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My mate fancies you

  Thu 7th July 2011

In Glasgow the other day Arty, perhaps as a way of preemptively dismissing any ideas I might have been forming about nipping across to Superdrug to buy a toothbrush, said something about sex being an expression of a close relationship. It can be, but just now, I didn't say, I'd settle for a right good seeing to.

It's always interesting to see the people chosen by the women who aren't interested in you in that way. There was Faye, a foxy Jewess with a rarefied job in literature whom I met on a dancefloor at my friend's 50th. We bopped together a bit and she seemed to lodge in my mind rather. I emailed my friend afterwards asking her if Faye was single. She was, and so, again through my friend, I suggested a post-work drink in Leeds. Fairly quickly we realised it wasn't going anywhere, both of us thinking too hard about the next question. But never mind; afterwards Faye told our mutual friend that it was flattering to be asked and that she admired my initiative, if not much else.

A year or so later I found out that she was engaged. I did some rummaging around and found of photo of her fiancé on the internet. I had been passed over in favour of a stumpy, rotund man, with a big bottom clad in skin tight, high waisted black trousers. I thought he might be going to a fancy dress party dressed as a Mexican, but then I found out he was Mexican.

The other day I saw Denise in town, holding someone's hand. Denise's physical charms and her disarming personality have been described on several occasions in these pages. I made a swift adroit move into the doorway of Poundland from where to espy the couple. Her beau was a skinny young man with clothes from the Socially Conscious school of couture, the ensemble being best suited to a day which ends in a police cell with the moral high ground for company. Scruffy pale green trousers with several pockets, and one of those loose jackets with thin vertical stripes of different colours, which I imagine is meant to evoke memories of the time when he couldn't update his Facebook status when there was no signal in the Andes, but a poor person emerged from a hut and gave him a cup of tea and offered a simple room in which to lay down for a while, after which he discovered that he'd mislaid his phone and the four hundred dollars he was carrying as emergency money, an unforgettable experience which taught him how much Westerners could learn from the generosity of humble Peruvian peasants in the face of their extreme poverty.

Of course, a sceptic might say that that's an extrapolation too far, and that my views are provoked by jealousy that he gets to remove his ethically-sourced underpants in the company of a gorgeous 27-year-old girl, but I'm leaving personal sentiment aside here as far as I can.


And now, a word from our Executive Editor: As a result of a site review, and following another media owner's example today, the previous post "Shh" has been deleted. "Shh" failed to meet standards in three quality control metrics: "Lack of Pretension" (viz., "the unpredictable consequences of the male gaze", which only shows the damage that reading Susie Orbach as a teenager can have on a man in later life), "Clarity of Sentence Structure" (not good when a commenter requests a chart to explain something), and "Having Something Worth Saying" ("Man Has Pint Whilst Playing Football With Daughters Before Seeing Former Sociology Teacher On Other Side of Street" needs a stylist of greater talents than mine to make interesting).

8 comments

You see, the thing is, women don’t care much about appearance. They’re a bit more evolved than we are. They care about the inners. And if he can be a good provider, all the better. We judge on looks. We can’t help it. It’s in our DNA.

Fri 8th July 2011 @ 00:13
Comment from: [Member]

Yes, I think we get the better deal out of that mismatch on the whole. Although it worred me when you said they’re looking for “…a good provider". Oh dear, that’s me single for a while then.

A woman once said to me, in the course of our splitting up, “You’re not chubby enough and you’ve got a funny face.” It’s reassuring to know that what she *really* meant was “I’ll come back when you’re a bit further on in your career.” :)

Fri 8th July 2011 @ 09:59
Comment from: Jonathan [Visitor]

You know I thought ‘Sshh’ was all right (if not an instant classic) but I do admire your rigorous approach to quality control and (as should go without saying) have infinitely more trust in your axe-wielding motives than those of that Australian bloke (although I was interested to hear the balanced and non-condamnatory judgements of Murdoch expressed by the editor of the Guardian on Newsnight last night- in his place I’d have simply stood on the chair and shouted ‘Gotcha!’ at the top of my voice, but then I suppose that’s why he’s the editor of the Guardian and I’m not).

Also could it not be that Arty up in the first paragraph there was actually actively trying to encourage you into the emergency toothbrush aisle? I mean that comment could be read more than one way…

Fri 8th July 2011 @ 22:21
Comment from: [Member]

As as aside… isn’t it great? Everyone on the Guardian must be beaming with pride at the moment. Although why the NOTW offices haven’t been possessed and closed as a crime scene I don’t know.

Never picked up on that with Arty - I thought she was saying “So seeing as we’ve actually known each other face to face for an entire two hours, don’t try anything Looby".

Sat 9th July 2011 @ 11:23
Comment from: Sarsparilla [Visitor]

Didn’t read Sshh, but the quality control on this post was excellent - lovely descriptions.
When I see exes or escapees as they are sometimes more properly known, I prefer to think of them not having chosen the current beau over me, so much as having been regularly disappointed by life and having decided to lower their standards for a while. You have to admit, it happens to us all at some point.
[If this comment makes no sense, please excuse it.]

Sun 10th July 2011 @ 01:43
Comment from: [Member]

“Escapees", ha ha!

That’s a very good way of looking at it for one’s self-esteem. Occasionally it works the other way round too. With someone, a few years ago, I had to train myself every single day out of the thought that someone so lovely and clever and well-dressed actually cannot possibly like me. I know how grovellingly over-grateful that sounds but it did feel like that for a while, until I became sure that she did (although the wonder never left me).

Sun 10th July 2011 @ 11:39
Comment from: Alison Cross [Visitor]

I have peed myself with laughter at this. No, really - I have. I remember spying on an ex-boyfriend and his new chick and was aggrieved to see that she was not smaller, slimmer, blonder, beautifuler etc etc ….. but she did have an arse the size of Belgium and I was MORTIFIED that he hadn’t preferred me. So, I feel your pain.

I loved your description of ‘a day that ends in a police cell.’ Brilliant :-D

Ali x

Mon 11th July 2011 @ 23:12
Comment from: [Member]

Hmm…starting to notice the lure of the big bottom as a bit of a trend here.

Tue 12th July 2011 @ 09:32


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