In preparation for the big kick-off on 1st July, I’ve started reading The Rules. It feels like being indoctrinated into a cult – the phrase The Rules is italicized, bolded and repeated over and over and over again. Chapter headings include ‘Do The Rules, Even when Your Friends and Parents Think It’s Nuts’ and ‘Don’t Discuss The Rules with Your Therapist.’ It all feels alarmingly similar to being encouraged to drink the kool-aid or take the stress test.

So far it’s an interesting combination of ¾ crazy horseshit that’s totally antithetical to all I deem right and good in this world and ¼ complete genius. It works on the principle that one should be “a creature unlike any other”; this apparently involves never ever pursuing, expressing interest in, making eye contact with, sharing your opinions with or being yourself around a man. I have long based my romantic behavior on the ‘put up or shut up’ principle, so this is clearly going to be a struggle for me.

Regardless, it’s all started seeping into my subconscious and I’ve been spouting its wisdom to all and sundry. The other night I was out with my lovely flatmate watching her latest possibility do his best Jack Johnson impersonation in a tiny Soho bar. Normally I would have encouraged her to hang around after his set and flirt her ass off but instead I was consumed with fiery indignation: “We are leaving immediately! Don’t look at him! You are a creature UNLIKE ANY OTHER!” We made a hasty escape and he texted her moments after our departure, telling her how sexy she looked and how desperate he was to see her. Hmm.

Keep in mind that all the while I was ignoring all my own advice and surrepticiously sending rather explicit texts to B, my are-we-aren’t-we-oh-god-never-again-well-maybe-one-more-time-for-good-measure of past eight months. But it was a fruitless endeavor – he was at home watching The Wire and, frankly, couldn’t be arsed. That’s right, a man chose watching a television show – which he owns on DVD! – over having sex with me. Grim.

So for those of you keeping score, that’s The Rules: 1, Me: 0. Roll on July 1st.

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