Friday 25 February 2011

57 Tales of a Real Life Romance - Chapter 13


Dear Miss Rapunzel,

Thank you for your prompt response earlier today.

I am more than happy to reschedule to Sunday, at which point will aim to satisfy both mutual parties. I am keen to take you up on your offer of both dinner and a comedian, and would love a guided tour of your premises - also your lips - to fulfil my earlier service request.

I will be in touch in due course to finalise the details and in the meantime wish you a most enjoyable weekend.

Mr Hands
Extracurricular Activities Manager

Wednesday 23 February 2011

47 Tales of a Real Life Romance - Chapter 12

So Hands had suggested we take our relationship to the next stage...

Yep, he wanted us to exchange email addresses.

What do you mean you are surprised? What else would he have been referring to? Ah, I suppose you were more thinking along the lines that he wanted us to be Facebook friends weren't you? Nah, Hands doesn't do social networking so that wouldn't be an option.

To be honest I'm not sure I would have agreed to that anyway. I think you can get the wrong impression of people through their Facebook profiles (has anyone seen the film Catfish?!) There was a time that I met a guy in a bar who asked for my number and then texted the following day to suggest we 'look at each other' on FB. I thought it slightly odd but if he was so adamant about showing me his, what could I do but show him mine?

While perusing, I noticed that he'd changed his status a few weeks previously to say that he was in a relationship. Hmmmm.

Underneath that was a comment asking who the lucky guy was. Double hmmmm.

Was he a gay guy just looking for a new friend to go dancing with him along Canal Street? Was his friend a comedian? Was he actually straight but in a relationship? Was he single but only recently so was essentially on the rebound?

I've no idea. There was too much of a whiff of 'it's complicated' about it for my liking. I promptly de-friended him and vowed that in future I would become friends with people in real life, before getting pally in the virtual world.

Not that Hands was asking me to do that anyway. He just wanted to do things the old-fashioned way and email me. How quaint. Next he'd be suggesting that we hand-write each other letters. With a feather quill. On parchment. And have a pigeon deliver them.

I liked the idea. I didn't tell him that though. I just took his email address and said I'd think about it.

What?! You can't just let every guy you meet take down your particulars.

I emailed him the next day. What a good decision cause it turned out that Hands the Emailer was a lot more prolific than Hands the Texter. And flirtier too! He'd send me messages saying things like...

Ooh... That girl from the Tower is popping into the hand model's mind a bit too often this morning! Go away please I'm busy! x


Will you just get out my head please, I'm trying to work!!x

I was loving it! It was hard to know what to reply at times mind you. I'd normally be very apologetic and send messages such as...

Just to promise you that I won't be on your mind at all today. You'll be able to get on with your work and you won't think of me at all. I can't promise the same vice versa but that's just something I'll have to deal with I guess x

I was a bit stumped when he sent me a photo of his desk with the instruction that I should go and sit on it and kiss him. What could I send him back? As a freelancer in TV production I don't have a regular place of work and I've no good pictures of me and my furry boom. I suppose I could have sent the picture my cameraman took on our job filming hotels abroad. It was of me in my 'office', ie the bathroom, keeping out of shot while he filmed the bedroom. I was sitting on the toilet at the time and although the lid was down and I was doing paperwork, I didn't think Hands needed to see images of me on the loo.

Instead I decided to reply suggesting that we take our relationship to the next, next stage...

Dear Mr Hands,

Unfortunately I have other meetings scheduled for today and will not be able to fulfill your request. Can I suggest that we reschedule for this Sunday? I also propose that as an alternative to the usual 'networking' activity of playing golf, we go for dinner followed by a comedy show. You could also come to visit my premises where I can provide you with the service you have requested and we can discuss any other business.

I look forward to seeing you again and continuing this partnership.

Miss Rapunzel x

Friday 18 February 2011

33 Tales of a Real Life Romance - Chapter 11

Once upon a time there lived a girl called Rapunzel. No, not the one that you are thinking of, this one is the modern day Rapunzel.

Admittedly she also lives in a Tower, the tallest residential building in the UK to be precise, overlooking the wonderful city of Manchester. Unlike old Rapunzel though, she is not trapped and can easily leave her apartment by way of the lift. She can probably even walk down the stairs if necessary. If she's insane that is.

Another difference is that the Rapunzel of today has no interest in being rescued. That's not to say that she isn't keen on meeting a prince, but she likes her life and doesn't want to be taken away from it. She just wants someone to enhance it. It isn't necessary that he owns a horse.

Modern Day Rapunzel had actually been on a couple of dates with a hotty named Hands and was wondering whether he was her prince. Her evil stepmother gorgeous flatmate, the Goddess, had been so keen for Rapunzel to find a wonderful man, that she'd introduced her to the tome otherwise known as The Rules and instructed her to follow them in order to find true love.

Rapunzel quite liked parts of The Rules, but there were some bits that she wasn't so sure about, hence the reason that she didn't follow them to a tee. One example of a time when she was undecided about what to do, is when she'd been on date two with Hands.

A wonderful date had been had and Hands had even stolen a kiss or two, or three. He'd dropped her off on his steed in his car and bade her farewell. A short whileth later, he had phoned and suggested that 'Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair.'

He didn't mean literally. It would be impossible as another difference between the old version and the new version, is that the current protagonist has short hair. And seeing as Hands has particularly large... er... hands, he'd have trouble even grabbing her locks, never mind climbing anywhere on them.

No, Hands was suggesting they continue their date and was inviting Rapunzel out to dinner.

Oh my!

Rapunzel didn't know what to do. She knew that The Rules would say no way Jose, but she'd had such a lovely day with Hands so far and was very tempted to continue it.

Oh if only she'd already told her blog readers about Hands she could have gone on her facebook or twitter page and had instant advice.

It was too late though. She was in this alone and had to be a big girl and make the decision herself.

After pondering and pondering for a couple of minutes, she made her decision.....

Which was to go and re-join the tall handsome man with the big hands. Rapunzel, Rapunzel, was going to let down her lift!

While going down in the afore-mentioned elevator, Rapunzel wondered whether she should have changed her clothes. She'd done nothing more than have a wee, brush her teeth and put on some lip-gloss as she was conscious Hands was waiting outside.

Hands kissed her hello and said he was glad that she was still in the same outfit as she looked lovely. Rapunzel wondered whether Hands had special mind-reading powers. She mumbled something about it still being the same date and he agreed and said that it was just part B of date 2. Rapunzel wondered yet again whether he was a mind reader. She also made a mental note to use the same excuse if the Goddess told her off for ignoring The Rules ('What do you mean I shouldn't have gone out again? It was the same date!)

Date 2B was lovely. Rapunzel was really glad that she'd decided to go. The whole date had been pretty amazing in actual fact (if you are my real friends you will just forget about the whole ill, moany bit...!) There was nowhere she would rather have been and no-one she would rather have been with.

Rapunzel was starting to fall for Hands. What did he think of her though? She didn't know. As he dropped her off at her Tower she wondered whether he'd ask to see her again.

What he actually said took her by surprise...

'What do you think about taking our relationship to the next stage?'

Tuesday 15 February 2011

24 Tales of a Real Life Romance - Chapter 10

Now where were we?

Ah yes. I was on a date with Hands at Alton Towers and had a moany face on me.

I know 'moany face' and 'Alton Towers' shouldn't really be in the same sentence. After all it's not like I'm a child whose mum had refused her an ice-cream. As I explained though, I wasn't feeling my best and it had taken so long for Hands and I to actually go out on date two (six weeks to be precise) that it all seemed very unfair.

There was also something else that was bothering me that I didn't tell you about....

Well in actual fact I did tell you about it, I just didn't elaborate on it. It was in this line... 'He gave me his stuff to hold, kissed me and off he went.'

You know what I'm going on about now don't you? Yep exactly. I was unhappy about the kissing part. Not that he kissed me of course. It's always nice to be kissed. My issue was more with the kind of kiss it was.

You see, you never know when your last, first kiss is going to be. Call me an old romantic, but I'd like to remember mine, so the first kiss with a new guy is really important. As you know I was all geared up for it to happen at the end of date one, but Hands decided not to partake. Fine. What was not fine though, was that he'd opted to go for it while I was playing the 'Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be Miss Stroppy Pants' game.

And as first kisses go it wasn't even that good. A bit half-hearted really. It was definitely more than a peck. I mean it wouldn't have been appropriate to kiss, say a family member, like that. Unless you are Angelina Jolie and her brother of course. But it wasn't the kind of kiss that you'd expect from someone that had taken the day off work to take you to Alton Towers. It appeared that Hands wasn't so keen on ill Rapunzel.

Hands finished riding Rita and came to get me telling me how amazing she was. That's all I wanted to hear - about the fabulousness of some other female. He went off on another ride while I stood around some more. The day really wasn't going as I'd imagined.

When he came to meet me off that ride though he said he'd been on it as an experiment. He thought it might be an ok one for me to attempt and now he'd been on it he reckoned that it definitely was.

I was quite touched, but still wasn't sure. I ummed and I ahhed. And I ummed and ahhed some more. I was feeling a bit better though. I certainly wasn't as dizzy. Maybe I should attempt going on the ride?

I decided I would. Hands seemed really pleased and said we should go in the special queue to sit at the front. Oh yeah great. So not only might I have some weird reaction, but this way everyone would see it. Nervous is not the word. 'Shit-scared' could have been though.

Guess what?

I went on it. We sat in the front. And it was great! I was buzzing when we got off. I'd done it! Hurrah!

After that I was unstoppable. I went on at least...oooh...three more rides! Rapunzel was back!

From then on the day started improving no end.

Then things got even better...

Hands suggested we get some ice-cream. (No that's not the bit I'm referring to...) We sat down in the sunshine overlooking the lake. (Nor that...) My phone beeped - I had reception! (It may surprise you, but no that's also not the bit I mean...) As I read my text message Hands told me to get a move on because (and I quote)...

'We haven't had our first kiss yet and I really want to do it now.' (Yes! This is the bit I meant!)

So there and then we had our first kiss to the soundtrack of chart music, excited squeals of people on the rides and someone shouting that we should get a room. (Turned out that advice wasn't actually for us. Don't get me wrong, it was a pretty passionate embrace but we weren't rolling around the grass like the other couple were.)

As first kisses go, it was great. As was our second...and our third...and our fourth...

The rest of the day was amazing. The little blip at the beginning all forgotten. All too soon though, the park closed, we made our way to Manchester chatting non-stop in the car and then Hands dropped me off at the Tower.

I'd barely been home twenty minutes, and was still feeling giddy after my amazing date, when my phone rang...

It was Hands. He was supposed to be going for dinner with his friends but we'd been chatting so much he hadn't noticed the text messages cancelling it. Therefore, he wondered whether I wanted to go back out to play and he'd take me for dinner.

I had my phone up to one ear and the Goddess shouting the The Rules at me in the other. Which was especially weird as she wasn't even there. The fact that she wasn't meant that I could do what I wanted though. I just couldn't decide what that was.

Should I decline and say I was busy and leave him wanting more like The Rules would instruct? Or should I think of it as just an extension to the date and get my short ass back out there? It was a real dilemma...


What would you have done? What do you think I should have done? (Just so I know next time I'm on Oprah!) What do you think I did do? I'll tell you in the next few days whether you are right....

Tuesday 8 February 2011

34 Tales of a Real Life Romance - Chapter 9

The story so far... I met a lovely boy called Hands. He asked me out. I said yes. He then fannyed around arranging the date. I almost didn't go on the date. I did go on it though and it was great. He asked me on another date. He fannyed around some more. This time I didn't go on the date. He then asked me on an extra-special date. This chapter is about that date. (There is slightly more to it than that so please read from Chapter 1 if you haven't already.)

So six weeks after first going out with Hands, I was about to go on date number two. There had been reasons for the large gap between rendezvous. Mainly cause I'd been working abroad and then Hands had been on a course with work, (advanced hand modelling I presume?) but it was partly down to his dithering straight after our first date. This was all forgiven and forgotten though, because he'd suggested a trip to the theme park Alton Towers for our second meeting. Heck, he'd even taken a day off work.

I knew it had been an inspired idea on his part but just to double check I told everyone I came into contact with about the venue for date two. 'Ooooh that's a great place to go on a date!' is what everyone said. It was official. The boy had done good.

I was ultra excited about the day, except for one thing. I didn't know what to wear. Or to be more specific. I didn't know what to wear on my feet.

It was lovely weather so I'd thought about donning flip-flops, which would go well with the rest of my summery outfit (please remember this date is in the past. I'm not contemplating wearing attire like this in February!) Plus as I normally only wear flip-flops in the sunshine, on holiday or after a pedicure, I associate them with nice things and having a good time. Perfect therefore for my Alton Towers date. Except for one thing. They are flat. And Hands is a big boy.

I mentioned my dilemma to my Bro.

'What height is he?'

'Erm just a wee bit over six foot five...'

'What?! For God sake Sis you can't go out with him!'

'Why not?'

'Cause you're a short ass! Imagine if you ever got'd look like the Krankies in your wedding photos!'

Now I know that it is part of a brothers' job to make you feel crap. No matter how old you both are, he is still required to take the piss. And as insults go, suggesting that Hands and I would resemble a comedy duo made up of a married couple in their 60's, the female of which that dresses up as a school boy, is not one of the worst he's thrown at me. It struck a nerve though. What if we did look ridiculous together? What if Hands hadn't realised I was short and it would only become obvious when people were pointing and laughing at us as we wandering around the park. Even worse, what if without my heels I was too short to get on some of the rides.

I was getting myself a bit worked up so did what any normal person would do in the same situation. I googled images of couples with a big height difference.

Hey presto! After bypassing pics of Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum, and Tom Cruise and anyone, I found the sort of thing I was looking for. Hello Dannii Minogue and Kris Smith!

Turns out there is the same amount of inches between them, as there is between me and Hands. And they look fine don't they? I decided we could be the Manchester equivalent. Albeit a less attractive version. I felt much happier. Fan-dabi-dozi!

Date day dawned and Hands picked me up bright and early. I was glad to see that my taste in men hadn't changed in six weeks - I still fancied the arse off him.

We drove towards Alton Towers and the conversation flowed surprisingly well considering we hadn't seen each other for such a long time and actually didn't know each other very well in the first place.

Then something happened...

I started feeling dizzy.


In all the excitement of the 'Oooh what a great place to go on a date,' I'd forgotten that I was waiting for an operation on my sinuses. And that while waiting for this op I was occasionally suffering with symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, face ache, nausea, near black outs etc, etc, etc.

Unfairly it seemed that I was having one of these occasional symptoms then. While on my way to a theme park. A theme park with rides. Probably the worst place I could actually go in my condition.

I felt pretty bloody stupid.

I held off telling Hands but as things hadn't improved as we queued to get in, and I was actually feeling worse, I came clean.

Bless him, he was lovely about it. He was quite hopeful that I'd feel better as the day went on, and for that reason, and also for the fact that he'd bought the tickets weeks before, he reckoned that we should still go in anyway.

So we did. We wandered around for a bit. Enjoying the relative quiet at first and then the almost palpable buzz in the air as the park started filling up. Hands said it was time we started going on some rides.

And so he took me to the ride called Rita. Bloody Rita. Rita with her big list of medical complaints at the entrance and accompanying instructions not to ride Rita if you suffer from any of them. At that time I had most of them.

I just couldn't do it. I suggested Hands ride Rita without me and maybe I'd do the next one. He gave me his stuff to hold, kissed me and off he went.

Brilliant. Not only had I become the 'mum' that looks after all the possessions while the kids go off to play, but I also felt shit. And I was concerned that Hands was going to get the wrong impression about me and think that I was a big, moaning, hypochondriac, fun vacuum that was just going to suck all the fun out of the day.

I felt very sorry for myself. I took out my phone to call a friend to make me feel better.

I had no reception.

I felt even sorrier for myself.

Wednesday 2 February 2011

28 Tales of a Real Life Romance - Chapter 8

Oprah: Thanks for joining us today Rapunzel and for coming to share your story about how your life has changed...

Rapunzel: That's right Oprah. I used to be just your normal, average, typical girl...a bit like yourself...and then one day something happened that made me the dating expert that I'm known as today.

Oprah: That's incredible! Please tell us what happened...

Rapunzel: Well, I was plodding along, going on various dates, as you do. Some were good and some weren't. Then one day I was introduced to The Rules...

Oprah: Ah. You followed them and that's what made you an expert?

Rapunzel: Actually no. Admittedly some of The Rules are great. Like the one that says that prior to going on a date girls should stand in front of the mirror and tell ourselves that we are enough. In fact try it now Oprah...

Oprah: I am enough!

Rapunzel: I bet you feel great after doing that don't you?

Oprah: I do! I actually feel like I am enough. How amazing!

Rapunzel: There's another fabulous rule about combing your hair off your face in a slow, sweeping motion. If you manage to pull that rule off you end up with your date eating out of your hand. Some of The Rules aren't so good though...

Oprah: Like what?

Rapunzel: Well there is one that advises you not to wear clogs. And do you know why I know that isn't a good rule?

Oprah: Why?

Rapunzel: Because one of the regular commenters on my blog, Glen advised me that it wasn't. He seemingly has a real penchant for clogs and didn't enjoy his trip to the red light district in Amsterdam because of the lack of wooden shoe wearing ladies. It was just an innocent comment Oprah but it made me think...

Oprah: About clogs?

Rapunzel: No about the fact that my readers are all so wise and knowledgeable. They are also all from different countries, different backgrounds and are of different ages. I realised that by asking for their opinions on a romance I was having, I could combine all their thoughts and thus become an expert on matters of the heart. I'm a bit like a walking dating encyclopedia!

Oprah: That's wonderful Rapunzel! So you now know everything that there is to know about dating. Can you give us any tips?

Rapunzel: Of course! Firstly you must forget the idea that you shouldn't lie to a potential partner. That's a myth. At least it is when it comes to talking about your job. Me and my network of experts actually encourage that you do stretch the truth. You are an accountant? Say you are an Eskimo relocation officer. A nurse? No you are a cheese holer or a dolphin trainer. Let your imagination run riot.

Oprah: That sounds great! Anything else?

Rapunzel: Yes. You know when a guy doesn't kiss you at the end of a first date and you wonder why? I can tell you why. It could be because he has a rule not to kiss on the first date. He may not like you. He may like you too much. He may be gay. He may be shy. He may have bad-manners. He may have a mum or wife that has told them they have to be home by 11, and they have run out of time.

Oprah: Gosh! Yes, you are right. Thanks for clearing that up. I'm sure that has been helpful for many viewers. Anything else that you can help with? Like what do you recommend to do if a guy asks you out, you stress to him that you are really busy but give him a couple of days as options. He opts for one but says that he will confirm in 'bags of time' and then tells you days later that it is going to have to be the following evening because you are having to fit around Boys' Night?

Rapunzel: I'm glad you asked that Oprah because it is a common dilemma. What I advise is that you don't text anything in reply that night, because you are far too busy having a lovely time drinking cocktails with your friend the Goddess, but that the next morning you send the following....

Hey sorry I wasn't able to reply last night. Would have been good to see you before I go, was looking forward to it but I've made plans now. Next time you'll have to book ahead to avoid disappointment..! x

Oprah: I hear ya sister! I look forward to having you on the show again soon with more wonderful advice from you and your readers.


Ok, ok you might not all have agreed that was the best thing to reply to Hands. Some of you didn't think there was an issue in the first place. I was really annoyed with him though. And despite the fact that it was my only chance to see him before working away, and knowing that it was unlikely that I'd see him when I got back, I replied to him as detailed above.

And that was that.

The End.

Except it wasn't! The next day I received the following...

Bit random but wondered if you fancied an Alton Towers trip when you get back? Let me know if you do and I'll take a day off work (just don't ever tell the boys I've done that!) x

Talk about turning a corner! I reckon we'd come round the bend so fast we'd left skid marks!

Of course I was well up for this, so six weeks after our first date, Hands and I had date number two at a theme park...