52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I know you'll get me through

I am rubbish with girls.

I'm not sure that this has always been the case. When I was at primary school, I even had a girlfriend. I thought that Louise was the prettiest girl in the class (I gave her a handmade Valentine's card once when I was about 6), but I only really had eyes for Rachel Cook, and used to watch whilst she did handstands against the wall and showed her knickers to the world (which I am convinced to this day she did entirely deliberately... the little trollop). Ah, the joys of young love.

I've talked about this at length before, so I won't go into it again, but from the ages of 7 to 18, I went into private education, and didn't spend a whole lot of time with girls (I finally managed to get a proper girlfriend when I was 21).

As far as I know, I have never chatted up a woman in my whole life. Never. I don't think I've ever gone out "on the pull", either. Wouldn't know where to start.

Actually, now I think about it, I'm not very good at talking to women at all.

Maybe I shouldn't be so quick to blame it on my schooling. It's not just girls I'm rubbish at talking to; to be honest, I sometimes struggle to make conversation full stop. I can do it if I put my mind to it - you have to in order to be a functioning person, don't you? - but sometimes I just can't see the point. I have the magic talent of displaying on my face exactly what I think of someone and what they are saying to me. If I think you are a twat and that you are talking from your arse, I will look as though I think you are a twat and that you are talking from your arse. I'm probably more proud of this than I should be, as I'm sure that it holds me back from time to time. Hm.

As you might expect, all of this makes me hopeless at parties, and I'm the kind of person who dodges the other guests and heads off towards the bookshelves or the CDs so that I can have a good nosey.

I reckon that blogging is another reflection of that element of my personality. It's a way of dipping into someone else's life without really needing to go through all that complicated "getting to know you" stuff. You don't need any small talk. There's no expectation that you will have to talk to anyone. You can just pop in, read the most personal things about someone else's life, and then just move along. No messy interpersonal entanglements. No misunderstandings.

If you do decide to leave a comment, you are cloaked by anonymity and can take as long as you like to think up that pithy one-liner.


Except it's not like that, is it?

As a result of reading weblogs, not only I am better informed than I have ever been before, but I now care about the lives of people that I have (in most cases) never met. I worry about them and I want them to be happy. I'm interested in their opinions on any number of subjects, from poverty in the third world all the way though to what they thought of that album they bought last week. I'm not just a dispassionate observer. I look forward to reading new posts, I like to leave comments, and I love hearing what they have to say about what I've been jabbering about. Every day I get a little thrill when I see I have new comments, or if the comments I have made elsewhere have sparked a reply.

Only today, I laughed out loud as I read a review of "Sin City" - a film that I had been considering going to see - on Troubled Diva:

"Stunningly creative and beautiful cinematography, though. I'll grant you that. But a turd in a chocolate box is still a turd".

You just don't get that sort of review in the paper, do you? Short, to the point and saves a wasted journey.


I think what I'm trying to say is that I think you guys are great.

And some of you are girls too**.

I must be growing as a person, or some other self-help, therapy-speak nonsense. So thanks for that.

And speaking of self-help, therapy-speak nonsense, I have to leave you all to spend some time swimming in lake Me.


**This being the internet, I suppose you never really know for sure. Just so there's no confusion, you do all know that the photos I put up on here aren't actually me, don't you? I'm actually a 43 year old housewife from Luton with a rich internal life. )


  • At 12:35 am, Blogger the urban fox said…

    If only you'd cottoned (arf) on to the seductive power of Lycra at an earlier age, you might've been spared those adolescent agonies.

    We heart you too, you big jessie.

  • At 2:01 am, Blogger Erika said…

    I, in truth, am Rachel Hunter. It's all a great big charade.

  • At 2:16 am, Blogger Flash said…

    I was just gonna ask swiss for his/her number but now I'm after Ka!

    Nice post, my friend. I think you really nicely articulated how we all feel there. Certainly me anyway!

  • At 2:38 am, Blogger Marci said…

    Betcha ST's a better dancer than Rach. *g* Sadly, I'm addicted to the cheesiest reality offering here in the states this summer: Dancing with the Stars. Someone put me out of my misery. Quick!

    Nice post ST - even if you are a housewife from Luton, keep sending the Cadbury and no one gets hurt.

  • At 3:55 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    *pat, pat* And we think you're great too ST.

    Also - there's quite a nice little Coldplay interview in my favourite street mag this week - thought you might like to check it out here

    - OLS

  • At 4:02 am, Blogger Michael said…

    I would like to take a brief moment to post, saying that I am actually more than a giant blue eyeball, but said eyeball I do possess.

  • At 8:47 am, Blogger Mark said…

    having met Swiss, she is indeed a housewife from Luton, and looks not her 43 years.

  • At 9:07 am, Blogger Damo said…

    I am a tax inspector from Ullapool.

    But seriously... conversation's easy, honest. I can make conversation with anyone. I can of course prove this if you meet us for a drink at Glastonbury!

  • At 9:20 am, Blogger LB said…

    I can assure you that going out "on the pull" (says he of limited experience) ain't all it is cracked up to be. You're far better off having met a lovely partner in a different environment and being happily ensconsed.

    You will absoutely categorically have "chatted up" a woman in your life, but you just won't have realised you're doing it. I suffer from the same naivete. I was waiting at a bar once in Manchester and was asked a pretty harmless question by this bloke about my age stood next to me. We ended up chatting for a little while whilst waiting for some drinks and it was only when I went back to my giggling friends did I realise that I was being chatted up. I had absolutely no idea that was the case. And you'll have been that bloke at some time, and just not realised that's what you were doing.

    I think your abilities for small talk are better than you think, and that some of the time they're bad becuase you think they're bad, and not becuase they're *actually* bad, if you see what I mean.

    there's a point in that sentence somewhere.

    I love you too, Barbara. Your nephew looked *great* in that wetsuit, by the way.

  • At 9:45 am, Blogger John McClure said…

    Dr Mac says:

    The scratches you perceive on your glasses.
    The marks you perceive on your new worktops.
    The ineptitude you perceive in your conversational style.

    You share Chris Martin's fear of things being broken that cannot be fixed. You fear that the smallest scratch on your lens renders your glasses useless. You are terrified that a slight chink in your worksurface may scupper your chilli.

    I believe the technical term is 'catastrophising' - but I'm not sanctioning that kind of psychobabble.

    OK, so you're not Noel Coward, but you're far from an inept conversationalist.

  • At 1:29 pm, Blogger Betty said…

    Actually, as a 41 year old housewife with a rich internal life I have never chatted up a washing machine repair man.

    Unless I did so unknowingly.

  • At 5:15 pm, Blogger HistoryGeek said…

    All the good stuff has been said! I hear you about the difficulty with small talk - until I've had a pint or two that is, then I'm chattygirl.

  • At 11:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ST, you always say you're shite at talking to girls, but do you realise that about half your audience (approximately, statistically, probably) are girls? And we keep coming back to hear more? We're all just people you know.

  • At 10:33 am, Blogger Calia77 said…

    Ah, my thoughts exactly. I continually moan to my friends that I'm rubbish at small talk - and that can take up a whole evening! If that's not small talk, I don't know what is? Problem is, I can't stand trivia. I don't want to talk about Posh's dress size, Jordan's boobs or who did what to who in Big Brother last night. Maybe I'm just boring - or a snob! So keep on checking out those CDs and books, and if I catch you at the same party, I'll be there looking at them too - so just start talking!

  • At 1:42 pm, Blogger Betty said…

    Don't know if chatting up works if you're trying to find a long term partner as you can hardly "be yourself" at a nightclub/party, even with the overindulgence in booze ... hence so many couples get to know each other as friends at work or university I suppose.

  • At 10:32 pm, Blogger red one said…

    Hello Swiss - can't tell you what a good post that was to read right now. You'll have noticed I've been absent from blogworld for a bit, but I'd just got me nerve up to stick a toe back in the water... and found a post that says what it's all about. Thanks for that.

    And I love you more than the whole rest of Luton put together.



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