Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Third Date...

So. Date number 3 has now taken place - and this is more like what I have been waiting for in terms of a good horror story! Be careful what you wish for…

In all fairness, I think I realised this one would NOT be a potential from the email exchanges (and yes, it was another dating website date) - but thought it would be good practice in how to leave politely after one drink. And that was, quite precisely, what it turned out to be.

Absolutely hilarious 40 minutes of my life though - I barely know where to start.

So, No. 3, aged 35, looks (unfortunately, poor chap) every bit of those 35 years, and possibly even nearer 40. Not totally horrific looking but sort of goggly-eyed which rendered him a little unattractive.

To be kind, I was a shocking 15 minutes late - which is appalling as I try never to be late (I blame it entirely on the fact I was enjoying some vino in the sunshine near St Pauls...) - and he was fairly pleasant about it (I let him know I was running late) - or so I thought initially...

So, he was waiting outside the bar he had suggested (a noisy, busy venue in Covent Garden - not enamoured with the suggestion to be honest but oh well) and was on the phone as I walked up. I realised it was him, and sort of gave a little wave and smile as I drew up, he then turned his back, finished his conversation (leisurely) whilst I stood there, slightly awkwardly, a polite distance away from him waiting.... He then hung up and turned around: I apologised profusely etc, he kissed me in an odd flamboyant fashion on each cheek whilst cocking one arm out to the side with a bent wrist, he said no problem (I may have told a white lie about not being able to get away from an emotional friend rather than the actual truth of 'I wanted to finish my 3rd large glass of pinot grigio') and then we headed to a different bar to his initial suggestion (thank goodness).

Ordered a glass of red wine each, settled down, I thought I would initiate conversation... "So, No. 3, you're in telecoms, but what exactly is it that you do?".
Cue: massive rolling of the eyes, an odd limp-wristed flap of the hand, and a reply of "ooooh, why does it matter what I do...?" said in a quite frankly unnecessarily over the top fashion and rather camp way. I thought it was a fairly standard starter question but hey ho. I said "you know - just curious!" in what I would like to think was a suitably light-hearted fashion to try and move on.

He then proceeded to drone on for 5 minutes about the dullest job in the world. He also didn't let my "obsession with what people do" die for the next 40 minutes, along the lines of "So, as you were so keen to know what I do, I suppose you expect me to ask the same of you". Slightly gobsmacked, I smiled politely and briefly explained what I do. When I asked him about his siblings he slipped in "well, I had better tell you what they do as you are interested in that sort of thing" (brother a cargo plane pilot, sister on benefits from what I could gather). Most odd behaviour.

He also didn't let my late arrival drop (which I can sympathise with to a certain extent - I despise late arrivals) - and I could DEFINITELY sense some latent anger issues as he tried to laugh in what I think he thought was a relaxed manner but definitely came across as psychotically restrained. Scary.

Another big issue was the fact that if I met the guy in any other situation other than through a dating website, I would assume he was gay. He was very effeminate, spoke in a rather flowery voice with lots of elongated vowels, flapped that limp wrist of his a fair bit (alot of the time touching me on the shoulder with it which I DID NOT appreciate), fundamentally altered my name with his vowel issues (imagine "Twonty-Seeeeeeeeeeeengle" and generally was just slightly camp.

We moved on to travel at one point and discussed China (which he seems to love) and then the Inca Trail (as he has also done that) but each time he would disagree with something I said... fair enough... but in a rather abrupt, "there is no room for discussion on this point" way. It also didn't help that as he gets more agitated/excited whilst talking about something he flings his arms and wrists around all over the place. The group of male students (fun, early 20s, rather attractive) getting drunk on the table next to us started pointing and laughing at him... They were playing fun-looking drinking games which I kept on longingly looking over at.

So, respective glasses of wine consumed, I wanted to get out of there (as by this stage my lip was rather sore - I had to keep biting it to stop myself laughing at him) so said I had an early start and should head off. Then there was that awkward moment where I didn't know what to say because I didn't want to say, "see you soon" or "speak soon" but thankfully he saved me from that by saying, "Well, Twonty-Seeeeeeeeengle, I am not convinced there is any spark here, but I would like to think I have made a new friend...". Spasms of giggles gripped my tummy, but I smiled politely and said, "ok then, good to meet you" (I couldn't bring myself to agree or disagree) - he gave me a flamboyant double kiss on each cheek and flounced off... hopefully forever.

So, all in all, not a keeper. And I vow to never ever again go on a date if I am thinking before I even get there that it is probably just going to be a good practice date.

Phew. And to those wondering, yes, in this instance I paid for my own drink.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Second ever date!

I went on my SECOND ever date last night.

This was though another first for me in that it was my first date gleaned from the wonderful world that is dating websites... Was most intrigued to see if it would be a total weirdo or someone relatively normal...

So, in terms of basic credentials, he pretty much ticks alot of boxes. Before the date I knew that:

His name was a classic, good name that I approve of (although grrr – same as the ex - though I guess at least if things did happen to work out I would have none of the whole 'getting the wrong name' issue to worry about).
He was an army doctor (yes, yes - just like my father).
He played rugby.
He was rather good-looking in his photo, and looked like he was seriously stacked.
He was 32.
And, crucially, he had amusing email banter... (though some mentioned clipping his back and waxing his balls – hmmm).

We met for a drink on Northcote Road. In terms of comparison to the "first ever", this chap is not unemployed so I got stuck into the G&Ts (finished my first one embarrassingly quickly actually - he was a quarter of the way through his beer and had to go and get me my 2nd - oopsie - consciously slowed down for the second and third ones) feeling guilt free, and he didn't crack a gag about how I could pay for the drinks next time we hooked up... just graciously paid his tab at the end... big tick.

During the date I discovered that:

He is 6ft 2, and genuinely I think the most enormous person I have ever met in real life. Photo did not lie. Serious guns. As in could probably lift me up like I was a feather. Amazing.
He used to play ALOT of rugby but not any more because instead - wait for it, this is brilliant - he is a very serious bobsledder. He trains for it for half the week (guess that is why he is still so stacked) and he seemed to have a good sense of humour about it (as in took it rather well when I asked if it was just like Cool Runnings). He spends the other half of the week doing the army doctoring part of his job. I magnificently restrained my laughter at the bobsledding revelation - though confess I did smile in a way that probably showed I thought it slightly odd and amusing.
He doesn't mind musicals - phew.
He went to Oxbridge and got 3 blues for rugby.
He has 4 siblings, and they all used to fight over food when they were growing up (concerned that this implies a very impoverished background if there were starvation issues but I smiled through it).
He is definitely very good-looking - downside was not sure if I fancied him at all - I just don't go for the massive guns look really...

Points for consideration:

He seemed a little shy at the outset; unfortunately that meant I over-compensated and gibbered inanely a fair bit...may have put him off.
He is very softly spoken - Mummy Bear would NEVER be able to hear a word he says. He also used the word posh a few too many times for my liking - really don't like that (no idea why - I blame my mother - she always said it wasn't a correct word to use).
He has once drunk another rugby boy's urine, and probably vomitted on someone... Unattractive.
He isn't sure if he likes Wessex House and thinks the Grand is better - I spent 10 whole minutes persuading him to give the Wessex another go as he last went several years ago. I like to think my arguments hit home.
He fixated on the fact I was a younger sibling and I asked if I threw tantrums alot… curious. I said not for at least a week and then laughed jokingly... he did not.

So there you are - again, not a total disaster, a sliver of comedy value and all in all had a lovely evening with the chap. Not sure there will be a number 2 date with him, but you never know.
I still eagerly await the day I can update you all with a true disaster date update… fingers crossed it happens soon!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

First Ever Date

So, on Sunday evening at approximately 19.51 I commenced my first EVER date – a momentous occasion. (Please note that this time was 21 minutes later than it was due to start - and this was NOT because I was trying to play it cool).

Firstly, let me all reassure you on two counts:
1. It was NOT a total disaster - almost upsetting really as it would have made for some quality banter.
2. I am not about to fall head over heels for this chap... he was just "very nice". Not the future Mr Twenty-Single I don't think...


Getting ready was stressful. My brother and his relatively new girlfriend - let's call her the Frau - (who is a little bit of a psycho, and who I thought was successfully out of the picture but is now back in it much to my horror!) were both trying to dress me... and disagreeing... So that was unhelpful. What I thought was a good smart casual look as option 1, Big Bad Bro thought looked too conservative, my next option the Frau wrinkled her nose at but Big Bad Bro gave the thumbs up to, and then she tried to dress me in one of her own tops that was all see-throughy and frilly and not me at all. I phoned a friend for some sane advice and went for the 2nd option. (On turning up, I was DELIGHTED I had not borrowed the Frau's top as would have looked waaaaay too dressed up- and I was a bit put out that I hadn't gone with my first instinct as the chap just turned up in jeans and a thin fleecy top (not overly impressed there was no shirt involved actually now I think about it...).

I also downed a vodka tonic as part of my preparation.


Anyway. The poor chap did not start off well. At c. 19.20 I received a text saying he was running 10 minutes late and he hoped it wasn't a problem... Of course I said not to worry, but was already horrified by his poor time management. Thankfully, I had not yet left home yet (the venue was just 2 minutes up the road).

Then, as I left home at 19.40 (so that I should still have turned up a couple of minutes later than him) I got a phone call from him having come out of the tube and saying he didn't know where to go as his memory was a little hazy on where the pub was, and basically asking for directions. Of course, I cheerfully gave them to him, walked VERY slowly up the road, detoured to get some cash, arrived at the venue and then still had to wait on my tod for another 5 minutes. Grrr.

Tardiness is not the way to impress me.

He eventually arrived at 19.51 and thus I entered the brave new world of dating...


Pleasant but not my type. Quite tall and skinny (which is my type I guess), but kind of lanky with it. REALLY tanned after 6 weeks away sailing in tropical climes - too much so actually - unattractive. So no instant attraction basically (lord knows what he thought of me though - I may have put too much eyeliner on during nervous preparations). On closer review over the next 2 hours though, I decided that he is, in essence, good looking. Blonde hair, tall, nice smile, think he had blue eyes.

I was expecting, I guess, a bit of a rah. An overly confident, player type from what I had heard from other people who know him - but actually he came across as an all round "nice guy". Could be very wrong on this of course, but don't think I am as I can usually assess and sum people up quite well on meeting them. He sounded a little bit west country, farmer type, and didn't seem to be the confident, braying type in any way. Anyway, in short, I think by the end of the evening it had made me realise that maybe my "I only want nice guys" official party line is too boring of me. Although maybe that is because I just didn't think his banter was quite up to scratch enough...

So - conversation!

We began with hockey: safe. Discussed the weekend's games, expressed dissatisfaction with the fact we both currently seem to be playing with a few people who don't know the rules or one end of their stick from the other etc. Through the course of the evening we covered a mutual love of our old University, pretty much ALL of the alumni folk we both know, recent alumni gossip, old boys teams, a bit too much about weddings, engagements and babies for my liking, and his current lack of employment situation (I feel for the guy, but didn't realise engineers were being made redundant I must say).

He has been unemployed since last September and now currently lives at home with his parents, just coming up for long weekends in London for hockey and catching up with people. His mother does his washing and ironing for him (totally fair enough, I would take advantage as well) but he complained about the fact that they ate too much "meat and two veg" type dinners. Fair enough but I would never sniff at lamb chops - odd chap.

Anyway – won't repeat all the chat- suffice to say there were no awkward pauses, all fine and dandy, I was pleasant and restrained in how I phrased things (took some effort!), at some points I took the mick out of him because it was begging for it but don't worry, I held back from my normal levels. He mentioned quite a few of his old pulls which I thought somewhat odd though. Maybe he was just trying to impress or something - but that is not the way to go about it!

Drinks: I felt sorry for him being unemployed so in 2 hours I made 2 gin and tonics REALLY last. Thank the lord I had a large vodka before I left home. I do hope that you are all impressed with my restraint.

Food: I was ravenous but again, felt bad that he would probably pay and is unemployed... At one point he asked for olives and then told me that he is always hungry and eating (temporary uplift in spirits as I realised we have something in common - fell flat shortly afterwards when I realised that all he was ordering was olives - no wonder he is rather skinny if that is what he means by always eating - all around me people were tucking into burgers!). Anyway, he did ask if I wanted food but I think by that time it was nearly 9pm on a Sunday evening so I pretended I wasn't hungry (lies! poor tummy...). Although again, probably just as well because if food had arrived, I would have lost all sense of composure (which I really did hold well throughout the evening) and just tucked straight into it.


One thing that did not impress was at the end when he (very kindly) got the bill (and yes - I got the timing of reaching for the bag just right with his "oh no, don't worry I'll get it" so phew! was nervous about that bit) and then said at that point, "don't worry, you can get the next ones". Now, I am not ungrateful that he bought me 2 drinks and 6 olives, but I did feel that was (a) a little presumptuous, (b) made me feel like I owed him and (c) makes me not want to suggest anything too extravagant if there is a next time in case I do end up getting it! Shouldn't the chaps pay til date 3...?! Unless of course, you do realise you aren't interested and then I don't think you should let them pay for you but split it... (correct me if wrong please - not up to scratch with all the etiquette?!).

Anyway, all in all it was a pleasant evening. I am almost sorry that I can't provide anything to really get you all squealing in horror actually (although there was one moment where he, I am sure to his credit and that he was being honest, gave me some line about getting rich not being at all important to him and that it means more to him to make his mark on the world through leaving behind an impressive engineering project he has designed- didn't really know how to respond to that other than to nod and try to look awed by his rejection of Mammon). Oh - and he also told me he had to do re-takes at uni, which again, is not the way to wow me. Harsh but true.