Men

secret diary.

The confessions of an over-sharer…
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This bears far too much resemblance to my childhood diary for my liking. Yes, I was a 90s baby. (Image: Justice)

Confessional: I have very rarely been a dedicated diary-writer.

Whenever I did write in my Secret Diary as a kid (which was covered in blue sequin material, thank you very much) I was sure to make my entries original. “Ohmygosh, I like this boy!”, “Ohmygosh, it’s SO unfair!” and “Ohmygosh, she is so mean!” were the ideal complement to my ritual “padlocking” of the said diary so as to ward off the Sibling…who wouldn’t have been interested in reading its contents anyway, now that I come to think of it…

Anyway.

Now, it would be fairly safe to assume that this blog is the adult version of my sequin-spangled, flimsily-padlocked childhood diary, open for the interweb to read, right?

Not quite. (more…)

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the numbers game: when someone asks for your digits.

That Moment when someone asks for your number.

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Old-school is underrated.

“Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here’s my number
So, call me maybe?”
– C. R. Jepson, 21st Century philosopher.

Oh, 2012. That unassuming little year will always bear the scars of one too many parodies of Miss Jepson’s one-hit wonder. Poor little 2012 – it wasn’t its fault.

Do you remember the video clip? The one with the super ripped guy mowing the lawn and then cleaning his car (see: Stereotypical Masculinity) and then, despite Carly flinging herself all over him, giving his number to one of her (male) band members? Yep, that one.

Well, I have something to say about it: I have never, in all of my 23 years, had anyone write their number down on a piece of paper and hand it to me.

And I feel like I’m missing out on so much. (Has anyone ever received a number on a piece of paper? Am I missing out??)

Inhale, Alex.

I guess I’ve always been someone who has given their number (when asked), rather than asking for someone else’s number or just randomly receiving a number from a stranger…

****

There were stripes and red lips and wine and conversation.

He coordinated his movements so that we would walk the wind-whipped 200 metres to the bus stop together.

We turned to part ways and I guess I knew what was about to happen. And it was exciting, because for the very first time in my life someone was going to ask for my number.

“Hey, Alex,” he said looking up at me from his winter coat. “Umm, could I have your number?”

OMYGOD!! YAY!! EEEEEEEEE!! IT’S HAPPENED, PEOPLE!! IT’S HAPPENED!!

The fact that I wasn’t attracted to him was beside the point. Obviously.

It’s not that he wasn’t lovely… or smart or interesting or quite good looking, but I just didn’t feel drawn to him.

But I didn’t feel like I was in the position to be fussy. Anyway, this was validity that a) someone was attracted to me and b) that my secret weapon – the red lips – worked.

And, look, it’s not like my self-worth was hinging on someone asking me out on a date, but it’s always a nice little ego boost, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, I had to break the news to him after a few dates that I wasn’t actually interested in him. That day had far too many bathroom freak outs and heart palpitations for my liking.

****

We’re fighting against the elements; we know that some very important people in our lives Do Not Approve. Which is a shame considering the fact that our chemistry is through the Richter scale…

We haven’t had The Moment yet. The one where he asks.

And I hold my breath hoping, willing him to do so.

Pretend to be busy doing other stuff, Alex. Where did that beverage of mine get to?

He lingers as his mates drag themselves through the front door. He lingers and I silently exhale.

He takes a step forward.

“Hey,” he smiles. Good god, he’s hot. “Can I have your number?”

YES!!!!!!!!!! Wait! Play it cool, Alex. 

“Umm… Uhh, yeah, ok,” I shrug.

He raises a wry eyebrow as he tries to gauge my sudden nonchalance before I recite the little poem of numbers to him.

Then he leans forward to say goodbye.

In some ways it was a shame that nothing came of it. Perhaps it was all social nicety. Perhaps he never intended to put words into actions. Perhaps the other players intervened (likely). Perhaps he saw it as too much of a risk. And perhaps he didn’t think I was worth that risk.

And that’s ok, because in many ways it was a very good thing that nothing came of it. I wouldn’t want to be with someone who won’t take risks every now and again.

****

Our noses register the distinctive combination of butter and salt. There’s popcorn somewhere at this party! 

We follow the trail to a tall, dark, handsome gent who is holding, eating and sharing the moreish goodness around.

We chat. Very briefly. And then he has to go.

“Hey. Do you want to see each other later on?” he asks.
“Tonight?” (Context: they were continuing on to another venue)
“No, I mean like going out for drinks sometime,” he smiles.
“Oh. Sure. Yes,” I smile in return.

And he tries and fails to coordinate getting drinks together about five times. You would think that after multiple weeks of him doing so that he would figure out that I’m quite busy and that subsequently he will have to put something in my diary more than 72 hours before the actual date.

He’s a slow learner who is keeping his options open. Delete and move on.

****

I always enjoy meeting new people at parties. Tonight is no exception.

There is conversation and there is wine.

Later that night he draws me away. “Hey, Alex. Can I have a moment of your time?” he nervously asks. He leads me inside where he turns to face me.

“Alex, I think I like you and I think we would have lots of interesting conversations together and I was wondering whether I could have your number and whether, if I called you and asked you out to dinner, you would say yes?” he stammers.

I smile and nod and tell him that there is indeed a very high chance that I would say yes.

“Oh! Ok. That’s great. I’ll wait three days to call you and everything.”
“God, I love how excruciating that is,” I jest.

Our chemistry may not be through the Richter scale, but he has the courage to put his words into actions. And there’s certainly something attractive about that…

Alex x

 Also. Fun fact: I’ve updated my About section. Because it’s all about me. Duh.

words, actions and the vast chasm in between.

Dissecting a state of paralysis.

ImagePhoto courtesy of Jeen Na.

“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.”
– Simone de Beauvoir

“Live the life that you want to live today.”
– Just some words I wrote on a piece of paper which I then stuck on my wall

****

Funnily enough, writing this post has me thinking about this one time when I was squished in the backseat of a stranger’s car with three other people in the middle of the night driving along empty streets. As you do. 

At the party we had just left my friend and I had – unbeknownst to each other – both been eyeing off umm flirting with politely chatting to the most attractive guy there. At the conclusion of the evening he kissed one of us while the other was collecting their stuff. Then, in the car on the way home, someone else in the car shared that he had told her that he was interested in one of the Sydney girls… the one he didn’t kiss.

Oh, and at this point in time I was more or less sitting on top of this friend (seeing as we were still doing the sardine-in-the-backseat-without-seat-belts-oh-my-god-such-rebels thing).

Awkward.

“Words and actions,” I said loud enough for her to hear, looking straight ahead.

****

I am not wise; I pretend to be wise. I can rattle off things which certainly sound wise, much to my father’s annoyance. Why does this irritate him? Because wisdom without discipline is futile. And I epitomise wisdom without discipline.

See, I may know what’s good for me, but do I actually employ any of these tidbits of awesome into my own life?

Ahh no. I can definitely vouch for the fact that it’s a no. Ok, no need to be overly enthusiastic, Alex. A simple “no” was sufficient.

Want some examples?

Do I know that ice-cream is not a “health food”? Yes.
And so what did your diet consist of over your recent break? Umm. Ice cream. Maybe. Perhaps. Definitely. Yeah, so mainly ice cream.

Do you know that exercising on a more regular basis would improve your fitness, energy levels, skin, mood and overall health? Yes, I do know that.
And how many times have you exercised this week, Alex? Ahh minus twice. (I didn’t even know that was possible.)

Do you know how to make more financially responsible decisions so that you can save money for travel? Yes, it’s called not going on Asos.
And did you receive yet another parcel from Asos yesterday? Ahh yes. Yes, I did.

Do you know that going to bed earlier is immeasurably good for your health and wellbeing? Yeah, I feel ah-mazing after getting an early night.
And how often do you do this? Twice a year… max.

Do you know that you gain very little from sitting at your laptop? (Well, apart from testing the strength of your self-esteem by playing peer-comparison games on Facebook and knowing every detail of the Duchess of Cambridge’s wardrobe.) I’m sure that my stalker-esque knowledge of Kate’s wardrobe will come in handy one day. It will, I swear.

My saving grace is that I do drink water and I floss my teeth on a semi-regular basis (which is better than “never”, right?)

****

I am full of words. My words create blog posts, but they do not generate actions. I talk a good game. I’ve read hundreds of articles about a) fitness b) health c) getting what you want out of life d) being a better person e) blah blah blah.

I don’t need any more knowledge (seeing as nearly all of the articles can be reduced to the same thesis). I have all of the major building blocks I need. Perhaps lots of life stuff isn’t that complicated, but that we make it complicated so that we don’t have to can postpone tackling our issues… (Please note that that was an inadvertent “I am Alex and I am so wise” comment. See what I’m talking about?!)

Yet I prefer to read articles similar to previous articles about “Living Your Best Life”, rather than actually making changes so that I do live my best life. I have all of the tools already sitting in my handbag (or head). It’s just that I choose to not use them.

Why the hell not, Alex?!

I don’t know. That’s exactly what I’m trying to work out.

Insert literal thinking time here. 

(Disclaimer: I am about to sound like an arrogant twat.) I know that I can do it. I know what I’m capable of and I have a firm belief in my capabilities. I can put my words into actions. I have the drive, willpower and discipline to achieve my goals. I know this because I’ve already proven it to myself. I took all of those traits to the th degree. Which was only very detrimental.

Perhaps that’s it. Perhaps I’m afraid of what my life will become if I fully exercise the full force of my willpower again. I’m afraid that allowing the tidbits of wisdom I have amassed to be transformed into action will turn me into the obsessive person I was. And that scares me and if that’s what would happen I’d much prefer to stay being the unhealthy, hypocritical, arrogant person that I am, thank you very much.

If I put into action the things that I want to be a part of my life my life would be an Instagram feed of green smoothies, early morning runs, national park walks, camping trips, quinoa salads, piles of books I’d (metaphorically) devoured, sunshine, a chic yet rustic apartment, fresh morning air, travel, limbering limbs, laughter, healthy/#clean/gourmet meals, fresh flowers, lunch break walks, re-established evening rituals, organic protein balls, a vintage bike and seeing the stars out in the countryside.

It sounds glorious. And pretty damn healthy and happy. And sickeningly virtuous.

The only thing is that I’m not very skilled in virtue.

I hope I’ll get there. No, I will get there in time, but it’s going to take time. Seeing as I’ve written this post I can’t feasibly get away with doing nothing now (it’s harder to be a hypocrite when you have an audience) I’ll just have to keep taking some very small steps in the meantime.

But until I get past my fear I’ll just have to content myself with watching other people project the beautiful, organic life they (want all of their followers to think they) live on my Instagram feed.

#sigh

Alex x

PS: And happy Mean Girls anniversary, bitches. #tenyears #sofetch

double dip.

A post that has nothing to do with hummus (and a lot to do with men).

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Would you give him another shot? (Yes, obviously.) #dishy

What’s your stance on double dipping? Do you see it as the ultimate social faux-pas that is on par picking one’s nose or do you really not give a damn?

Well, for those of you who are interested, I just Googled “does double dipping really spread germs” and the Mythbusters came up with the answer. And their answer is basically “no”. And if the Mythbusters say it’s true, then it’s gospel.

Alex! You said this wasn’t going to have anything to do with hummus! You said this post was going to be about men!

Well remembered, you clever little cracker. Apologies for getting sidetracked.

It had been a considerable amount of time since I had contemplated the conundrum that is double dipping in great depth, but I found myself doing just that at the start of this year.

It all began with liking a photo on Facebook. The start of every great modern love story. 

It wasn’t just any photo – it was a photo posted by a business. And perhaps I happen to know one of the business’ co-founders. And perhaps I briefly dated this co-founder guy and perhaps we agreed that we liked each other and perhaps we didn’t continue seeing each other because the timing was crap. Perhaps.

And so one day I happened to like this photo of his – simply because it was a great photo (and, for once in my life, not as a ploy an excuse to re-initiate communication with him). However, he took it as an invitation to re-kindle things between us.

Well, that sounded arrogant. How on earth did you know that, Alex?  Well, after months and months of not talking to each other there was suddenly quite a bit of communication between us. All initiated by him. All with the suggestion of seeing each other. Oh, and he started liking my status updates on a regular basis.

I was unsure how to respond. It was like having to choose between salted caramel and chocolate fudge ice cream. i.e a tough choice. See, on the one hand, there was some potential that something could develop between us given our previously-established mutual attraction. I already knew that he was a really lovely, talented, interesting guy. Why the hell wouldn’t I go there?

Well, the other half of my brain quite eloquently reminded me that it hadn’t worked out between us the first time round. Yes, the timing wasn’t great – but you can always find an excuse. The reality was that there was a reason why things between us hadn’t progressed (including, but not limited to, some sub-optimal communication skillz), so why would it be realistic to think that things would be any different the second time round?

This was how I came to ponder a non-consumable version of double dipping. That being, is it ever a good idea to give a guy whom you’ve already been romantically involved with another shot? Is it ever ok to “double dip” when it comes to men?

This was what traversed my brain for a solid day (or three).

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you probably won’t be surprised to hear that I spent this time talking to myself. A lot. Certainly my most endearing quality. For those of you who are new to the gang you can click here or here or here or there to find out what I’m talking about. Basically, I over-think everything and this occasion was no exception.

Spoiler alert: After a fair bit of internal debating I consciously decided to not pursue anything with this guy – which, I have to say, I was so very proud of myself for doing.

Why? Because I realised that, despite the fact that he was and is rather wonderful, I wasn’t actually attracted to him in the way that I had previously been. So, I responded to his messages, but I didn’t actively fuel the conversation. I saw him once briefly in a social setting, but I didn’t take him up on his offer to retrace our romantic steps. Basically, I totally wanted to give myself a handful of brownie points.

The deep irony is that since making this decision, this guy has started seeing someone else (which I found out about courtesy of social media – but of course!) Upon making this discovery, my first instinct was to Facebook stalk the hell out of this new girl… ok, and Insta and LinkedIn stalk her too. Who is SHE? Wow – she is SO pretty. They’re on a weekend away? Man, it must be pretty serious.

I felt torn between being really happy for him (ohmygosh she looks like a gorgeous human who is supremely well-suited to you. Therefore, you should definitely marry her!)* and feeling an odd pang in my chest which manifested itself in the form of a slightly furrowed brow.

Huh? You were the one who said no to him, you idiot! Yes, I know. I know, ok?! But that didn’t stop me from feeling just slightly jealous. Firstly, she is, objectively, a babe. But more so, she is seeing a guy who is pretty great… whom I liked at a stage… and who liked me. Which, in a weird way, makes her my replacement of sorts. Not really, but kinda. Good god – get over yourself, woman!

Feeling these wisps of sadness and envy was quite bizarre considering I’m actually really happy that this now gives me permission, in my mind, to be friends with him (and like his photos) without worrying that he may read anything into it. I knew in my head that choosing to not date him again was definitely the right decision for me – and I hope it was the best thing for him too – but my heart was still half a step behind…

Perhaps it was just my way of processing the loss, of sorts, for what could’ve been.
Perhaps I should just have both the salted caramel and chocolate fudge ice cream, after all…
Yes, I think that’s a good idea.

On that note, Happy Easter, chickens.

Alex x

* I would love to tell you that this thought didn’t actually cross my mind, but lying has never been one of my strengths. Sigh. I’m a work-in-progress, ok?!

it’s a date.

Is it really?

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Image courtesy of We Heart It.

“One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what?
With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.” 

― Baudelaire. 

I’m trying to decipher this and, well, I’m just not sure. Perhaps you’d be so kind as to help me?

If so, let me recreate the scene for you…

****

We’re friends. Just friends. Vague friends with some mutual friends.

And we decide to go out one night because I owe him a drink. Inconsequential, n’est-ce pas?

My tutorial finishes in the early evening and I bring some extra makeup with me in a vain attempt to freshen up the foundation that’s starting to slip down my cheeks. I have no idea why I ever bought a pinky-burgundy-brown eye-shadow palette. Pink on your eyes, Alex? Good lord.

untitledIs it a coincidence that it’s called “Blushed Wines”?

I get the off the bus and walk the last 200 metres. This is the time for multi-tasking as I reach to unravel my bun whilst crossing the road. I glance a figure I recognise out of the corner of my eye, but I am trying to play it cool so I pretend to not notice. But he notices me and we greet each other in the middle of the road, whilst still striding towards our meeting point.

We cross the road and descend into a bar that is rimmed with impersonal opulence with a dash of Pre-Raphaelite charm on the side. Cocktails. We order cocktails under the dim lighting and we discuss the world. The minute mingle smoothly and I find myself laughing and enjoying this more than I anticipated.

One drink turns into two. Two drinks turns into three. Three drinks turns into dinner.

Our brisk heels tap their way down George Street. Darling George has seen a fair bit of my antics life over the years. We turn down a lifeless alleyway, cos that’s where all the cool bars can be found.

Now we’re drinking wine. We share a bottle at our table for two, because it’s economical and because tomorrow can wait.

I’m too busy enjoying my dinner and the company to notice that we may look like a couple. Anyway, we’re just friends.

****

The following week something is niggling in the back of my mind, but I Can’t. Put. My. Finger. On. It.

So, I keep on mulling.

Mulling. Mull. Mulled wine. Wine. Wine!

A + B = C, right?

Therefore, someone who is a lovely person + great company + intelligent + amusing + rather good looking = unexpected attraction.

Wait. What?!? Are you serious?!

****

Let’s do a quick recap: two friends go out for a drink… which turns into multiple drinks and dinner. They have a good time. And then one of them wonders whether they are attracted to the other. But they’re friends.

Now, as I said, I needed your help. See, I have a conundrum:

Was that a date?

Alex x 

number one.

I have a confession to make.

Recently I became That Girl.

Uhh, which girl are you referring to, Alex? The one who ate all of that gingerbread house? Or the one who fulfilled her dream of becoming an international darts champion?

Sorry. Clarification: by “That Girl” I mean “That Girl Who Really Mucked With A Guy’s Mind” i.e. doing stuff that I don’t think is a helpful thing for women to do.

(Yes, That Girl.)

It took place during a series of events akin to that kids game show on TV, “Go, Go, Stop”. Do any other 90s kids remember that one? Anyway the essence is pretty self-explanatory. You Go, you Go, you Stop. There we were, this gent and I. Add some attraction and alcohol into the mix and blah blah etc etc lip action blah blah etc etc.

Later on in the evening I had the opportunity to collect my thoughts and my brain whilst in the bathroom… which turned into a two minute Deep and Meaningful with some white tiles, during which time I realised that this thing with this gent wasn’t what I wanted. So I went back to him and told him that I was pulling on the emergency handbrake.

Huh? Excuse me! Wait! Hold up! You’re telling me that you were attracted to this guy, but then you said ‘NO’ to him?!?

Uhhh… Yes.

Ok. It’s official: You. Have. Lost. Your. Mind.

Yes, it would appear that way and unfortunately it meant that I left one lovely gent really, really confused. To quote him, “I just don’t get it”. (Understatement of the year thus far). And to be perfectly honest I couldn’t figure out at the time why on earth I had pulled on the brakes either. I mean how difficult does it have to be? Two people are attracted to each other then (insert magical POOF sound!). It really shouldn’t have to be this complicated.

Thankfully, I was able to wrangle an explanation out of my brain the next day. See, yes, I was being a Bad Alex for mucking with this guy’s head (“Go! Go! STOPPPPPPP!”) but there was something at the back of my mind the whole time: I knew that this guy was my second preference and that there was someone else who I had stronger feelings for.

I don’t know about you, but I have a fairly healthy competitive streak. At school it always came out when the one girl I didn’t like in my grade was anywhere in the vicinity. I am going to beat her at high jump, dammit! What a sweetheart I was. My competitive nature may have calmed down a bit since then, but it does still make the odd appearance in some surprising arenas… such as my love life.

I don’t want to choose to be with my fourth preference by default because numbers one, two and three are unavailable/missing in action/backpacking in Greece or have already left the party. I don’t want to settle for a guy I kinda like.  And similarly, I don’t want to be someone’s second or third or fourth preference. I want to be their first preference. I don’t want to have my friends’ cast offs or to be given attention just because the girl they really want to be with isn’t around. It may sound extremely arrogant and self-conceited, but whomever it is, I want to be with a man I’m really attracted to rather than one I’m going to just settle for. If I’m going to place an order, I would like my first preference from the menu, thank you very much.

(That last bit just made men sound like food. It was unintentional… I think.)

And so that, sweet turtles, was my round about way of justifying doing something which I’m not particularly proud of (i.e. mucking with a guy’s mind)*.

It’s times like these that I’m surprised that men haven’t given up on women (like me) all together. (I type that with the hope that there are some other women out there who are as equally deranged as yours truly).

Justification ramble is over. Time for sleep.

Alex x

* Some advice: do not try this at home, or in public for that matter. It is guaranteed that heads will be injured in the process.

no vacancy.

My friend: “He’s emotionally unavailable, Alex.”
Alex: “Yes, I know. But I don’t care.”                  

This blog post comes to you with a soundtrack of this 80s classic by Simple Minds.


Yesterday I was chatting with my mentor. We talk about a whole raft of stuff. We ended up discussing my love life (again). After telling her about the most recent chapter of this saga my (exceedingly polite) mentor said, “Alex, I think we’ve known each other for long enough that I can be completely honest with you.”
I nodded apprehensively.
“Well, what the f&#% are you doing?!”

I sat up straight. Oh, boy, I did.

I guess she had a point: there’s just a slight chance that I had used certain gents as an quick-fix ego boost.

But let’s not get bogged down in that for the moment.

It occurred to me a few days ago that, despite their being different, every single gent whom I’ve been involved with romantically etc over the past year has had something in common with all of the others. Every. Single. One.

And that, my dear chipmunks, is that they have all been emotionally unavailable.

“What exactly do you mean by ’emotionally unavailable’?” you ask. Good question.

‘Emotionally unavailable’ has thus far ranged from not being over an ex, to being newly single (but not telling me), to being so insecure that it was crippling, to not having the mental or emotional space for a relationship. And when I found out that they were emotionally unavailable it all made a heck of a lot of sense. Apart from the one where I knew he was emotionally unavailable from the outset, but instead I chose to ignore that fact and my friend’s advice about him. And as a direct result of this I now have a particularly amusing story tucked up my sleeve.

But seriously. What is it with me and emotionally unavailable guys? Do I attract them? Or do they attract me? Do I have “I HEART EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE GUYS!” on my forehead in permanent marker and nobody’s bothered to tell me because it allows you to all have a little giggle at my expense every time you see me? If so, hey – a part of me doesn’t blame you. I reckon I’d laugh at me, too. But the other part of me would quite like you to tell me where exactly this permanent marker is. NOW, please. 

Another thought, is that perhaps we are all emotionally unavailable to a greater or lesser extent. There could be a few teaspoons of truth in that. Perhaps. But if we’re talking about degrees of emotional availability, I end up being attracted to (or attracting) gents who have multiple cups of unavailability. Teaspoons are for babies.

In the mean time, it’s getting to the stage where my close relatives have started inquiring into my long-term relationship with Singledom and when on earth Singledom and I are going to break up.

I wish I was kidding you, but here’s what my grandma said to me only last night whilst I was telling her about my Latin dance classes:
Grandma: “Oh, that’s a shame. I was really hoping that you would meet a lovely young man at your classes, darling.”
Alex: Smile that gritted-teeth smile. Talk about how you are happily single. You ARE happily single. I know. Smile. Smile!

Is it unreasonable to want to be with someone who is emotionally available? Am I being overly demanding? Is that asking too much? All I’m asking for is a good egg. A good egg who can differentiate between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ with ease.

But if there are no metaphorical good eggs to go around then I guess I’ll just continue to content myself with the literal version: poached eggs with avocado on toast at brunch with friends.

Yeah, Singledom isn’t that bad..

Alex x

perfect on paper.

“Imperfection is beauty”
– Norma Jeane Mortenson.

My close friend and I have both encountered a strange phenomenon in our love lives this year and because I like my alliteration I have decided to name this occurrence “Perfect on Paper”.

Huh? Let me explain.

Imagine you just meet a guy (or girl) who is everything that you’ve been looking for. WHAT?! Stop the press! They tick off all of the essential boxes on your List: they have their sh!% together, they have a heart of gold AND they place a lot of importance upon dental hygiene. What’s more, they have lots of ‘non-essential added bonuses’, like sharing your love of skydiving and sashimi as well as your burning desire to learn modern Greek. You’ve got to be kidding me!

Perfect on Paper 07 A meme. With R. Gosling. Which is totally relevant. Or something.

“It’s a bloody miracle!” we cry. Hells, yes, it is.

So, you’re pretty pumped about going on dates with them and hey, your imagination might even get a wee bit overactive as you envisage how flipping wonderful you’re going to be together, because you two are evidently Meant To Be. 

BUT! Try as you may, you just don’t have a genuine connection. Initially, you put it down to first date nerves. Then you maintain the denial, because THIS SHOULD WORK, dammit. But soon you realise that, for some reason beyond comprehension, it’s just never going to work between you. It looked so very good in theory, but in reality it was a bit lifeless…

Let me illustrate with some real-life examples:

My gorgeous friend has a particular soft spot for gents who are ridiculously smart… and who are tall, lanky and fair-skinned with dark hair and a wicked sense of humour. Yes, that’s right: my mega babe friend is very openly attracted to ‘nerds’ (her words, not mine). Bonus points for studying robotics or astrophysics.

So, a guy came onto the scene who was well, all of these things. Boom! Their first date went very well, which can be partly attributed to alcohol-assisted flirtation and their mutual appreciation of each other’s sophisticated use of the English language. Hopes were high, but gradually she found herself feeling that she should go on dates with him. That she should probably let him kiss her. Which turned into an ambivalence about him akin to one’s relationship with Vita Weats. It’s not that he wasn’t lovely, it’s just that they didn’t click. And coming to grips with that was made harder by the fact that it looked so very promising from the outset.

In the case of yours truly, I went on some dates with a gent whom I can only describe as gorgeous. Here’s what the Alex Brain had to say about him: He is an absolute sweetheart! He’s well-travelled! He likes art! He works in marketing! He’s attractive! He’s entrepreneurial! He’s mature! He has his $#!* together! Ehrmagerd!! And the list went on.*

However, despite being so very lovely there weren’t any fireworks between us. None. Whatsoever. In fact, rather than feeling like the Sydney Harbour Bridge on New Years Eve it felt like we had already reached a point of comfortable, happy stagnation – the kind of feeling that I was expecting to encounter in about 50 years time…

Perfect on Paper 15The Sydney Harbour Bridge on New Years Eve. AKA how I like to feel at the start of a relationship.

So, why did it not work out with these men whom I thought had so much promise?

Well, it has occurred to me that maybe I don’t really know what I’m specifically looking for in a man,  nor what kind of gent would be well-suited to me (and myself to him)… which makes the whole ‘Perfect on Paper’ thing interesting if my idea of what is ‘perfect’ for me is actually quite different to the reality.  That was confusing.

It has also reminded me once again that, rather than thinking that I know what’s best for me and being snobby and prejudiced, I need to be more open to lots of different types of gents. For if I train myself to prefer the guys who fit the mental cookie-cutter I’ve formulated then I’m just going to be limiting myself, aren’t I? Looking back on that sentence I guess you could say that I myself am a mental cookie-cutter. Freudian slip?

I also think that my (sky high) expectations don’t help. See, when I realise or decide upon the fact that a gent is ‘Perfect on Paper’, my expectations of him and where the relationship could/will go shoot through the roof. “OMG. He’s, like, everything that I’ve, like, always wanted. Like, a Disney Prince on steroids with, like, a Porsche. OMG our babies are going to be, like, so ridiculously attractive. Like, OMG.” I do in fact talk like that in real life. Totes.

I’m not really sure what kind of guy I’ll end up with long-term… although, in saying that, my mum has placed her bet on the gent I marry being a Scotsman.** (If I ever leave the Kingdom of Singledom, that is.) But if I’ve learnt anything over the past four years it’s that perfection is overrated and, what’s more, its jolly boring.

Imperfection, on the other hand, I have come to love very much indeed.. Perhaps I should keep that in mind the next time the ‘Perfect on Paper’ alarm bells go off in my head. Yes, I think that’d be a good idea. Good one, you mental cookie-cutter.

Alex x

* I would just like to take this opportunity to say that those things are not The Essentials of My List of qualities/traits/characteristics I look for in a gent. Well, some of them are, but some of them really aren’t important. For example, if the next gent in my life doesn’t have much of an interest in art it’s not a deal breaker. Ok, my clarification spiel is over.

** No complaints.

the bachelorette: alex’s adventures in tinder-land (the epilogue)

“A simple hello could lead to a million things.”
– A quote I found on Pinterest.

Well, hey there. Believe it or not, it’s nearly time to wrap up this Tinder-land Saga fandango. Sorry to be a party pooper, but don’t worry – I’ll still tell you what happened.

So. Hot Muso and I went on a date. Woot! But before I get caught up in that we have the pre-date to discuss:

The Pre-Date: 

As you may or may not know by now, I have a slight tendency to completely freak out in the hour before going on a date. Up until then I’m chilled as, but as soon as there are less than 61 minutes before I see the gent I am going on a date with things get a tad untidy… Clothes get thrown around my room, I frantically scribble eyeliner across my face, a barrage of profanities are used, I invariably end up sprinting to the bus, I sweat like a neanderthal, oh, and I squeal hysterically on the phone to a friend. Yep, you get the idea: it’s not particularly pretty. Frankly, it’s always a bit of a miracle when I arrive at a date in one piece and then act like a relatively normal human being for the following few hours.

Except things were a bit different this time round because my hysteria kicked in not one, but two hours before the date.. and it wasn’t my regular kind of freak out. Oh, no. That’d be too easy. Instead, I became so irrationally nervous that I started having chest pains and mild heart palpitations. That’s right, kids! I was giving myself a baby heart attack! Why do you sound proud of that, you dingus? 

As I decided that arriving at the date alive was preferable I quickly adopted a mantra, “I am calm and collected and I have nothing to worry about”, which I repeated like a religious zealot until I was able to successfully trick myself into believing it was true. You already know that he’s a lovely guy, so you don’t have anything to worry about! Really? Ohh.. Yeah. You know what? I don’t actually have anything to worry about! I can’t believe I have to put up with this chick every single day. 

Once I’d calmed down I only had one more dilemma to solve before arriving at the date: determining how much cleavage was too much cleavage for a first date. Hmm. A dilemma, indeed. I consulted my friend on the issue, but discreetly taking photos of your cleavage whilst on a packed bus is actually less easy than it sounds. In the end I went with my gut (less is more) and my friend agreed. Phew. And by the way, please don’t go scrolling through my camera roll anytime soon.

The Date:

Now onto the actual date: Believe it or not, I actually made it there. In fact, I arrived there on time. Bravo, Alex!

It was a good date. God, Alex. Use some better adjectives. Ok. Sorry. The date was lovely. It felt comfortable and easy and it was filled with (more) great music. He is a muso, after all. We went to a bar in Darlinghurst that has live blues a couple of nights a week, which was great. It was a fun (and strategic) first date idea as the music was always there to fill any awkward gaps in the conversation (not that we had any). Good one, Hot Muso! 

On that note (oh, that was punny, Alex), some of you may remember that a few months ago I realised that I’m pretty crap at conversation on first dates.. mainly because I usually do anything within my power to not talk about myself. Handy, indeed. (You can read more about that debacle here). Anyway! So, I actually talked about myself rather than bombarding Hot Muso with questions! I’m sure I could have done better, but I was still SO damn proud of myself. Yes, that’s right: I was giving myself a mental high-five whilst on the date. Small achievements, amigos. Small achievements.

Rolls eyes, sighs audibly, continues typing.

My only complaint about the date was that I was hungry. I like eating, ok? And I don’t feel that I need to justify that to anyone. Originally the plan was for a (late) dinner and drinks, so I hadn’t eaten that much in preparation for dinner. Logical. It always annoys me when I rock up to a restaurant or cafe and my companion has already eaten, even though we have specifically organised to eat together. So, I didn’t want to be rude by having already eaten. But then we ended up meeting a bit later than planned and we just drank. So I ate sauvignon blanc for entree and main and had an amaretto on the rocks for dessert. It’s not that I don’t enjoy drinking (duh), but I was RAVENOUS by the time I got home.

To those who think that I could’ve easily fixed the situation by saying, “Hey, I think I’m going to get something to eat”, it’s not that simple – especially if you’re the chick.  It would have been awkward because:
a) it then reminds the gent (who organised the date) that he has been a mild dingus in giving your stomach mixed messages. Dinner. No dinner. I don’t mind – just tell me and then stick with it, dammit.
b) you may then end up with one person eating and the other not eating and just watching. My-mouth’s-full-I-can’t-speak-at-the-moment. Tumbleweed.
c) then the awkward ‘who-pays-thing’ gets exacerbated. I’m just as happy to pay for myself as I am for a gent to pay for me, but I wouldn’t want him to think that I expected him to pay for my dinner, especially if he hasn’t eaten, himself.

i.e. COMPLICATED. Thankfully, Jen gets what I’m talking about.

Lord, I love that girl. Anyway. The food thing really wasn’t a big deal. Sorry for getting worked up about it. I fixed it all by hitting the fridge big time when I got home.

Oh, yeah. So I went home. Read between those lines, kids. As the evening was winding up Hot Muso asked me what my plans were. Being the poor 20-something that I am I explained that as there was a smörgåsbord of bus stops nearby I’d catch a bus to Martin Place, then walk to Wynyard and then catch a bus home from there as per usual.

But Hot Muso wasn’t too keen on that idea.

Hot Muso: “It’s ok. What we’ll do is we’ll grab a taxi. I’ll drop you off at Wynyard and then I’ll take the taxi back to Surry Hills.” (which, as we were standing in Surry Hills, was a big unnecessary loop for him)
Alex: *Tries to politely protest, but instead falls over from swooning* Yeah, I need to stop doing that.

So we jumped into a taxi and made the journey to Wynyard. I got out – insert something about lips – and then proceeded to my bus.. whilst hysterially texting my BFF. I’m pretty cool like that. She, on the other hand, is an absolute saint. Sœur de cœur, I am talking about YOU.

The Post-Date:

Hot Muso concluded what was a very enjoyable evening with some more gentlemanly behaviour, messaging me when I got home to verify that I had indeed arrived home safely.

Either I have very low expectations of men or the taxi thing was just further evidence that he is one of the most lovely people I have met in a long while. I don’t think I’ve been on a date with anyone who has made that much of an effort to make sure that I got home safely before. Well, unless you count, “You can just crash at mine!” Men can be so selfless. All of this was made better by the fact that I was wearing heels which I didn’t feel like walking much further in. Yewww! Anyway, I was really very touched by how thoughtful he was. (With this logic I should definitely marry the first guy who pays for my $50 taxi home from the city, shouldn’t I?)

So, what happened next?! Sorry, I got distracted by despicably low criterion in men.

My friends thought that there would probably be a second date and I was definitely hoping there would be one. But life is not a fairytale, my sweet peaches. Hot Muso messaged me the following day and then again the next week. Nothing of significance, just stuff of the “how was your long weekend?” variety. Unfortunately I haven’t heard from him since, which is a shame, seeing as he seemed like such a wonderful guy… (Not that him not asking me on another date means that he isn’t as lovely as I thought he was). Anyway. It’s ok and I’m happy to say that I’m already 98.5% over him (which, for me, is pretty stellar). 


The Verdict:

So, what is my overall verdict in regards to Le Tinder? I’m surprised to say it, but I would actually recommend using Tinder – but only on the proviso that your expectations are low and that you have a clear idea of what you want from it before you embark on your Tinder-land adventure.

Although I am happily single as ever (which probably isn’t that much of a surprise to anyone), venturing into the bizarre contemporary realm that is Tinder was actually a much more enjoyable and fruitful adventure than I thought it would be. In the meantime, I guess it’s back out into the world of Singledom I go.

Perhaps I’ll log back onto Tinder..

Alex x

the bachelorette: alex’s adventures in tinder-land (part 2)


Le Tinder Adventure continues..

I have come to the (deep and meaningful) conclusion that Tinder is, without a doubt, a rascal. A classic example of this is when you’ve been matched with someone, but neither of you have taken the first step by sending the other a message. Tinder then butts in with bossy little encouragements to get the conversation started which, despite being passive aggressive, are rather hilarious. Or at least they are to me. Some of my favourites thus far have been:

“You’re not getting any younger.” Cheers, bro.

“They probably look better in person.” So reassuring.

“See this box? Type something into it.”

“You both like things. Talk about them.”

If Tinder was a gent I’d swipe ‘Like’ for him.

I’ll be honest with you: the initial sheen and novelty rapidly wore off after Week One and I became rather ambivalent about the whole thing. Now, I am So. Over. Tinder. Then why on earth did you keep using it, you dingus? Good question, amigo.

Well, I was still messaging some guys who had some potential (whatever that means) through the app.. whom I was hoping to meet up with before logging off indefinitely. So, despite my waning enthusiasm, I continued to inundate myself with photos of men within a 20 mile radius of my present location.. which left me salivating smiling, chuckling, grimacing and furrowing my brows more than once. And not just because of some truly bizarre selfies.

Zoolander 01Swipe right. Obvs.

See, despite its tacky reputation, I actually think that Tinder is onto something: physical attraction is an essential and undeniable part of overall attraction (particularly so if you’re seeking something short and casual). In a way Tinder is just facilitating what we do every time we walk into a bar, a uni tutorial or a train carriage in that we can assess in a matter of milliseconds who the most physically attractive specimens are within our vicinity. And by ‘we’ I am referring to myself.. and I hope to god that I’m not the only one who does this..Anyone??

So, has Tinder just harnessed and digitised what is innate and involuntary and placed it in our palms? Well, yes.. but it’s not as simple as that, either. For starters, can you truly tell whether you’re attracted to someone through a maximum of five 42cm2 photos? That’s a lot smaller than life-size.

This question popped into my head when I was staring at the faces of some guys whom I’ve previously dated upon my phone screen. My first reaction was to laugh hysterically – purely because it feels pretty crazy to see any familiar face on Tinder – but especially so when it’s one that you’ve already studied up-close in real life. After that: the swipe decision. I swiped left (Nope) to each of them because, although I am still vaguely attracted to a few of them, we stopped seeing each other for a reason. BUT would I have actually swiped right (Like) to any of them if I hadn’t previously dated them and I was going off their Tinder profiles alone? Interestingly, I came back with a resounding No. Which is bizarre considering I can remember pretty clearly just how attracted I was to each of them in real life..

Liam Hemsworth 03Week Two: I’m sure you can guess way I’d swipe for
the newly-single Mr Hemsworth.

So, personally, pixels don’t actually guarantee attraction (or a lack thereof). I guess that awesome electricity fluttering through your veins when you’re instantly drawn to someone just can’t necessarily be felt through pixels. Which is fine, apart from the fact that technology is increasingly becoming a mainstream way of meeting new people and that it allows us to quickly and dismissively make a call on whether someone is worth our time or not (with the simple swipe of our thumb, no less). Oh, and you completely miss out on the electricity-fluttering-through-your-veins thing.

See, although I’m glad to have moved on from each of these guys I dated, I don’t regret having invested some time and emotional energy in them because they’re all lovely (and, coincidentally, attractive) guys. However, if I was deciding whether to go out with them based on their Tinder profiles then I would never know how great they each are or just how intoxicating the chemistry between us would be..

Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention: I met up with a guy from Tinder. And it was actually fine.
(Ok, it was much better than fine.)

The third and final installment of the Twilight Tinder Saga will likely make reference to a hot muso, some breathtaking music, Alex being an absolute dingus, sweltering heat and double denim. You’ve been forewarned.

Alex x