Today, I have truly outdone myself. I have really, really outdone anything like this that I have ever done before.
Today, I embarrassed myself, and made myself seen in a less than favourable light in a more spectacular fashion than I ever thought possible.
And how did I manage to orchestrate this symphony of stupidity? By being impulsive. Not rational, or sensible, or clever - oh no. I took my foot and rammed it firmly in my mouth on the advice of the "This is a great idea" section of my feeble brain - which was being supported by the emotional section of my heart.
But I go too fast. Let me start at the beginning.
As regular readers of my blog will know, I am currently single due to yet another quality ruining of a perfectly good relationship by yours truly. It has taken me a long time to get over my last relationship, but finally, in recent weeks I have felt ready to look for someone else's life to ruin. Of course, me being me I have not been very proactive in my search for new love. In fact, I've been about as proactive about going out an Agoraphobic Hermit who is feeling a little unsociable. That being said, I have noticed a few people on my way to and from work - and even got noticed myself by a woman on Tuesday as I walked back from Lunch. So the feelers are out, in a tentative kind of way.
So, last night I'm being given a lift home by my bosses daughter, and as we drive through Sturminster Town centre I notice a very attractive woman walking down the road about 100 yards away. A combination of the distance, the fact that I was in a moving car, and my dodgy eyesight meant that I couldn't see her that properly - but she had lovely long hair, and a great figure, which was good enough for me. I got dropped off in town and as I got out, I saw this woman go into the local card shop. Suddenly, my impulse gland kicked in, and I made the decision to go to the card shop and see if I can get a better look at this woman - and maybe even ask her out for a drink!!!.
I know!!!! Me - actually approaching a woman and asking her out. I was exhilarated and terrified all at the same time. I didn't know whether to faint, or soil myself.
Luckily, I did neither. I realised that I would need some sort of ruse in order to justify going into the card shop. I'm pretty sure they frown on people just walking in and staring at the staff. So, a quick trip to the cashpoint was called for. One quick trip later, and with £10 in my wallet I headed for the card shop. To my dismay, while I was still a good hundred yards away I saw the woman I wanted to speak to walk out of the card shop, and down the street away from me. With a look on my face somewhere between "dog that's been told off", and "child that's dropped his ice cream", I turned away, and walked home.
Fortunately, home was only a minute away so before anyone could see me fighting to keep back the tears of frustration, I got home and made myself a cup of tea. As I drank the tea I thought about what might have been - the initial conversation we would have had, me cracking a joke, she laughing. We agree to meet up, and then a few months down the line, we marry and live happily ever after.
Except that we wouldn't - because I'd never see her again. I was starting to feel depressed. And when I feel depressed, only one thing can help.
Before you could say "you'll get fat" (not that I cared) I was back out of the door and on my way to my local co-op to buy 230g of happiness. My route would take me past the card shop of broken dreams - but hang on just a goddamn minute! What's this? the woman I wanted to talk to was walking back into the card shop!!! For a moment, I was back on the faint / soil myself knife-edge. I managed to compose myself, and carried on towards the shop.
It's a small shop - about the size of your average bedsit - so imagine my surprise when I couldn't see the woman who I had just seen enter these very premises. Confused, I walked round the shop trying to locate her. Thankfully I did - she was in a back room whose door was only partially open. I was still confused - like a man in a park seeing a Frisbee get bigger and bigger and bigger. And then it hit me - she works here!
Cue small choir singing "Hallelujah!"
Great, she worked here. Now I knew where she worked. Now what? I couldn't just interrupt her working and start chatting her up - that would be rude. I may be many things, but impolite is not one of them. So I bought a card (to complete the charade) from the assistant behind the counter, and left. I then went to the Co-Op, bought some chocolate and went home.
At work this morning, I was telling my bosses daughter all about my adventure of the previous early evening, and she suggested that I go back to the card shop today and ask the woman out. With the residue from yesterdays secretion from my impulse gland still coursing through my veins, I said that I would.
Foolish, foolish boy that I am!!!
So at lunch time, I took the card that I had bought previously back to the card shop to exchange (I had actually needed to buy a card, but in the panic brought on by my proximity to the woman I was going to marry (who I still hadn't had a clear look at by the way), I had picked up a hideous card that I wouldn't give to my worst enemy. So I walked into the shop expecting to see the woman, and be able to use the card exchange as a way of talking to her.
Except she wasn't there. The door to the back room was shut, and only the assistant from yesterday was working.
I exchanged the card, and then I did something very unlike me. I was about to walk out, when I turned back to the assistant and said: "excuse me, this might sound a bit weird, but you had a woman working here in the back room yesterday when I came in, and I wanted to ask you - is she single? because I think she is lovely".
I haven't seen her properly, but I think she is lovely. Give me a break.
But I had done it. I had actually gone out on a limb and opened myself up for heartbreak. My entire body tensed as I waited for the assistants reply. She was going to tell me that she wasn't single, I knew it.
As it tuned out, the assistant didn't say she wasn't single. What she said was much, much worse.
"She's actually sixteen." the assistant said, with a strangely concerned look on her face.
At that moment, my entire world crashed through the floor. As those words registered, I suddenly became very aware of how this must look. A forty yeard old man enquiring after the availabilty of a sixteen year old girl - and from the look on the face of the assistant, I had enquired via the girl's mother.
I terribly sickening feeling of embarrssment washed over me. I was stood there open mouthed, but for some reason was holding the card I had just got in exchange infront of my gaping mouth.
I felt unsteady on my legs as the full horror of the situation I was now in filled my mind. I some how managed to express my sincere apologies, and asked that the assistant forget everything that I just said. On rubber legs, I staggered out of the shop and stumbled back to work.
I don't approach women and ask them out, and I don't approach there friends and enquire about them. And there is a very good reason for that - mainly that in some way or another, it always ends in disaster. If you don't believe me, find my blog entry of 2nd April titled "Thanks to all who have loved me - not you, girl on the bus!". All I am saying is that I have no luck.
I can't tell you how mortified I still am at what happened in that card shop earlier today. I can never go back there - ever. I am so embarrassed, having made a fool out of myself, and possibly now being considered by some in my community as some sort of "predator". There is a saying "He Who Dares - Wins". In my case, substitute "Wins" for "Fails Spectacularly".
I tell you, you couldn't write the stuff that happens to me.