If you know me, it should come as little surprise to you when I say I’m not a big fan of confrontation. And if you don’t know me, your presence on my blog is welcome but baffling. It certainly isn’t the kind of thing I’d read if I had a say in the matter.
When I was a nubile 19-year-old, I met a girl. This wasn’t much of an achievement in itself; I was at university at the time, and there were literally thousands of them. I won’t give her name, as I’m likely to make some unflattering remarks about her in three or four paragraphs’ time, but it’s reasonable to say that I had a bit of a crush on her. By this, I mean I wanted to tear her clothes off (in a respectful fashion, neatly piling them up beside the bed), do all the things I’d spent the last seven years watching in videos, wash her face with Wet Wipes and go off and get married.
The months passed, and I did nothing about my crush. This was already becoming something of a pattern for me; of the four crushes I’d had since my testicles dropped, only two had ever found out about it, and in each case that was a) at least a year after the crush developed, b) in the form of a lengthy and occasionally pretentious letter (If you’ve read my blogs before, you’ll know the sort of thing), and c) delivered to them by a third party. Some of my friends had me pegged as a coward; I maintain I was ‘playing it cool’.
After a whole nine months, by which time I must’ve seemed cooler than The Fonz, I was really gearing up towards making my move. I’d even bought some nice notepaper; A4, with a narrow margin but no punched holes. The classy kind of notepaper. One time I’d even thought about making a move without the use of notepaper; I stayed up chatting with her and a few of our other friends in the lobby of our hall of residence, waiting as the others gradually drifted off to bed. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to outlast one of them, who we shall call Brian because it’s universally acknowledged as an amusing name (And because it’s not a million miles from his actual name), and ended up going to bed thwarted.
A week later, on the day before my twentieth birthday, there was a knock on my bedroom door; it was Brian. After an agonising thirty seconds or so of ‘chit-chat’ (I shall expand upon my hatred of chit-chat in a future entry), he told me the reason he’d popped by, which was of course that he and Pauline (Not even close to her real name) had begun dating, and he thought I should know, given that he knew I had “a bit of a thing” for her. Did I punch him? Did I shove him roughly out of my room, shouting “YOU FUCKING BASTARD, YOU KNEW I LIKED HER AND YOU WENT BEHIND MY BACK! IT WAS NO MORE ‘A BIT OF A THING’ THAN WORLD WAR TWO WAS ‘A MINOR SCUFFLE’!”?
I did not, readers. Instead, I thanked him for letting me know, in a way that suggested he’d just told me they were going to be testing the fire alarm at some point, or that one of the chefs was off sick so there wouldn’t be any potato smilies for dinner. I even asked him if he wanted to hang around and watch the Friends DVD I’d just come back from buying. Weirdly, he didn’t. Presumably he had better things to do.
Thanks to the confined nature of the university halls of residence we did remain friends though, after a fashion. This was great, because as the veil lifted and my perception of Pauline came more into line with reality, I came to realise that not only was she quite neurotic and high-maintenance, but that she and Brian were both rather tedious people, and it was fortunate for the gene pool that they found each other when they did. Plus a week later I was introduced to Pauline’s friend, on whom I had a much more instant and ultimately far more damaging crush, so it was fine.
But that’s a story for another time; my point is, I don’t like confrontation. So I’m sure you can imagine how I felt when, earlier this week, a stroke of what is either fate or incompetence (Let’s not decide which) meant that an important Amazon parcel was dispatched to my previous address.
I didn’t have a happy relationship with those housemates; one was a South African racist who was arrested for threatening behaviour; one would play his radio loudly at 5 o’clock in the morning, which would never fail to wake me up; and the other… Well, he was relatively agreeable, but he liked football so fuck him. Naturally, my issues with these people were never raised while I was there; I just found a different house to move to when I’d had enough.
I was hoping to never have to see them again. as such, I called Amazon’s customer service (Did I mention I also have a fear of phone calls?), and had a lovely chat with a man called Ryan, who resolved to contact the courier and get the address amended straight away. By which I mean I had a stilted, barely-audible conversation with a man whose name definitely wasn’t Ryan, who said he couldn’t get through to the courier so would ‘try again in the next day or two’. I accepted this without question, of course; partly because I suspected that to question it would have been another ten minutes of my life I wouldn’t get back.
So today, I went round to my old house, and it was obvious that my racist, football-loving housemates had long moved out; there was just a different vibe around the house. Well, that and the ornate signs on the door praising Allah. Buoyed, I knocked on the door, and was met by a rapping on the front window. I admit to a certain level of cultural ignorance, but I was pretty sure Muslims don’t communicate exclusively in morse code. However, the lady at the window was unwilling to open the window, so I tried to shout about my parcel through the double glazing, using a gesture that could have meant ‘parcel’, but could equally have been an inaccurate representation of my penis length.
This went about as well as you could expect, and eventually she opened the door. The short exchange that followed is unremarkable, but the upshot of it is that they don’t have my parcel. The tracking system hasn’t worked since about ten minutes after my call with ‘Ryan’. The parcel hasn’t turned up at my house. So where are my two Walking Dead Compendiums? I guess we’ll never know.
Yeah, yeah; I’ll call them tomorrow. By which, I mean I’ll email them tomorrow. Maybe Monday.