There is alot of things written in books and magazines about first dates. Films are made on the hilarity that comes with those awkward first few dates. It is all to easy to forget the real terror and embarassment when you haven’t been on one since dinasours wore convers. My most recent experience of a first and second date were not for the faint hearted.
Somehow, when I met said man or perhaps you might call him a boy (as he really didn’t act much like a man nor did he really look like a man despite being 22) I was full of optimism and hope. Despite my drunkeness I decided to give out my phone number, a rare occurance, and not kiss him in the hope that if I didn’t it might be a mature decision.
Mature decisions aren’t really mature if you have to tell yourself they are mature decisions.
Warning one: girl outside the club tells you she knows the guy and he is a bit weird. But who are you to listen to gossip? Would Marie Curie have invented the x-ray if she had listened to gossip about radioactive material? Would Columbus have found America if he had listened to gossip that the earth was flat? No.
The following week I went on the date.
Let it be said that I was the least exited person in the world. There would have been more exited lambs going to the slaughter. I was nervous, and not even a touch exited. Slightly relieved I didn’t have to do any study that night as I had an excuse to get out of the house and that was it.
Of course the night I pick it chose to be heavy rain. My boots are not waterproof and make a nice attractive squelching sound. I arrive on time windswept with an inside out umbrella and soaking wet feet. A good omen I feel, because if I’m having this much bad luck so far, surely it can only get better. ‘Ah thats sweet you ran’ commented my date ‘What?’ I splutter still out of breath from the force 10 gales ‘You ran to be on time for me’ he says ‘Oh’ I reply thinking that he is slightly cocky and just a little bit in love with himself if he thinks I would bother running anywhere. I go to the bathroom to dry my socks under the hand dryer. When I return he has a drink for me. ‘Where do you want to sit?’ I ask gesturing at the plethora of empty seats. Oh no, awkward already.. He choses a seat and we sit down. It starts off with all the usual awkwardness of a date/job interview. Hobbies, course we are studying, music taste, and laughing nervously at how drunk we were last time we met. I am thinking that he is still cute like I remembered and slightly funny. Then after a while I realise he hasn’t actually stopped talking in a long time. I am nodding, doing the occasional nervous laugh. Then I realise with a slightly sad feeling that we really have nothing in common and that he makes me very uncomfortable. He tries to touch my face at one point and I jerk back in my seat, the plant behind me attacking my head. The excuse I don’t like strangers touching my face, he thinks is a joke and tries again.. nope I was serious. Really. Eventually, I think we need a change of location as it’s getting lame. We brave the storms and head to another pub. This pub is even quieter as it’s midweek. We sit down and I think to myself right, its now or never. I try and bring up an interesting topic. I mean, if you want to get to know someone a better way then interviewing them about there favourite colour and type of cheese must be to have a discussion. Or even a bit of banter? My date has other ideas. Long, long stories. Oh he can make me laugh, he says. I ask how. He gets a bit of paper and draws me cartoons. ‘Go on name another, I can do them all!’ Peter from family guy I say and he draws a perfect likeness. They are impressive it has to be said. But I am bored, and now feel like I am babysitting.. Why don’t we go back to yours? I say as a last resort. He told me earlier there is a pool table. Surely a game of pool can sort out this awkward mess? Back at his I kick his ass at pool but am the worse for wear and slowly but surely losing the will to live. I have done that thing where I detach myself from the situation and pretend I am elsewhere. We end up in his room watching ‘The 40 year old virgin’. How apt, I think. I will be the 40 year old spinster if every date I have after this is like this one.
I have to be up tomorrow, so I get a taxi home. The guy wants to see me again next week. I give him a vague answer about texting me at the weekend. I know, or at least I think when I leave, that I won’t be seeing this guy again.
But thats where the problem is.. I just feel so bad about rejecting people. But then over the days the bad memories of the date fade and my friends say why don’t I give him another chance. Maybe he was just nervous, they say. And I start to believe it too.. maybe I was just in a bad mood, I think. So I arrange another date.
Second dates shouldn’t be as stressful and panicy as the first date.. You should look forward to a second date.. but I dread it with doom. 50 times in the day I consider cancellation but chicken out all 50 times until it gets too late. I am late.. I think it’s 7.30 but it was 7. He calls me, where am I? Still at home.. So we cancel the cinema and meet in a bar again instead. I couldn’t possibly imagine how a second date could be worse. But it is.
Same rigmaroll drinks, long boring stories, nervous laughter, me bored out of my mind. I am trying to think of ways to get out. So I decide to be honest – brutal honesty being my worst and best trait. ‘I don’t really think we have anything in common’ I say followed by ‘You’re really nice and blah blah blah’ .. ‘I’m not in a place for a relationship’ ‘I’m happier being single.. I havent really got time!’ Then as I open up to this guy and see how he reacts to what must be second date suicide, I find myself feeling kind of okay about him. He is alot braver then i gave him credit for, and is really cool with the whole thing. He ends up walking me home. I hand him a phone to call a taxi and then as we are waiting he leans over and we kiss. I don’t know if it was the tension, the boring stories or the fact that I still think he is cute, but it is nice. I go in and say goodbye. I know I won’t see him again, but at least I know I was honest. Leaving with the blown up washing machine story wouldn’t have made me feel good. And now I can get back to being single. The date made me realise, I think I prefer single..