There’s just something about the coffee shop; the warmth… aroma… light-hearted banter… add to that, a mocha latté with two sugars – you simply can’t go wrong! Or can you? Well… at least I thought so… until this afternoon…
I met up with a friend during lunch for the second time this week since exchanging cards at her firm’s annual convention a few weeks back. It wasn’t a date or anything special – I preferred to use the term ‘networking’. At first impressions, she came with the stone-cold corporate approach. You know, the taut handshake and impassive grin; but let’s just say that after her first dose during our previous encounter, along with a host of rather risqué emails back and forth, she’s now loosened up a tad bit!
“I couldn’t possibly finish a whole piece!” she gasped, teasingly prodding my chest, somewhat taken aback by my ‘obscene’ request for two slices of the red velvet sponge and alternatively suggested that we get a slice to share. Usually, I don’t particularly take too kindly to women that get a little OTT about their waistline, but today I casually nodded in agreement. Perchance, we’d cross paths at the last spoonful, like a scene from a cheesy American romcom – a little intimacy? It would be the perfect moment to squeeze the remaining ounce of chivalry that I was convinced still lingered somewhere within me, by offering it to her too… plus I’d be saving a few well-earned pennies in the meantime.
We chose a cosy spot towards the backend of the store and lounged on the sofas. She did most of the talking. I chuckled intermittently as she rattled on about a few interesting plots that were currently unfolding at her office. With each sentence, I could sense her growing more comfortable around me, and from time to time she would fondle rather profusely with her hair. The highlight of it all had to be the story about the guy, supposedly engaged, who had been caught out for allegedly having an affair with a fellow colleague. Apparently his fiancé found out, and turned up outside the office this morning to confront the woman, eventually calling for security to break up the melee.
I laughed, but as banal as it sounded, this story was just one of many that goes to confirm the notorious titles that we as men are so fast and proud to adopt as soon as our ‘not so’ little Johnny is able to stand up and say its first words.
From the onset she seemed a nice enough woman; rather appealing to the eye, easy to talk to and generally had a warm vibe about her. Not quite a 10, but easily a 6/7! But aside from a physical affiliation, I had no intention of getting to know her any better than I already did… but remorse!? This was all payback for the insidious antics of the girl who broke my heart in those teen years. Surely I was justified in my plight to regain a little self-esteem and mend a bruised ego by meddling with the heart of every attractive female that dared to linger in my path, right? I wasn’t only doing it for me… no… this was for all the guys that had been scorned out there… still hung-over from the ‘first love’ syndrome!
Then she said something that really hit home. “You know, I have no qualms with a guy seeing as many women as he pleases… when he’s single! But the one thing I can’t stand is if you are already in a committed relationship and you’re still playing around… it’s pathetic…like, why bother in the first place?” I smiled, but my facial expression was just a facade of the remorse that was slowly beginning to churn inside me. “If only she knew what she was getting herself in for” I thought to myself.
The whole ‘guy-girl’ debacle never ceases to amaze me. A lot of the time it seems as if it’s just a means to gratify a selfish end. The last time we spoke, she mentioned that she was now single, having just come out of relationship that ended rather sourly, so in reality who was I kidding? Even if she took pleasure from my company today, surely I was just one of several options on the rebound. I suddenly felt a gentle vibration from the inside of my jacket; my phone. My shoulders drooped as I read the text from the missus…
“Been thinking a lot this morning, about our relationship… I’m not sure if this is what I want anymore. Call me when you get a moment… we need to talk…x”
I couldn’t tell you what I was more appalled by. It’s one thing to contemplate dumping me… but via a text!? Sure, things hadn’t been the greatest in recent times, but what a way to bow out. “Everything ok?” She peered at me in a quizzical manner, sensing that something was up. I sighed in response. Here I was, drinking coffee with a girl who was clearly giving me more IOIs (Indicators of Interest) than a starved baby crying for milk. Yet, within the twinkle of an eye, my whole countenance had been brought to a halt by one girl… my girl… probably wasn’t even quite mine anymore… surely this wasn’t making any sense. The one thing I did know, however, was that I couldn’t stay there any longer. The ‘thrill of the chase’ just didn’t seem as enticing anymore.
“I’m so sorry… I’m gonna have to dash off a little earlier than planned…” I empathized, feigning a startled look at my watch. “Got a meeting in five… and just realised I still need to sort a few things beforehand”
“Cool… no probs… guess I’ll see you soon then?” The transparent look on her face resonated with an air of disappointment. “Yeah sure…” I lied. “Had a fab time… I’ll ping you…” We embraced for a few seconds. Her Lady Million scent was so alluring, but I had to let go. I gave her a gentle peck on the cheek before departing.… for once I was doing the right thing.
From a young age our folks tactfully paint this ideal picture of life. It’s all based on the premise that you graduate from a Russell group university, embark on a sound career path, before stumbling across the girl of your dreams… and living happily ever after. If you haven’t tied the knot, or at the very least officially initiated something by the time you’re 25, it’s not long before you’re hauled in front of the pastor for weekly counselling and prayer sessions to exorcise the demon!
What we fail to realise is that in most cases there isn’t much demonic interference at all. If anything, the strongholds usually lie within us… unhealed wounds from past relationships… mistrust built up over years of being let down… or simply just the fact that like Halifax, we all just want a little extra! The ‘Greed’ gene has been an ingrained in us ever since Eve enticed Adam with the fruit of ‘death’. By no means do I advocate infidelity, but in an age full of choices, where a more endowed derrière is literally just a ‘poke’ away, it’s fairly easy to understand why many relationships fail to go the distance.
Let’s face it, we’ve all got a sweet tooth. I’m sure that, without much hesitation, you could point to at least one occasion when you had a little more than your single dose of sugar (ladies inclusive!). Even if it was just a peek… a thought… or a little action… it all counts!
It’s funny how it took the prospect of losing someone who was dear to me, to instantly realize how much of a fallacy everything and everyone else was. The great King Solomon couldn’t have summed it up with a better word – Vanity!
So, I’m championing that we all go some kind of diet… let’s call it a relationship detox in fact! By all means necessary we’ll tame the sweet tooth; ease up on the extra dessert, replenish our thoughts and take up running… AWAY from temptation, that is!
Who’s with me? Anyone? No?
Either way, I’ll go it alone if I have to. It’s for the best. I’m sure my heart will thank me in the long run!
For now, it’s back to the drawing board. I’m currently cracking my brain with a myriad of plans to salvage my relationship from complete demise and get my girl back. Once I do, be rest assured that I’ll be sticking to the one sugar from now on… well, except for my mid-afternoon mocha lattés…. they’ll forever need two!