So on Thursday after work and the gym I’m supposed to go to a bar and meet some old friends I used to work with and this is the group of friends where I also met the Lads (Matty, Mean, Ace, Nats) but of course not everyone in the wider group was worthy of a long-term friendship. Not because they were bad people, but because you get on with some better than others and you can’t be best friends with everyone. I will refer to this group as The Grads from now on, because when we all started working in the same company (where we met) we had just finished University and were all Graduate Trainees.
Our activities as Graduate Trainees involved pretending to do work in a big office with hundreds of people, having lunch together every day around a huge table in the company restaurant, gossiping and spreading stories, emailing each other all day, going out, getting pissed and pulling each other.
Anyway, that is what was happening in 2004 and this is what is happening this Thursday evening in 2007.
Before I go in the bar I need to eat something, so at 1915 I find myself sitting under the Eros statue at Piccadilly Circus eating a tuna salad I just bought from Tesco, surrounded by hundreds of tourists taking pictures of each other in inappropriately warm clothes for the weather just because I can’t think of anywhere else I can sit and eat around there. Then Matty turns up and we go in.
And at the bar I know quite a few people but mainly talk to Matty, Ace and Nats (who’s going away for 2 years to work in Taiwan). But this is not the best part of the evening; the best part of the evening involves two girls who are there and used to be in The Grads, and this is what we need to know about these two girls.
Girl A (let’s call her Fanny). There are two key stories that you need to know about Fanny:
a) Fanny was born and grew up on a small island between the UK and France called Jersey. I won’t bore you with history and politics, but Jersey is part of the UK in some respect (they have the same language, accept same currency etc) but is also independent. Anyway, who cares – what you need to know is that Jersey is 118 square kilometers in size (i.e. marginally bigger than my kitchen) and has a population is 88,000 (i.e. I’ve been in toilet cubicles with more people).
I don’t know exactly what the situation is with electricity is in Jersey, but for the moment I’m assuming there is none.
Naturally, growing up in a place like that gives you a very open mind and a wildly cosmopolitan and modern perspective on all aspects of life. No wait, it just makes you a narrow-minded, backward country bumpkin who spent his/her youth throwing stones at silver birds (aka airplanes) on their flight path to France.
b) Fanny is not only blessed with privileged upbringing in a desirable corner of the earth, but also a charming, tell-it-like-it-is manner that has everyone in fits. I.e. she’s a rude, crass Jersey cow. My favourite moment of interaction with her was some time in 2004 when I went to her house party and she introduced me to all her guests as Gay London Preppy because I was wearing a pink t-shirt. I must point out that this was BEFORE I had come out or had admitted to myself even that I was gay. Fanny had her suspicions however, and she thought: why not advertise it to everyone around me
Obviously when you’re going through such an internal battle about your sexuality / acting upon it / being in denial / coming out and all of these issues, it really really helps when some idiot makes fun of you publicly. Fanny has been a favourite of mine since
Girl B (let’s call her Marietta). There is one key story that you need to know about Marietta:
a) Back in 2004 when we all used to have lunch together, I used to just eat high protein / low carb food as you would expect. This is always a topic of discussion when I first meet a new group of people because they are understandably curious / fascinated. I do expect a degree of piss-take and I don’t mind, because I can give it back to and it’s what friends do.
I do like this whole straight boy dynamic where friendships revolve around making fun of each other, teasing, and all that. I’m used to it.
For some reason though Marietta was extremely interested in my eating habits and had a real obsession with taking the piss. She would always make some smug comment about what I ate, imply that I’m odd, suggest that my lack of success with women was because I was too obsessed with myself and looking good etc (remember, I wasn’t out yet back then).
This is all fine apart from Marietta had an obvious eating disorder and had the same lunch every day: one Ryvita cracker and a few grapes. Sadly, because she was a girl (and quite pretty too) nobody ever dared comment on what she ate or joke about her habits. Her eating disorder was the elephant in the room.
Not to mention that I found out later (from a housemate of hers) that she very often would also go and make herself sick after meals in the evening. So anorexic AND bulimic, which is something I would normally consider very cool (I love a troubled girl as much as I love a troubled boy), but come on! If you’ve got all these skeletons in your closet, don’t take the piss out of me on a daily basis for eating a chicken breast and staying clear of rice.
I’m not saying all girls are prissy like her, but Marietta was the type of girl that nobody was allowed to joke with, because she’s used to all the boys being extra nice to her because they want to shag her. I’m sorry but that’s what it boils down to. And some pretty girls like Marietta use their good looks as an excuse to do what they like.
So on Thursday this week Fanny and Marietta and Ace and I are chatting and the following exchange occurs:
Fanny: I see you still wear tight shirts
Me: Yes, ha ha that’s not gonna change soon (or something like that – playing along at that point)
Fanny: Is this a girl’s shirt?
Me: Very funny, no it’s not (still don’t mind)
Marietta: I think I’ve got the same shirt actually, is it from Zara? Do you shop at Zara womenswear?
Me: Well sometimes I do, but this isn’t a woman’s shirt. How many women do you know with my shoulders? (still funny at this point).
Then another friend from the Grads comes near us and Marietta says: “Look London Preppy is wearing a woman’s shirt. I’ve got the same one”
Well now being gay and having no need to indulge her anymore I think well maybe I should be funny back and tell her that no it can’t be the same shirt, and even if it is, hers must be a much bigger size, because she’s looking a bit fat these days and maybe she should lose some weight.
Incidentally, Marietta has always been and still is very, VERY thin and in no way can she have imagined I'm being serious about this.
Either way, I must say this does not go down well AT ALL and she looks at me like I’ve just made a fat joke to a bulimic girl. Oh wait…
Anyway, I don’t care and I’m quite pleased with myself and then I think I’m done there so I make the decision to go home on that Thursday evening at 2100.
Tomorrow I promise to be nicer and more positive on the blog and I will even post a new shirtless picture of Josh Lewsey that I found in a rugby magazine today.
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