Panic! At the Disco

To say I have been unlucky with the fairer sex is a gross understatement.

My first proper girlfriend had me sussed right from the wordgo.

 “You remind me of the Irish actor off the telly.” Who could she mean after only knowing me for one date? That immediately set my mind racing.

I started listing the cream of the quintessentially handsome Irish A-Listers. “Colin Farrell? Liam Neeson? Pierce Brosnan?”

“No. You know the one I mean – Father Ted’s little vicar mate”

Not surprisingly, we didn’t last longer than a couple of awkward and nervous months. In a time before mobile phones, I suffered the indignity of being dumped via Royal Mail as she didn’t have the heart to do it in to my doleful, puppy eyes. I had the further humiliation of having to walk around trip of four miles to the Post Office and the payment of a postage fine as she failed to put a stamp on the letter. If you ever needed validation, the cost of a broken heart is £2.57.

Even if I managed to summon confidence around women, invariably through the use of medium strength European lager, I would often be beset with the most unusual and tragic turn of events. Exemplifying this perfectly would be the time I had a very pretty girl approach me randomly in a crowded pub. Within a few short minutes of small talk we shared a very quick,yet passionate kiss. The effects of the European lager took its toll and I had to make a quick and inopportune pit-stop at the urinals. On my return, a quick scan of the pub had found my potential new love interest on the other side of the room to where I had left her. I immediately made a bee-line for her and probably used some cheap line like “Now where were we..?” We began kissing.

Suddenly, I felt a very sharp finger prodding deep in to my clavicle. A vaguely familiar voice, with a suitably more aggressive tone was demanding to know “What were we both playing at?” Completely confused and bewildered I slowly turned around and immediately felt the blood drain from my face.

I demand to know the odds of meeting two identically twin girls independently on a night out in The Castle pub in East Acton and them both showing  an interest in me. Scolding each other as they left, I was quickly returned to that familiar state of being alone. There has to be a pun here somewhere. Maybe “A bird in the hand is worth two in a pub near Shepherds’ Bush”?

At the turn of the millennium, I was still single and desperately trying to improve my odds of meeting someone by being in a place of social merriment every Friday and Saturday night – usually standing there waiting for something to happen. This next tale of misfortune was no exception. At the disco after an impromptu comedy night, a very mysterious woman suddenly appeared at my side and asked very meekly if I wanted to dance. The advent of the new millennia had brought with it a conveyor belt of ballads from boy-bands and one began to play as we moved succinctly towards the dance-floor.

It was very quickly obvious than neither of us were particularly rhythmic but that didn’t appear to matter. As we danced closely with our heads resting on each other’s shoulders my thoughts quickly turned to wanting to get to know more about this woman who had just dropped in to my life from seemingly nowhere. Brand new century; brand new luck!

We allowed ourselves the luxury of starting to dance to a second manufactured pop song, no doubt smiling as we swayed. Then something suddenly caught my eye. Across the room, I could see a very attractive girl subtly waving her hand trying to catch someone’s attention. Surely it wasn’t me – she could clearly see I was busy. She came closer and in to my immediate eye-line.It was me she was trying to attract! “Hi! I’m really sorry to bother you. Do you mind if I had a quick word?”

This was unbelievable! Torn between leaving this enigmatic woman who I had shared seven minutes of intense, close quarter dancing with and getting to know a clearly very beautiful woman, I made some awkward excuse to suspend the dance and was led to the edge of the dance-floor. I could see exactly how stunning she was now we had left the gloomy light and cigarette smoke that had enveloped the dance-floor.

“I hope you don’t mind, but I saw you on the dance-floor and I just wanted to ask you if you knew what you were doing?” To be honest, I didn’t. It was an extreme rarity for me to be in a position where I actually had a choice! I was desperately trying to think of a retort that was both intelligible and didn’t sound too desperate. Before I could utter a line of infinite suave, like “No, but I do now!” I was cut short with the chilling truth.

“I just wanted to make sure you knew that was a man you were dancing with”

And just like that *[insert imaginary click of the fingers here]* I was back to familiar surroundings -awkwardly leaning against the bar, nursing a now warm pint of lager waiting for potential love to fall in to my lap. Only this time a man in a Dorothy Perkins blouse, pedal-pushers and polka dot wedges was waving desperately at me across the dance-floor.

At least I knew I had a Plan B if my luck with the fairer sex didn’t improve.

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