Having a job in London and living in the outskirts of Bedfordshire gave me two lives. In London, I was Tess McGill working hard for that corner office and keeping my life professional (or as professional as a single woman can be in the heart of England). In Bedfordshire, I was that small town girl. ‘The American’, since most people here only knew one. At home, I slipped back into my Southern drawl a bit. I was comfortable here. I felt at home.
But because it is a small town the company tends to be a little less diverse and it seemed everyone knew everyone, except me. And that went both ways. I hardly knew anyone and because I was with George for so long while living in England, hardly anyone knew me. So, getting into the singles scene with all new acquaintances was simply too easy.
Everyone inquired after this ‘new American girl’ in town. I was surrounded by people wanting to get to know me and I was all too happy to get to know everyone. My first two dates with Bedfordshire-ites were less than promising, but ever the optimist, I donned my best Friday night outfit (black skirt and black lacy top) and hit the town.
It was my new friend Katie that first introduced me to Bobby in early September.
Bobby was a friend of her sister’s and because her sister was so close in age they all went out together frequently.
I remembered the first night I went out with all of them I’d seen him and thought to myself that he wasn't very handsome, but I loved his name. Bobby Robins. It had a nice ring to it.
Bobby was tall with dusty blonde hair and bright blue eyes. He was wearing dark blue jeans and a light gray t-shirt and some trendy pointed shoes. For some reason I found him comical. He was always smiling and loved listening to other people’s stories. He had extremely good posture and talked with that very English accent you get out in the counties.
Ah yes, Reginald, I think I shall take tea today.
Capital, Charles, simply capital. I will tell the missus.
He was sitting just next to me and I kept leaning in to try to start a conversation. He spoke to his friend mostly and I kept trying to nudge my way in.
"Have you heard the new MGMT album?" asked his friend.
"Yea, it's great, I've got Electric Feel on repeat," I said - but no one heard me and Bobby kind of talked over me with his answer. His friend kind of caught on that I was trying to make conversation, but I wasn't sure Bobby could even see me at the angle he was sitting.
I felt like a total loser. Bobby and his friend talked for what felt like an hour and I just sat there, literally trying to nudge my way into the conversation by any means possible. I even put my elbow on the table and leaned really close to Bobby's outstretched arm. I realised as I looked from his shoulder to his hand that his fingers were enclosing around my gin and tonic. Whoa now! Mitts off my booze motha fucka! He pulled the drink to his lips and took a large swig.
“Oh, I’m sorry, but that was my drink,” I said in the most polite English way possible.
He swallowed the remainder of the glass and burst out laughing. Coughing a bit on the apparent hilarity of the situation. I was a bit miffed. I think I was looking a bit Scarlet O'Hara - very unamused with one eyebrow arching up.
I sat patiently waiting for him to stop choking and finally say, "Oh my, I'm terribly sorry. Please let me buy you another one." He gave me a big grin. "I'm really sorry. I had no idea you were even there."
Sigh, oh well. I never turn down a free drink and I was happy to get the chance to finally speak to Bobby Robins so I followed him to the bar.
I wasn't my usual self that evening. I was really nervous. I started talking about things and then forgetting where I was going with it and then making up the rest of it. I was just thinking to myself, lies... this is all lies. I'm vomiting lies! I think I told him I lived in Italy for a while. I've never been to Italy. What the fuck am I saying?!
He didn't seem to notice though and the music was really loud so I'm not even sure he could hear me. So, it wasn't too big of a deal I was blabbering complete and udder bullshit. I can definitely tell you that I could in no way, shape, or form make out a single word he was saying, except for the occasional, "You know what I mean?" In which case I would reply, "Yea, totally".
We spent half an hour "chatting" away and laughing about my travelling lies that we nearly didn’t get each other’s names. Well, I knew his, but he'd never been introduced to me.
I'd just drank my 5th gin & tonic and three is my limit (if I'd had a meal, which I didn't). So as I sloshed around the remaining G&T in the melted ice at the bottom of my glass I just simply smiled and giggled and batted my lashes and thought to myself. I wonder if I lean in closer he'll try to kiss me. So I kept leaning in as if I couldn't hear (which wasn't a complete lie), but I was conscious that I was leaning really really far, or at least it felt that way.
“Oh my, where’s my manners? I’m Bob or as most everyone here calls me Bobby.”
“Oh yes, nice to meet you Bobby” [sticks out hand] “I’m Josie.”
The way Bobby grabbed my hand, smiled, leaned in and said, "let's go have a seat somewhere... [raising his eyebrows] quieter," had me grinning ear to ear.
Butterflies, drunk goggles, a full glass of gin & tonic - extra lime - and a silly cheesey grin plastered on my face. I must have looked like a total sucker.
We looked for a table closer to the back but with the crowds of people gathering around to dance everywhere we had to abandon our mission for intimacy and decided to get back to the chatter of our friends.
I swayed between the tables and small stools to find an open one directly across from Bob. I was wearing my sexy black leather heels and the mini skirt made my legs look miles long on the short stool. I kept switching my crossed legs like that hot lady in a white dress in that movie in an interrogation room. I can't remember what it's called.
I was just doing my third switch and about to rest my elbow on my knee and do a little sexy eye contact action but I lost my balance.
I really lost my balance.
I fell off the stool mid leg cross and fell over.
When you're laying on the floor after a lot of gin two things come to mind.
Did anyone see that?
What do I do now?
Answer: Play it cool
Play it cool. Yea play it cool. I stood up pretended to dust myself off and took a bow. I got a couple 'wa-heys' but that wasn't so bad. I was mortified though. I'm pretty sure you could see my underwear. Oh God! I'm pretty sure I'm wearing the panda pants tonight.
...digressing a bit - I wear silly underpants. I do this because it's the best birth control I can think of - not that I'm some uber slut, but there's no way you're going to want to take your jeans off if you're wearing white britches with pink teddy bears on them. It's a fool proof policy and it works a charm...
I straightened my skirt a bit and give a bashful smile to Bobby. He moved to the vacant seat next to me and said "nice pants".
Date Time: Bobby Robins and I dated on and off for 9 months. Each dating session lasted 1-3 months.
Overall Appeal: For the name alone he got a 9.5, looks - 6, manners - 5, conversation - 3.
Would I date him again: Fuck no! 9 months of hell. He's a complete blow to the self esteem. I was so upset about the 2nd time he dumped me that I lost 10lbs - which coincidently boosted my self esteem. No regrets there, but no turning back either.
Goodnight kiss: that night no, and I remember it taking about 3 weeks after to finally get one.