(Photo by Alberto Restifo – Unsplash.com)
A woman goes on national TV to help her lose weight. Nine stone to be exact. From a whopping 19 stone, and boy, does she look great. But being overweight for most of her life, she’s had very little confidence and so has never had a boyfriend. Now she’s got a body to die for, curves in all the right places and she feels sexy beyond belief. But still the phone doesn’t ring. No Prince Charming knocks on the door. Until one afternoon, New Year’s Eve to be exact, she’s doing a food shop and as she’s packing up her car, a gorgeous guy approaches her. A little flustered, a little shy, he tells her he’d spotted her in the supermarket. That she stood out a mile and would she like to go for coffee sometime. Well, our girl is flabbergasted. She’s dumbfounded. Could this really be happening? But it is. She’s not dreaming. So she gives him her number and after nervously typing it into his calculator (or was it his calendar?) he finally gets it down right. They continue chatting for a few more minutes. And then she heads off, floating on cloud nine. 2016 is already starting to look brighter.
From there the story should be straightforward. They would meet up, date, fall in love blah blah blah! But our girl doesn’t get to the first blah! She doesn’t even get to the first coffee. Because he never calls. Like a ghost from boyfriends of the future past, he disappears into the ether. So like any normal person, our girl decides that this isn’t a case of ‘he’s just not that into you’ and decides true love requires drastic action. Of the public kind. She gets in contact with the local broadcaster, our own resident cupid, Ray D’Arcy and asks for his help.
When I first heard this story through a friend, there was a lot of misinformation. I thought they’d met a party. And so I was pretty horrified when I heard this woman had gone on the radio to find him. Clearly this had to be a last resort if you weren’t able to track him down on Facebook or through your friends at said party. And really why couldn’t she accept that maybe there wasn’t chemistry. That maybe taking her number was just his way of getting away. Awful, I know. But it happens. We’ve all been guilty of leading people on. So, I was mortified for her that she was putting herself out there like this. Was she really 100% confident of their chemistry that she was willing to go on the radio and proclaim this faith? Clearly she was, but she was also running the risk of making a fool of herself. The guy hadn’t text. Accept it. Don’t go chasing him.
Chasing him. Was that the issue? Did I really have a problem with this woman putting herself out there so to speak, not hiding behind the well worn mantra, that I regularly tot out: ‘Men like the chase’. I mean, do they, really? I have never asked any of my male friends or boyfriends. But in this case, if he had lost her number wouldn’t he be delighted that she had gone the extra mile to find him? And what if it had been the other way around? What if he had taken her number, tried to ring her and realised it was wrong. Then, not knowing who she was, and having stalked around the supermarket car park for a few weeks, deciding to bring his plea for love with this mysterious woman to our national airwaves. What would I have thought? Oh how romantic, you silly fool. Lucky is the girl that nabs you. Or … oh god, you idiot. She clearly gave you the wrong number to get rid of you. I think I can honestly say that I would have been equally blushing for him had it been the reverse.
But why? Okay, firstly, I love big gestures. I really do. I think they’re brave and romantic. And yeah, there’s not enough of that in my ordinary day to day (no fingers being pointed here). But life is mundane so I do get that fuzzy feeling when you see big gestures being made. It helps you remember people are alive and awake to the power of the Gods. But come on! Being cracked on my some randomer in a bloody car park. She said herself she was swanning around the place in her short skirt. So he liked the look of her. Yay! Nothing wrong with that. But maybe once he got chatting to her he realised she wasn’t his type. Again hard to hear, but it happens. And well then, it was too late. He’d already put himself out there. Or maybe (this was Ray’s suggestion, which to me felt the most logical and likely) the pup had gone out that night, met someone else and sure that was that. I could hear our girl’s heart smash into tiny pieces as reality hit.
I think what makes me twitch is the innocence of this situation. I don’t want to call this girl naive. I don’t know her. I didn’t witness their interaction. Maybe there was chemistry. Lots of it. But I suppose when you’ve been repeatedly trampled on by those never ending promises of ‘Ill text you’ you come to realise a thing or two. Or maybe you’re none the wiser but just a little less trusting. And that, I have to admit, is sad. The hopeless romantic in me wishes he hears her on the radio and is like ‘Oh thank God you did this, as I had lost your number’. But we all know that isn’t going to happen. See I know why I think she was a fool for going on the radio and trying to find a man she’d spoken to for three minutes. Because I recognised that woman. I recognised her desperation. When you spot something good and it’s just within your grasp but you can’t reach it. I was there always wondering why I never got the call. Oh I’d get the kiss in the disco and the ride later in life, but when it came to relationships, to decent guys, I spent many a year in the barren wasteland of ‘what the fuck?’. Not knowing what I’d done wrong? Not knowing what I could do better. And really there was nothing you could do differently. Because, really, it wasn’t about you. That was just the way the cookie crumbled. You would, and I did, eventually meet some great guys, who became boyfriends.
Unfortunately I think our girl is wandering aimlessly through that wasteland. There are a lot of those unworthy distractions dotted about the place. And though it is hard to digest the meaninglessness of these encounters, you do learn to read them better. And find your way out. Our girl did wonder if maybe she should tone down the new confidence, which oozes from her hard earned weight loss. But then corrected herself, no, I’m not going to change so some weedy, nervous guys can feel safe approaching me. Yeah, you’re right! Go you. I think Mr Empty Gesture may have spotted something sexy whilst doing his shop. And the season that was in it may have bolstered his confidence to approach her. What a lad! Who knows why he didn’t follow through. More fool him for not taking the time to get to know you!