Food and the Person you Fancy: a recipe for disaster…

Food and the person you Fancy – a recipe for disaster.

The only occasion where food poses as problematic is when you are in the company of someone that you fancy. It sounds neurotic; but it’s the truth. We all know what it feels like to fancy someone, I mean really fancy someone – can’t think straight when you’re in their company fancy someone. You are desperate for them to notice you, be impressed by you and hopefully fall for you. For this to happen you have to look and sound good, you need to ooze intelligence, radiate beauty, be amusing, keep eye contact…there’s a lot of things to take into consideration and that’s without adding food into the equation. There’s an art to putting things in your mouth…and whilst talking to the potential love of your life it’s easier said than done, believe me.

Let me take you back to last weekend.  I am not a shy person, I do not struggle at making conversation, I have been known to crack the occasional gag – enter William – aka love of my life – and all this goes out of the window. He is my ‘can’t talk straight’ fancy someone. Knowing that I was going to bump into him at a mutual friend’s barbeque last Saturday; I had time to prep. I had the full works – new dress, new shoes, fake tan and my hair blow-dried. As I arrived, I felt good – now all I had to do was ooze intelligence, be amusing and keep eye contact. What I didn’t gamble on was the bloody canapés.

With an array of intelligent opinions stored up I waited for him to say ‘Hello’. Obviously I knew his exact whereabouts at all times, but still acted surprised as he tapped me on the shoulder and said: ‘Hi.’ A deep breath then a relaxed turn and a reciprocal: ‘Hi,’ and I was off!

William: ‘How are you?’

Me: I’m fine thank you. Oh god I fancy you, oh shit I’m not saying anything, say something. How are you?

William: I’m good thanks.

Me: Great, conversation over. Say something intelligent, start a proper conversation, keep eye contact. So…so what? what have you been up to recently? Seriously? Is that the best you can come up with? Remember look good. Smile. Not too much, you don’t want to look creepy.

William: Oh I’ve just been in London working really, pretty dull, just finishing up some Law exams. How about you? What are your plans this summer?

Me: Ok, here’s your chance. Concentrate, say something interesting…but make sure it’s not dull. Put something funny in there. Oh you know, not much. WHAT?! What are you doing?! I mean, well hopefully I’ll go abroad somewhere, maybe India. That’s the first I’ve heard of it. Well at least he looks interested.

This is when the first canapé arrived. He took one and not wanting to look like the stereotypical weight conscious girl I followed suit. Now, just to clarify, in my books a canapé should be a bite-sized morsel to whet the appetite, so you can imagine my horror when I was faced with a chunk of bruschetta, topped with pesto, whole slices of tomato and mini mozzarella balls.

Now not only did I have to worry about what the hell I was saying – whilst oozing intelligence, looking good and keeping eye contact – I also had to work out how the hell I was going to fit the damn canapé (I use the term lightly) into my mouth without looking retarded.

William: That would be awesome. I’d love to go to India, have you been before?

He takes a bite of his bruschetta. Typical. One smooth clean cut bite: no spillage. I continue to hold mine.

Me: Brilliant. Yes you have, conversation goldmine – gap year, wrangle in a funny story. Yeah actually, eye contact I went there on my year out good – sounds much more mature than gap year it was great, apart from apart from what? I got really ill. Did you?

William: Why? What happened?

Me: Oh crap Oh you know just the standard, you know, digestive problems. Oh my actual god.

So you can see the predicament I was already in; with plans of talking about politics, the war and culture I had ended up talking about digestive problems in India that I’d never had. I mean there’s shit chat, but this was literal ‘shit’ chat. So there I was talking about defecation issues with the man I wanted to fancy me, concentrating on how I could possibly rectify the situation – and then he starts staring at the piece of bruschetta starting to wilt in my clammy hand. I was going to have to bite the bullet and take a mouthful.  Bringing it towards my mouth first I tried to salvage the stinky chat.

Me: Yeah, so anyway, change topic, change topic are you going anywhere hot?

William: Mmnnn, Probably Spain with the family, nothing too exciting.

Another glance at the Bruschetta.  I either had to have some sort of mini fit and drop it – or take the dreaded bite. Attempting to open my mouth elegantly though wide enough to fit the blasted thing in was problem number one and then, just as I had settled with an appropriate width, one of the mozzarella balls decided to take on a life of its own and launch itself off the toasted brioche to safety on the lawn below.

Pretending I hadn’t noticed the missing fromage, ball number two took the executive decision to follow suit and it too deployed itself. I mean honestly, why would you put a spherical shaped object on top of a moving dish? – it’s not only impractical, it’s plain mean. Cutting my losses I took a bite from the remaining tomato and pesto, a small lady-like bite. ‘Phew’ I thought, ‘well at least that went smoothly.’

I thought too soon. My lady-like bite obviously was not strong enough to bite through the entirety of the bruschetta, which I discovered as I was trying to remove it. A slice of indecisive tomato couldn’t make up its mind as to whether it wanted to stay in my mouth or on the toast and decided to wait until it was out in the open before clinging on for dear life to the latter. Meanwhile an amalgamation of pesto and oil dribbled down my chin.

Oh god, please don’t look at me. Jesus, why me? Look away, look away and wipe your bloody face. Stupid bruschetta, who serves bruschetta as a canapé anyway? It’s bloody ridiculous. So now he not only thinks that you’ve got both verbal and literal diarrhoea but also thinks that you’ve got serious malco-ordination issues. Great. Do something!

Me: Spain, oh I love Spanish.

William: Me too. I studied it at uni actually. Do you speak it?

Me: Well not really no. What do you mean not really? You don’t speak a word.

William: Oh did you do it for A level?

Me: Not as such.

William: GCSE?

Me: Noooo. You look retarded. Think fast, think fast. Um, basically on my year out gooood I went to Brazil, so I picked up a Spanish dictionary and kind of learnt from there. Saved it, nice work girl!

William: Don’t they speak Portuguese in Brazil?

Me: Fuuuuuuuuuccccckkk. Oh ha, ha. Think. I didn’t mean Brazil, sorry I meant Argentina.

By this point it was obvious that the combination of me not being able to eat properly and my overwhelmingly thick comments were not only making me feel excruciatingly awkward but also utterly boring the love of my life. Something had to be done.

Me: So…it was such a shame that you couldn’t come to my party. Great – he wasn’t invited – makes it look like you didn’t really think about him, had too many other people to invite. Casual, blasé – brilliant. Oh and now he knows that you party a lot. Give off the sociable vibe – you could party with his friends…

William (smiling): I wasn’t aware that I was invited?

Me: Oh my god he’s smiling. Wait he’s flirting! Jackpot!! – put on your sexy voice Oh really…I said sexy, not transvestite I’m sure you were….Well, my sister sent out the invites, you’ll have to blame her. Ha, ha, ha. Mmmn good girly laugh. Nice.

William: Ha, I will. Well I’ll have to come to the next one.

Me: YES! Yes, you will…you should have said ‘maybe you will.’ maybe. Not the same you idiot!

William: So what was the theme again?

Me: Out of Africa.

William: How was it? Were the costumes good? What did you go as?

Me: Lots of questions – obviously he wants to talk to you. Things are looking up! Yeah it was really good actually, I had such a good time You just said good twice; adjective use! I went as a Congo peacock – yeah the costumes were really good AGAIN! …but most people did go as the standard African animals. You know like Don’t say tigers, don’t say tigers tigers How? Seriously how? Why? – laugh it off, laugh it off. Ha, ha, ha – Obviously tigers don’t come from Africa, but lots of people thought that they did…



Further silence.

What are you going to do now? You literally have nothing left to say. Don’t just stand there like a lemon – do something.

So I took the second bite of the blasted bruschetta and history repeated itself – more indecisive tomato and more pesto oozing down my chin.

William: Right…

He started looking over my shoulder. He was trying to escape.

BAIL! Save your dignity.

Me: I’m sorry will you excuse me, I need to go Where? Where do you need to go? to the loo.

William: Oh ok, (sincere relief) well it was good seeing you.

This was obviously a blatant lie: no-one in their right mind would have, or could have possibly described the 12 minutes of my company – or rather the verbally incontinent, ditzy, moronic female that hijacked my body for those twelve minutes – as ‘good.’

How did it manage to go so unbelievably, terribly and horrifically wrong?  My explanation – the bruschetta. It was those stupid gigantic excuses for canapés that pushed me over the edge. As if looking and sounding good wasn’t enough to think about! I wanted to ooze intelligence, not have pesto ooze down my chin. I wanted him to fall for me, not have mozzarella fall to the floor…It was all too much.

Who wants to talk to someone that has half masticated chunks of tomato dribbling from their mouth? No-one – and certainly not William who spent the rest of the evening avoiding me like the plague. And to think – I had planned on leaving the barbeque with a date!





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