Writer, photographer, "rapper" and general technophobe takes on the internet in what could be a very, very messy fight. But it's alright: she's harder than she looks, and she's wearing every single ring she could get her hands on.


Monday, 6 April 2009

Dead frogs

At the weekend, I sat down with a good friend I hadn't seen for months and - after a few beers - decided to dissect the disastrous date I had a few weeks ago. Girls do this, you see. Not because we're obsessed with men (which is what men like to assume), but just because we like working things out and analysing. It's a game for us, you see, and it's a bit like discussing football: we ponder the decisions, the moves made, the dynamics of the entire evening, and work out why the winners won and the losers lost. We open the situation up like a dead frog, lay it on the table and have a good poke around, laughing as we do it.

"Come on then," Jess said, sipping her Sol and moaning about the smallness of the lime in the top: "spit it out: what did you do wrong this time?"
I rolled my eyes yet again, and got ready to defend myself. And then I stopped, pushed my lime into the beer (slightly smugly: it was much bigger than Jess's) and bent my head.
"Quite a few things," I admitted reluctantly. "I told him his band was crap for starters. And then when he told me he played the guitar, I told him I couldn't hear any guitar. And that the singer was kind of nasally."
I hadn't remembered this, actually. When I was busy blaming him for being a bastard, it didn't occur to me that I might have been nasty first.
Jess shook her head.
"Never, ever, ever insult a man's musical abilities," she said sadly. "First rule in the book. So that was strike one." 
"And then he told me something very, very tragic about his past, and I laughed."
Jess laughed.
"Yeah, like that," I said miserably. "Not because it was funny, but because I was so embarrassed. He had hinted at something, and I assumed it was something really crappy - like a teenage breakup - so I teased him about it. And then he told me, and it was so bloody awful and horrific and I was so ashamed that I had teased him that I burst into shocked laughter."
"Jesus," Jess breathed at me. "Nice work, Smale. Laugh at a boy's painful past. Okay, so that's strike two, three, four and five."
"And, to make things a bit worse, I also wore my First Date Outfit."
"Which is?"
"A long, black, baggy, high necked dress. And flat shoes."
Jess stared at me for a few seconds.
"Why the hell would anyone wear that ever, even to a funeral, let alone on a first date?" 
"Because I guess I'm scared of being used for sex."
"Well," Jess said, getting up to order another beer (and complain about her lime). "That outfit will certainly do the trick. Men on a date are supposed to fancy you, you know that right?" 
I mumbled something, picked the label off my beer thoughtfully for a few seconds and then laughed again.
"It's me, isn't it Jess," I said, in sudden realisation. "It's not them at all: it's me that's the problem."
"Aw, Hols," she sighed, walking around the table to kiss the top of my head. "It's amazing how good you are at some things, and how phenomenally crap you are at others." 
And then she went into the pub to help get me drunk.

So, instead of blaming Lady Luck and the Bastardness Of Men, which is what I normally do, I've decided to look at myself. Some people are crap at running, some people can't spell, some people can't put colours that match together. Others are just very, very bad at dating, and I - it seems - am one of them. 

Which means I'm just going to have to practice. And the next time I cut open my dead frog of a date, I'm going to make sure it's them that killed it, not me.