Tuesday 24 May 2011

31 Tales of a Real Life Romance - Chapter 20

I decided that it was time to come clean to Hands.

In actual fact there was no right time to do it, but I knew the longer I left it, the worse it would be when I did. He deserved to know the truth.

Plus, it wasn't fair that other people knew and he didn't. I probably should have told him straight away, but as you know I really liked him and didn't want to risk losing him.

I tried to convince myself that perhaps he'd be ok about it? After all my friends were really supportive when I told them. I'd also told other guys and they'd reacted better than I'd expected.

I thought about it long and hard. I discussed it at length with various people who had been through the same dilemma.

The advice I received was mixed. Some said it wasn't his business. Others said honesty was the best policy. Some pointed out that he wasn't getting to know the real me, while others said it was only a small part of who I am anyway.

I decided that I couldn't lie anymore. If this relationship was going to go anywhere, I had to open up. I was going to have to reveal my dirty secret.

I had to tell Hands that I'm a blogger.

It turned out that making the decision to reveal all wasn't the most difficult part, finding the opportunity to do so was. Date 4 had been so great that we were keen to get together as soon as possible. In Normal Land that would be easy. You'd discuss when you were both free and arrange the next date accordingly. In Weird World where I live, it was a bit more difficult. I didn't know when I was available, because I didn't know when and where my next job would be taking place. It is part of what I love about being a freelancer in TV but it doesn't half make it challenging to plan anything and can cause havoc with my social life.

I just trusted that what would be, would be. And what appeared to happen was that Cupid noticed that I might go away again and was pretty pissed off that all the hard work he'd put in to introducing Hands and I may be in vain. He called up The Universe and had a word about arranging me to stay in the UK. The Universe agreed to help and said that I'd done enough gadding about for a while anyway and it was time for me to concentrate on my love, rather than work, life.

At least that is what I think happened and explains why I got a phone call out of the blue from ITV saying they were crewing up for a TV programme, that I'd been recommended and could I start the following week? They said I'd have to stay on location as filming would take place a couple of hours away from Manchester, but I could home every weekend.

I was over the moon!

I excitedly phoned Hands and we quickly arranged Date 5 for Saturday night. He then asked me what the job was. I explained that it was a documentary about a military driving school...

'Wait, you are filming on an army base?'


'And you are going to be staying at the army base?'

'Yeah....in the Officer's Mess...'

'You are going to be surrounded by men for the next two months?'

'Er yeah I suppose I am.'

'I'm happy for you, but if we make it through this it'll be a miracle.'

Oh. Not quite the reaction I was hoping for. I decided not to mention the blogging for the time being. Keeping schtum a little longer wouldn't hurt would it?

Wednesday 11 May 2011

35 Tales of a a Real Life Romance - Chapter 19

I felt quite nervous as I travelled on the train over to where Hands lives.

[Cue: cheering, clapping and waving of flags and banners that say things like 'Good luck Rapunzel!' and 'Hands is hot!']

Yes I'd decided to go for Option A. It was only Date 4, but it had taken months for us to get to that stage so we could hardly be accused of rushing things. Plus the Goddess had gone away to work elsewhere and I had a new flatmate who'd invited his girlfriend round that night. I wasn't keen on Option C - Being a Gooseberry, so was quite happy to make myself scarce.

It didn't take me long to decide that I'd made the right decision. If I'd played it safe and chosen the second suggestion It might have taken a few more months before I found out that...

1. Hands is very tidy

Extremely so. It was the first thing I noticed as I entered his abode. Obviously he would have cleaned before my arrival but it seemed like he'd had Monica Geller round helping. My flat has also been that clean, but that was in the first hour I moved into it, before my suitcases had haemorrhaged my possessions all over it.

(A new friend has started reading my blog and has remarked that I write about things she wouldn't even dream of admitting to her best mates. I've decided that she has a point and so will now not be revealing my innermost feelings for fear of being mocked or considered odd. So I won't be telling you that I panicked when I realised how different Hands and I were and wondered how we'd cope if we ever lived together. It would be wrong to even have had a thought like that anyway....it was only Date 4 after all...What do you take me for?...Some kind of weirdo...No, no I was enjoying taking it slow and having months between dates and hadn't even thought about our next one, never mind The Future.)

2. Hands is very handy

As he took me on a tour he pointed out all the home improvements he'd done himself, like rooms he'd decorated, things he'd made, under-floor heating he'd installed. I was impressed. Hands will make someone a lovely husband one day. Obviously I didn't think about that someone being me. (See above for proof)

3. Hands is a proper adult

He has grown-up things in his house. I asked for a coffee when I first arrived and he made me one from a coffee machine with a nice cup and saucer and a biscuit. I normally drink the builders version from one side of a Dirty Dancing mug. It has to be from one side cause the other is so chipped it is dangerous. I suppose I have a coffee machine as well. It's just that it's five minutes walk away in Starbucks.

4. Hands has other big things besides his hands

Hands has a massive one. I've never seen one as big. Except once when I stayed in a hotel. I suppose being 6 foot 5 it's only reasonable that he'd have one as long. I was still surprised though and couldn't help but turn into Little Red Riding Hood.

'My what a big bed you have!'

'All the better to sleep with you in.'

He didn't actually say that. I'd fore-warned him that wouldn't be happening and he'd already shown me the room I'd be staying in. Shame really as I could easily have shared the bed with him without us even seeing each other, it was so vast.

5. Hands is very thoughtful

He'd downloaded songs onto his iPod that he knew I'd love, even though it could have opened him up to ridicule if any of his friends had ever seen them. I'm talking cheesy eighties pop. Music he doesn't even like himself.

He also talked about how much he helps the old woman that lives next door by doing her shopping and the like, and how he'd just bought her a jar opener in case he wasn't around when she needed him. It's an amazing coincidence but I have something in common with his elderly neighbour, as I'm also the proud owner of such a utensil. My mum popped one into my stocking at Christmas after she heard I'd had to take a jar of honey down to the concierge so I could make a hot toddy. My concierge was fine about it even though that's not in his job description. He had remarked on the fact that I didn't need help opening the whisky though.

6. Hands is smooth

I knew this fact anyway but I hadn't been on the receiving end of his charm for a few weeks. It started as soon as I got in the car when he collected me from the train station and he said that when he saw me he did a little 'Yes!' out loud because I was lovelier than he'd remembered.

I melted.

Yes there was no denying that Hands knows how to flirt. How much was just patter and how much was genuine? I wasn't sure.

Out in a bar that evening, Hands returned from the toilet and asked if he could join me while my boyfriend was away. I played along with his little game and said he could but warned him that my bloke was big and might want to fight him. He reckoned that he'd already seen him and knew he could take him on in an arm-wrestle.

I really did my very best not to analyse this statement and accept it as role-playing fun. Honestly. But I just couldn't stop myself wondering whether Hands had implied that I was his girlfriend...