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My Love Life. Part Two. Virgin on the Ridiculous.

If you haven't read Part One, and you're not being deliberately contrary, you should probably click here.  We'll wait for you to catch up.

While the other boys were playing tennis ball football in the playground during both break and lunchtime, I could be found in the library.  I probably still have my "Librarian" enamel badge somewhere.  And there's still nothing you could teach me about the Dewey Decimal System.  My pants are off right now, girls.  Come at me, in orderly fashion.  Ideally alphabetically, well-thumbed, and with unbroken spines.

Strangely, the library wasn't where I encountered any kind of vaginal enlightenment.  Even from the books in the locked cupboard, for which you had to sign for the key.  I wasn't that unknowing.  And the decades of my youth were the peak of that horticultural phenomenon known as "hedgerow porn."  I was already awarethat naked ladies sported an immense tangle between their legs, as though Brian Blesse…
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My Love Life. A Tragedy in Many Parts. A Part in Many Tragedies.

I've been a bit blocked recently in terms of updating my own dating blog.  Mainly because:
I'm not currently datingI've written all the tales that follow my typical story arc*I can't write about having my heart shattered, because it isn't funny***If you haven't read my midlife dating blog before, it's fundamentally full of the various histories of dates I've been on that turned out to be massive disasters, one way or another.  But I try to make them mildly amusing, once I'm over the trauma **Which is basically point one.  But the rule of three applies.  Plus, I've spent ages writing & deleting all my heartache, bitterness & angst. Time has passed, I'm doing my best to let things go. Anyway, there's no angst room here. This was meant to be a guest post.
Then Alice kindly asked if I'd like to write a guest post on her blog.  And I accepted, because, unbeknownst to her, she'd inadvertently caught me at the sweet spot in the on…

Honesty, kindness, and unexpected boobies

I really, really want to be kind.  And honest.

I've not always been great at it, and in my twenties ended more than one relationship horribly, in a classic remake of "If I Behave Badly Enough They'll Chuck Me" - a movie that nobody's yet bothered to make first time around.  Except me, in live non-filmed documentary form.  Because I was a bit shit at saying, "Sorry, but I don't like you as much as I used to."  Actually, worse than a bit shit. I'm genuinely sorry about that.  Especially to the lovely girl that ended up marrying one of my other good friends.  I went to their wedding.  It's OK.  Honestly.  We're all mates.  Still.  Even after my flailing arms launched a full glass of red wine over her white dress last summer.

Phew.

Honesty and kindness hadn't entirely worked with Angie, who'd been my first serious newly-single rebound relationship. I adored her.  She'd been the champion grenade-thrower at her Senior School.  Alth…

Dating blogs are like chocolate - messy when things warm up

I joined Twitter just over a year ago, not long after I'd managed to fuck up the most important relationship of my shiny, new, post fucked-up-relationship, life.  While I wasn't going to write that disaster story any time soon, because it was all still too raw, there were tales I'd shared with a couple of friends of my previous dating exploits, and the urge was strong to actually write some of them down and tell them anonymously, while I surfed the wake of my broken-hearted malaise and took some time off from Tinder & Bumble.

What also inspired me to write a bit, after I finally came out of my miserable funk for long enough to start to read what was going on in the outside world, was that there were a few other people out there on Twitter linking to their dating blogs.  And they were (mostly) good.  And they were (mostly) anonymous, and other people commented on what they'd written and followed them on Twitter.  And although it sounded slightly like a massively nar…

The chef that grated

There's a pub I like, just on the edge of Primrose Hill park.  And on a sunny Bank Holiday weekend like this one, I'm not the only one that likes it.  Now, given the adjacent park; I can't guarantee that every woman in the queue for the Ladies is a bona fide customer. Presumably nor can the landlord, hence his reluctance to provide anything other than the smallest of toilet facilities; which leads to insanely long queues of increasingly desperate females every time there's a hint of warmth in the air.

It's impossible to linger at a table in the same corner of the pub as the entrance to the bogs for too long, though.  As the line of uncomfortable looking women snakes ever longer around the customers and the curved corner of the bar, the build up of uric crystallisation becomes almost solid in its pungency, to the point that the wise have to make tracks in search of fresher air before ingress to the lungs is completely prevented by the formation of that scourge of Th…

The Ghosting of Christmas Past

I invented ghosting.  I didn't mean to.  But hindsight suggests that, shamefully, unwittingly, I may have been the original initiator of passive-aggressive let's call this off without actually speaking because I'm not ballsy enough to tell you this isn't working.  I did this first to my childhood best mate.  Come at me, haters.

His name was Jake*.  We'd been friends since we were about 10, when we played tennis at the same club for a couple of summers, but we really bonded when we met again at 16 or 17, both working at a well-known supermarket while pursuing our A Levels at different sixth forms.  Actually, come to think of it, he was doing BTECs, so I should probably have known no good could come of it.  Winky face.

* Well, it wasn't, actually, but I have a name-changing convention that I'm gonna stick at, because you can't be too careful when writing an anonymous dating blog whose sum total of readers could fit comfortably into a medium sized provinci…

The Hookup. And the neighbours.

Tinder.  The allegation I'd read was that it was nothing but a shag-fest.  I hadn't even been familiar with the term hook up as anything other than a term for meeting, but I was reading repeatedly that this relatively new app was the place where millenials were compressing what I had known as "dating" into a one-night time-frame.

For liddle ol' Gen X me, that wasn't proving to be the case.  Apart from my First Ever Tinder Date, but that itself had been an anomaly that had simultaneously boosted my bruised ego and battered my busted heart.  I'd become unexpectedly but inevitably single after a decade of joy and another decade of unspoken "staying together for the sake of the kids."  The kids were all right, which would have pleased Jimmy Pursey.*  But that winter I was swiping, matching, messaging and experiencing the crushing disappointment of a series of chemistry-free first dates.
*Oblique nod to both remaining Sham 69 fans

By the time winter …

Gilbert, and the surprise.

I've got two fabulous children, who'll be 16 & 18 by the time I finish writing this.  Or 20 & 22, if current blog rate continues.  And I had a fabulous relationship with their mother, for at least 10 of the years we were together.  The other 10 were a slow car crash, obviously, accompanied by a life that was the very definition of "staying together for the sake of the kids".  Right up until the moment she told me she didn't want to stay together for the sake of the kids.  Which was a combination of both surprise and relief, although the former outweighed the latter for a while. Because details.

Several years of hindsight, notwithstanding the oceans of tears, hideously embarrassing displays of public anguish, and final realisation that maybe some therapy might allow me to knit together a few themes and help me to process why I've subsequently been so self-destructive; have begun to leave me in a pretty good place; culminating in a miraculously rescued …

He wakes to a text from Zeta...

I'd crash-landed back in London, newly single.  And gone to a bar with my bestie, Ryan, the very moment we'd carried the last hefty cardboard box up the winding stairs to my new home, and dumped it on the carpet in the hallway.  A carpet, it must be said, that generated sufficient electricity to power the needs of the developing world (or Lincolnshire, which is yet to develop).  Had only it been harnessed correctly, rather than via my feet, fingers and, on occasion, genitals, whenever I touched a conducting surface. Which was, sadly and predictably, often.  I'm a slow learner.  It hurt.  Every time.  For two years.  I hate static.

In a fit of brilliant inspiration, I chose to write the previous two parts of this story in the style of Enid Blyton.  Or, as Ryan put it the other evening, "Like a bad Ladybird book".  Except with allusions to the Famous Five and the Magic Faraway Tree.  And Noddy.  It's the story of an evening of furious post-move thirst-slaking in…