afford it. With Glastonbury Festival around the corner I needed to save up all my money so I could sleep in a sleeping bag in a field, having not washed for days. Not drinking at a Hen night was unheard of though and it was only a matter of time before I was offered a hotel room floor for the night. I immediately ordered a Vodka and Tonic at the bar.

We ended up in a bar which was so full of men that you could almost taste the testosterone. It suddenly became apparent to me that perhaps I'd been a little hasty. Men very rarely come and speak to me unless it's to tell me to "smile, it'll never happen". Although The Ace once said to me that this may have been an attempt at a chat up line. Maybe it was the sparkly horns or the fact that I was wearing shoes reminiscent of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz but gradually men began to speak to me and some of them actually looked alright.

We moved into the downstairs area in the bar which transformed into a nightclub which had about 4 other people in it but it didn't take long for it to fill up and suddenly I found myself shouting to the DJ for Heaven 17's "Temptation". I'd held off from the dance floor as it had been the usual shit charty dance music but as soon as I heard the synthesizing opening tones preceding Martin Fry's voice I was squeezing past people to get near to the hen party on the dance floor. Out of nowhere appeared a tallish young guy with a beard and we proceeded to take over the dance floor swirling, twirling and generally acting like a couple of tits. But hey, I was having fun and seemed obvlivious to the fact that I may have caused injury to the person whose face I elbowed in the process.

Unsurprisingly I took the time out after that dance and went to the bar to "re-hydrate". With yet another Vodka and Tonic in one hand I used my other to wave in front of my face in a bid to cool myself down. I looked to my right and saw a dark haired bloke standing beside me.
"It's so hot in here" I shouted.
I waved my hand harder in front of my face hoping that my pathetic sign language for a fan gave him a clue as to what I'd just said.
The bearded guy reappeared and seemed to know the dark haired bloke who was trying to interpret my bizarre hand movements. It turned out they were part of a stag party up from Glasgow.
"He's one of the nicest guys you could meet," bearded guy said. "Are you single?"
I didn't need long to think about that question and before I knew it dark haired guy had introduced himself as Graham and was buying me a drink. The rest of the Hen Party began to leave the club and I made sure that I got a note of the room that I was meant to be gatecrashing.

We chatted at the bar for a bit. It turned out that we both had connections with the Islands but it was difficult to have a decent conversation with horrendous chart music pumping in the background. As I tried to make sense of what Graham was saying I found myself appraising him. Yes, he had dark hair and great teeth but aside from that, he didn't have the other qualities I was looking for in a guy. However, these omissions didn't prevent me from allowing him to walk me back to the hotel I was staying at. During the walk he decided to show me a scar he had on his chest, it wasn't long before I wished that he hadn't as it exposed a belly that I really didn't want to see. Even in the twighlight I could tell that this wasn't going to be a body that I wanted to get my hands on. Yet once again, on arrival at the hotel I found myself snogging Graham, well, it's part and parcel of a good Hen night isn't it? We swapped numbers and I went into the hotel to find my floor to camp down on.

Unfortunately I got confused by the room numbers and in a panic phoned my friend but there was no answer and there was only so long that I could wander around a hotel at 4 in the morning that I hadn't paid to stay in. In a moment of drunken desperation I decided to run back out of the hotel in the hope of catching up with Graham. It wasn't ideal but I needed to find somewhere to sleep.

"Hey, where you going?"

I was so focussed on trying to run in my Dorothy heels without falling over that I hadn't noticed a couple of stragglers from the Hen party walking up the steep road to the hotel. It was such a relief to see them and even more of a relief when they mentioned that they had a spare bed in their hotel room that I could sleep in - result.

In the morning I got up and walked into the restaurant of the hotel, sat down and ordered breakfast much to the amusement of the rest of the Hen party. I wasn't once asked for my room number or how I was intending to pay for my accommodation. And as for Graham, we had a brief text conversation later that day but who was I kidding, no matter how good his teeth were, I still needed more than one box ticked on my list to even consider giving up my single life.
The other week I received a phone call from my lovely friend Rapunzel. It wasn't long before the conversation got on to men and as I was now in the safe confines of the office complex car park I vented my frustration at the lack of good looking men since I'd moved back to the Highlands (shallow - moi?). In fact, I could not think of one single male who had caught my eye since I'd been back.

"It's rubbish," I wailed to a very sympathetic Rapunzel. "I'm never going to meet anyone here". Mid moan I was suddenly distracted by the noise of a car coming into the car park veering into a disabled space driven by someone who obviously thought they were the next Stig. Suddenly my whinges turned into ramblings and poor Rapunzel had to endure the sound of a stunned female as I came to terms with what I had just witnessed.

The male who will now be referred to as Mystery Office Boy (MOB for short) was tall, dark and he was most certainly very handsome. Where the hell had he come from? Why hadn't I noticed him before?? I found myself immediately drawn to him (i.e. staring) and suddenly I was fully aware that we were reciprocating eye contact.

"Oh my God, he's looking at me, he's giving me eye contact, he's looking at me as he's walking up the stairs!" I stammered to Rapunzel in a slightly shocked state. And then he was gone.

The irony of the situation was that the following day we were moving out of our office complex back into the town centre. How was I ever going to find out who MOB was? I knew what car he drove but copying down the registration to search for him seemed a little extreme. Maybe he was just a visitor to the office, perhaps that was why I hadn't noticed him before?

The next day was the office move and as I watched the last of the office furniture being removed I wondered if I'd have the chance to bump into MOB properly. I wasn't living in the depths of London, someone within my social circles was bound to know who he was and more importantly if he had a girlfriend or wife.

Later that morning the sound of a van horn indicated the sandwich van had arrived outside the office building and I ventured out to get my very last ritual teatime croissant. I couldn't believe my luck when I saw MOB walking towards the van from the other office building! He stood right behind me in the queue. At that point I really wished that I'd spent more time getting ready and wondered if he thought I was being a bit optimistic with my skinny jeans. When I turned to face him following my mid morning purchase he gave me a smile which I returned and then I quickly hurried back into the now deserted office. I HAD to do something - but what??!? My first reaction was to text Rapunzel but there was no response and we were leaving the office in 10 minutes. Then I tweeted hoping for some advice - nothing! My heart was telling me to leave a note on his car windscreen but my head was saying "get a grip girl!" As I set the security alarm and locked the office door for the last time I willed him to reappear. When I got into my car I rummaged around to see if I could find a bit of paper to put my phone number on but all I could find was a paper towel. At that point I received a text response from Rapunzel telling me quite plainly to "do it!"

Somehow, the brain did not engage correctly with the stated order and I drove straight out of the office complex and mentally kicked myself for being such a woos. Rapunzel needless to say was exasperated and before I knew it I was driving back up to the office during my lunch break to leave the paper towel message. What I hadn't thought about was that there was a possibility that he could be on his lunch break and upon discovering his car missing from the car park I found myself waiting in a nearby garden centre for him to return. The word "stalker" entered my head several times and I suddenly decided that enough was enough. I made a deal with myself to evade the tag of stalker. If I nipped quickly to the old office toilet and his car wasn't in the car park by the time I returned, I'd leave, get a life and admit defeat.

As it was, his car was in the car park and I geared up all my nerve to leave the note. As I approached his car I took one last cautionary look around to ensure no one was watching. To my horror I saw MOB standing on the office landing speaking on his mobile staring right out at me. I pancked and did what I can only describe as a Monty Pythoneque right turn jumping straight into my own car. The shock (ok, embarrassment) immediately prompted me to call Rapunzel. However there was no answer so following a garbled message I decided it was now or never. Checking that MOB was no longer standing on the office landing. I jumped out of my car, ran over to his and slipped the paper towel note under his windscreen wiper. As I raced off in my little jeep I grinned to myself at my achievement only to witness the heavens opening and being to piss on my parade. Suddenly writing my mobile number on a paper towel seemed like the stupidest idea ever.
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Ok, so the idea was that this posting was going to start off with a lot of grovelling for the fact that I haven’t written for ages. Believe me, I wanted to write, lots, but no laptop and no broadband causes a blogger major problems, especially if you are based in the Highlands. After my apologies I was going to tell you about my sleazy Spanish Uncle during my trip to Tenerife, the Armani pants, my job disappearing, putting a roof over my father’s head, banning my mother’s partner from my house and a potential breakdown but this will all have to wait…..

I last left you with memories of meeting The Ace and the predicament that his girlfriend did not know about our current friendship, well, four weeks ago she found out that I existed.

This is not good. This is not good because she came across an email that contained the lines: “…what’s worse is that I keep thinking about kissing you!! Hmm, this celibacy faze is having a negative impact in more ways than one! x”.

The thing is, I was being ironic or at least I was trying to be. To say there’s been a drought would be an understatement. I have not been near a man in a long, long time. I have had no desire, no interest and let’s face it no opportunity to meet anyone up here in the sticks. I am so far removed from the species that is the opposite sex that I could be respectfully welcomed into a Convent without questions being raised of my past. In a word, I am practically virginal.

So the email was a dig at this and in a way, at The Ace. That it had been so long since I’d been with someone, anyone, that I was even thinking about kissing him. And so a day after sending that email and after receiving a response from The Ace telling me of the “wonderful” news I terminated our friendship. I didn’t want to be responsible for the breakdown of his relationship.
Let’s face it, his relationship (no matter how difficult at times) was more important then our friendship. I’m sure Mr Offshore would have something to say about that considering I never ended my friendship with The Ace when he expressed unhappiness.

Anyway, I digress, the truth of it all is that I did what I felt was right for The Ace and perhaps deep down what was right for me too. I sent him one final email to say that I was saying goodbye. I told him that maybe our friendship had been holding us back from progressing with our own relationships without realising it. I told him that I thought he was great but I don’t think I told him that I would miss him. The truth is, I went looking for him, he didn’t look for me all those years ago and more recently. Perhaps I should think about that fact a bit more.

Was there a part of me that secretly hoped he would come and see me when his girlfriend was threatening to pack his bags? The simple but at the same time confusing answer is yes. This is what I am struggling with. In fact this is what I’ve struggled with for a few months now. I thought I was fine, I felt quite strong saying goodbye to him by email, yes I was sad but I suppose I always knew it was bound to happen at some point or at least I thought I did.

There is no doubt in my mind that at the time I first met up with The Ace at the City Cafe Bar after 10 years apart I wasn’t physically attracted to him and I’m ashamed to say it was because he was starting to lose his hair. I have a thing about hair, there needs to be lots, not Jon Bon Jovi in the old days but something substantial and maybe it’s because The Ace’s hairstyle back in my college days was the first thing that appealed to me.

What I’ve since discovered though and what appears to be worse is that mentally, I was and have been, extremely attracted to him. When I used to discuss our friendship with my Mother through various relationships ups and downs she would always say “but you don’t fancy him do you?” To which I would reply “well no, I don’t think so” and then she would ask the penultimate “can you imagine your life without him?” The answer wasn’t indecisive, it was a clear “no”.

I’ve not really spoken to anyone about saying goodbye to him properly, I think I was in denial for a bit. I thought I was doing fine. In fact I joined an internet dating website last week to “get myself back out there”. Mr Rockstar is in a relationship which in a strange way made me feel like I had permission to revisit the dating scene.

But then last night I dreamt of The Ace, suddenly today, I miss him, a lot. However, I let him go all those years ago when he moved to London with BMW woman (who now happens to be married to a famous actor) and I can do it again.

This time though it will be for good, I can’t and won’t look for him again.


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Bird on a Wire
Imagine Carrie from Sex and the City morphed with Bridget Jones and a baby thrown in for added entertainment – that’s me, the ever optimistic romantic looking for my Mr Big but already with child! Read my blog from the beginning where I find out I am pregnant following a brief fling with my much older male colleague and fast forward to where I am now, stressed out working mum to my beautiful 10 year old daughter wondering if love really does in fact exist at first sight.
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