This Page

has moved to a new address:


Sorry for the inconvenienceā€¦

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Lucy Goes Dating

November 04, 2017

The 'second anniversary' date (part 2)

Lucy has a date with Lewis, whom she first matched with on Tinder two years ago but has never met.

(To read from the beginning, click here)

Their first correspondence ended when Lewis cancelled their planned date just a few days before. But now, two years later, they have rematched on another dating app, and have arranged to meet.  Lewis has jokingly suggested that since it's two years since they first spoke, this means they're celebrating their second anniversary.

Lucy thinks Lewis is hilarious and might just be her future husband.

They meet in a pub in Hammersmith.  The CityMapper app tells her it will take 30 minutes to get there, but CityMapper is clearly aimed at old people and tourists and massively underestimates the speed and efficiency of a hardened Londoner like Lucy.

As a result, she's early.

Bollocks, she thinks.  A lady should never be early.  So what does she do?  Walk around the block a couple of times and come back in ten minutes?  Hide in the toilets and touch up her make-up?  Nip down the high street to pick up a few essentials in Boots?

In the end she does none of these things.  Instead, she heads for the bar and texts Lewis to ask him what he'd like to drink.

It's this kind of behaviour that may well be one of the reasons Lucy is still single.  To the core she is practical and fair.  If the guy gets to the bar before her, she would expect him to get the first round in, so since she is the first to arrive, she does the same.

It's this same attitude that means she always offers to buy alternate rounds and split the bill.  It's the 21st century, after all.  She has a job and plenty of disposable income.  Nice as it is to be treated, she certainly doesn't expect the guy to pay.  Especially not on the first date.

But Lucy has a sneaking suspicion that practical and fair are not actually sexy.  The longer she is single, the more she becomes convinced that her brand of independent capability is not actually what guys are looking for. As much as they may complain about high-maintenance girls, and how the fight for equal rights is too one-sided, in reality they want to pay. They want to chase. They want women who seem aloof and unavailable.

Problem is, Lucy is far too impatient to wait for a guy to chase her.  And when a guy spends money on her, she feels guilty.

Lucy needs to get a grip.

Five minutes later, Lewis arrives.  He's exactly as expected: tall and handsome, with a full head of silvery hair, and actually wearing the red and white checked shirt from one of his photos. It's almost as if he's just stepped right off the screen.

The only downside is that he has something of a middle-aged paunch going on.  A clear-as-day squidgy midriff, the product no doubt of too many beers and not nearly enough exercise.  As someone who looks after herself and keeps in shape, this is a red flag for Lucy.  She's not sure she could be with someone who didn't do regular exercise, and a spare tyre or two is a definite turnoff.

But still.  Don't judge Lucy... don't judge.

Lucy hands him his pint and they settle at a nearby table.

"So we meet at last!" Lewis jokes.  "Happy anniversary!"
They clink glasses.
"I was going to bring you a present actually," he adds.
"You were?  Exciting! What?"
"Well I looked it up, and the official gift for a second anniversary is paper.  So here you go..."
He solemnly hands her a paper napkin from off the table.
Lucy pretends to be delighted.
"Amazing! Thank you! But rather embarrassingly I got you the exact same thing! We're so in tune!"
A second paper napkin is handed over.
"So if we make it to three years, what's the next gift?"
Lewis reaches for his phone and looks online.  "Let's see... according to Wikipedia there are old and modern ones. The old one for three is leather, the modern one is glass.  If we make it to four, you can either have fruit (old) or an electrical item (modern)."
"Think it'd have to depend on what the electrical item was. If you're planning on buying me a washing machine for our fourth anniversary I'm dumping you right now."
Lewis laughs.  "Fruit then. I'll get you a banana."
Lucy pulls a face.  But she's having fun, and is relieved that the banter seems to be just as good IRL as it was over WhatsApp.

Over a second drink, they chat about their online dating experiences.
"So you were on Plenty of Fish?" Lucy asks.  "What was that like?"
"Just an awful lot of boobs and bits," Lewis says with a grimace.
"Sounds right up every guy's street! But then I'm slightly offended that you thought that's where you'd matched with me. Clearly I'm far too classy for that sort of thing."
Lewis pretends to be disappointed.
"So what sort of girls did you meet on there?" Lucy asks. She always likes to hear guys' horror stories.  It reassures her that she's still a catch.  Comparatively, at least.

He tells her about his two worst online dates.  The first was a girl who said she was 5'10 tall and had a pretty face but no full length photos.  When she showed up, she was actually 5'5 and wider than she was tall.
"Not that I would have minded the height thing," he clarifies, "but the fact that she lied was a real turn-off."
Lucy wonders if that's really all there was to it.

The second bad date was with a woman who asked him whether he ever wanted to get married.  When Lewis replied that he would consider it if he met the right person, she reached into her bag and produced her own wedding planning album - a collection of magazine clippings and fabric swatches that laid out in bonkers overthought detail how she wanted her own wedding to be.  As Lewis was new to online dating at this point he didn't realise it was OK for him to leave, so he stayed for over an hour as she talked him through her plans in psychotic detail.

Hearing stories like these makes Lucy angry.  If there are so many nutjobs out there, she rages, why the fuck can't I find a decent guy?  I'm nice! I'm not psycho! I don't lie about my height or my weight. I don't have a wedding album.  I don't send photos of my vagina or bring a friend to the date or throw a strop if something doesn't go my way or do any of the crazy things guys have told me about.  Cute, interesting men should be queueing up to date me!

But there's also a little niggling fear in the back of her mind that maybe she's crazy in other ways, and just doesn't realise it.  Wedding album girl probably doesn't think what she did was weird.  Maybe Lucy too is the subject of some guy's dating horror story.

But at least for now, this date seems to be going OK.  So OK, that when Lewis suggests they go for dinner, Lucy accepts.  After two large glasses of wine she's a little tipsy, and needs to eat before she says or does something that would be truly worthy of a dating horror story.

They head to Hammersmith's branch of Bill's.  Lewis orders something involving fish, and Lucy, who has alcohol munchies, orders a burger.  Not the sort of girl to pick at her food in front of a man, that's for sure.

She regrets her choice when the burger arrives. It's huge and juicy, and she has absolutely no idea how she is going to get it into her mouth with any kind of dignity.  Lewis laughs and watches intently, enjoying her discomfort.

There is only one thing she can do, and that is to go for it.  Guys like girls who eat, right? And they like girls who put things in their mouths in a suggestive fashion?  Is it possible to eat a massive burger in a sexy way?  She'll just have to give it a go.  Feeling totally self-conscious, she picks up the burger in both hands, locks eyes with Lewis, and then takes the biggest bite she can manage.  Juice and ketchup ooze out the back of the bun and run down her hands, but Lewis appears to be captivated.  Win!

"So where are you from?" Lucy inquires.
"I'm from Sunderland.  I know, shocking, right?  You can leave if you like, I'll understand.  But before you do, please note that I managed to escape, and I now have a glamorous media job and wear Converse trainers and everything!"
"Is Sunderland so bad?" Lucy asks. "I've never been."
"Well put it this way, people from up there are usually born with six fingers.  I only have five because I had the extra ones cut off at birth."
"That's a shame," Lucy laughs, "You'd have been excellent at playing the piano."

"Actually, I don't have a problem with Northern men," Lucy confesses.  "My Ex was from Cumbria."
"My God!" Lewis pretends to be horrified.  "Sounds like you had a lucky escape!"
"Well it wasn't so bad.  And when he left I got to keep the TV, so that was nice."
"Is it a big TV?"
"Yeah, pretty big," says Lucy.  He was into playing video games, so he chose quite a good one."
"I have a big one," says Lewis, cheekily.  "It's huge.  Massive, you might say."
"It is?" Lucy pretends not to know what he's implying.  "How many inches?"
"Oh, many, many inches.  It's huge."
"Alright, I get the picture!" Lucy laughs.
"Massive." Lewis adds with a wink.

Dinner over, Lucy pops to the loo.  When she gets back, Lewis has paid the bill.  Lucy thinks that's very charming and chivalrous, and she doesn't feel too guilty because she had no say in the matter, and because she thinks she'd like to see him again.

They walk back to the tube station together.  Will there be a snog?  Lewis is funny, and Lucy's had a good evening and several glasses of wine, but even so, she's not particularly feeling the urge to kiss him.  Something's missing.

They say goodbye with a hug and a peck on the cheek.  Still, if he asks, she'd have a second date. You know, just to see...

To be continued...?

Labels: , , ,

October 28, 2017

The 'second anniversary' date (part 1)

Now that things have gone tits up with Lucy's friend Amir, she's decided to dive back into the dating pool.

But wait.  To understand this next story, we first need to go back, waaay, back, into the mists of time...

Well, by 'waaay back', I mean two years ago.  And by 'mists of time', I mean that hazy period just after Lucy had been dumped by the ex when she was drinking a lot, not eating much, and wondering if she was doomed to be single for the rest of her life.

So actually, not much has changed.  Apart from the not eating thing. Lucy's appetite is just fine these days, thank you very much.  If never stopping eating and secretly bingeing on cake and chocolate counts as fine.

But anyway...

Newly-single Lucy has just joined Tinder, because she's heard that's what single people do these days, and because she hasn't yet discovered what a time-sucking, sanity-destroying cesspit of horrors it is.

And one of the first people she matches with is Lewis.  Lewis is in his early 40s, a tall silver fox who works for Sky.  He seems intelligent and funny, so when he asks for Lucy's number so they can chat on WhatsApp, she hands it over readily.

Lucy still has a lot to learn.

Unlike most of the swamp creatures that inhabit the dark Tinder underworld, Lewis actually seems normal, personable, and witty.  So Lucy agrees to meet him for a drink.  Maybe she isn't destined to die alone after all.

But before you get too excited, remember... this is Tinder.  And once you remember that, I'm sure it will come as no surprise to you to learn that a couple of days before they are due to meet, Lewis cancels.

At this point Lucy is still fresh out of the box in the dating app hellworld, and hasn't yet learned to be bitter and jaded about the whole bastarding charade.  She doesn't realise cancelling a date is typical of the male inhabitants of the Tindersphere, so she responds graciously.  Even when Lewis basically ghosts her.

And that is that.  Until now.

*swooshy timelapse effect*

It's two years later, and our heroine, fed up with the current crop of Peter Pans and narcissists on Bumble, decides to have a go at something different.  She joins another dating app called Hinge.

On Hinge, you don't have to match with someone to see if they've liked you.   You simply post your photos and text, and if someone likes what they see, they can comment.

And literally the very first person who likes a picture on Lucy's new Hinge profile, just a matter of a few hours after she's created it, is Lewis.

Perhaps the last two years have made Lewis more reliable, because as promised, exactly at 7.30, he does exactly that.

Lucy's phone has actually already made the connection - and even remembers Lewis's last name. That means she can now legitimately online stalk him and find out what he's been up to the last two years.

His messages make her smile.  Lucy likes a man with a large... vocabulary, and the fact that Lewis uses words like 'ventured' and 'chum' is definitely encouraging.

To save having to spend time LinkedIn stalking, Lucy asks Lewis what he's been up to, and if he still works for Sky.  He tells her he does, even though he sometimes feels guilty about indirectly helping to put money in the pockets of Sky's boss - evil media baron and arch-villain Rupert Murdoch.

Well this is all going rather well, Lucy observes with caution.  He has an interesting job, and great banter.  Maybe she will forgive him for cancelling on her two years ago.  But that doesn't mean she's not going to give him at least a little bit of grief for it.

Lucy has a quick search into her WhatsApp archived chats, and luckily enough, the old conversation is still there - complete with his message cancelling the date and her gracious response - proving categorically that she's nice - or at least she was back then.  She screen grabs it and triumphantly sends the image over.

The idea of a second anniversary with a man she has never actually met makes her chuckle.   This is all very encouraging.

So this is pretty promising, she thinks.  Lewis could have asked for anything for his fictitious anniversary gift: a fast car, a big house, a private island, a bathtub full of diamonds - but rather than request material items that would benefit himself, he went straight for things that would benefit humanity as a whole.

This shows he has Integrity.  Could it be that Lewis is one of the Good Ones?

Lucy hasn't had such good banter with someone in ages.  Now she just needs Lewis to actually ask her out for a drink.  She can't possibly ask him, not after he cancelled on her last time.  That would count as chasing, and Lucy now knows that when a girl chases a guy, it never ends well.

She just wishes he'd hurry the fuck up and ask. But he doesn't.

Then, a few days later, disaster strikes.  On Friday afternoon a flaky friend cancels their plans for the next day, and Lucy suddenly finds herself face with the prospect of - horrors! - nothing to do on Saturday afternoon. 

She needs a plan, and fast.  Lucy goes through her dating app chats to see if there are any potentials in there whom she could possibly ask to be her short-notice Saturday stand-in.  But there's no one suitable. 

She faced with a choice: either a dateless Saturday, or risk appearing desperate and ask Lewis out after he cancelled on her last time

Neither option particularly appeals. But in the end Lucy comes to the conclusion that putting herself out there is, by a slim margin, the lesser of the two evils.  So she goes for it, in as 'playing-it-cool' a way as she can manage.

His reaction makes her laugh again.  But to meet someone for the first time on a Saturday night means taking a huge risk.  What if he doesn't live up to the banter? What if he doesn't look like his photos? What if, in person, he's creepy and weird? Then she'll be stuck out on a Saturday night without an early start for work the next day as a credible excuse to leave.

It's a mistake Lucy made once before. The guy was a lawyer, with great, laugh-out-loud banter and a handsome face. So when he suggested a Friday night date, she agreed. But what she had failed to notice was that all his photos were headshots - and it turned out there was a very good reason for that. In person, not only was he surprisingly awkward, he also had a giant investment beer gut, clearly the product of far too many boozy client lunches and three-course dinners.  This enormous girth, attached to an imposing six-foot-four frame and pressed up against her in a crowded bar, made her feel panicked and claustrophobic.   She managed one excruciatingly uncomfortable drink before making her embarrassed excuses and leaving her date bewildered at the bar, wondering what he'd said to upset her.

Lucy is determined not to go through that again.  But what can she do?   She has no Saturday plans, and Lewis is her only option.  So she takes a deep breath, and agrees.

At least she's seen a full length photo this time, so at she knows he's definitely taller than he is wide.

Lewis lives not too far from Lucy's home in West London, so they agree to go for drinks in Hammersmith.

Funny.  The guy is funny. And funny is important.

Despite years of dating disappointments, Lucy is cautiously optimistic.

(To be continued...)

Labels: , , ,

October 21, 2017

The newly-single friend (part 7)

We left the story of Lucy and Amir at the point where Amir, who until last year had just been Lucy's good friend, had asked her out on a date and then cancelled it and vanished. 

If none of this is making any sense, you'd better catch up first.  Here's the start of the story, and here's last week's post.

Lucy is not the sort of girl to just sit back and take shit from anyone, so after trying to play it cool for a while, she rang Amir and left a message demanding an explanation. 

The tone of her message clearly woke him up, because after weeks of silence he finally texted back.  Lucy, who by this stage boiling with hot rage at the way he'd behaved, decided to play him at his own game and not reply for a few days.  This clearly pushed his stupid boy buttons, because he then rang her twice and sent a further SIX messages with an increasing sense of urgency.

Lucy decided to ignore all these messages too - not because she was deliberately trying to punish him (ok, well, maybe she was, just a little bit), but more because she didn't know what on earth she was going to say. 

So she said nothing, which clearly got right up Amir's nose.

Lucy knows that at this point she should let him stew for a while.  Let him experience what it's like to be ghosted for a change! But she can't.  She's always been terrible at game playing. And she's even worse at sitting quiet.  Always one to wear her heart on her sleeve, if Lucy has something to say, she's going to say it.  It's a trait that has frequently got her into trouble - but right now she doesn't much care, tbh.

What's more, the longer she doesn't reply, the longer this whole sorry saga drags on. And while it's dragging, it's occupying far too much of her energy, as she turns it round and round in her mind and tries to figure out what she will say when she finally does reply.

So she messages him.  A full, frank, and honest assessment of the situation.

She types the message into WhatsApp, pauses for a second to look at it, then takes a deep breath and hits enter with decisive force.

It doesn't take him long to reply. 

It strikes Lucy immediately that this message is just one long string of denials and excuses.  She's not impressed.

Well at least now he's apologised. That is something at least.  But Lucy still doesn't feel that she's got to the bottom of what's been going on.   It would be much better if they spoke in person - particularly since he appears to be on the end of his phone right now. 

Now Lucy feels bad.  And sorry for him.  Was she too harsh?  Sigh.  She takes a slightly softer tone. 

'Back on track?'  What does that even mean?  Lucy notes with a sinking feeling that he keeps using the word 'friend'.  Clearly she has been put back in the friend box - although this much has been obvious since he cancelled their date.  So then why ask her on a date in the first place?  He needs to explain.

The longer this chat goes on for, the worse Lucy feels.  Is this partly her fault?  Did she get the wrong end of the stick?  Misread the signals (well duh!)?  Is she really so full of herself that as soon as a guy so much as smiles at her she assumes he wants her?  Or was it the exact opposite: her insecurity causing her to develop feelings for any attractive guy who shows her the slightest attention?


Lucy thought she wanted answers, but now that Amir seems to have miraculously developed the ability to communicate, she's not sure any of this is helping.  Instead, his responses are only making her feel worse - embarrassed that she misjudged the situation, worried that she's now lost a good friend, and anxious that somehow her failure to handle the situation better has caused it to escalate beyond repair.  

But she's also angry with Amir for putting his shitty feelings onto her too, and apparently making it her responsibility to make him feel better. 

Well that she absolutely won't do.  She's already told him she has nothing more to say, so she doesn't reply.  Hopefully he'll get the message. 

He doesn't.  The next morning he texts again. 

It's curious.  When she wanted him to message it drove her bonkers that he didn't.  Now she wishes he would leave her alone and he won't.  What is that all about?!  And why do so many men only seem to up their game when they suddenly feel they have a point to prove?

Well, it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind.  Plus, his name repeatedly popping up in her notifications is completely doing her head in.  She needs him to just fuck the hell off now so she can get over her embarrassment.

Though of course she puts it in a nicer way when she replies.  It seems to be the only way to get rid of him. 

Then Lucy archives the chat so she won't have to see it in her inbox any more, pours herself a large glass of wine, and goes back to swiping on Bumble.

The End.  (Probably)

Editor's note:  Apologies to any readers who have felt disappointed by the more serious tone of recent updates.  Normal, more humorous service will be resumed next time.  

Labels: , , , , ,

October 14, 2017

The newly-single friend (Part 6)

By now you're probably all familiar with the ongoing drama with Lucy's newly-single friend Amir.

If you're not, you can read from the beginning here (you might need a cuppa and a comfy chair for that though).  If you'd prefer a quick recap, the most recent post is here.

In a nutshell, after weeks of crazy flirting, Amir finally asked Lucy out on a date.  But then, a few days before the thrilling day in question, he cancelled the date with barely an apology and vanished. 

Since then, Lucy has been finding tenuous excuses to contact him, in the hope that if she reminds him of her existence, he might actually get round to asking if they can reschedule the aborted rendezvous.

Most recently, she rang him with a (semi) genuine work-related question.  He didn't answer his phone, so she left a message which she hopes sounded nonchalant and not at all needy and desperate. 

But three days later, he hasn't called back, and Lucy has been forced to solve the work problem by herself.  

Amir, of course, has no idea she's done that. For all he knows, she could be desperately struggling without the answer.  Some fucking friend he's turning out to be. 

So since she still has a legitimate excuse, she gives him a gentle nudge.

And again he vanishes.

Diary of a ghosting 

Lucy is driving herself insane with wondering.  What the fuck happened?  A few weeks ago he was full of smiles and compliments, texting all the time, flirting furiously.  They had a date in the diary. It was all finally going right.

And then he cancelled the date, with barely an apology, and since then has been remote at best, and basically a dating app fuckboy at worst.

She doesn't understand.  Did she do something wrong?  What the fuck happened?!

Lucy has a sneaking suspicion she knows exactly what's happened.  Her spidey senses can feel it, and she's learning that her spidey senses are right more often than not.

It seems that all of it, ALL OF IT, all the flirting and the heart-eyed emojis and the 'I have a thing for your hair's and 'You're awesome's and the 'You're stunning's... all of it, meant nothing.  He was just using her.  Getting reassurance and a boost for his fragile ego, which has been bruised by the ending of his relationship.  He was never really interested in her, which is why he was so flaky about asking her out on a date. It wasn't because he was shy, or afraid of ruining the friendship, or uncertain of her feelings.  He was just never really that interested.  He simply wanted to be reassured that he isn't going to be single forever, that he still 'has it'.

In other words, he was fucking using her.

And now that he's discovered Bumble, he no longer needs her.  He's off swiping and flirting with other girls, girls who are more interesting because they are mysterious and new and he hasn't seen them cry, or with 3-day hair, or bedraggled from getting caught in the rain, or any of the other things he's seen Lucy do over the course of their friendship.

This realisation makes her deeply disappointed.  For a few weeks she has allowed herself to get her hopes up that this could be something real.  The possibility of - whisper it - an actual relationship with a great guy.  And not just any guy - one who knows her, who knows her crazy, who's seen her at her worst, and still thinks she's great.  After many years of swiping, and dating, finally she thought she might be able to put it all behind her.

But it was all an illusion.  And the injustice of it all is driving her crazy.  If he were just another stranger off a dating app, it'd be easy enough to let it go.  But he's not a stranger.  He's her friend. And for him to start ghosting her is completely unacceptable.

She needs to speak to him.

But she mustn't, she can't.  Must. Resist.

Her resolve lasts a couple of days, but eventually, after a few drinks on a Friday night, her twitchy texting finger gets the better of her.

Literally the second she's hit send, she regrets it. But it's too late now. It's out there.

Not that it really matters, since yet again Amir doesn't reply.

After two more days of silence, Lucy texts her friend Lily for a rant.  She replies in the concise and practical way only Lily can.

The longest week

On Monday, he still doesn't reply.  Lucy is starting to seethe with indignation.

Over the course of the day she checks WhatsApp a few times. He's been online regularly, so he's definitely not dead.

Maybe he's just busy. But it's been over a week.  No one is that busy!

On Tuesday, he doesn't reply.

Lucy's sadness has turned to full-blown anger.  She's aware that she should just let it go. But she can't.  She is SO ANGRY.  He promised he wouldn't ghost her.  She's not some random girl on a dating app. She's LUCY!  Supposedly his friend. Supposedly the woman he thinks is 'stunning' and 'a beauty' and who 'gets hotter every time he sees her'.  So why can't have the FUCKING DECENCY TO FUCKING REPLY?!

She needs to know if the reason he's gone silent is because he's met someone else. So she comes up with a cunning plan.  She decides to call Rick, Amir's best friend and godfather to his children.  Lucy's known Rick for almost as long as she's known Amir, when they all worked together.  If anyone can shed any light on this, it's him.

So in an effort to get her blood pressure back down to normal levels, she invents a totally-made-up work-related question Rick will know the answer to, and calls him.   He solves the fictitious problem immediately.

"Thanks!" Lucy says.  "You know we should totally get together for a drink soon. It's been ages!"
Rick agrees that it has, and they should.
"We should get Amir to come too," Rick adds.
"Ok," agrees Lucy, though she's not sure how she feels about this now.  "Only I think he might be busy," she adds. "I sent him a message the other day, and he hasn't replied.
Rick unhelpfully agrees that Amir might indeed be busy, but says he hasn't spoken to him in a while, so doesn't really know what's going on.
"But I think he might still be having issues with Julie," he adds.

Could this be it?  He's withdrawn because of ongoing issues with his ex-partner?

"But last time I saw him he seemed ok," Lucy tells Rick. "He was asking for advice about online dating.  How's that working out for him?"
"I think he might have been on a few dates.  I think there was one girl he saw a few times.  I don't really know."

You don't really know?!  What kind of best fucking friend are you anyway, Rick?!

Men are useless. Why does anyone even bother?

Rick's wife is due to have her first child in a matter of weeks.  He tells Lucy it'd be nice to meet up for a drink before the baby comes, so they agree to go out next week.  He offers to call Amir and invite him too.

Lucy's not too sure about this.  Does she even want to see Amir after this?  Unlikely.  Not that the drink is likely to happen anyway - these boys are just too fucking flaky.  And even if Rick manages to show up, will he bring Amir?  Seems doubtful.

On Wednesday Amir still hasn't fucking replied to the messages.  By now, like one of the stages of grief, Lucy's anger has subsided to resignation and acceptance.  But she's still hurt and mystified.  Why would he lead her on like that, only to drop her so resoundingly?

It bugs her all day.  It bugs her so much that she realises that it will continue to bug her unless she does something about it.  So she calls him.

She knows she's not supposed to. She knows it's breaking all the rules. But the game is already lost, that's clear. So it doesn't matter any more.  She's no longer playing to win, she just wants answers.

The call goes to voicemail.  She leaves a message, trying to keep her voice as light as possible.

"Maaaate! S'Lucy! Just calling to check up on you, cos, y'know, you seem to have vanished! Which is a bit weird, cos you're normally pretty good at replying!  So I'm thinking either you're dead, or I've done something to upset you... in which case I'm sorry! Either way, call me and let me know! Ok bye!"

Afterwards, she feels better.  But it's a temporary fix.  She knows if he doesn't respond soon, the whole cycle of fury will begin again... only ten times worse.

On Thursday he doesn't reply, but instead he casually likes one of her photos on Instagram.  Lucy nearly bursts a blood vessel.

By Saturday the anxiety and stress has returned.   She goes to a spinning class and feels like she might have a heart attack. With nothing to distract her mind, only pedalling, her over-active brain starts going into overdrive trying to figure out what to do. Should she call Rick and ask him to investigate? Should she call Amir and leave a frank and honest message about how hurt and upset she is?  In her head she starts imagining what such a message would say... and as she does she can feel her blood pressure and heart rate going through the roof.  Her chest feels tight and she starts finding it hard to breathe - and she's pretty sure it's not just because she's in an exercise class.

On Sunday he still hasn't replied.  Lucy wishes she could calm down and let it go, but it's impossible.  She knows that contacting him again would only let him know how much he's affected her - and why should she give the fuckboy that satisfaction?  It will only make him think she's crazy.  Which perhaps she is.

But she can't let it go.  She needs an explanation.  So she takes a deep breath and calls him - and this time there is no playing it cool.  Her pulse is racing and she tries to keep her voice steady.

"So, hey, it's me again.  Listen, you still haven't got back to me, so clearly there is something going on. Maybe you're just too busy, but no one is so busy they can't reply to a simple message in over a week.  Plus you weren't too busy to like one of my pictures on Instagram.   So clearly there is something going on.  And I know things seem to have got a bit weird between us, but I wish you would just talk to me, because we've been friends for a long time, and you promised me you wouldn't ghost me. When I said I'd give you 6 months before you became a dating app fuckboy, you said you wouldn't, but already you're exhibiting typical fuckboy behaviour.   So please, mate, just talk to me, because I'm getting pretty upset about this now.  Ok, bye."

By the time she gets to the end she can feel herself starting to tear up and her voice is beginning to shake.  She hangs up quickly.

About a minute later he texts back.

And that is all.  She doesn't reply.

An hour later, her phone pings again.

Fuck.  So now she looks like the crazy one who has massively overreacted.  But has she? Lucy doesn't think so.  But there's a decent chance she's so blinking barmy she wouldn't even realise.

Sometimes Lucy just wishes she could get the fuck out of her own head.

But at least he's replied.  And now the ball is firmly back in her court, Lucy can stop stressing, and wondering, and getting upset.  Instead of being powerless, now she has the power.  And she's not afraid to use it - by giving him a taste of his own medicine.  Let him see how he likes being ghosted.

The meeting

A few days later, Rick gets back in touch, wanting to know if she's still up for that drink.  Lucy would love to see him, but she definitely doesn't want to go if Amir will be there.
"Will he?"
"No, he's away with work."
"Oh what a shame," Lucy lies.  "Just you and me then!"

Lucy's hoping Rick can shed some light on the whole situation.  She wonders if Amir has said anything to his mate about what's been going on with her,  or whether there is something else going on she doesn't know about.

And as if his sixth sense knows he's going to be the hot topic of conversation, that very afternoon Amir calls her.  Twice.

Swiftly followed by this...

Lucy ignores him.  She wants to speak to Rick first and find out what's going on.  But how can she do this without saying too much and having it all get back to Amir?  She needs to play it cool, do a little bit of gentle digging, and try not to overshare too much.  

Lucy is totally deluded if she thinks that's possible.

In fact she lasts precisely one and a half glasses of wine before the floodgates open and the entire sorry saga comes pouring out.  Rick, bless him, listens patiently as she unloads the entire lot onto him like a tidal wave - even showing him some of the text messages Amir sent her and the Bumble chat. 

He's shocked.  Well, either that, or he's acting shocked because he's a good friend and he knows that's what he's supposed to say.

"That's really not on," Rick says.  "He can be so fucking needy sometimes without realising the effect he might be having.  Looks like he was just using you to boost his fragile ego."
"I KNOW!" says Lucy. 
"You know he really is very needy.  I probably shouldn't tell you this but Julie is getting pretty annoyed with him too - he's not pulling his weight with the childcare and he messages her constantly.  I guess he still needs to get over the fact that it was her that ended it."

It was Julie that ended it?  Lucy did not know this.  She'd been led to believe it was a mutual decision. 
Rick continues: "And I guess he was just enjoying flirting with you but didn't realise it might mean something to you.  And now he doesn't need you any more because he's got a girlfriend."

WTAF?  He's got a girlfriend?  Al-fucking-ready?! The guy has only been on dating apps for, like, a nanosecond, and he's already got a girlfriend?  So Lucy has been looking for a nice man for basically her entire fucking life, and Amir just does, what, two swipes and finds someone?  How is that even remotely fair, in any way, shape or form?!

The wine is making her even more furious.  But calm and patient Rick is handling it well. 

While they're chatting about Amir, he texts again.  It's as if he knows he's being discussed (which to be fair, he probably does).

Again, Lucy doesn't reply. 

At the end of the evening, Lucy gives Rick permission to say whatever he likes to Amir.  She doesn't give a fuck any more, and she's done with playing it cool.  He needs to know, and it might even be easier if he hears it from someone else. 

But what should she do now?  Wait for the message to filter through?  Or reply? And if so, when, and what should she say?

And the messages keep on coming...

To be continued...?

Labels: , , , , ,

October 11, 2017

The newly-single friend (Part 5)

Lucy has been flirting for weeks with her friend Amir, who recently came out of a long-term relationship.  

(If you missed it, you can read from the beginning here, or catch up on last week here).

The flirting has made Lucy realise she has feelings for Amir.  In fact, quite frankly, she fancies the pants off him.  But in spite of some Grade A flattery and many, many hints at the possibility of a date, so far it's been a case of over-promise, and spectacularly under-deliver.

Until now.  Finally, he's asked her out. And of course she couldn't say yes fast enough. 

But since this is Lucy we're talking about, it wasn't just a case of 'Would you like to go for a drink?" "Why yes, as it happens, I would!"  Noooo, of course, not, that would be far too normal.

In reality the circumstances were more dysfunctional and thoroughly British than a Richard Curtis movie.  Lucy only managed to get Amir to ask her out on an actual date by advising him to join the Bumble dating app, waiting until he matched with her, and then pretending that she didn't know him. 

I kid you not - you seriously can't make this shit up.

So now the date is in the diary, and everything is rosy, and Lucy is in Spain with work.  It's been a few days since she last heard from Amir, so she drops him a cheery text.


He doesn't reply.  This is annoying - but she guesses she can live with it.  Maybe he didn't think she really meant for him to answer her direct question.  Maybe he's just busy.  He'll reply soon, I'm sure, she thinks.  

But after a week of silence the anxiety is starting to surface.  Although Amir is a great guy, he does have a tendency to be a little flaky.  It's understandable - he has a demanding job and an ex-partner and two kids to deal with, so he can't always be available, but she would like some reassurance that he's not going to cancel their date.  And the fact that his messages have completely dried up makes her worried that this could be a possibility.  Surely if he was as excited to see her as she is to see him, he'd have replied by now.

The problem is, he has form - he's flaked on her before, more than once.  But surely this is different.  Before, that was just friends meeting for a drink.  This is a DATE.  Please God, PLEASE don't let him cancel.  

And Lucy's not even fucking religious. 

To prevent the doubt and insecurity driving her up the wall, she decides to message him to double check.

And there it is. She knew it. Just knew it.  Her spidey senses were tingling, and with good reason.  

Lucy is properly, properly gutted.

Too keen?

It's impossible to know.  Half the time Lucy worries that she's not encouraging him enough - that she's stuck to the 'we're just friends' line so well that he'll think she's not interested and give up. The other half of the time she worries she should be playing harder to get.  Men like the chase, don't they?

Maybe she should have made him chase her, because now he doesn't reply.

So he's cancelled the date with no apology - and no suggestion that they reschedule.  This does not bode well.  She knows she should be angry, but she's mostly just upset, and can't stop checking her messages to see if he's replied.  She tries to distract herself with work, going to the gym, and randomly swiping on Bumble, but every time she logs in there she sees his profile at the top of her matches.  It's bloody infuriating.

The next day, Lucy hears some bad news that she knows will have indirectly affected Amir.   Her immediate instinct is to get in touch with him, to see if he's ok, but now she's not sure if she can do that.  She can't double text him, can she? That really would be breaking all the rules.

It may also just be possible that the news isn't all that bad, and it would be fine not to contact him, and Lucy might just be looking for an excuse.  Maybe.

On the other hand, she tells herself, he's a friend.  If he's received bad news, she should offer support.

So like the kind, caring person she is, she selflessly puts dating rules aside and messages him again.

The little heart-eyed emoji gives her a burst of hope, but Lucy's also not a total idiot (most of the time).   She knows these are breadcrumbs: she can feel him slipping away, and her instinct is to reach out and grab him.   To stop him, make him stay. 

So a few days later, when a work question comes up, she contacts him again.  She knows she shouldn't, but things are already starting to spiral a little out of control.  

And anyway, she tells herself, he'll know the answer. It's totes legit to call him.  If I don't, it'll take me ages to solve the problem by myself.  Why would I bother with that, when one quick call to Amir will sort it out in seconds?  He'll never know it was just an excuse to speak to him.

So she picks up the phone.  It goes to voicemail, and she leaves a cheery message asking for his advice on the work thing.

Three days pass and he doesn't call back.

By now Lucy is in full wrath mode.  Why the fuck did he not respond to her voicemail? He could have texted the answer, and he didn't even bloody bother to do that!  

What's happened? Did she do something wrong?  A couple of weeks ago he was full of compliments and flirting, but now, overnight, the heat has been snuffed out of this relationship.  Someone who was as interested as Amir seemed to be would have called back for sure.  And a good friend would have called back to help solve her problem.  He did neither. 

Lucy is starting to think that Amir is not one of the Good Ones after all, but actually a total cunt.

(To be continued...)

Labels: , , , ,