“In the End, It Took Me a Dictionary to Find Out the Meaning of Unrequited” #4

Let’s be honest, if I’m going to post songs about unrequited love, then there’s a fairly healthy stash of tunes to choose from in The Smiths’ back catalogue.

This one has always been a favourite of mine, a tale of a boy and a girl, one consumed by the fear of rejection, frozen in the teenage terror of revealing to the other that they, y’know…erm…kinda…erm…y’know…think they’re pretty sweet, and the other confused about why he doesn’t just come right out and say it.

When I was a teenager, this was definitely a situation I experienced. Confession time.

I was set up on a date by a mutual friend once. Thing is, I didn’t know it was a date. What had been arranged was a few drinks with a friend, and then I’d crash on her sofa, but it turned into what I now know is one of those “OK, we’re all here, great! Oh no! I just remembered I have to be somewhere else, you two will be okay won’t you? Bye!!” kind of things.

But stupid teenage me, despite raging levels of testosterone, was too dumb to read the signs.

I was supposed to be crashing over at the mutual friend’s place that night, and so when my “date” said it was fine and I could stay at theirs instead, that’s all I assumed it was: me sleeping on a sofa or in the spare room.

See, at this young age, I didn’t know that women colluded like this. As far as I was concerned, it was all just terribly bad luck that our mutual friend couldn’t stay, and jolly good of her friend to step in to keep me company and let me crash over. 

And whilst I really did like the young lady in question (quite a lot), I had no idea that the feeling was reciprocated.

As we left the pub at chucking out time, to a chorus of “*****’s going to have sex tonight!” (her name removed, just in case) from a loitering group of lads, I remember thinking “Ha! Idiots! Course she’s not, this is nothing more than a convenient arrangement to save me getting a taxi home! I’m just sleeping on her sofa! Fools!!!”

And so it was that as we cosied up on the sofa, watching television as her parents slept soundly upstairs, that I utterly failed to recognise or act upon every advance she made, of which, she subsequently told me, there were many.

Whenever I hear this song, I think of that night, and shiver:


The Smiths – Girl Afraid

More embarrassing revelations soon enough.


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15 thoughts on ““In the End, It Took Me a Dictionary to Find Out the Meaning of Unrequited” #4”

  1. Aww!
    Having been on the receiving end of this kind of thing once or twice, all I can say is – no matter how much we oh-so-desperately wanted those advances (such hussies!), it’s actually rather lovely to know there are some true gentlemen out there.

  2. Yes, an oh so familiar tale – I wrote about my pursuit of Mr WIAA over at my place (he was particularly dense for a long time) but we finally got there in the end. So to speak. 25 years married this year but it could have been zero years if I’d left it all to him!

  3. I would like to say that I too was similarly unaware of the many hints given by my partner. That, though, would be a total lie.

  4. I was once asked if I would go to a girl’s house to fit a cat flap duly did asked how much I wanted for doing so,. I said, it’s fine (it had only taken an hour or so). The following week I met the girl in the pub and she said she had some cans of Red Stripe at the house for me and I could pick them up when the pub shut. which I did only to be jumped on by the girl. Turned out alright, ended up marrying her and once tried to get in through the cat flap when extremely drunk.

      1. Nope, actually thought that it as a feasible option. I had forgotten my keys and to be honest thought that I could get my hand up far enough inside the back door to unlock it, if the keys were in the lock. L got up in the morning to find my hand inside the house but body outside. I fell asleep you see, not only that I was in full Highland regalia, kilt the lot.

        She amusingly likes to retell this story every now and again when in company , starting with “remember the time you tried to climb in the cat flap”

  5. All too wincingly familiar. I think this may be a safety valve kind of thing though to stop teenagers getting into too many situations they’re not ready for. I doubt such safet valves exist anymore.

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