It’s one of those spring rains, when it comes down hard beating on the windows. The clouds are out but the sky is light enough that it’s not oppressive. I’m still at work and I don’t want to go home. Not only am I afraid to face Pete, but this little conservatory feels more like home than my flat. Plus, I haven’t blogged in days and I may be going through withdrawals. So with Loraine and Philip away, and LadyBohemia tucked up in her tower, I’m going to take this time to fill you in on the weekend past.
However, I think I’d probably bore the pants off you if I just went through and gave you a chronological list of the past five and a half days, so I’m going to just write about the highlights. Maybe I’ll use headers. Yes, I shall use headers to make it easier.
Have I told him?
I’m starting with this because I know this is what everyone is wondering. ‘Have I told Fife about Pete?’ And the answer is ‘No I haven’t told Fife that I’ve got a Pete.’
Because I’m a coward. It’s as simple as that.
But I do have my reasons for being a sniveling little wimp — dating karma.
If you’ll remember (or not), HP came to see me when I first moved to Dundee. And it was fantastic in so many ways. But then I found out that he was seeing someone, and he didn’t bother to break-up with the other girl before shagging me, so I blew-up and vowed to never speak to him again.
So, what am I doing? Dating Fife before breaking-up with Pete. Which means several things:
1. I am no better than HP.
2. I feel guilty as hell about kicking HP to the curb without listening to his side of the story.
3. Being that I went bat-shit crazy when I found out that HP was a two-timing cad, there is no doubt in my mind that Fife will kick me to the curb when he finds out that I’m a two-timing cad. (Although, in fairness, I’m not sleeping with Pete. Then again, I have no idea if HP was sleeping with his chicky. Plus, I can’t be sure that Fife will even listen to my side of the story, because I refused to listen to HP’s side of the story.)
Which brings up certain fears about telling Fife:
1. I can’t possibly tell Fife that his first relationship since his divorce is with a slag who has a boyfriend at home. It would kill him.
2. I can’t possibly tell Fife I’m living with Pete after seriously moaning about Goatee and TheBoy being cheating lying fuckwits. (See later headline ‘Getting To Know You’)
3. What if he decides to confront Pete and I haven’t even broken up with Pete yet?
4. I don’t want to taint the beginning of our relationship with the ‘I’ve actually got a live-in boyfriend’ discussion. It’s all going so well, why ruin it?
Therefore, the plan of action shall remain:
1. I am going to tell Pete that we’re over and ask him to leave. (I haven’t figured out yet where he can go, but I’ll think of something.)
2. Never tell Fife that Pete was my boyfriend.
See great plan.
Cooking with Sticks
On Saturday afternoon, even though it was drizzling, Fife drug me out into the woods again. (This makes it sound like he’s some sort of serial killer, dragging me into the woods. So, let me rephrase that –Fife nagged me into going for a walk in the woods.)
This time, though, I was wearing proper shoes, so no falling into the stream for me. I have no idea what he collected, but he broke off branches and leaves, pulled weeds and dug up bulbs. He threw them all into a polly bag, and when we got back to the cottage he spread some out on a towel on the kitchen counter, and others he hung over the radiator so they’d dry.
Then we sat down to watch the Rangers. Or, more accurately, he watched the match while I read stuff I’d downloaded to the Kindle.
The next day when he made Easter lunch, he used all the herbs from the forest. He roasted a ham that had a bready stuffing in the middle, and poured a berry glaze over the top. Plus, he made loads of veg that were all herby and sweet to match the ham. And for dessert, he made — from scratch — my favourite, chocolate gateau. I truly do love a man that can cook.
Getting to Know You
On Saturday night, Fife and I decided to play ‘The Getting to Know You’ game.
This whole exercise came about because of something Fife said. We were lying on the floor after a particularly ruckus shagging section, and he rolled over onto his side and asked, ‘Do you think things are going too fast?’
To be honest, if I were an outsider in this situation, I would have probably said ‘yes’. But I’m deep in the middle of it, and it all seems so right. He’s an amazing wonderful guy and we get along like we’ve known each other for years. Plus, we’ve actually known each other since last summer, so it’s not like we met yesterday or anything.
I told Fife just as much, and he responded with, ‘We’ve only just started sleeping together and we’ve been away together for two weekends in a row. Isn’t that something you do several months down the road?’
I said I left my dating rule book at home, so I really didn’t know how fast things should progress, but most of my relationships (with the exception of HP) have progressed pretty quickly. Then I added, ‘Although, my ex-boyfriend of three years was married the whole time, and I didn’t know it, and another boyfriend — who I was living with — slept with my boss. So, I don’t necessarily have a good track record.’
Here is where I was thinking: Why am I bagging on Goatee and TheBoy, when I’m doing the same thing (sort of) to Fife? Shut up, shut up, shut up.
But he asked about those two relationships, and I didn’t shut up, and I gave him a brief run down of TheBoy and Goatee sagas. He said I’d mentioned an ex-boyfriend when I was in Greece, and he asked if that was Goatee. To be honest, I was probably talking about HP, even though he and I never officially dated. But I certainly didn’t want to bring up that can of worms, so I just told Fife that he was correct, I must have mentioned Goatee when I was in Greece.
Then he said, ‘You know. I’d heard that someone from MNM was dating their intern. I didn’t realise that was you.’
Then it got even weirder. I asked him about his past relationships, and he said there was his girlfriend from school and his wife.
So, I said, ‘Yeah, but after your wife.’
His response, ‘That’s it.’
WHAT THE FUCK!
I couldn’t believe it. He then added, ‘After [Helen] and I split, I thought I could get over her by shagging about. And I even moved into here (the cottage) for a while. That’s why there was a box of condoms in the bathroom; I bought them years ago. I hooked up with someone from the village one night, and we fooled around but I had to stop before we had sex. The whole one-night stand thing just felt too weird. As soon as I realised that I didn’t want to see that woman again, I had no interest in having sex with her.’
He then asked me my ‘number’, and while it’s not that high, it’s not THREE.
Happily he was okay with my slightly higher number, and I was very relieved that he didn’t ask about any of those formers – especially as one is currently in my house right now. Instead of pressing on with a discussion about exes, he decided that — to counter balance any fear that we’re moving too fast — we should play the ‘Getting to Know You’ game in which we each list our favourite things.
Here’s our lists:
Me: Shawn of the Dead and Mean Girls
Him: Shawn of the Dead and the Dirty Dozen and the Godfather and original Star Wars.
Me: Lady Gaga or Adele or maybe Pixy Lott
Him: The Who, The Clash, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, Metallica S&M, Bach…he simply couldn’t decide and just listed every band from 1965 to 1995.
Me: Barbara Kingsolver. I’ve only just discovered her, and I’m loving her books.
Him: Anything by Isaac Asimov or Douglas Adams. Right now he’s working it way through Cormac McCarthy’s books. Although, he said he’ll re-read HG Well’s books for the rest of his life. This is when I discovered that he’s a total sci-fi geek. I asked him why he doesn’t write sci-fi, and he said he likes the research of historic fiction better. He added that both genres rely on creating very vivid worlds that play by rules of that world, but he likes having history as a guide. Plus, he said that literary fiction plays by the rules of reality, and, once again, he likes having that guide, so if he switches genres it wouldn’t be to sci-fi, it would be to literary fiction.
Me: Fancy food, sushi. Everyday food, fish and chips. (That totally makes it sound like I have this thing for fish. That’s not the case, I just really like those two foods.)
Him: His own bacon cheese burgers. He makes them with streaky bacon, lean meat with a bit of sausage added, cooked rare, and adds blue cheese. He adds a bit of BBQ sauce and uses crusty rolls as a bun. Oh, and it must be drunk with beer.
Coffee or Tea, and how you take it
Him: Coffee, no milk one sugar.
Tea: Strong, light milk, two sugars.
(Although, we’ll both drink coffee and tea.)
Dead person you’d want to meet:
Me: Kirk Cobain (I don’t really know if this is true, but I couldn’t think of anyone else, and I still can’t.)
Dog or Cat:
Him and Me: Dog
What you wanted to be when you grew up
Him: A writer
Me: A writer
Me: Sitting with him on a cobbled wall in Greece, looking out to the sea, but I couldn’t say that because it seemed a bit needy, so instead I claimed my best memory was when I graduated from Uni, which wasn’t terribly interesting.
Him: When his sons were born.
Then, some how, as we talked about these things the game turned into ‘I have Never’, where you talk about stuff you’ve never done, which always ends up kinky. And before I knew it, I discovered that Fife has a bit of a role play fetish. But that’s another headline.
We talked and it transcribes that Fife may be quite into sex at the moment because he’s been starved of it for some time. I don’t know how long it’s been since he last did it (before me obviously), but I think it’s been a while.
He said that, due to the circumstances of his marriage, it didn’t take long for sex to become about reproduction, and it quickly became a chore. He wanted to spice things up, but [Helen] didn’t as she felt certain positions were more conducive to conception. I asked if this was true, and he said he didn’t think so, but women who are desperate for children need something to hope for, so he obliged.
As I mentioned earlier, when the marriage ended he tried to do the one-night stand thing, but he couldn’t get his head around it. So from then on he only had himself to entertain.
Because of this he’s a bit amorous right now, and he’s really into trying out different positions and pretty much everything.
During the ‘Getting to Know You/I Have Never’ game, we talked about all the things we liked to do and wanted to do, and he confided in me that he would love to see me dressed up like a slave girl, and we could act out the sex scene from his book.
I went into the linen cupboard and found a few tea towels and knotted them together to make a halter-top, and I put two more tea towels together to make a little loin cloth type skirt. I came into the bedroom and he had a sheet draped across him. As I walked toward him, I caught a glimpse of both of us in the mirror, and I broke out laughing. I mean, I how could I not laugh? We looked ridiculous. We were ridiculous.
I’ve been with guys before who are into the whole spanking sex thing (Goatee), but never fancy dress. And I was really having a hard time with this. But I wanted to play along. I composed myself and said ‘You called for me Master?’
At which point, he started laughing, but tried to keep a straight face, ‘No this is serious. We’re going to do this.’
We composed ourselves, and he said, ‘Yes, slave girl. I am having urges that need taking care of.’
‘Oh my god. You are a better writer than that. Come up with something else,’ I said.
‘Okay. Ummm….Right…I have bought you for…oh I don’t know…’
I sighed and said, ‘Let me try,’ then I added, ‘I have been seeing you from afar Master.’
‘Ummm, I bought you for your virginity.’
‘Oh, yuck. That’s just creepy,’ I added. ‘Something else.’
‘Right. Something else…Suck my cock bitch.’
And with that the whole thing was over, we were both laughing too hard at our own ridiculousness. He said it all seemed so much better in his head, and I said, ‘It always does.’
We collapsed on the bed in a fit of giggles and just took the mick out of ourselves. ‘Is that a scroll in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?’ ‘Hey, your oracle of Delphi is showing.’ ‘Oh Xanadu.’
He leaned over to kiss me and I ran my hand up his toga. I asked him to take off my tea-towels but he said, ‘No. You’re still my slave girl, and I’m take you right now.’ He lifted up his toga and…well…I should put a black box here.
Inside the Eggs
On Easter morning, I woke up to a basket at the bottom of the bed. It was filled with chocolates, sweets and large plastic eggs each with a trinket inside. The trinkets were cute adult trinkets: a little bottle of wine, a deck of cards, a pair of pearl earrings (fake I’m sure, but nice all the same), a sexy pair of lacy panties, and something little that requires batteries from Ann Summers. I couldn’t believe the last trinket; I blushed, which made him blush.
Then he started apologising for being presumptuous. ‘I didn’t know what to put the basket. It’s why I was asking about us going too quickly. When I was getting stuff for the eggs, I thought “I don’t know what she likes. I didn’t even know what kind of chocolates and sweets to put in”, but I knew you like sex. Or at least I think you do, or I assume you do, and I thought I’d just…you can throw it out. Just throw it out…I’m so embarrassed…’
I unwrapped the package and showed Fife how much I liked his gift.
The Village Fete
Fife and I wandered down to the village green for the village fete, which really wasn’t a fete. Someone was dressed like the Easter bunny, and a couple of organised competitions for the kids: egg and spoon race, egg rolling, egg hunt. (They all had to do with eggs.)
We saw Brad and Angelina again and had a bit of a chat with them, as well as a few other villagers that Fife knows. They asked about Fife’s kids — would they be about for the egg hunt? To which Fife mumbled under his breath about his kids being away for the break. The couple who asked had an instant look of ‘Oh shit. Single dad. Ex-wife’s got the kids for the holidays, don’t mention the kids’, but it was too late.
Then as we watched little ones in their Easter finery (why do kids still wear Easter dresses and such, when most families don’t even go to church?)Fife’s kids rang.
His youngest was yelling into the phone that his brother told him that there was no Easter Bunny, but of course there was an Easter Bunny, because the Easter Bunny came all the way to Tenerife to give him his basket, but his brother said it was just Mum, so he had to call his Dad because his Dad knows everything and would tell him the truth.
Fife, who had been walking about, stopped and sat on a stone wall.
‘Of course there’s an Easter Bunny…you’re brother’s just trying to trick you…why would he do that?…because that’s what brother’s do…no I never did that to your Aunt [Joanne]…I’m sure the Easter bunny is real…tell me what you got in your basket and I’ll let you know if it’s really Bunny merchandise…yep, that’s from his workshop…chickens, chickens work in his workshop…no, no, they’re happy to do it…they’re paid well, and they’re part of a union…don’t worry, they get a good pension…and that too, that was made in the Bunny workshop…how do I know?…because I’ve been there myself…’
And so on for about twenty minutes.
Although, this time, when he got off the phone, he wasn’t despondent like when his kids called before. He was full of energy and suddenly up for all kinds of foolishness. He signed us up for the three legged race, which I thought a bit unfair as everyone else racing was under the age of 12. But, as it turns out, we were handicapped because there’s not only a foot difference in our heights, doing a three legged race does not come naturally to adults.
Then the rains came and the festivities moved to the village hall, but instead of continuing on with the egg roll, we moved to the pub for a pint and a chat with Brad and Angelina. Angelina and I grabbed a table while Brad and Fife went to the bar. She leaned over and asked, ‘How long have you two been seeing each other.’
‘Not long’ I replied.
‘Well, you’re doing him wonders. I haven’t seen him this jovial in ages.’
Of course, this made me smile, which she said was ‘Quite cute.’ That I have that ‘new love expression’.
Before I could reply, the boys had returned with our drinks. Fife tried to get Brad and Angelina over to the cottage for late Sunday roast, but they weren’t having any of it. They didn’t want to intrude, no matter how much Fife insisted.
When we left, Angelina gave me a little wink and a nod. I know it seems strange, but having my relationship validated by someone who knows Fife and knows he’s a good guy, makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing. And because of that little wink, I’m happy I haven’t told him about Pete. I don’t want to ruin what Fife and I have.
While Fife was cooking on Sunday, I watched Big on telly. I haven’t seen it since I was a kid, so it was a bit strange to watch it as an adult. In fact, as an adult, I found the whole scenario hard to believe. Not the fact that the kid becomes an adult because he makes a wish. I can get behind that suspension of disbelief. There were other things I didn’t quite believe.
The first is that this clueless grown man playing with toys was supposed to be ‘weird’. I know loads of grown men who play with toys. In fact, if HP could have afforded it, his flat would be filled with toys. Actually, most men I know are just boys with an income.
Second, the kid was supposed to be thirteen years old, but he acted more like he was like eight or nine. I have yet to meet a thirteen year old that still plays with toys, or who is completely clueless about sex. In fact, I think more grown men are clueless about sex than pre-pubescent boys. Maybe men regress once they start growing hair on their nether regions. Who knows?
I expressed my dissatisfaction with the film to Fife, and he defended it. He said that when he was a kid he was just like the character in Big. He could never talk to a girl, totally fascinated with toys that pretended to blow things, fascinated with things that blew stuff up, and generally a moron. He then added, ‘I guess not much has changed’.
Which leads me to my second point. If all men are just bigger versions of little boys, then why was the Tom Hanks character so weird?
Fife’s response, ‘The film is probably thirty years old. And, I guess, back then men weren’t expected to act like children. Whereas now, it’s okay for us to go on roller coasters and jump on trampolines. Times have just changed.’
To be honest, I’m not convinced.
After Dinner Guilt
After the amazingly scrumptious homemade dinner, Fife and I settled onto the sofa with a bottle of wine. I was nuzzling up to him when my phone went off. I looked at the name…it was Pete.
I ignored it.
He then sent me a text: Missing you. The holiday is not the same without you. I hope your festival is going well I can’t wait to hear all about it.
Between Pete’s text, and the fact that Fife got me a lovely Easter basket AND cooked me dinner (when I got him squat), the guilt was flowing quite hard. I didn’t know what to do, so I tried to ignore the feeling. But I couldn’t. I’m really not good at dealing with this sort of stuff. I want to just magic it away.
By Monday we were running out of things to do, but not things to talk about. We got up, had a bit of breakfast, then went into Perth to have a wander. We were hoping to have a picnic in the park, but it rained so we went to a museum instead.
On the ride back to the cottage, Fife started asking about my childhood. Were my mum and dad still together? That sort of thing. Dad and I had had a good talk about all this about a year ago, so I filled Fife in on my family history.
I then asked him about his family, and it turns out I was completely wrong about his cottage. His parents didn’t retire there; they just bought it as a holiday home when they retired. Then Fife inherited it when his Dad died.
Why is this important? Because I still don’t know the full story of Fife’s divorce. We’ve talked about so much, and we’ve talked about everything surrounding it, but he’s never said, ‘I got divorced in 200?’.
So when he said that he moved into the cottage for a bit after he and his wife separated, I couldn’t help but think, ‘You said your Dad died only two years ago. But you mentioned being split from your wife only a couple of years after your youngest was born. So, those dates don’t add up.’
I didn’t say anything, because he’d been so forthcoming about everything else, and I didn’t want to seem like a snoop. But it was weighing on me a bit. Maybe I was just feeling guilty because I’m hiding something from Fife, and I transferred that guilt.
I couldn’t ask, but I had to suss things out, and because he’d just asked about my family, it seemed like a better idea asking him about his dead parents as opposed to his ex-wife.
I asked if he ever spent holidays here in the cottage with his family, was it the place to go for Easter and such?
Not a good question because as it turns out, his parents bought the house as a holiday cottage after his Dad retired, but his mum got sick soon afterwards and died. And his father used to come around on weekends and stuff, but as it was supposed to be THEIR holiday home, he never felt comfortable without his wife there.
So, the kids (Fife and his sister) ended up using it more than his Dad — hence why Fife could live in it temporarily after he and his wife split. But then his Dad died, and it became a writing retreat/rental property sort of thing. Pretty straightforward story, but I could tell that talking about his departed father did not lighten the mood.
But rather than change the topic, I tried to empathise, so I talked about my dead gran and how much I adored her, and how much I missed her, and how she used to watch us over the spring holidays. We would die Easter eggs and she would make us a big Victorian sponge, but we were only allowed one piece a day, but Katie and I would always sneak in after she went to sleep and eat the lot of it. Then the next day we’d try to hide being sick and we’d blame the missing cake on the Easter Bunny.
Then I started to get sniffly, because I do miss her terribly, and Fife had to comfort me, even though he was really sad about his Dad – and he was driving. By the time we got back to the cottage we were both really quite down. God, I’m a dipshit.
Last Night of a Long Weekend
Brad and Angelina came around for dinner on Monday night, and after eatting we played cards. I’m rubbish at cards, because I only know spider solitaire. So, everyone had to teach me, and I’m just slow at catching on.
But it was good all the same. Several bottles of wine were drunk, and everyone treated me like an adult. It’s a nice feeling.
The only problem, I woke up this morning with wine head. I’ve been in the office all day, and I haven’t been able to focus. Between Fife’s texts asking when he can see me again, and me being plagued with the inevitable ‘Pete talk’ that must happen tonight, I just couldn’t concentrate.
Oh, and I’m home just now. In the middle of writing this post, Loraine came home and I had to save it as a draft. She assumed I was staying late to avoid the rain, so she gave me a ride to the flat. The place is empty and no note as been left.
I’ve taken the time with no one in the house to finish this blog post, but I’m dreading the moment the door opens. Right, deep breath and do it quickly like pulling off a plaster. Hopefully, tomorrow when I blog, I will be Pete-free.