The awkward turtle

Celebrating the failings of a successful person


Why I should not approach guys…

In my last year of uni I had a crush on this guy I saw everyday for what seemed to be the longest period of my life spent in the library. I would see him in the mornings, afternoon, and even whilst pulling a late night . I had no idea who he was and he never associated with anybody remotely familiar. It seemed that not even the reliable Six degrees of separation theory was applicable here. The intrigue turned into one of our many library obsessions as I shared the victim amongst my friends. Anything to distract from the misery of our academic holes was a plus. I dubbed him Seth Rogen, not least because the poor guy was nameless, but also because he looked uncannily like the actor Seth Rogen. He was my guilty pleasure.

Sure enough our frequent breaks on the library sofas were spent having intellectual discussions over Sophocles’ stance on state versus divine authority in the Antigone, which were promptly interrupted by a Seth sighting. “Seth’s gone out for a smoke, shall we go?”, or “Seth Rogen’s walking up the stairs….Don’t look…He’s coming towards us…No! Don’t turn around…Yeah he’s looking over…Dammit I told you not to look!”. I saw him so often that although we were mere strangers, we became strangers that knew each other precisely because we so obviously were not acquainted. In short; he kept staring at me because I kept staring at him. Awkward.

Fast forward to the end of the year at our pre-graduation party at a club. Everyone made it out: all those people I saw but never knew in the library, all those people I knew but wished I never saw in the library. Seth Rogen. I didn’t think I would see him there, if I had I wouldn’t have been so brazen just hours earlier when I declared I would speak to him if I saw him. It was too late. I couldn’t unmake my promise even if I wanted to because within seconds of spotting Seth at the bar my best friend Nate practically pushed me through the crowd and positioned me right to the left of Seth. The air took on a new heat around me as I contemplated striking up a conversation with a guy I literally did not know. Of all the possible ways to start a conversation I started like this, “Oh sorry, I think I pushed in front of you”. He looked at me, uncomfortably I might add, and replied “No its okay, I’m with them anyway”, indicating to the guy and girl actaully being served. I was sweating, my hair frizzed and I just wanted to bolt but I wasn’t quite ready to admit defeat. I groped for some support and found Nate’s arm within good reach. I pinched her, I figured she deserved to share in the pain that was passing through me every time I opened my mouth to speak to Seth. Then I said something really incredible. Incredibly because for 0.1 second I thought it was witty, than I was prepared to settle with funny, but as my lips breathed the words to life I realised it was just god damn ridiculous: “Oh well” I began, “You know it’s a dog-eat-dog world when it comes to the bar”. Inside I died. And as if that wasn’t humiliating enough, Seth singalled he had missedthe punch line. I had a second chance to pretend I never said the lame dog-eat-dog line and say something actually witty this time around, but alas I flopped again. Perhaps the line was so excruciatingly cringe-worthy that he had actually heard it and wanted to give me the benefit of the doubt. Who cares. I surrendered to my failure and delivered the same line again looking on to see the realisation of what I had said settle onto his face. He managed a terse laugh “Uh hah hah…”, and then walked away. Luckily I was already at the bar and it was a no-brainer what I needed then and there. Shot please!

The only thing that made this episode bearable was sharing it. I was the source of much laughing and gasping for air with a stray finger pointed in my direction. My sisters said I must have been adopted because this was no family trait. And I at least learnt that feminism can prevail onwards, women can grow penises for all I care but I will not be hitting on a guy again. Let chivalry work its charm.

Katherine Heigl & Seth Rogen in ‘Knocked Up’. It might be the Jew-fro, or the huggable body, but there is something about the Rogen


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“What’s that you say? You have a blog? Well join the line…”

Anyone can blog, even my mum, but some are convinced that it gives them some sort of special status. I tried to exploit this belief recently when I organised a day out to London Fashion Week dragging some friends in tow. The emphasis on my planned day was for free events, perhaps a glimpse of a few collections via a big outdoor screen designed to keep the riff-raff from muddying designer garments with our mediocrity. However even this, it seemed, was a big ask and inevitably we needed a pass to see anything of worth. One of my lovely friends, who has a penchant for blagging – one that I do not share – found out that if you were a blogger you could get a coveted pass. Her eyes lit up with the realisation that My friend has a blog, and sure enough she shoved me up to the Blogger’s desk to get us in. I knew I had no right being there but the cringe-worthy exchange had commenced:

“Erm, I’m a blogger and I was told to come here for a pass…”
“Right, do you have a business card?”
“Do you have your site stats?”
(I was not aware at that point what that was) “No.”
“Well if you give me your site address I can have a look for you.”
“What’s your blog about?”
“Er, food? writing mainly”
“Hmm. Well it should really be about fashion (duh). And you have to have had it for a year minimum (mine was 2 months old), or an average of 5,000 hits a month.”

Silence. We stared at eachother. I wanted the ordeal to be over but I knew there was no backing out now, all I could do to express my discomfort was grip my friend’s thigh behind me. She took a glance over my shoulder to judge my companions, they do say that a person should be judged by the company they keep. No doubt she found the sight of my poor friend Alex offensive; he had been an unsuspecting tag-a-long to the day’s events, and his idea of fashion consists of flip-flops (thongs) and shorts. Her verdict:

“Sorry. You can come back on the weekend when its open to the public.”

I saw a similar episode not too long after whilst queueing for London’s trendiest new restaurant of the week – going on month. We were one party away from the seating list and the woman in front was trying with everything at her disposal to get a table for dinner. Her desperation to enter was clear; at some point the line, “I’m a blogger, I’ll write you up if you let me in”, was dropped in at which point everyone within earshot held their breath to see what favours such a promise would elicit. The answer, nothing.

I felt suitably awkward on her behalf, only enhanced when moments later we found ourselves snaking back down the queue as there was no room in that inn.

A couple of weeks later I tried this same restaurant again. It involved an hour of queueing in the rain to no avail. During our hard time we got asked if anyone had given us an estimated waiting time, and as we looked into the face of our inquirers I realised we were staring at the face of the mum from Home Alone, Catherine O’Hara, and the fabulous wedding planning in Father of the Bride, Martin Short.

And the moral of the story: leave the blagging to your friends who know what they’re doing, don’t turn up at the hottest new restaurant on a Friday night, even celebrities from our childhood films can get turned away, and lastly, always carry a business card. That’s all folks!

London Fashion Week, fashionistas,

The ‘In’ crowd at London Fasion Week, Somerset House. Another reason why we didn’t get in was probably that we did NOT look like this

Bubbledogs, champagne, hot gods

Bubbledogs: the champagne & hotdogs restaurant that is permanently full