This guy has a really neat dating trick that makes me feel comfortable and relaxed in his company. It’s one which means we get to progress towards knowing each other way faster than I have with most other men in the years since I broke up with my ex. He does it consistently and brilliantly, and each time he does it I’m taken by pleasant surprise. Wanna know what the trick is? It’s easy. Absurdly, ridiculously easy, but quite rare. He asks me questions. That’s it. He asks me about my life, and when I say something interesting he asks a follow-up. If he realises he’s been speaking for too long, and the conversation is becoming a monologue, he says “enough about me. How about you?” That’s it. That’s the trick.
Here are a couple of dates when I’m free – sorry for being such a forward-planning diary twat it’s just that I’m very busy and I’d really like to see you so it’s better if we book it a long way in advance. Let me know if either of these works for you. No worries if not!
Picture the scene: it’s late December in the year 1998. You’re a thirteen year old girl. You wear glasses and have extremely greasy hair, you wear your school uniform exactly as dictated by the rules, and you’re good at Maths and Science. Ergo: you fucking suck. Everyone hates you and no boy will ever snog you, no matter how much Impulse body spray you cover yourself in. Against this backdrop, you are in love with your very best friend – a boy who has the voice of a genuine angel. It’s the school Christmas Talent Show, and this boy – the one you think about to make your crotch give you those New Special Feelings – takes the stage. He stands at the microphone and clears his throat. The first few chords of a song you recognise start blaring through the assembly-hall speakers, and your soul soars in anticipation. Then he opens his perfect perfect mouth, this sexy boy, and with a breath that carries straight into the depths of your miserable, bullied soul, he sings the following words…
The first time I kissed a boy was in Geography class at school. We’d been swimming together with friends the weekend before, and he and I had flirted in the way that 13-year-olds do: by splashing each other and then rapidly swimming away, whispering to friends that we fancied each other and hoping those friends would understand their role as ‘messenger.’ I assume this is how most first kisses happen: friends are pivotal in their creation.
We’re sitting on the sofa and my feet are on his lap. It’s late and I’m tired and happy – we’ve spent the evening laughing and drinking pints. I’m trying to do my best to be up front with men about what I want, so I told him I didn’t want sex tonight, just company. My feet are on his lap, and he’s stroking them. Firmly, casually, intimately. It’s comforting.