How it all began
I remember it clearly as if it were yesterday. It was a peaceful Saturday afternoon and I was in my room reading Smash Hits when Tej burst through my door, “I need your help!”
“What’s happened?” I asked.
“I want to lose my virginity.”
I stared at him in utter shock.
“So, you’ll help me, yea?”
THOUGHT PROCESS AT TIME:
Tej, is this you? My Tej… The boy next door!
Tej and I had been the best of friends ever since his family moved in next door but one, when we were toddlers. We used to splash around in the paddling pool when we were four - in just our pants...
THOUGHT PROCESS AT THE TIME:
...and that time at the mela when we were 7, you gave me your ice cream because
I dropped mine and you didn’t want me to cry because the van had driven off so your dad couldn’t buy me another one… When did you turn into such a predatory fiend?
It was at that point I did the only thing a girl could do in a situation like this; burst into tears and cry, “I’m telling Dad of you.”
Tej leaned forward, eyebrows all expectant, "why, do you think he could help?”
THOUGHT PROCESS AT THE TIME:
Oh my lord!
It transpired the root of this pleading outburst was not an overwhelming urge to share one of life’s big events with me.
It was my advice and guidance that was sought — advice and guidance with regards to a girl called Suki Rattan, whom he did want to share one of life's big events with. They went to Punjabi classes at their Gurdwara together.
Tej, being a horny and desperate 15-year-old virgin, decided that she was the one. We were at that stage in life where all the boys in our year were claiming to have ‘done it.’
Who the hell were these boys doing 'it' with exactly? Certainly not the girls in my year!
You should have seen the boys at school, between the gangly-ness, acne, braces, sweaty palms… They were a right sorry crew.
Of course, when you’re a competitive 15-year-old lad, that kind of logic doesn’t land.
Even Jagdeep Gill was alleging he had. Yes! That’s right, scrawny Jagdeep with barely-there bum fluff on his chin, who was yet to grow into his turban! (Mind, if his dad was anything to go by, trust me, there was going to be no shortage on the follicle front there.)
Back to Tej thinking he was the last virgin left at Parkside Comp. He didn’t want any of the boys knowing his lack of achievement with the ladies, hence why my help and advice was sought.
Besides who else to get inside the mind of a 15-year-old girl, if not another 15-year-old girl?
Tej had been yapping around Suki’s heels for weeks. Earlier that morning she had rubbed his upper arm and said he was ‘sweet’.
Any woman reading this will grasp what was really happening.
Boys, I promise I will have the ‘when a girl refers to you as sweet’ talk in the not too distant future.
Along with the birds and the bees talk, boys also need to have the ‘sweet’ talk. Something I was going to have to do with my Tej.
Suki was the daughter of Mr Respectable local businessman who was standing for the council election. Mr Rattan would often be in the local paper with respectable wife and respectable kids – who, in actual fact, weren’t that respectable… Let's just say Suki Rattan was a piece of work waiting to happen.
I sat Tej down and explained that girls like Suki didn’t do it with guys they called, ‘sweet’.
In true, 'daughter of the vicar' stereotype - girls like Suki did it with the bad boys. Girls like Suki were trouble. Girls like Suki were to be kept away from.
I didn’t say any of this to hurt Tej. It was to save him from hurt…
The following week Tej sauntered into Punjabi class. He nonchalantly nodded a hello at Suki and proceeded to ignore her for the 1st hour. He then casually threw half his Twix over to her during break. Perfect combo of devil-may-care meets thoughtful.
The result? Suki spent an hour snogging the face off Tej behind Iceland’s supermarket on the way home.
Unfortunately, this did not escalate to Tej losing his virginity, but do you think he was bothered?
Snogging for more than an hour as your first outing with a girl more than made up for it.
News of Tej’s lip-locking spread far and wide.
News of my involvement also spread.
Soon my advice was being sought.
As far as the boys were concerned, I was now the ‘Dear Deidre’ of Parkside Comp.
I became 'the go-to girl’.
A legacy that has lasted.
Over the years I have guided many a guy friend through lady trouble. Advised them, consoled them during heartbreak, had a go at them when they said they’d call a girl and didn’t.
I have given ideas on birthday presents, and yes, was even roped into buying an engagement ring once.
And all these years later, things seemed to have come full circle. It was, like the first time, a Saturday afternoon and this time I was sat in Costa flicking through Celeb's World Magazine, waiting for Tej.
We’d arranged to meet.
I was wholly engrossed in a rather celebratory, yet worrying article on Stacey Dooley’s astonishing 2 dress-sizes weight loss since her strictly stint, when Tej came in.
"Let’s get dating," was his introductory sentence.
Just to be clear, we weren’t dating. Nor ever likely to date. I love him; he is truly one of the loves of my life, but I could never be in love with him. We've been mates since we were toddlers.
My help was needed to get Tej back dating again after he and what’s her face ended. (Long story, I’ll get to it, but for now, I still can’t bring myself to say her name without profanities flying in a loud and aggressive tone from my mouth.)
Ever since Tej got back on the single scene, he’d tried the usual things of Tinder, Match, being set up by friends etc. to no avail; hence why my advice was sort.
When you are a clueless, yet nice guy, who better to steer you through the doo’s and don't of dating than your bestest female friend?
So keep coming back to find out how I wing woman-ed my best male friend through this modern dating malarkey...
Launching in March 2019.
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