Solo Flight

A few weeks ago I won a pair of tickets to see American Singer-Songwriter Ryan Adams (not to be confused with the ever-so-slightly-more-famous Canadian-singer-songwriter-Bryan Adams) at the iTunes Festival. In case you haven’t heard of it, the iTunes Festival is held every September at The Roundhouse in Camden, London, and showcases around fifteen or twenty musicians during the month. iTunes gives fans the chance to win tickets for as many artists as they want. This is the fourth year I’ve entered and finally won tickets. I can’t help wondering if this is because I am actually living in London now.

Despite my joy at winning tickets, I had a job of trying to get anyone to join me. My close friends were all busy, so were work colleagues. I resorted to a general Facebook post offering the free ticket, but while some of my American friends would have jumped at the chance (especially my friend Mark who has seen Ryan in concert twice), the Brits were slightly less inclined to go. In the end, the guy I’ve had a few dates with said he would go, despite having declined previously.

We arranged that I would head over to his place first and that we would go to the concert from there. Due to the engineering works taking place in both Twickenham and also further north, it took me over an hour and a half to get to his place, half an hour longer than it should have done. After indulging in what two consenting thirty-somethings would do, I asked him what time we would need to leave to get to the concert. To which he replied, “Sweetie, I’m not going to the concert.” I stormed out.

While I have no problems doing stuff on my own, since I have travelled overseas on my own and even been to concerts abroad alone, I was rather pissed off at having to go to the concert by myself, especially after what had happened. I had been expecting to go alone since it wasn’t looking like I would find anybody, but having somebody offer who then had no intention of going really pissed me off.

Although I am angry with him, I am more mad at myself. For many years I have met guys and rushed into intimacy in a blind bid to find “the one”. But of course I always end up feeling disappointed and used, metaphorically “lying cold and naked on the floor” to borrow words from Aussie songstress Natalie Imbruglia.

The main problem is, when this happens, my self-esteem plummets. I feel like I will never find someone, and ask myself why does nobody ever want a relationship with me? The truth is, it is very rare that a great sexual encounter will lead to a relationship. I do know of a couple who are expecting their second child after a one-nighter at a party (well, not after that party obviously…you know what I mean). But sadly they are the exception; because most guys just don’t want to know after the deed is done.

Despite going on my own to the gig, and being stood behind a lovey-dovey couple (which is enough to frustrate me on a good day) I really enjoyed the concert, and I’ll be listening to a lot more of Ryan’s music in the future.

Recently, on the way to work after a very bad morning, I stood at the train doors waiting for them to open at my station, and it occurred to me that what those people waiting on the platform were about to see was my very grumpy face. I realised I didn’t want them to see that, and so I made an effort to put a big smile on my face. And you know what, it really did make a difference; I felt so much better. So lately, I’ve been trying to make more of an effort to smile, especially when I feel like crap.

Last night I had a counselling session (which was good timing) and then I met a friend at Oxford Street. On the bus I reapplied my make-up after my tearful appointment to make myself look and feel better. Using my recently-discovered ability to smile through the pain, I made a concerted effort to put a smile on my face as I entered Debenhams to meet him. As I greeted him, he still commented on how thoroughly fed up I looked. So despite my best efforts, neither make-up or a forced smile were enough to hide the glumness I feel at this latest dating disaster.

I guess a still have a long way to go in not allowing my relationships with men affect my mood and my self-esteem. Last night with my counsellor I made a list of the qualities I want in a man, as well as some ground rules for dating. While I have no intention of going back to internet dating anytime soon, the difficulties in meeting someone the old-fashioned way make it likely that I’ll be back online within a number of months. Armed with my list and instructions on what not to do, hopefully I can navigate this minefield a little better and without setting myself up for situations in which I only end up getting hurt.

I wasn’t going to make this a music blog, but since it’s partly about Ryan Adams, I feel I want to share at least one of his songs. Come Pick Me Up was the last song he played as part of the two-song encore. It’s about getting hurt yet going back for more. Which I think sums up this blog.

Come Pick Me Up – Ryan Adams (2000)


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rob
    Sep 23, 2014 @ 19:29:22

    What an asshole! You don’t deserve to be treated that way. I’m sorry that happened to you. You’re a grown woman and you can sleep with whomever you want. But if you are looking for a relationship with someone, you should make him earn it. And as John Waters said, “If you go home with someone, and they don’t have any books, don’t fuck them!”


  2. 4entertainmentpurposesonly
    Sep 24, 2014 @ 03:54:48

    I can relate to this! I’m so sorry that asshole lured you over with a promise to go to the show – what fucking bullshit! Unacceptable.
    Don’t beat yourself up though.
    I’d love to see your list of rules that you came up with in therapy – I myself could use a refresher before I go back to the dating scene. I’m getting over a unhealthy relationship with a master manipulator. I consider myself keane however he is really good at getting me at every angle. Ugh! It’s maddening and makes me want to attack him. I refrain though from even name caking/ it’s my lesson to learn to higher my standards, respect myself, not tolerate anything less than ever again. Wish me luck and keep the faith girl!


    • 33andlostinlife
      Sep 25, 2014 @ 21:48:41

      I wish you luck! Some men can be very good at manipulation sadly. But the fact that you know this about him is your weapon to fight him off. And you can do it. I’ll publish the list of rules soon. They may be different to the rules that you need to start dating again, but it will give you an idea of where to start writing your own. I’m going to write mine nearly on a sheet of paper and put it somewhere I can always see it.


      • 4entertainmentpurposesonly
        Sep 26, 2014 @ 02:26:56

        Thanks for the encouragement. I feel stronger everyday I stay away. Looking forward to getting some pointers from you on these dating rules. I think we should keep these rules on paper in plain sight. I too easily forgive and forget, I’m getting better especially after this last one, but i know I need to arm myself against my own vulnerabilities ! I totally accept that I allowed and inadvertently encouraged such lousy treatment from dudes . Although over time I had made improvements and Better choices there is still quite a bit of bar left to be raised. I gotta do it though nothing less because I have so much to offer to the right person. I’m really starting to really believe that and I think that is the key to pulling a good one in. Woo

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