Friday, 26 March 2010

The foundations of a lasting friendship

After my first year at university I returned to Hull for the summer holidays. I had grand plans of lazing about for a couple of months, doing nothing but reading and watching the television.

My Mum had other plans.

Get out. Job search. Now. (was the basic gist of the conversation)

I spent an afternoon wandering around town, begging at bars and shops and littering Hull with as many CVs as I could. Tiring of my search in the late afternoon I stumbled across a coffee shop in the town centre and decided to have a cup of tea. As I sat drinking I thought to myself “Not a bad place to work this” and decided to ask if they had any jobs going.

An application form was thrust into my hands and I sat and filled it out while I drained the rest of my cup. I handed in and waited for the obligatory “We’ll give you a call if anything comes up” and instead was somewhat shocked to hear the words “Can you come in at 9 tomorrow morning?”

And that was how I got the job. (I’m still not sure if they even read the application form.)

My first day and I’m there feeling ultra nervous – did I mention that I’m probably the clumsiest person you’ll ever meet? Me + hot coffee = disaster in waiting.

The boss turned to me and said “First job of the day. We’ve got a situation in the ladies’ toilets, can you go with ____ and sort it out?” I turned around and came face to face with the prettiest looking boy I’d ever seen. He had a face that mother’s would love – clean shaven, smooth skin, nice straight teeth, lovely sensible hair. “Hello!” He said and off we made our way to the toilets.

The ‘situation’ was a rather enormous poo in one of the toilets which was refusing to leave the party.

This is an awkward situation to find yourself in. Very small cubicle. Very good looking boy you’ve only just met. Giant floater.

We did what we could. We valiantly fought against what we christened The Atomic Poo for about half an hour, going through a bottle of bleach and entirely ruining a toilet brush. By the end of it we were firm friends.

All summer we worked together and even though many were in love with him I just didn’t feel that way about him at all (plus for most of the summer I thought he was gay and by the time I realised he wasn’t we were well into the friendship zone), he was just my best mate.

Turned out that he was going to be starting at Salford University and would therefore be just down the road from me when I returned to Manchester in September. With promises to ring each other when we got there I left Hull and made my way back to uni. To be honest I didn’t really see it happening, I figured it was one of those things you say and you do mean it but you just never really get round to ringing them and then you’ve left it too long and before long they’re a dim and distant memory.

However on my first day back I got a call on my phone “Hi it’s ____ I’m in Salford now, did you fancy meeting up tomorrow?”

We met in the Printworks the next afternoon and decided we’d go mad and have a bottle of wine with our lunch. The service was so appalling that by the time our sandwiches appeared we had finished the bottle. So naturally we decided to get another. I had paid an extra £1 for chips with my sandwich and despite asking the waitress several times, they never appeared. I was most incensed by this injustice, which was fuelled by the second bottle of wine. I decided to go and ask for my £1 back (it was the principle you see) and was served by a very apologetic Manager who not only gave me my £1 back but also gave us a free bottle of wine.


I ended up buying a full length woollen cardigan from Muji for £60 (which I wore about twice in the space of a year until my Mum shoved it in the washing machine and promptly shrunk it to the point where it fit my 4 year old nephew), we went out on the razz with all his new flatmates and ended up dancing in the fountains in Piccadilly Gardens before sitting, sopping wet, on a bus back to mine.

After all that how could he not be my best friend?

And he is.

And nothing more.

No-one believes me when I say that not a single romantical thing has ever happened between us. Not so much as a snog. But it really really hasn’t and it just never will because I think of him now as my brother. He is the first person I’ve rung whenever I’ve split up with any boyfriend and, like a brother, he frustrates and annoys the hell out of me sometimes, but I can never stay angry with him for long.

Seven years later and we're still friends and I’m off to Manchester tomorrow for a night out with him and my other best friend (who is also a boy, but that’s a whole blog post of its own). These nights out always promise to be hilarious and messy in equal measure and this will be the first time we’ve been out together as the hilarious trio that we are in nearly 2 years (where did the time go?!). I couldn’t be more excited if I tried.

And it’s all thanks to The Atomic Poo and the missing plate of chips.

10 comments: said...

Who would have thought eh? Chips and Poo! I am quite jealous, as I think it is a wonderful thing to have.. a friendship with a man and nothing else. Oh please tell us about your other friend too some time soon! Have a wonderful time! suzie xxx

Petit Filoux said...

Aww that's such a nice story!!! I always find it difficult to be mates with guys... I don't know, there always seems to be one person who at some point fancies the other... but then that was when i was younger, it's a little more civilised these days (ie not teenagers with raging hormones anymore!)

J said...

The Atomic Poo indeed - very funny story.
Wish you lots and lots of fun with you boy friends, friends who are boys - you know what I mean.

Taz said...

There was only two ways it could go over an atomic poo, friends or that awkward nod of a head at each other because seeing each other just reminds you of that time you were thrusting at an atomic poo with a loo brush LOL
Have a great night out honey, I'm off down the local pub with a pal who is going through a sticky divorce. Hmmmm can I come to Madchester?

Flitterbee said...


Doris said...

That story just made me laugh out loud! Thank you for sharing. It's really lovely that you have a friend like that.

Trish said...

I love it. I can so relate....well...not to the poo thing, although that was hilarious girl, but to the best friends who are boys thing. Yep....totally....have a great great time and what a 'fertile' base for a relationship indeed!

Notes From The Frugal Trenches said...

I love this story, I mean what's not to love about atomic poo and a missing plate of chips ;)

Will email you later today!!

Simone said...

This is so funny! I am glad that you and your colleague dealt with the 'situation'!!!

The Curious Cat said...

Awww....what a lovely story...funny you should bring this up now though. Just saw your message on my most recent post - yeah the nudging and the winking is deserved!!! But my dad reads my blog, an possibly my ex and Mr Moorish sometimes so... :) ... but anyway... so this weekend we were watching When Harry met Sally and this brought up the question ' can men and women ever just be good friends?' 'When Harry met Sally' basically says 'no' if you consider the ending, and Mr Moorish agreed wholeheartedly. He said there had to be some sort of attraction to some sort of degree from either one of the party. I disagreed but I don't know how to argue this one very eloquently...except I have lots of male friends...but he still argued his case... this was never one that we were going to resolve...It is an interesting one tho... but maybe I should present you as an example! :) xxx