If you're a stickler for time then i'm your worst enemy. Don't expect me to be prompt. Its a fact I'm always late. If you know me well then at least once i've kept you waiting. You'll be cold, tired and pissed when i arrive, and i'll be flushed from legging it from tube to tube just to get to you 30 minutes after we agreed to meet. I'll be sorry and you'll be annoyed. I'll make it up to you and you'll reluctantly forgive me.... until next time.
So yes i know this about myself and still i'm never early, no matter how much i try, and trust me i try. Like today... rushing for the train that was due to leave @ 14:07 precisely. I knew it could take just under an hour to get to the station at times and still i left with only 40 minutes to spare. With a hangover threatening to break through post late-night-alcohol-abuse, a suitcase that wobbled around corners, no make-up, hair scraped back and Ugg-ly boots... i arrived at Euston to find my train just about to depart. Only... i wasn't allowed on it! Yes the tickets my friend bought for me were not valid as i was not her and couldn't prove otherwise.
Now i'm not usually a waterworks kinda girl, not these days... but all i wanted was to get on my train, find the quiet carriage and catch some shut-eye until Liverpool loomed on the horizon. Hmmm.. not happening. The train manager was on a power trip. I think he even smiled when he said no. Much to my horror i became that 'girl' crying in the face of adversity. Suffice to say this guy did not buy into my emotional black mail. The bastard shut the door and the train left without me!
I trudged to the ticket office. Tim the guy behind the glass was nice but unrelenting.... until i mentioned why i needed to get home. You see my brother had bought me tickets to see my first football match as a part of my 'Top Ten Things to do in 2009 that i've never done before'. I'm a Liverpool fan by default as i'm from there, and Liverpool are playing Aston Villa on Sunday. I had to get home. Suddenly Tim seemed to understand. This was important. Football was important. He politely shuffled papers and re-aligned fate so i could get home on the next train for a small excess fee. I sniffed, dried my eyes and smiled as he said those magic words... 'don't worry, we'll get you to the match'.
I journeyed back to my house in london to get funds since i was without cash. Yes i do that too sometimes.... crazy but true. I like making life difficult. Anyway walking back to my house i was suddenly stopped by a guy in a striped shirt and a cigarette hanging off his lip. His name was Joshua and he was the cousin of the guy who owned the garage at the end of my road. Now i do get attention from guys a bit, but today i must stress i looked like an orphan. Still he wanted to ask me to a party next week and insisted i take his number. Like death warmed up and close to retching in public, i mumbled the old 'i've got a boyfriend' line at him and retreated up the street. He followed for a bit... and then stopped. I took a different route to the station on my way out again.
Hours later i was about to re-try my luck at boarding the 17:07 train. Three london boys with virgin trains badges eyed me up. Oh come on... seriously? I look like a witch today. The second one was cute though. They asked me my story. I related events that led up to me not getting on my preferred train.
ticket boy2: they wouldn't let you on? thats mean of them
me: yeah they were mean
ticket boy1: thats cos you got your friends name on the ticket. we can't accept it as its non-transferable (yeah i know that now!)
ticketboy2: you tryin ta get home for mothers day?
me: no a match... my first football match. Liverpool vs Aston Villa
ticketboy2: oh no, you aint missed it?
ticketboy1: nah its tomorra. liverpool are playing premier league sunday.
ticketboy2: oh is it? *looks at me with a cheeky smile* so who's your favorite player? Gerrard?
(at this point it is 17:04 and i'm not yet on the train!)
me: *looks pensive* erm... no its Torres (I just want to get on the train. Give me my ticket?)
ticketboy2: Torres.. so you're a real fan then?
me: er yes.. i'm from Liverpool
ticketboy2: *grins and asks more personal questions.... and i reply in robotic fashion while staring at my ticket*
ticketboy3: hey mate... give her er ticket back?
ticketboy2: *hands me my ticket and starts walking with me to the carriage while his mates make 'wahey!' noises to embarrass him and me?*
me: would love to stay and chat but i'm going to miss my train
ticketboy2: nah you won't. Plenty of time *winks and smiles*
me: err i think its about to pull out? bye... *i walk faster trying to lose him*
ticketboy2: *shakes his head and falls back while his mates make the appropriate 'fail' noises*
me: *rush on to train and don't look back* (cute as he was... his attempt was lame and not today, so not today)
As soon as i was safe on the train I collapse into my seat, trying to avoid eye contact with the guy opposite smiling in my direction. Enough. I whip out a paperback and absorb myself in harmless research.
And when the train finally arrives in Liverpool, cute black guy (with combats! are they still in fashion?) offers to carry my bags. Er yeah, no i'm ok. I see my brother and make my way towards him as fast as my wobbly suitcase will allow.
Hmmmm.... i'm not complaining but sometimes when i'm not trying its for a reason. Still lesson for today? Guys like football. Ok so not all guys....but even if they aren't they can relate to the glory of the game. The struggle of a team to overcome the other one and win the match. Its like war without the bloodshed. It bonds people like nothing i've ever see before. Girls who don't get football hold themselves back from understanding men and how they think. And the more i understand men, the more i like football... and the more men like me for genuinely liking the game. Weird ;)
And as an added incentive, the talent on the pitch isn't half bad either... if i do say so myself lol.