February 13, 2011 by jessperriam
When I moved to England, I thought it would be less… well, American. Perhaps I arrived at the wrong time of year. Mid January is that bizarre time of the year where major supermarkets, booksellers and newsagents don’t quite know what to do with themselves.
But when in doubt, sell Easter eggs and Valentine’s Day paraphernalia.
And that little day in February is where I’m left mildly confused about the British. I thought they’d be staunchly against adopting this obviously Hallmark holiday, and expressing their emotions. But I’ve been proven wrong on both accounts.
When I walk into a newsagents, it is wall-to-wall Valentine’s Day cards and the supermarkets have heart shaped boxes of chocolates right next to the Easter eggs and the hot cross buns. And I feel nothing. I feel neither jealousy nor the impulse to projectile vomit. I don’t even feel mildly wistful.
In the past I’ve had the benefit of the chocolate and the flowers that come with the day, and I’ve had the teenage angst that comes with not having that too. This year I’m not seeking it so I don’t have an emotional investment in the outcome.
So let me present a few (tongue in cheek) reasons why you needn’t bother dating me:
1. I have small hands
Do you remember in the first Austin Powers film, where Austin says the other thing that he fears most in this world (apart from nuclear warfare) is, “Carnies… circus folk, smell like cabbage… small hands.”? Well I’m not part of the circus and I don’t smell like cabbage. But I do have small hands, child size hands. Next time I see you, ask to see my hands. It’ll freak you right out.
2. I have a caffeine
This I don’t hide. Love me, love coffee. Also know that I am useless and prone to nonsensical grunting without caffeine. I have witnesses.
3. I’m never without a book
This has resulted in me being called Rory Gilmore on more than one occasion. If you didn’t get the Gilmore Girls reference then you are a man. That’s a good thing. But it’s true, I carry a book with me wherever I go; to read on the bus, in a cafe, while waiting for someone – anything to avoiding looking like I’m lonely or loitering. I’ve read a book in a pub more than once. This officially makes me a dork. Even I know that’s not awesome.
4. I caught the bouquet at my best friend’s wedding
It was a brilliant mark; if it was Australian Rules Football, the moment would be replayed over and over again. Hang on, Bradbury never lets me forget my most athletic moment, barefoot on a dance floor somewhere in the Swan Valley. But if tradition (actually I think it’s a superstition) is correct then if you date me right now, you may be stuck with me.
Also, my housemate just informed me why so many people I’ve met this weekend have previously lived with her – they lived with her, then became engaged and moved out when they married. Houses and flowers are conspiring against my singularity.
5. I sing strange little songs to myself
If I’m looking for something, I’ll often sing it’s name, title or whatever. If I’m caught out or think I’ve been caught out, I’ll say, “Oh, that’s just my *insert object here* song.” It’s funny and maddening at the same time.
6. I am a master procrastinator
I have a to-do list. Ok. The fact that I didn’t put off making a to-do list would mean I’m a mere procrastinator. But I have a list of things to do (making, soup, doing laundry and sewing up my own handkerchief, if you must know). Yet here I am, writing this and contemplating a reply to an email. What I really want is a hot chocolate and a biscuit.
7. I have the ability swear like a trooper
I wonder if military types like that simile. Perhaps it’s true, but either way I blame working in the media for an odd habit of swearing like a trooper. It’s one of the few environments where it’s perfectly normal to hear f-bombs dropped rapidly. In proof that they really are superfluous words, any broadcaster has red light sensibilities where they magically cease swearing the instant a microphone is live, in theory (Freudian slips and spoonerisms aside).
Either way, this little lady hasn’t set foot in a studio for the better part of a month and oddly enough the potty mouth has suddenly disappeared. The knowledge it could return should dissuade you.
8. Compliments? I don’t take them very well.
I always feel mildly awkward and at a loss at what to say when someone says something nice. So if my response is odd, it’s because I’m flummoxed. Case in point: I was walking to catch the bus today and a random passerby said, “You look really hot…” (yeah, I know, I’m picking myself up off the floor too). I had no make up on, my hair was very stringy and askew and I visibly had a cold. I said, “Uh yeah… thanks.” And kept walking.
9. I can read a map.
And I have a photographic memory when it comes to going places. I can go somewhere once and remember how to get there forever. I realise I just blew a gender stereotype. Whatevs. I know where I’m going and I don’t need your help.
10. I am always right.
Except in philosophical /spiritual discussions where anything goes. But on day-to-day matters, you should defer to me for I am always right. Or at least I’d like to think so. This will piss you off.
Happy Monday, friends. For those who are loved up: love it up and appreciate one another. For those who aren’t: carry on as usual, but think about those who love you despite all the unlovable bits. You don’t need a pink and red card to tell you that.