For one reason and another I’ve been thinking lately about the men in my life (and, just occasionally, the lack there of). Because my brain is just a weird and wacky place that never wants to give me a break, I keep circling back round to Mr T (some might know him as shanks – and yes, the lowercase is important).
Yup, that’s him posing in the picture at the head of this post – true story? He crashed that bike before he ever even got a license to ride it on the road. Yes, I have wonderful taste.
Another true story? Shortly after dumping me by text (I did mention about my taste, didn’t I?) he ended up getting engaged to my brother’s ex-girlfriend. If I had to put blame to the moment that made me realise my life was more than just a little bit weird and deserving of being shared on the internet, that was it.
I look back on my time with Mr T now with a kind of misty, warm glow and a wry smile for my silliness. Whilst remembering my complete naivety does make me shudder – and memories of spending three hours driving round Guilford still strike terror in my heart – I still have a certain fond attachment to those four/five months. I miss the Bambi-esque Cas I was then. There is something to be said for the way I just ran headlong into the situation like there was a Cas-shaped hole in the wall. Everyone told me “NOOOOOOO!!!!! Don’t trust the red-headed Physics student!” I just got stubborn, dug my heels in, and – I have to admit it – had an absolute blast.
I talked once about how I’m kinked to respond to smiles. Oooooh… that smile. Even looking back that smile gives me the tingles and reason to get a very private smirk. It wasnâ€™t the kind of smile you relied on to bring you cups of tea and hold your hair back when youâ€™re feeling sick. It was the kind of smile that took you out dancing and didnâ€™t bring you home till the sun was just starting to come up. Two days later.
Last time I went back to the Homestead I got chatting with Curly Durly and, for reasons I can’t even remember now, I happened to mention Mr T. Boy do they tell it true when they say hell hath no fury like a mother getting protective over her little girl! When forced to explain her vitriol because as previously discussed, I look back on that incident with no real regrets and surely it should be me who’s still putting pins in the voodoo doll, she came out with “he broke my baby’s heart – of course I don’t like him!”
Ah, the moment where you have to reveal to your mother that despite her long-cherished beliefs your heart was NOT broken by the red-headed Physics student back in 2003. Followed swiftly by having to also disabuse her of the notion that he’d been your first true love…
Anyway, back to the post because, though it looks like I’m just pootling around with the words because they want to get said, I do have a sort-of-point I want to make.
And the point is this – no matter what happened with shanks, I am able to look back with a grin in my heart (and a feisty twinkle in my eye) because I have no regrets. The wise thing would have not to gotten into the situation in the first place. Or backed out at the first opportunity (there were several). I should have listened to what everyone was saying from friends to family to random internet people who were clearly under the impression I’d lost what little I had left of my sanity.
But I didn’t. For possibly the first time in my life up to that point I listened to what my heart was telling me over my doubts and low self-esteme. So it ended as it ended; C’est la vie. No lasting damage was done, in fact my reputation around campus went from “she’s an up-tight, frigid cow” to “oh, so she is human after all!” more or less over night. Fun was had by the important parties. Even my friends got something out of it all because there were some mammoth bitching sessions held in the aftermath. You could make the argument that my evil step-gran got something out of the relationship because she could finally hold her head high at Bridge Evenings and say “no, my grandaughter isn’t a lesbian, she has had a boyfriend!” Every cloud and all that. (Bless my family!) So he ended up engaged to my brother’s ex-girlfriend; it gives me stories to tell and sure breaks the ice at dinner parties.
Regret rien. Try it.
So I lied just then – I do have one small regret. We never went properly dancing. I can live with that though I think. It’s an odd thing to feel proud of, but for a few months that smile was for little old ordinary me, and that makes me feel good.