Tuesday, 19 July 2011

In which living at home has some drawbacks

Since my relationship ended back in February, I have been living at home with my parents again. It's good. I get on well with my mum and dad - much better than I did when I lived here as a teenager, that's for sure. My brothers are lovely and entertaining, and I love that there is always company around when I want it. My washing is done for me and my parents own a dishwasher (something I have never had in rented accommodation), as well as a corner bath where I spend many happy - and sometimes less happy - hours. I have a lot more creature comforts than I would do in my own place, and always have someone to talk to.

And yet... after five months, I have come up against a problem. The truth is, deep down, I am still scared of my mum. Not in the same way as I was as a teenager, when all we did was scream at each other... in fact, we get on really well now, and I ask her for her advice on things all the time. The problem is that, despite the fact I am 26 not sixteen, I'd really like my mum to believe I'm still a virgin.

This is ridiculous, of course. I have had more than one boyfriend to stay over in the last ten years, and I've actually lived with two of them. Plus there was the diary-reading incident of 2001 - we don't talk about it, but we both know it happened. But despite this, when The Man I Am Seeing invited me to his house for dinner and, more crucially, for breakfast, my first thought was, "How am I going to tell my mother?"

My mum is not naïve. When she was fourteen, she had a boyfriend with a car. A few years ago, my nan found a picture of her as a teenager snogging my dad on the lawn, and was very excited to show it to us... until it turned out not to be my dad. When I once asked her to tell me something I didn't know about her, she revealed she'd dated a Moroccan boy when she was fifteen (I have no idea how; she never went on holiday abroad and she wasn't exactly brought up somewhere multi-cultural). However, my mum and dad did meet when she was seventeen, get married when she was 21, and they are still together more than thirty years later. Like many women of her generation, she missed out on being both adult and single.

I am not talking here about "having needs". My god, I certainly wouldn't admit to a one night stand! But I just can't decide how to position the news that I am staying over with a man relatively early on in the relationship, and that's a shame because the truth is that I think this guy is someone really, really special, and my decision to stay has just a little bit to do with sex, and a lot to do with spending some quality time together (and the fact that he lives an hour and a half away, and I'd like to have a glass of wine). I could just tell her this, of course, but like my teenage self, I sometimes think the less said on these things the better. I'll probably just tell her not to wait up, and then run. At least now I'm old enough not to have to ask my dad for a lift...

Saturday, 2 July 2011

In which men are even more confusing than usual

Do you remember The Brazilian? Don't worry if not, I barely did. He's the sexy barman who asked me out and then disappeared off the face of the earth. At the time his disappearing act did upset me a bit, but three months on, I can't say I've been losing sleep over it. Or indeed thinking about it, ever, unless I'm talking to my single friends about the bizarre behaviour of men.

So I was surprised, to say the least, when he popped up on Facebook chat last week. I considered ignoring him, but curiosity got the better of me. Also, it did cross my mind that he might ask me out again, and I couldn't resist the potential opportunity to tell him to stick it. As it turned out, he wasn't planning to ask me out again, he was just dropping me a line to apologise for not calling me. (To reiterate, this was THREE MONTHS AGO.) In essence, he said I scared him off by being too keen. Now, this would not be entirely out of character for me. I'm sure I can come across as too keen, because when I like someone I do like to talk to them (astonishing, I'm sure you agree). However, that's not what happened with The Brazilian. What happened was that he asked me to a BBQ on a Sunday, and on the Friday I texted to ask him where it was, and he never spoke to me again. Was this wrong?! To ask where exactly I was meant to be and at what time for an event he'd already invited me to? I cannot help but feel that a man who is scared by a text message asking these questions may not be man enough for me. Presumably he is also scared of mice and spiders and the dark and hairbrushes, and that is not what I am looking for in a man, if I'm honest.

I wish I'd told him all this, but in the event I was so speechless over the whole thing I simply said it wasn't a big deal and then deleted him from Facebook. Effective, but not that satisfying.

Anyway, I thought that was probably my fair share of male weirdness for June, but then on Thursday, I received a text message out of the blue from Future Husband, simply saying, "I miss you, you know". Actually, I did not know, because after two great weeks of something vaguely resembling coupledom, he reduced his text traffic from two an hour to two a fortnight. I assumed he had lost interest, and realised I could do better. I momentarily questioned this decision, texting back, "Really?" to which I received a reply informing me that FH does "think about me on occasion". Unsurprisingly, this merely served to prove my point. I'm looking to be swept off my feet by a great wave of love. That was the romantic equivalent of standing in a rock pool with a dead crab.

The good news is, I have met someone who I like, and who I think might actually like me. We work together, sort of. There has been a coffee, and a lunch. We are making each other mix tapes. That's all I'm going to say for now, as I'm determined not to jinx it. But I promise if he disappears off the face of the earth, you'll be the first to know.