Friday, August 07, 2009

The Measure of a Man

When a man tells you you who he is, believe him. Maya Angelou, apparently (and unfortunately) but it is a fabulous quote anyhow... I was reminded of this recently by The Fish, and she is right. So why do we not do this? Trust your instincts, we remind others, with a sage nod of the head, yet we are SO shit at managing to do this for ourselves. We meet someone, we like them. We pluck out the fabulous things about them and wave them in the air gleefully, like a prized nugget of gold. What we should do, is remember to take note of the stinky silt that surrounds the gold. (Not that we dont have stinky silt of our own of course)

Once, I dated a man a couple of times. The first time we met each other with mutual friends and much wine was drunk, rendering the evening hazily pleasant. The second time, we met with just our own selves, and went to a popular and by all accounts excellent Turkish restaurant in Islington. I am going back several years here, the name of the restaurant but alas not the details of the date, elude me. The service was shocking. The food was borderline edible, being barely warm and rather overcooked. This was compensated for by a liberal use spices and herbs. My mouth was cold yet hot. The courses were half an hour apart, allowing the diner to drink too much and not mind the shocking service, the surly waitress and the crappy food. Top marks for distraction techniques Islington Turkish Restaurant. Anyway anyway anyway, the end of the meal and the bored and tetchy waitress clears the table (with her hands, though she could've blown the pots to the kitchen with her sighs of irritation and boredom).
"Please give the chef my finest compliments!" beamed my date. I searched for a hint of irony. None. "The meal was fabulous!" he gushed, oil of a million shish kebabs oozing through his every pore. The waitress stared at him as though he was mental. She knew it was crap. I knew it was crap. He was mental, I think. I wanted to slide under the table. She walked away, without even answering.

After the meal, he walked me to the train station, and attempted to kiss me. I got on the train. Yet, I STILL met this man again. Why? Because I couldn't quite believe my instinct. I didn't believe how he was, though he'd shown me.
Some years later I met a man who made me laugh. In a pub on our first date, he shocked me with his intensity. We sat outside in the snow so he could smoke, which he did angrily. On our second date, he belittled a Polish guy, who (whilst being a bit of a tosser and a bit of a pillock) was pretty harmless. In a manner designed to confuse the polish guy, he was over friendly (whilst accepting his whiskey and beer) and gave him his phone number, whilst all the time poking fun, dragging me into it by the very dint of me being there. Nudge nudge eh Pesk?
He rarely spoke to people who served him in shops. Just took his change and walked, leaving me to smile and say thanks. He shouted at a train clerk sarcastically and rudely. Vile. Did I believe the man he showed me he was? No. I ploughed on regardless for at least four more dates. What a prize pillock I am.

A man I used to know, planned everything, and if I didn't fall in with his plans, or fancied doing something else, he drove over me like a tractor in springtime, a man on a mission to get his work done. Eventually I always concurred. Did I spot this? Nope. Klaxon HOOTED at me on one particular occasion, but no, my ears were stuffed with the Cotton Wool of Hope and Admiration. In restaurants he was polite without being oily which was good, but generally distant. And with me too. Didnt see that either.

I date someone now who is gentle. In restaurants, he sets himself up to become the butt of a joke between the waitress and myself. I like this. This is sweet. This is a man who sets others at ease. Will there be something I am not seeing? Stay posted.


nursemyra said...

he looks like a keeper to me

Pesk said...

some interesting comments coming in here for moderation....