Starring in your own personal rom-com, or getting cockslapped by Cupid - however you describe it, nothing beats a good crush for perking up your day. But is it best to pursue or appreciate from afar?
I have a problem. I’m 35 and I still keep having schoolboy crushes. Not, like, crushes on schoolboys. That’s an entirely different problem, and not one we should joke about.
No, my problem is the other kind. The one where I have crushes LIKE a schoolboy on people who are definitely old enough to consent and everything. Honest, Officer. Like, I’ll just be minding my own business, thinking about dick, or wondering what the fuck I’m going to talk about this week, or trying to remember if I said I’d go for a drink with some random tart off Grindr, and if I did, which one, and where and when, because I didn’t write it down…
Anyway, I’ll be dicking about, minding my own business and then out of the blue I’ll interact with someone cute and BAM. My eyes go all big like an Anime movie and I’m completely smitten. And it’s always that quick. It’s like being cockslapped by the meaty dong of Cupid himself. And then I find myself thinking up as many ways as possible to go back to that place and see them again, and I’ll just be like “Hi. I don’t know how to talk to you, so I’m just going to stare at you until we’re married.”
And that bit’s actually the better part of the experience. When we get into a conversation I’ll just jabber away oblivious to the poor sod just wanting to get away from me. It’ll get weird and I won’t notice. Like my gym crush, who I was chatting away to for a minute or so and then he just kinda went “sooooo…” and turned back to the weights.
At least that time wasn’t as bad as a hairdresser I was chatting up in a bar in once. We had a bit of a chat, then he said goodbye to some friends so I played it cool by going to the bar for another drink. When I came back I said something like “So, did you miss me?” and he looked at me and said “Nah, I’m actually talking to my friend?” who gave me a little wave before they turned back to each other and kept chatting.
Jesus. Why do I tell you this shit?
It’s almost always baristas and barmen that I crush on, to be honest. Well, almost.
Once it was a really cute homeless guy. I was tempted to say “Come to mine, use my shower. I’ll wash your clothes for you, yeah, no problem! You just get naked and hang around for an hour or so while they dry and what’s that? There’s ponrography accidentally on the TV? Go for it, homeless dude! I’ll give you a tenner if you let me watch”, but I’m not sure how my housemate would react to coming home from work to find me and a naked homeless guy masturbating furiously to some dodgy porn. To be honest, I don’t really care what they’d make of it. If they didn’t want me to bring smelly people home, they shouldn’t leave the empty toilet roll tubes in the bathroom. I mean, they brought it on themselves, really.
Although that romance took a bit of a hit when he was really smiley and happy one day, which was really nice to see. It was really good to see that his situation wasn’t getting him down. I stopped to chat with him and said he looked like he was in a great mood “Yeah, man. It’s the heroin. Want some?” Naaah, I’m ok thanks… “You sure? It’s really good!” Yeah, so I’ve heard… It’s pretty moreish…”
Apart from him, bless his heart, it’s almost always baristas and barmen. First there was a skinny Aussie barista. Him and his mate were living the dream of running a coffee shop, getting stoned and banging all the hot girls they could find and of course I got a massive crush on one of them. Then it was the skinny French barman with the fantastic arse and the head that was slightly too large for his body. After that it was the Italian barista with energy like Tigger and dreadlocks...
It’s as if my type is mostly “people who bring me things I ask for”. Although for a while I had a crush the cute little cleaner boy at work. Which was made all the sexier by him not really speaking English and my Spanish stretching as far as “Hola guapo” and “Soy fantastico”. So maybe my type is “People who bring me stuff, or who tidy around me and generally keep their mouths shut.”
If I’d been born 150 years earlier, I’d definitely have been one of those horny lords who keeps shagging the servants.
And after a few visits to whatever coffee shop or bar, or crack house, they’ll start to recognise me, which just makes things worse, because then I get all like “Oh, wow, they remember me! Maybe they’re into me, too!” when really what they’re doing is literally their job. The worst bit is when I get rudely reminded of this. Like, I’ll walk into the place where he works, all excited to see him, and there he is, looking as gorgeous as ever, and he’ll recognise me, smile and my legs will go all wobbly as I realise he knows who I am, and he’ll say “Hey, man. Filter coffee with almond milk, right?” hand me my drink, move on to the next person AND BREAK MY HEART. As if I’m just another customer who came in to buy a coffee like a normal person, and not the main character in a hilarious and touching rom-com I’ve constructed entirely in my own head.
Really I go into that particular coffee shop for the chat and the flirt and the actual coffee is some kind of by-product. It’s the smile and the eye-contact and the back-and-forth with an attractive person that actually perks me up, not the coffee.
And I can’t just say “Thankyou for the coffee, now please chat with me for five minutes as this is the highlight of my day and I need something to think about during my afternoon work-wank”.
Let’s just gloss over the fact that sometimes the five minutes flirting with a barista is the highlight of my day. If I weren’t so broken I probably wouldn’t be sitting in this cupboard right now talking to you, so let’s not look too deeply into that one, shall we?
They’re almost always straight, of course, because there’s nothing sexier to me than the guy I can’t have. Although that hasn’t always stopped things. Once I almost had a threesome with a straight guy I had a crush on, but I was too drunk to see straight, he was off his tits on something and the girl fell asleep, so in the end we gave up.
I’m still mates with him, actually. He’s cool.
Of course, when you get to know them a bit, the crush tends to wear off quite quickly. When you learn more about them, and they stop being a fantasy and become actual human people. You realise that he’s actually a bit of a wanker, or his tattoos are just drawn on with eyeliner, or he’s addicted to heroin or something. Still, it’s a nice way of brightening my day.
Of course it’s a different story when they are actually into me, too. That doesn’t happen as often, so I’m never really sure how to deal with it. It all gets a bit odd. Like that time I was into a guy who was into me and we had a really intense time together and I ended up flying to the middle east to hang out with him for the weekend.
Usually though, we do live in the same city. We’ll go on a few dates and have a load of great sex and I’ll be starting to consider posting a photo of us together on social media, which is as committed as I know how to get, and then he’ll break up with me because my foreskin puts him off.
So I find myself torn - is it better to keep them as crushes, as beguiling mirages on the edge of understanding. To never get to know them and just enjoy the fantasy of it all, or is it better to get to know them, in the hope that this time, the handsome crush will be into you, too…
Then, by the time you both work out the off-putting things about one another, you’ve moved in together and it’s just easier to deal with it than find somewhere else to live… I’ve never been in a proper relationship, but my understanding is that you just do your best to hide as much of your real self as possible until you’re both in some kind of legally binding agreement, and then they’re stuck with you. Which is when it becomes ok to get fat, because they’re supposed to love you for more than just your body, or something, so if they break up with you for becoming a chonker, you get the moral high ground and all the cakes.
And also, once you’re married, it’s just a race to die first. Because if you’re the one that survives, you have to deal with being old and alone and miserable and all that, but if you die first, you’re laughing. Well, you’re dead. But still.
So, yeah: Hide everything bad about yourself until you’re married, then it’s a race to get fat and die first.
That’s.. That’s how relationships work, right? Right?