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The other day I paid a visit to Tesco (to my American readers, Tesco is like Walmart but better. There ain’t no party like an Everyday Value Tesco party) and I came across this novelty biscuit….
You know you need to have a word with yourself when your love-life is summed up in form of a biscuit. I didn’t buy it by the way; I’m more of a Tesco’s Finest kind of guy, you know.
Oh yes, that is me in the picture you see above. Pretty sharp dresser right? I’m single too, ladies. So form an orderly queue. (First time I’ve posted a photo of myself on here!)
I’ve had girlfriends in the past but nothing too serious. Last time I was in a relationship it was four years ago, and since then I’ve always fallen into that “just good friends” category, as written on that 50p biscuit. However, that isn’t the reason behind this edition of RIF’s Life Stories; instead, it’s a story of a mixtape that I made when I was 14.
It starts with a girl; it always does stories like this doesn’t it? This girl lived a few streets away from me and all the guys wanted to be with her. I was no exception. Valentine’s Day was a few weeks away so it got me actually made me want to go out of my way to impress this lass. A typical “date” when you’re 14, back in my day (“back in my day” I’m only 28), was to meet up outside of Woolworth’s, look at the CD’s and Videos (remember those kids?) in HMV, food from McDonalds and wrap it all up with a spot of window shopping. Still interested in me, girls? At school I shared all this with my mates and asked them what shall I do? So we spent the entire chemistry lesion brainstorming ideas which will, and I quote, “get me in the sack”. How lovely!
Eventually we all settled on doing a mixtape. Brilliant! Why didn’t I come up with that? However there was one problem, we had no fucking idea when it comes to pop music, and love songs aren’t exactly our speciality. We were into the likes of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Nirvana and Limp Bizkit. If this girl received a mixtape with Bark at the Moon on it she’ll kick my arse so much I’ll end up on the bastard moon! We had to play it safe. The plan was to rake through our parent’s CD collection and choose some romantic stuff off them. One of my friends had a sister so he provided all the BoyZone, A1 and all that shite whiles we raked for the rest. The weekend came and we spent both days listening to love song. Picture this, five 14 year old boys in one bedroom listening to Take That, and we’re all straight too! It occurred to me just now that rating these mushy tunes was my earliest days of reviewing anything. We had to start off somewhere I guess! We hadn’t a clue what we were doing quite frankly. If the song had “love” in it then it was going on the mixtape. The more we got into the process, the more we actually found ourselves getting more passionate about it. It was more than just a throwaway mixtape, it was beginning to become a work of art for us. It felt as though everyone was working together to help a fellow man find his way out of singlesville! We were treating it like professionals and as a result, the finished article felt like something you would buy in a shop. You know those Now That’s What I Call Music CDs? They don’t have shit on us!
I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet here but if I received this tape off me, I would fall head over heels in love with me. That’s how fucking awesome it was. It was four tapes and it was a labour of love. What songs were on it? Well, just off the top of my head, we had:
Hold me, Thrill me, Kiss me, Kill me – U2
Don’t You Forget about me – Simple Minds
Tender – Blur (Best. Fucking. Love. Song. Ever.)
You’re The Best Thing – Style Council
Perfect 10 – The Beautiful South (why not?)
Kiss From a Rose – Seal
Unchained Melondy – The Righteous Brothers
My First, My Last, My Everything – Barry White (Fun fact: My dad bought this song for my mam when they were first dating. If it worked for him it’ll work for me, right?)
Now V-Day came, that’s Valentine’s Day to you and me. I dropped the tapes off at her place, left a note with my address, and waited for her to run into my arms and smother me with kisses.
I decided to smarten myself up for the occasion. I splashed on half a bottle of aftershave, done my hair in curtains (classic 90’s hairstyle) and put on my best Ben Sherman shirt. I looked like the dog’s bollocks, looking back on it now, I just looked plain bollocks!
Suddenly, I heard something at the door. I ran down the stairs faster than Linford Christie and then I stopped dead in my tracks! She posted the mixtape back to me! Huh? That wasn’t the plan! The ultimate rejection right there! I was fucking heartbroken. All that hard work and listening to Westlife wasted! I picked the tapes up and retired to my room where I spent the rest of the day listening to Ordinary World by Duran Duran. (Remember I was listening to it on my Walkman so every time the song ended I had to try and rewind it to the beginning).
Being a teenager had its ups and downs!
Will I ever date again? Who knows? Since 2011 I just ended up being on the receiving end of the “just good friends” line which is nice but sometimes you get sick of hearing it. I do have the hots for someone right now but I’m not building my hopes up or anything. If anything works out, magic. Just call me Mr Lover Lover Man! If not then I’ll just have to continue the ever going search.
The one thing I’ve learnt about life is that when door closes, another one opens but we’re too busy looking at the closed door to even notice it.