24 April, 2010

An Open Letter to Women in Relationships

Please leave me alone. I'm sick and tired of talking to you at parties, or at a bar with your friends, only to find out an hour into the conversation that your "boyfriend just doesn't get Ian McEwan" like I do. You say it so casually, like I should have known, or something, as if it doesn't matter that I'll never have back that hour of my life. Not only that, by this time all the actual single women in the room have seen me chatting to you, I was parading it, sure, but that's no excuse for letting me hang myself. Having a boyfriend is vital information. You should pretend it's your name: "Hi, I'm Chris." "Oh, hello, I have a boyfriend." See, much simpler.

Maybe you think I appreciate the attention; that it's a confidence boost to get even this far chatting to a beautiful woman? Let me set the record straight: it is not a confidence boost to be reminded that I can still attract attention from women who don't want to sleep with me. My mom tells me I'm cool all the time. I'm set.

Now look, I appreciate it must be nice to have a conversation with someone intelligent and charming, without all the sexual tension. (PS, you are delusional if you think any man is reading Ian McEwan for purposes other than sharking. This is why your boyfriend doesn't "appreciate" Ian McEwan.) That's great for you, but I'm tired of falling on my sword.

Clearly I am complicit in the whole pathetic affair: it's low pressure, easy to be daring, and if it doesn't work out I'm not technically rejected. Your boyfriend, fiancee, husband, it's his fault. Your hands are tied.

(Actually, they aren't, but I'm up for that, just so you know.)

What I need from you, really, is one of two things. (I've earned this favour.) First, let's have a real affair. Woman-up, already. Everyone's doing it. Not with me, granted, but I read the newspaper, even if you're married there is a better-than-50% chance it won't work out. The odds are against you. Don't be a hero.

Alternatively, tell all your single sisters what a great guy I am. Everyone knows the best wingman is a beautiful woman. You're recommendation is like one of those Black American Express cards, that they only give to celebrities or the insanely rich. You know, the one's that have no limit, so you could buy, say, NASA, but I'll settle for a moon shot with your hot friend Becky.

Actually, your recommendation would be a lot more helpful if we had an affair first. Otherwise I'm liable to be right back where I started. It will be amazing, I promise. I've read The Illustrated Guide to Extended Massive Orgasm four times. I can find your clitoris blindfolded with my left pinky toe.

Well, probably I could, in theory. I did propose just that to a woman I met in a book store last week but she didn't have time, she would have loved to, really, but she was late to meet her boyfriend. Story of my life.

Plaintively yours,


An Open Letter To The Customers of Starbucks who Repeatedly Attempt to Open the Bathroom Door When I'm inside....

First of all, what happened to knocking? Where do you come from where people find out if a room is occupied by trying to barge right in, rattling the door handle, pulling, pushing, even giving it a firm shoulder? In case you were wondering, most people shrink from aggression, so not only is the door still locked, but now you're making my bladder nervous, putting the whole mission in jeopardy, and there's no way I'm walking out of here without flushing something.

And another thing: Do you come from a planet where door locks open a few minutes after you try to break-in? I can hear you outside on your phone, I know it's the same person trying the door every few minutes. Where's your brain? You'll be able to see me when I leave. Really, I promise. And if you keep trying the door you'll see me punching you in the ribcage.

What I really don't understand about all this, let's just think about the consequences for a moment. You've already established, three times now, that the door is locked, and because this is the door to the toilet, that means someone, me, actually, is currently using the toilet. Now let's imagine that somehow, miraculously, Lord God of Hosts, the door opens on your next rattle. What does that get you? We already know I'm using the toilet, so you still have to wait, but now I'm screaming at you to get out and shut the door, and your screaming because you just saw me on the toilet (yes my underpants really do say "If you're here, you'd better be queer"), and now your friend on the phone is screaming (she sounds like a rabbit being hit by a car, P.S.), and as I lunge forward to slam the door it hits your hand and you drop your phone, so now it's covered in toilet floor and everyone in Starbucks just saw that and will judge you forever if you don't immediately bin it.

Except you can't, because now the door is shut again and locked fast and I'm even holding it closed, because, as I've learned, once a toilet-door-rattler, always a toilet-door-rattler. Can you hear me on the inside? I'm calling everyone I know in Turkmenistan, which is really only one person, but the rates are so expensive this one call will incur the equivalent of a small car loan.

Oh and by the way, now when you rattle the door handle, I can't hear what my friend is saying, and every time he has to repeat "Yes, I'm fine, and we've just bought a new goat!" it costs you about 25 quid. Pucker-up, butter-cup.

Respectfully yours,