In my 28 years on this earth, I have been part of a couple for the last 12 of them easy. Bar a few scant weeks where there were a flurry of texts and meet ups, in the subtle job interview process I like to call ‘weeding out anyone with hopes, aspirations or money’, I have pretty much been the second name on the card, the plus one to a wedding and the receiver of tacky crap for Valentines day.
Last Wednesday this all changed after a year with one of these specimens – two weeks before we were due to set off into the sunset together, I get a brutal dumping call (you heard me right, a call). With his shit sandwich explanation of ‘I don’t love you’ still churning around in my gob, I decided to turn this trip into one of self discovery. Of course it will be a trip of eating, working on my tan and not clocking in at a job for three months. But, you know, mostly the self discovery thing.
As any girl’s priorities change sans relationship, so did mine. Making sure you scrub up alright is like a type of insurance. My prince charming could run into me any minute and a hairy arm-pitted jogger clad body does not a princess make.
So suitably tarted up – I got myself settled outside Starbucks on a sunny day and started working feverishly on this blog about my new single life (checking Facebook), when I heard a mumble next to me. Glancing over, I could see a plain, bald chubby man in his thirties. Taking my ‘staring into a general space that his body happened to be in’ as a green light, I heard him through my headphones ask how I was. ‘Just your run of the mill mentaloid,’ I thought, ‘nothing to be afraid of’ and stared ahead like I was Dickens with deadline.
In a moment of absent mindedness, I glanced too far to my right and he swung into my periphery, gesturing with the universal sign for ‘do you have the time?’ I pulled my right headphone out, making clear – that with them in I was clinically deaf, especially to people I found unattractive – and said ‘2.40’ in the most sexless voice I could muster. An exit strategy was clearly going to have to be next on my agenda. If he’s signing shit, touching or poking can’t be far off. I decided on an over dramatic glance at my empty cup, scrabbled my things together and fled inside, as he called forlornly ‘are you going then?’
Safe inside where I knew he probably wasn’t going to follow me, therefore entering into the extortionate latte table rent of £2.80 I was stumping up, I got to thinking. If one of the handsome baristas had struck up a conversation, (they didn’t) I’d have been giving them a charm performance like a runner up in the Miss Starbucks world championships – but old baldy gives it a crack and I act like the bubonic plague is back in business.
So this is my first observation as a determined to be single for more than a week woman: The difference between a stud and a stalker? Is looks.