It is one of life’s great irritations that we’re not able to choose the people we’re attracted to.
This was my second thought upon recently receiving a text, late one afternoon, from Boy Whose Job in the City I Don’t Understand.
I’m taking you out for dinner. Pick somewhere. I’ll pick you up at yours at half seven.
My first thought was to give silent thanks for his resignation from a large investment bank, and the three month notice period in which he’s doing nothing (on full pay) until he goes to another bank to do something else I don’t understand, but for more money. It means he’s wont to do things like whisking me off for dinner. Hurrah for (his) temporary unemployment.
Whilst on the train back home, pondering the variety of local and awesome country gastropubs, I considered that Boy Who… would probably make fabulous boyfriend material.
He’s hugely intelligent and switched on, and able to hold a decent discussion on just about any topic you’d care to throw at him (and many you wouldn’t).
He’s one of the very few people who can make me laugh until my face hurts and my eyes stream.
He’s quietly but wholly gentlemanly - on a group trip to the Lakes, it was Boy Whose… who hung back during the long walks whenever we came to a patch that was tricky to navigate, lending an arm to ensure that the gals didn’t end up arse over tit in a river.
He’s about to take a large step upwards on a career path that he loves, and is paid handsomely for (he’s exchanging contracts on a flat for which he’s paid twice the price that I did for my whole house).
And whilst, if there are girls around to cook and organise and generally ensure life runs to plan he’ll let them whilst he busies himself playing computer games, he’s on hand to deliver several bear-hugs a day, just because.
I also imagine he must be quite good in the sack because, whilst of average attractiveness, Boy Whose… previous girlfriend but one was a 6’ leggy Columbian with bee-stung lips, whose hotness knew no bounds. She was so hot, we gals weren’t even jealous, merely in awe.
He is, even despite his habit of buying deeply - and increasingly - ridiculous sports cars, what would in horsey terms be considered “a good all-rounder”.
And yet, despite all that, there’s little I can do to convince my brain that Boy Whose… is anything other than one of my dearest, bestest friends. In some ways, I’m glad: I’ve known the guy for some 14 years, and I would never want anything to take away one of my stalwart boys, always around to liven up a dinner party, or get paralysingly drunk with.
It’s vastly irritating, because to fall into something other than friendship would probably be so easy. But then, since when has that been a fitting description of my life?
Rita's Bar & Dining, Hackney
1 hour ago