I like Russell Brand. He has a unique way with words, a refreshing honesty, and impeccable timing. Sure, he can be a complete cad, but is that the worst thing in the world? And the truth is, I have to admit that Rus and I have something in common: we both freely admit that we consider ourselves to be fascinating topics of conversation. That and, like him, “I couldn’t possibly have sex with someone with such a slender grasp on grammar!”
You see, most people worry themselves about other people disclosing their secrets. Not Mr Brand and I. We are more likely to gossip about ourselves than about anyone else. I’m sure this is in appalling taste but alas, it seems to be a reflex action. In part I think I do it as a means of keeping myself true to my own promises – I am, after all, innately lazy and lacking in discipline. So telling all and sundry that I intend to start a business or run a marathon has less to do with wanting the spotlight and more to do with preventing myself from backing out. Plus, I do enjoy the drama of it all.
But this sort of behaviour becomes something of a habit and before you know it, every one of your colleagues is fully up to speed with your dating habits and feels entitled to demand an update as soon as you enter the building in the morning. It’s also why within a matter of hours of a certain date, you find you have been unable to contain yourself and have told too many people – and I do mean too many – of your interest in a certain gentleman.
This can only end badly.
Which is precisely why I am telling you all now, so that if/ when it does, I don’t have to hide behind a wall of shame. It’s my interpretation of balance – tell them all you’ve ‘met someone interesting’ but equally, that it is so unlikely to go anywhere that the only possible result is a big fat dose of nothing.
But which is the worse approach to take: telling the world or setting up for failure? Would it be any better if I kept it to myself without the benefit of friendly advice from voices other than my sub-conscience? Honestly, I don’t know. Nor do I know how soon is too soon to start thinking ahead; to think ‘what if’.
We pull into the dating lane because we want to find love, and yet when the slightest possibility of it arises, we freeze, eyes ablaze with terror. We start thinking like strategists, analysing behaviour and planning next moves. And with the thinking comes imagining – or is it visualisation (‘if you can imagine it you can become it’ and all of that)? Anyone who has read Caitlin Moran’s ‘How to be a Woman’ will find something to recognise in her tale of how she spent one of the longest and most intense relationships of her life with a man she never actually met, entirely within the confines of her overactive imagination.
The imagination is a frightful and fantastic place, and when coupled with the mouth, it can cause absolute chaos. I only hope mine has enough sense to know when to let the two work together! And to know that should this certain gentleman display bad dress sense or a poor grasp of grammar when next we meet, these are not necessarily reason enough to stop imagining entirely!!