Before we actually meet, messages from The European draw me in. He is eloquent and poetic and seems to have a good sense of me. We meet in an expensive restaurant, of his choosing, for an early evening dinner date. He has impeccable manners and helps me to take off my coat. As he does so, I can feel his eyes linger on my back through the loose drape of my top.
He is handsome, tall, well- dressed and well-heeled, smart and funny. His job is high tech and demanding and he explains it in a way that I can understand. I’m fascinated with his upbringing and his family, his experiences in a country that rebuilt itself after war. He tells me about his family vineyard and olive grove, that he hopes to retire to. He attributes his beautiful skin to moisturising with olive oil. In the bar later on, a guy with a guitar plays Crowded House songs and myself and The European try to out-do each other with memories that the tunes conjure up. He is interested in me and what I do. I point out all of the things about myself that make me a Love Liability, but The European just shrugs and announces that it’s ‘not a problem’.
It’s after midnight when I leave. I’ve had the loveliest of times. But as he lingers in the car park, I resign myself to the fact that, despite my best efforts, there is no spark there for me and I know that we won’t meet again. I’m disappointed. I think of the Mrs Merton interview with Debbie Mc Gee. She asks 'what first, Debbie, attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?'. I wonder what it would take to channel my inner Debbie.
The following afternoon, one of those Saturdays where there is soccer and rugby on TV, I meet friends in a pub in a neighbouring town. It’s packed with lads, in for the double header. I barely get to sit down when Sport Star makes a bee line for me. He’s drunk. He takes my left hand, raises it and loudly asks ‘How can someone like you have no ring on your finger?’. People have turned to look at me now and I feel my face redden. Sports Star lingers and I try to change the subject, as he notices a stain on my shirt and rubs it gently, causing me to feel even more self-conscious. I can see that he is a gentle soul, his features creased by years of alcohol abuse, but his good looks still there. When he eventually leaves, my friends lament Sports Star’s wasted talent and I can’t but think about him later.
I’m at an event, when The Snapper approaches me. I reach to greet him, with a peck on the cheek, but he plonks a kiss on my lips. He tells me that he loves me. We have had this conversation before and I give him all of the reasons again why we couldn’t be together. He disses my lukewarm rationale. Truth is, I don’t know why.
All I know is that the human heart is as complex as be damned.