Chapter 7: Fifty Shades of Rock
Anyone who has ever found themselves crying on the shoulder of a sympathetic friend or family member at the unfairness of a break-up will be familiar with the chirpy phrase: “Don’t worry, there are plenty more fish in the sea”. “But I don’t wanna date a fiiiiiiiishhhh!” you wail, inconsolably into the cup of tea that had been produced. Tea? TEA??!! Where’s the Vodka??
Break-ups of any significance bring with them certain historical stages.
1. The sympathy / cup of tea stage
2. The “Fuck him / her! I’m going OUT” stage… “I’m gonna have the BEST night and pull a hottie; screw him / her!” As we all know, this stage has DANGER written all over it. Inevitably you have too much to drink, start crying, then get angry, followed by angry/ begging texts to ex, followed by severe mortification the following day.
3. The “should I get back with him / her” stage – either you, or they, are unsuccessful in meeting a superior being following the break-up and may give it another shot. This usually is a bad idea. BAD. It ENDED for a reason.
4. The “realisation” stage. It’s over. Move on. End of.
After my last disappointing episode, I went through a, let’s call it, re-adjustment phase. I deleted my online profile, on account of the previous disasters, and got on with my life. The lure of the dating world is a funny old game though, and before I knew it, I was back; freshly optimistic at meeting my Mr Right and open-minded about whom he might be. I remind you, dear readers, that at this point I am still a resident of a teeny tiny rural village, and opportunity for meeting hunky dreamboats is limited, to say the least.
I have a list of “criteria” that I often use to search this online pool of testosterone. You can look at it from two angles. 1: you’re sifting the dregs from the diamonds; the chaff from the wheat; the tossers from the totty. Or 2: you’re simply trying to locate the best match; the one with whom you have the most in common; the one that you might, just might, click with, for ever.
I found Craig via my search criteria. He was educated, of a certain height and build, non-smoker, (won’t bore you with the rest) and sweet lord, he was hot! When I was about 19 or 20, I had a thing for the grungy type. You know, the ripped jeans, long hair, guitar playing scruff. Craig was a slightly older, cleaner version of the afore-mentioned. He was a shoulder-length blonde for a start (normally I prefer brunettes), and his profile picture was one of him wearing a cowboy hat, an augmented Iron Maiden tee which showed off his highly inked guns, whilst “rocking out” at the Download festival the year before. Mmmmm, yum!
I was the first to make contact with Craig, and to begin with he seemed cagey. But my natural wit and charm soon won him over, and before long we were talking online every day. We spoke on the ‘phone fairly early on too, and all the boxes seemed to be ticked as far as he was concerned. He even texted me before he went away to Download that year, and as soon as he got back (having not taken his mobile with him). I was pretty into him, it has to be said, and couldn’t wait to meet him. One of the natural directions of conversation when you meet someone online is to talk about their own past experiences. Craig had mentioned on more than one occasion that he was a bit of a “bad boy” and I had chosen to ignore this comment, however when he mentioned it again, I asked him outright what he meant. Craig ‘fessed up and told me that he had had various one-night stands the year before following a particularly bad break-up, but he was over it now. “Over the one-night stands or the break-up?” I wanted to know. Both, it turned out. He had even gone so far as to get himself tested at a clinic for any dodgy diseases, and he was clean.
Hmmm. This was new territory! I initially wasn’t very sure what to do with this very candid information from a person, who I hadn’t even met, but I was getting to the stage where nothing was surprising me, and I accepted his honest approach! I decided that this wasn’t going to alter my intention of meeting him and we continued to talk via email, texting, and phone calls, until one night, when I was getting ready for bed, my phone pinged with a message and it was from Craig. A picture message from him, of himself, head to toe, naked.
Hmmmm. What do I do with this?! He had balls that’s for sure; both metaphorically and physically. Well…. if you can’t beat them, join them.
Craig and I got to know each other fairly well before we met, shall we say, and the build-up to our date was full of promise. Before I knew it, our date day had arrived, and I drove to our pre-arranged meeting point (his flat) with my stomach doing back flips, front flips, and upside-down flips. You get the message.
When he answered the door, I was slightly disappointed. Whilst he looked the same, he also had the look of a person that’s been lying on the sofa for the past 24 hours, in other words creased and not freshly washed. I, on the other hand, was waxed and plucked within an inch of my life in preparation for what was a very promising weekend! His flat was also slightly grubby; dishes in the sink, mountain bike propped against the wall, but what the heck. I wasn’t there to view his flat after all.
The day in question had to be one of the hottest days of the summer; Wimbledon final day, to be exact, and our very own hero, Andy Murray, was all set to monopolise the day’s events. Craig was dressed in a pair of camouflage board shorts and crumpled t-shirt, and I had chosen (very unwisely in hindsight) to wear a pair of skinny jeans, which were now stuck to my legs. His flat was sweltering, and suddenly I felt rather flustered as Craig leant over for a kiss. I had been talking to this guy for about a month, about EVERYTHING, and I had seen him naked. It was all so surreal, and a bit cringey to be honest.
We moved our afternoon delight into his bedroom, where Craig surpassed all expectations. We only really came up for air when Andy Murray won, and we celebrated in our own unique way.
I lost count of the number of times Craig and I got up-close-and-personal that day. At one point we went out for a meal, and then spent the rest of the night getting sweaty, then showering, over and over again. I was in lust!
After our date, Craig went quiet. What a surprise! I texted him and asked him if he had changed his mind, and he pretty much said there wasn’t much else to “see” or “do”.
Well, at least he was honest I suppose.
Was it worth it?!