Friday 30 December 2011

128 Tales of a Real Life Romance - The End

I'd asked him, 'Will you still encourage your children to like football even though you don't?'

He'd replied, 'I don't want kids.'

A short and seemingly innocent conversation to anyone listening, but one that changed things forever. It was the beginning of the end of Hands and Rapunzel.

Jeremy Kyle informed me that it was my own fault. He said I'd scared Hands off by asking if I could have his babies so soon in the relationship. I tried to point out that it was a general query about children that had revealed this news. There was no second part to the question where I'd asked '...and also can I be the mother of these kids that may or may not like football?' I hadn't even said it under my breath.

Perhaps Jeremy was right though and it was too early to have that talk, even if it was unwittingly. It was definitely too soon to know whether I'd want to invite Hands to a breeding party, but when is the right time to know whether it's a guest list he'd ever even want to be on? We were on Date 8. How many more dates until it would have been acceptable chat? My friend was adamant that as we were at a certain age he should have mentioned it straight away, perhaps on Date 1 when he said that he'd never wed or bred he could have added that he didn't fancy the latter in the future either. 'Then you would've known if you were on the same page from the outset,' she added wisely.

Perhaps, because several dates on and just as I was really falling for him, I felt sick to discover that we weren't, and in fact were reading from completely different books.

We didn't discuss it anymore and just continued having a lovely evening. We didn't need to talk about it. We both knew that there was no point carrying on when we wanted different things. We both knew it was the end.

As Hands drove me back to Manchester the following day I spun my ring round my finger trying to concentrate on not crying.

'I'm going to miss your big rings,' he said.

'I'm going to miss big you,' I replied.

He pulled up at the Tower, we said a quick goodbye and I got out of the car.

A group of guys in a taxi waiting at the lights nearby rolled down their window and shouted at me.

'Hey gorgeous! Come with us!'

So I did. And cheekily blew a kiss at Hands as off I went to party with my new friends.

Nah I didn't really. I was too emotionally drained. I just went in to my apartment block. But secretly prayed that Hands had heard what they'd said.

He texted me later to see how I was and added that from what he'd witnessed when he dropped me off, he didn't imagine that I'd be single for long.

Maybe not but I'll never forget my short-lived, but lovely, real life romance with the guy with the big hands.


Thursday 29 December 2011

42 Tales of a Real-Life Romance - Chapter 24

Who knows what went through Hands' mind when I said that there was something I needed to tell him about myself.

I wouldn't say he exactly looked eager to hear whatever I had to reveal. I'd probably use the word nervous instead. I nearly changed my mind about telling him the truth, but couldn't think of anything quickly enough to say instead. Plus I could almost definitely guarantee that what I was going to announce was nowhere near as bad as the options going through his mind. I took a deep breath and decided to go for it.

'I'm a blogger.'

I waited.

And waited a bit more.

I couldn't read his expression. Damn. Hurry up Hands.

Then finally...

'What's a blogger?'

Oh. Definitely not the reaction I was expecting. I was a bit relieved though. He could hardly be annoyed by something he didn't know anything anything about could he?

Mains, tiramisu and coffees later and Hands could have chosen blogging as his specialist subject on Mastermind. I'd told him all there was to know. I'd explained about the whole blogging community, the people I've met through writing a blog, the time I went on a blind date to Belfast with another blogger, blogs that I read, blogs that I've written. I made it all sound so amazing that when he asked if I'd ever posted about him (see he'd even got the lingo down. I'm such a good teacher) I think he would have been offended if I hadn't.

His final verdict?

'It sounds great. I'd love to read it'


We left the restaurant and made our way to the hotel bar on the 13th floor. As we sat sipping champagne looking at the amazing view and night sky I felt deliriously happy. At that moment there was nowhere else I would rather have been.

I was so glad that I'd told him about the blogging. It actually seemed to have brought us closer together. Not physically. We were already touching as much as allowed in a public place. More in the way that as I'd revealed something about myself that he hadn't been aware of, we were suddenly desperate to know everything about each other. We took it in turns to ask each other questions ranging from the bog standard ones like favourite TV programme?...

Hands - Inbetweeners. Me - Grey's Anatomy...and True Blood...and Dancing on Ice...and The Mentalist and...aaargh I can't possibly pick just one!

To name an unusual fact about ourselves...

Me - I can clasp my hands at my back and get them to my front without unclasping them. Hands - I don't like football.

Now who wasn't answering questions properly? I'd given a considered answer involving my double-jointedness, his was just about football. I suppose it was fairly unusual though. For a guy anyway. I started wondering what he'd talk to the men in my family about when he met them cause that is the universal male ice-breaker isn't it? Then I had a stern internal word with myself about not being one of those girls that daydreams about family introductions and white meringues and such-like things so early on in a relationship. It was only date eight after all. I put my 'playing it cool' head back on.

It obviously wasn't screwed on properly though. That's the only reason I can think of for why I then asked the following question. The seemingly innocuous, but ultimately immortal question...

'Will you still encourage your children to like football even though you don't?'

'I don't want kids.'

Oh. For the second time that night I'd been surprised by his response. Only on this occasion my heart also sank.

Wednesday 28 December 2011

41 Tales of a Real Life Romance - Chapter 23

'So how did it go?' Jeremy Kyle enquired on the Monday morning. He was referring to my night in the hotel with Hands the weekend prior.

'Not good unfortunately,' I replied.

'It's your own fault,' Jeremy said after I'd recounted the sorry tale. 'What did you expect to happen after you told him that? No man would want to hear that so early into a relationship.'

I should add that JK was presenting the programme I was working on. I wasn't appearing on his show. Things weren't that bad. Or were they?

I'd been giddy with excitement when Hands had picked me up on the Saturday afternoon. Despite the fact that I spent the first six months of my life in a hotel that my dad was managing and for the last four summers I've done a job making videos of hotels abroad for tour company websites (by my reckoning I've probably filmed at at least 300) and I've practically been living in a hotel for three years (or above one anyway) you would imagine that going to a hotel was the last thing I wanted to do. It wasn't. I love hotels. Plus the fact that I would be sharing the experience with a certain large-handed man was adding to the appeal.

We arrived and followed the unwritten obligatory procedure that is required after checking in to your that we opened drawers and wardrobes to see how much space there was, even though we weren't going to be using them. We switched on the TV to see how many channels there were, even though we wouldn't be watching it. We exclaimed at the prices for room service, even though we wouldn't be ordering from it. We lay on the bed to test how comfortable it was, even though we weren't intending to do much sleeping in mean even though it wouldn't really matter for one night.

Law of hotels completed we got ready and went out for dinner. We found a lovely little family-run Italian nearby, the kind of place where you discover that you've been pronouncing bruschetta wrongly when they read back over your order. The kind of place where the staff are so attentive that by the time you leave you are ciao, ciaoing and kissing like old friends.

A while later and on our garlicky main courses (we'd discussed it and decided it was ok seeing as we'd only be kissing each other) for some reason I felt it was time to tell Hands that I was a blogger.

I've no idea why I decided then was my opportune moment. It may have had something to do with the Prosecco I was drinking. Who knows. I'd made my mind up though and went for it.

'There's something I need to tell you about myself...'

His face dropped and I could see various options flitting through his head. I felt sure that they would all be worse than what I was about to tell him. Wouldn't they?