It has become de rigueur for many famous women to write about their sexual exploits and shenanigans around the town. And if you’ve not read Amy Schumer, Caitlin Moran or Chelsea Handler then I strongly recommend that you do because their books are hilarious. I wanted to emulate my female idols by writing about some high jinx of my own, but with the added frisson of surf, sand and sun. But I can’t do that for two reasons. Firstly it would send my parents to an early grave and secondly, and perhaps crucially, I don’t really have enough material. So instead I’ve decided to write about some of the greatest rejections I’ve received…
One of the nice things about getting older is that I no longer get too upset about rejection. Things that would have mortified me in my teens and twenties, I now don’t give two hoots about. Even in that moment of humiliation and sheer crushdom, there’s a little part of me that knows I will turn the experience into a dinner party story and that we will cackle and laugh about it. After all, there’s only so many times a girl can play Florence + the Machine’s ‘Shake it Out’, or Cher’s ‘Believe’, which, as we all know, sounds better if you add an impassioned high-reaching fist pump in the synthesizer bit after the second verse.
So here are some of my most recent rejection greatest hits. I’ve written it as a list because I’m lazy. Also lists are good because they stop me from forgetting to buy black bin bags at the supermarket.
I like to think of myself as very generous with my right swiping. As my mother once said “they can’t all be Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark, love. When I first met your father do you think I liked him? Of course not! Have you seen the new milkman? He’s recently divorced, just think of the cut-price yoghurts!” It is with this open-minded spirit that I approach Tinder. However I don’t get many good matches, possibly because of the absence on my part of a classy side-boob shot. In my limited experience I have noticed that textual chemistry does not always translate to real life chemistry. So when I meet Grayson, 39 at The Bakery for a coffee I discover that he has a tomato ketchup stain on his tshirt, he supports Trump, and he does that clicking thing with his fingers when he wants the check, and it makes me want to lunge across the table and stab him in the throat with my fork.
I know it’s fashionable to knock Tinder these days, and I’m not doing that because I have made friends with people as a result of it. But Kookbitches is currently on a Tinder sabbatical.
- I farted in yoga class and now I will never live in Paris
The yoga class I go to in town is frequented by a group of women who I call ‘The Real Housewives of Hermosa’. They are all of a slim, tanned theme, and they all have what looks like two severed heads stuffed in their lulu lemon bra tops. So I was thrilled when a sexy Frenchman started coming to class and unrolling his mat next to mine at the back. We would chat away and I would impress him with my not very extensive knowledge of French. Then one day something terrible happened, I’m embarrassed to admit it, even though it could happen to anyone, and I had a bad tummy, but during a sideways bend – I farted. Suddenly all my fantasies about living with him in a French Chateau dissipated. I now refer to our relationship in the epochs of BF and AF (Before Fart, After Fart) and it just hasn’t been the same. Also yesterday in class my knees kept clicking and I think this was the final straw so he’s started talking to the girl on his other side. Ah, such are the tribulations of life.
Everyone seems to have a cockblocking story these days. But I like to think that my experience of being cockblocked transcends most. I was at the house party of a guy who I’d been pursuing for weeks. He was from Oregon which was appropriate because his head and body looked like woodland animals had mistaken him as a good place to store their nuts. But he wore plaid shirts, he had 3 different types of cheese in his fridge, and he seemed normal. And that was enough. I was hooked. Spoiler alert! He didn’t turn out to be normal, but you probably guessed that already. My outfit that night was a bejeweled white mini skirt from TK Maxx and a Zara green top. The look was accessorized with a pair of Suzanna Hoffs from The Bangles inspired big silver hoop earrings, which I’d stolen from my sister’s jewelry box a few years back. I’d styled my hair with my special Beauty Town tourmaline hot brush, and I was wearing my favourite lippy – Revlon’s ‘cherries in the snow’.
Donna Summer was on the stereo and when ‘Bad Girls’ came on I stood on a chair to sing what I think are, without doubt, the best backing vocals of all time ‘TOOT TOOT, HEY, BEEP BEEP’. It must have been my perfect rendition that clinched it because he asked me if I wanted to go for a midnight surf with him. I replied that I didn’t have my swimsuit or a board, but he said he could lend me a board and that we would go naked. I don’t usually like going naked in public, because, well, I’m British. However in this instance I was willing to make an exception. Then my cockblocking nemesis chimed in that she wanted to come for a naked surf. I mouthed very clearly the words “F**K OFF B*TCH” but there was no stopping her.
It was almost a full moon that night and there was phosphorescence in the ocean and everything was luminous and glowing. The waves were soft and warm. The stars were shining. It should have been a beautiful experience, but it wasn’t. I caught a couple of waves and then just thought … I’m outta here. As I was leaving the guy said a line that stuck in my head “GROUP HUG FOR THE SKINNY DIPPERS?” I demurred and went and got my clothes. The good thing that I take from this evening is that if ever I start a band I will definitely call it ‘Group Hug for the Skinny Dippers’. There’s something very intriguing and catchy about it.
- What do men want?
“What do men want?” is the eternal cry of all women. It was on my mind one day when I was going to a potluck where I knew there was going to be a certain someone who I liked there. I’ve been to countless potlucks and I always make a huge effort, making things like chocolate truffle balls or crispy baked chicken wings so that people will like me. One time I even made a 7 layer dip, and yes, each layer needs to set individually in the fridge before you can add the next layer. But the problem is that I always leave these potlucks empty-handed. So on the day in question I went to a café with my laptop and started researching what men like. I came up with aphrodisiac foods like oysters and caviar. Then I saw a friend and I explained what I was doing and I asked her “what do men like?” I’ll always remember the answer she gave me that day, it was a lightbulb moment, an epiphany, I realized I’d been doing it all wrong. The reply … the thing she said … it was … and you must understand the context here … and I apologise if this is vulgar … and it wasn’t me that said it … because what she said was … well … it was … she said … “men like pussy”. These days I just take a chopped tomato to potlucks.
- XL condom guy
This one isn’t my story, it belongs to a friend, but I like it so much that I’m going to tell it. Just imagine that a good-looking guy you like, and have a bit of snogging history with, asks you to get him 200 super size XL condoms on your upcoming trip to the US. Naturally my friend was aquiver at such a request. I’m not sure what this says about Costa Rican men, but apparently you can’t buy XL condoms here. She completed the mission with great diligence. Saucily clad she went to his house to deliver the package, but it soon became apparent that he’d never intended her to be involved in the actual usage of the items, mainly because there was another woman there. My friend stormed out of there and refused to hand over the condoms. Two weeks later she met another hot stud and they are still together. I don’t know her well enough to ask her, but I believe in karma and manifestation (these are everyday, common or garden words at the beach) and I like to think the new guy has similar measurements.
- I am Joan Collins
Getting stuck in the ‘friends zone’ with a boy you like can be really frustrating. This was my situation one day hanging out at the beach with this male friend. It was threatening to rain so I was wearing my Craghoppers Evolution 2 waterproof jacket. I really like that jacket because it’s made of an aqua-dry fabric, it has multiple pockets, a Velcro-fastening storm flap, toggle-adjusters and adjustable cuffs. It is the female surfer’s version of power dressing. In that jacket I am the Alexis Carrington Colby of surfing. If I was a Vogue writer I would call it a ‘directional piece’ and it’s part of my ‘capsule wardrobe’.
So there I was with this man and I was talking about something very interesting, like world peace, when I noticed that either he’d suddenly developed an eye twitch, or he was looking at something behind me. I turned around and saw another woman sashaying towards us, inappropriately attired in an embroidered bikini top and a sarong and no shoes. At that point I became completely invisible and Sasha (I can’t remember her real name) took over the conversation. She exuded an exotic sultry air of playful naughtiness and bouncy boobs. Whereas I give off an air of sensible shoes and mince stew in Tupperware containers. So I took the only course of action left open to me, which was to slunk away and kill myself (well not quite). I said my goodbyes and I went to kiss my friend on his neck (a move I learnt from Jilly Cooper’s ‘Riders’) but the Craghopper has a high neck on it, so I ended up just kissing the inside of my jacket.
Fifteen minutes later there was a very bad storm with a torrential downpour. I sometimes wonder what happened to the badly dressed Sasha that day. In my darkest moments I like to imagine that she caught pneumonia, put on 3 stone, had to go and live with her parents in New Jersey, and has a new job cleaning out the loos at trucker stops on one of the state’s main highways.
- THE BLIND DATE
Usually I am horrified by the men that my friends try to set me up on blind dates with. They’re almost always buffoons, and I’m left feeling speechless at my friend’s apparently very low impression of me. So imagine my joy when a friend showed me Facebook photos of an Italian guy she was setting me up with. I’d seen him surfing before but been too reserved to speak to him, because he’s so hot with big biceps and bad boy tattoos. Felippo Berrio, as I’ll call him, brought homemade focaccia to the blind date and I brought a disgusting dessert which he politely asked for a second helping. When you are trying to chat up an Italian guy and he is talking about food, it is absolutely imperative that you ask him about his ‘nonna’. You exponentially increase your chances of hooking up with him if he is given the opportunity to regale the table about his nonna’s tomato sauce. I did all of this, and I giggled and flicked my hair a lot and I told jokes (some were of the knock knock variety, but still).
The tragedy was that he was leaving town the very next day to go and live in a different surf town 12 hours drive away. I was sure I’d made a good impression and that he’d be chasing me up with a Facebook friend request and an offer of a free place to stay. Anytime soon … any day now … he’ll be pursuing this hot piece of ass for sure … I should probably check my facebook friends requests tab right now … he must be very busy … he must have bad wifi at his new place … no, nothing. I never heard from him.
By pure coincidence, yes really, a few weeks later me and my friends went on a surf trip to this town. We made the 12 hour car journey along winding, precarious roads. If my life had a soundtrack the song that would be playing at that moment would be The Killers ‘Change your Mind’. Of course I bumped into him and I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say there wasn’t the denouement I was hoping for. On the long car journey back my friend said “he looks like the kind of guy that would have a hairy asshole”. It’s comments like these which make me really grateful for my friends. Also I had noticed that the tailpad on his surfboard was in a disgraceful state, and this is a very clear signifier of someone you do not want to get involved with. To Felippo Berio I offer a hearty “Ciao ragazzi!”
So my kookbitches, may your stories of rejection and embarrassment also become funny stories. Apologies for this post being so long, and I didn’t even have space to tell you the one about the pool party, or that time I forgot that I can’t dance to reggaeton, or the one at the lifeguard fundraising party.
And if you ever get really heartbroken just remember that it’s like breaking your favourite surfboard. You think you’ll never find another board like that one, but then you find a board that’s even better and takes your surfing to a new level. I remember when I broke my Hypto Krypto. I asked myself so many questions – did I take it for granted? What could I have said or done differently? Did I try to move to the next level too fast? Should I have surfed it at a negative low tide? I telephoned Costa Rica’s only dealer at that time and he told me they wouldn’t be getting anymore for months. I felt like – and this is probably the saddest sentence I will ever write in my entire life – there would always be a Hypto Krypto shaped hole in my heart. But then I bought my Rusty Yes Thanks and it took a little while to adjust but now I love that board, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.