I went to my mum’s house this week for dinner. She likes to have me over at least once a week because, as most of my friends already know, I rarely answer my phone and always forget to text back, so she likes to make sure I’m still alive by luring me to her house with the promise of food.
She always does this thing where she’ll ask me if I want a cup of tea, and when I say yes she’ll say “go and put the kettle on, then. No sugar for me.” My mum very rarely makes the tea, and when she does, she doesn’t tailor your cup to suit you; everyone must have no sugar and barely any milk, so you end up having to go and make yourself a new one anyway. And she never has any good biscuits, the only two choices are either a handful of trail mix or half a soft gingernut from a box of broken biscuits that my great aunt gave her in the nineties.
Once we were settled, my mum turned off the television, looked me straight in the eye and said the one thing I was trying to avoid:
“Don’t you think it’s time you got a boyfriend Pascale?”
It was then I realised my cunning mother had trapped me, forcing me to indulge her in a DMC (Deep, Meaningful Conversation). I think she knows that if she approaches the subject outside of the house, I’ll get spooked and run into nearby woodland like a frightened deer. But this time I literally felt like I’d been caught in one of those tree spring noose traps – uncomfortable and panic-stricken and headachey; franticly eyeing up all possible exits from the conversation with that crazed look in my eye that cows get when they know they’re going to die. Even when I played dead on the floor it didn’t faze her; she just used my limp, lifeless body as a footstool and kept talking.
It’s a conversation that she deems necessary to have every 4-6 months. My mum can’t get her head around the fact that I don’t want a boyfriend, nor do I have time for one. Contrary to popular belief, I’m actually very busy. I work, then I write, then I watch television, then I check Facebook, then I feed my tamagotchi, then I watch television again, and so on. Plus, I only have a single bed, and if there’s one thing that annoys me more than having to see people in the kitchen every morning at breakfast, it’s being less than a centimetre away from someone else’s face when I wake up. Then there’s all the unnecessary questions: Did you sleep well? Do you want some tea? What’s your name? Urgh, GO AND MAKE ME A BACON SANDWICH ALREADY. I mean yeah, sometimes I cry myself to sleep, but it’s not because I’m alone. It’s inevitable because, you know, things play on my mind late at night. Ice is melting… think of the polar bears and stuff…
During our (mostly one-sided) DMC, my mum seems to insinuate that I am too fussy. I resent this suggestion – I am most definitely not fussy, I just have a few rules that men must adhere to, because having absolutely no standards would mean you could end up being with anyone – or anything – that crossed your path. Like Charles Manson or a honey badger or Lyndsey Lohan. Uuurrrgh.
I once started a little list of boyfriend no-goes, photocopied it numerous times, laminated it and stuck one in the back pocket of all my trousers and pants (that’s right, I said pants. A PANTS POCKET. Who said GCSE textiles teaches you nothing). The good thing about laminated copies is that you can take them on a night out and no matter how many times you spill drink on them, throw up on them, and drunkenly wet yourself on them (not that I have, I’m just assuming) they never get ruined. Thus, you are able to nip any annoying hang-ups in the bud before you’ve even stumbled out of your panties that night, rather than trying to address the problem six months down the line. Boys: take note. This is how women’s minds really work…
Pet-hates include, but are not limited to:
– Wearing hiking shoes on a night out
– Thumb rings
– Names like Nigel, Cyril or Gerald under the age of thirty
– Using any of the following words in a conversation: numpty, nincompoop, fabby, rad or yummy
– Having the word ‘pussy’ bookmarked in your phone…
– … But more if you have the word ‘dicks’ bookmarked…
– Using pet names
– Not having a beard
– Singing with your eyes shut
– Letting dogs lick your face
– Stealing food off my plate when I’m not looking
– Using any excuse to take your shirt off
– Wearing flip flops in winter
– Being cleverer than me
– Wearing majorly deep v-necks
– Dipping your chips in your milkshake because you’re so outrageous
– Trying to pick me up when you know I’m too heavy for you
– Connoisseurs of the back-handed compliments. Eg: “Yes but she’s not as happy and doesn’t smile as much as you, that’s why she’s got no lines on her face.”
(Obviously these stand alongside the regular rules, like good manners, not being a murderer, being a living person ect.)
But, like Joe E. Brown said, nobody’s perfect. I’m certainly not – just the other day I stopped breathing for a couple of minutes because I’d choked on some squirty cream that I’d tried to consume lying down. Also, I did the BBC IQ test a couple of years ago and it told me that my IQ was the equivalent of a lorry driver. Not that there’s nothing wrong with that per se. I can’t even drive a car let alone a lorry so, you know, bravo lorry drivers. It’s just that I’m supposed to be a university graduate; I should at least have the intelligence of TJ from Smart Guy. And I feel that being out of education has probably made my IQ decrease, if anything (although using the word decrease gains me a couple more points, right?). This would probably mean that my boyfriend would have the IQ of those teenagers who have to sit in The Rainbow Room at school for all of their classes that aren’t Health and Social Care.
…Just FYI, I do have a list for what I like, if anyone’s interested. Strangely this list is a lot shorter, though. It basically includes letting me sing along to sitcom theme tunes, helping me to intimidate children at the park so I can go on the swings, being generous enough to swap a Mewtwo with me for all my energy cards, and accepting my love for balaclavas in the winter.