I could hardly believe it myself when the words came tumbling out:
“It’s not you, it’s me,” I said.
There were no other words. All I knew in that moment was that I truly believed in what I was saying.
We met whilst rehearsing for a show—spent weeks in the same dark studio, running through lines and blocking out scenes.
When you spend X amount of time intensively with a select group of people (and you’re single), chances are you may start to find one of those people attractive (even if they’re not remotely your type). This is the very reason why shows like The Bachelor work so well — when there are no other options available, all the hopeful participants will inevitably have designs on the bachelor even if they don’t feel a real connection with that person.
We shared many scenes together and he was a talented actor who was easy to connect with on stage. I wanted to know more about him. He was quiet during rehearsals and extremely unassuming, so what would he be like in real life?
Once the show was over, we ended up ‘dating’ and I was soon to find out exactly what he was like in real life…
1. He had posters of scantily clad women on his bedroom wall (read: this guy is still a teenager!).
2. Moments of quiet were often interrupted by teeth sucking; he would sit there pushing his tongue tight between his pearly whites, sucking at whatever remnants of his previous meal remained—the sound— like a mouse stuck down a plughole, trying to come up for air as the water is draining.
3. On meeting some members of my family the only words he uttered were hello and goodbye. In-between he scoffed down his dinner and ate an entire bowl of pop-corn without taking a breath or sharing with anyone else.
4. When I dropped something off at his house to drink, I came back and he explained that some of the liquid had accidentally fallen into his mouth (half the bottle was gone!).
5. He wore waterproof shorts with velcro straps and donned the same hooded sweatshirt day-in and day-out (if it wasn’t for 1,2,3,4 and #6 I would have let this one go).
6.“Meh!” was his answer to everything— this guy could not hold a conversation.
So, as I turned back to look at him while he stood in the doorway of his flat in his faded green, toweling bath robe with tears streaming down his face, I couldn’t help but think, ‘actually, it is you—not me.’ I can see that we were never meant to be.
I’m not sure why I think of relationships when looking at these photos. Perhaps it’s because I’m sitting in front of an artwork given to us as a wedding gift (and that’s a toddler barrier I’m perched on too). Yes, life has certainly changed since my ‘single’ days! The blouse is a favourite of mine and feels ultimately like ‘me’. It has raw edges and I love the detail of the gold pin buttons on the cuffs. I wear this blouse both dressed up and down. I purchased the sweater this winter and I’ve been making the most of it. I’ve had the jeans for the longest time and have been wearing them in lieu of my inability to find the perfect-fitting boyfriend jeans (which are always far too big for my 4’11” frame). And I love my new ring which is quirky and unconventional — it makes me feel like an enhanced version of myself somehow. The artist who made it — Chloe Rose Taylor is currently creating a range for Wellington boutique The Service Depot which she says will be heading in a slightly different direction to her exhibition pieces (my ring being one of them), but I’m super excited about seeing what she comes up with for the new collection.
Photography by Howard Sly (edited by me).