Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Boyfriend Train

Last night London was so misty, I couldn't see the road ahead of me as I walked to the Post Office with my Christmas cards (I normally never send them, but thought I may as well use up all those bloody stamps I was FORCED to buy against my will a few weeks ago). It was perfect cloak weather- can you imagine the fog billowing away from the black velvet hem as I swished along mysteriously, folk in the distance squinting, Is that a cloaked figure in the mist?- but I bottled it.

Today is as good a day as any to finally tell you about The Boyfriend Train. Beth and Lauren have been asking me to blog about it for months, maybe even years...

I invented the Boyfriend Train analogy eons ago, nobody knows for sure but experts estimate it is between two and six years old. It is something that needs to be shared, it is very wise. As the Boyfriend Train will probably become a very successful international relationship-help movement, similar in scale to He's Just Not That Into You and He's Just A Massive Dickhead etc. I would like to take this opportunity to assert my sole creation and ownership of the Boyfriend Train analogy:

If anyone attempts to claim unauthorised credit for my idea I will go fucking apeshit and karma will get you, although please feel free to share the idea with as many people as possible. Just make sure you say 'Trademark Left Bank Manc' at the end.

Now we have the legal stuff out of the way let's begin. Imagine I am wearing a suit and stood on stage in front of a large projector screen, with a little mic on. Imagine you are sitting in the audience with bated breath wondering if all the reviews you read on my website are true.

"The Boyfriend Train is amazing! Everything makes sense. Well worth the $300."- Janet from Ohio.

Listen. People are surprised when they find out I have never had a boyfriend, because I'm 24 and seem relatively normal on the surface and most people have a partner at some point in their lives, even horrible people and animals and some types of fish. People either say: "God, I wouldn't have had you down as a massive slag."

or: "Really?"

which is a lot nicer than: "That doesn't surprise me sweetheart."

(This conversation recently happened with my mum, apparently she thought I had been having secret boyfriends for years and not telling anyone. What kind of hideous, freakish secret boyfriends did she think I was hiding??)

Then they say, "You'll get one" because they don't know about the Boyfriend Train.

You can't buy a ticket for the Boyfriend Train, you either have one or you don't. Your ticket will never expire. When friends break up with their boyfriends, I know they'll be back on the Boyfriend Train soon enough, even if they get off for a long stop-over in Single City. Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable, so nobody is allowed to lend me their ticket while they have a break.

Think about it, you know it's true. The Boyfriend Train makes perfect sense.

There have been times when I've actually gone and waited at the station. The train pulled in but by the time I'd picked up all my bags and suitcases, I'd missed it. Then I realised I'd been stood on the wrong platform anyway. You know when you're really tired and you think your train has pulled in, but really it's the one on the opposite platform and everyone has seen you stand up to get on it and you feel like a dick? Well that's what happened.

The great thing is, if you have a ticket for The Boyfriend Train, you can normally upgrade it no problem. You just have to go and sit in First Class and when the ticket collector comes round, you ask for an upgrade. The problem is most people don't ask. They never go and sit in First Class. They just keep getting on the same carriage and feeling miserable about it.

You can get off the Boyfriend Train at any time, but the further you travel, the harder it is to get back on the same train. You could go past every stop but the last one for example and you can still hop off, but it might be extremely difficult to get back on that particular train. Your ticket is still valid, though. You'll just have to choose a different Boyfriend Train.

You don't have to get on the train just because you have a ticket. Some people have a ticket but never vaidate it because they don't like trains. However- if you're going to play, stay away from the train tracks. Like with all trains, don't fanny around dangerously close to the edge of the platform- there could be fatalities.


Get on the train or get off. The only time you can be half-on and half-off if is the train is stationary, if it's already moving you need to make a decision. Do you want to be on the Boyfriend Train or not?

It's impossible to be on two trains at once. If you are on a train and it's well on its way and picking up speed, don't try and jump onto another train. Ask the train driver to stop and descend safely. Have a little breather before you get on another train.

If you think a Boyfriend Train is coming but it's occupied, let it go past. Even if someone tries to passionately pull you into their train through the window as they speed past and it's all romantic, let the train go past. It's too dangerous.

I don't have a ticket for the Boyfriend Train. My friend Claire (not Posh Clare, as Claire with a 'i' would like me to stress) suggested that maybe I have just been saving up all this time to buy myself a First Class ticket but unfortunately you can't buy a ticket. I don't have one and that's fine because I've got a lifelong pass for the Cat Caravan.

So there you have it. The more you explore this analogy, the more sense it makes. Spread the word, but don't get upset if you would like a ticket but don't have a ticket because here's the thing- you can get a ticket at any time. Lauren has a relative who got her ticket aged fifty.

This doesn't apply for me though because I will never get a ticket. I don't want one now, but it would have been nice to know that one day I could get on the Boyfriend Train if I really wanted to... Alas, that will never happen. How do I know? I created the analogy so I know. Also, if I did have a ticket it's the sort of thing I would lose or throw away by accident. There is no hope for me. Leave me. I can hear a train coming... go, get on the train! Take snacks!


  1. love it! will definitely spread, legal stuff and all.

  2. I think I got a one-way ticket and used it too soon!

    1. It never expires Gwan so you can't have used it too soon! If you have a ticket, you have a ticket. See how much sense it makes?? I think I might take The Boyfriend Train global.

  3. Hahahhah!! Omg, I'm in love with your writing! Absolutely the most genious idea ever! And so true! (I am in fear of not having a ticket too).
    I actually came to your blog because I googled stuff about being an au pair in Paris and then I stumbled over your amazing writing! I have been reading a lot of your posts the last couple of hours instead of doing my assignment for school (which is actually a really important exam), anyhow.. I think you write so amazingly - and funny too! I've been laughing so much!
    I feel like I cheated though - reading your most recent post instead of finishing your posts about your time in Paris, I will go back and read more about your life (that sounded a bit creepy!). Alright, this suddenly became very long.. Actually just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog!
    - Annabelle

  4. Thanks Annabelle for such a lovely comment! Yey go back and read my blog from the beginning, it makes me feel like my life is a novel. Good luck if you decide to au pair in Paris --Left Bank Manc

  5. Hello! I haven't been keeping up to date so just read this and you're a genius. I think I'm in the bus station by accident.
    Mairi xx

    1. Oh the bus station is the worst!! Get up and leave Mairi, don't even look behind you to see if you've left anything on the seat.

  6. I have been reading your blog for a while now and have just come across the boyfriend train analogy. I absolutely love it and it really does make so much sense. Its really made me smile, as I, unlike a lot of my friends, clearly do not have a ticket (not even arsed though)
    Love the blog!