Sex and Relationships
The Single Girl: I’m swearing off men
I am The Single Girl, and this is my column. Every week you’ll find another warts and all story from my dating life. Learn more about me here or just carry on reading!
There is something peculiar about that first Monday morning lift ride to work, isn’t there?
Something of surrender about it; from the glorious freedom of the weekend, back into the world of work.
As I pressed the button for the lift this Monday, I could feel my stomach muscles trembling nervously. The bell indicating the lift’s arrival sent them into spasm, and yet, with every instinct, every fibre of my being telling me to turn and walk away, I found myself within the mirrored walls of the lift.
Being an exquisitely early riser, I almost always find myself not-enjoying this ascent alone, but just as the doors were about to close, a handsome suede brogue appeared between them.
The doors paused for a second, as if deliberating whether to crush the leg attached to the brogue, before conceding and reopening.
In stepped David, Keep-Cup in hand on top of which balanced on a novel.
Now, a month ago, just the prospect of enjoying a lift ride alone with David would have had such a profound effect on me, I’d have been highly liable to break out immediately into a rash, or a coughing fit, but given recent, i.e., Charlie-ish, events, I was feeling distinctly off men.
I’m perfectly comfortable with how unfair that is by the way. I know it isn’t going to be a permanent state, and know the importance of it not being. To this end I had even set an end date, when my grudge against men was to abate: A week next Tuesday.
Anyway, I was nevertheless rather electrified, not by David’s presence, but rather by my initial cool indifference, which, I know, somewhat compromised it.
“Ah, Single Girl, how are you? Good weekend?” said David.
“Indifferent weekend,” I said, “And you?”
“Ditto,” he said, “Why was yours underwhelming?”
I don’t know what came over me; ordinarily, I would generally parry this type of question with a, ‘it’s a long story’ or, ‘I couldn’t possibly bore you with it,’ but before those words had a chance to form in my mouth, I’d replied: “I discovered that the man I was seeing had a wife and child.”
“Sounds like a real little shit,” said David, taking this news and my new demeanour in his stride.
“I’m afraid it’s becoming something of trend,” I replied, the lift doors opening on our floor.
“Indeed, lots of little shit getting about these days it seems.”
“Why was your weekend less than satisfying?” I asked, as we paused at the communal fruit bowl.
“Apartment hunting,” he said. “I find that any day spent, for however brief a time, in the presence of a real estate agent, is a day best forgotten.”
“Yes, actually, I’ve bought a place in Abbotsford,” he said, picking up a banana, apple and tangerine.
“Well that’s good at least, congratulations!” I said.
“Yeah, thanks, but erm, it’s not… nevermind anyway, have you spoken to Patrick about…” he said, retreating to work.
I’m not imagining it am I? He was going to open up there — going to say something that revealed a feeling he had about a thing, a thing personal to him.
He’s never done that with me. As far as I know he’s never done it with anyone at work about anything other than work-related things.
I reminded myself I was off men, and took to my desk to begin another week of being highly fucking competent and excellent at my job.
Monday unfolded as Mondays invariably do, with a million overheard conversations about weekends productively spent, home improvements, weekends away, weddings, birthdays, catch-ups, football matches etc.,
Returning to my desk from lunch though, there was a surprise sitting on my desk, a paper bag with two books inside.
I turned over the top one: Brief Interviews With Hideous Men and the other Super Sad True Love Story.
There was a note:
From one reader to another. Confession: I only bought the first one because I felt the title was apt in your current circs. I think the second is more enjoyable. David.
With no small dog to hand, I peered over the partition dividing me from Sue and, looking into her eyes, said, out loud, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”
Something I immediately regretted, as it took no less than five minutes to explain to Sue what I was talking about, and why I felt that was an appropriate thing to say.
I soon realised I may have been overstating the significance of the books, David would’ve done the same for anyone else in the office, surely.
I shoved the books into my bag, and tried my best to forget about them — something I did far too well in fact, only realising that night, (sat in bed enjoying an episode of Blackish, in a full face mask) I’d forgotten to even send a thank you email.
I quickly dashed one out:
David, Thank you for your v.thoughtful gifts. You’ve convinced me there is still hope. Thanks, Single Girl
It was only after I pressed send that I began to scrutinise that second sentence I little more intently. What had I actually meant? I think I meant hope for me to find someone. That unintentional vagueness pleased me, I was interested to see how he’d play it.
The reply came instantly:
Don’t mention it (guess actually too late for this). I think hope must always win.
Well blow me down with one of Evelyn’s tiny little goldfish farts, he out-vague-ed me.
I didn’t reply. I needed to talk to Clem.
Her solution? A double date with her and her new beaux’s housemate next Wednesday. I should have called Davo.
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