Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Frown With Dating

Yesterday was faintly depressing.

It started with numerous visits to the toilet and faltered from there on in.

I spent most of the morning amused by the Trafigura scandal, whilst trying to interpret my stomach's confused messages of whether it wanted food or not.

At 2pm an application pack landed on my doorstep for an informal interview with a teaching agency at 4pm.  Which helpfully gave me about an hour to sort it all out and leave the flat.  By the time I got to Southgate I was tired and inevitably depressed from having had to travel on the most depressing section of the Piccadilly Line.  Hence I think I was both quite negative and honest, not a combination you really want in any form of interview, informal or otherwise.

And then in the evening I went speed hating.

I'd been speed hating before and really loved it.  Before you go they ask you to draw a picture of yourself.  Not one to resist the opportunity to show off, this is the self-portrait I drew this time (on the previous occasion I think I drew myself as a lion tamer).

When you arrive they give you a name by which you'll be known for the evening (I would be known as Bertie).  Then they stick your self-portrait on the 'Wall of Shame', with the bottom folded up so people can leave notes for you.

So far, so good.  However, it's a widely accepted convention that it's probably neither the wisest move nor good etiquette to rush to the toilet twice within five minutes of meeting other people for the first time, partly driven* by having rushed your dinner because an informal interview overran for reasons including but not exclusive to Royal Mail industrial action.  Especially at dating events.

I spent much of the first half an hour after arriving at the venue, inconspicuously doubled over and trying not to look too obviously ill.  It did ease up once I had a couple of apple juices in me, but my vow to not mention my bowel-movement-related Hospital of Tropical Diseases appointment the following day was under strain from a very early stage.

Don't get me wrong.  Speed hating is a lot of fun (and very loud, be warned).  I highly recommend it.  And I did have fun last night.  I got to rant about Richard Littlejohn,** Bono, and the absurdly unsafe modern redesign of pelican crossings.  I was just rather too tired and worn down to be all that bothered about meeting new people.

It became rather harder to find things to hate as time went on as well.  I have no idea why, but it seemed like I and everyone else felt that it would be cheating to use the same targets of bile every time, even though we were saying it to someone else before and this person wouldn't know any better.

My other problem was that I have a lot to talk about.  I don't think I'm being arrogant if I say I've done some quite interesting things with my life, and I like to talk about them.  Because they're interesting.  Just because I forget to ask other people much about themselves in the space of three minutes, doesn't mean I'm not interested.

You need to be more forward, ladies!  Just ride roughshod over everything I say.  Find any excuse to turn the conversation onto yourself - I don't mind, really!  I get carried away and need to be put in my place sometimes.  Stop being so bloody meek.

So the depressing bit was the end, when people hung around for another drink (and of course I wasn't drinking, because I can't), and I thought I should probably hang around too, and sort of joined in conversations but then felt like I sort of couldn't be bothered.

And then I went home.  And stayed in bed til eleven o'clock this morning because I felt rubbish.  And then went to my appointment and was given more Tinidazole, which I'm not sure I really need, but might help and can't really hurt.

I am getting better.  Most of the last two weeks have been pretty good, it's just the last few days I've got a bit worn down again.  It's just taking so bloody long - I think (I'm kinda losing count now) that it's been 17 weeks.  That's four months.  That's a third of a year.  It's getting really old now, can it please just stop already?

*An apt choice of words, come to think of it.  "Kuendesha" in Swahili means "to drive", and is also commonly used as slang for "to have diarrhoea".

**Although I was slightly riled when one lady suggested that The (Racist, Homophobic, Mysogynist, Anti-Science) Daily Mail somehow 'represents Middle England', rather than 'lies to Middle England'.

[Edit] Oh yes, and I met the lady from 30 Dates Before 30, though didn't know which one was her, after I persuaded her to go speed hating as well.  I now know that she was known as 'Gertie', and remember being pleased that someone rhymed with me.


  1. Olah Mr.H. Do you think there's maybe a correlation between your going running more and your getting ill again??? Just a thought.

  2. Hmmm. Not convinced. I ran for about twelve minutes. Exercise has generally been quite good as long as it's not overdone. Think not taking enough care over bedtime and sleep might have more to do with it.

  3. Hello Bertie. It was fun to meet you, though you sound as if you had a bit of a rubbish time. I actually enjoyed it - first time speed hating and I wasn't feeling rubbish either - so that might have had something to do with my more upbeat mood today.

    I can't remember if I was meek, though I doubt it somehow. I do remember thinking that I was finding it surprisingly hard to rant though. And I had exactly the same antipathy to repeating my rants. Should have just gone for it.


  4. I did actually have fun, I just felt rather flat afterwards. And I was struggling too by the time I got to you. You weren't meek, but you were quite insistent I went first.

    I don't think all the ladies were all that meek, but I do have a tendency to assume that when talking about myself the other person will at some point interrupt and tell me something about themselves.

    I went away from too many conversations having said a lot about myself but learning nothing about the other person. That may say more about me than their 'meekness', though...

  5. "the most depressing section of the Piccadilly Line"

    I did it every day for 16 months. Never again. It fills me with joy to be able to walk to work these days.

    Sorry to hear you're not feeling so good still. Hugs being sent your way.


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