Monthly Archives: June 2019

Back on the road

Another image I’ve massively overused in my blog, except this is somewhat more upbeat

Don’t worry, I’m ending June 2019 in a better mood than I was back on Tuesday: I met “Polish female best friend” for dinner on Wednesday, and didn’t mention once that I thought I had feelings for her — because aside from her having met her current boyfriend months ago (rather than right after we’d spent time together in a homless-helping event, as I feared!), I just… wasn’t that into her.  It’s almost as though absence makes the heart grow fonder, whereas being in someone’s company makes one feel rather more sedate, in emotional terms.

It’s a bit like the reverse of my feelings towards the original “female best friend”: I’ve always regarded her as my quasi-little sister, but, after she moved out of the flat we shared with “good housemate” and we saw each other somewhat rarely (and may I say, Walthamstow is a DUMP!), I began to worry: what if she had a thing for me, and I was breaking her heart by not responding, perhaps making her feel unattractive and worthless?  Yet when we were together, I knew she wasn’t in that state of mind, and that she still regarded me as a friend and quasi-big brother… and, of course, one day she married, so I don’t need to worry about her (unless her husband is a Christian theocrat, though hopefully he’s just a right-wing commenter on Facebook).

Sadly, while I learned of on that special day in 2013, and realised that I needed to get out and socialise more, somehow everyone giving me that advice (including “Polish female best friend” herself) doesn’t make me feel hopeful — due to my full-time work that involves face-to-face interaction, and a much longer commute each way than I had back when I worked in Camden, I’ve been taking things easy and spending more and more evenings at home over the past few years.

(For your info, the video game series I’m currently enjoying working my way through is Assassin’s Creed…)

I still see my personal trainer once a week (barring illness), but going to the Castle to climb after work is troublesome: unless I’m meeting someone there (“best mate”, though we’re more likely to go at the weekend), I have to wait ages for the Session to begin — and while that gives me time for dinner, it also means I’ll have spent around two hours travelling and waiting for just over an hour of climbing, and another journey home (or more, if the Underground’s having a bad evening).  I can’t come home, eat a quick dinner and then head back out again like in my, ahem, younger days (2012-2014), and effectively lose a whole evening each time.

I do need more exercise, so it’s good that my salsa teacher’s back in the game on Mondays, and no longer solely holding classes at a pub that’s a long walk from a nearby station; my plan for tomorrow is to eat dinner near work (rather than at Euston station, as they’ve closed Ed’s and I’m a little bored with Nando’s), and then head to Old Street when the rush hour’s in decline — good, because as I said last time, that golden honey’s right back in my life again, and even if we don’t date, it’s still good to have her company!  And hey, if the new venue picks up popularity, some other actual female classmates may turn up…

One thing “Polish female best friend” tried to impress upon me is that to combat her own shyness, she does the old trick of “get outside your comfort zone”, forcing herself to attend social gatherings.  Ignoring the fact that I do this almost every day simply by getting on the Tube (I still hate the very sight of beardies), I’m going to try this in July: for the first time in over a year (maybe closer to two), I’ll go to a Japanese meetup event on the second Tuesday of the month (maitsuki no daini no kayōbi), and somehow endure the place becoming crowded and noisy, just so I can chat to Japanese people and make sure I can remember everything I learned before.  And oi, if I’m lucky and it’s not a sausage fest, kanojo ni au

I’m trying to do a little more outside the home, and not just helping the homeless (though I’ll keep attending those events as long as I can).  As in the summer of 2014, today I attended a meetup event (to which “Polish female best friend” had alerted me) in which I could pet other people’s dogs; sadly, this time around only one doggy turned up, due to everyone else’s mutts having found Saturday too hot, and thus not being up to the meeting.  It was also a hell of a long journey (Victoria Park in east London, rather than the superior Victoria Park here in Finchley, where I petted loads of dogs last summer), and lots of man-spreading (and in one case loud, drunken behaviour) on the Tube, but at least I was out there making female friends, and meeting friendly doggies!

All things considered, though, I still want some nights in to relax, so I don’t completely wear myself out — after all, it’s become difficult to get up in the mornings, almost because I go to bed before midnight instead of staying up until 1am (like in my, ahem, younger days).  Where does the time go…

— — —

P.S. Even when I have nights in, assuming I’m not aching from the previous evening’s activity, I’ll try to exercise in Wii Fit Plus — and one thing to encourage this has been creating new Miis representing others, who appear cheering me on in the background of most games (and as opponents in the snowball game).  I’ve had ones of my mother, grandmother and “best mate” for ages, but I’ve now created ones of my personal trainer, my hero Eminem… and Donald Trump!

Dave-ros Loves!… unrequited

Tomorrow I’ll learn something from “Polish female best friend”: not whether or not we have a romantic future together, but whether there was a chance of it at any stage.

I’d been trying to meet her somewhere other than a group event for a few weeks, in the hope that I could tell her that, while not certain, I may have had some kind of feelings for her that weren’t purely platonic, but she’d been too “busy” to meet me for so much as a drink, and I wonder if she knew my plan and was keeping me at bay…

And now, just after Midsummer, she’s told me that she’s just gotten a boyfriend — and she’s going on a trip with him, so it must be serious rather than a mere fling.  The fact that she only told me when I asked her to take a walk in the park with me, because I had something to tell her (not medical, though my broken heart may count), makes me wonder: was she waiting for an opportunity to let me down gently, was she entirely unsuspecting of my feelings and telling me as a friend… or, worst of all, had she felt something for me but given up in despair?

It’s coming up to 24 years since I first decided to come out of my shell and put myself on the market, and over 23 since my first, futile attempt to ask out a girl at school in early 1996, with the girls in my year group (to whom I always felt like a kid brother) advising me to wait, because “there’ll be lots of nice girls at university”.  There weren’t, just a lot of drunk birds who disdained me, shy girls who were afraid of me, and decent, confident girls who were already in relationships — and the one cute girl who showed interest in me, was part of a quasi-Christian life-controlling cult (little more than Christ’s Taliban), and likely trying to lure me into their clutches, as another unwitting convert…

(I think she escaped, as she said hi to me a few times over the following years… and then in the early 21st century, I saw her on Newsround talking about cyber-bullying — maybe she took them down a notch!)

Of course, there was that one brief romance in September 1998, which I have no doubt happened to me because I was in the USA (only in America could I get a girlfriend!), and another brief attempt to date a sorority girl, who had herself initiated things — though good job we didn’t sleep together, as she may have been technically underage in federal terms!  This despite the fact that she was already smoking and drinking (so kissing her was like drinking beer from an ashtray), whereas the “one” had been a non-party animal, just my type.

In any case, nothing else happened during my undergraduate days — despite me wondering, naively, whether a girl often dismissed as a “bike” by other blokes in our Geology class might be interested in me, simply because I wasn’t like the other blokes, and treated her like a human being (when I got back from America, she’d graduated and was in a relationship).  I was clumsy and socially inept in those days, hence driving away a beautiful girl in my dance classes, a situaiton which got worse when she moved into my hall of residence, and refused to meet my eyes!

Needless to say, nothing happened while I was living with my folks for three years in dismal Worthing; I tried to use a dating service (on paper, the Interthingy being dial-up and non-portable at this stage), and I tried to ask out a girl at work, but… no.  My friends at a local astronomy society even tried to matchmake for me, only for the lady in question (in her 30s when I was in my mid-20s) to be a “born-again Christian”, and not really my type at all!

As I’ve doubtless said before, I made several female friends when I came to London as an Astrophysics postgrad, including “female best friend” and “other female best friend”, who were like sisters to me (or so I assume, as I’m an only child), and whose friendship kept me going over the following years, even if blokes such as the one later known as “good housemate” accused me of “letting the side down” by not scoring enough!  Oh, there was a pretty girl in one of our classes (who came to London just for that one each week), a fellow vegetarian with whom I seemed to have a rapport, but somehow we never got together — though one evening, I invited her back to my residence flat (the others keeping away precisely for my benefit), and was at least able to make her a drink of hot chocolate…

(In Aztec times, that would have counted as a proposal of marriage!)

Nothing else really happened in the 2000s; I made Japanese female friends late in the decade, as I studied the language, but for the most part, imōto no onaji, and one I fancied quickly started ghosting me — and another, who I saw many times in early 2011, turned out to only want me as a tomodachi, not a kareshi.  Going to Japanese meetup events certainly helped me get out there and socialise, but not find ai, so sabishiteita… go on, look them up in Google Translate!  Actually, don’t, it’s never quite right — they mean “like little sisters”, “friend”, “boyfriend”, “love” and “I was lonely”.

I tried getting into the dating scene via these newfangled websites in 2010; was almost completely useless and expensive, and the others only vaguely adequate.  My first date since 1998 was an unmitigated disaster (we barely spoke, and she left politely — did she whisper “loser” under her breath?), and nothing else seemed to work; indeed, there was a speed-dating event which “good housemate” happened to attend as well (in his case due to boredom), but I was shy as hell there, and one hot but loudmouthed babe told him (while feeling him up in public) that she thought I was a “creepy weirdo” who was “following her around”!

No wonder I was contemplating grim endings in late 2011, eh?  At least I got through that, and an even worse beginning to 2012, but the rest of that year was no improvement in dating terms, despite my usage of dating sites: an English girl who seemed to like me, but went off me when she found out I was a Doctor Who fan; an American girl who insisted on a phone call first, which apparently made her realise I wasn’t the one; and a Korean “friend” who bossed me around, and actually told me off for not being attracted to the woman of my age with whom she’d tried to set me up!

Things changed in 2013, when a new dating site meant a number of women asked me out, building my confidence; my many near-misses since then have been mostly chronicled here in this blog — especially in 2016, though I omitted to clarify that the young mother in Oxford did get in touch with me again, to tell me she was seeing someone else.  I did mention that the cute Indian girl with the American accent ghosted me after two dates, but it was something that could have gone serious that led to a real breakup, almost exactly 18 years after that one romance in Michigan (and without even getting to “third base” this time).  Still, that year was better than 2014, and certainly 2015 (almost exactly four years ago) — and most of all, late 2014 and early 2015, when my anxiety was at an all-time high.

(Blimey, I’ve used that same depressing image from Evangelion in a hell of a lot of blog posts, haven’t I?)

However, one failed attempt I mentioned only fleetingly at the time occurred during my American camping trip in 2013: as well as fancying one of the under-21 Danish girls (and, as is always the futile way, fantasising about her), I grew to like another European woman in her mid-20s, feeling jealous that she seemed to be close to one of the under-21 Danish guys; it was in Las Vegas when she finally admitted she had a boyfriend back home (despite having kissed the Danish boy that evening. almost as though she wanted a fling, just not with me), but even then, I somehow held out hope, and took her aside at our last campsite, to try and tell her how I felt… only for her to know full well in advance, and (as I put it before) let me down gently.

I wonder whether “Polish female best friend” regards me as, while certainly a friend, not a “real man” — remember me dating a thirtysomething back in 2013, only for her to finally admit she was seeing someone else, and that I was immature?  By coincidence, both contacted me via the site, because we were in the same shyness group… well, I’m sure the new one wouldn’t be impressed by my video games addiction, or laugh at my phone sound effects — but don’t worry, I’ve accepted she’s not “the one”, and thus reinstated Roger the Alien singing “No-o-o-o!” as her text message notification.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse on Monday, though… well, actually they improved a little, and gave me hope for the future.  Remember the first time I mentioned “M.” back in late 2017?  Even if she’s off the market now, and “S.” hasn’t texted me since early 2018 (perhaps due to me texting her too much, or her being driven away by my dizzy spells), and I haven’t seen “C.” at the Castle in ages, there’s always, er, the first “M.”, who turned up at the first salsa class I’ve been to all year — and she’s still fly, got it goin’ on etc., and was equally happy to see me for the first time since, well, around the time in December 2017 that I wrote that post!

I’m also using dating apps, for all the good that’ll do (either show my age or pay a monthly fee) — but at least I’m trying again (and have somewhere new to use that “Maybe baby” sound effect, if it doesn’t make me cry).  Something has to change: I’ve never been in love — unless you count unrequited love, in which case I’m the world’s biggest gigolo…

— — —

Most appropriate at this time would be “To Binge”, the Gorillaz (feat. Yukimi Nagano) song which, with the rest of Plastic Beach, we played on the minibus as we approached Las Vegas during that trip, the girl in question having invited me to sit next to her — and while I don’t know for sure how I’ve felt about “Polish female best friend”, who knows: one day it could have been like this, though perhaps that’d be even worse…

(Note that while 2-D is singing, the lyrics were written by Murdoc the green-skinned evil Satanist bassist and manager of the band, so imagine him finally admitting to poignant emotion for a woman, instead of his usual sadistic triumph!)

Am I racist, sexist and… heterophobic?

A couple of heterosexual white guys I actually respect, because they’re, like, totally cool and stuff

Sorry I didn’t write anything last week, when I was off work (a long-needed break from the world of, er, IT in a major London corporation), but now that I’m travelling on the London Underground every morning again, perhaps it’s time I got something off my chest about the kind of people I have to encounter every day.

Remember how, in 2015, I wondered if it was foreigners I didn’t like (due to the anxiety I was going through at the time), only to conclude that it was actually men as a whole I was having trouble with?  You’ll be pleased to know I no longer have any particular problem with Asian (as in Indian) guys, perhaps because my team at work is so ethnically mixed — no, it’s now specifically the honky-whitey-crackers I can’t stand… or, more precisely, the fashionable ones.

As I also said in 2015, I ain’t no nice guy — but to restate, I don’t want to hurt innocent people who have done me no harm; indeed, now I make donations to the homeless, albeit as part of a group (as I wouldn’t be confident doing it alone), and I still give vaguely usefeul stuff to charity shops (and buy CDs and Stephen King novels from them).  I also have no problem with the existence of gay people, and it’s the homophobes I actually hate and wish could be “cured”, and don’t automatically hate black or brown people simply for their skin colour.

(Obviously leaving aside a certain orange “president”, who’s inviting racism against himself…)

Okay, this guy’s not arrogant, and that really is a small wig, not a hairstyle!

However, if there’s anyone I’m sick of being around, it’s swaggering, arrogant, “fashionable” young, slender blokes with hairstyles that look like small wigs (shaven around the sides, long on top), and — although I don’t mind this on men of religious cultures, nutty old professors etc. — great big bushy beards, in some cases jutting right out from their smug, contemptuous faces.  The sort who slouch and manspread on the London Underground (especially in tracksuit trousers), maybe even with one hand down there, and act like they’ve got the right, and everyone around them needs to stop being a “snowflake”.  That’s unless they’re above ground, driving flash cars in a dangerous manner (breaking the speed limit on quiet residential streets like my own, and running red lights), though admittedly that applies to middle-aged London cabbies as well (and I’ve already covered my dislike of London’s drivers and cyclists).

Maybe it’s just jealousy, because I certainly hate seeing straight couples being romantic, but have no problem with, say, gay men kissing (though I won’t talk about women doing the same, as that would open a whole new can of worms!).  Indeed, that makes me wonder why pathetic fools in America want to hold a “straight pride parade”, as though they’re sick of being reminded that gay people exist — when gay people are reminded every day that straight people exist, by this kind of behaviour!  And worse, of course: I’ve never heard of gay men wolf-whistling straight men, or talking loudly and sexually about them (but not to them, of course), and insulting anyone who objects to such behaviour, calling them “SJWs” if they’re not the direct victims themselves.

That might be another side to it: I’ve never liked being around other blokes “on the pull” — I’ve always been trying to find a woman for my own happiness, not to score points with the lads.  Indeed, I still tend to prefer all-female or mixed company, and only rarely make new male friends — and seldom are they white and heterosexual.  There are two such blokes in my team, but only two, and while one of them finds it too damn hot in the office and needs the aircon on full blast every day, that’s not a medical condition, it’s because he’s from Oop Noorth.

(A rather more appropriate use of the term “snowflake”, don’t you think?)

At least the blokes at my workplace are mature (despite their senses of humour); the worst straight honkey mahfahs I knew were back at school, in my GCSE years in Worthing… and at university, during my undergrad days.  Yes, let’s reflect on my past bullying experience one final time, and get this out of my system: teenage boys sneering at me because I wasn’t getting drunk at FIFTEEN, and thus taking advantage of drunk girls at house parties (which surely would qualify as rape?), and young men treating me like an outsider for not wanting to get drunk even at legal age — and yes, the alcoholic thug who wanted to come around to my room and beat me up, even though we’d never spoken, for reasons best known to himself (if he could even remember them the next day)…

On the positive side, this means I actually feel more respect for older gentlemen and plus-size guys in public places (well, obviously except specific individuals) — they haven’t hurt me, and there’s no sense in harbouring irrational hatred for them.  Inadvertent manspreading, I can tolerate — indeed, now I feel bad for refusing to give extra elbow space to a portly man (resembling a humourless version of Matt Lucas) who used to be on my morning Tube train frequently, and insisted on using a laptop in his seat.  He’d done nothing wrong (except maybe he could have asked nicely), whereas I view leg-spreading I’m-all-dat blokes as a challenge, and sit next to them on the Tube when I can, just to politely refuse to let them cross the border.

(One bloke took exception to this and glared at me, so mission accomplished!  Though I don’t know if he was white, as I didn’t look at his face…)

Now here’s a white man whose beard I don’t hate… “THANKS DAVE-ROOOOS!!!!”

Sometimes I wonder if I have some weird phobia (perhaps stemming from childhood terror, or a side effect of my recent brain alteration), and I know I shouldn’t hate bearded young white guys — fortunately, when it’s someone familiar, I don’t.  Hey, I’ve slowed down in shaving terms over the past few years, and often have stubble (ironically, something the bullies made fun of me for in the GCSE days), but I don’t want to grow a full beard (until I’m old and grey), simply because I find the styling of such a thing to be pretentious — and the same for funny hairstyles (I’m keeping my luscious glory short these days, mainly so I don’t have to fuss over it).

I know, it’s stuff my dating coach has encouraged me to try out — dressing smart (though not quite on the verge of “peacocking”), styling my hair (sensibly), sitting in a masculine pose (albeit not quite full-on manspreading), and essentially being fashionable… but I don’t want to be like the crowd, I want to be myself, and I’d only be willing to dress up smart for a date if it was, shall we say, date no.3 (or, more likely, a higher number), and she was also dolled up to the nines.  Of course I’ll keep trying new things, but I’d rather have platonic female company in a nightclub, perhaps (like “other female best friend”) dancing with me to attract the attention of single women in my direction, than a bunch of brash blokes egging me on, as I wouldn’t care what they think of me, success or failure.

Don’t worry, I don’t hate all white, heterosexual males of the species H. sapiens — obviously I’m still a fan of Eminem (yes, even after all these years!), and “best mate” fits the criteria as well.  Then again, neither of them is English, and very few of my male friends are: my personal trainer is mixed race (and sounds American), and I’ve had Far Eastern buddies over the years (including my new housemate, for whom I’m developing tolerance).  Ah, my yoga teacher, he’s always been cool (despite his Brummy accent… no, actually, because of his Brummy accent!), and some of my school/university friends were and are (though I’ve lost touch with too many over the years), and of course “drummer-trucker” has been fine since returning to the Smoke.

Let’s be fair: #NotAllHonkeys are pretentious, bullying jerkbags — I’m not, am I?  Am I…?