So, first thing's first; the blind date ~ She'd postponed. Despite dressing up that day in my smartest attire - I'd even worn fresh underwear - I was actually quite relieved when the lady in question emailed to take a rain check. She'd just come back from a mini-break and wasn't feeling in the best of spirits, so I'd been handed a stay of execution for a few days, and my evenings were free once again, to return to Deadwood, or drink at the weekend.
But here's the thing ~ I'm not sure if we'll keep in touch. Y'see, she last emailed me on Friday afternoon (a non-replyable "hahahaha", if I'm being fair to myself), but work kept me suitably occupied, and I never did get back to her.
On Friday, I caught up with old friends, friends who'd all met at a lousy exam board we'd temped at years ago. I got drunk and broke my 4 days non-smoking spell, greatly cheered at how well they looked; a little older perhaps, but moving on, and with better, more rewarding* jobs than I (*in both achievement, and in wallet).
On Saturday, despite my hangover, I'd crawled to the other side of London for a houseparty where I may have been abusive to a young vegan gothette who'd quite literally waded into the function handing out vegan flyers without so much as a hello.
But no, this post isn't going anywhere. I didn't meet a special someone, and nor did anything commit-ey happen with the American ex.
Nor did I email blind date lady today, Monday, as I've been too busy at work, and too miserable with a cold I magically woke up with.
I know I should take everyone's sensible advice and just get on with the damn date, but that would be bad. Very bad. Because there's a huge chance she'll spend it watching me sobbing into my arms as I'm splayed out over the table.
Because something happened today that rather frightened me.
I woke up this morning having not had enough sleep. I tubed it in as I was too tired to cycle in (again). I opened up the shop, started receiving phonecalls almost immediately as I attempted to clear the paperwork mountain on my desk whilst adding to it with each call.
I was surly, and sniffy with cold, and sore-headed. Mid-afternoon, I felt the urge to visit the toilet. It took me twenty minutes to leave my desk as things kept ringing or walking in to be served. Eventually, I made it into the cubicle, and burst into tears.
I was more shocked than anything else, although now's a good time to point out that my "bursting into tears" is silent, and apparently involves my eyes angrily watering over as I desperately tilt my head back to avoid any actual crying. In the peace of that damn crapper, I was overwhelmed with a profound sense of what a complete and utter turd I've made of my entire life. At that specific moment, that one thought felt like an almighty thud to the head that came from nowhere, and seemed fit to knocking me out. Then it came back in a wave, and again, then again, and I wasn't sure if I could leave the toilet.
It was then that my Dad's friend Michael popped into my head. He's in his seventies like my old man, except Michael never married. He just never met anyone, and lives alone in his flat in the suburbs, going slightly mad.
'He thinks there are people living up in the attic,' my Dad told me recently.
That was when I started shaking, petrified and utterly convinced that I'd end up like that. 'I'm destined to achieve nothing and appeal to no-one,' I thought, 'and one day, I'll wake up old and convinced there are people living in my roof.'
I gave serious consideration to hiding in the toilet for a few hours, then I composed myself. I coughed, walked outside, and got back to my desk as if nothing had happened.
Before I'd retreated to the toilet to discover I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown (I Googled it for a bit of self-diagnosis and yes, I'm well on my way), my Mum had called, neatly - I can see now - laying the foundations for my blubbing over the ceramic. It's her 30th wedding anniversary this week and she's arranged a big family get-together. I'd already tried to wriggle out of it once. I like my close family, obviously, but there's going to be at least 40 other people there, relatives and friends I really don't want to be around; repeating to them the job I'm doing but don't want to do anymore, sighing that yes, I'm still single but not gay, and avoiding my idiot brother-in-law, indifferent sister, false step-siblings, and generally pretending to be amiable when I'd rather be crying in the foetal postion in a small room.
My Mum took offence when she first told me about the impending anniversary and I'd asked her if I had to go; apparently, I do. When she called today, all excited about her party, I reminded her that I'd have to wake up early that Sunday to begin the four-hour round trip via a bus, then a train, then another bus and a walk plus waiting in between (then repeat) - my way of suggesting it was all a colossal pain in the arse for me.
'Then stay with us the night before!' she offered.
The only trouble with that is a) sleeping on a fucking sofa instead of my own comfy bed and, b) going to my Mum's on Saturday night? That's my entire weekend, shot down by one family commitment.
So I declined her offer with a sigh, and my mother slammed the phone down on me. She hasn't done that since I was about sixteen.
I did try calling her back, but in true day job fashion, she answered just as someone walked into the office, and I had to start the conversation with, 'I'll call you back,' something I still haven't done.
Instead, I went on to cry in a macho way in the toilets, considered resigning on the spot (again), and wondered what the fucking hell's going to become of me.
The point is this: I can't date anyone in this state, so don't fucking make me, and if you're about to leave a comment that I will die alone if I refuse to date, please instead name your favourite TV icon.