Let me take you back in time, dear reader. I am opening the door to my time machine, and together we can go on a short journey to my past. On the way, I shall set the scene for you.
Mrs PM has a friend, who I shall refer to as S. Quite a few years ago, probably around the year 2000, Mrs PM and I had been together for about two years and I spent a fair amount of time going out with her and her friends most of whom were her age. I was in my mid to late thirties and Mrs PM in her late twenties. At the time, I was revisiting my youth a little, but with a more mature head on my shoulders.
I found myself in night clubs, watching younger people with interest. Mrs PM’s friend S was a bit of a target for young predatory men and quite often they tried to chat her up. Sometimes, these guys would not take "No!" for an answer and on the odd occasion, usually it has to be said, with Mrs PM requesting me to do so, I would step in and whisk S away to join our group, rescuing her like a knight in unfashionable armour.
We are travelling to a time when this happened.
Picture the scene; Mrs PM and I and a group of people all having fun in a night club in Manchester city centre, called South.
It was not really my kind of place, like most night clubs if the truth is known. The music was pretty dire, as it was in 99% of the clubs, and it was so loud that in order to have a conversation, you had to scream into the ear of the person with whom you were talking.
I often wondered why I was partially deaf with a sore throat on the morning after these events.
To be honest, I wasn’t comfortable in night clubs even at that age. I don’t really know when the cut-off point happened, but suddenly I stopped seeing the point of these places. Maybe I just grew up. The problem was, I had a girlfriend who was eight years younger and loved dancing, so I was a somewhat reluctant visitor to these establishments. I tended just to use the opportunity to people watch and chuckle at the antics of the youngsters.
On this particular occasion, there were around ten of us, mostly women, it has to be said. S, was on the dance floor, when a predatory male appeared and started talking to her. I watched with interest, as did Mrs PM and her friends. Mrs PM started laughing at S, and I took that as a cue that perhaps S needed to be rescued.
So I acted. I walked onto the dance floor and tapped S on the shoulder, and beckoned her to join us. She hesitated and then followed me. I was glad to have helped.
If you are a regular reader, then you will know that I am clueless when it comes to women. In particular, I have no idea when a woman genuinely likes me as potential boyfriend material or whether she hates me. In my youth, I have been utterly convinced that women have been in love with me when in reality they just liked me as a friend. And I have had my heart ripped out as a result. Equally, I have been unable to spot when a woman genuinely wants more than just friendship.
And I have never been able to read women well enough to know their feelings for other men.
You can probably guess what is coming.
When S went back to the dance floor a little later, the same predatory male appeared immediately and started talking to S. As I watched, he started touching her shoulder and talking in her ear.
Like a dumb knight I marched back onto the dance floor and was about to intervene when a hand settled on my shoulder.
“What are you doing?” It was Mrs PM.
“Rescuing S,” I said.
“I don’t think she wants to be rescued,” she said.
I looked across at S and the guy and something had clicked. S liked him.
Now then, let’s move back into the time machine and head forwards a month or so.
It was S’s 30th birthday and she was having a big meal to celebrate. Mrs PM is a really close friend of S so we both ended up on her table. I found myself sitting next to Mrs PM on one side and a guy I didn’t know on the other side.
“Hi,” I said turning to the guy. “I’m Dave.”
“Hi,” he replied in a thick Australian accent. “I’m R,”
“You’re an Aussie,” I remarked.
“No shit,” he replied with a grin. I laughed. I liked him.
He was a fairly big guy, well bigger than me anyway and we started chatting.
Mrs PM on the other side of me, butted into our conversation.
“Don’t you recognise R, Dave?”
“No,” I said.
“This is R. He’s S’s new boyfriend. They’ve been going out together for about a month now. They met in South. Remember?”
I looked at him and a second or two later, I recognised him as the predatory male who had been pursuing S.
“Oh yes,” I said. “You were talking to S on the dance floor. I didn’t recognise you.”
And then Mrs PM dropped me right in it.
“Did you know that Dave tried to split you two up? He tried to rescue S because you were chasing her.”
I had a mouthful of beer when she uttered those words and I sprayed beer over the table in shock. I turned to R and tried to explain.
“Well er I, I, er, I er, I, …” I stammered, thinking that this man was about to punch me in the teeth.
R just laughed and clapped me on the back.
“Not a very good rescuer, then, are you mate?” he said with a grin.
I turned to Mrs PM, feigning anger and said.
“Look, if you want to finish with me, just tell me. Don’t get this poor man to beat me to death.”
We all laughed at that, but the truth was, I was mortified. Of course, when S came to the table we all laughed about it again, my face growing a deeper shade of red as every joke passed.
Let’s pop back to the present day, now, dear reader.
So, what of S and R, I hear you ask.
S and R are now happily married with twins and living in London. Whenever we see each other, Mrs PM still insists on reminding all of us about my failed attempt to split them up. These days, I simply shake my head in embarrassment as it turns crimson, and apologise profusely to R, who simply smiles and says “No worries,”
It has become a standing joke.
I hope you enjoyed this trip down my memory lane.
And as you can see, I was more of a match-breaker than a match-maker. R and S are happily married despite my initial attempts to thwart their relationship.
What have I learned?
I need to have words with Mrs PM about how not to drop me right in the brown and smell stuff.
I really need to get to grips with human behaviour and body language.
Perhaps then I will no longer be a Stupid Cupid.