Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Two dollar banjo

In my last post I discussed a 20 year old guy I encountered via OUT who seemed a bit cynical and down about dating and getting out there – and how keen I was for him not to fritter his youth away. Well, the next night – last night – I was due to go out on a date but it was cancelled on the flimsy pretext of a murder or something. Anyway, I found myself with time on my hands and said guy contacted me so we ended up meeting for a drink.

... well…

I’m afraid one thing led to another and before I knew it things were progressing down Fuzunjulation Avenue at a very rapid pace.

Am I showing off now? No. I’m actually taking pause for a bit of a stock take, because there are a range of things I’ve been thinking about since:

Age: Ten years younger than me is far too young. For me going the other way is not a problem; the greatest age difference between me and any guy I’ve dated (and the rest) is 24 years my senior; I currently have my eye on a rather dishy 41 year old that I’m patiently trying to tempt out for a date. Though I have had casual assignations over the last few months with some guys in their early 20s, perhaps I’m looking for someone older to be in a relationship with because of my lack of experience in that area?

Flavour: I’m adventurous but pure vanilla, and am happy with that. I was thinking a today about guys who seem happy just to acquire notches on the bedpost and… OK, I’ve been a bit like that. But this guy really isn’t vanilla; make no mistake. How does someone that age learn they’re into that kind of stuff? Not that I can really describe said ‘stuff’ here… we can applaud the adventurous spirit though I suppose. But I am now shocked; although I’ve never really had a problem indulging other people’s tastes (in fact I derive most pleasure form pleasing The Other) this was somewhat further than I have travelled down that road before.

Played. That’s what I feel has happened. All this ‘I’m not into one night stands’ et al – but as soon as it happens he doesn’t want to know me any more – he’s made quite clear he got what he came for. It makes me feel like a dirty old perv and a naïve teenager all at the same time.

The unique combination of youth and cynicism. This is one of the first things I’ve turned to my newly acquired gay friends to discuss. Of course, life being that thing that it is, the ‘two degrees of separation’ issue came to light very quickly and now some of them are looking at me in a very new light indeed.

Memo to self: learn self control.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Augustus Princepus

Recently on OUT there was a poll about the traits members found most attractive in a man. You wanna see the list? Here’s the list:

good manners;
a nice smile;
nice eyes;
‘down to earth’;
interested in others;
environmentally conscious;
emotional intelligence;

I’m not brave really, and I don’t have a nice smile at all. Apart from that I embody in some way most of the list. Not all the time though; catch me on a bad day and… well, I could care less about my carbon footprint! I’m not sure either if I fully represent “the ability of two liquids to mix and form a homogenous solution” but I try. Anyway one of the most important things about this list is that some of my dates contributed to it. Thanks for the tips guys ;-)

No, I think my problem is a certain emotional immaturity – and being a frumpy baggage of course. It is interesting though that the obvious physical characteristics are absent from the above list – and the louche certainly.

Speaking of which Date 1 was due to occur today but just as I was about to go shopping for a new posh-frock to wear when I met him, he cancelled on me. This has annoyed me somewhat as I was quite looking forward to a night out. Now I’m going to be a bit domestic and will probably have an early night. BOO! Well, at least I’ll have plenty of beauty sleep for Date 2.

Last night I was chatting to his guy who was about 20 and who said he hadn’t been on a date for a year and hadn’t enjoyed his conjugals for longer than that. I tried to get him to go out and enjoy himself but he seemed to think that, to quote him, he was ‘Plan B’ to most guys. I think it is really sad that someone so young is hiding himself away – I’m hardly able to offer advice about the search for Herr Recht but naturally I do think he should enjoy his youth to the fullest possible extent. He is quite a looker too – far too young for me of course, though he was very complimentary about my profile.

As for me, I’m going to enjoy my dates as and how they come and – though miffed about being cancelled – I’m going to enjoy the month of August and still intend take a well deserved break from being boyfriend-hunting. Instead I shall [try to] enjoy my peri-birthday period on its own merits! Of course there's always eye-candy... memo to self: become gorgeous.

Sunday, 27 July 2008


If misadventure has only made darker the abyss then we must shine the light into the dark places and see if real adventure lurks within.

This weekend was marvellous and fun packed virtually entirely sans les hommes. On Saturday a couple of old [high] school friends came to visit me which was fantastic. It really had been years, though the medium of email and Facebook has allowed us to keep in touch. We did the touristy thing and went on the London Eye, which I quite enjoyed though I loath heights; and slowly but surely we wended our way back to mine for champers – though I had not cleaned as I didn’t think they’d want to come all the way to my flat so that was a bit mortifying.

Sunday I had a brief and, sadly, quite unfulfilling assignation with a couple of nice chaps not too far from chez moi; then afterward I joined a couple of neighbours sunning themselves in Greenwich Park which was fun. I’m probably lobsterlicious after all that sun but it was such a nice weekend it’s worth it. And to top it all off my friend and former date 'D' got back in touch after a mammoth six-week strop because I didn't want to see Prince Caspian with him!

As for the coming week: I have arranged four dates over the next seven days (and there’s another guy I’m trying to get a date from, and another who I will go out with at some point after the coming week) so I’m definitely getting back out there. I’m trying not to do the ‘rebound’ thing but I suppose one of the OK things about Mark is that, in a way, I had to get over him whilst still, at least nominally, being with him. Either way I suspect my extraordinary ability to get infatuated with a guy will not yet have been exhausted.

Hmmm. I really do need that new naming convention.

But then how to get any of them into full-on relationship territory? People say “just be yourself”. I mean, for crying out loud! “Just be yourself” is a stock answer to anything to do with relationships, or any interaction with another person in life.

“How do I get my date to like me?” – “Just be yourself”

“How do I succeed at the interview?” – “Just be yourself”

“The islanders are about to sacrifice me to appease Great Eke-P’tang Wa, the fiery volcano god. What do I do?” - “Just be yourself”

If just being myself worked then I would be happily ensconced in some love nest somewhere blog-less and sore!

Still, If I’m not the answer then perhaps it is the question being asked that is wrong; after all twilight is sunrise on the other side of the world.

Enjoy White Ninja!

Saturday, 26 July 2008


I just want to be in the same room as him; to watch with him the sun set and hold him in my arms until, and beyond, it rises again. I want to cup his face in my hands and kiss his lips and say, staring into his eyes, without prevarication or dubious intent exactly what he means to me.

But as that is never, ever going to happen let these words be an end to it. The deed is done and the invisible boyfriend is now as unknown as he was unseen.

I was out tonight at a friend’s birthday drinks and a good time was had by all. She kindly let me know she had invited along a friend who is a single gay man – from, of all places, Guildford – but he and I never really got a chance to speak... However, being slightly the worse for wear I insisted nonetheless that he and I be fixed up at the earliest possible opportunity! You see, gentle reader, it is my birthday soon enough and back on the market I intend to enjoy myself!

I’m extraordinarily fond of being a Leo, and this is the time of year when I usually let my hair down and enjoy myself slightly more than the mean. Admittedly this year that might take some doing *ahem* but timing is everything! And in that regard I do not intend to look for a boyfriend, Mr Right, or variations on that theme thereto until at least September.

I have already lined up two dates next week; Tuesday and Thursday – and I have two other guys pursuing me for similar in the near future. Plus, I have been lucky enough to arrange a baser event with a charming couple in Eltham, not far from where I live, for Sunday evening. Yup: back in the saddle I am…

Going back to tonight, and apologies for the rambling nature of this post, but I done drunk me a fair bit of ye olde beer and along the way; I sat in the pub and laughed so long and so hard my cheekbones still ache. Plus I learnt what (click the link at home) ‘tromboning’ was.

I had my interview on Thursday and first thing this morning I was offered the post – which I gladly accepted. I think, assuming my health screen and references go OK, that I will genuinely miss seeing every day the people that have become my best friends over the last five years, and having evenings like tonight. And although my ‘new’ job is literally just around the corner it will never, ever be the same. In a sense I’m walking away from the people that embraced me when I first came out and that’s really hard.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Ach du Liebe

I’m down in the dumps gentle reader :-(

Here I am in sunny Guildford and whatever misbegotten wretch came up with the fiendish torture that is the Holiday Inn here deserves the very special circle of Hell that is even now being prepared. But worse than that – and this is the bit where you roll your eyes and *sigh* - it’s been 10 days since I heard from Mark, who’s clearly upgraded to some kind of pan-dimensional hyper-invisibility that mere mortal like me could never hope to comprehend. Well, three hectic 14 hour days and very little sleep or personal time took its toll and – so ashamed I can barely whisper it – I had to take a little break this afternoon to have an ickle tearful moment in the loos. I’m just beginning to think that, however upsetting it will be – and wow, will it ever be! - I need to be prepared to let him go. Even typing it makes my stomach flutter, but there we are. The pain train’s a-coming…. Who knows, maybe he’ll call just the very minute I publish this! Bet you a billion Zimbabwean dollars?

Awww, anyway, I hardly have time to dwell on things at the moment: I must prepare properly for my interview on Thursday morning; I have drinks Thursday night; I’m double booked on Friday; and I have friends staying over the weekend. As I mentioned to a friend tonight, I’m just miserable because I’m too busy to be miserable!

I’m a bit worried I won’t really have time to make myself 100% beautiful before the interview – I know I won’t have time for a haircut and I really do need to buy a new shirt from somewhere on the way home tomorrow. A new suit won’t be possible either, thought my workaday posh-frock isn’t in too bad a condition and I have new shoes anyway. Just the beauty sleep I need now, which is why I excused myself from my Guildford team’s based shenanigans tonight and am having some quiet grumpy me-time with some white wine from the mini-bar that, judging by the taste and price, is petrol based.

Hmm. What else is new?

Well, there is a guy I have been chatting to on OUT who, somewhat worse for wear, messaged me the other night to write how attractive and nice I am. I guess he doesn’t know me like you do gentle reader ;-)

Tonight he messaged to apologise for being overly personal and explained “But having said that, you do look attractive! I really fall for people who are kind, gentle… intelligent, funny and decent… If they have these things, I'm become hopelessly attracted.”.

How to reply… how to reply… maybe this one could be the next ex-Mr Right!

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Hogzilla Vs the Invisible Boyfriend

Today I feel like a million dollars. Unfortunately it’s a million Zimbabwean dollars. I have been awoken by a neighbour’s car alarm far too early (which is not good for my Rage), and today I must make the final preparations for… Guildford! At least that should provide some distraction. I spend, these days, a great deal of time thinking about Mark, and while I was out and about yesterday endless thoughts of him led me down a kind of Memory Lane of my own ‘sex-life’.

Being out now it’s difficult to reconcile the cognitive dissonance I handled in my youth. And a misspent youth it was too thanks to my neglectful parents (who were far too busy concentrating on other things to pay attention to what I was getting up to). From 14 I was frequently out all night; 15 I was regularly getting drunk and out clubbing all weekend; and 16 I was spending several days away at a time unchallenged and unapologetic. You would think I might have been a bit more adventurous with my sex life, and sexuality. But no; the first time I held hands with a boy we were both 15 and it was, of all places, in the computer suite at school. First time I had a sex with a man I was 17 and it was in the cupboard under the stairs at a party [charming]. Even at university there was only the very occasional assignation – if anything I was ‘meeting’ fewer men than when I was in high school. What a pity.

So, I suppose it isn’t really surprising I spent some months making up for lost time. And, to be honest, I’ve indulged pretty much every fantasy (with mixed results!). A couple remain but the fact of the matter is simple logistics make exploring those somewhat unlikely. Anyway, I now at least very much know what I like!

But now I have me a boyfriend and he’s the only one for me, be he never so invisible and inattentive. Of course, I’m still trying to expand my social network as well though, with the odd setback. A guy I met last night, for example, thought for some reason I was trying to sell him cocaine. Two steps forward, one step back – and all with my foot in my mouth. Quite the contortionist am I!

On Friday night I had two distinct dreams about Mark. In the first he was having a cigarette and he invited me to have one and I remember saying I couldn’t join him because if I started smoking again it would kill me. Hidden meaning?

In the second he called me and wanted to see me because something had happened and he was very upset and I was so pleased I was the person he turned to, to feel better again.

Fidelity to Mark is not in itself a problem. Yet after seven weeks of… this… I wish, I wish, I wish, we were spending more time together. I’ve been reduced to emailing my diary for the next two weeks in the hope he’ll find some room for me!

I’m beginning to wonder how at ease or confident he is in this relationship. I have no experience to speak of really but – perhaps he doesn’t know how to handle this any more than I do. Maybe I’m not giving him the right signals or something? I would hate to ruin this because of some silly thing that I do, which is one hell of a mental straightjacket.

He makes me happy. This relationship doesn’t. Help!

Maybe I should be more like the cat in this. Watch it. Watch it! Did you watch?

Saturday, 19 July 2008


Though made of angels and demons in unequal measure, what I am and ever shall be is vanilla, the various shenanigans detailed within this blog notwithstanding.

However I did think this truck stop on the road to love would be the time to describe in more detail the dating, chat, and cruising (yes, it’s true) websites I’ve joined and that are listed amongst the general gubbins on the right hand side of this page.

As an aside cruising in the traditional sense is something I haven't done since I came out. I am very lucky, I think, that since then the internet let me cruise and be cruised from the comfort of my own home. My experiences of that could lead to an interesting discussion about what – in this world of webcams, mobiles and instant messaging – exactly sex is. But let us savour the unsavoury prospect of that discussion, gentle reader, at another time.

Where to begin?

Well, let us start with gaydar. It’s a cruising site; I would generally dive straight into the chat rooms, pick someone up and that would be that. It’s a place to go if you want to have sex with men without too much fuss and with absolutely no strings attached. It is a well done website, with profiles, messaging, instant messaging, chat-rooms and, well virtually everything your heart, soul and baser nature could desire.

I have met there some genuinely nice people who have become not ‘lovers' but friends and indeed there is a community undercurrent if you look hard enough for it. But, in the final analysis gaydar = sex, and there you will almost certainly get some. Membership is very inexpensive but most of the site’s features are available in some form free.

Next then is my most favouritest man-web-place, OUT. NOT for sex, no sir. Or at least not obviously so; I’ve had my fair share of assignations, I must admit. It is, however, first and foremost a great ‘community’ site. Forums, messaging and real-word activities. It is also generally pretty work safe, depending of course on where you work. I’ve made quite a few friends off that site and it is where most of my actual proper date dates have been had, as opposed to casual hook-ups. OUT really isn’t for that kind of thing, though as indicated it can happen. It is a pay site but isn’t too expensive, and you get an honest-to-God membership card too!

As for explicit dating – Guardian Soulmates. It’s at the pricier end of the market and, cheekily, it is free to access messages but you have to pay a membership fee before you can reply. Having said that I met Mark there, and it came recommended by a friend so it must be quite good for anyone looking for romance.

In complete contrast Squirt is a total meat market. No romance there, oh no. It is like a smaller version of gaydar, but it has some useful additional features, including video-chat and video-chat rooms – though as you can imagine people seem rarely to use them for 'chat'!! Also, if someone sends you a message the site notifies you by email (whereas with gaydar you have to log in and check). Thirdly, members can rate each other according to their experiences. Here's a remarkably flattering example (that was posted some time after the event I would hasten to add):

Again there is a small membership fee, but not too onerous. I guess the main difference with gaydar is that Squirt is much more explicit BUT at the same time you’re much less likely to get anywhere. What I mean by that is that there are lots of guys who promise the Earth and then fail to deliver – to the point where I often have agreed to accommodate someone for an assignation entirely secure in the knowledge they simply won’t turn up. Great banquests I have planned only to end up with egg and chips *sigh*. Having said that I consistently have had a, well, let’s say broader range of experiences via Squirt than via gaydar. So on balance I would recommend joining, but as one of a few sites rather than just that one.

Parship is another dating site. Purely dating. Interestingly it searches for likely matches based on a psychometric profile, and it does not allow you to pick your own user name or let you show profile picture. You may, though, write something about yourself to go with your psychometric profile that is accessible to others on the site. Should someone be interested they will contact you, or you can contact someone who interests you. Only at that time can you reveal your secret identity and show your face. I’ve found it to be a relatively ‘slow’ site, but then I’ve not really concentrated on it and generally I think you get out of all these sites what you put in. Overall it's worth a whirl!

Queer Personals does a good job of striking a balance between community, dating and cruising aspects. It’s quite new but seems to be growing fast and for the moment is totally free. Consciously taking the best bits from most of the sites listed above I would recommend people join it and help it to grow; as it is so new I think there is a genuine opportunity to effect the site’s development. It caters to members' needs a bit better than most of the other sites I've mentioned and I think it is highly suitable for younger gay men in particular.

And the rest? Fitlads and Gay Date are mere footnotes and fripperies to this post. There’s nothing much to say about them; whether you seek the l’amour or le petit mort, try the other sites above before you go there.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

New Adventures of the Invisible Boyfriend

I am the liveried footman, the obsequious person; I am the lackey. Hence my lachrymose state remains hidden and I maintain as best I can a lacertian façade of indifference to my woeful plight.

Yeah, OK, the dictionary was open at ‘L’ today. ‘L’ stands for loneliness. ‘L’ stands for lech.

I am, you see, very disappointed that Mark disappeared off again without getting in touch. Of course, it was a work thing and yeah, I accept he was busy. I suppose making room for one another in each other’s life is going to be an ongoing project. But… well, he’s been making much more of an effort recently so I’m a little disappointed by this setback. I try very hard to give him his space and be ‘low maintenance’ so I fear I must make do without much complaint and change the system from within.

Yes, gentle reader; boyfriend provocateur.

Well, I’ve told him a few times I want to see him more often and how much I like him so I guess he knows how I feel… to an extent.

Hey, I’m not putting myself back on the market anytime soon. Mark = Happy; so here at least I continue to effect extravagant passions pending the real thing.

In the meantime work continues its recent roller-coaster ride; I have (shhh - it's a secret) got an interview in a week for a project management post at the Strategic Health Authority that I really want so I guess preparing for that'll keep me busy...

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


I sit here at home alone again, gentle reader, wondering when O’ when I will see the invisible boyfriend again.

Well, maybe tomorrow. I hope so, but the chances are slim that Mark will be able to get out of his existing commitments to see me before he’s away. And then I’m away… Damn, damn, damn. Secretly I hope he’ll drop in on me when I’m working in sunny Guildford next week and ravish me! But, I know he won’t *sigh*.

Due to the events of the last three months I’m not used to having my evenings so free. Yes, it seems I got me a man and now I need me a hobby! Well, I could always use more work so that’s something I can try and drum up; right now the more the better – just because I want to do a bit better from now on and get away from my employed-work.

As for a hobby… well, I have become an outrageous flirt on OUT. I’m not sleeping with anyone of course (amusingly, it turns out one of my more recent assignations was also one of Marks’s – once again a very small world!!) but I am trying to slowly build up friendships with more gay men. And not doing too badly – so, for example, there are a couple of fellas now I can talk to Mark about. Of course I talk to longer-standing friends, and colleagues about him, but certain details are not on the approved list and anyway they usually either (a) tell me to finish with him or (b) disapprove of my behaviour. That's not on my approved list.

Incidentally one of the things I’ve noticed in myself recently also is a roving eye. There’s a fair bit of totty round where I live and work and, yes, the new temp in my office is quite the yummy dish.

I think expanding my circle of gay friends, now that I’ve calmed down in other areas *ahem*, is probably the best way forward. It will definitely help me overcome those moments of introspection when I worry I’m too poor/fat/ugly/dull/Martian/whatever; I can get some good advice from people who’ve been there (I do believe you can’t draw exact parallels from straight relationships easily). Plus, perhaps I’ll get to take some faltering first steps out onto the gay ‘scene’.

So then: Wednesday is a gig by a band who’s singer is someone I’ve met via t’internet (check it out here). I invited Mark but...
and Friday I’m out in Vauxhall with my friend Si. It’s a start!

PS: down to 81kg. A thousand hurrahs. Maybe I can break that elusive 80kg barrier and become the boyfriend of rippling gorgeousness at long last.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Return of the Invisible Boyfried

I'm a bit battered today, gentle reader, as I was hit by a cyclist while walking along the river. I'll be OK, though - a bruised back and a knackered wrist; it could have been a lot worse. Anyway....

After Wednesday I didn’t hear from Mark so on Friday I emailed him to see what was happening at the weekend. It turned out he was free! So I suggested that, short of ready cash as I am, we have a quiet night in at mine on Saturday (dinner, a film etc) and go for a long walk somewhere on Sunday. You know: the kind of stuff couples do.

Mark promised to call me on Saturday, which was fine, and on the day I busied myself cleaning the flat (sort of) and getting on with some websites for some clients! Yes, paying work – hurrah!

As the morning became the afternoon and I heard nothing I sensed my mood changing and the dark clouds gathering. I began to imagine him not calling and me by the phone once again as it didn’t ring and getting increasingly sad and angry… I guess I still have a way to go before I believe he’ll do what he says he will.

Yet my bad faith was once again misplaced as he did indeed call. It would seem that my man went out on Friday and got horribly drunk. It seems he was feeling rather worse for wear, therefore, when he called and said he was going to crawl back to bed until Sunday; but that we should go out for dinner then.

I cautioned him that I was on me uppers but he insisted it would be his treat – so I said it would be my treat next time. And that was that.

As an aside I try not to let Mark pay for things/treat me as we have a wide disparity of income. I have a generous income, it’s true, but Mark it seems not so much works in a bank as owns one (well the family does I gather – it’s quite complex) so for him the price of things is ever so slightly less of an issue than for me. For my own security and peace of mind I try to ensure that we go 50/50 on everything; and this is one of the reasons why a night in was my proposal.

Plus of course a quiet night in has its charms… Still it saves me from more cleaning I suppose!

Anyway, Mark booked a table at 8:00 at a Thai/Spanish restaurant very near to where he lives (hurrah) and so I business myself on Sunday afternoon trying to look all pretty and that, and arriving early I go to his place first to collect him (muches smooches) before we the restaurant – which had live music, to add that je ne sais qui to our evening.

And after that it was back to his again for a night cap and double plus muches smooches to round off the evening.

Now, unfortunately I couldn’t stay the night because he had to be up extra early so I made my way back home, very tired but very, very happy; and before I left I insisted we had to see each other more often and try and work some synergy [blech] between our busy schedules (for example, he’s away for work Thursday through Saturday, and I’m away for work the Sunday through Wednesday after – BOO! It isn't fair).

Aw, the long and short of it is I’m soooo loved up, gentle reader. But then again *deep breath* why not? I may have to consider seriously falling for this one...

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Bride of the Invisible Boyfriend

Well, I’m just back from sunny Devon after a marathon work session. It took an hour by taxi to get to the hotel after 3½ hours on the train after a pretty full day at work – so I was exhausted when I got there!

Devon is beautiful part of the world; I grew up not-a-million-miles from there in rural Wiltshire before the bright lights of the big city and repressed-homosexuality brought me to London town. I miss it sometimes (a slower pace of life to be sure) and still have good friends in that part of the world that I’m particularly looking forward to visiting me soon!

I stayed in a beautiful hotel in a tiny village; and I ‘noticed’ that one whole wall of the room I was given was a giant mirror. If there wasn’t a secret room on the other side of there…

It was a double room and when I got to bed I couldn’t sleep unless I was on MY side not Mark's! I guess it was the first time that I realised we’ve settled into a routine (for all that we hardly see each other!).

Unfortunately the only thing I got from the mirror wall was a realisation of how frumpy I am – yes, I have let the diet slip somewhat! If all the world's a stage, I need better lighting. A knock to the self-image I could do without, I tell you. I’m going to have to try something radical with the diet; and first of all I’m going to buy the bike my sporty-neighbour’s been begging me to get!

While I was away I realised that I must be in the back of beyond as, entirely without internet access AND with no reception on my phone I could do NOTHING. So I couldn’t wait to get back to ‘civilisation’ in particular contact His Nibs to see if there was anything doing – and bless his heart, if he hadn’t sent me a message to say he was thinking of me! Of course I demanded to know what he was thinking, and I await a response!!

As an aside I think one of the nicest ways in which the various crises I’ve subjected myself to have worked out is my appreciation for those little things. God, he doesn't know what he's in for next time we meet…

So now I’m back, loved up, drinking win on an empty stomach (diet, you say?) trying to convince a (gay) friend to celebrate his 26th birthday properly on Friday and watching Sex and the City.

La la la. How lucky am I?

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Planet of the Invisible Boyfriend

Another weekend over with – and another without Mark, more’s the pity. So what is it like for Mike in this strange new world of monogamy and solitude?

Well, Friday, after a particularly hellish day at work (recent staffing changes have meant a workplace I adored has gone downhill very, very badly – there’ll be more quite soon about my plans to escape) I went for a brief drink with a colleague, who is also a very good friend and has been very supportive to me throughout everything that’s happened over the last few months.

After that I met a guy I’d been chatting to online for a few weeks – Italian, over here on a visit. We met via a dating website; and though we were clearly not looking for each other, what with living in different countries and that (!) we got chatting as, international cosmopolitan type that I am, I have family in Italy and have holidayed there often. It was nice to meet him – we had a couple of drinks and a laugh and I made him quite late for his dinner engagement. It will be back to the email from now on, I suppose. Yet, it was good to meet a guy without that possibility – even though I now have a pen pal which seems a tad old fashioned (even though I have this blog and half my social-life is online anyway!).

On Saturday I went to the barbecue of a former neighbour of mine who had moved as far as it is possible to go across London and still be in it. She’s American and was celebrating Independence Day and it was great to see her and catch up with a load of her friends that I’d met before. I always like people from Anglophone countries more than the 'generic' Brits. Americans, Australians, Canadians, Irish (like Mark), New Zealanders…. I’m not British but it’s easy to adopt the cultural cynicism rooted in appalling public transport and drought orders!

Anyway, I had a good time, and great food and everyone was really nice. Of course I had too many beers but fortunately one of my existing neighbours was there and wanted to go reasonably early, so she and I travelled together, saving me from making a total prat of myself. I will incautiously admit that I do find her attractive and were I still ‘in’ I might have tried something… but of course I didn’t!

Sunday I got text messages from someone I was due to go for a drink with last Friday (whom I cancelled because of Mark’s procrastination) asking if I was free. In truth I had a lot of work to do and shouldn’t have gone out but…

We wandered along the South Bank, caught unexpectedly in the midst of a Brazilian festival which was a lot more fun than working at home! I'm not sure the scantily clad dancing girls were entirely at home in a rainy July in London, but they made up for it in jiggly enthusiasm. After that we went for a pub lunch, only mildly disrupted by the bar-staff getting into a fight. When back home In the early evening I worked on a clients’ websites until I got bored...

I did consider going online and having a bit of a cruise but in the end I realised I shouldn’t and nothing came of that impulse (reward please?) so it was a bit of tele’ (the finale of Dr Who on the iPlayer) and a glass of Chablis to tide me to bed, perchance to sleep, perchance to dream. You see, I'm a good girl I am.

But then, the very last thing on Sunday, a text came from Mark telling me all about his weekend and what he’d been doing, and wishing me goodnight. I was really touched that he made the effort after our Talk. It really pleased me an inordinate amount (he clearly has me well trained) and I really shall have to think of a suitable way to reward him. ;-p

Friday, 4 July 2008

Revenge of the Invisible Boyfriend

What a difference a day makes (24 little hours)!

‘Did Mark call last night?’ I hear you cry! And lo, gentle reader, an age of miracles is at hand!! For Mark did indeed call me last night; and we finally did have that Talk that I needed to have for so long. A fool indeed am I for doubting him.

You see? Ignore good advice enough times and it works out fine.


He said that we hadn’t been communicating very well recently, and agreed that we did need to Talk. Mark explained that he was being ‘his usual selfish self’ and not being careful to think about others. He said he’d become accustomed to not being in a relationship, and it was taking him a long time to remember how to treat someone! It also means he finds it difficult to respond all romantic-like to me - so when I say “hi gorgeous; can’t wait to see you ;-p” and he replies “how are you? I’m doing the crossword. What’s a five-letter word for secret pumpkin?” I shouldn’t read anything into it.

He explained too that he was really busy at work and had a lot of things to deal with – essentially he needs to plan well in advance, whereas I’m much more spontaneous. I didn’t go as far as suggesting that at these social events I can be his ‘plus one’ but I think he realised that as an option at some level because he talked for a while about how he has groups of friend he sees rarely and they make demands of him etc. I suggested that we should work more toward merging our social calendars.

But I think that the most important thing we discussed was that I’m not freaking him out by forcing the issue. I reassured him that I’m not high maintenance and he said that he already understood that about me, which was pleasing to hear. Also, he talked at length about how this is more to him than just something casual, which was really great too!

On my part I did explain I knew I was being a needy foolish nincompoop, and I hated that in myself as much as I do in others but that once in a while I might need some kind of ‘reality check’ to keep me sure about things.

And, I did ask him is he was seeing anyone else – I explained/reassured at the same time that I was no longer. He reiterated he’d always been a one-at-a-time kind of guy, though he admitted he had been messaging some guys on the site where we met. I can hardly complain about that now, can I?

Christ, I’m relieved. I think I’ve been luckier than I deserve to be: after doing my damndest to make it fail I got everything I needed and wanted AND I have a boyfriend who’s gorgeous, near-by and that I like and who likes me. It’s amazing how nice it is not to be adrift any longer on a sea of anonymous sex and endless parties! Now I have me a proper relationship. The exciting start of one anyway.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Attack of the Invisible Boyfriend

Yesterday afternoon I asked Mark to call me to sort things out, because – as I put it – not only do I want to see him, I also wanted to talk to him. And, indeed he said he would call.

I waited last night till about 10:30 for that call, rehearsing some choice comments about however much I might like cock it doesn’t excuse him being one. But eventually I realised that it wasn’t going to happen, so I sent Mark a text “well, I guess I [messed] that up. I’m sorry you didn’t call. I do/did really like you. All the best, then, for the future. Mike”.

The reply I got was: “Hey what’s this about? I’m at a do”.

Mike: “Are you? I thought you didn’t call because of my last email”

Mark: “I’m at a party and that’s why I could not meet you”

This is the point when I became seriously miffed. So, ill advisedly, I text “I’m sorry I wasn’t good enough for this party. I’m sorry you didn’t call. I’m sorry I cancelled [my plans on Friday] for you. I clearly got it wrong.”

He replied with another promise to call me – but at this point it was well past midnight so I left it, and in the morning I messaged more rationally: “Hi. I feel bad about starting a row. Please do call later. Or perhaps we can meet after work to talk properly? Hope you have a good day. Speak later”. This received another promise from Mark to call me.

Who knows; if he really puts his back into it – I mean, really reaches for the stars – and makes a herculean effort he may even call me!

I hope this little display doesn’t make me look like a total idiot. I did try not to lose my temper, but recent events clearly were not good for my Rage! I’m actually more annoyed about his failure to call me than his cancelling on me for what was in effect a better offer (though to be honest I was a bit thrown that this was the reason). Once I’m secure in my mind I really can be low-maintenance gentle reader – I genuinely don’t mind that he wanted to go to this party rather than see me. But being at the bottom of the list of priorities is one thing; not even being in his mind at all is another.

Unanimity amongst all my friends, who have told me that Mark is dangling me by a string and to end it. But I rejoice in the freedom to ignore good advice. In my heart of hearts, you see, I hope that when he calls he’ll say he’d been holding back because he really likes me too but he wasn’t getting the 'vibe' from me or something and it will all turn out to be an hilarious comedy of errors like A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Farce be closer to it we might say, but whatever happens tonight, as Samuel Beckett put it, “No matter. Try again; fail again; fail better.”.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

The Invisible Boyfriend

Today marks one month since Mark and I first met. We were due to go out tonight and have dinner etc, but once again Mark has cancelled so it would seem that I will be spending tonight alone. We should, instead me meeting on Friday, but apparently that’s looking a bit ‘dodgy’ now so I guess I’ll be waiting on tenterhooks for him to make up his sodding mind.

Monogamy’s all very well but I would suggest it does rather involve being in the same room at the same time on occasion.

I’m really very annoyed. I made specific work arrangements to ensure I could meet him tonight; now we won’t see each other. Then instead he wants to meet Friday, so I put off a new friend who I was due to see then for a wine-tasting evening. Now it seems instead of seeing Mark, and also having a good Friday night, it’ll be a couple of dull nights doing accounts, studying, or watching tele’. Love's young dream it ain't gentle reader.

I’ve splattered my qualms and concerns all over this blog ad-nauseum but if I never get to talk to him in some depth/seriousness and seeing where we are/where we are going then it’s not going to get better. So right now I’m trying to think of the best way of biting the bullet and tackling this in the only medium I have available – email.

In my mind the lunaversary/mensiversary (whatever it’s called) would have been quiet – no flowers, no gifts – but I did want to ask him clearly, but nicely, whether he is seeing other people, and where we stand. Partly for the affirmation, but partly because I know he still actively uses the dating site where we ‘met’ (our profiles are linked you see) so…

He’s promised to call me later and to be honest the way I feel right now there’ll be Words Had. I’m currently trying to compose a message in reply to him that expresses my concerns maturely and sensibly, in a way that isn’t going to piss him off or sound petulant or aggressive.

OK, so he wants a relatively hassle free relationship because he has a very demanding job, but I clearly need lots of affirmation and attention. I make no demands of Mark whatsoever even though it kills me that he very very rarely sends even remotely 'romantic' texts or emails and is very reticent about public displays of affection (which I think is partly just the way he is to be honest), and he never apologises for letting me down.

I really want to get a clear indication from him whether he 'likes' me and whether he wants to keep seeing me – whether he thinks we have a future. I have to find a good way of asserting myself and making some demands of Mark for a change.

I could quite happily go back to sleeping around, you know. Quite happily. Oh yes. :-(