I'd been messaging Mr #24 on an off for a month or so. His emails were good, we shared common ground in our love of Garth Marenghi's Dark Place and Nathan Barley, he owned a cat, and he had excellent command of grammar. He was also a former racing driver, and his multitudinous photos in his blue racing onesie did catch my eye a little. He wasn't exactly a model, but he looked nice and smiley, and he was so polite in asking for a date I thought why the devil not!
Profession: Media wrangler slash part time racing instructor
Random factoid: Recently won a poker competition. Albeit a crap little local one where the prize was a little plastic trophy.
I felt a little sorry for Mr #24 before I met him, as I had been in full on shambolic mode all day. Since being up since 5am, I'd had a bonkers day at work, a tactical 4 hour mid-afternoon snooze, the unwise idea of cooking sausages in my dating ensemble, an embarrassing episode at the doctors whereby I got stuck in my dress then tearing it trying to present my arm to a hot doctor for the taking of blood pressure. Plus I was 15 minutes late and honking of chipolatas. But he was very sweet about it, so I thought I'd managed to get away with it. Just.
We met at Oxford Circus, a cunning venue I thought as everyone has some idea of their favourite pub in the locale. But not Mr #24. Once again I was in charge of choosing the venue, so we pottered off to a quiet little pub that I knew served Sailor Jerry's, we found a little pew and set to with the date
He wasn't an unattractive man, but he'd certainly been cleverly selective with his choice of photos. He was paler, more petite, and his hair was somewhat greyer than I'd expected. But he had a nice friendly face, that is, when he wasn't eyeballing my cleavage or pulling odd faces like a 1920s schoolboy.
Conversation was on the whole very safe: school life, university, public transport (literally the dullest but most universal of safe topics), Made In Chelsea, various injuries sustained over our lives (mine was a soup-related scalded leg, his was a broken cheekbone thanks to a run in with a fist in Portsmouth) and cats.
He showed slightly uncomfortable over-interest in my tattoo, a little too much sympathy for my anecdotes, and literally agreed with everything I said all night. He was on the whole a very sweet guy, but I just found him blander than an average vanilla cheesecake on a white porcelain plate in a dining room recently painted floor to ceiling in magnolia.
I wasn't entirely sure of his grasp of acceptable first date conversation either, especially as mid-evening he inquired as to the nature of my doctor's appointment. The temptation to tell him it was to sort out some fictional intimate infliction was almost too much, but I resisted. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't, because I reckon he'd have had to dug deep into his personality reserves for some sort of reaction had I mentioned the words 'syphilis', 'thrush' or 'haemarroids'.
After two drinks, I was really flagging, and his persistent agreement was sapping the life out of me, so I had to turn down the offer of a third beverage and leg it to the bus. But, being the gentleman he was, he insisted on waiting for the bus with me which, as it turned out, took twenty awkward minutes to arrive. Thanks 25, thanks a bleeding lot. He didn't strike me as the face-burgling sort, so I thought I'd be able to escape snog-free, but I'd used up all my good small talk, so the best I could do was suggest how many routes he could take to get the train so he didn't have to wait for me. But wait he did. Two rather insipid air kisses and the arrival of a double-decker later, and I was away and dreaming of my beddy byes.
'I've watched all of the Lord of the Rings in one day before. On a number of occasions'
'I have eleven different types of tea at home.' And then, he listed them. All. He lives alone, just in case you were wondering...
'I got you a straw for your drink so we could tell which one was yours and which one was mine. And you're drinking with it. That's good'
'Did you know the right way for a ying and yang is for the white bit to be on the top. But Bruce Lee put the black on the top, and that's wrong.'
Events of note:
The couple sat in the corner of the pub virtually having sex. It was off-putting to say the least, and I hoped my date wouldn't notice and take it as an idea.
The verdict:All in all it was a disappointing evening. I'm sure there are lot of ladies out there who'd love an agreeable chap to kowtow to their every word, but I like someone with a bit more balls to them. Come on love, have an opinion! Disagree with me about something for god's sake, challenge me! And don't spend the entire time agreeing with my chest, it's not going to be any more forgiving than my face you know...