As I write this, I am hungover, and trying to forget that I sang live in a busy pub of locals, friends, enemies, and lovers, in my hometown for the first time. This was by far one of the most nerve-wracking, terrifying experiences of my young adulthood. I’ve been putting this one off for a while now, but it had to come at some point. And last night was the night. Singing live is something I have always wanted to do, but never wanted anyone to see, or hear – especially my childhood friends of 10+ years. I don’t even sing aloud in my house in front of my brother and parents.
Stick a pin in the nearest calendar to you; I will guarantee somewhere in Glasgow there will be a poetry show on. This expansion of the scene has led to me being asked more than ever “where should I start performing?” and “what events are worth attending?”.
Honestly, to the latter, I’m likely to answer, most if not all. But then again, I’m already an admitted addict. So, here’s my guide, for those who are new to the scene – where to go, for what kinda show!
I moved to Glasgow in September for university, but I’m worried about my relationship. I’m still with my boyfriend from home, and we now live a few hours away so can’t see each other as often. Everyone jokes about it and tells me our relationship won’t last, saying “if you don’t cheat first, then he will”. I hate this attitude and it’s making me really anxious, to the point where I’m doubting myself. Is this attitude still present later on at uni? And what can I do to stop myself from worrying about our relationship?” – Long Distance Lover
“I’ve been looking forward to Freshers’ Week since I got accepted to uni, and now that it’s here I can’t wait to get stuck in. I’m really worried about missing out on things or not getting to know people though, because I don’t drink. Everyone I’ve met in my halls so far has been lovely, but everything we do seems to revolve around getting drunk. I knew drinking would be a big part of Freshers’ Week, but I don’t want to be left out or seen as no fun. I’m also worried I won’t make as many friends if I’m not out getting drunk with everyone. How can I make the most of my week whilst staying sober?” – From Fresh Faced Fresher.
“But what if you get a boyfriend?”
That was the initial reaction I had to approaching the idea of a dating column. Well, this is now my final column, and I am still very much without a bae. Does this feel like a loss of sorts? Is the accusingly cold side of my double bed finally starting to bug me? No, I can honestly say it isn’t. Although it never felt like it at the time, I feel I’ve done nothing but learn from my losses, my waterproof mascara purchases and awkward post-date briefings with the girls. (I also bought a hot water bottle.)
Of course, romantic rejection and the embarrassment and confidence setback that comes with it never does feel like it’s doing any good when it’s happening to you, and it’s taken me a year of being back on the dating game to realise that. Never when they stop texting back and you’re not sure why, when you realise they’re only in it for one thing, or even when you realise they’re texting other girls, all of whom appear to have smaller noses than you. It’s a big ask to remain sassy and still manage to strut into uni the next day all whilst quietly thinking “you’re going to regret being a dick to me if I feel a bit bitchy and play this one out for qmunicate”.
This is what you didn’t want. You approached it jokily with some nervous laughter, and just enough of a cautious tone to let me know that you’d really rather I didn’t ever do this. “Just never write about me in your column, okay?” I remember you saying. You didn’t want me to ever write about us.
Picture the scene; he and I wear the same shy smiles. We exchange fleeting, nervous glances now and then, before our eyes fall to our laps once more. This is a classic “start of a first date” situation; we are tense, excited, our minds dancing with questions for this stranger sitting before us.