Gone are the days when I had to make an active decision over which friend with benefits I could choose to have for dinner, or having guys turn up at my house, throwing rocks at my window because they missed me whilst I lay in a snug hibernation with another. Whether my mojo went away with my early twenties or I chased it away with too many romantic comedies on Netflix, the fact of the matter is it has departed, along with most of my salary because I chose to live in Brixton.
First of all, where do I meet my next target? The only man I’ve met in the last month was a dude who told me the scent he was wearing was so exclusive he couldn’t tell me the name. I would rather my vagina withered away than go anywhere near someone who would say that to me again. I imagine a scenario where after sex I couldn’t use his bathroom because it’s sprayed with a fragrance made especially for him by French perfumeries and I wasn’t exclusive enough to inhale it. Mate, your shit still stinks so pipe down.
Even when I am fortunate enough to get a date my close is questionable at best. I’m a riot on the date, as I am sure you can tell, and I have plenty of pithy anecdotes about my thoughts on public transport etiquette (who gets the armrest debate is still ongoing), that time I got washed out to sea in Thailand and my ongoing quest for the perfect burger. See, hilarious company. However, I seem to have lost the edge when it comes to the close, and obviously the close gets you the second date, or even just sex.
In the months since coming back to London from living in Japan, I seem to have lost all ability to act like a normal, fully functioning human being, who can just say ‘I had a wonderful time, goodnight’ and fucking kiss someone. In the past six months I have ended a date by shaking someone’s hand, running away into the tube, awkwardly just walking away without even a goodbye and, by far my favourite, and the most recent, giving someone a thumbs up.
After an afternoon coffee at the amazing Coffee Federation in Brixton Village we took the Victoria line back up to Soho, he was getting off at Victoria and I was carrying on to Oxford Street. As Victoria approached I could feel the anticipation bubbling in my tummy. Perhaps something so incredibly romantic that our fellow commuters would go home and tell their friends about it, they'd hash-tag us and we would be #tubelovestory. A true social media love story. I spent the time between Brixton and Vauxhall thinking about the great time we had had but at Pimlico it occurred to me that we were sitting next to each other on a tube full of people, making any meaningful interaction difficult. However, I could not have predicted what happened as he got up to go to Victoria. I gave him a thumbs up. Yes. I am twenty-five, I have had a serious relationship. I have dated plenty of men and I have even lived with a boyfriend. But I gave someone a THUMBS UP after a date. In fact, I think it was most awkward for the twenty other people on the tube that saw this sad display at social interaction. Don’t worry, don’t feel sorry. I bring this awkwardness on myself. I think up so many things in my brain that all that comes out is a hand gesture. At least it wasn’t my middle finger.
Perhaps I’ve been out of the game for too long. Sometimes I worry that one day I will have been a camel for so long that all of the rules would have changed. Sex would have changed. What if I’m about to get down to the deed and he tries to put it in my ear and I won’t understand that that is just what happens nowadays. It is clear my fear and paranoia is multiplying fast and with only my postman as a regular male presence in my life I might have to resort to new measures. Brave the twats and try Tinder? Or look for love on Match.com? I heard their marriage rate is high. Or maybe just try leaving my flat for once? Desperate times call for desperate measures, unless I want to spend the whole of winter watering my dying Bonsai and watching How I Met Your Mother repeats on E4.