Social Pariah – a warning to us all

“How come your grandma hasn’t sent any cake in ages?” “She’s got cancer.” Inappropriate comments are the easy triumphs of social comedy and I am extraordinarily gifted, particularly with families. Walking into our kitchen half way through a conversation I heard “…she was eating about three kilograms of chocolate a day.” I burst out laughing. “What kind of fatty does that?” “My Mum does.” Pause. “Haha, no actually, who?” “No really. It’s my Mum.” Tumbleweed. Insulting mothers trumps everything. Awkward silence is my applause.

For some ridiculous reason, I’m with a friend at a club frequented by C-list celebrities and investment bankers. I am out of my league in terms of both location and dance partner when I suddenly realise my nose is running. Subtly, I incorporate a nose rub into my dance moves. Mr Smooth doesn’t bat an eyelid; he just smiles and pulls me closer. He’s gorgeous. I’m ecstatic. The mucus is relentless. I smile and mutter “hang on”, turning to my friend behind me. “Got a tissue?” “What the fuck is wrong with your face?” Argh. It’s a nose bleed. I run. I like to think I was the enigmatic beauty who got away; realistically, I am the bleeding weirdo.

“You’re swaying.” “I’m not swaying, you’re swaying.” “No. You… are swaying.” You never mean it, do you? It was somewhere inbetween the second bottle of Blossom Hill and the fully-clothed return to consciousness in the wardrobe that things got messy. The first drink was generous, but it wasn’t your fault because you had a shit day. You stage whisper that the girl in the red dress is a slut, and on your way home forget that “thank you for having me” sounds a bit odd when you paid six pounds to get in and you’re not seven years old anymore.

Aside from a cider fuelled snog when I was fifteen we had no history. I always thought he saw me as his little sister. I used to talk him through his plentiful girlfriend problems, and he used to threaten to beat up my wayward boyfriends. Brotherly, no? I even went to stay with him for a few days this summer after he moved away. It always amazed me how well we got on. He was so attentive. As we ate ice-cream and watched ‘80s films he might as well have been gay. I felt perfectly at ease dozing off on his bed next to him. And then I woke up as he ran his hand through my hair.

I hate the beginnings of parties. I know I’m not a grownup yet because I don’t do good small-talk. I do bad small-talk or inappropriately big talk. “Are you having a good time?” smacks of desperation and there’s a time and a place for “So…Jesus must’ve been well pissed off.” Looking for something to break the ice I sent a friend downstairs to get my camera (top drawer of my desk, not my chest of drawers – ok?) Ten minutes passed. I found him standing sheepishly in the middle of my room, “I didn’t mean to look through your bras.” Back to square one, except now I don’t want to talk about Jesus, I want to talk about bras.