Monday, June 26, 2006

Esoteric Part III: The Formula and The Finale

The Nurse looks over at me, after her perfectly genteel date with the Hot Doctor and a promising kiss has resulted in his disappearance from the face of the earth.

And all the right signals she is sending out to the Other Boy have only been caught half heartedly. And believe me, I have seen the body language, and the body language is good. But that's another story.

So what gives?

I'm stumped. Truly I am. I wonder if it really is me. After an equally promising date with Esoteric, I'm now in a quandry.

Usually I can tell, can see the signs before they happen and manage to excuse myself from the table before the final blow. Save face and teeter out the back door with my head held high and my pride, oftentimes wounded, but never scarred too badly, still intact.

This time, I hold back from rushing in too quickly. I feel like a teenager, holding hands, an innocent sleepover with just the right amount of fireworks in case I want to overstep that line. I do, believe me I do, but I'd also like to know this strange young creature a little better before things get tangled up in bedsheets.

In the morning, he tugs at my curls. Pulls me closer for a kiss and wakes me with "Good morning, beautiful..."

I know I am not falling, I know that the young man curled up beside me with the smile on his face will never grow old with me, never help me host a dinner party or choose bedlinen, never walk the dogs or borrow my car, will never get far enough under my skin that he leaves a mark on me whenever he walks away.

And it takes me a while before I know for certain that I have already written the formula. After his initial first contact, his subsequent volley of emails and IM's, when he was stalling in asking for that elusive date and I took the initiative, called him and asked him out for drinks, I put down the first few numbers of the equation.
I already knew when he was asking me to stay, just a few minutes more, and kissing me goodbye without asking when he would see me next that any further movement in this would likely result in my having to lay further groundwork. That should this result in a subsequent date, and then another it will be my follow through, not his. And as days go by, I am distracted by work and trying to find time to see friends and family, that his attempts at communication are random IM's with no promise or substance is when my interest wanes.

Shaking her head over Saturday morning cappuccino, The Nurse asks... "So where do you draw the line between having fun and finding a match...?"

I know I'm only there for the fun, at the moment; I have nothing more that I can give. And when an invite to the beach with some fabulous new friends for a Sunday afternoon BBQ seems like a perfect opportunity to extend an invitation, Esoteric accepts.

Then subsequently flaps and faffs down the phone "Where did you say it was again?", repeating myself the fourth time, and he forgetting to call until exactly the last minute to say to go on, he'll call me later and meet me there. And that, then, is the last I hear. The finale. Le fin.

I realise that I have made all the moves, written down all the sums and am left holding nothing. That the first few moves determines the formula for the remainder of this relationship, that should I persevere I will be making all the moves. The theory is thus, if you are always the one chasing, making the dates and taking initiative you've already played your cards. Relinquished a little control, because it's been established you don't mind doing a majority of the leg work from the get go.

And that is a position I feel somewhat uncomfortable with.

I am not willing, nor am I interested in chasing something less than tangible.

And I am most definitely rewriting the formula next time.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Esoteric Part II: Cocktails and Mulligans

Friday morning, 7:53am. Day 10 of my new job, bleary eyed at my desk.

The analysts, the Directors, the Associates, none of them have quite made it in yet. I am gripping my coffee and praying that, after the 4th shot last night, I did not make too much of a fool out of myself, but somewhere, sometime between leaving the bar and making my way across town to funky Gastown club to dance the remainder of the night away, my memory has taken an unexpected relapse. And I am fairly confident it is never coming back.

The event was NOG, a networking and social affair much feted in Vancouver's circles and all for the benefit of those young people in the banking business; bring in the lawyers, the investment bankers, the analysts, the suits and coiffed hair. The Nurse says that it was an unfair test on me. I'd had a long week, I knew the guys who owned the bar from my old partying days, I needed to let my hair down. And there were men in suits; and although I have not really been one to be attracted to power, I certainly felt a little weak knee'ed when the bar started to fill.

Granted, I wasn't even supposed to be there what with my lowly position in the banking business but as my company was behind the organization; I was there to uhh... collect tickets and represent my colleague who begged off with a headache. So when my new boss handed me a shooter, I was faced with a dilema.

Whatever is a gal to do?

Politely decline and make her way home?
Or knock it back with a smile and show those bankers how to party?

I am a proud woman. And there are few things that I can do, and do well. Drinking is one of them.
Tact, discretion, logic all fall far from grace.

And Friday afternoon when Esoteric rings to push our date back an hour, I know I am buggered. I am knackered. I am hung over, and as I am about to pack up for the weekend a project lands squarely on my desk. To be completed, the Associate says in a panic, by Monday am. As I eventually manage to leave the office, fall into an awaiting cab to rush home and find the energy to muster up the wit, the charisma, the charm I luckily get my second wind.

And when he smiles and says he's not at his best tonight and cheekily announces as he takes my hand, that tonight shall be a Mulligan; I am eternally grateful.

Even though I did have to have some clarification. At least I've another dating term to add to my lingo.

As well as the right card to pull when I'm feeling less than fabulous.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Esoteric Part I: A Mishap, An Anecdote and the Urban Myth of the Naked Beauty Queens

"You're not going to write about me, are you?"
Esoteric looks a bit concerned as we settle ourselves down at Lucy Mae Brown for mojitos.

I can't say no. Really. But I can't say yes either because I'm never sure. Who gets written about, and who doesn't. There are still a few stories out there unwritten; the Pocket Sized Barrister for one. The FIB for another. Pierced Andy, the Bad Ass, The Lecturer. None, despite their interest, quite made it here.

There's no real selection process. Mainly the criteria centres around my dating mishaps, the whole mantra of it’s better to laugh at yourself than cry.
And you would think that after all the dating I have done and still do, I'd be well versed in all this.
A dating Guru. The Oracle of the Date.

Needless to say, if I was, I wouldn't be writing. Because you see, I have landed on the most bizarre dating scene I have ever encountered. Not with Esoteric himself. Just Vancouver in itself.

The single women I know moan about the lack of eligible men; at a party the other night I overheard a conversation between two very beautiful and very successful women in their early 30's compare dating notes. The conversation summed up when one, a former beauty queen, turned to the other and said *I could walk down the road naked and still not get noticed...*. The other agreed.
I have been warned that there is a lack of single men, that dating is hard. But according to a recent story by Gloria Chang, the urban myth that single women far outweigh the single men is revealed to be, frankly, pure bobbins.

So what is it about Vancouver? Do all cities have this same urban myth, that there are no men? In London, the city was teeming yet I am the first to admit that getting a date was incredibly difficult.
Here I have found no problems - I think mainly due to the fabulous marketing machine that is LavaLife, along with a very different attitude to single life.

Here dating seems like a chore that women need to get through in order to reach that *relationship* trophy. I can feel the urgency to couple up here, I can't remember the last time I had actually felt the pressure from the young women and men around me to be part of that elusive club. Where else can you find a company that acts as a head hunter for your love life?
I notice glances down at my left hand, subtle questioning to discover my status and the shocked, almost pitying glance when I reveal my singledom, feel them shrink back in case I may be catching.. This I still find amusing, I have been single for 3 years and if anyone would be worried, surely it would be me? Or should I be worried that I am not worried?

Granted, there are times when I think that it would be nice and maybe I am still healing from the trauma the Ex and I inflicted on each other. Maybe I am not ready, and maybe I am too damned scared. But I for one am not concerned right now, it's just not happened to cross my path yet.

And when it does, I am sure I will be ready to take it in open arms.

In the meantime, I hope there are still mishaps and anecdotes. Because surely that's what life is all about?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Total hours of sleep since Thursday night: 8

Last time I went to bed: Saturday morning at 6am

Units of alcohol consumed, on average each night since Thursday: 18

My body feels battered and bruised.

Last night's party started at the Arts Club, clad in a blonde afro and false lashes, go-go boots and a black sheath dress with the Gorgeous and Ms R, progressed to Doolin's , a series of bars later with the dashing young Birch and friends, and ended with us laying on the beach and watching the sun come up over the Burrard Inlet. A dash back home to have brunch with my parents meant that somehow I seem to have missed out on going to bed yesterday and my bed is calling.

The weekend has passed by in hangovers and vodka induced fugs, a date with Esoteric, inappropriate snogging, 70's parties, a severe lack of sleep and more fun than I have had in a long time.

It appears Mme Mojo has awoken, taken interest in our surroundings and decided to come back out.

I am not so sure I can handle her.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I should be in the pub

...which incidentally was my first thought as I woke up this morning.

At 6am.

And not because I have a problem. Really.

Because of this.

If you missed it, I'd consider reading this. Which is by far the best way to recap.

And I can consider myself lucky enough not to have to listen to Ian Wright these days, and instead I'm going back to bed and not the pub.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Tiki.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tuesday. Urghhh...

Today was my 3rd day of work. Urgh.

Not work. Work is okay. Despite the fact that as the new girl I'm out to impress, even if it means finishing work at 8:42 pm tonight. So there goes the grocery shopping and the cleaning of the bathroom and posting a proper post and catching up on email and all those other chores I meant to do on the weekend but I er, was far too hungover.

And then there's that litte fact that fabulous shoes HURT.

They HURT.




I've said it. Limped my way out of work today. But damn they're fabulous, and I like shoes.

And so the really good post I had every intention of writing will have to wait. There's some good stuff. Including details of the 2 dates I had, 2 count 'em... I love Vancouver. Dating here is so, well... it's so bloody easy. And I'm looking forward to the little Devyl to join me for some much anticipated debauchery. Just as soon as I get a grip on life and nail down some dates. What fun! You are all, of course, invited too!

In the meantime, I miss London just a tad this week, which is good as I haven't really missed it all that much, I mean when you have the North Shore mountains, the beaches and Granville Island it's a toughie. But this week I miss the little peeps at GU Towers.
And my Lovelies. I miss them, my non-bloggie Buddhists.

I miss Soho and Sunday mornings at Bar Italia. So I shall leave you with this...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Under the influence...

Urgh. They say never to drink and dial. My theory is not to drink and blog.

My head is swimming, it seems that after one day of work the philosophy of working hard and playing hard veers strongly to the philosophy of playing hard.

"It won't be a late one..." I say to the Gorgeous as I'm walking out the door to meet the Nurse for a cocktail Friday night, "I have a date tomorrow morning."
Coffee with the Belgian Accountant.

Unfortunately, my best intentions found me at 2am in the company of rugby players downing Jager bombs at the bar while The Nurse flirted outrageously with the Hot Doctor. As it started to get light, I made my way down Broadway, extracting myself from the cab and quietly sneaking into the house.

Last night, however, was the Gorgeous' fault. Mountgay before we left the house, ordering shots of black sambucca as soon as we got to the bar. She was on a mission, I was just her wingwoman, smiling at the waitress and nodding the order back. Spying a young man in cowboy boots and a hat across the bar, a displaced Texan in Vancouver, I couldn't help but flirt and smile, accept a date to go horse backriding one weekend. A cheeky smile and a little drawl sending me on my way out into the darkened streets of Granville with The Gorgeous, in search for our dancing feet.

So this morning, I am staying curled up in bed trying to soothe my aching body, gather my thoughts back together. Reply to emails, catching up on blogs and watching the rain fall outside...

Anna tells me Mimi is apparently creating havoc in me old abode in London. God rest that kettle, it was time for a replacement anyway.

Friday, June 02, 2006

A gal in fabulous shoes...

I turn my key in the lock, Rosie the cat wails loudly at me, flops down, her legs in the air, exposing smooth black hair and a belly to be rubbed.
She has missed me today, confused at the alarm at 6am and me, bleary eyed attempting to make coffee before my shower. Incoherent morning Me, discarding the outfit carefully chosen for this occassion once, twice and returning to it at last. Twisting and turning in the mirror, mismatched shoes.
Running out the door at 7:45, unsure and unsteady. Starting a new job.

Yesterday I had lunch in a dodgy Granville Street pub with a friend. Sat and talked about life and love and the choices we make blindly, the scar a bullet left puckered against the ink of his tattoo. We all have scars to carry, some only visible when we choose to look closer. He looked at me, told me I was beautiful; wondered aloud why I never seemed to settle for longer than a few months before running blindly away.

When we first met, he was only clean a year, trackmarks angrily winking against snow white skin.
Looked right at me across a crowded bar, told me I was trouble. Said he'd sat in the front row, and once in a while a girl like me walked past. Said he knew what trouble looked like and that I, I could be a problem for him. That I was dangerous, packaged so carefully in words and whisper.
That a smile from me hurt more than the chemo, more than the cancer that was bleeding through him.
He said he knew what trouble was, had dodged and leapt, blindly. That he knew from one look that I could make him fall. Sang me

There is a girl in New York City, who calls herself the human trampoline.
And sometimes when I'm falling, flying or tumbling in turmoil, I say "Oh, so this is what she means"...

I've spent so long falling and flying that when a man looks at me, tells me I am beautiful I am always looking over his shoulder for the catch. Have lost faith in me, that beauty is ingrained in all that is me. That when I catch an interested eye, I need to stop from pressing Fast Forward.
That life somes slowly and sometimes unfairly - that we are cruel and uncalled for, that we all have choices.

That at times the loneliness hits so hard, I can no longer breathe. I spend so much time holding my own against all this, that sometimes, after a bad day it hits harder. That I should want so much more. That The Actor and The Aussie invited all that was dormant in. That I am no longer settling for anything less.

Questioning. Does that make me weak? What would the girl you see walking down the road in those fabulous shoes give for the love of a good man?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

One more Hooky Thursday!

I start tomorrow. *Sigh!* Because of some paperwork error or some such, so there shall be one last ever Hooky Thursday! Hoorah!

But it's raining and I have no idea what to do, so I'll leave you with some pictures from the Okanagan that I took last year...
The vines are taken at Mission Hill, and the remainder are shot at the O'Keefe Ranch.
I didn't get to see any cowboys though... *scowls*