One of the first things I did when I began my UK adventure four and a half years ago was take a nine day tour of the Scottish highlands. I’d been in the country about two weeks when I flew up to Edinburgh and, on the recommendation of a good friend, took a tour with a small but awesome company. The brilliant thing about the tours this company ran was that they were limited to small groups – maximum 15.
I knew no one, and I hated Edinburgh. But early one morning I ventured onto a Mercedes bus with an eclectic group of fellow tourists. There were two groups in two buses; the other group had been assigned a guide/bus driver who was a goody goody version of Ewan McGregor. Damn. I noticed a questionable looking individual in a kilt loitering nearby with a cigarette. He looked like he’d just come from fighting a battle against Vikings. When he stormed onto our bus, I realised he was our guide and driver for the next nine days! “Everyone like loud music?” he shouted over his shoulder from the driver’s seat. No one answered, probably terrified. “Well if you don’t you can fuck off!” and with that he put his foot down and we experienced his maniacal driving for the first time. I loved it. The bagpipe rock he had blaring, speeding past massive dawdling campervans on single lane roads as Kilt Man yelled “fucking Germans!” out the window. Others were confronted, amused, intimidated, scared, offended, unimpressed. Ewan McGregor told us later that he had a bit of a reputation with the ladies. At first I was too mesmerised by Ewan’s green eyes to understand why any woman would be attracted to that dark, hairy, swearing, chain smoking, argumentative storm cloud of a man, but soon I began to see the attraction. And he really looked great in a kilt. Although his penchant for flashing anyone nearby at any given moment was a little unnerving.
I ended up having a little ‘thing’ with a very cute Spanish boy who was eight years younger than me. Kilt Man was six years older; I was never interested in older men. At one point, I said to my friend, “it’s going to be first come, first served,” and I meant it, although I’d decided if Kilt Man made a move, I’d have him. But he didn’t. And I shagged the Spaniard. Which lasted about eight minutes.
I’d always assumed Kilt Man was never keen on me. He was so confident, and I felt like such an amateur. Although I was surprised Spaniard was interested. But saying that, Elaine from Seinfeld had a point: “It’s like trash collection. As a woman you just have to put your trash out on the street and eventually the next trash man will collect it.” Something along those lines anyway.
I never saw Spaniard again after I went back to London, even though I came back to Edinburgh three weeks later for the Fringe. Kilt Man made friends with me on Facebook (or rather I friend requested him I think) and we had a few conversations here and there but nothing much over the last four years or so.
Then he sent me a message. He’d been chatting to one of the other girls from our tour and apparently my name had come up. He ended the message with a ‘X’. Which doesn’t mean anything. You know, some people call everyone ‘babe’, or sign off text messages with ‘xx’. It’s how some people roll. Like husband, for example, is very anti ‘xo’, but he’s a big fan of the smiley face. I tend to work out what others do and then go along with that, so if they do kisses at the end of an email, I might too.
It was great to have a little fun banter going back and forth with messages. I wondered, had he been keen on me? So I asked him, in a roundabout way. Turns out he had been but it would have been inappropriate of him to make a move, given he was our tour guide. I was chuffed. I looked over at husband and thought, I’m lucky, I managed to get a guy who is just as attractive (for many of the same reasons). I may have missed a chance for some fun with a hot Scotsman, but I’ve got a hot husband who can also do an awesome Scottish accent.
I thought we’d leave it at that, laugh about not having managed to hook up and that’s it. But it seems he didn’t have that idea. And he began to ask what I’d have done if we HAD hooked up back then! I’m only too familiar with this sort of thing, having done my fair share of Internet dating and suggestive chatting with prospective lovers… If I were single, it’d be different, fantasies up the yin yang! But I’m married. And my husband and our relationship are everything to me. So when kilt man said something just that bit too leading and suggestive, I had to bring him back to reality. My reality. I had been playing along and I do like the guy, so I didn’t just say, hey, I’m married, that’s not on. But effectively that’s what it amounted to. I basically left him to his fantasy. I prefer my reality.