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Romantic Failures – T

25 August, 2012

OK, by popular demand, here is the story of T. A story of glaring stupidity and pathetic failure on my part. A story peppered with obvious open goals, free hits, a fish in a barrel. And I managed to walk away empty handed.

 

About a dozen years ago, I answered an ad for a new amateur dramatic group which was being set up in a performing arts pub. I hadn’t acted since school and fancied giving it another go. I went to the open auditions along with six other actors, including T. She was a recently graduated teacher, she was pretty and funny. She was also from Jersey whch meant that she had a natural dislike of anyone from Guernsey which including Matt Le Tissier, at that time keeping Saints in the Premier League by himself, and the greatest player I have ever seen. But I was prepared to overlook her prejudice as she was cute.

The group were at differing levels of ability and experience. I was at the bottom, T was nearer the top, but although she was a good actor, she was not that confident. Neither, you will be astounded to hear, was I. We all played several roles in the play and I shared a few scenes with T, most notably one where we were soldiers sent to search a house and to not be very nice about it. This was against our natures, and we took to having Fierce Practice every time this scene was to be rehearsed. Have you ever seen the bit in Jarhead where the sergeant asks to see the new recruit’s War Face? It was a bit like that, we would growl and glare at each other and generally practice being Fierce. It sometimes, ok often, ended up in giggling, but most of the time it worked. We supported each other, acted well together, I gave her lifts home, we bonded as actors, people, friends. And more?

As the performance came closer, we both got more nervous but would reassure each other, often just before we acted. It did occur to me to offer to practice lines and have Fierce Practice outside of rehearsal times, but I figured I had no chance, she was out of my league, and I didn’t ask. I just lusted after her more and more, enjoyed the moments we had together.

Opening night, we were both nervous, and reassured each other we would be fine. As we stood in the wings before the soldier scene, we practiced our Fierce, and waited for our cue. And then as I was watching the stage, I could see her in my peripheral vision, looking at me, watching me. And I felt those weeks of unspoken feelings overtaking me, and I knew that if I turned to her, if I looked at her now I would have to kiss her. But we were due on stage in seconds, and I didn’t dare turn, didn’t dare look. She kept her eyes fixed on me until we went on stage. We were Fierce. We were great.

The run was for three nights. It was a success. I chatted with T for most of the after-show party on the last night, gave her a lift home, totally failed to make a move.

A couple of weeks later it was her birthday. I bought a card and wanted to post it to her, but although I knew where she lived, I didn’t know the address. Or her phone number. I asked one of the others, but he didn’t want to give me her address. I took this to be him helping her to keep me at arm’s length, wanting to protect her from unwelcome advances, and I assumed I had, and had always had, no chance. He did say though that her, some of her friends and a couple of the company were going for birthday drinks and why didn’t I come along? Great idea. At least she could have her card.

So I went, and it was fun, and I chatted with the actors I hadn’t seen since the last night, and I chatted with T, wished her happy birthday. The pub had a bar football table (you know, where the players are on sticks and you move them with handles) and a tournament was in progress. I was called on to play and I reluctantly stepped up – my bar football is on a par with my actual football. “Be warned,” I said as I took hold of the two central handles of the four, “I am rubbish.” “Well let’s be a team then,” T suggested, walked up behind me and took the outside handles. Yes, that mental image you have of her effectively hugging me in the pub under the guise of playing bar football is an accurate one. And somehow I failed, again, to make a move.

Later during the evening, several of us were chatting around a table and at one point, T was talking about me. I’m annoyed that I can’t remember the context now, maybe the whole table were discussing a scene and my part in it came up, but for whatever reason, the whole table was listening to T talk about me. And she looked at me and said, a propos of something now lost in time, “well, he is scrumptious.” Nobody else has ever called me scrumptious, before or since. And still I left the pub that night alone, without having made a move. I know. Shocking isn’t it?

Shortly afterwards, the director folded the company as she was moving away. I bravely asked her for T’s number and she told me. I called, determined that I had thrown away enough chances and I was going to ask her out. I dialled the number, rehearsed my invitation in my head. She didn’t answer. I re-gathered my courage the next day and called her agian. She didn’t answer. I tried a few more times and a few more times she didn’t answer. I stopped calling. I never saw her again.

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21 Comments
  1. Oh R.G. I think you need a romance coach. :o) – Scrumptious? And you still didn’t make a move? – Sigh, shakes head.

  2. TheOthers1 permalink

    Oh gosh. I want to hug you after reading this. Mercy, man. I just wanted you to make one of those missed connections.

  3. Well, I didn’t think it was a failure until I got to the ending.

    “well, he is scrumptious” … That is a delicious compliment, and about you rather than to you?! That was clearly an invitation.

    I could totally picture you walking up behind her and whispering in her ear, “So, you think I’m scrumptious, do you? Just wait until you have a proper taste.” 🙂 I crack myself up. Now if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, you will know just what to do.

    • there are plenty of points in this story where i could have Won The Girl’s Heart and i have replayed them a few times, been less of a failure.
      I love your “proper taste” line!! i need you feeding this stuff into an earpiece for me next time i am talking to a girl in a pub, i would never have come up with that

      • And see, it popped right into my head. 🙂 I am very quick with this stuff. LOL.

        “replayed them a few times, been less of a failure” … Ha! I’m sure you have. 🙂

      • Now in these days of email-by-phone i could send you her comments and ask how i should reply 🙂

      • Snicker. Well, silence is a useful conversational tool. So if you sit quietly for a few moments to think of a clever retort, you just might come up with one … or have enough time to hear mine in your ear. We’ll have to work that out.

      • And a bit more subtle than asking her to wait while i type into my phone…

      • I’ve got it. You should have a shirt made featuring the “proper taste” line I mentioned before. Then you’ll have random people coming up and licking you all night. 🙂 Seriously, a guy who’s funny can get almost any girl. And if you decide no one is out of your league, then no one is. You are telling yourself you are not good enough to get certain girls. That is why you don’t get them.

      • I’m getting that t shirt printed 🙂
        And i’ll try to keep your advice in mind…

      • You really should print it. I dare you. You just wait and see how many girls come up to you. I’m dead serious. In fact, I’ll bet the girl working at the t-shirt shop asks you out.

      • Someone should open such a business. I’ll have to recommend that to my husband; he’s always trying to come up with ideas for new ventures. … The paying customer would have a direct line (attached at the ear) for receiving dating guidance throughout the night.

      • You’ll earn a fortune!!

  4. I *love* flipside’s line. That would have been perfect.

    My heart ached for you while reading this one, TRG. Did you not make a move the whole time because you thought she was out of your league?

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