You’ve Got Blog

November 3, 2008

Here’s a musing I was throwing about on my 40 minute walk into work this morning – how fuckin’ stupid do you have to be to be run over by a train?


This morning, someone got run over by a train – not, I stress, thrown or pushed – and while I was walking the many, many miles to work (in the freezing London cold) this morning, I began to ponder just how one goes about getting run over by such a contraption as a London Underground train – the platforms are designed to precise measurements to ensure such a thing does not happen, and, for extra safety, a large yellow line is painted about half a foot from the edge of the platform, intermittently broken by the words DON’T STAND ANY FUCKING CLOSER DIPSHIT. I therefore surmise that this accident only occurred to make me late and put me in a bad mood after what was a rather lovely weekend.


(nb – tragic accident and all that – I mean, I’m not a heartless bastard or anything, but still…)


I have a small confession to make. One of my favourite movies is ‘You’ve Got Mail’. (this one:


This was made in 1998, back when Tom Hanks just looked like the guy from ‘Big’ but slightly older, and Meg Ryan was America’s Sweetheart – gorgeously attractive, sweet as sugar on National Sugar Day, effortlessly charming, and not a lip implant in sight. If someone ever invented a wife machine, you’d select ‘Meg Ryan, You’ve Got Mail’ as your option.


And you know something else? I really like the new Girls Aloud song. There, I said it. I, the man who has spent the entire morning to listening to the product of disaffected youths being given guitars and access to heavy drugs and angst, like the new Girls Aloud song. Doesn’t hurt that they’re not bad to look at, but nonetheless, it’s a fine track:



Watching ‘You’ve Got Mail’ (which is, by the way, a remake of a wonderful and equally charming film called ‘Shop Around The Corner with one of my favourite actors, James Stewart’) made me think about this blog, and how I write it.


I’ve been considering changing the record a little. I never meant for this to be a ‘dear diary’ deal – I mean, really, who gives a fuck what’s happening in my life? – but rather, as I sat down on that balmy July evening, I intended for this to be home to larger thought; to more general realisations and to posing and answering the big questions of the day.


So, readers, the format and frequency of this blog may soon change, and should you like it/hate it/not notice any difference, I would appreciate your feedback regardless – be it by comment, email, or carrier pigeon.


This weekend, I was thinking about the element of surprise, and about ‘spoiling’ someone, and where it comes from.


Once upon a time, I was a terribly insecure young man, and any time I would go on a date, I would buy a huge bunch of flowers. I did this, I would tell them, as a mark of respect – a ‘thank you’ for allowing me to date them.


This, of course, was bullshit.


What I was actually doing was covering a huge, gaping insecurity. By thrusting these flowers at them, I was immediately putting them on the back-foot, and it was all part of my defence mechanisms to deflect away from the real me.


Now, in 2008, I do still buy flowers every now and then. But the buying of these flowers comes from a different place. I like to spoil people, and make them smile. Last night was my 3rd date with Alex, and after a very relaxed 1st date, I bought flowers the second time around, as we had agreed to make it a more ‘date’ date.


Friday night, I am in a Borders store looking for a textbook on Biopsychology –  the science of brain functions and its effect on us emotionally – when I remembered that Alex had mentioned that she has a long-harboured ambition of doing some photography. ‘Aha’ thinks I ‘perhaps there is a book which helps someone realise just such a dream, but with a regular digital camera and just a little time’.


After about half an hour of searching, I found the absolutely ideal book; one which dealt with every single aspect of becoming an amateur photographer, from choosing a camera to editing and everything else.


And then, I suddenly became nervous.  I didn’t want to appear over-keen – Alex and I had been taking things slow, and I was actually ok with that – and I didn’t want to once again fall into the trap of buying things just to cover up the fact that our third date was going to once again be quite relaxed, somewhere where we’d mutually meet, (therefore without the chance of any sex happening, again, I was ok with this) and that, honestly, if I looked at my history, which reads as a long list of sexual conquests to cover insecurity coupled with the occasional opening up and broken hearts, I had no experience of dealing with a relationship where I was on the back foot; where I wasn’t in total control, or manipulating the situation I was in for my own means.


Alex and I are on an equal footing, she is strong minded and has a great deal of respect for herself, and I can’t help but admire that. I have a misogynistic history, mostly because I never experienced a strong female presence in my life as a child, and dealing with someone like Alex without some sort of resentment or mental tussling is not normally my forte.


Anyway, back to the bookstore. After some deliberation, I decided to buy the book, and inscribe it, which I did when I got home:


‘Dear Alex,

Every dream has a beginning.


Hope this comes in handy one day’


I wrapped it up, and when I met her last night in the restaurant, It was hiding under the front cover of the menu, so that when she opened it, she’d get a surprise. And a surprise she did get, and a smile I did get – everyone happy.


And then, this morning, I got an email saying all the usual nonsense – you’re a great guy etc:


From: Alex
To: David
Sent: Monday, 3 November, 2008 10:52:10
Subject: RE:

Hi David,


Firstly thank you again for last night.


I need to be honest and I don’t want to hurt you or us in the process. You are a great guy and incredibly generous and romantic with your gestures, to the point I am very very flattered – if a little overwhelmed!


If I’m honest things with us are going so fast (ok I know 3 dates in 3 weeks it may not seem like that but I do feel in that short time things have been quite intense.). And while I do like you a lot, I’m just not sure ultimately we are on the same page, by that I mean I’m not sure if we have the same values, morals and common interests and I don’t want to lead you on or give you false hope if I have some doubts and my heart is not fully in it!


I know that email is not the best way to say all of this but I just want to be totally honest with you and tell you where I’m coming from and sometimes writing it down is easier than saying over the phone.






Am I upset? Yes, a little.

Am I taking it personally, or as a rejection? Hells no.


It’s just one of those things. You can’t be everyone’s perfect guy, or I’d be fending people off as I walked down Oxford Street. I liked Alex, sure, but we took things slow, and if this whole thing had been injected with the same pretend passion and simulated affection I’ve historically used to cajole myself and another person into, I’d be feeling a whole lot worse.


And the best part? I still have a smile on my face.


Have a great Monday, ladies and gentleman. Write in big letters on a piece of paper the following: WHAT ADVENTURE AM I GOING TO HAVE TODAY? And pin it up on your wall or something. In every corner of the world, there’s magic happening, and if you can’t find it in somewhere or someone else, it’s inside you.


All my love in the world to you all,

Closed Box



9 Responses to “You’ve Got Blog”

  1. Neil Manchester Says:

    Basically David, whatever approach we (as men) take with women, it stands a good chance of being wrong. Having said that, putting that much effort and thought into a present (flowers are just an easy option, books are so much trickier to get right) ought to have been better received than that.

    On the downside, I felt a little bit seedy and voyeuristic being allowed to read Alex’s e-mail. Does she read your blog? Would she be pissed off about it going public? I suspect so.

    On the upside, every day is an adventure as you say. For me, today, its exploring which builder is going to renovate my charred house!

  2. David Levy Says:

    She doesn’t read it, no… I don’t think my many adventures are for everyone!

    I say – the minute its over, the less personal parts of what happened between two people are fair game. It’s a fairly standard ‘thanks but no thanks’ email, and by this time the blog was pretty long, and I couldn’t be arsed to write any more, so I just c+p’d.

  3. longredcape Says:

    I loved the “wife machine” comment. That was a cute way to put it.

    Sorry about Alex. It seems you’ve got a healthy outlook about it, though!

    And I love the last bit of advice, about the adventure — I believe I may have to write myself a note!

  4. Neil Manchester Says:

    Minor point David, but doesn’t “c+p’d” fall into the same category as “lol”, or am I just being pedantic?

  5. David Levy Says:

    Oh Neil. Neil, Neil, Neil…

    Abbreviation is perfctly fine, and commonly accepted – for instance, ‘eg’ or ‘nb’. Non-capitalised, ingenuine acronyms like ‘lol’ must be destroyed.

  6. Neil Manchester Says:

    Is “perfctly” an abbreviation too? Why bother, it was only one letter saved.

    And why is abbreviation such a long word?

    (I am bored at work, you might have guessed!)


  7. David Levy Says:

    A Managing Director bored at work? A fine example you set, Mr Manchester!

  8. Powerless and afraid(less so) Says:

    It seems as though your bad news turned out to be good news.
    At least she told you straight.
    Well done for not beating yourself with a “im not good enough stick”.
    Well that stick is mine but im not using it as much.

    Stay good


  9. posteret Says:

    I think your gift was lovely and very thoughtful. She must be bonkers! (sweeping generalisation alert) A lot of men don’t have the imagination to come up with such a personal and well thought out gift. (end of generalisation)

    Either way, it’s very good that you are taking it so well. I’ll try to keep you entertained tomorrow with a blog entry…

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