You tell yourself what to say and how to behave as you sit there waiting, your heartbeat feeling steadily more pronounced and your stomach faintly complaining.  You’re cool though, it’s all fine.  Casual.  Remember to lie and be nothing like you are most of the time.  You must not ‘just be yourself.’  There disaster lies, or at least the usual route of ambivalence.  Nobody wants to date that sort of person: a miserable bastard.  Exude charm, appear effervescent, affect some level of charisma and contentedness with your lot: you know you can do it.  Although it feels fraudulent, like lying or pretending you’re rich.  Try not to be too honest; you’ve fallen foul of that one much too often.  Don’t allow your brain to buckle under the pressure of attempted fabrication.  Make something up.  People do it all the time.  There’s no need to lazily concede and automatically speak the truth, especially if it isn’t favourable or doesn’t reflect brilliantly upon you.  Pretend you don’t mind your job or lifestyle.  Accentuate the positive and attempt to believe it for a short while.  You don’t want to have a boss or regular hours.  You like your own freedom.  It’s all cool; maybe not forever, but for now it’s fine.  Don’t fear conversation pauses, or go about nervously machine-gunning questions into them.  You’ve done that before and they don’t like that.  Listen.  You rock at that anyway; your larger than average ears help.  Remember to specifically lie by saying ‘we’ instead of ‘I’.  (Because it’s only ever ‘I’).  Invent company if you have to.  Just do NOT sound like a weirdo loner.  Don’t look at any other girls either.  This one will be the centre of your world.  A very occasional glance perhaps, but no studied lingering looks, even if they’re insanely hot; especially if they’re insanely hot.  You can however share a bitchy comment about another person’s dress or shoes.  Don’t over-share or say too much or stay too long.  Leave something else, don’t play all your cards.

And above all… there should be an ‘above all,’ a mantra to remember at all times.  Is there one?  Perhaps: try not to think too much about it?  Don’t painfully overanalyse everything, even afterwards.  Casual, nothing really matters.  Remember that.  Now put the book down now, she’s coming.  Is that really her?  Christ, she’s quite attractive.  What would she see in y-?  Be quiet, brain.  Make your mouth smile.


“Who with?” she asks because you’ve avoided saying we or I, again.
Make it up!
Invent a friend.
Don’t be a lazy brain!

Your face is transparent, crumbling under the effort.
“Just me,” you squeak.
“Are you a bit of a loner?”
She’s even used the fucking word.  Jesus.  WHY are you so useless at concealing this?!  It’s not that hard.  Lie.

Oh.. bollocks.

Once the truth bubble has been pricked it’s far easier to let it all tumble out, rather than to attempt repair. “Hey look.  I’ve done plenty of fun travelly things I would have never done if I’d waited around for my mates.  It means I’ve done lots of them alone, yes, which I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen to, but you meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise met who I’m still in touch with.  And it means you don’t do nothing, you don’t just sit at home moping.”  Although you DO very cleverly omit to tell her that you’ve done loads of that too.  Well done, you: that’s really sensational.   “And I live alone and work alone so, you know: draw your own conclusions.”  You sound heavy and serious and have completely over-shared, but strangely you don’t regret it.  You take a perverse pride in what you perceive to be your difference, even if it gets you nowhere, which it usually does.  She hasn’t walked out the door yet.  You don’t even want to begin trying to decipher the meaning behind her smile.

Say something stupid now.  Diffuse.

You share two bottles of wine and stay there for far too long.


One Response to malestream

  1. Pingback: second date jinx « Swashbuckled

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