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Princess Ruby on: Could your next date be sitting next to you?

10 Jun

Definition:

‘A meet-cute is a situation in which a future romantic couple meets for the first time in a way that is considered adorable, entertaining, or amusing. It can also be applied to two people destined to become buddies’.

Meet-cutes are, without a doubt, probably the best thing about being single. Those little surprise encounters where you bump into someone (sometimes quite literally) who momentarily stops you in your tracks and makes your heart do a little flip. They often happen when you least expect them, or as I’ve recently discovered – while waiting for a bus or a plane!

I guess this is what makes them so cute; because they’re completely organic and even the most unromantic can’t help but think that maybe fate is playing its part. And so my story begins…

Meet-cute #1

One evening, my friend was sitting at a bus stop shivering, staring out at the road optimistically willing a red double-decker bus to turn the corner, rescue her from near hyperthermia and take her home – when a guy also sharing the same fate asked her for a lighter. Not a smoker herself, she was unable to help, however this prompted a conversation which lead to him suggesting they give up on the bus and go for a drink together instead.

They dated for a while, and would often laugh about their cute encounter, however unfortunately cigarettes weren’t his only vice – he also had a taste for snorting a certain Class A drug to help him deal with his high pressure city trading job.

When his nasty little friend started making an appearance before, during and after their dates, my friend conceited defeat and realised that perhaps fate hadn’t bought her prince. But nonetheless, her little ‘meet-cute’ does make her smile from time to time when she’s shivering waiting for the bus.

Meet-cute #2

On route to India a few months ago, I was browsing an uninspiring sandwich counter at Heathrow Airport when I looked up to catch the eyes and the very inviting smile of my next beau. After buying my sandwich I hesitantly walked out the store while flashing my best flirty smile back (one I have done my best to perfect over the years!).

As I waited outside the store for a friend, I froze when I noticed Sandwich Boy was coming over.  He introduced himself and gave me his business card, asking me to get in touch upon my return.

I took him up on this offer and we ended up going on one those amazing first dates where you instantly click, laugh (and well, eventually kiss) for hours!

However, alas, the second date was not such a success. Unsure whether the wine from the previous date had clouded my judgement, he started the date off by making jokes about a slightly overweight girl in the pub, then went on to brag about how much money he made (yawn) right before promptly pointing out that it was my turn to buy the next round, despite only being half way through my drink.  The date rapidly went down from there spelling the end of our ‘meet-cute’!

Meet cute #3

Around the same time, another friend had a transport ‘meet-cute’, however this time while boarding a flight to Australia. He spotted the lovely lass as they were boarding the plane, and to his luck, she sat in the same row as him. Unfortunately, he fell asleep, and when he woke he noticed he had not only missed dinner, but the girl too – as she had moved to the row behind him.

Hungry and disappointed, he looked around to notice her moving back to his row and told him that she had left a chocolate for him in the pouch of his seat as he had missed dinner! The chocolate was not the only thing that melted… he was smitten (after all, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach). They have since gone on a few dates, however as she’s an air hostess from Portugal… it has made dating a little difficult.

Although, just goes to show… you never know who you might meet on your next journey!

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Princess Ruby on: when the thrill of the chase brings no thrills

16 Mar

To continue on from my last blog, it seems Mr Do You Have Nice Feet was playing a game of phone roulette – although neither of us hit the jackpot! He text the day before the date to say he forgot his sister was coming to stay so asked if he could rearrange for the following week.

The next week came, and my phone was silent as a mouse. No beeps, squeaks or tweets. But in these fickle circumstances, easy come, easy go; best dust off those stilettos (without the threat of any feet perverts) and shrug it off.

However what did intrigue me about Mr Do You Have Nice Feet was that he had asked me repeatedly over the course of our texting marathon to go out with him until I said yes. I couldn’t help but wonder…. why go to such effort???

I started to think of dates-gone-by, and a stream of outlandish broken promises that would make Pinocchio blush came flooding back. Everything from romantic holidays to running away together!

When you’ve only had a few dates, it’s safe to assume these sweeping comments are just displays of affection, rather than actual promises. But when they come from someone you’re dating, it’s only natural to get a little swept up in these fantasies and the potential fairytale, as I found out last year.

So it begs the question, is it an ego thing, or do some people really like the thrill of the chase?

Ego or chase – part 1

Early last year, I met up with an ex for dinner. My stomach was in complete knots – possibly serving as a warning that danger was imminent. Despite him breaking my heart, it’s true what they say about bad boys… they’re really hard to get over!

From the moment we met, I exerted a cool ‘I’m so over you demeanour’… however rather unexpectedly, he began reminiscing about our past and confessed that he never got over me. I initially dismissed his affections and continued with my nonchalant attitude.

Although by the time our mains arrived, resistance was futile – he asked the waiter to move the table so he could be ‘closer to me’, and then suggested that we move away together where nothing could get in the way of us and I could have his children. I nearly choked on my dinner.

Tales of the Urban Princesses

So when we met up the following day, and I suggested dating before running off into his fantasy sunset and bearing his children, the confusion really kicked in. He began to physically squirm at the thought of having to commit, and then voiced his concern about me not wanting to play games. Clearly something he was unable to do…

I’m happy to report this episode permanently cured me of my infatuation.

Ego or chase – part 2

Later in the year, I began seeing a seemingly lovely guy who had accepted a job in Australia before we started dating.

As a constant joker, it was hard to know when he was being serious, but every time we met, he joked about me moving to Australia with him, or kidnapping me. This went on for a few months…and occasionally via email after he left.

However when I visited my family in Australia a few months later and asked to meet up, he panicked.

Initially he said he had some ‘special plans for me’, however a few weeks before my arrival, he cut communication completely. When we finally met up it felt like enduring a gruelling boot camp in a thunderous storm would have been preferable over sitting by the Sydney Opera House on that balmy night with me!

Clearly terrified I may have taken him up on his offer, he was awkward and defensive and seemed more interested in sending pictures of the Harbour Bridge to his mother in England than engaging in any form of meaningful conversation. Oh the disappointment.

Months on….and this date still makes me shudder (and not in a good way!)… !

So what do you take from such experiences (besides your slightly battered pride)? Is it really about the thrill of the chase and unwavering egos for some people? Or have I made some particularly poor romantic choices? I think in the above instances, it is a little of both!

However with all being fair in love and war, best to put my armour back on and keep heading for victory.

Princess Ruby on phone roulette and a fascination for feet

4 Mar

It is safe to say that my love life has hit a bit of a quiet patch of late. I haven’t gone out much, dated, exchanged texts …or anything else for that matter, since the other side of Christmas. And for a change, I’m not bothered by this somewhat forced solitude (well, almost!).

So this got me thinking….where do you meet someone if you’re not out in pubs and bars these days? Of course there’s internet dating, meeting people through friends and the slightly more risky avenue of hooking up with someone from work (…please proceed with caution!)

These are all good ways of finding love… (or lust); however I’m starting to think that chance encounters need to make a comeback. Situations which are not contrived, involve a few cocktails or you paying a monthly subscription. Just plain old fashioned flirting with strangers.

I can vouch for the fact that a little cheeky smile from a suited and booted man during the peak-hour rush can really brighten up your morning. It’s these unexpected encounters that give you an extra spring in your step.

So as I was writing this blog late on a Sunday night, feeling content with letting fate take its course, it came as quite a surprise that I got a text from an unknown number asking me who I was, quoting a badly misspelt version of my name.

Curious, I responded back asking who they were. And so the conversation began. It turns out he found my name and number scribbled on the back of a business card but couldn’t remember who I was….and the fact that I couldn’t remember giving my number out (or that he had never called!) was a clear indication that we had both been steaming drunk when we met…or that this was indeed a very old business card.

After establishing we both couldn’t recall the details of our initial meeting, our random conversation unfolded over the next few hours…

Tom: You must have been pretty for me to ask for your number. Haha. I’d love to put a name to the face.

Me: Well, maybe you should have called the first time!

Tom: Haha, fair play. Am I too late? Fancy a blind date?

Me: It seems we may have been a little tipsy during our first encounter….maybe you could remind me a little about yourself??

Tom: Hi, my name is Tom. But my friends call me Curlytom or crazy. I’m 28, from Essex, but I live in South London. Love it. I work for a start-up in Waterloo heading up the online marketing dept. My favourite food is chicken kung-po and rum makes me sick. That’s me. Your turn.

Me: Nice to meet you Tom. I’m 30, live in West London and I also work in marketing and do a bit of writing in my spare time. My favourite food is Italian and white wine makes me sick.

Tom: Pleasure to meet you. ’Do you have nice feet?’

My smile fades.

Me: Nice feet?? Umm, are you joking or do you have a thing for feet??

Tom: You could call it a kinky obsession but I believe if a girl looks after her feet, you can guarantee she looks after everything else. Have I freaked you out? Haha

Hmmm….

Princess Ruby on phone roulette and a fascination for feet

Was this what he had in mind?

And so our texts continued. Aside from the feet comment, he appeared to be very funny, so we made plans to meet for a drink later in the week.

However as the date nears…reservations have set in. Was he trying to be funny or was he really harbouring some kinky foot fetish?? I really hope it’s the former. And is this how he usually meets girls…. playing phone roulette…. chasing up girls he never called late on a Sunday night to get his rocks (or feet??) off?

So while this was somewhat an ‘unexpected encounter’ I’m pretty sure this isn’t how Cinderella got her glass slipper (unless Prince Charming had an ulterior foot motive?) – or how I’ll get mine. To be continued…

Princess Ruby on why I don’t like ‘city bankers’

5 Feb

Despite working in London’s old banking district, I tend to avoid going out to the typical ‘city boy’ banking bars. Don’t get me wrong, I love a man in a good suit….and for this reason, I’m always more than happy to do the morning coffee run to the cafe next door. Although, to accompany these fine suited and booted boys, often comes a certain arrogance and aggression that turns me off quicker than you can say ‘trader’.

However, in saying that, I do like a guy who is not shy about coming forward, and eager to check out an old Victorian Turkish-bathhouse-cum-bar for a friend’s birthday, I was keen to put the stereotypes aside. After all, how often do you get to party in an old bathhouse hidden underneath a tiny pie and mash shop nestled between the buildings responsible for London’s sinking banking system?

So armed with a new dress courtesy of the ongoing sales (one positive outcome of the banking crisis) I was looking forward to the change in scenery.

Trader # 1 – ‘Do you look as good in the morning’?

Will I turn into Princess Fiona in the morning?

While waiting for my French Martini at the bar, I got talking to the guy next to me,  a city trader who was very quick to start firing off questions regarding my career, who I was there with and life my ambitions – all before my second cocktail I felt like my ‘stocks’ where being scrutinised, assessed and measured for risk.

And assess he did, as being the good trader that he was, he later checked with my friend that my name, career and story did indeed match up. Relieved I wasn’t a liar, he continued with his assessment by asking:  ‘Are you rich, as I’m after a rich girlfriend’ and my favourite… ‘Do you look as good in the morning… as it’s hard to tell with some girls’?  Hmmm.  I too made my assessment, and quickly made a beeline back to my friends.

Trader # 2 – the return of Jaws

As I was making my escape, I exchanged smiles with a friendly looking cute blonde guy who later came and introduced himself as a city trader/actor. Intrigued to know more about this unusual combo, we chatted for a while however I noticed he kept getting distracted by the reflection in the mirror next to him… his own.

Having revealed that his brother was a model who had supposedly dated a famous British actress …he seemed to have an inferiority complex as he kept staring at himself in the mirror and complaining that he’s the ugly one compared to his brother. To change the subject, I started to ask about his acting career and which actor he was most inspired by. He eagerly responded by asking if I had seen Jaws. I started laughing and was relieved that he had a sense of humour.

However when he said he aspired to be like the captain of the boat in Jaws with all seriousness… and started to repeat his favourite lines and got into character with such passion and conviction….I had to bite my lip to stop myself from laughing. Jaws???? Really??? And not even the main character!! He had mentioned his girlfriend of two years had recently dumped him because of his acting ambitions… I thought she had sounded mean and superficial. I now think she had a point. Two years of hearing these lines and putting up with him stealing more mirror time than you would be too much for any girl!

Jaws by Slant Media

Trader #3 – busting the moves

My time with the next, but undoubtedly gorgeous trader was brief, as we chatted while I was on route back to my friends. However he was very charming and insisted he was going to come and find me later.

I did see him a little later, standing next to me at the bar holding up a girl who had her legs wrapped around his waist as he parted her firm butt checks and well, … dry humped. (High school disco anyone??)

Meanwhile, my friend had started a hilarious Michael Jackson dance off with a guy who had spent the night in similar position with not one, but two girls, simultaneously. Unimpressed my friend had got into a different type of rhythm with her guy; one of the girls broke up the MJ sequence before any groin grabbing could take place and warned my friend that he was hers.

We later noticed lines of coke on the table next to her semi-passed out body as she vomited while the waiting security guard was gathering her things, and lovers, instructing them to leave.

So all in all, I had a brilliant time people watching, and getting chatted up so much in one evening is always a nice boost to one’s confidence! However as I climbed into the taxi with my friend and we laughed about the night I couldn’t help but be reminded by the fact that it really is a jungle out there (or possibly an ocean in the instance of trader #2) ..and why I don’t like city boys!

Princess Ruby on ‘The Great Drought’

19 Jun

Most girls exploring the realms of singledom, except possibly Samantha’s character in Sex and the City, have at some point experienced a drought. As you’re probably aware, I’m not referring to a lack of rain – but a different natural phenomenon.

During these tough times, friends will comfort you with sayings such as: ‘buses are like men, they all come at once, or not at all.’ In my particular situation, it’s not that buses haven’t gone past; in fact, there’s been a few I’ve flirted with the idea of getting onboard (excuse the pun). However, they just haven’t been the right ones, or have been going in my fussy direction. Despite my increasing…erm, frustration, it seems I’m not just looking for anyone these days, but for a particular type of someone. Let me explain the ‘buses’ of late.

Bus number 1 – the Parisian Express

Upon being introduced by mutual friend at a party, Mr Paris was sweet, funny and shared my love of Prosecco and dancing to cheesy ballads.  He got my number and promptly organised a date, however despite his sweet Parisian ways there was just no attraction on my behalf. Not wanting to judge a book by its cover, I waited until the goodbye kiss to cast my final vote. The verdict was not good. The only way I can describe the sensation that followed is by likening it to kissing a lizard. ‘What happened to the French kiss?’ squealed my mind as his tongue rapidly poked in and out of my mouth.

Instead of my foot curling up and getting lost in the euphoria of the first kiss, it headed straight for the front door and up the stairs. Needless to say, I let the Parisian Express go by.

Bus number 2 – the Out of Service bus

I met my next ‘bus’ through my flatmate and was attracted to his no bullshit personality and hysterical sense of humour. A few months, emails and one rather embarrassing case of mistaken identity later, Mr Out- of- Service and I met for drinks. As far as first dates go, the night was a success; he had me alternating between fits of laughter and the kind of intimate conversations you usually reserve for your nearest and dearest. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait for the next date.

However, there was a slight problem. He had recently broken up with a long-term girlfriend – and despite the troublesome death that relationship endured – Mr Out-of-Service was leaning towards rekindling things with the waiting ex.

The night ended on a gin and tonic induced high, and with us kissing in a garden in a central London square. But alas, an email explaining he didn’t want to mess me around soon followed.  So there goes the out of service bus – and just like an actual out of service bus, despite alarm bells ringing in your head and the knowledge it’s on the road to nowhere, you still hold a little glimmer of hope it will stop and pick you up.

Bus number 3 – the Broken Down Bus (the ex)

We all know this is never the right bus to get on. But at some stage (usually after a few cocktails) we’ve all done it. Having gone down this rocky and regretful road with an ex gone by, I have refrained from doing it with an ever-so- sweet, muscley boy I was seeing for a few months late last year.

Mr Sweet-Bulging-Biceps, was without a doubt, the best when it comes to anything in the bedroom. And I’m not just talking about his toe-tingling talents.

This boy would cuddle all night, stay up chatting with me if I couldn’t sleep (despite it being a school night) and routinely would give me an hour-long massage in the morning (although he works for a top business consultancy firm, he actually wants to become a masseuse).

Perfect you say? Oh yes, how I wished that things had worked out. But before you tut and scream ‘WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU!!’ there was a heartbreaking flaw, despite the unbelievable connection in the bedroom, it didn’t stretch beyond this. With him being a few years younger, and us having very different interests and senses of humour, which incidentally is more of an aphrodisiac for me than a bottle of Moet on a yacht, I sadly didn’t see a future (beyond the bedroom that is).

Months went by, and the more he stared longingly into my eyes, the more ashamed I felt for not being able to do the same. Each week, my friends would stare at me disapprovingly, knowing that heartbreak was imminent.. it being his and not mine.

Eventually, I worked up the courage and broke the news. It didn’t go so well…leaving me feeling absolutely terrible for letting it go on for so long. Therefore, despite the temptation – my guilt over hurting him has prevented any selfish late night dialling.

So, let’s just hope the bus rule does indeed apply to men, and I’m soon able to dangle more than just a heel off the next bus that goes by.

Princess Ruby on saying goodbye to her 20’s and to 20-year-old models on hallucinogens

7 May

There comes a time in your late 20’s when you realise you’re getting older. This epiphany struck me last week while at a beach/foam party on Thailand’s infamous Ko Phangan Island.

Reminiscing about beach parties gone by, I was looking forward to some semi-debauched behavior; while sipping the mandatory, yet lethal, Red Bull and vodka buckets as the sun came up. However, after shortly arriving at the party, I realised something had changed – and that something was me. Unlike the rest of the inebriated crowd, I was no longer 19.

Ko Phangan beach party

I felt like I was about five (or to be exact, ten) years too late for the party, and no amount of vodka or Rihanna on repeat could pull me out of my I’m-too-old for this trance. This feeling was heightened by the bewildered expressions of the tanned, fresh-faced darlings when discovering my age.

However, after a blonde six-foot boy claiming to be a staggering 20 and an Abercrombie and Fitch model, introduced himself – my opinion swayed. I decided to apply that age-old adage ‘when in Rome’ or as in my case, Ko Phangan – after all, I have visited the London Abercrombie and Fitch store and had been mesmerized by these topless models.

So, I told myself what any single girl would…..I’m in paradise, dancing on a beautiful beach with a model to the soundtrack of the waves, and well, Rihanna. Get over it. Did it matter that he was continually pouting and wearing a red cowboy hat saying ‘offers free sex’? At that moment, I decided it didn’t.

After some small talk, Mr Offers-Free-Sex, pulled me into the foam party and led me to the back of the bubbled area until we were both drenched from head to toe (bearing in mind being five-foot this took a lot less time for me). We started to dance and as we got closer, I was flooded with both first kiss excitement, and well,  foam.

I then looked into his eyes –  and a completely vacant expression stared right back at me. Seemingly oblivious to my presence, he continued to pout and began to erotically rub his chest and stare at the star sprinkled sky, before declaring ‘oh man, I’m so fucked on magic mushrooms right now’.

It was at this point I decided I was well past the seduction techniques, or lack thereof, anyone born in the 1990’s. So I left him and his red hat bopping in the foam, as my friend and I headed home – leaving a trail of bubbles, and our early 20’s behind us.


Tube encounters and missed Hollywood fairytales: a tale by Princess Ruby

15 Apr

For most Londoners, the tube has many negative connotations – it is often a means to a sweaty and quite often unpredictable end.

In summer, overheating and overcrowding almost always  ensures a passenger alarm bell being pulled. Whereas in winter, the possibility of frostbite increases each time the train is delayed and the doors remain open – the only benefit being the wind easing the stench wafting from the black sea of woollen coats.

However, despite these unpleasantries, the tube can have its advantages; as often when I have been caught short of a book or paper, my next source of entertainment is to check out my fellow passengers.

Providing you like what you see, it turns out the tube can be a playground for old fashioned flirting. Trapped in a carriage until your eventual departure, it gives you a chance to engage in a cheeky smile or two, or for the more brazen, prolonged eye contact and a phone number scribbled on the back of your Metro. That is, providing you have the courage.

And so my tale begins. One autumn morning, I peered up from my newspaper to see the most beautiful man standing in front of me. So blown away from his perfectly formed dark features, I believe my jaw dropped ever so slightly causing me to giggle at my reaction, and more embarrassingly, at him spotting it.

As my face burnt up, I buried my head into my newspaper before being stopped by an unexpected cheeky, yet perfectly carved smile flashing right back at me. For the next 10 minutes, a similar scenario of cat and mouse unfolded. Using our smiles as bait, and oblivious to the other 30 people in the carriage, we exchanged glances, blushed and exchanged glances again.

Miraculously, a space two seats down from me became available. Tube Boy then strategically manoeuvred his way over at the first signs of its availability and sat down. Checkmate. Smiling from ear to ear, a swarm of butterflies flew through my stomach, releasing a sudden wave of fear– there were only two stops until my office – who was going to make a move?

I’m usually the chattee, rather than the chatter, when it comes to chatting up. So I was fairly certain my nerves would impede any form of role reversal at this point, especially when sober and on an uncomfortably quiet rush-hour train.

However, as the next stop approached, the person sitting next to me got off, and the greatest sense of relief cast over me as Tube Boy stood up and moved next to me.   His leg then began to nervously tap and we eventually turned and looked at each other, before nervously turning back in the other direction.

The doors then flung open. It was my stop. ‘This is my chance, you can do it’ I anxiously told myself. I stood up and proudly put my handbag on my shoulder.

However, unsure of what to actually do next, my confidence suddenly abandoned me and I made my way out of the door and onto the cold concrete platform without so much as a cheeky smile or glance back in his perfect direction.

As the train departed, I stood on the windy platform deflated and confused while scanning the crowd to see if he was there. But he wasn’t. Given the rarity of our encounter, I even waited outside the station in case he came after me like they do in the movies. Maybe this was my Hollywood moment? But it wasn’t.

To ease the disappointment, I have since tried telling myself that maybe he was married or had a voice like David Beckham, however months down the track, I still curse my lack of courage. So much so, each morning, I get in the same train carriage and my new ritual is to always check the crowd before my book even makes it out of my handbag.