Last week, my best friend *Sam got dumped rather savagely by her boyfriend. He’s a full on vain mirror selfie prick and after he found out we’d been stalking the Instagram page of his new squeeze (a downgrade imo. Eyes too close together), he accused us of being bunny boilers.
We found this very insulting to the sisterhood. I mean, ok, I’ve looked at the odd picture of my ex on Facebook. Maybe an album. Or 3. And I know what he had for tea four weeks ago. But it’s only because I’m a nosy bitch genuinley interested and I hope he’s turned fat and bald and married a minger he’s doing well in life. But bunny boiler? Pah! I haven’t massacred anyone’s pet. Yet.
Nope. This was pure internet research to help reassure my heartbroken bestie that her knight and shining armour was nothing more than a gym rat in a tin foil body wrap, and any attempts from the prick to silence us by making reference to some psycho from a 90’s film were purely mysognistic, right?
Double standards stink. I mean, I’ve just watched Marcel present Gabby from Love Island with a jar of notes listing all the reasons he loved her (cue the ‘Awwwws’). Every Christmas, I’m re-united with Mark in the film ‘Love Actually’ turning up with cue cards to his mates bird’s house, (having already filmed a weird creepy wedding video of her) and again – this is sweet, yeah. Yet when I rocked up once at my (cheating) boyfriend’s house slightly inebriated in the early hours of the morning,and threw tiny pebbles at his windows (didn’t Romeo chuck pebbles gently up to Juliet’s window? Was this not dedication on my part? Huh? Huh? ), I was accused of being psycho. ‘These are not pebbles, dear’ the police officer informed me patronisingly when he arrived to escort me off the premises. ‘These are rocks. And you, love, are drunk’. Hummmppppphh! PAHHH, he’s lucky I didn’t scratch his cheating d**k off with them’, I growled after him as I was led into a riot van .
Anyway. Back in the day, us millenials will recall living in an age where, without the existance of social media, we did have to actually go out into the big wide world and stalk people we fancied/our boyfriends/ex boyfriends for real. (Imagine that young peeps!)
Back in the day, I was about 20 when I first suspected that my own Prince Charming was a fraud. (I should have known really – the polygamist bastard married Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White in the fairy-tales so what hope did I have in the real world?). I’d met *Chris at a teenage house party back in the 90’s when I’d lost a shoe under a heap of teenage bodies pissed up on cheap cider and my Prince Charming had found it for me. Over the next few years, he took 2 buses every night to see me and we sat in my parent’s house watching films and finishing off family sized bags of crisps; 50 tatty teddies, 6 rings from Argos and bouquets the size of bushes all followed. We were in love. Life was sweet.
Incidentally, he worked in a gym, worked out and that, whereas I gradually found myself unbuttoning the top of my jeans for all the wrong reasons.
In short, he got fitter and I got fatter.
And then he just did one. The equivalent of modern day ghosting, I guess. Except back in the day, you couldn’t secretly stalk their profile and that of all of their mates to try and track them down. Oh no, you had to mortifyingly ring the one landline phone that his whole household all collectively shared access to, and someone in their house would pick up and holler to your significant other that it was you calling. Again. For the 6th time that night.
‘He’s doing bench-presses with that fit blonde one in the gym, I betcha’, my brother, the heartless bastard, announced to my depressed heart one night. But without the presence of social media, there was absolutely no way of finding any evidence of this at all. Unless you went out to play real life detectives, that was.
So one night (it was the year 2000, I think), a week after being ignored, donning baseball caps and dark sunglasses as disguises, my bestie and I bolted through the doors of the gym and tried to do an army commando roll. I caught my foot on the leg of a bench press though, and it sent me sprawling onto the floor. My mate tripped over me and fell on top of me like a lead weight and I was briefly surprised, and slightly winded, but we crawled under a bench press in the corner and our eyes dotted around the room, jumping from machine to machine, trying to locate the adulterous pair.
‘Afternoon’, some pimple-faced gym apprentice suddenly appeared out of nowhere and zoomed in under the bench press. He glanced around himself, bemused.
‘Ssshhh’, we pleaded, peering around him as he’d obscured our view of ‘THE HOT BLONDE ONE’, who was immediately identifiable.
Anyway, he wouldn’t play ball and threatened to get the manager to chuck us out if we didn’t remove ourselves, but at that exact moment I spotted Chris and ‘HOT BLONDE ONE’ both passing through the gym and making their way towards the exit doors. They were carrying empty boxes and things and I heard him say they were taking them to the skips outside.
I leapt up and went flat back against the wall. I ran three foot forwards, taking tip toe strides before taking a dive and shrinking behind a treadmill. A manager had now collared me and was asking to see my gym pass but I took off in pursuit of the exit doors and in turn, he kept up good pace. We arrived at the exit doors in join 1st place and we stood shoulder to shoulder in between the door frame, practically shoving and nudging each other left and right to squeeze through it first, and then nearly getting wedged in as we tried to squeeze through simultaneously.
The manager caught my arm but it was too late: I could hear Chris and the hot blonde one giggling behind the skips like a pair of teenagers and then it suddenly went quiet. Very, very quiet.
Oh my God, he was snogging her, the shitty unfaithful dirt-bag.
Instinctively, I just knew I had to stop then. I took a deep breath and I jumped out on them. They sprang apart but it was too late; I’d seen his hand on her waist, he was touching her bum, the lying little…
He swivelled and glared at me and I charged at him. I grabbed hold of one of the flattened cardboard boxes in his hand and swung to hit him with it, but he dodged left and I missed completely. The swing followed through, and I fell flat on my face.
‘What the…?’ gasped a shell-shocked hot blonde one.
There was another gasp. And then a deadly silence.
It came from the whole of the gym who’d stalled their treadmills to watch the spectacle unfold.
I clambered to my feet and took another swing for Chris. But I missed again. It must have been those fecking dark glasses I was wearing – I couldn’t see a thing. I tried to get back onto my feet and failed until my 3rd attempt. A group of weight-lifting men cheered, the way they do when a bar maid drops a glass and it smashes.
‘Whhoaa whooaa’, Chris bellowed for the benefit of his male counterparts. He raised both of his hands in mock surrender to me, the psycho queen.
‘Dump him love’ some middle-aged women imparted their words of wisdom from their rowing machines. ‘They’re all the same’.
I lunged towards him, thrusting my fingers into his chest. There was another cheer- it was turning into a pantomime, or a horror movie judging by the sea of faces all stuck in fascinated silence. Suddenly, Chris and the blonde one were heading back inside, summoned by the manager, and I was being escorted from the premises with the option of going quietly or in the back of a police car.
‘No…. don’t… please….I love you’, I bawled, desperation stamped all over me. Around me, people began falsely diverting themselves, conversations awkwardly resumed and laughter floated above my head. ‘Bunny boiler…’, people whispered. ‘And what on earth is she wearing…?
Maybe they had a point. I mean, something told me that sitting outside his house that night like a teenage groupie of a boy-band was weird, but I was broken-hearted and I didn’t consider it stalking as such. More of a dedicated act really: a credit to my character that I didn’t give up on things easily. Committed to the cause and all that. (In today’s society, he’d have probably added a #newprofilepic of his new leading lady and blocked me on twitter or something, but back in the day I got a bucket of water over the head).
In the end, he began officially dating the hot blonde one and I lay in bed like I was the victim of a terrible accident for the next two weeks alternating between crying buckets (I’m surprised a plumber didn’t come out) and falling into a deep sleep. Being a real life stalker girlfriend sucked.
Of course, these days, I’m much more mature and dignified and I would never dream of stalking someone so publicly ever again (she says, signing off her blog without giving a 100% guarantee that she won’t accidentally land on any of her exes Instagrams this evening to view what they had for their tea!)