Oh my god!!!!! Loving this so far!! Your such a tease Tom!! At least we all know, since your planning a wedding, that it all works out.
Keep it coming!!!
Oh Tom, I love you. Sarah is not the one for you, you are blinded. I wouldn't bleed you dry at the Choo shop.
I have spoken to Mr Choo and he has promised not to contact Sarah again.
He says that its Sarah contacting him but i believe my Sarah
two pairs of shoes ? who on earth needs two pairs?
someone with 2 left feet so they can get a matching pair ?
This is fab can't wait for the rest!
After the episode in the generic coffee shop things between me and Sarah cooled. Why that was, I couldn’t fathom. I was a free agent, despite Mozza and the Nokia. (She wasn’t so much a bunny boiler as a Warren Gasser). My computer was under my bed, away from temptation. I spent my days at my desk and nights in front of the tv. Weekends were taken up with Everton and my sons football team.
Rob got a lift off one of his mates dad's so Sarah never made an appearance. The fact that she stopped going, the fact that missing her son's game meant avoiding me, said it all.
The team was struggling too. No striker, no midfield, rubbish team and constant grumbling from the supporters. And my lad's team were rubbish too.
There had to be a way of getting to see her. Texting was out of the question. I couldn’t see the point.
What? “How are you? X” ?
What would I get back? An explanation of how she felt about me? Via a text? Anyone who has tried that knows that there my friend,lies purgatory . Imagine pouring out your heart in txt speak?
I rlly dnt wnt to c u again you r doin mi ed in tom coz I cnt cmit to anther knb head like U RAOTFLMAO x
Actually thinking about it, maybe that would have been preferable.
Anyway. Salvation was at hand. An earthquake? A mass murderer loose on the street? A riot ? Social unrest? No, something far , far worse – Parents evening!
I was sat under the fluorescent lights of the sports hall. One of the parents I knew from my time at school. It was Ralph, the lean jock who broke every fifth form girl’s heart with his film star looks and perfect physique. He was the bald headed chubby guy with the defeated face and straggly comb over.
Then there was Diane, the star of our net ball team, a girl whose sapphire blue eyes and hour glass figure launched a thousand cold showers. Strode past me in her baggy grey trackie bottoms and carrying her innumerable double chins before her. She caught my eye as she rolled down the corridor, giving me a shrug of indifference that summed up the last twenty five years of her disappointment
My son was sat in one of a row of chairs waiting for the stern remonstrations of Mr Fletcher the maths teacher. A gangly man with the dress sense of Rupert the bear and enough nasal hair to weave a small basket.
My lad was slumped so far forward his nose was almost touching his knees
""Son, cant you just pretend to look interested?
What’s the point Dad? No matter how much you think you have done with your life, in the end we all return to the earth, and the worms.”
Well before you go and see the worms, can you try and make a better fist of trigonometry?
OH the joys of parenthood
Then just as we sat down in front of the thicket of tangled hair that was protruding from Mr Fletchers considerable proboscis, I saw Sarah with Rob. They were in the queue for Miss Bowden Smith, the arts teacher. Rob must be doing art!
Have you ever tried to hurry up a conversation by means of your head alone?
"Well Mr Hughes, your son here needs to raise his game, I mean if we just look at his geometry marks for this year..."
MMM yes (nods() mmmm yes I see I'll be sure to tell him anyway thank you (Nod nod)
I lifted my boy gently from his seat . As I raised him up and away, the apple of my eye kept his chin planted firmly on his bored knuckle, so it looked to all the world I was stealing a miniature version of Rodin’s The Thinker.
We joined the cue for art. At last my lad sprang into life.
“Dad, I don’t even do art
"I think you should give it a go. I think you'll be good. Really"
Sarah finished with the teacher and walked past.
This was a tight window of opportunity. I had to act quick. But before I could speak Sarah spoke.
"look i want to explain about the other week. Can we meet?"
“Ok where?” (god how off hand was I?)
“News Bar in town?"
“Yeah sure, tomorrow night?
“Ok, see you then
And that was that. I shoved my lad out of the door and we were gone
That night the texting started again. Cautious at first, then more friendly, Maybe this time, maybe, just maybe.
I went into my lad's room. He was asleep.
On the table were some drawing of some cars and a baby elephant .
Fab reading so far!! So glad you ordered the paper clips too! X
The News Bar in Liverpool was at the time the place to be seen. It was also where I met Mozza345 for our disastrous liaison. But it was a swish place for a first date, if that’s what it was – a date.
The worst kind of dates are the ones that aren’t. Sarah wanted to meet up to talk about how we couldn’t start dating, and the best way to discuss that with me was to ask me out on a…. date ?
I had an idea that that was her plan, but I had something ready for her in my pocket . (What? No, not that. What filthy minds you all have.)
I’d got out of work handy, Nigel wanted me to stay behind because he’d just been sent the very latest edition of Office Stationary world and the centre page spread on staplers had sent him a bit giddy. With a promise to look at the sleek new models in the morning I escaped to get ready for our non date.
It was ninety minutes before our meet. I decided to kill some time by choosing my outfit for the evening. I went up to my bedroom and went through my entire wardrobe. That ran the clock down for at least ninety seconds, so next on the list was my hair.
Then there was the accident.
Have you ever been distracted? Have you ever disengaged your brain? Have you ever not had your mind on the job in hand? Have you ever confused Andrex moist toilet tissue with flash disposable bathroom bleach wipes? No? Well, take it from me, on balance it’s a mistake best avoided.
I was just grateful that the neighbours were out. The screams were bone chilling, So after some emergency repairs and some tears, I was ready for my non-date.
Ok, I know, you are all dying to hear about my non date wardrobe? Did I go smart casual? Shabby chic? Formal? Informal? In the end I went for the classic look- jeans and a long sleeve shirt. And the shirt was actually ironed. Well I ironed the front. (We all know the sleeves don’t count) the back I can never do so I after it was on me I did a few lateral spread poses ( the body builders amongst you will know what that means ) that pulled out the creases. Sort of.
Then it was off to the bar. I got into my car and (gingerly) eased myself into the drivers seat.
Even with the rush hour traffic I was early. And to my wonderful surprise, Sarah was already there!
She was wearing black trousers and a cream blouse. She was fully made up (That’s her face, not because I’d bothered to get there on time.) She smiled that lovely half smile and prepared herself for “the hug”,
Let me talk you through the hug. Like any great symphony, hugs are broken down into movements. Firstly there is the pre-hug. This is when the hugger, (as opposed to the hugee) readies him/herself for the embrace. Raising themselves to their full height they adopt the - “Hey dude, I’m about to give you a hug!” look. The mouth is in half smile, the eyebrows are raised and the the head is in that funny leaning back /tilting to one side position that screams - “Oh, come here, you big Lummox!”
Then there is the hug itself. There is the tight hug, the kind of hug you get at funerals or at the end of Cillas Surprise Surprise when the Latvian granny finds the grandson from Northampton that she left on the station in 1978. Sarah’s hug wasn’t that kind of hug. Sarah’s hug was the classic bend at the hips hug.
The bend at the hips hug is were up top it’s all going on - cheeks, arms, hands on shoulders etc, but down at the business end., the tummy /hip area, there is a nine inch exclusion zone packed full of what is known on the continent as English reserve.
It’s as if this whole hug business has been fostered on us by Johnny foreigner. I don’t remember anyone hugging any one in the seventies when I was a kid. I do however remember being pistol whipped with a plimsoll by Mr Gledhill in PE, so perhaps things have changed for the better.
Anyway, Sarah gave me a hug number two.
We sat and began to talk. Well we didn’t talk, that’s a lie, we engaged in a bout of verbal subtext gymnastics that would have Freud and R D Laing both scratching their heads.
“HI Sarah, You’re early
(Translation –for an ice queen you're a bit bloody keen love).
“I had to drop the kids of at his so I thought I might as well get over here.
(Don’t get any ideas Charlie boy)
“I’ll let you get these Sarah
(I’m not here to play games.)
It’s ok, I’ve already got them in
(I am a modern sassy woman and I have no problem taking the lead…I think)
A pause to sip vinegar. And so we go on…
(This is awkward)
(You asked me here love, so cut to the bloody chase.)
Look Tom ,there’s no easy way to say this
(Actually, now that I am on my second, this is really quite easy)
“It’s ok I’m a big boy, I can handle it
(I‘m a little boy, I can’t handle it).
“It’s like this. Brian had kids, they didn’t get on with Rob and Hannah. It caused big rows. My kids come first so I ended it. I don’t want to put my kids through it again. I’m sure your kids are lovely, but I cant take that chance, so I think we should just leave it there.
(Tom I think you’re lovely, talk me round?)
I really don’t know what to think
(I really don't know what to think)
Then it hit me. Of course!
“I have an easy answer to all of this Sarah. I am a great believer in being honest and truthful with women (shut up). So here is the best, most honourable solution. To all of this.
“lets have an affair and keep it secret
Who from? We’re both single? Secret from who?
Who else? The kids!
And I'll tell you what was in my pocket tommorrow.....
But, but I want to know now!! I'm away this weekend and the suspense is unbearable!
i have just started to follow your thread
i love adore your modern day love story but as a veteran of the marriage game I would like. To offer some worldly advice
firstly I cannot believe you have failed to understand the magnitude of not having the hair stylist you have used for so many years to do ones hair on the day. To trust someone to lay hands on your crowning glory is like offering up your sole to the devil. Imagine letting a junior doctor offer to do your vasectamoy and then you might get an idea of what it must feel like to. Sarah to realise someone else might have to do her hair!
I loved the recent take on the hug scenario and cannot wait for your analogy on your first proper kiss
I have to apologise for my grammar it's not that I lack it it's because some of my buttons on my iPad appear to have a life of their own!
Love your thread- keep the posts coming!
many thanks for your kind words x
believe me, if I didn't understand the magnitude, I do now! Of all the worries about the wedding, the trial with the new stylist is right up there !
you find out who your friends are when you start to plan your wedding
i don't think a vasectomy is as traumatic, you can reverse a vasectomy , once she's arrived it's too late to change a bad stylist!
What was in the pocket?! You have me hooked on this thread now! Haha.
I’m afraid we will have to leave Tom and Sarah stuck in 2005 for the moment. Back to the wedding. Well back to the present day real world. Rob (Sarah’s eldest) has just finished his finals at Liverpool university. He’s completed a maths degree. The poor lad looks shattered. 12 hours in the library every day. I feel for him. The effort he had put in must have been superhuman Lets hope he gets his 2:1. I only managed a Desmond after my three years of paid for bliss at Poly.
When I compare my student life to todays high pressure graduate experience (Student loans, the competition for jobs) those far flung days of giggles and fun seems a world away. Can you believe, we actually got paid to go? . And to do what? Smoke funny stuff, drink cider and chase girls. Oh and write the odd essay of course.
So Rob is home, and he is about to embark on a summer of travel, festivals (Glastonbury Grrrr I hate him!) and wonderment. He has a lovely girlfriend (she’s from London, ) He is good looking, 21 and has his whole life ahead of him. On the cusp of a great adventure, all his triumphs and disasters lie ahead. It is truly the most wonderful age to be alive, he has all the time in the world, time to do anything, go anywhere or go nowhere, see everything or see nothing.
I was explaining the endless possibilities of being 21 to Nigel the other day.
“Don’t you envy Rob, just a little bit? What would you do different? If you were 21 again?”
Nigel paused for a moment and began re-arranging his highlighters (And when Nigel rearranges his highlighters, you know something profound is on its way).
“What would I do different? If I was 21 again? Nothing.
But you started here when you were 21, I’m not being funny Nigel, but as a lifestyle choice, it’s not quite up there with back packing across Patagonia, is it?”
“No, it isn’t. And to some, it might seem mundane. But if I hadn’t come here, I might not have met my Emily, and I wouldn’t want to take that chance. Twenty five years this year you know. And I wouldn’t change a thing. Not one. You can have your Patagonia’s, we like rambling in the peak district."
So there you have it, for some people, the wonders of this amazing planet dissolve into a thimblefull of nothing compared to walking hand in hand with the love of your life.
I guess it's why we are here, to celebrate what it is to love, and be loved. That, and co- ordinated seat covers, obviously.
oh tom how wonderful it is to compare yourself to yputh of today however I must tell you I am slightly disappointed that you have left 2005 on hold I have been waiting with baited breath for you to finally divulge what was in your pocket . Please dont leave me waiting and wanting more .
So. Back to the News bar and my secret weapon. Now, we all have passions, we all have obsessions. Some of these passions are shared, some are individual. For men it could be Golf, Cars, DIY, cycling. For women, well we know all about those don’t we? Then of course there are shared passions, and if two people have stuff in common then that is the grease that eases the turning of the relationship flywheel, is it not?
Well Sarah didn’t know of my passions, and I didn’t know anything about hers. But I reasoned I’d hit her with one of the biggest passions straight away. If it worked then we would be off to a flying start If it failed , well I didn’t want to think about that.
The idea of a phoney affair had elicited a half laugh
Well, I’m not sure about that
Look, lets just go out together again and see where it goes, it’s not like I’m propositioning you here or anything ! (Oh how the gods looking down from mount Olympus must have laughed!)
Well …ok. Where do you want to go?
Now, if a girl had given me what I was about to give to Sarah I would have married her on the spot, but let's not get ahead of ourselves here
How do you fancy coming with me to see him?
She looked at the ticket. You know that little facial tic people have when they look distinctly underwhelmed? A tic that they immediately try and hide so as not to cause offence. Well Sarah did that face.
Yes. Bruce Springsteen
Oh right, er…
At this point I was getting wound up. I'd just handed a her a ticket I had queued all night to secure and Sarah had a gob on her like she’s just missed the last bus home.
“Look, if you don’t want to go there are plenty of people I know who -
Sarah threw her face into reverse
No! I mean no, I’d love to come really. I’d really like to come. I don’t really know any of his songs. Oh apart from that one, er what is it? Born to run in the USA?
“Born to run in the USA?
“Is it not called that?
“Have you seen him before?
Something clicked inside Sarah, and her weirdo antenna started flashing, Her eyes narrowed
“How many times?
"You’ve been to see Bruce Springsteen 28 times?
“Yes, what of it?
“Why would anyone want to see someone 28 times? What’s so good about him?
“Because he writes about the big stuff, love, hate, death, injustice, what it means to be alive. What it means to die. His songs are lyrical, cinematic, heartfelt. He sings about ordinary lives in an extraordinary way that resonates deep inside here, inside your heart. He is serious passionate and committed, when you go see him you feel part of something very, very special.
"This tour is different, its just him and his guitar. Forget all that x factor nonsense, if you want to see real stage presence, an artist that makes you want to clap cheer, shout. If you want to experience a show that will move you to tears, if you want to stand with a whole bunch of strangers and feel as though everyone of them is your buddy -
“Tom why have you started talking like an American? You’re not American.
“Ok then, who do you like?
“Really? And why do you like Robbie Williams?
“I dunno. Because…. he’s got a cheeky face?”
Like I say, the grease that turns the flywheel…..
Oh that is brilliant! I have literally been 'loling' to myself reading this!! And I have to say I know what she means about Robbie and his cheeky face x
I really like reading your story, but do have to say that if I was your fiancé and read this, I would probably punch you in the face. You have basically described your fiancé as:
* Ill mannered (not bothering to ring when running half an hour late)
* Disloyal (texting another man until 1am some nights when she is meant to be dating someone else)
* Materialistic (Please can I have this extortionately expensive pair of shoes) - also, by the way what is she asking you for? Why didn't she just buy them herself?
* The worst type of flirt ( lead you on, drop you down, lead you on...drop you down..etc).
* Hysterical (my hair dresser can't do my hair and therefore the world has finished)
* Shallow (I have no real appreciation of music other than some moron's "cheeky face")
I guess you are doing the typically British male thing of only acknowledging the bad stuff about your partner in public, but it's getting a little tiring to see you continually describing your fiancé as some kind of "Carry On" caricature.
I don't agree with BlueLondonParis, you are just being real about your w2b and yourself, and not taking yourself too seriously I guess your w2b also has a sense of humour.
Oh and I think most brides to be themselves would admit the word had temporarily come to an end if the hairstylist they assumed would do their hair wasn't going to do it!
Disloyal - heck I was 'dating' someone when I met my h2b years ago, although they had been avoiding me for weeks, wouldn't answer my calls, I dumped them by text the night I met my h2b.
Materialistic - If I was spending a few hundred on shoes I would have 'asked' my h2b, more for a reality check as in can we afford them then anything else, it is very easy to get carried away especially if you don't normally treat yourself to expensive gear, feel free to correct me but most mums I know don't splash out on themselves they spend their money on there children.
Flirt - seriously life's complicated she had a lot to consider, I know friends with no complications in their lives do this to a guy.
Shallow, well if an off the cuff comment makes you shallow, I am very shallow.
I would have loved to know my h2b thoughts about the run up to our wedding, the good and the bad, rather than generally getting 'whatever you want its your day', no matter how much I said it is our day or 'how much!!' as a reaction. Actually he loves to write I may ask him to write about his wedding 'experience'.
Well said herstory. Couldn't have put it better myself! X
You raise a number of interesting points that have made me think about what I have written thus far.
I would like to discuss a couple of them.
Firstly, Materialistic because she wanted an expensive pair of shoes? Well, I don’t think I can argue that the shoes are not expensive. Certainly they were. But I think we have to consider the price in the context of what the shoes are for. This is her wedding day. How much should be spent? 300? 200? 100? A tenner? And what about the dress? How much should she spend on that? 300 ? 3000? When does the price become extortionate? Surely that is subjective. If we were skint and couldn’t afford the rent then those shoes would indeed be extortionate. But we can afford the rent.
Why didn’t she buy the shoes herself? Well of course she could, she could buy everything herself, she could pay for the whole wedding herself. But she wanted me to buy them because it was a romantic thing to do. If you take that argument to its logical conclusion I suppose she could have gone out and bought her engagement ring and gone down on one knee and proposed to herself too?
Hysterical because her hairdresser is unwilling to do her hair? Yes she was upset, but then she wanted to look nice on her wedding day. No, the world has not “finished” (incidentally, I would have written “ended” there, it reads better). But again, I don’t think its unreasonable to expect a bride to be concerned about her appearance. Sarah has beautiful thick auburn hair that is going to look amazing. It takes her a long time to dry it because its so long and luscious. But maybe she should just shave it all off and buy a pair of bovver boots instead.
The typical British male thing of only acknowledging the bad stuff? I don’t quite understand what that means. To acknowledge means to admit the truth or validity of something; that her bad points are an accepted fact and I am merely confirming them
I think therefore you meant to say “criticise” in public. That would have made your point clearer.
I also think that to say that women who worry about their shoes and their hair on their wedding day are materialist and hysterical is an insult to the women on this forum.
But I can’t speak for them.