Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Attack of the Next-Shirted Vultures

I have, once again, bore witness to one of the greatest cultural phenomenons of the 21st century ladies and gentlemen…drunk men with Next Shirts and far too much confidence.

According to the wise words of a certain Mr All-Seeing and All-Knowing; the only way for one to get over a lost love is to get right back into the dating game again. I don’t agree with this, at all in fact; especially as I am still trying to roughly sellotape both my heart and sanity back together, despite taking in the pressures and excitement of a new job not to mention the twist of an estranged father popping up in the news of late (it never rains it pours)! But always willing to either prove wrong or be proven wrong (the first being an absolute top priority), I trotted off to the bright lights of Camden on Saturday night, in light of never previously being disappointed by the wall to wall bearded talent under one roof, most commonly known as The Electric Ballroom. I was complete with friend, a phone definitely NOT containing Mr Gally's number in one hand and gin and tonic in the other. This night, however, disappointed me. Instead of the usual sea of unkempt rock-star wannabes (I coined the phrase Serge-a-likes), my usual Indie-fested, slightly grubby-round-the-edges haunt had been invaded by Next-shirted vultures of all people! You know the types, they hang around in groups of 12 plus, they usually all know each other from work ( I can always hazard a guess at the Finance or IT industries) and consequently all seem to take 'fashion' tips from each other, I suspect, during convos by the water cooler. Make no mistake ladies, they are armed with one-liners and dangerous. No woman is safe, no matter how stand-offish, unimpressed or downright evil we look; I should know, I have consciously tried all three stages time and time again.

And so it was that we were descended upon by a group of typicals out on a‘stag party’ Superman underwear on show and all. No sooner had we entered the sardine can after queuing in the cold, settling into a good old catch up over an ice-cool drink, we were dragged into some kind of game involving press-ups and timing the 'stag' to see if he can get a girl's bra. And to think 95% of this group are single! It screams of a Chav Quilleute Tribe, all grown up and jacked up on a toxic mixture of heat, hair putty and MDMA. And for all the men reading this, it doesn't impress us! It's another pack in a long line of packs....packs that must be avoided at all costs for fear of losing all faith in our menfolk! Belle may have loved a bit of The Beast but I doubt that story would have had quite the happy ending if he had pulled out twenty of his best beastly friends trussed up in cheap fabric, trying to accomplish press-ups on a drink-and-God-only-knows-what-else-sodden floor!

Rules For Avoiding/Infiltrating And Destroying The Pack.

1) Never stare directly into their eyes, a glance in their general direction counts as a definite come on (you may also turn to stone).

2) What ever you do, steer clear of the short, one with animated eyebrows (the eyebrows won’t stay still, they’re dancing… you want to look, but you can’t…for your own sake you just can’t). And yes, no matter where these packs hail from, there will always be a short one…with animated eyebrows.

3) If you are the unfortunate victim, do not give out your real name, if necessary invent a boyfriend. In fact, do not give out any real details about your life. Follow up random 'I was in the area' visits are NOT welcome, these boys can retain unchartered amounts of information despite appearing smashed.

4) If still stuck in this awkward position, and like me are always too outwardly polite to say the un-sayable, always mention that you work in fashion. It throws them, they can't think past Next or Ted Baker at a push. I suggest names and dates, Viv Westwood, Karl Lagerfeld, you will see them start to back away almost immediately.

5) If in doubt, or backed into a corner, fake laugh, nod and point them in the direction of a group of women who appear slightly more drunk than you...and watch the cycle repeat itself.

I guess I thought these kind of experiences belonged in the sleepy surroundings I had been used to, what with my recent adventures dating men with taste and an innate ability to make a lady feel somewhat special. Better still, I thought these experiences belonged in the late 1990s, lost forever in the Time Space Continuum bumping into forgotten episodes of Soldier Soldier and old All Saints records. So I went home, on my merry way, dreaming of both my last day at the currently overheated hell-hole and of the beautiful barman with the flesh tunnels and the cheeky grin...hmmm maybe there is life after Gally after all...

I guess some things in this life will never change; I will never be able to pull off Harem trousers, as much as I would like to, 33% of all retail customers will always think retail assistants and store managers are thick and the Next-Shirted Vultures will always be waiting for us, hooked around each other in a darkened corner mouthing along to the Baywatch theme tune whilst planning their next drunken, and quite frankly embarrassing move!

Friday, 26 March 2010

You Mustn't Give Your Heart To A Wild Thing

London...the city of promise and opportunity. Well that's what I thought anyway when I decided to make the biggest, most risky decision of my life so far (a very eventful 25 years I must say) and move here. I was looking for a change of pace....what I wasn't expecting was more fun, love, trouble and strife in the space of 5 months, than I ever experienced in my rather cosy little past life in Somerset. So this was the right decision? Ask me again in another 5 months.

The story goes that a little while ago I met Mr Perfect who, for the purpose of this exercise, we shall name Gally. I won't take up too much of my blogging space drooling over his unchartered sex appeal and confidence, or talk for too long about all the little quirks we had in common and how we crossed the Rubicon from 'just friends' to 'lovers' in a matter of perfect fun filled weeks. We were the Fred and Holly of modern-day London and every moment I spent with Gally took me right back to those 'Disney' moments all little girls dream of. Enough said!

But like all good things, it came to a rather abrupt, uncontrollable and unfathomable end. There were no problems or arguments, which is often the most tormenting factor. Just an awkward conversation that set that little spark up and running in Gally's brain, paralysing him in the scary present. I knew he had relationship issues, I just never thought he would a) hurt me and b) seemingly make a decision to cut me out of his life altogether without so much as a reasonable explanation.

And to think I lent him my very best hand cream and treated him to a slice of some of the best cheesecake in the world! Well I'll never see that again!

The timing also could not have been more perfect given that it was both on my week off and a mere twelve hours before I was due to attend a second interview for a job I reeeaaalllly wanted. The last I saw of Gally was a sloppy kiss on the cheek and a half-hearted 'Good Luck' to send me on my way as I slumped off towards the Northern Line. Cut to days spent in pyjamas trying not to correlate '500 Days of Summer' with my own life and even having to be dragged to a gig I had so been looking forward to for months.

The trouble is when you don't have answers you tend to sit and try and make them up yourself, well I do anyway;I have deliciously neurotic tendencies. Having considered anything from blatant homosexual preferences to the mysteries of Divine Timing to blaming myself for....nothing, here we are nearly two weeks later and I am still no nearer to knowing what exactly went wrong or where we go from here. For the record, I got the job...thank God I'm a good actress!

So what's a girl to do? Sit by her phone and wait for the call to end all calls? Cajole the man into facing his feelings? I may potentially have lost a lover and a very good friend all in the space of two weeks but something happened today. My dignity and pride re-surfaced, all in tact and telling me to go forth.... and cause a little chaos.

I had a very productive morning, I made a list of goals that had somewhat fallen by the way side in my haze of Gally-less depression, laughed a little at some Youtube interviews, read my Angel cards one last time before metaphorically casting off the emotional shackles of my short-lived relationship and dug out the world's most enviably inspirational book... 'I'm With The Band' by Pamela Des Barres! And after hanging on every word the genius Miss Pamela writes, I know there are bigger and better things out there to conquer. My head feels clearer, focused. I can feel the dull thud of my heart Rock and Rolling back to life and I am screaming to start chasing my dreams again.

I guess the only way to get over giving my heart to a wild to become a wild thing myself. So long Gally...... I think the world of you, but I just can't tear myself apart anymore...