The Tao of supermarkets

Aha! I knew the supermarket moan below would give me at least one creative thought this weekend. The last 48 hours haven’t been a total waste.

The thought: I’ve just realised that every relationship I’ve had for the last ten years has been a dating one rather than a living one. Basically, every time I see a woman I’m with it’s some sort of event: restaurant, cinema, show, something date-like rather than just kicking back and enjoying each other’s company. Even nights at my place tend to be pre-planned with table settings and bath bombs at the ready; I must be Lush‘s highest-grossing non-gay male customer.

I am the Tesco’s Finest of boyfriends, everything packed and wrapped and ready to eat. While high quality with a wide variety of options, once you’ve chosen your option, you know exactly what you’re getting: no surprises. A date with me is a tested recipe, carefully selected ingredients prepared with care and absolutely zero bloody spontaneity.

I dunno, shouldn’t I just… relax or something?

Which brings me back to supermarkets. That Sunday morning thing of wheeling a trolley round the aisles and deciding together what to have for dinner… not worried too much about how you look or what time it is… that’d actually be quite nice, wouldn’t it?

Have to give it a try. After all, what could be cooler – what could better demonstrate to a woman that you have nothing to prove – than asking her to go to the supermarket with you?

That was the weekend that was

Jeez, what happened to the weekend? 10pm on Sunday and I’ve done nothing. Slept late yesterday, gnawed through email, drifted around Covent Garden for a while, headed for the gym, decided not to head there after all, bought some Verdi, browsed a Charing Cross bookshop, then home to some sausage and a bottle of Rioja. Today: bought the Times, went to the pool (made it this time), had a coffee and panini at Canary Wharf, went shopping at Waitrose, which as ever on a Sunday was more of a singles club than a supermarket.

(Aside: how exactly do you meet women in a supermarket? Gesturing basketwards and commenting on the firmness of your melons strikes me as a pathetic opening, since it’s so obvious: saying it instantly puts the woman in control of the conversation. And given that you’ve just demonstrated a complete lack of originality, she’s a lot more likely to be laughing in the aisles than checking you out at the checkout. But what other subject is there surrounded by bread and broccoli? Canary Wharf Waitrose knows this problem and has helpfully provided a sushi counter and champagne bar for instant dating, but how many women would really agree to a date there and then?)

Anyway, finished my shopping and left (quickly, to avoid any trouble with the woman with the melons in her basket dialling 999 on her mobile.) And spent the evening devouring the papers, no TV, no music, no wine…. and somehow it’s now gone ten.

This is my life. And it’s ending one minute at a time.

Extemporising on Sunday

Reading that post below with the benefit of sobriety, I’m gratified that I don’t actually want to delete it; it was extemporaneous, after all, and coming out with *anything* that flows under those circumstances is worthy of note. I realise, however, I couldn’t have done it without a bottle of wine and three pints of the Polish beer that sponsored the event, and that’s a scary line to walk. Just right, and you’re confident and entertaining. Too little, or even the right amount in the wrong state of mind, and you’re just boring – or worse, an asshole. It’s easy to see why substance abuse is so common in showbusiness: drugs and booze are just too damn useful.

A client recently commented on how my fitness/healthy lifestyle routine squares with somewhat regular, if mild, intoxication. I can only quote from the great film ‘Fight Club’:

“Self improvement is masturbation. Self destruction – now that’s masculine.”