Category Archives: Girl troubles

Getting lucky (with apologies to Daft Punk)

Sometimes, public transport issues seem to work in my favour — or, I get lucky despite serious issues.  This weekend I’d planned to visit my folks in Worthing, to drop off an expensive present I’d got for my grandmother, so I wouldn’t have to bring it home in two weeks’ time, just before Christmas itself; however, I suddenly thought of a present for my mother, but too late to actually buy it before my journey.  It occurred to me that I could always travel down to Brighton, buy the item in one of the shops there, and get a bus back home; I’d done this before in 2014, and I had a return ticket left over from last time I travelled, that I could use to get back, instead of buying a whole new open-ended return…

(I’d used that return before, but hadn’t had it marked or taken off me!  Yes, I’m happy to rip off Southern — who isn’t, considering how much they rip US off?)

…so imagine my surprise when I discovered that there were no direct trains to Worthing on Saturday, and my plan thus made sense anyway!  Admittedly, it’s not as lucky as that time in November 2006, just after I’d moved to Caledonian Road, when the exact weekend I’d be bringing loads of my stuff up to London in a removals van started with a strike at Victoria station, and so I was able to travel down to Worthing for free instead of buying an overpriced single (which has always cost almost as much as a return), but it was still pretty sweet, and so conveniently timed that you’d almost think it was scripted.

Okay, PC World (named and shamed) didn’t sell the thing I was after, so I had to resort to a shop that my mother hates, and even then, they were out of the more expensive versions of the item I wanted to get; and fine, the train journey to Brighton, albeit cheaper, took as long as a normal train journey to Worthing anyway, and the subsequent bus journey took over an hour on top of that — no, never mind the bad luck, all that was just payment for my good luck!  Like the opposite of Christmas 2015, when my final journey down to Worthing could have been a nightmare, but somehow I was lucky to find the path of least resistance through it all…

I must have been lucky to choose this weekend for my flying visit to Worthing, as it meant I avoided some very low temperatures in London, and the first significant snow I’ve seen in the capital since early 2015!  There was actually a difference of about 9 degrees Celsius (about twice as much in Fahrenheit) between Worthing on the south coast, and the north of London, and no snow where my folks live (but some strong winds on Sunday morning) — which also means my mother’s lucky, as there shouldn’t be any ice for her to risk slipping on.

And considering the snow in London, I was lucky to get a train back up that wasn’t delayed (aside from a short pause outside Victoria) — and maybe the eight-minute wait on the Northern Line was my “bad luck” fee, but otherwise I’ve had no trouble getting back here.  Indeed, what seemed to be forgetfulness before turned out to be fortuitous: last time I was in Worthing, I left behind a pair of boots my mother had got me in a sale in October (non-leather, another sign of good luck), but if I’d brought them up to London before, I wouldn’t have thought to wear them down to Worthing this weekend (it being mild on Saturday), and so wouldn’t have been able to wear them back up, and crunch safely through the snow in the streets here!

One bit of bad luck, and possibly a failure to “get lucky” in a sense closer to the one Daft Punk were actually singing about, has been the serious problems the London Underground’s been suffering today — never mind the Northern Line, which was actually getting back to normal when I got on it: had the Metropolitan Line been running, I may just have been able to drop in on one of the four potential girlfriends I have in my life now — and since she’d used the phrase “Netflix and chill”, there was a chance…

No, I’m not making stuff up — amazingly, after decades of nothing followed by a few years of numerous first dates that seldom went anywhere, and absolutely no instances of “getting lucky” whatsoever (unless you consider “dodged bullets” to be lucky, of course), finally this seems to be the year my romantic life begins!  They’re all in potentia at the moment, as nothing concrete has happened with any of them yet (technically I’ve not even made it to “first base”), but in each case I’ve not managed to drive her away just by being myself, and feel an emotional bond — with a possibility for something meaningful and long-term.

Oh, you want a list?  Well, in approximate order of meeting, we have:

  1. M, a statuesque African-American girl I’ve seen at my salsa classes since 2015, who likes my humour and happily hugs me every time, with kisses on the cheeks; she’s never mentioned a boyfriend, and has given me her phone number.  Yeah, this sister might be more of a “sister” in the relational sense of the word, but I still hope I’ve got a chance with her (and no, not for the ulterior motive of moving to America!).
  2. C, a cute English glasses girl with whom I’ve climbed a few times since 2016 (sometimes I’ve been lucky enough to go to the Castle when she’s been looking to top-rope), who really seems to enjoy my company, and is a great climber herself.  She’s never mentioned a boyfriend, and I’ve been too cowardly to ask her out, or even flirt (in case she mentioned having a boyfriend) — but next time I see her, I’ll try!
  3. S, a classy English brunette, with whom I connected via a dating app late last year, but still stayed in contact with this year, when I finally got to meet her for dates.  Things were a little stilted last time, and I’ve never had the courage to flirt, but she still seems to be interested in meeting me, and despite gaps between text messages, hasn’t starting “ghosting” me like so many other connections.
  4. M, a strawberry-blonde Polish vet, who messaged me via Meetup a couple of weeks ago (she was interested in coming to the “helping the homeless” event in Shy London), and who has met me a couple of times already; even though she’s the one I’ve known the least amount of time, she’s the one who I seem to have the best chance of (if you’ll forgive the bro-ish chauvinism) gettin’ some action with…

(And if the fourth one’s name started with “E”, I could list their initials as “MCSE”, singularly appropriate for an IT geek!  Ha ha, no?  Oh, please yourselves!)

I won’t lie, there are also women at work that I like — but even though one of my IT teammates met his wife in the company (which is why we always give her preferential treatment), I’d be too nervous about asking out any of them, as doubtless it’d be a failure and I’d be humiliated among my colleagues.  If a young lady asked me out, that’d be different — I’m always happy if a woman makes the first move, this being the 21st century and all (and I was asked out loads of times in 2013, which was nice) — but I won’t worry about it, because I’ve already got four possibilities, unlike all the women whose phone numbers I got only for them to either “ghost” me after one or two dates, or turn out to have boyfriends already.

In any case, this Friday I’ve been roped into coming to the Christmas do after work, when I’ll have to be careful in case someone I don’t like gets drunk and propositions me… but luckily, “best mate” wants to go to Winter Wonderland that evening, so, much like that day in summer 2013 when I was at a “singles event” whose female contingent were all much older than me, I’ve got a way out if things become uncomfortable…


Never gonna give her up


Yes, it’s a “girl troubles” post — would you rather I went on about Gwar? Well, tough!

In case you hadn’t noticed, it was Valentine’s Day yesterday.  As a child, I just thought it was nauseating romantic drivel that only stupid people cared about (couldn’t they see that girls were yucky?), but as a teenager, I came to think of it as a gigantic middle finger directed at lonely people like me, as I had no girlfriend, and was therefore a loser, of no value.

As an adult, I find it a combination of both: yet another Hallmark holiday designed to sell garbage to stupid people (surely you should do it every day of the year, not just once?), while at the same time making lonely people like me feel like there’s something wrong with us and we “deserve” to be alone.

Oh, don’t worry, I didn’t just sit at home grumbling after work: I went to a Japanese meetup event (for the first time in months), with “best mate” and one of his work colleagues as wingmen, and managed to talk to a Japanese girl for a while — but two things scuppered my efforts to get a date: she’s only in this country for a short time longer, and the incessant noise and overcrowding in the venue meant I couldn’t stay for more than an hour and try with anyone else.

(Sorry, but no amount of “man up!” or “but normal people do it!” could ever convince me to somehow enjoy being in loud, cramped pubs or nightclubs — I simply don’t like it, same as I don’t like broccoli!)

However, that wasn’t what cheesed me off yesterday, and left me overthinking this morning at work to the point that I had the idea for this blog post; nor was it another one-off date that went nowhere on Saturday (at least that gave me the excuse to go Pokémon-hunting in Camden Town).  No, it was a female work colleague (on whom I have a secret crush), in a lift with two other people, making a comment yesterday that I imagine she thought was humorous, but which actually upset me more than I wanted to admit to myself at the time.

I guess it shows I can still fret about trivial things, but it really got to me when, out of nowhere, she said I should enjoy Valentine’s Day alone, in a “relationship” with myself (no pun intended, I hope!).  I hadn’t even had a conversation with her about my dating experiences, and if she knows anything whatsoever about my love life, it’s from overhearing me talking to my boss in the past — so what prompted her to say this to me?

In a way, it almost felt like womankind had finally found the courage to nominate someone to tell me personally to “stop trying” and get out of the dating scene — not because I’ll meet “the one” when I least expect it, and thus need to take it easy and get on with living my life, but rather because my search is somehow annoying and offensive to all females everywhere, and women would be a lot happier if I were celibate and not bothering them.  In other words, I should put their collective comfort above my own desires.

You’re right, I’m ludicrously paranoid — but it’s a feeling I’ve had before (as long-term readers may remember), and continue striving to overcome: that “only every other bloke in the entire world” should be allowed to find a girlfriend, and I’m somehow supposed to be different, and not even try.  Well, that still ain’t gonna happen — if I’m somehow annoying womankind as a whole simply by searching for someone special, I say GOOD!


Of course, when 2010 rolled around for real, she was still just a kid — dammit, why must TV lie?!

Yeah, you heard me, women of the planet Earth: you will never, ever convince me to stop trying, to lay down all my hopes and dreams, and resign myself to a pathetic life of male spinsterhood.  Maybe I’m naive to assume that my ideal woman exists, somewhere in this world of billions, but I’m nonetheless determined to find someone who makes me happy, and there are only two ways my search will ever end: in success or with my death.  Giving up is not an option, because why should I accept my lot in life is to be alone when no-one else does, and neither is “settling” for someone with no real spark between us (which wouldn’t be fair to either person).

I still need to change, but solely in terms of confidence and self-esteem.  The women I met who liked me at first but instantly went off me after I admitted to being a Doctor Who fan, or that I went climbing with my mother — or simply upon seeing me in jeans and a T-shirt on a first date (which I prefer to keep casual) — are the real losers, undeserving of any regret on my part.  I see no reason to give up the things I enjoy (any more than I did back in 2013) or act like a cash machine in a suit, and what I really need to do remains finding that one, special woman who would love me because of who I am, not in spite of it.

So, womankind, you have two choices: you can either help me find the right person (as was done for Howard in The Big Bang Theory), or you can assassinate me — and if you choose option no.2, do your own dirty work instead of trying to drive me to suicide by making me feel hopeless and worthless, as it feels like society as a whole has tried (for the crime of being a guy with emotions about anything except football).  I gazed into the abyss back in 2011, and the abyss blinked first — and so, barring terminal illness, there is absolutely no way I will ever  contemplate that course of action again (readers already have my word on that).

All right, that’s far enough — I know I’m making a fuss about nothing, stop complaining.  In the real world, there’s no female equivalent of the Borg Collective; all women aren’t automatically conspiring against me or making a concerted effort to convince me to stop bothering them entirely (though I hope I’m not personally on any of those “avoid dating these awful men” websites).  It’s all nonsense, but you know by now that I need to write posts like this in order to get these stupid feelings out of my system and vow to keep striving — as hinted by this blog’s subtitle, it’s catharsis that keeps me alive…

— — —

If there’s one thing I know, it’s that the girl of my dreams would be a fellow unrepentant geek, rather than a boring “normal” person.  She’d like video games and sci-fi (or at least not begrudge me liking them), and she’d be intelligent and worldly-wise… in short, she’d laugh if I gave her this meme-inspired Valentine, instead of sneering at me or going “whaaat, I don’t get it?” (though I admit it’s over 10 years old now!):


(No, I didn’t create it myself, but props to whoever did — for great justice!)

2017 starts… ambivalently

ss_ffI’ve got good news, after a long period of keeping on keeping on: they’re increasing my pay at work — and not just by a “cost of living” increase, but by a couple of thousand a year, backdated to October!

It seems the recent reappraisal of pay rates at my employer has worked in my favour, and now I’ll be on £26k p.a. instead of less than £23k (with all the same benefits as before — for one thing, they’re paying for my new glasses!).  My boss was in my corner for this process, and naturally I’ll be eternally grateful to her — not just for the added moolah, but also for not firing me last January!

Obviously I’ll wait until I see it in my bank account before I get complacent, but the backdated pay (along with the money I’m owed for my December overtime) will mean I can buy myself a new 1440p monitor, and give (not sell!) my old one to my mother; the overall increase means I’ll no longer feel like I have to space out paying for my personal training sessions, or somehow give it up entirely and exercise on my own initiative (what a ludicrous notion!).  I’ll even be able to save up for a proper holiday, perhaps even outside Europe…

Of course, this leads to a certain compulsion: I feel I must defy the Tube strike on Monday in order to journey to central London for my job, instead of taking the day off.  I wouldn’t say the place would fall apart without me for just a day*, but I reckon anyone who can be there ought to at least try, just to keep things running — especially Citrix, as a lot of people will undoubtedly be working from home!

(* Obviously I know my own worth, but it needs to be said that some staff members are a lot happier when I’m in the building — presumably because I deal with all the little problems, while my teammates work on the bigger projects)

beavis_christmas_carolOn the other hand, I’m still not having any success finding a woman: I’ve just had two dates on consecutive days, and both have been one-offs that have not led to anything more.  As far as I’ve advanced emotionally over the years I’ve been writing this blog, I still feel down when this happens — indeed, even more as the big four-oh approaches in the autumn, and I wonder if I should even bother trying after that point (since I’m so shallow that I won’t ever be happy “settling” for an older woman, except maybe Courtney Cox in Cougar Town).  After all, it’s not just women who face ageism in the dating game… maybe I should use some of my newfound wealth to see my dating coach again, for the first time in three years?

Mind you, my gloom is nothing compared to that of “best mate”, whose car (to which we always refer as a name similar to “Batmobile”) conked out while he was on the M6, driving back after visiting his family in Ireland over Christmas.  He’s in a bad way now, as not only was the journey back to London horrendous (he nearly needed a third tow truck to get his car all the way!), but there’s every possibility he’ll need to buy a new vee-hickle, and while he can afford to do that, it’d cut into the money he’s saving to become a homeowner.

(Maybe I shouldn’t tell him I dreamed last night that we’d been driving up a hill when he’d hit-and-run a pedestrian, and I had to convince him to turn around and go back…)

Even if he does pay for a new car, he still might end up getting his own place sooner than I thought (with family help), which would leave us with the prospect of needing to find TWO new housemates this year, neither for desireable rooms (his is always cold, while the former drummer’s is a box room).  It’d be like late 2011 to early 2012 again, as I might have to find somewhere else entirely to live — and I doubt somewhere even further away from the centre would be cheaper, or even warmer!

And, just to rub salt into the wound, he’s considering Greenford — a miserable dump that I would call “a wide spot on the Central Line” (easily the worst Tube line, except maybe for the Bakerloo) after personally experiencing it in September and October 2014, as you guys may remember ($DEITY knows, I’ve tried to forget!).  Am I going to lose touch with him, like I lost touch with “good housemate” (who I’ve barely spoken to in years)?  At best, will it be like when he lived in Willesden and had to drive over here when we went to the cinema or otherwise hung out?

Remember in 2012 when I posted about “potholes on the road to happiness”?

Never mind 2015 or 2016, this really seems to be the long-awaited rerun of 2012: I’m getting mo’ money at work (albeit this time permanently, instead of for helping to cover maternity leave), but potentially losing a close friend from my household and facing upheaval.  Believe it or not, it happened in 2007 as well: I went up in the world (from Scale 2 to Scale 4 during one of Camden’s endless reorganisations), but it was a bitter consolation after “female best friend” moved out, having never really settled into that pad on Caledonian Road.  At least she stayed local until she went to Sheffield in late 2008… but it was hard to get to see her after that, and of course then she met her future husband, and I felt like there was no place for me in her life any more…

(And worst of all, we never got to watch the second season of Space Battleship Yamato together!)

Am I now discovering a five-year, or even ten-year cycle in my life (major life changes), to go with the four-year (specific events) and three-year (emotional states) cycles I noticed before?  Or am I just down because it’s a dismal, cold January, and that’s getting everyone else down as well?  Will this be “my” year, or is the money just a consolation before I get fired?  Will I go through the worst “girl troubles” of all time, the final end of my futile efforts to get laid, or will I have another chance with an American girl (like the one I never even met face-to-face in mid-2012), and this time actually get it right because of all the confidence (and muscles) I’ve built up?

Yeah, I know I said I wouldn’t do these “then and now” attempts to figure out mystical cycles any more, but hey, it gives me something to post about here, doesn’t it…

This sucks

lonely_shinjiI thought I’d have good news for you next time I wrote in this blog, and indeed that I’d be able to start bringing this blog to a close, as I’d have finally conquered depression once and for all, by the simple expedient of getting a long-term girlfriend, or at least some action, and thus proving to myself that failure isn’t the only option.

But no, my journey’s not over yet: although I had two lovely dates with a really sweet twentysomething, who actually described me at one point as “too good to be true”, and was even going to take me to the cinema tonight (hey, girl power, right?), it all went wrong when I kissed her passionately… because she’s realised she doesn’t feel “that way” about me and only wants to be friends, despite how enthusiastic she was before.

This is one of the worst quasi-breakups I’ve been through, because I didn’t feel at any stage that I was “settling” for her (like a similar situation in 2014 when I actually cheered upon receiving the breakup text), and actually genuinely liked her and found her attractive.  Okay, she wasn’t a slender, blonde American, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned during the course of my search, it’s that I like all manner of hair colours, body types and ethnicities/nationalities, and even girls with glasses!

(About the only thing I can’t stand is facial piercing… hmm, I should invest in stainless steel before saying that, I expect sales to go up!)

I’ve learned something else, and that’s that blokes still treat me like their kid brother: a married man at work, an amiable “Lahndanner” in my team, felt the need to advise me on the whole matter, about getting back on the horse and putting my face out there, etc. etc.  As you know, I tolerate this for the sake of the advice-giver, because he needs to feel like he’s making a difference — but I still think that we, as a society, need to stop trying to cajole people out of depression and either help them (with genuine comfort) or just step back and let them ride it out.

Yes, ride it out — I’ve been going through this stuff too much to truly believe I’ll always feel so desolate or make drastic plans (unlike in 2011), and while Monday night was almost sleepless and full of cursing, by now, Wednesday evening, I’m over her — albeit fed up and in no rush to try again (especially with women who don’t initiate any conversation and have to have everything dragged out of them).  I know I’m not bipolar, I just react to negative events with negative emotions; oh no, does that make me… normal?!

It’s been hard to draw something positive from this experience, as even the girl telling me she thought I was handsome (no-one younger than me has ever called me that before) has to be suspect if a kiss could cool her ardour towards me.  I don’t think she was consciously leading me on: I think she was lying to herself, trying to convince herself that she liked me “that way”, because she was impressed by my devotion to improving my health and career chances, and intellectually considered me the kind of “catch” she was supposed to want.  If so, better to end it sooner rather than later, as even I know romance can’t be based upon a lie.

(Unless it’s me lying about my age, of course…)

Being dumped after two dates by someone I actually liked certainly sucks, but it doesn’t help that three other things, all related to the word “cold” (making it worse than another early entry in this blog), are making my life suck even more at the moment, with no prospect of a quick resolution:

  • got_wicIt’s cold, winter is coomin’, yeah, we know — and no sign of an Indian summer;
  • British Gas (named and shamed) still haven’t fixed our hot water after five visits, and the heating doesn’t work at all (lucky I kept that electric oil heater);
  • I’m (wait for it) coming down with a cold, already in the runny nose stage, though fortunately I don’t have to let the blood donor people know, and the donation I made last week doesn’t have to go to waste.

These things in isolation would be annoying enough, but everything happening together is making me unhappy… but I don’t think turning 39 at the weekend will make anything worse, as after all, it’s just a number — and if I can still somehow get dates with twentysomethings (instead of having to settle for women older than I feel), I still have hope of finding someone a while longer.

Plus, I’ll be going to Worthing for my birthday: a chance to see my folks, pick up Doom, and relax in anticipation of another week off work (to be mainly spent playing Doom)…

The journey continues


I’ve never read it, but I read the Wikipedia article, so that sort of counts… right?

Sorry I haven’t written anything in ages; to be honest, I was thinking about stopping this blog entirely… but I pledged that would only happen once I’ve sorted my life out, and despite the improvements I’ve made, there’s still a way to go — especially in one area I’m sure you’re sick of me going on about…

All right, so I’ve finally broken into IT and have a job I enjoy (which perplexes my teammates!), with prospects for the future.  And yes, I’m more confident and comfortable with myself than ever, to the point that the depression and self-loathing which plagued me in 2011-2012, and the pessimism and anxiety I felt in 2014-15, seem like bad dreams from which I’ve awoken.

However, I still need to create a proper future for myself that doesn’t consist of renting and playing video games — which means getting a mortgage before I’m too far into my 40s (which itself might be difficult, thanks Brexit).  And, of course, I’m still searching for true love (or at least someone to make out with), as I have been since even before leaving home in 1996.

(And no, I won’t stop going on about this topic unless and until I achieve a result more positive than first date after first date — if you don’t like it, either stop reading my blog entirely, or get me laid.  Your choice!)

However, I think recent events (including today) have brought me to the understanding that I no longer regret “becoming heterosexual” when I was 18, or all the adventures I’ve had as a direct result of my search — such as going to university, going to Michigan, going to university again, going to the western USA, going to groups… these things may not have happened solely because I was chasing my libido, but it was certainly a driving force in not just sitting around in Worthing watching Doctor Who videos for my entire life.

Indeed, I no longer regret the events of the past few years, because even through the bad times, I’ve felt more alive than in the previous few years — and I don’t regret starting this blog, because setting down my feelings and admitting how bad things got in late 2011 meant I was able to weather the (perhaps worse) storm of late 2014 without contemplating suicide.  I’m glad I’m still alive and able to experience new things — and if I’d given in to my darkness, I’d definitely never be in a position to find someone.  Dead men don’t get laid, right?

I’m even glad to still be going on dates that don’t lead to anything significant: I don’t regret going to London Bridge (a less logical place than R’lyeh) a few weekends ago, only for the young lady to take one look at my outfit and groan “oookay!”; nor do I regret spending a Sunday going for a walk with a cute woman who had a cute dog, who seemed to think afterwards that she wasn’t what I was looking for (that’s a new one on me!); nor do I begrudge paying the Tube fare for going to meet someone today at Waterloo who seemed to think we should have chatted through the dating app more before even thinking about meeting in person, as I wasn’t really her type.  In each case I’ve been comfortable in myself, and it’s really been the woman who’s failed to realise how awesome I am (except in an “I’m sure you’ll find someone special soon because you’re so lovely” kind of way).

Actually, I find myself wondering whether, like the (ahem) protagonist in The Missing Piece, I’d stop enjoying my life so much, and having all sorts of adventures that take me to new places, if I found the woman of my dreams and settled down to raise a family with her.  I know I shouldn’t assume that having a family with kids would mean I could no longer do any of the things I like, or that I’d have to stop being my quirky and eccentric self and become an utterly serious adult who never has any frivolous “me time”, but society seems to think all “real men” should strive for this, and derive pleasure only from either seeing their kids grow up, or watching their sportsball team win.

I won’t say I’ll never change, but if I finally find a woman and the experience changes me, that’s very different from me changing myself to conform to what society thinks I should be, as some sort of precondition of finding someone — that I’m somehow “wrong” as I am, and that I need to become someone completely different before I can even think of so much as hooking up.  As a great sailor once said, I yam what I yam — and, as I’ve known since my search began (and as I’ve probably said in this blog before), I need to find someone who likes me because of my whimsical ways, not in spite of them.  If one day I put away childish things for a higher calling (such as becoming a father), so be it — but until then, I intend to continue doing the things I enjoy, and looking for someone with whom I can enjoy them.

But oh, I hope I find someone significant soon, because all these one-off dates that don’t even lead to a kiss are really starting to grate…

May I get depressed again?

lonely_shinjiI know I said I wouldn’t do it any more, but I feel I must drone on about how things right now compare to similar times in my past, because I’ve been feeling a little down this May, and I have before — it’s almost like clockwork…

Maybe it’s the changeable weather of this time of year that accentuates any unhappiness I already have — things that would otherwise merely perturb me.  I remember one Friday in mid-to-late May 1992, indeed, when I had a miserable time, despite it being a Friday before the half-term holiday!  Somehow too many damn things went wrong that day and I couldn’t concentrate, and got more and more wound up by petty little things; the strange thing is that I was happy at this school (we were about to move to Worthing, so I was making the most of it), so this brief bout of depression really stood out.

Something similar happened in 1995, during a school year I’d actually found pleasant — so it can strike even when I’m in familiar surroundings, with good friends, and enjoying what I’m doing.  May and June being exam months in full-time education certainly doesn’t help the situation: there was a particularly bad Astrophysics one in 2004 that almost made me give up, and there was a near-disaster in 2011 when I forgot my passport for my first A+ exam, though it turned out all right in the end.

Many times I’ve caught cold in May, too often for it to be a coincidence: 1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2015 (with colds in June occurring in 1998, 2002 and 2014… yes, I’ve been checking my own diary).  You may remember my theories in these hallowed pages that depression could be a forewarning of an incipient cold, or that alternatively it might weaken the immune system and allow an existing cold virus to take hold…

But I think we all know the real reason I’ve been down this month, much as in previous Mays since at least 2010: girls.  Yes, I’m really sick of having to bring up this subject, but it’s a part of my life and something which matters to me, and until I resolve this matter one way or another, I’ll continue to feel down whenever I have an unmitigated failure.  This week I connected with someone in that dating app and almost immediately (as in, within 15 minutes) arranged to meet her for lunch, as we both work near Oxford Circus; it seemed to go well and we parted on good terms, but despite writing to her I’ve heard nothing back, and it feels like yet again either I did something wrong that she didn’t deign to tell me about… or someone’s whispered lies about me into her ear, like they’ve done to many other women who liked me.

(Well, what would you have me believe — that there’s a “stop Dave getting a girlfriend” conspiracy, or that single women in general are the kind of jerks who don’t even bother to reply “sorry, I’m not interested”?  So what if they’d feel bad letting me down — I feel worse not knowing what happened!)

It sucks that I can be getting everything else in my life right (I’ve passed probation at work, and am still enjoying what I do… well, mostly!), yet this aspect continues to confound me — my repeated failures still make me feel like it’s “too late”, that I’m too old to be as inexperienced as I am, and that society as a whole judges me to be either a pathetic loser or a dangerous deviant, who needs to shut up and stop trying.  It’s like being where I am makes it impossible for me to move away from that spot, almost by design (a bit like clamping a car that’s parked illegally), and that it’s somehow my fault for not “being normal” early enough in life.

Still, I need to remember the lesson I learned after my American holiday in 2013, when I not only got depressed over girls (both the young ladies on the trip that I fancied were in relationships already, though one still had a fling with a younger man in preference to me), but I also caught a cold.  Even though I had bad post-holiday blues (as I’m sure you remember), I finally realised that there’s nothing wrong with me being heterosexual: it’s not like I’ve committed a crime by wanting to find someone, and I’m not some kind of desperate weirdo just because I feel disappointed now and then.

And so it is today: despite another failure, I’m not going to give up my search, and I’m not going to let yet another “ghost girl” bring me down for any length of time, because she’s just not worth it.  There’s no damn time limit, and I don’t have to give a f*** what society thinks of me (especially the worthless society of this dreadful country — more than anything I want to leave England forever), because frankly I’m better than that.

And moreover, I don’t want to feel bad for feeling bad, like I’m wasting God’s gifts by not forcing myself to be cheerful, or remembering that other people have it worse, or any nonsense like that: everyone gets down now and then, and the important thing is not to revel in it, but to get through it by whatever means, and look forward to the next thing that cheers you up.  On that basis, over the long weekend (when I’ll be staying with my folks), I’ll see about reintroducing an old “Dave-ros Lives!” institution that’s been too long absent: the “Cool Things” post…

My kind of gal

Framegrabs from

MAD Magazine fold-in shoulder blades that sum up my opinion perfectly

I’m still not going to talk about work right now — Monday will be time enough for that — and so tonight I’m going to talk about the other big aspect of my life: finding a woman.

(Suffice it to say, I wish I could go back to women being my biggest life issue!)

I won’t repeat what I said before about the one significant romance of my life being with a girl in Michigan, over 17 years ago, but I will reiterate that I’ve been going on a lot of dates over the past couple of years; perhaps I’ve dated more women than most guys, but almost all of them have been one-offs — and to make matters worse, in all but a handful of cases, I’ve been a bit relieved, because the women in question didn’t feel right.

No, I don’t mean that in the sense of the Groucho Marx quote, “You’re only as old as the woman you feel”, I just mean none of them seemed like the right person for me, either physically or mentally.  Thus I think it’s time I worked out precisely what it is I’m looking for (you know, Law of Attraction and all that), and worked towards a goal.

Ay, there’s the rub… no, wash your minds out, you know perfectly well I didn’t mean that!  Over the years, even my idea of the type of woman I find physically attractive has been challenged: although I always thought I’d be with someone tall, slender and long-haired, I’ve met women with short hair, or glasses, or petit or plus-sized physiques, and have thought “ooh, she’s rather nice” — though of course meeting them as people and not merely beholding them as objects certainly helped in that respect.

It gets even stranger: at one point in my early teens, I felt I would never fancy a black woman, perhaps because the only “women of colour” on British TV at the time were children’s presenter Floella Benjamin (never liked beaded hair) and newsreader Moira Stewart.  Then one day I saw the contraversial Michael Jackon music video “In the Closet“, featuring a certain Naomi Campbell, and thought (words to the effect): she got it goin’ on!  And nowadays I meet black women that I find very attractive; indeed, the ones I’ve liked have all had very dark skin… but then, I’ve long been a lover of dark chocolate, know what I’m sayin’?  I like honies who be eighty-fi’ percent cocoa, awww yeeeaaah!

(Let’s leave aside how I later found out she was a bullying, soulless harridan who couldn’t even write her own book, since my mum likes her on some reality TV show or other…)

Truth be told, I seem to like women from all races, though as I’ve said before, my greatest attraction seems to be for blondes, and also Far Eastern women.  However, it’s more a question of which women find me attractive, and while there was a time I got a lot of attention from Chinese university students (oh, what a burden!), at the moment it seems to be women from the Indian subcontinent.  Hey, I won’t turn down a woman I fancy just because she doesn’t meet some unrealistic ideal of the “perfect woman” — after all, the first girlfriend I ever had (as I’m sure you’re tired of me reiterating) was a petite Hispanic with curves, rather than a statuesque blonde!

Looks are important, because there has to be some kind of physical attraction (hence why I’m also taking care of myself), but personality is essential — as I’ve found recently, it can compensate for physical attributes that might otherwise put me off.  Alas, this would seem to be where I’ve had the most trouble, as although I’ve been on plenty of dates with women I find physically attractive (or could perhaps look past certain flaws), it’s been hard to find those with whom I could have more than a polite chat, or who wouldn’t think I’m “coming on too strong”.  This is why American women have always been my best bet, because (thanks to their nation’s culture) they’re willing to date men they’ve just met, to take compliments on their cuteness, and to kiss on a first date without assuming it means the guy’s a scumbag.

(And no, it’s not my “Briddish accent” they like, I’m sure!)

I’ve had my own theory about being able to talk to people — the notion of “gears meshing” with some people and not with others, which doesn’t mean either party is universally interesting or boring, just that only certain combinations are compatible.  I want to feel happy and interested talking to a woman, but it goes deeper than that: as you know, I’m a strict and unrepentent vegetarian, and while I don’t require a woman to be one too, I find myself hoping to find one who would tolerate my vegetarianism and let me cook for her.  In addition, I hope for someone with strong opinions on politics and morality, perhaps even an intellectual who isn’t just into reality TV, but who is well-read and well-spoken, and thus understands me when I talk right posh, innit?

I would also like to be with someone who is a little wild and unusual, who doesn’t mind me being a nerdy metalhead video gamer (perhaps even being one herself), and might even watch Doctor Who with me… in other words, someone who wouldn’t stand with hands on hips tutting at me for not “growing up”.  Someone who is unashamedly feminine as well, and likes to dress sexy — because although I believe in gender equality, I also believe women have the right to dress “like women” if they’re happy to do so, and that I have the right to appreciate this without feeling like some evil chauvinist (because women shouldn’t be obliged to be feminine, and are of no less value as people if they aren’t).

So, to summarise: although I’m open to suggestion, and not exactly limiting my options, my ideal woman — perhaps my future wife and the mother of my children — would be a tall, slender feminine blonde, intelligent with strong opinions and ethics, but also rebellious and adventurous, and from the USA.  Kind of like… like…


Yeah, that’s about right — the only woman I could ever be with is fictional!

(P.S. Some late news: not to jinx anything by saying too much, but since I began writing this post during the week, I’ve gained more evidence that a woman who has at least spent significant time in the United States would be good for me… she’s even heard of both Kenny Everett and Gwar!)