I’m a gal who tries to learn from her experiences. It’s a necessary way to progress through life when one makes as many mistakes as I do.
Which is why I’ve come to the conclusion that another criterion needs to be added to the list of questions that get fired at Potential Man when on date one.
Currently the list of criteria they have to meet stands at straight, single, and - to all intents and purposes - sober. A question to be added to the list, which irritatingly will ruin the alliterative thing it has going is: is there any attachment, at all, in any way, shape or form, to your ex-girlfriend?
Because, my friends, if there is, I shall run as fast as my heels will carry me, kicking and screaming, from anything to do with the boy.
A thoroughly enjoyable second date with The Planner happened recently, in a small, pleasantly uncrowded wine bar in Leicester Square. We shared a couple of bottles of decent French red; plenty of good conversation and an excellently squishy tiramisu.
However, my thinking that this might prove promising was roundly squished several days later, when TP called one weekday evening. Rather than arranging our next date, he threw into conversation those little words that no gal likes to hear:
“There’s something I wanted to talk to you about.”'
Oh, for fuck’s sake.
Yes, kids. Despite our having a great second date, in which we clicked, and laughed, and I began vaguely to entertain the notion that maybe, just maybe, my luck might be about to change, those magic little words cropped up.
Oh, for fuckitty fuck’s sake.
“Um, I got your message,” said PolitiGal on the phone, during a rare moment recently in which she was awake, but not in the office. “When you say ‘guess why’, you can’t possibly mean…?”
“Uh huh,” I said, stretching out on the new crisp, white bed-linen which, after a mere few hours under Colin’s paws was no longer crisp, nor white. “And I’m quite cross.”
This is the third time I’ve heard this particular excuse from the third man in as many months:
“It’s just, well, I don’t think I’m really over my ex-girlfriend.”
Surely no one hears that excuse three times in quick succession in such a short space of time? Maybe it’s actually just an excuse. After all, it does seem rather like the perfect get-out-of-jail-free card; it shows I’m warm and caring, they think, capable of emotional investment, and yet I still manage to get out of things by being the good guy, just a bit damaged.
But then, maybe it’s one of those “life is stranger than fiction” numbers (which I totally buy into, having had a text conversation with Minor Celeb the other day about the latest project he’s managed to get himself involved in. Stupid boy).
Whatever it is, it pisses me off. I appreciate that, by this point in life, all men are going to come with a little baggage - hell, I have enough of my own. But surely if one's baggage becomes so weighty that it’s less baggage than luggage, then surely it's time to pack in the dating for a while, until some of it's been offloaded?