Tea, Tennis and Buggery

I have three male friends who are romantically interested in me. Now, I know that 80% of you haven’t actually met me but I’m not that scary. Once you get passed the green skin, warts and pitchfork I’m quite nice actually. But these chaps are so clueless about inspiring my interest that I simply must put pen to paper and afford other hapless, would-be Romeos with the benefit of my observations. I’ll begin with the past master of cluelessness. Brigadier bore, aka Tea.

Tea and I go back a long time; we went to school together. While we have quite a bit in common as far as our interests go, there are several facets of his lifestyle and character that I find very difficult to reconcile. Tea is one of the wittiest, most intelligent men I know but he expends his life watching television and playing video games. A magnificent mind that is utterly atrophied on the altar of indolence. Oh, he has a fair share of other hobbies and for years he’s been telling me about his future gaming empire or that house in a nearby village that he plans to buy and restore as soon as he’s done with X and finishes with Y. The problem is that X never gets done and Y barely gets a look-in. Like all of Tea’s plans, they amount to nothing, and he seems content to spend his life on a chilled-out sail to nothing. But that’s his choice. The fact that I find it as sexy as smelly socks is neither here nor there – except that he keeps dropping hints that we should ‘give it a go’. He hasn’t actually ever made a serious attempt to try and win me over. Instead he plays games and exhausts my patience.

Whenever Tea hears that I’m seeing someone, he disappears (which is really hurtful). When I’m single again, he emerges out of the shadows like a cowering buffoon and reinstates his campaign of coquetry and innuendo. When he crosses the line, I tell him, and off he skulks for sometimes weeks on end before deigning to contact me again. When he does it’s great and we have a fabulous time together before the cycle begins again. This has been going on for years. The truth is that I’m very fond of Tea and would hate to lose him as a friend, but really, it’s getting tired. I know he wants me. Then why, sweet hades, has it never occurred to him to try the mature approach? “Wanna go out with me?” Why does he persist in these silly antics, beating around the burning bush and making God bewail the ascent of man?

Now this is a sweeping, daring generalisation, and I’m sure there are scores of exceptions out there, but men are cowards. Let me sharpen this, men of my generation are cowards. They simply don’t have the basic, rudimentary skills to entice a woman. They think that bleating on the brink of blasé irony is the way to secure a woman’s affections. Or her knickers. I’ve no doubt that they are successful some of the time, but I know too many chaps like Tea who are single, lonely and nursing a festering resentment towards women – and this deeply concerns me. So much for the cowardly Tea, who has pulled-off yet another Houdini lately. I wouldn’t worry about him reading this blog and getting all pissy about it, however. That’s another thing about Tea, Tennis, and Buggery, they don’t read my blog. Which never ceases to surprise me. Clearly, they’re interested in me. Clearly, they persist in trying to ensnare my attentions, and yet completely disregard one of the most crucial pieces of the puzzle – my blog. I don’t know about you but if I were interested in a man and he happened to be a writer, I would devour his blog. Granted, I wouldn’t go about it in a stalkerish, 9½ weeks kind of way but I would pepper our dialogue with remarks on his latest posts and leave the odd comment. These guys, nada. They’re not even followers of my blog. They have never left a single comment. Oh sure, they could be secretly reading my blog under the duvet with a torch in one hand and their whatsit in another, but let’s not go there.

From Tea to Tennis. I’ve known Tennis for about 4 years now; we even went on a date once. He’s a bit wet, a bit young, though an affable enough chap. He is actually someone that I wouldn’t mind getting to know a little better but he’s so woefully self-absorbed in an artist meets messiah kind of way (is there any other kind?) and yes, I’ll admit, it irritates me that he never takes an interest in my writing. As a fellow man of the craft he should know better. If I thought Tea was engrossed in the adulation of his own hubris then Tennis does one better and has his own fan page on Facebook. I kid you not. The man loves himself so much that there is precious little room left for a biscuit, let alone a girlfriend. As fate would have it, we know many of the same people and often cross paths. Over the years Tennis has made it clear that he’s interested but always in a doing-me-a-favour kind of way. Why thank you, but no, thank you. What is it with men and playing things down? Perhaps they think they’re too cool for school in a James Dean kind of way, but (i) we’re not in school anymore and (ii) you’re about as smouldering as a matchstick. Just because it worked for Mr Darcy doesn’t mean it works for you. Getting a text every three months saying we should meet “sometime” is about as exciting as yesterday’s pasta. And then I hear on the grapevine that I keep “fobbing you off”. Really? Are you serious? Is this your way of invoking my affection? By playing it so cool that even a bloody Eskimo would misinterpret your intentions?

Bloody hell, what do I have to do to get the boys in my life to man up and stop acting like fools?

He wasn’t afraid to ‘act like a man’ and by that I mean what you think I mean, sans reservations and politically correct feminist disclaimers. He was confident, courteous and unequivocal about his intentions. How refreshing.

A couple of years ago I went out with a guy who was totally wrong for me. It was one of the most exciting relationships I ever had. From the word go I knew we had little in common by way of lifestyle and interests, but he had something rare for men of our generation (thirtysomethings); he knew how to treat a woman. He wasn’t afraid to ‘act like a man’ and by that I mean what you think I mean, sans reservations and politically correct feminist disclaimers. He was confident, courteous and unequivocal about his intentions. How refreshing. In spite of our differences, he wanted me to give him a chance. I wasn’t convinced, but then he did something that, after that, there was no question of whether there would be a second date. The question was how soon before it happened. We were standing by the entrance to a tube station, and I told him that while I was attracted to him I wasn’t sure we had enough in common. He moved closer, eyes poring into mine, and traced his fingers along my jawline, finally resting them under my chin, and whispered “yes, we do”. And then he kissed me. Phwoar. Are you taking notes, men? I’m giving you gold here. He was a perfect gentleman who also knew when to take charge and be a man. None of this faffing about with text messages, innuendos and vague, non-committal emails. My relationship with this guy ended after 8 weeks, but not because he was a coward or because he was giving me mixed messages. It ended because we simply didn’t have enough in common to sustain a relationship. And that was fair enough.

Tea and tennis wouldn’t be the same without a spot of buggery. And strawberries. Everyone knows that. Buggery is confoundedly oblivious to the mixed messages he gives me. On one hand he sends flowers each year on my birthday, but signs the card ‘yours sincerely’. And then he waxes lyrical about the pomegranate-vision of my breasts, the delicate curve of my bum and ‘cascading, silken goldilocks’, but has never asked me out. Not once. Every now and again I’ll get a postcard, ‘thinking of you in this cold, Alpine chalet’. I can see him now, rocking a tumbler of Glenfiddich and masterminding his next business venture. A trail of cigar smoke cloying about him in a quiet if sombre air of accomplishment.

I wish he would man up, but until then I have tea and tennis to keep me entertained.

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46 comments

  1. Pingback: We Shall Fight On the Beaches | D'arcy Digs Her Heels

  2. Sue

    The repressed public school male…….and plenty of others as well. Plus they are intimidated by the size of your brain, not the other bits.

  3. Kate Large

    While declaring that I am now married and en famille with a ravishing man, I have been there. I spent 11 years in London and I also had a Tea! A denizen of the computer games press, he had a long-time girlfriend when we first met, making our early time somewhat rocky. Eventually however, he did split from his braying Sloane and then…nothing! Nada! I actually remember sitting down with him in my local in Highbury and saying quite crossly that we had to ‘get on with being an item now’. I sounded so ludicrously officious and marmish to my own ears that I got utterly hammered on Guinness and disco biscuits out of sheer shame. Our next attempt at a date saw me take him to my club on Adam Street (is that place still going?) we had dinner and then the drinking started…there was a library upstairs to which we repaired. Soo, some time later, we pulled our clothes back on… And the bloody place had closed! We were locked IN to a club! This being about 15 years ago, I easily got out and scaled a wall, only to run into two patrolling plods mere seconds later. Such larks! Anyway, I suppose my moral is that while we had some hilarious fun together, ‘itemhood’ just never was our thing. I fact I remember going to visit him with a bottle of champagne to tell him I had just got engaged (first husband, yucky man). We larked about and snogged as ever, but I think we were both relieved to draw a line under it all. Sometimes it’s just not to be. I do remember an odd detail that he categorised women by the size and shape of their nipples. Which I think leads me to my conclusion: he was a bloke, a lad, a geezer. Yes, we need MEN, but we also need SISTERS. Thus, the man to whom I am now married is a tiger, but a staunch feminist. Woman holds no fear for him. Hormones, menstruation, childbirth, struggle, rage: the whole blood-and-thunder of it all is a path he walks and welcomes. If it’s all a game of conquer (and I love games, naughty ones anyway), do seek a conqueror…as long as you can flip him over and conquer him back, good and proper.

    • D'arcy

      Ha! Wonderful anecdote my dear. We must hurry along our magazine soirée and do justice to this pesky instinct I’ve got that we’ll get on like a house on hashish! x

  4. Sweet mother of unmitigated mercy! How did I miss this delicious morsel?! (Oh yes.. my possessive Spring lover.) Yet another exquisite facet of the gem.
    Unsolicited crone advice: NEVER rationalize for settling. But somehow, I know that you know that.

    Love & Hugs from The Smokies.

    P.S: Love this theme. I may have to deboe it.

    • D'arcy

      Please do vike the design! We shall be theme twins to go with our Bigfoot lovin’. Honestly, you and I are creating enough material between us for a psychiatric symposium. But I wuv you xoxo

      • I’m howling with laughter! Thank heavens! I wouldn’t want anyone else to traverse THAT symposium with!
        I do sooo wuv You! Now, I’m off to dance in the dirt. xoxox

  5. J

    This is the first time I felt that you may have revealed too much, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But very well written as always and definitely you deserve every bit of what you want… Only those people can be called classy, who never compromise. And this blog is a class above anything I have ever seen on the internet… Keep going 🙂

    • D'arcy

      Interesting, why do you feel I’ve revealed too much? 🙂 I’m trying to strike a balance between writing about my life and offering a glimpse into the depersonalised and esoteric. Thanks for the lovely compliment.

      • J

        What I was trying to say was that I found all your previous entries based on facts, experiences and views… They almost gave an impression that, even though you have varied tastes, a glowing past and an active life, you are a bit reluctant to share (like me) what goes behind that life; the personal beliefs behind the views and opinions.

        This post (and maybe the post about Def Leppard) is a bit different in that sense. It’s like a common man’s post written with extraordinary beauty and an insane ability to bring contrasting things together, but for the first time giving insight into your intellect, making it open for analysis, which is usually airtight due to a careful choice of structure and words.

        But maybe I assumed too much. This is brilliant and I am actually glad to see this side of your writing and to know more about you. I am sure the balance that you are talking about would be perfect and as a huge fan of your writing, I trust your judgement blindly. 🙂

        • D'arcy

          Thank you, J, that was a very interesting analysis.

          It is true that I have recently departed with the essayist style of blogging; that isn’t to say that I won’t go back to it. Do you know how I approach my blog? Like one that I would personally be interested in following, and I think it would bore me if all the posts were an exercise in intellectual acrobatics. Similarly, I would soon tire of a blog if it were purely personal. I strive to strike a balance between the two, and they needn’t be polar opposites.

          You are correct that I have been reluctant to share personal information, but really, where does the personal start and the impersonal end? It’s all personal. The only difference is that I am being more factual and revealing about my daily life, whereas before it was all about the mind. I hope that this new evolution of my blog keeps you inspired and entertained, and of equal importance, that you can sense the joy that I feel when I write.

  6. Ok… here it is:

    Tea: sexually submissive so forget him.
    Tennis: threatened by your intellect – will probably have to knock you around and call you names to get aroused.
    Buggery: gay.

    I need to come over there for a week and get us arrested. xo

  7. Oh, my golden girl — you will find your fiery consort and he will be just as agile minded and bold as you are, and a perfect male to your female. And, he will laugh at your wit and you’ll know he’s the one. In the meantime these stories are delicious…

    • D'arcy

      My fiery consort — I like that! He’d need to be. Though a quiet fire is often more compelling. I’m glad you are enjoying my sordid tales. Time for tea! 😉

  8. Vippy

    Ha, this was an unexpected delight on a Sabbath! Thoroughly enjoyed it. ‘Playing it cool’ became my Number 1 Turn-off. It’s a good screen for cynics and users, and even if the cool man in question is neither, he is, like both of the above, a coward.

    • D'arcy

      Agreed! Cowards come in many skins, forms and shapes. And speaking of biggest turn-offs, you know mine –> “I don’t take life too seriously.”

  9. Astor Edwyn Teller

    As a male reader of your blog, I feel I must offer up a little defence here. Okay, so you found three comparatively rotten apples in your basket. However, whether male or female, we all have our faults, so you may never find the perfect golden delicious you are seeking….
    Okay, I’m off now for a sulk and a cup of tea 🙂

    • D'arcy

      Of course we do, my commentary was specifically about Londoners of a certain age (thirties), and I did stress that I’m sure there must be scores of exceptions. 😉 Don’t sulk, enjoy your tea and have a beautiful weekend.

      • Astor Edwyn Teller

        I used to live in London and I do know exactly what you mean… No, I’m not really sulking, not having a cup of tea either. I’m stuck in the local library supposedly doing an online jobsearch 🙂 Oh, great work with PD by the way. I’m loving your fresh approach to the articles.

  10. This is not the time for men. In the Renaissance, they’d conquer a woman like they conquered a country. Now, they forego that responsibility: fear of failure and/or ridicule is enough to stop them. Emancipation for us ladies came at a price. I wish you luck, may you find a strong yet gentle man, and when you do, please let me know where you found him, and I’ll run to see if perchance another like him sprouted nearby.

    As for the holy trio, you could keep them as a biscuit does a cup of tea: to dip into from time to time; or maybe you could tell them exactly what you want. Maybe that’s part of the problem: men nowadays grow up (excuse the pun) without a strong model and don’t know what women want anymore, or they think we want something different. Or we’re much more varied than we used to be, so they’re not sure…

    At any rate, thanks for the very convincing explanation of the cause of the War of the Roses. Nowadays, if life deals you lemons, you make lemonade. Once upon a time, if life dealt you Roses, you made war. Or rose tea.

    • D'arcy

      I am sipping rose tea as I type. This is a day for the kind of spellbinding synchronicity often found in the works of Homer and Virgil.

      My dear F, I totally agree about our emancipation coming at a price. But I also think the traits I describe in my post are symptomatic of a very specific kind of man; Londoners of a certain age, with a certain penchant for the artistic and the offbeat. One of the reasons I love to get out of London so much is to behold the menfolk – especially in the north! – they are different specimens. As if I needed another reason to move to York… The accent, the Viking blood, the open mannerisms. Or, perchance, your ancestral land. 😉

      • Funny you mention moving north: I think the miasma of the southern weather is no good and mollifies the spirit of men too much. Similar menfolk now pervade Italy, once the crib (ahem) of masculinity…. Maybe you can drag a Viking to London, though. I so hope you do, as it’s easier for me to meet you in the National Gallery than in the Shambles! (Haha so lazy!)

        • D'arcy

          I’m firmly ensconced in the south, don’t worry. But I reckon we should break into the Brit on a midsummer’s night and steal an ancient Roman sword or a Viking shield and use them to summon the warrior spirits who once wielded them with valour!

  11. Hilarious, and SO well written. Thanks for sharing, and I do hope these boys man up, or perhaps another ‘yes, we do’ type moment with someone of genuine masculinity and strength that has the guts to meet you in your vitality and power.

  12. You really drew me in with this one A. I feel that I can almost picture ‘Tea’, and have actually managed to imagine him in the flesh. I am also left feeling sorry for the ‘tube station’ guy, as he seems more my type of man. (Must be my generation) As for ‘Tennis’, your great description makes him sound very unpleasant. And ‘Buggery’? I reckon you got the Public School thing spot on. Great post, but then I knew it would be, before I read the first line…

    Regards to you as always, Pete.

    • D'arcy

      You’ve hit the nail on the head with Tennis; I also find him unpleasant but I never actually thought about it like that. Glad you felt drawn in by my sordid tales!

  13. LHW

    Well, you KNOW I hang on to every word here – with regards to the blokes in my own life that is.. Scaredy-cats the lotta them. The only bloke not afraid is the one not available.. 😉

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