Thursday, 16 February 2012

A girl runs away until she catches him

       Everyone has crushes.
       My first crush was a rather neat little boy called Gregory - blond, blue eyed, scrupulously clean, stylishly dressed and impeccably groomed - a genuine prototype for Justin Bieber.
       As I remember we were 6 or 7 years old at the time, so it was all very innocent. Every playtime, the whole class would join in an enthusiastic chase – ‘girls after boys’ and the next day, supposedly, ‘boys after girls’. Unfortunately, the boys preferred being chased as the alternative was too much bother - and this is a pattern their older selves have followed ever since!
       Let’s face it, how many lads tweet quite as obsessively about – ooh, let’s say Emma Watson or Keira Knightley or whoever the current Miss Dream Girl happens to be? Do any of them have 44million followers on Twitter? But I digress.
      Back to the chase. I definitely felt Gregory was the love of my life and was sure he felt exactly the same about me. That’s why it was hard to understand just why, on the rare occasion when the boys were actually persuaded to run after us for a change, no matter how much I tried I could never get caught by Gregory!     Perhaps he was just too slow!
Turning to the dark side
       Since then, of course, it’s been downhill all the way. Once the teens kicked in, my tastes changed radically. No longer did I sigh over neat, WASP-like young gentlemen. Such outdated specimens were now relegated to the Mills & Boon-inspired, all-round solid, good guy with a responsible career like 'doctor' or something equally 'caring'. (Strangely enough, Gregory became a dentist which is sort of caring, I suppose.)
       No, from now on only bad boys would do. There were a couple at art school who were the coolest guys in college by leagues. One of them, Trevor was everything a really, really bad boy should be and in his prime would have given Ricky Retch (the wild rocker from The Runaway Children 2) a fierce run for his money.
       Slightly bohemian, hugely creative, at eighteen he’d already lost one of his front teeth – not through gum disease, you understand, or anything weedy like that, but in a bout of fisticuffs with someone who'd offended him by trashing his paintings. But Trev didn’t care about appearances. He was far too cool to let a minor thing like a missing front tooth worry him. It only added to his bad boy image. 
       In every respect, Trevor was a hard guy; he liked to drink, he liked to fight and few females could resist him. He did, however, have one thing in common with Crush-Mark-1-Gregory - he never, ever chased after girls.
       Was this because he was too conceited? No. Neither was Gregory. The fact is, they just couldn’t be bothered. When it comes to relationships, many modern day men are too lazy, especially if they're good-looking. Why bother when so many girls will run after you?
       Oh, there used to be a time when young men ‘pressed their suit’, so’s to speak, should a likely young lassie catch their eye. Not out of chivalry or Darcy-style romance, mind. In the old days, nice girls were so carefully protected, any man who expected to marry one of them had to make a little effort. Like asking for a date! But in this day and age, they simply don’t have to!
       Is Justin Bieber ever going to beg for some girl's phone number? Will Robert Pattinson ever join a dating agency? Is Shia LaBoeuf walking past the same bus station every day in case SHE's there? Or does Leo di Caprio have to wrestle each new girlfriend into submission? I doubt it.
       Good guys, bad guys, wise guys, any kind of guys – they’re quite happy with their football/playstation/booze/cars/fights/ fishing or whatever. Because, unless they’re seriously unpleasant or Olympic sprinters, it’s usually girls who do the running.
       So what about Gregory? You may be surprised and even a little pleased to know he eventually came round to my point of view and we went out together - briefly - until circumstances and university drew us apart.
       As for Trevor. Well, he never asked and I was afraid to. Truth be told, had he just inched a little too suddenly in my direction, I'd probably have run for my life!

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