Andy Bodle tells of when he discovered “the best way to get a girlfriend … is to already have a girlfriend.”
“The only thing a girl needs to get a date is another date.”
Carrie, Sex and the City, season 6, episode 1
Saturday 6th December
Actually made gym on a Saturday. 35 mins/450 calories. g.
A’s 35th birthday party. Terrified. Spent most of day frantically searching for sufficiently flash/thoughtful/original/appropriate present and rest of day rehearsing what to say to parents and friends, all of whom was meeting for first time.
In event, panic unwarranted. Party fun. Espresso maker and Lindor chocolates went down v well. Parents and friends loved me (except gay neighbour, whose comment was, “He’s not exactly Marlon Brando.” Rich, as he not exactly Maria Schneider). If A not The One, definitely A One. Although did not leap to defence over Brando comment.
After party, gave her massage and first proper orgasm. (One where accidentally stuck finger up bum does not count.) Still no actual sex though.
Sunday 7th December
A called, said she needed to talk urgently. Met in pub near hers. Said in early days of relationship I was v manly and decisive, but now am doormat. Give too much and do not take enough. Pointed out behaviours traditionally associated with previous day. Just about appeased her. However, just about appeased her last week, and week before. Looked up Relate website. Does not say if relationship of six weeks qualifies. Bit down.
Reasons to be cheerful:
2. Had short story published, sold one script for American cartoon show, and been commissioned to write second sitcom by BBC.
3. Have not drunk alone for 3 months.
4. Have not bought lesbian porn DVD for 3 months.
5. No computer games for 5 years (with occasional fleeting lapses).
6. Only smoke outside now (except when really drunk).
7. Down to 2 pizzas a week.
8. Am member of two grown-up and interesting organisations, choir and book club.
9. Have nice girlfriend. Just.
10. In pub last week, (drunk) Sian said she would have snogged me if she hadn’t had a boyfriend.
Monday 8th December
Tip for making Mondays seem better: have v stressful weekends.
New work experience girl on desk. Dead cute. Bit skinny but lovely peachy bum. Was v funny and cool yet assertive around her.
Bought Best of Human League. Does not have Don’t You Want Me on it. Bit like buying blow-up doll and finding does not have hole.
Tuesday 9th December
45 mins and 500 calories in gym. v.g.
Googled own name at work. No longer have monopoly on top 10 entries – number seven is speech by different Andy Bodle, human resources director of National Maritime Museum. If am not careful will soon not even be most successful person with own name.
Adam’s leaving drinks, Coach & Horses. K there. She v clever and sweet and witty. Spent all night talking to her, forgot to say goodbye to Adam.
After 2 bottles of wine each we went outside for fag. She kissed me. Kissed her back a bit. Felt awful. But then thought,
1. Things looking bad with A
2. It’s only a kiss
3. She is 24, gorgeous and has lovely peachy bum.
Eventually guilt took over so assertively ended kiss and told her about A. Explained am not cheating type. Offered to walk her to tube. Stupidly mentioned as we passed flat that we were passing flat. K stopped and eyes went all Bambi.
“I might have missed my tube. Is it all right if I stay at yours?”
Kissing strange woman just about forgivable in context of rocky relationship. Sharing bed with one who fancies arse off you probably not. “No, we should get you home. There are loads of black cabs round here. Look, there’s one now!”
“I can’t afford it.”
“I’ll pay. Here.”
“But there are roadworks so the cab can’t get to my house and it’s a really long walk and it’s cold and lonely and scary and someone was raped on my street last week.”
“OK. How about this. I get the cab with you, walk you to your door, then I get another cab back here?”
“I’ll sleep on the sofa. And I’ll make breakfast.”
Sigh. “All right then. Can I have the cab fare back now?”
Entered bedroom after brushing teeth to find K asleep (well, eyes closed) in bed. Started preparations for self to sleep on sofa, but reasoned v important that get sleep for work next day so climbed in next to her, resolving not even to glance at PB. Was mostly good.
Thursday 11th December
Made breakfast then walked K to tube. Told her really liked her and everything but could not see her again because am with A. She upset. Now guilty about her too.
Mixed feelings. Joy (and amazement) at fact that can pull gorgeous, funny 24-year-old. Vindication that am not doormat, or at least if am doormat, more than one person wants to wipe her feet on me. But mostly guilt.
Gym. Extra 3 mins on rowing machine as penance.
Tried to make today’s Countdown puzzle HANDABUSE (UNABASHED). Editor banned it. Guardian is repressive communist regime.
11pm: Text message from K saying how much she is into me and how much she wants me. Called A to try to scare thoughts into line. Voicemail.
Friday 12th December
Spent most of day editing massive article about writer’s block. Have now caught it.
Sex-Facebook messages (is there no shorthand for that yet? SFBMs?) from K:
“Someone asked for my number today but all I could think about was you. I haven’t felt like this for ages x”
“Mr Bodle, you make me blush. How are we to reconcile these mutual inclinations to fuck each other’s brains out? x”
“You go home and ‘sort yourself out’, sugar. Feel free to text if you need help x”
K just called and challenged me to make her say “fuck” on phone. Failed but enjoyed talking to her v much. Determined not to give in though. Am with A.
Saturday 13th December
Am no longer with A. Am dumpee.
Guy & Helen’s housewarming/Christmas party, Archway. Got flu. Proper, not man. A dragged me along anyway. V pissed and trippy with flu. Neil, Murray, Phil et al there.
In cab on way home, A revealed she was “in love with Murray, and always had been”. Pointed out he got married six months ago. She pointed out they had row last week.
Cried and coughed all night.
At least am not only dumpee. Phil single again. Ha.
Sunday 14th December
Called K. Told her I had dumped A for her. (Figured slight massaging of truth would make me look less like pathetic loser and more like desirable hunk.) K not as overjoyed as expected. Finally badgered her into meeting for drink. She quiet, awkward, said she “never wanted anything serious, only a bit of fun” and now feels pressured to go out with me. Reassured her no pressure. Had first legal kiss and grope of PB. V nice. Went separate ways at end as neither of us wants seedy rebound sex. Though one of us could probably have been talked around.
Monday 15th December
Film night at Neil & Yasmin’s. Jen, Tom, Georgie, me. Kids in bed, thank God.
10pm: A rang to say she wanted me back. Told her no longer wanted to be wanted back as had a gorgeous funny 24-year-old who is not in unrequited love with married man begging to shag me.
11pm: As if on cue, K rang to say she was getting in cab to come to mine. First booty call in 39 and a half years!
Made excuses and arrived home just before K. No sex though – K on her P, just wanted to “talk and cuddle”. Never mind, eventual sex will be better for anticipation. Still bummed about being recipient of world’s first booty call with no booty at end of it.
Tuesday 16th December
Met K for drink. She worried about age gap until I pointed out it is only same as Rhys Ifans and Sienna Miller. She stayed again. Still no sex.
Text from A:
“Hello sis. How you? Think am suffering withdrawal from A tummy hurts and earache! Feel about 4 years old! Calpol Xxx”
“Fuck sorry WRONG”
If genuine mistake, fuck her. If cunning ploy to win me back, actually quite impressed. However, must remain firm. Am with K.
Wednesday 17th December
Now understand why men date younger women. Standards less freakishly high. To A, am slobby, penniless loser. To K, am well-dressed, confident, wealthy, sophisticated man of world who can cause orgasm with single touch (although have not had opportunity to prove this yet).
Thursday 18th December
Freezing cold. K’s for dinner. She alone in flat but still on P so no sex. She worried we are “going too fast”. Placated her for now. Shared Lindor chocolates. Curious feeling of déjà vu.
Friday 19th December
Saturday 20nd December
No sex. No girlfriend. K “not in right place for boyfriend right now”. Have now been dumped twice in space of week. Week before Christmas.
Apparently average man cries seven times a year. At this rate, am seven and a half times as big a baby as average man.
Monday 22nd December
Producer called. Sitcom #2 rejected by BBC.
Bought new lesbian porn DVD and got drunk alone.
Dropped old Dictaphone and broke it. Unwrapped K’s and used it instead. Couldn’t think of anything to say into it apart from “Merry fucking Christmas”.
• Rhys Ifans and Sienna Miller’s relationship lasted 51 weeks longer than Andy Bodle and Kayleigh Silver’s.
♥ Biologists have long been aware of a phenomenon in nature called “mate choice copying”. Females are generally on the lookout for the males with the best genes, and the main way to assess this is to spend lots of time observing the behaviour of all available suitors. But some individuals – in species including the Japanese quail, the guppy and the finch – have found a short cut. Rather than wasting time gathering all the information themselves, they wait for other females to do the legwork, then see which males they’re interested in, and set their sights on those.
The behaviour has also been observed in humans. In 2000, Professor Lee Alan Dugatkin presented 166 female undergraduates with a report supposedly written by five other women on a man they had met. The more the writers said they were interested in dating the man, the more likely the subjects were to want to date him too.
In Eva and Wood’s 2006 study, 38 women were shown pictures of men. They almost universally gave the man a higher attractiveness rating when they were told he was married than when they were told he was single.
In an experiment at the University of Aberdeen in 2007, women were again shown pictures of men, but this time some of the photos showed a man alone, and others showed the same being smiled at by attractive women. Again, the man received far higher attractiveness ratings when he appeared to be liked by other women. So it really does appear to be true that the best way to get a girlfriend … is to already have a girlfriend.
Read more of Andy’s findings at www.womanology.co.uk.