I am fine. I am trying to decide what to wear for my date tonight 🌧️☔😩
I have a date? A 2nd date. Who with? He is called Hussam, but he goes by the name of Sam. We are going for pizza. He lives in Kennington. Fabulous! Just be me and let it be. I am fabulous. I have a couple of jokes lined up. OK, but I do not need jokes! Just be myself! Have a great evening 💕
It will be fine, he is quite feisty, he keeps saying that he needs to dial it down 💁♂️
When I first met him, I thought OMG he is actually crazy! But I like crazy, crazy suits me 🤪
He is sparky and honest, chatty and open.
Well as long as he is good to me, that is all that matters. I should not take any crumbs, make sure that I get half of his cake. Exactly. I can show kindness without giving too much away of myself. Just getting to know him at this stage. Sure. Actually, on second thoughts, it is too early for half his cake, I must make sure that I get a nice slice. Yes, true.
He seems to be rushing, which I can handle... I am slowing it down gently. I am like, "yes, that is lovely dear, enjoy 👌😘"
His messages are super flirtatious. I should tell him that I would rather see that in person. This new culture of nude pictures is worrying. I should tell him that I know that he is hot but want to know if he is a good person, too! And that building a friendship is important. 💯
Yes, I think that he knows that I am thinking somewhere along those lines. He sent me a voice note reflective of that. He said:
[17/06/2021, 22:43:29] Sam [audio]: "Maybe I come of as a bit of a narcissistic, insecure, attention-seeking [expletive], which might be true, but honestly, behind this affective façade, there is a genuine, real person. Just wanted to let you know!"
I know that it is hard, but I must go slow. And remember that I am loved. I am testing the waters (excuse the pun). There is no need to rush. The other day, we talked about his superstition of the number 5. If he invites me home, I would say "let us wait until the 5th time that we have seen one another". I am afraid of letting him down but I have no intention of sleeping with anyone tonight so that is what I would hypothetically say if he did ask. It is a nice way of putting it. That is one "joke".
The other (practical) joke is: I have booked a table by the back window in Pizza Express, Kennington. Outside the window is the courtyard of the bar next door. Give it 2 hours in Pizza Express 6-8. Afterwards, if we feel like a change of scenery, we could go somewhere else. At which point, I would casually drop that I have booked a table somewhere else for 8. Lead him into the bar next door and into the courtyard right outside where we had our pizza. Let the location do the talking. Will this do for a change of scenery? He might have to get used to my wacked sense of humour. 😅
[16/06/2021, 21:37:08] Rory Duffy: Hey Sam, ooh looking professional 😉 wishing you luck! ☺️🙏
[16/06/2021, 21:56:36] Sam: <attached: 00000140-AUDIO-2021-06-16-21-56-36.opus>
[16/06/2021, 21:57:46] Sam: <attached: 00000141-AUDIO-2021-06-16-21-57-46.opus>
[16/06/2021, 22:54:39] Sam: <attached: 00000163-AUDIO-2021-06-16-22-54-39.opus>
[16/06/2021, 22:58:08] Sam: <attached: 00000175-AUDIO-2021-06-16-22-58-08.opus>
[16/06/2021, 23:02:05] Sam: <attached: 00000184-AUDIO-2021-06-16-23-02-05.opus>
[17/06/2021, 13:01:59] Sam: <attached: 00000195-AUDIO-2021-06-17-13-01-59.opus>
[17/06/2021, 13:07:04] Sam: <attached: 00000198-AUDIO-2021-06-17-13-07-04.opus>
[17/06/2021, 15:19:12] Sam: <attached: 00000220-AUDIO-2021-06-17-15-19-12.opus>
[17/06/2021, 20:46:30] Rory Duffy: Haha no worries son 😁 xx
[17/06/2021, 22:33:55] Rory Duffy: It’s lovely… x
[17/06/2021, 22:40:04] Rory Duffy: What’s asli?
[17/06/2021, 22:43:29] Sam: <attached: 00000253-AUDIO-2021-06-17-22-43-29.opus>
[18/06/2021, 14:11:06] Sam: <attached: 00000278-AUDIO-2021-06-18-14-11-06.opus>
[18/06/2021, 14:13:24] Sam: <attached: 00000283-AUDIO-2021-06-18-14-13-24.opus>
[18/06/2021, 14:15:23] Sam: <attached: 00000285-AUDIO-2021-06-18-14-15-23.opus>
[18/06/2021, 18:05:33] Sam: <attached: 00000311-AUDIO-2021-06-18-18-05-33.opus>
[18/06/2021, 18:27:07] Sam: <attached: 00000318-AUDIO-2021-06-18-18-27-07.opus>
[18/06/2021, 18:34:22] Sam: <attached: 00000324-AUDIO-2021-06-18-18-34-22.opus>
I am back! Sooner than I thought.
OK, that was a strange and unexpected turn of events. Or maybe not.
Sam called in sick an hour before we were due to meet. I do not need to go into detail here as I handled it pretty well. This is a massive positive. Notable point: I asked Sam if he has thought about getting a COVID test. I also tried to focus the conversation on his wellbeing rather than the unavoidable date cancellation. There is no point lamenting over something that was out of my hands. Besides, sometimes circumstances happen as a test to see how we might respond. I recognised that this might be an opportunity to show my caring side. Glass half full.
There was one point where I nearly called in a helping hand from a friend because I did not understand Sam's response to one of my messages.
[18/06/2021, 17:19:11] Sam: Sorry babe!
Several possibilities presented themselves.
I drafted a message to Tom. "Hi Tom. Help, I am stuck 😅"
However, this might get me back into that cycle of running messages past friends and draining all of their energies. Come on Rory. Be strong. I can handle this one. A big part of me being able to do it is believing that I can do it. And if I get it wrong, I can learn for the next time. In the end, I went for:
[18/06/2021, 17:45:08] Rory Duffy: You need to rest ☺️ x get your strength back 💪
That was good. Strong yet sensitive.
During this period, I hurriedly cancelled my bookings at Pizza Express and Amici. And I emailed GS to notify them that I would be attending after all. Fortunately, they had neither responded to my email from this morning nor refunded my ticket. I decided to turn up. The lesson is that I need not have been too quick to notify GS that I would not be attending. I knew that tonight would be happening since last Saturday. Yet even notifying GS this morning at 10:42, less than 8 hours in advance (once I was 100% sure that I would not need a backup plan) was too soon. Rule number one, always keep a backup plan in place. If I am able to attend / not attend without refunding my ticket, use that privilege. I have effectively paid £3 insurance to keep my options open. I am not necessarily saying that I might get stood up or that the guy would do anything bad but it is still worth having that option in place.
HZ is on the guest list. He mentioned it to me the other day. And I have checked on Meetup. Maybe this is a sign from the universe that I should not give up on HZ. I should spend time with him rather than putting all of my eggs into Sam's basket. Where did we leave it?
[13:47, 15/06/2021] HZ: Yea. I don't know how to deal with it myself, but I won't let people get ganged on every time someone says something that might not be PC
Notice how he took half a day to get back to me. And when he did, it was more like "signing out" in the nicest possible way, i.e., no lead, follow-up or "call-to-action". I felt bad that HZ would potentially miss out because Sam got there first. But HZ has had his chances and maybe he is simply not up for a friendship or relationship with anyone at the moment. It does not mean that he does not like me. Who knows? But if I am putting in all of the effort and getting nothing back, yet getting more out of Sam, I had to hedge my bets. Yet now the universe seemed to be saying "give HZ another chance".
As I was walking from Vauxhall to Marble Arch, Sam & I were exchanging messages. It transpired that Sam had called 111 regarding some private medical issues that I will not go into. This was followed by a flurry of messages in which I showed kindness and understanding and he appreciated it. It seemed that he wanted to see me tomorrow after all. Just to go for a walk. I left it open-ended. Tomorrow, I would be in Green Park. I asked him to message me in the morning to let me know how he is. Leave the ball in his court.
Echo of Avi 6 advice coming into play here. Except that this time, I know for sure that I have not said or done anything wrong. Well, I did not back then, but I was thinking differently to how I am thinking now.
[30/03/2019, 21:53:16] Rory Duffy: Rest tonight and relax, I'll message you in the morning to see how you are. 😌
[18/06/2021, 18:39:42] Rory Duffy: Ok message me in the morning hun, let me know how you are xx
I know that nothing of the date cancellation is "on me". I know that this is my time to play the strong, caring role. I am becoming involved with someone younger than me. The tables have turned. With Rob, that felt more like his role. But with Sam, it is different. I know that this is a generalisation and maybe ties into my versatility nature (both inside and outside the bedroom) but it has been playing on my mind. Since Sam asked me if I am top or bottom and my response was "depending on my mood".
I am surprised at the level of affection in our messages. Despite the fact that we have met only once. My slight concern is that we might be future faking. I do not know him. He does not know me. Yet we seem to have "hit it off" quickly. Maybe the 1st date kiss set a precedent?
Messaging Sam also feels more natural than messaging HZ. Maybe it is because Sam is more feisty and fiery. I have always warmed towards those temperaments. Let them melt my ice cap. Like me, HZ is an introvert, so it is difficult to tell whether he is interested or invested in keeping contact with me. Maybe Sam is a better complement? Fire and ice indeed. 🔥❄️
The Last Message trick is working wonders for me. Yes, messaging is second best to meeting someone in person. And we have met only once. But our messages seem to have fallen into a natural rhythm. One in which I let Sam lead and I take my cues from him. He messages me first. I message him last. I like structure and predictability. It helps me gauge more of a measure of things. I know that I can safely sign out and not expect to hear from him until the next conversation.
A pattern that has come up a few times is:
[18:26, 18/06/2021] Sam: I wanna ask you something
To which I graciously respond: "what would you like to ask me?" Similar to the JR dynamic. I love how that has come back.
Towards the end of the conversation, I was suddenly seized by a strange feeling. That this was somehow a last goodbye. He said that he likes me. I reciprocated but urged him to take good care of himself, that is paramount. He said that he will for sure, promise. I said that I will count on that. At this point, I thought that I might never ever hear from him again. Fortunately, he replied within a minute and I realised that this was my projection talking.
There was something that my MH Champion said to me last December. She said that if one pretends not to care, they always come back. She did not mean in the "not caring" sense. But simply to not put oneself out there too much. But to sit back and let others do the talking.
We seem to have developed a clear cut way of ending a conversation, invariably involving the number 5. Sam sends me 5 kisses. I send him 5 back. Easy peasy. It makes me feel safe. This is important. If we keep to this system, I am no longer doubting myself.
[18/06/2021, 18:47:57] Sam: 😘😘😘😘😘
Immediately, I thought of the positives.
Job done! My weekend is set.
Who should I notify? There is no reason for me to notify GS. They did not reply to my emails. I did not even enter the venue. I have done the right thing by turning back and walking home. I have acted responsibly. I feel good about myself. Yes, I might consider it impolite and way beneath my standards to say that I am attending and not show up. But this is a pandemic. And they probably would not notice my absence anyway. They might panic if I told them that I was contacted by the track & trace. Everyone at the social might be affected due to my attendance. All that I needed to do was mark myself as "not attending" on GS, and as "not attending" for the M&M on Meetup. And casually slip away.
I have left things perfectly.
On my way home, I suddenly recalled that I felt drowsy on Tuesday in the office after my cycle ride. At the time, I put it down to sunstroke. Perhaps I have had a mild brush with COVID?
[14:28, 18/06/2021] Anna: Hi everyone, we might have to cancel the meetup tomorrow due to the heavy rain. I will let you know in the morning
Sometimes, there comes a point where, despite the best made plans, a series of eventualities happen that are out of our control, which throw everything off. Whether it is rain or illness. Time to rain check. Despite having rain ponchos.
Yes, it is a shame because I put all of that thought into:
However, on a positive note, I have done all of that thinking now. Nothing to say that this thinking cannot be stored away and used later on.
Sam might well invite me to his favourite restaurant next time that we meet. At which point, I might insist that we do that itinerary the 3rd time that we meet and instead transfer tonight's itinerary to the 2nd time that we meet. There are plenty of things that we can do. There is no need to rush.
I have road tested tonight's black and white combo, which I can save for a rainy day. I can possibly wear what I was originally planning to wear (my African Soulmia summer jumpsuit) if we meet on Thursday, because there is a slight chance that the weather will be brighter.
From: Rory Duffy
From: Rory Duffy
From: Rory Duffy
Rory spent the first few years of his life in an ice cave, carving out his palace of wonder. He's a bit of a love doll, but he who melts the ice shall have his reward.
332 Brixton Road
Samaritans, 24 hours, on 116123 or email:
I have been recommended to acknowledge and process all that I have been though, where it all started from how it has affected me.