If you read my previous blog then I must admit that there was a little part of the previous soiree that I left out, a morsel that didn’t quite fit into the flow of the evening’s description. I decided that since I was out with a gentleman who was already taken I should swiftly make other arrangements; after all I was the injured party. I didn’t mention that the third wheel out on the town with the Dr. and I began to grow on me. It struck me that maybe the problem with me was that I always went for the same type, handsome and charming, with more than a splash of confidence. The guy in question wouldn’t have been my typical choice but as we were forced to converse I realised we had a great deal in common. Although he was from another continent we grew up with very similar backgrounds and values, our parents were both high level educators and believed strongly in culture over material goods, a road we agreed we reluctantly but decidedly diverted from, him as a banker and me as a compulsive shopper. These bonds were the stuff I suppose relationships should be based on, so as the banter developed into a very deep and meaningful discussion about our childhoods and world views, his slight stature and toothy grin became less important and I thought why not take his number and see what trying something new could bring.
On our first date we went to a very luxurious restaurant, I can’t go into it too much as we both drank so much I can hardly remember more than the aperitif. As I stumbled into a cab and he leant in and kissed me I thought; so he has a very boyish body, not a hair or a muscle on it but this man was an intellectual, witty and civilised, with something of my father about him. We arrange another date and another, we went to restaurants and had lengthy conversations, I’d drop round to his stylish and very grown up flat which had art on the white walls and African sculptures on the window ledge which even encouraged me to replace the almost empty bottle of vodka and stack of magazines on mine with at least a picture frame, perhaps a picture of something chic in it will follow.
The last evening we spent together started well, I sat quietly and drank wine while he finished watching his documentary about Renaissance Art before heading out for a nice meal. This was normal I suppose, sharing our interests, political conversations over a 96 Sauvignon. I actually had to go online to brush up on my understanding of the economic situation that was leading to hyper inflation in Zimbabwe to keep up; but it was good to have someone who challenged me mentally, and encouraged growth. The following morning we lazed in his bed with the Sunday paper and breakfast, the broadest of broadsheets with at least fifteen sections and a healthy bowl of fruit. This was nice I told myself, no TV, no music, just quietly reading, me the style guide and him world news then the Money section and I think he was moving on to Arts before I initiated sex just to break up the boredom.
I knew the woman I was intending on growing into didn’t quite fit into the shoes I was wearing, pretending to be this grown up started to have the adverse affect on me, this was quite fun when I was tipsy but what’s not? So I think maybe I was rebelling when as I waited for him to tie up his brogues I opened a hallway cupboard. A stack of paintings were crammed in, obviously had not cut muster for the walls. “Let me have one of these.” I said poking through them.
“What?” he asked.
“Let me have one of these ones you don’t like.” I went on, I couldn’t actually see the paintings which were stacked facing the back wall but I wanted one, a little bit of grown up in my flat and I wanted it for free.
“Who say’s I don’t like them?” he asked a little bemused.
“Obviously you don’t like them, they’re in a cupboard. Come one you’ve got loads and I’ve got none,” I whined.
“I do like them, that’s why I bought them, now leave them alone.” He snapped and closed the cupboard door.
I had fully regressed by this stage, after he had refused me and snapped at me, I glared and spun and opened the front door. I don’t think it was the painting I wanted as much as compensation for having to turn into this new person and how was I going to be her without some contemporary artwork hanging on the wall, The Independent instead of Cosmo and Question time instead of the X Factor?
As I lie back on my sofa catching up on all the Eastenders I’d missed that week, while I tweeted about jeans verses jeggins it’s clear that I shouldn’t change the things that I like about myself for a man but appreciate and embrace the differences in our tastes and opinions but if I’m constantly forcing myself to do things that I dislike then he’s not the one for me.
Words by Gaia