'.....but I just thought that...'
'I HONESTLY thought that if I....'
I pursed my lips, folded my arms and just stared. One of my closest friends, my best friends, was suffering. Actually suffering because she was laughing so hard at me. Can't say at this moment in time that she was going to garner much sympathy from me.
'Saucy....' she gasped, wiping the stream of tears from her face '....Saucy...ha ha ha...sorry it's just...you, YOU should NEVER try to be sexy...' and with that another eruption of laughter exploded from her mouth. She didn't even bother trying to suppress this one and I watched her collapse under waves of giggles until the point where she was laughing so hard, no sound was coming out and she was just a vibrating heap of malicious delight.
I tried to slap a look of outrage and hurt on my face. ('Me?! Unsexy?!') But I quickly realised I was not fooling anyone. I had just unwittingly regaled my friend while asking her for some advice on a boy problem. I was trying to figure out what to text him back next after he'd got quite flirty in some messages. She asked to see what I'd text back so far, and it was at that point she started laughing. Obviously my attempts to come across as a coquettish seductress had been the funniest thing she'd seen all day. I patiently waited for her to finish.
The truth is, when it comes to the opposite sex, I am like the female version of The Inbetweeners. I'm not saying this in a, 'ooh aren't I like a little Bridget Jones with my hilarious anecdotes' kind of way. In an actual 'thank god for artificial insemination' kind of way. As soon as romance is involved my brain goes above and beyond the call of duty to make itself as useless as possible. Unbelievable right? I can understand how some of you may be incredulous. 'YOU Saucy?! A smooth talking, quick witted little charmer like yourself?! It's completely implausible to think you wouldn't be anything short of a modern day Jessica Rabbit with men.'
No one who knows me well is thinking this.
I have a list of examples as long as a dole queue myself up here. Most of them however, are literally unpublishable. Even the most black hearted of you would struggle to read them, that mortifying. Unfortunately, no exaggeration. However, there is one story which all my friends like to use as a point of reference every time I shoot myself in the foot romantically....
Last summer, I had just leaped with exuberance into single life after a very long relationship. After being blatantly lied to and deceived by the rom-com industry, I was very excited to test out the power of awkward and traditionally unattractive females in getting a man. I would emulate at least one of the story lines from Love, Actually if it killed me, goddammit. I have to add though, if my love life at this point in time had been made into a romantic comedy, it would kick arse in the box office, being the most entertaining tragedy since Titanic. The ending would be a bit of an anti-climax though, with me lying alone in my flat, crying and listening to 'Lonely This Christmas' and drinking nail polish remover just to get some more alcohol into my system to stop the hurt. But I digress. Sadly, my motion feature would also feature a montage of me giving myself 'a sexy new makeoveeeer!'. Yes, that's right. To kick off my single life I decided what I needed to do was REINVENT myself. (Sound familiar? Yeah we all know what happened last time I decided to do that.) After trying on things 'that I would have never worn before' (with very good reason) and putting on 'trendy' make up and 'different' hair I was now ready to hit the town, looking like Peggy Mitchell 2.0. To my dismay, sitting in the bar I was not fighting for space from all my adoring suitors as I had predicted. Word must not have spread that I was back on the market yet.
As I saw it, I had two options now. I could either sit patiently and try and meet someone nice and form a steady new stable relationship from that point onwards. Or! I could get reallly really drunk and go down the Kate Moss road and HOPE FOR THE BEST! I could clearly see which one was the right option.
As I downed my fourth jagerbomb, my hazy eyes locked on my first victim. 'Hee, I'm going to kiss you later!' I wittily thought to myself and started to giggle. He caught me and gave a very questionable, very drunk smile back. I stopped DEAD. I knew what was going to happen next. Apparently my common sense knew EXACTLY what was going to happen next and fecked off for itself. So nonsensical drunken giddiness took the reins and started feeding ridiculous notions into my mind.
'SO!' I thought as I smiled creepily back at the boy, for way too long 'So this is what it's like to be irresistible.'
Even if one of my friends had been practical enough to try and send me home at this point, no one, bar NO ONE could stop me from 'seducing' this lucky, lucky boy. Me and the boy exchanged a few looks, described by me as 'sultry'. Probably described by him as 'awkward at best'. With the benefit of hindsight I now understand that most of his returned glimpses were because I was giving off the impression that I was squinting at him in a 'do I know you...?' kinda way. This was what happened when I tried to do my really sexy eyes-half-closed smoldering peeks. My 'flirting' continued throughout the night. I even managed to obtain his name. We'll call him Harold, because despite my best wishes I have never met a Harold. I won't bore you with the details of my calculated and clever efforts to make Harold mine. I'm sure at this point you're more than capable of imagining how it went.
At the end of the night, when he was at his weakest I locked eyes on Harold in the smoking room, sitting by a table. I sauntered over in a fashion that could best be described as a waddle. I was about four feet away when ABSOLUTE SHIT-THE-BED CRAZY PANIC kicked in. Even my inebriated mind could comprehend the problem I was now facing.
'What am I doing?! I don't know how to TALK to a boy, from scratch! I haven't been single in years. Oh Jesus. He's seen me now. I have to commit. If I walk away I'll look mental...' (Not as mental as I ended up looking, mind.)
I was just going to have to fake it till I made it. I would consciously try to appear as single as possible and fool him into thinking I was a flirting marvel. Think think think Saucy, you have lots of single friends, what would they do?
And so with that, I walked over to where he was sitting and with much kicking of legs and awkward grunts, I lay myself across the table. Yeah, as if to say 'where dya want me, baby?' Now, what possessed me to think that this was the done thing in the single world, I will never know. When had I ever walked into a nightclub and seen bodies strewn left right and centre across tables and couches? Never. Neither had he obviously, from his surprise, which I chose to misinterpret as arousal.
After engaging in conversation (Herculean task, might I add) I finally clocked that the awkward silence which I had misconstrued for romantic reflection, was actually that awful 'we're going to kiss in a second but first let's prolong it for another few awkward moments of staring at each other' thing. With my Mission: Single at the forefront of my mind, I began to panic. There would be NOTHING unpredictable about this situation. Even my own drunken narrative could recognise that me falling off the table trying to smooch him (likely) wouldn't be at all surprising. After some quick thinking, and hearty motivation from seeing the distance between the table and the concrete floor, I surprised even myself by suggesting we 'go outside.'
Harold looked confused.
‘Brilliant. My sexiness has him dumbfounded!’
Harold led me by the hand through the crowded nightclub, which seemed to be extra full that night of people we both knew. Not one to miss an opportunity to mortify myself, I decided that this was the opportune moment to ask every single person I passed for some chewing gum. No time for subtlety! Having minty fresh breath for Harold was paramount.
Led by Harold’s hand, I was pulled stumbling outside the nightclub.
From the confines of the sweaty smoking room walls, ‘outside’ had appeared much more exotic and romantic. The only thing exotic about this situation, I could now see, was the way the cold sea breeze smacking me at the left side of my face was contrasting the stench of salt and vinegar from the chip van on the right.
Harold looked at me for guidance.
Obviously I was being the passionate stronghold in this relationship.
‘Let’s…go over here’ I whispered in my sultriest husk.
‘WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE WIND?’
‘YOU HAVE A SHED?!’
‘YOU WANNA GO?’
For fuck’s sake. This never happened in Casablanca. After some awkward hand gestures and nodding towards the desired location, I pulled Harold into what I had assumed was an alley. Actually, it was someone’s garden. I quashed my sudden paranoia about trespassing laws and tried to reassure myself that there was no place in romance for law and order.
I don’t know if any of you have ever tried to make conversation with someone while standing in a complete stranger’s garden in the dead of night, but you can imagine chat between us wasn’t blossoming. After going to extreme lengths to avoid it, there was literally nothing left to do but kiss Harold. Do not judge me.
I soon realised that trying to be sexy was as exhausting as maintaining a drug habit. I thought achieving what I thought was a fairly unusual first kiss would settle me, but no. I wanted bigger and better hits. Soon I started to panic again that this was getting too boring. A lesser woman would have sacrificed her morals and gone home with him. Not me. And that’s because I have morals ladies and gentlemen, and NOT because I was wearing spanx that night.
Being out of touch with single reality for so long, I started to wonder if not going home with him would make me look like a 1950’s housewife. Do single people all go home with each other these days? Is he going to think I’m some sort of freak that he must court for several years before he finally gets his hands on my drawers or my dowry? There was nothing for it. I had to make this THE BEST KISS EVER.
I’m a modest girl. I had not done a FÁS course in shifting. I had to think outside the box. As with every aspect of my romantic life, I immediately went to the back catalogue of romantic comedies in my head for inspiration. What would make this really cinematic and memorable? Think laterally. Laterally…. I’m in a garden… that’s it. Suddenly I recalled a sequence of characters falling onto a pruned English lawn in romantic embrace, from Bridget Jones’ Diary to Notting Hill. That’s it. I’ll carelessly toss him onto the lawn and tumble after him. Oh Harold, you are going to love this!
And so, as craftily as I could I rose one heeled foot. I arched it around the back of Harold’s leg, estimating where the back of his knee was. In one swift motion I planted my foot straight into the back of his knee, knocking him off balance. In all my meticulous foot positioning, I neglected the most basic physical aspects of the situation. Harold and I were still kissing. His arms were around my waist so I was his next port of call for balance. He leant on top of me instinctively, his weight over powering me. Bear in mind I was still on one foot and in heels like some obstinate experimental dodo bird. I never stood a chance. As my remaining foot started to slip I noticed the texture of the lawn beneath me was kind of unusual. Harold was leaning on top of me now and the two of us were now joint together, and tumbling comically slowly towards the ground. Just before I hit earth, something caught sight in my vision which was adjusting to the dark ground flying rapidly towards me. That didn’t look like grass….
…The unmistakable sound from my childhood of skin skidding across razor sharp gravel. I had stumbled off the grass, and onto the thousands of pointed stones littering the ground. I lay with each of them digging into my back, groaning. I looked to my right. Lit dramatically by my phone which had tumbled out of my bag, I could see Harold’s bleeding face, nose down in the stones. He had intuitively rolled sideways after I impacted the ground, essentially tearing off half his face.
He lifted his face from the earth, spitting out stones, some falling from the pools of blood quickly pouring from his cheeks.
‘Are you alright, Saucy?’
He misread my shock at the state of his face for injury and helped me up.
‘Whoa, what happened? We must both be pretty drunk eh!’
I hoped against hope that Harold had no mirrors in his house.
Sometimes when I see Harold around, still with little scratches on his face I wonder will he ever understand that he was but another tragic victim of me, trying to be sexy.
The Saucy Cow