Archive | July, 2014

Go for a smear test (just expect some awkward conversation)

31 Jul

Ladies, please make sure you have regular smear tests. They might just save your life.

That said, I went for mine this morning. Not the greatest experience at the best of times, but picture the scene:

I am on the table, half naked, legs akimbo, trying not to clench my fists because I find this test so extremely unpleasant.

The Nurse (a truly lovely lady called Dora who has spent the past ten minutes remarking on how beautiful my name and my face are) is down there, light on for examination purposes, doing her thing.

And just as I’m squeezing my eyes shut and trying not to squirm, she asks me:

“Are you married?”

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Should it feel the same?

30 Jul

I saw my therapist tonight. I’m only seeing her once a month now. Really as a way of saying goodbye more than anything. When I first showed up a blubbering mess on her doorstep back in September I didn’t think I would ever feel OK again. Now, I do (most of the time). And I owe much of that to her.

Anyway, tonight we talked about how busy I am at work, and with seeing friends and trying new hobbies. I told her I don’t have the energy to date right now. It feels too complicated, too much of an investment. And maybe there’s just nobody out there for me.

She asked me, “Would you like to meet someone?”

Yes. I want to meet someone. But, I explained, I can’t imagine feeling anything for anyone right now. I just need to trust that if the right person comes along then my feelings will kick in.

Then she asked, “Do you want it to feel like it did with your ex?”

Wow. That’s a question and a half.

Because – yes – falling in love with my ex made me the happiest that I’ve ever been in my life. It was so exciting. I felt so loved. I felt special and important and pretty and fun and like my whole future was falling into place.

And then, of course, he ate half a pizza and told me he had never been in love with me. So it was all fake. It didn’t mean what I thought it did. The feelings I experienced were real, but they were based on fantasy. So can I ever feel that way again? Should I ever feel that way again?

Only time will tell, buddies. And if I never feel that happy again, then maybe I’ll also never feel as low as I did after the pizza of doom.

That, my friends, would be what we call a silver lining.

You never know what’s coming

27 Jul

WHix4

Well, a year ago tonight was my last “date” with him.

We were in New York. We went to an incredible little Mexican place in the East Village and ate tacos, drank cocktails, and talked. He was talking about, “if we had a daughter”. Little did I know he was weighing up his options there and then. I remember walking home, and him telling me I looked cute as a button. I didn’t know he was saying goodbye. And when I got on a flight the next day to head home, I didn’t know that just a week later I would be on a last-minute flight to my parents’ house in Scotland, numbed with vodka. And that when I got there I’d lie in bed and cry. For four days.

Because he was never in love with me.

Today I met up with my old flatmate. We moved into a flatshare together seven years ago, and lived there for three years. A lot of sh** went down in that flat. I was the dumper and the dumpee repeatedly, while she was in a long-term relationship, then an engagement.

That engagement ended when the guy she was engaged to, well, ended it.

She’s a mum now. And – I am delighted to report – not an annoying mum in the least. In fact, probably the most chilled out mum I’ve come across. Her career is still hugely important to her. She works five days a week. She can hold a conversation without stopping mid-sentence to dramatically stage an intervention as her baby eats a leaf. I know the pain that she went through four years ago. And I think it has helped make her into the woman she is today.

She thought she had her happy ending.

I thought I had mine.

You never know what’s waiting, just a week away.

“I don’t watch TV”

27 Jul

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The Set Up has been messaging me on Facebook.

And he seems very nice. Very normal. Just as busy as I am at the moment so we’re going to set a date to meet up in a couple of weeks time.

Then on Thursday night he dropped a bombshell.

“I don’t watch TV.”

Not, “I don’t watch much TV” or “I’m not a huge TV person”. No, no.

Straight up. “I don’t watch TV.”

I sense a problem.

I, myself, am nothing short of addicted to TV. And I feel absolutely fine about that. I work really hard. I exercise loads. I go out with friends a lot. In my downtime I like nothing more than settling down to Dance Moms or Catfish or Mad Men or Nashville. I’ll just say it: I love TV.

What’s more, in my experience, people who make sweeping statements like, “I don’t watch TV” invariably turn out to be assholes.

But I’m trying to have an open mind.

And an open heart.

Only you

25 Jul

Someone put this on in the office this afternoon.

And I spontaneously burst into tears.

 

 

Nothing in this world will ever break my heart again

23 Jul

The morning is my thinking time.

Before my brain gets all messed up with work and conversations and ‘to do’ lists, I enjoy my journey into work, sitting on the bus daydreaming. But my mind can go to some very odd places. I don’t always even realise what it’s up to, or what I’m thinking, until the thoughts resurface later in the day.

When I got off the bus this morning I was deep in a conversation with myself. I was asking myself, “Could you go through another break up like this?”.

So, could I?

Last year in the days of torture immediately after the pizza of doom, I remember a friend telling me that I’m someone who feels extreme highs and lows (he was right about this). He told me you’ve got to feel the lows to feel the highs (true story). And then he said, “Things will get good again. You’ll feel great again. And then something like this might happen all over again and you’ll feel low. But the highs will make it worthwhile.”

Ummm. No. I looked him straight in the eye (as much as I could with tears and mascara streaming from my face) and said, “I can never feel this bad again.”

I think I was right. I think the past year has taught me all sorts of resourcefulness, but has also taught me to protect myself. And listen to alarm bells. And not fall head-over-heels-over-head-over-heels for a man with robots tattooed up his arm.

I know I will most probably experience more failed relationships in my lifetime. But when I think back to August 2013, no. No. No. No. No.

I can never feel that bad again.

I can’t.

I won’t.

Thanks to the supporting cast

22 Jul

PIBCP003

Summer is racing on by. Life is busy, busy, busy, busy. A little busier than I generally enjoy it to me, if honest. But – without time to even think – low and behold I am on the very verge of the doomaversary. Less than two weeks to go til I can proudly declare that it’s a full year since the man I thought I was going to marry ate half a pizza and then told me he had never been in love with me. Phew.

I have found that my brain has been doing some very odd things recently. Specifically, it has been showing me a very visual emotional slideshow of my relationship with my ex. Constantly. Kind of like being forced to watch a horror movie. Kind of sickening. Very upsetting. I guess it is the brain’s revenge for the trauma it has been through for the past fifty weeks.

But one thing I have learned from living this horrific movie is that supporting characters appear at the strangest moments – and usually when I need them most.

Like the weirdo who flirted with me in Pret last December.

The total stranger who was nice to me on eHarmony.

B.

Irish Two.

They’ve all punctuated this journey and, in their own ways, helped to move it forward.

Well, just in time for the one-year mark, there’s a new character being introduced.

My friend Francesca has been trying to set me up with a friend of hers for a very long time. As in, pretty much straight after the break up she was all ready to instigate some text message introductions. Obviously I was in no fit state. And then when she suggested it again, I was seeing Irish Two.

But last weekend in Scotland she suggested it again. And I thought, “Why not?”. He doesn’t live in London, but near enough in Kent. He seems nice. He has a job and his own teeth. Yes, why the hell not?

And I’ll tell you something else – the very fact that Francesca is so keen to make this happen makes me happy. Not all my friends have been so keen to introduce me to anyone or even see me as a normal (albeit single – shock horror) person. Honestly, being single at 32 feels like having leprosy a lot of the time.

I digress.

So it turns out this chap (we’ll call him The Set Up) is crazy busy at work for the next two weeks. As am I. So he’s going to contact me once this project he’s working on is out of the way.

In the meantime, Francesca has informed me that he’s taken a good look around my Facebook and thinks I am fit (nice to know), funny (nice to know), and have a great figure (not sure where this came from, I’m not one to post bikini pictures and – frankly – it’s simply not true).

I am fully aware that there is an extremely narrow chance of us both liking each other. Let along The Set Up turning out to be the love of my life. I’m starting to wonder if such a person even exists. But it has certainly taken my mind off the looming doomaversary.

And what girl does’t like being told she’s fit AND funny?

I needed a little confidence boost, and along it came.

Another character thrown into the mix.

And so the story moves on.