Monday, May 19, 2008


I’ve never been a fan of that Cosmo-slash-Sex & The City habit of coining annoying little phrases to describe certain types of relationships we have with other people. You know, like, um, a “frenemy” or, um, okay that’s all I can come up with at the moment but there are loads. And they shit me.

Nevertheless I seem to be intent on coming up with my own lately, having previously discussed the concept of a relationship Placeholder (someone who, funnily enough, holds the place in line until someone better comes along) and more recently having become consumed with the concept of a Backburner.

We probably all have Backburners and they’re a bloody comfort: those people we know (or perhaps misguidely believe) have always sort of fancied us, or been a bit fond of us, and who, we assume, will sort of always be there in the way a childhood toy or a sweet, sweet 4 litre emergency cask of wine will be. Perhaps we once went out with the Backburner and fancy we broke their hearts, or maybe they’re just a friend whose always wanted to be a bit more…. Either way, as I say, it’s comforting to have them about. They reassure us we’re fanciable when we don’t think we are and their mere presence convinces us we won’t die alone in an apartment with our face being eaten by hungry cats.

And, as I am finding out, it’s a bit disconcerting when the relationship you thought you had with them is forced to change. This has happened to me twice in recent weeks and it’s a strange thing.
Firstly an old friend of mine is getting married (and NO it’s nobody who reads this blog because I know a fair few people getting married, some of whom DO read this blog, but none of whom have any reason to panic, honest) which is lovely and nice. In theory. But a tiny bit of me thought, when I heard the news, Oh… really? Because in my arrogant way I’ve always thought this friend was a bit sweet on me. It never got off the ground for a number of very good reasons but I have, from time to time, thought fondly of him and even, at off moments, wondered if, years and year down the line when I’m a toothless spinster, it might be game on. Now, apparently, it is Game Over.

Another friend has recently fallen in head-over-heels in love (and nope, not you either – this is another non blog reader, I assure you) and is currently giddy as a schoolboy. Again, on the one hand I know this is lovely and I am genuinely happy for him. But on the other hand… well I’d sort of liked to imagine he might have been nursing a soft spot for yours truly. And apparently… well, he’s not.

Now I’m not suggesting either that I have been nursing dreams to run off with these two boys, nor obviously, that I expect them to sit about mooning after me for ever, doodling Mr Emery on their spiral notebooks. But. Still. Well it’s put my nose a little out of joint. More worryingly it’s left me distinctly short of Backburner material. I’ve lost contact with ex-boyfriends and most of my own fanciables have long since become coupled up.

Granted I do have a very dear boyfriend all of my own but a relationship without a Backburner is like abseiling without a harness and rope to break your fall: bloody stupid and dangerous too.

And fuck me if I’ve not got a terrible feeling I’m in line for a broken neck - somebody throw me a bloody rope.


Lindsay said...

I'm always here for you Kato. Especially if, you know, you and Andy call it a day.

my name is kate said...

ahh two ageing lesbians at the Guardian Express. What a time we would have...

observer said...

If the rope does break I could always try to break your fall with a goon-bag? Since glass is apparently so passe.