Reading time: 5min.

by Michael Lee

I really really really wanna zigazig ahhhhhhh!

“I love the summer it brings out all the fittys.”

I have literally been on this date with a 30-year-old administration assistant aka Spice Boy (A name I have amusingly dubbed him due to his obsession with the Spice Girls) for less than an hour when he makes an observant remark that sucks every ounce of enthusiasm I had for this rather uneventful date. The fact that I am hideously coughing out my insides leaves a lingering bitter taste in my mouth that’s already stuffed to the brim with Phlegm and bacteria. I literally just want to do a backflip and Katrina high kick him out of existence while screaming ‘Girl Power’ at the top of my suffering lungs, but no here I am, pretending to having a whale of a time as I feel my nostrils itching to let out another enormous sneeze. At this point I just want to say, stop right now thank you very much.

When you’re on a date with someone it is common courtesy in the showing of politeness in one’s attitude towards your date, even if you’re not vaguely interested in the person sitting across from you. By checking out other guys on a date, this is the ultimate definition of rudeness and in doing so had awoken the wrath of my inner Scary Spice. Actually being the professional polite individual that I am, any sign of scariness; anger, unhappiness or just plain pissed off does not show on my face, which by now possibly looks like death due to this dreaded cold. My fictitious smile plastered on my face as the croakiness of my voice leaves the soreness of my aching throat, we exchange pleasantries as I look out to the vast glorious view of the Southbank riverside wishing I had actually stayed in the warmth of my cosy bedlinen. And even though I would like to envision myself looking cute as Baby Spice sucking on a lollipop, the harsh reality is by now I am probably looking more sulky and miserable than Posh being offered a full fat buffet, as I pout and sigh and give out evil dagger eyes to my unassuming date. Say you’ll be there? At this moment in time I wish I was anywhere but there.

I love the Spice Girls, they were my everything growing up, they influenced and inspired me like no other and I literally thought I was Geri Halliwell reincarnated. Before meeting Spice Boy I actually thought I was the original definition of boy power, I had intensely followed their careers both as a group and their respective solo careers, had a mountain of Spice merchandise, had attended the emotional roller-coaster that was the Spice Girls reunion show and could quote scene by scene the entire Spice World movie (a movie I dragged my heterosexual male school friends to the cinema day after boxing day back in 1998, and they never guessed I was gay?) When meeting a fellow somebody (or potential boyfriend) who shares the same fandom as you, it always creates a unique situation. Common interests are great, but when it’s on the extreme side (as in two Spice boys colliding) rivalry and competition for the same objective or for superiority is bound to arise which creates an awkward, even difficult, atmosphere. When it’s the only thing both parties have in common it can get rather tedious, no matter how much I enjoy talking about the deep and meaningful philosophy of Girl Power on a date – when it’s the only thing you talk about, it gets boring and old fast. After all too much of something is bad enough.

I really really really wanna zigazig ahhhhhhh! Subscript

I should have done a Ginger and made my excuses and left, this was meant to be my grand and spectacular return to the dating scene after months of dating hibernation after all, but just like Geri’s 3rd solo album ‘Passion’ it was a commercial flop. Just to clarify, I adored that album. I actually found Spice Boy quite physically attractive, he was handsome in an unconventional kind of way with his receding hairline and cockney accent, but I wanted a man, not a boy who thinks he can, and with the traits and personality of an annoying socially awkward man-child it certainly would not be a Viva Forever summertime romance. He apparently loved the sound of his own voice a little too much, which in this instance having blocked up flu ridden ears was a blessing in disguise I suppose. His idea of a romantic first date consisted of being parked up on a bench on the Southbank people watching; I mean I hate people; why would I want to watch them?

To be honest it really did not feel like a date, it felt more like acquaintances meeting up for a hot chocolate and cake. Speaking of hot chocolate and cake, we did actually venture to the nearest Café Nero where he did indeed purchase us these sugary sweet delights but he was more engaged with his phone at the time. There was the minor announcement of a certain Emma Bunton making a cameo in a musical play which was far more significant than the potential future boyfriend and love of his life sitting across from him currently tucking in to his chocolate cake, as the combination of snot and chocolate dribbles over his face. I spent the majority of the time, while his eyes were ruthlessly fixed on his phone, taking selfies. I mean what else was I supposed to do? Look on as my date throws a strop for not being able to purchase tickets, salivating at the mouth with eyes as big and wide as a fish swimming emotionless in a fish tank. I bet a fish would have had more fun than I was having, curse the day I responded to his eager yet sweet message on Plenty of Fish when he apologised for barking up the wrong tree when making his interest known.

And so five hours after we first met, yes you heard me correctly, I managed to survive five hours with the irritating and all-consuming ‘Spice Boy’. We made our goodbyes as we bid farewell at the bustling train station. And in amongst the buskers, tourists and tight jeaned hipsters ‘Spice Boy’ toddled off into the distance, tonight was most certainly not going to be the night when 2 become 1.

Illustrations by Sonny-Jack Richmond.