Summer Lovin' had me a blaaaaaahhhh-st

I sat down the other night and deemed it a good idea to read over every single post I’d conjured up since I started this blog (although the term blog does make me flinch a little), the first few being written by a very young, extremely naive and somewhat desperate 19 year old. Admittedly I had to ‘hide’ the first few due to sheer embarrassment of my own nineteen year old hopelessness and fickleness. (Although not much has changed.)

Nevertheless, as I mocked and patronised  my 19 year old past self: ‘you had so much to learn,’, ‘what were you thinking?,’ and although I’d like to think now that I have learned  an overwhelming amount over the last 8 years - I am still learning and forecast that it’s likely in 8 years time, I will point the finger at 26 year old me and say ‘what the hell were you on even then you little twat?’

So why did I delve deep into the dark heartbroken past of my own self on a Sunday evening, herbal tea to the left of me and the renowned ‘men are from mars’ book lying abandoned to my right? Well, whatever it was that was going on following my last couple of posts has now come. To. An. End.

Yes that’s it, the one-time-we-went-for-dinner, once-a-week-netflix-and-literal-chill, that-one-time-occasion-he-cooked-for-me, no-mobile-numbers-exchanged, Cameron-Diaz-is-hotter-than-you, why-hasn’t-he-messaged-me-back-I-can-see-he’s-seen-it, roots-music-infused five month fling is now over. Finito.

Again?! What’s wrong with this girl hey? Why can’t she hold down a relationship, or something similar of the kind for longer than 6 months? (That’s me being generous to myself, the limit really is only 3-4, so this one was a record.) What is so wrong with this 26 year old female that she can’t entice a man for long enough for it to be Facebook official? (You know damn well that’s what makes it official these days, one of the many reasons I can't stand the website but struggle to tear myself away from it.)

And what did I expect really, this undeniably and rather ridiculously young handsome chap, in all his post university prime was not going to settle down anytime soon. He has countries to visit, solid to smoke, other girls to make up his mind about.

I will tell you the full story of my most recent temporary fling in an attempt to answer some of these non-rhetorics (as I typed in synonyms in to google, it recognised my common search for ‘synonyms for short lived, I quite like fugacious.) But whilst reading through my many renditions of these dalliances - I can say that I seem to learn a life lesson each time. Each time, more meaningful than those perhaps gone before. Maybe?

I feel like I have been plunged into a self-psychoanalysis that concludes that I really should stop getting really intense crushes on really emotionally unavailable men. No one can change them, I certainly can’t and  I’m beginning to believe that they are unable to change themselves. And, not saying here that they should, they are victims of this mixed up generation just as much I am, and perhaps when we are a little older and wiser, and sick of being/getting screwed around/by one another, we might just be ready to take a plunge into whatever this thing called Love is.

19 year old me may have idealistically envisioned that by 25 I would know what the hell love is (perhaps even be married with a child or two, but I am happy this isn't the case for me right now) but I don’t. And maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

My experience of relationships growing up was never really ideal. Ma and Pa drove each other both nuts and to drink. Dad packed up and moved to Spain to live alone and get funny about which shelf the butter goes on in the fridge. My dear mother has been strung by a string of men not worthy of her beautiful, angelic soul. This, along with the witnessing of other broken relationships, not to mention being born into a world where no one is satisfied with what they already have, be it due to extreme narcissism or ‘grass is greener syndrome,’ or another more recent self proclaimed theory of ‘Apple lets me have a shinier new model every 6 months, I want a shiny new model partner too,’(I will discuss this theory in a later post), have all lead me to a somewhat dangerous revelationwhere I think, no bloody wonder.

But, I do not blame my parents, or this fast paced, ever changing, over-expecting generation. I know the problem lies deep within me, more ardent than any Adele song I ever did sing.

I guess I keep setting myself up for failure because I’ve never really known / witnessed much else (as with everything I say there are exceptions.) Perhaps my man-related insecurities mean I feel like I need justification of my self worth by proving to myself that I can make an emotionally unavailable chap available. I couldn’t do this at 19, I can’t do this now and to be frank it’s not a goal I wish to set myself for the future either.

So here’s what happened. My previous post left myself and perhaps some readers fairly optimistic (who am I kidding?) as I signed off the post with the intention to have a grown up chat with the very chap that crushed on Cameron Diaz more than he did me. His Australian adventure was looming and I was feeling more anxious about our weekly, his-terms-only, meetups than the time I put too much makeup on to meet him for dinner five months prior.

I put this off for a couple of weeks, admittedly ‘cause I knew what outcome would be. But, one Autumn Sunday, I found myself in a bad mood because I’d bought ingredients for a roast dinner to make us, but he did a no show. I STILL didn’t have his number and in a response to my polite, quite 'chill' message to see what time he fancied coming over, I was let down by a very harsh but honest message saying he was too hungover and ‘couldn’t be fucked’ to move.

Quite frankly, ‘I couldn’t be fucked’ to make a roast dinner, BUT THERE I WAS BUTTERING UP PARSNIPS!!!

I decided to call things off via his preferred contact outlet, messaging him that I was ‘unsure’ (oh I was sure) that it was safe for us to continue our weekly rendezvous as he was off travelling soon and I feared everything was all on his terms. I chucked a bit of light heartedness in there, stating I was probably looking for a bit more, perhaps even a phone number.

The response wasn’t exactly one I had expected, the part about him not being able to commit I could have read with my eyes closed, but the 11 digit phone number (always a bonus as in the past I have been given the wrong amount) shone up at me like a winning lottery ticket rather than a pontzy iPhone screen. My eyes widened as though I had hit the jackpot as I read ‘you’re supposed to give your number at the beginning of a relationship, I didn’t even realise!’

A RELATIONSHIP!? He called it a relationship?! And just like that, I reverted back to 19 year old me, completely disregarding the words that preceded of ‘I’m sorry I can’t commit,’ and the fib he told of not realising that the number exchange never happened.

After an hour, likely much more, sat on my living room floor with my best friend asking how I should respond to this paradoxical inbox message and after a lot of to’ing and fro’ing, mocking my own hysteria-esque tendencies, we kept reverting back to a response of ‘AS WE WERE THEN SQUIRE!’

I should have really just said that, it would have been more honest at least. I disregarded my crap attempt at calling the shots and regressed back to teenage naivety:  ‘Well it’s up to you I mean you’re not going for a while and I know it must be hard for you with work and stuff and travelling arrangements,’ I could make us dinner tomorrow night if you like?’

Pathetic I know. One final meet up with an intent to force something that conceivably never really was or ever could be. I made us salmon linguine, I got tipsy on the left over wine and he drank beer and secured himself on his regular seat on my sofa.  He put the Inbetweeners on and laughed a hell of a lot more than I did. I think this was a very pivotal moment for both of us, realising that maybe we weren’t really suited, even for netflix and bloody chill. He also made a passing comment when my a dyson advert came on (unbeknownst to him he didn’t know it was my favourite dyson advert,) that a few months ago would have made me all giddy and girlish and ‘ooooh we have SUCH good banter!’ Instead it made me feel a little angry. ‘There’s one for you, Chelsea.’

And suddenly my internal monologue was going crazy like: ‘Ohhh well maybe some of us revel in the thought of investing in a good home appliance instead of going to Australia to do everything you do here but just on exotic beaches around exotic people and I’m sorrrryyy I don’t look like Cameron Diaz but she is far too old for you anyway and probably doesn’t even know what a dyson is because she’s never had to hoover in her LIFE!!!.’

The habitual Facebook message came after a few days of non body or social media contact. I had his number on my phone but felt silly using it after so long. He told me I was probably right before about us not carrying on but thank you for this that and the other and he hoped I got the job I really wanted that I’d applied for recently and blah blah blah.

I didn’t get the job I really wanted, but someone else did and it would have made their day and it wasn’t meant to be. I didn’t get the guy I thought I wanted either but someone else may and it might make their day and it wasn’t meant to be for me.

Henceforth to a brief moment of melancholy, the traditional  deletion of all message history, the untouched mobile number, anything that could make me feel strange or sad about another brief encounter (and also to prevent me from ‘drunk dialling,’ him on a Saturday night after a few too many vinos and a few less payments of attention.) I only had to delete the one picture I had of us, we were at a music event and I kissed him on the cheek and his face screwed up real cute. I look quite content (if a little pale.) I never showed it to anyone, not even him. I didn’t even instagram the shit out of it because I knew he wasn’t going to be around for long, and I didn’t need the recognition or the likes from followers. ‘Who’s that then Chelsea? *Face with hearts as eyes emoji* ’ ‘Oh, him? Oh yeah, he can’t commit.’ ’

A few weeks passed and I didn’t know whether to include our final meeting in this post. Neither of us knew we were going to see each other that night. I didn’t even plan to go out as it was December, baltic and my bank balance was just as reluctant as I was to spend during the month life becomes very expensive. Me and two of my lovely friends had sipped on a few whiskey and cokes after an unsuccessful Christmas shopping trip. The whiskey infusion made us feel like we should spend the money we didn’t spend for Christmas presents, on ourselves in our favourite bar.

‘‘I just have a feeling he is going to be there,’ I hesitated.
Lovely friend assured me:  Don’t be so paranoid, he’s never at this bar and he’s going to Australia soon, stop worrying about it.’

It didn’t take much convincing as we checked what sort of event was going on that night, it was right up our street. We danced A LOT in the over crowded bar and when I turned around for a quick toilet trip and lipstick application, I SAW HIM, in the crowd looking down at his drink like it held all the answers. I turned straight back around again and walked up to the front. ‘I knew it, he is here, I’ve just seen him!’ My consoling friend was used to my manic man related behavior.‘‘I’ll take a walk and see if he’s here, be right back.’ She did the rounds, checked the smoking area and the bar, and said he was nowhere to be seen.

Maybe he saw me, thought ‘oh fuck, here we go,’ and did a runner. Surely not?  My mind was playing tricks on me. It does that often. But ordering at the bar shortly after, we caught each others eyes. He came over to me and hugged me like college friends do, the awkward we-are-in-this-shit-situation-together, we may as well hug it out kinda embrace. We spoke for a while and I said I needed to go to the loo (I could have been cooler and said I was going out for a smoke or something.) He asked if I was coming back and I smiled at him and said yes.

When I returned I went to where the girls were, and he creeped up beside me and said ‘you look really hot tonight.’ During my Christmas shopping trip prior, it was if my subconscious knew I’d have to get changed out of a hoodie and leggings, I picked up a little grey top from the sale at H and M and changed into it before I left. He also said that my smile was nice and I was always happy, (PAH) and while we danced together with his hand placed committedly around my waist, he told me I ‘had rhythm.’ In the months that I had known him, I really don’t think I’d ever seen him so drunk. This made his compliments more seedy and less real. ‘I forgot what it was like to hold you.’ It’s almost a bit cringey looking back at it now but at the time I thought ‘ya damn right ya did, you ain’t gettin none of dis!’

We went back to a friends house post pub close where I asked if he was looking forward to going travelling. He responded with, ‘yes, I am looking forward to going to Australia for TWO MONTHS.’ TWO BLOODY MONTHS?!’

Queue confused stream of consciousness:

‘If he’s only going for two months why can’t he commit? Why has he told me this now?’ What is the conversion from two months into hours? Am I gross?’

He crashed out on the sofa after pulling me down with him, where I lay uncomfortable as ever, my feet still touching the floor, the angle I lay at just as awkward as the whole bloody shebang.  I wanted and needed to go home, so I carefully slipped away from his grip and left him to sleep off the booze. Getting into a taxi in the early hours just as I always do, pissed off at men and feeling rather sorry for myself.

The following day, I stupidly stupidly stupidly sent him a message wishing him fun and safety on his travels (if you can call ‘em that said bitter me) ‘it was really nice to see you last night’ (really nice being what I said, confusing, frustrating somewhat bewildering being what I thought.) Of course the response was lacking and somewhat ignorant:
‘How did we get back to (mutual friends) house last night? Yeah, was gd to see you too from what I can remember.’
He is now in Australia and here I am writing another *flinch* blog.

Now, I am not here to put this guy down or make him out to be some arse that treats women poorly. He was honest from the start, it was me that wished to continue something I knew wasn’t particularly right. And here is my revelation.

Some relationships are only meant for a moment (does one night count?)  some for the summer, maybe a winter, and some for a lifetime. This one lasted the Summer and admittedly, despite the aforementioned, I had a nice time.  We are all guilty of jumping to the future when we start seeing, texting, (dancing?) with someone before we even know if they are right for us, and I mean, his second name didn’t quite complement my first. Yeah we all go that far ;) and you know it.

In fact I had a great time, we shared a passion for the same genre of music, we showed each other lots of things and perhaps learnt a thing or two about ourselves. We went to see Toots and the Maytals which will stay with me forever. (Best concert ever!)

I had a lovely summer romance (for want of a more contemporary word that doesn't include Netflix or chill) and wish him all the best. And that is all I can do. I know I don't always abide by my own self proclaimed rules or goals, but I certainly get better at being me and accepting that this is just what seems to happen, not just to me but all of us as I described earlier. I may not have the psychoanalysis correct and I could sit here for days trying to figure out why I go for these guys - or why they go for me for a short while.

I knew I was stronger than ever before because I didn't actually sob for that long. I didn’t bother listening to Adele, I didn’t talk about it (too much) with my girls.  I also didn’t feel the need to seek reassurance through the book that suggests men and women are from different planets. (Because  if we were the same / or from the same planet as the metaphor suggests - that would be pretty boring right?)

I skyped my mother after our last exchange of facebook messages and she gave me the maternal, empathetic look and asked if I was ok.’ '
'Yeah mum, I'm actually fine?'
'Are you sure?'
'I know I had to ask myself that too, but yeah, I’ll be fine,I always am.’
‘You always are.’

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