Inappropriate Probings

It was a short text message that flashed on my screen yesterday morning- on Valentine’s Day- that stirred in me a desire to pick up the peann at this late hour, in an act of defiant retaliation. But before I go into the details of the message, I’ll have to go back to last week to provide some context.

I was laying in bed after inhaling another couple of chapter’s of Harry Potter; the eyelids were starting to feel heavy so I flicked off the bedside lamp, calling a halt to another dominant day in The Jungle. Not entirely satisfied that I was ready to go to sleep however, I pulled my phone out from under my pillow and began scrolling through old photos; I lingered on one picture in particular, and in what was a seemingly routine and innocuous impulse, decided to change my profile picture on WeChat. (WeChat is kind of like a cross between Facebook and WhatsApp, and is widely used here in China.)

I wonder what are the factors we take into consideration when choosing a profile picture on social media; I am sure there is some sort of psychology behind it. I mean, of course it would depend on the person’s own personality, situation, and motivation. If I really think about it though, it probably has something to do with attempting to spark some sort of emotional response in the visitors to your page; you want to make someone feel something, right? But, I digress.

I’m not entirely sure why I chose this particular picture. It was partly because I just wanted to change it up a bit, and if I’m honest, being not entirely comfortable when in front of a camera lens, well, I suppose I’ve looked a lot worse. It also brought back some fond memories of quite an enjoyable weekend of debauchery in London a few years back, but that’s for another day. Anyway, below is the picture in question; the extremely handsome, photogenic specimen on my right is Dave Joyce, a good friend from university, with whom I soldiered alongside on the rugby field.

Which brings us to the text message I received yesterday morning, from my landlord. I would best describe her as a bit of a space cadet; she wouldn’t be the most professional or reliable, to say the least; my Dutch roommate Javier would attest to as much. When I met her to view the room for instance, she was a solid 45 minutes late, and didn’t think to bring a key. As it was Christmas, and in my haste to find a new place, I signed on the dotted line, but I probably wouldn’t have otherwise; I didn’t fancy having a complete and utter cabbage as a landlord.

Anyway, I had just sent her a message to tell her that I had paid the rent, to which she replied:


The phone beeped again almost instantly, and I had to stop walking to reread it, so sure I was that I had misread what she had said.

‘Your boyfriend in the picture?’

My initial reaction was a mixture of surprise and annoyance; I figured it was a bit inappropriate for my landlord to be asking such a probing question. I typed out a bullish retort, and my thumb quivered over the send button.

‘How about you stop worrying about whether or not I like dick, and come and fix this washing machine that’s been pissing water for the past two months!’

In my better judgement I decided against sending the above request, and instead just laughed it off. I got to thinking about it more today though, and figured it would be an interesting topic to dip into and write about, for the craic.

It’s something that girlfriends have mentioned to me in jest in the past actually, and I suppose there had been times where I might have given off that impression, albeit in a joking nature; when I told them about some of my man crushes and what not, for instance, or when I reached for the tissues at the end of The Notebook. But in fairness, Tom Hardy would turn any man, and if you didn’t shed a tear when that old couple are spooning on the bed, and (spoiler alert) they die in each other’s arms, then I’m sorry but you’re made of stone.

And if I’m honest, I’d be lying if I hadn’t thought about jumping the fence before, for want of a better expression. I know it’s not a matter of choice, but like, I figure it would be a lot easier in many ways; how blissful it would be, to be able to admit to thinking about nothing, and then to be left alone. Yet again, I digress.

Mere fleeting thoughts that arise when I reflect on past failings in the relationship game; I am lightyears away from ever being able to fully understand the complexities, intricacies and wonderful workings of the female psyche. It’s not easy, is it lads. I’m sure though, they would say the same about us. Some things just aren’t meant to be understood, I suppose. Nevertheless, I’ll happily continue to be completely astounded by, and deeply attracted to, women.

It’s a magical thing, really, when you think about it.

So, to conclude this late night contemplation in light of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to state for the record that no, I’m not gay. I will however continue to appreciate hotness regardless of gender, burn scented candles, and allow my emotions to spill over at the end of Disney movies. And if you’re reading this, dearest landlord, can you come and fix our washing machine? Cheers.