I think it was when I handed two different men the same towel for their morning after shower that I realised that Houston, we might actually have a problem here. It's a rather lovely towel - a delicate shade of cream and very fluffy - from the White Company if memory serves. But, and please don't judge me, I had a sudden realisation that I didn't even bother washing it in between. Gross, I know.
I met man number one at a trendy party in an upstairs room in a bar. I had no intention to go out partying but by the time I unexpectedly found myself in that dark, bass-filled room I was triumphantly entering my sixth hour of drinking vodka and had hit that lovely phase of believing this to be the best party on earth, and that everyone present was merely a friend I hadn't met yet. At my side my new friend Paula, whose acquaintance I had only made earlier that day. introduced by a mutual friend, we realised we only lived two streets apart and to her credit, she didn't seem at all phased by me hollering in her ear on repeat 'We are going to have SUCH fun how weird we live SO near I can't believe you KNOW everyone what an AMAZING party PLEASE don't let them throw me out'.
She dashed off to greet yet another of her buddies whilst I stood and admired the bar (a flimsy looking table groaning under the weight endless bottles of spirits) and the fact that people were openly lighting up cigarettes - indoors! How darned edgy. Helping himself nervously to a prudent measure of vodka was a tall handsome man who seemed to radiate a general aura of party loner. Who better to go and help him out than the one girl who wasn't actually legitimately invited?
I vaguely remember lurching over to introduce myself and talking AT him for some time before fulfilling the full drunken cliche of hearing the Djs (there some to be more people on the decks than guests as is always the way with these gatherings) dropping a tune I loved and imploring him to dance with me. He looked even more terrified but to his credit didn't bolt for the door. He told me later that he really hates dancing, but I was so wrapped up in my little vodka bubble of ecstasy that I was oblivious. At one point I even gave him the get out clause that he should feel free to tell me to bugger off if I was invading his personal space, but he stayed by my side, even standing awkwardly with my bag when I staggered off to the toilet.
The party wound down and we talked some more, only to be interrupted by the Djs putting on - ironically I am sure - a slow tune to end the night. I started laughing and saying 'Can you believe this, they're playing...' but I was interrupted by him lunging at me, and kissing me squarely on the mouth. Hazy and uncomfortable images of school discos flashed past my eyes and I drew away, squealing with embarrassment. I felt terrible when I saw the hurt in his eyes - I had put the kibosh on his grand gesture and I felt rather bad. So to cheer him up I dragged him back to my flat.
'Hold that thought and find your coat' I screeched, looking round for my new-best-friend Paula, whose boyfriend had now turned up.
'Let's all walk back together!' I said, trying to ignore the expressions on their faces that simply read 'who on earth is THAT?'
Back at mine we were able to talk more - I found out he competes at national level in a very niche and rather sexy sport, as well as all about his being divorced, a father of two and living not that far away. I also gathered that he is away a lot and as he said his goodbyes the next day I wondered if his asking for my number was just for show. As it happened we were both due to leave the country a week later and I mentally filed him under 'interesting one night stand'.
Towel user number two was an altogether different kind of affair. I'd been nagged by my friends to try out Tinder as soon as I got my new phone and I reckoned it could be worth a laugh. There was even talk that one of my more sensible friends had - gasp - met someone 'normal'.
So I took the plunge and quickly matched with a very good looking older man. Expectations were high as we started to chat but I soon realised that he was a terminally thick cab driver from Essex with a predilection for 'txt spk' that belied his years. I put the phone down and vowed not to click on it again, convinced that it would flash up some sort of Batman signal into the night that compelled complete losers to lure me in with their saucy tight t-shirt photos only to slay me with their terrible 'chat'.
But if course one dull Sunday afternoon I could no longer resist and I noticed I had a message waiting from a guy I couldn't even remember swiping right. We got chatting - he was bored at work - and I quickly realised that this one was rather different. He was eloquent and funny and never once said 'lol'. On and on we bantered, till about midnight. Within two days we had set up a date.
We had a fantastic time, perhaps aided by the liberal sampling of all the major drink groups and none of of the food ones. We ended up in my friend's bar, the dark basement that claims so many hapless victims. There was even a dramatic power cut and just as I was plotting which bottle to loot from behind the bar he pulled me in for a giant tequila-flavoured snog. It was all terribly exciting. He explained that he was temporarily sofa-surfing after splitting with his ex and, as often happens, I decided to help the homeless and we ended up back at mine, reeling round the living room to Fleetwood Mac and opening up a bottle of wine that neither of us really needed by that stage.
To his credit he told me that he wasn't looking to head into another relationship so soon after a break up but the two of us can't seem to leave one another alone and we chat incessantly, from morn till night, albeit with no actual plan in place to go out again.
And then I go and get a text from Mr sporty from the party who wants to whisk me out for a far more sophisticated-sounding night of fine dining in his local neighbourhood. So now I'm in a bit of a quandary. If I could merge them both, it might just result in the perfect man. Mr A's sporty physique and more sophisticated leanings, plus Mr B's intelligence and quick humour would surely equal perfection. Should I just carry on seeing both of them, or ditch the latter who is clearly on some sort of rebound? The only thing I know for sure is that life is tasting much sweeter, after being messed around by that bad man Serge for so long. I wish I could say I don't miss him and the spectre he cast over my life was long gone. But annoyingly I'm not so sure.Suggest a correction