Tag Archives: crushes

Alone on Valentine’s Day

14 Feb
Source: Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America on Flickr Commons

Source: Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America on Flickr Commons

The post has been and gone. My message box is empty. The telephone remains silent. What else could it be but another typical Valentine’s Day, a manufactured marketing ploy by cake, card and confectionary companies to maximise profits. A day in which it seems that the entire world scrambles to find some smattering of affection and goes overboard with public displays of affection to prove just how ‘special’ their relationships are. And yet, in spite of my deep-rooted cynicism of the whole tawdry thing, I can’t help but take my outsider stance as proof of my own failure.

With the exception of a few years in the mid 2000s, my Valentine’s Days have been pretty miserable. I’m either a definite singleton, or I’ve been in an unhappy place with the person I’ve been seeing, and the whole thing becomes an overpowering chore. In the past I’ve sent cards to women that I’ve been harbouring crushes on, but the overwhelming silence and/or rejection that follows means I am no longer likely to do this. Its kind of creepy anyway, especially if one does it anonymously, and in our days of psycho stalkers one has to be mindful of respectful distances.

This year has been harder. I’ve been dreading it for months, and that hasn’t subsided. Mostly because I found myself falling for someone last year, and those feelings have refused to shift in spite of all attempts to do so. Unrequited love is a painful pleasure – the euphoria of intensity of feeling is at loggerheads with the excruciating agony of rejection and rebuttal. Its not as if I’ve had my affections spurned before, I have, but the way this has been handled and where it has ended up doesn’t make sense. It’s perfectly possible to remain friends with someone you’ve declared an unreciprocated interest in, or had a relationship with. And it isn’t like I haven’t made inroads into moving on from that relationship either, but you can’t help how you feel, and I’ve no desire to bury those feelings because they’ll just sit there stewing and eventually will erode anything else that comes along. Better to be honest, to embrace them, to see what happens.

I suppose I must have had a tiny hope that perhaps things would change. That this wonderful woman that I still have a bubbling chemistry with, might have taken a (second) chance on us, but instead its gone the other way and I’m deeply saddened by the extreme measures taken. Not because we don’t get on, not because we don’t like each other, not because we couldn’t actually be friends, but it strikes me because of all of those things. The positive attributes are exactly the reason why she isn’t talking to me. And that’s especially awkward because our circles are closing in on each other and eventually paths will cross in the flesh again. As long as she’s happy and doing what she wants, that’s all that really matters. My personal happiness isn’t dependant on her, but she definitely brought a great deal of happiness to my life. I just wish she was part of the 2017 me, a much improved take on the person she knew. Though every bit as sincere.

Damn regrets. I tried so hard to keep a safe distance only to find myself slipping deeper and deeper into a vat of affection until I was washed with love. I always seem to fall for the wrong person. People who live impractical distances away, or have unworkable schedules. Social and economic backgrounds and thinking that struggle to accept mine. People who are also damaged, kindred spirits, who are hell-bent on rejecting something with potential because it scares them – only to seek out the same sort of damaging relationships that have ruined their lives and selves in the past. I’m trying not to be that person anymore myself, trying not to repeat my mistakes.

So today I allow my mind to wander for a period through bittersweet sadness, heightened by an unnecessary silence. I distract myself with music and writing and memory. I’ve no friendly benefits to claim, no cuddle buddy to snuggle up to, no human touch. I don’t really know any better. So you can take your Valentine’s demonstrations and keep them to yourself. Unless that is, you want to share them with me…


The Avengers and Me

26 Jun

As a teenager in the 1990s my bedroom walls were, like many, plastered in images taken from popular culture. Only mine were a little out of step with the time. The ceiling was covered in Doctor Who imagery, and on the walls were posters of Christopher Lee as Dracula, and a very large collage I’d put together of Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg in The Avengers. A show which aired some thirty years previously.

I first stumbled on The Avengers during the early 90s, when Channel 4 reran the show on Thursday nights sometime around 11pm. After I came home from my weekly Boys Brigade evenings, I’d sit up doing my homework with the tv on in the background. I had it timed that I would finish just before The Avengers started, and I’d watch it immediately before bed. Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman played the stylish spies embroiled in an unceasing string of subterfuges. They had great screen presence, and I loved the slightly surreal stories they took us through.

In time Channel 4 took to repeating the Diana Rigg episodes, and later the Linda Thorson ones, while over on BBC2 the under-rated 1970s revival The New Avengers got an airing (albeit out of its proper order). I’d acquired a VCR by the time of the Rigg repeats, and dutifully taped the run, watching and rewatching over the following years. The shows got stranger, and yet more convincing. I developed adolescent crushes on Blackman, Rigg and Thorson (I did admit the latter to Thorson when I met her years later at an event in Birmingham, and instantly flushed scarlet).

Through it all was the singularly solid performance of Patrick Macnee, the old Etonian, exemplifying a caricature of the English upper-class. A dapper dresser – pin strip suits, chelsea boots, bowler hat, ruffled umbrella and flower in his button hole. A little more ‘of society’ than Connery’s Bond ever was, this was someone who would exchange witty banter while wrestling a ruffian and quaffing gallons of champagne – a role model indeed.

Patrick Macnee as John Steed in 'The Undertakers' episode of The Avengers in 1963 - note the revolver.

Patrick Macnee as John Steed in ‘The Undertakers’ episode of The Avengers in 1963 – note the revolver.

There’s a myth perpetuated by Macnee that Steed was in marked contrast to Bond and would never carry a gun. And while its true that he would more inventively use his brolly and bowler hat (which was frequently shown to be steel plated), in the early days in particular, Steed would carry a revolver as the job required. The emphasis though was on ingenuity. And Macnee, a dashing dresser but not exactly matinee idol material with his full face, became a sort of sex symbol – aided no doubt by the succession of attractive actresses that played alongside him.

The show left a mark on my consciousness and I freely admit that there were little things that I picked up as a direct result of digesting the show so regularly. Those early episodes contributed to a slight leather fetish, and those images of Rigg in ‘A Touch of Brimstone’ set my pubescent heart a flutter. I think I took a little more care in how I dressed at the time, and certainly after I left school I retained a touch of dandy in my dress sense, and can’t help but think of Steed when I’m out in inclement weather with my umberdoodle. Such are the gentle influences of a classic television series.

Patrick Macnee made the part effortlessly cool, sailing through scenes with a mischievous glint in his eye. With Rigg as Mrs Peel they demonstrated possibly the finest run of sexual tension ever – with a hinted at but never confirmed sense of romantic entanglement. And when Macnee stepped back a little for The New Avengers, we felt his absence – the show was always much better when he had a decent chunk of the action.

And so with Patrick Macnee’s death at the age of 93 an era has passed, but the influence of the show will continue to be felt for years to come (there was a little Steed in Colin Firth’s recent stint in Kingsman), and Macnee’s status is surely secured as one of the great British icons of the 20th century.

More of me… Day 4 : Dirty habits

25 Aug

Sometimes it feels good to have a check list in front of you – a disseminated page of instructions that compel you to obey. For me the ’30 Days of Me’ challenge is just that. Yes, it isn’t exactly the most pushy of blog instructions to ever taunt the humble blogger, but it does force some introspection. Something this nostalgist is fond of doing anyway.

Day 04- A habit that you wish you didn’t have

Oh dear Bobbystalkers, if I proceed to tell you about my dirty habits what will you do with the information? Will you fill my Christmas stocking this year with items to take my mind off them? Will you plunder my weaknesses in an attempt to control my immortal soul? Will you stop loving me and stalk somebody else instead?

Each and every one of us has bad habits I suspect. I have more than enough you know. Where shall I begin… hmm, well lets skip some of the more salacious and obvious…

When I was a kid it was the nosepicking that was probably my worst habit. Constantly pick pick picking. Same with sores and wounds. I’m hardly the first person ever to be guilty of those things. And if I do any of those today, I certainly don’t do them in company. I hope. But times move on…

Procrastination is perhaps my worst habit. Properly filthy it is too. I find I can’t get much work done unless I am up to the wire with impending deadlines and a minimum of four projects up in the air. That said I find it far to easy to distract myself, wander off and well, do anything OTHER than the task in hand.  I guess even this little blog is a form of procrastination. I mean instead of writing it I could be writing something else. But I find it frees up the grey cells, gets them bouncing off each other and gets me in the mood for writing other things, so not all bad. Would be lovely to just sit down and be able to write at whim though.

I probably procrastinate in other areas of my life too though…

I’ll come back to this in the blog on future entries, but I’d like to be less rude. Not impolite. But rude. Was born with a mind in the gutter. Some of you won’t realise this, but then we’ve only just met. It can be a problem. My mind has on occasion been my opening gambit in conversations. I wouldn’t say I’m a cunning linguist necessarily, but it can lead to trouble… Also means I find it hard to tell the difference sometimes between a lady who shares my gift of the gab, and someone who I am having a moment of sexual rappor with. Orally speaking. Eh-hem. I digress.

Which leads me to falling in love. Oh dear. I do this every so often. Never mean to. Probably pick the wrong crush every time (awww). Crushing is fine, but I find it hard to date because I’m almost ready to skip huge steps in the relationship from the off. Leaves you vulnerable. Of course, if asked I’ll usually deny any crush I’m the process of dealing with. But shhhh.

Erm… this has gone off on a tangent. I wish I wasn’t so nice, and eager to please. That’s not maybe a bad thing, but you end up being walked all over and being taken advantage of.

You tell me, which of my bad habits that I have [or haven’t] mentioned should I be shaking off?