The Day I Got Mistaken For A ‘Margaret’

Picture this – Earl’s Court, London, 1988, the height of the Summer, and me working as a part-time barman in one of the coolest gay bars in the city.

Hugh or Margaret? Which one do you think I am?
Hugh or Margaret? Which one do you think I am?

Now he was the biggest catch in town (no, not me, the hunk I am referring to).  He’d been cruising and eyeing me up for weeks.  Overtime I caught him looking at me, I blushed so that my face resembled a tomato but, at the same time, my heart skipped a beat and the butterflies in my stomach were released making me think they were rioting in there.

Just about each one of my friends fancied him.  He was at least six-foot tall, mid thirties, with a stocky build, short dark hair, moustache, piercing brown eyes, and always wore the tightest of Levi 501 jeans which almost revealed his crown jewels (not that I noticed of course).  He was what I called a ‘man’s man’ and nobody would have ever guessed that he was gay had they seen him walking down the street.

Nobody knew much about him.  He often stood on his own, occasionally would chat to someone, and he always seemed to leave the bar on his own.

I didn’t want to make the first move.  I hated rejection and couldn’t think of anything worse.  As well as my friends, the other barmen I worked with had noticed that he was giving me lots of attention. They started to tell me to make the first move, but I couldn’t, I just couldn’t.

Then, in the early hours of the following Sunday morning, having just finished my shift at the bar, I left the pub and started to make my way home which was less than a two-minute walk.

“Hi” came a deep voice, “I’ve been watching you for weeks and wondered if you fancied coming back to my place for a coffee?” The butterflies in my stomach began to riot again and it took what seemed like hours to say ‘Yes’ in a very high-pitched voice (not my normal sounding voice, of course).

I felt like King (or should that be Queen?) of the World as he walked me to his apartment, which was a fifteen minute walk.  We chatted like we’d known each other for years and, as soon as he closed his front door, I shocked myself by grabbing him and forcing him to do some tongue dancing with me.

Now what happened after the tongue dancing, first time around, did not last long, but neither of us seemed to care much about that.  I had the feeling that he was the one and that we’d be doing much more of what had just happened.  He got some cans of beer which we drank as we talked in bed.  By 05:30 we were both exhausted and he asked if I wanted to stay the rest of the night, but I had to get home and get myself ready for my other job as a Sales Assistant in a well-known Department store.

I quickly freshened myself up while he went and made some coffee.  I grabbed my clothes and walked to the kitchen where he was waiting for me.  We drank the coffee while I got dressed and then we had to say ‘goodbye’.  I wondered if he was going to ask me out again.

As he escorted me to the front door of his apartment, he suddenly stopped and told me to wait, muttering something about that I’d forgotten something. While I waited for him to return I was sure I could feel those first dew drops of love falling inside of me.  Then it all started to go wrong…very wrong.

“Here you go” he said, thrusting a wad of ten pound notes into my hand.

I was shocked, so shocked that my jaw almost hit the floor and for the second time in my life I was speechless, completely speechless!

Mr absolutely one hundred and fifty thousand percent of all man (the man of my dreams) had mistaken me for a ‘Margaret’.

This is where my story ends, but if you’re still not sure what a ‘Margaret’ is, then pop over to one of my favourite blogs “Write Dorne – Putting Life into Words” and read her wonderful post “Do you make your words REALLY speak for you?” and discover just what a ‘Margaret’ is.

Do you think I look like a ‘Margaret?’

Thank you Dorne, for bringing back this “I shouldn’t really tell you this…” memory.

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