Here's the deal. I've been single since time immemorial. So, in an attempt to remedy my eternal singledom, and to get over my nauseatingly pathological fear of dates, I've decided to challenge myself. The challenge? To go on one first date a week for a year! So in 52 weeks time, I will have either found my Mr Right, or I'll stay forever Miss Write. This is what happens...


The Rules

Here are the rules to the 52 First Dates challenge...

1. A first date must be had once a week, EVERY week, for 52 weeks.

2. Taking someone home after a drunken night on the cider does NOT count, otherwise this challenge would just be slutty, and none of us want that do we?!?

3. Second and third dates are allowed, I must continue first dates unless there are exceptional mitigating circumstances. For example, God forbid, the start of a relationship.

4. Each date must be blogged.

09 October 2011

Mr #16 - Size Does Matter

The preamble:
I was originally due to meet Mr #16 a month or so ago, but on the day of our date, he cancelled for 'financial reasons'. That never sounds any good. He also had an old man's name which was somewhat off putting...you know the sort I mean, the kind of name you couldn't imagine calling a baby, and you certainly wouldn't dream of shouting out in the throes of passion. But as Juliet once rightly said, what's in a name? Anyway, a week ago, out of the blue, he got in touch again, saying that his foreign bank had sorted his money, and needed some sort of muck-spreading attack as payback. Foreign bank account eh? Also never good. But since being freshly stood up by a stand up comedian, an irony that is still not lost on me, I decided I'd honour my original word and go on a date with him.

The man:
Age: 34
Profession: Works for a company that install security systems.
Random factoid: Can identify any Dr Who episode at random from very few details. Yup, my thoughts exactly...

The date:
Late, snotty, knackered...from the off, this had all the making of a bad date. Not him, however, but me. I felt absolutely shocking and in no way enthused about this particular date. But since the poor bugger had travelled all the way in from Brighton for the occasion, I didn't cancel. So we met at a location of his choice...WH Smith. Hmm. The first thing that struck me about him was his sheer size, and not, I'm afraid, in a good way. I've been on dates where they've lied about their height and age, but this was the first weighty issue I'd encountered, if you catch my drift. In retrospect, the fact that all of his head shots on the site were rather tight should've been a warning sign. But he was rather cheery and forgiving of my shambolic state, and within no time we pottered off to a pub of his choice, although not before I'd managed to add to my every-increasing shambles by doing a Marilyn Monroe in the middle of the street thanks to the prevailing autumnal winds. Thanks wind. Thanks a lot. The pub was quite a kooky choice, there was camouflage netting on the ceiling, and although my date did nothing for me looks-wise, the bar staff were hot so the evening was not without eye candy. He was a chatty man, despite an ever-increasing Jonathan Ross-esque speech impediment. Conversation was interesting, and covered everything from  exploding pigeons, men who put their willies in hoovers, why Scouting For Girls should die, the bodily hazards of sandy beaches, bizarre ways people have died and why some companies install security systems to monitor staff toilet use. Take note loo-time skivers! He also had an impressive yet unattractive talent of turning every subject round to sci fi, be it Dr Who, Star Wars, Star Trek the Next Generation or the Terminator. He was also a little too gleeful when I showed him my portable mobile phone charger and let him use it to pep up his flat battery. Tried as I might to be sociable through the lurg, three vodkas in and I had to make my excuses and go. At the station, amid an awkward adieu, he did plant the sloppiest of kisses on my cheek, one which I actually had to employ a sleeve to remove, but not until out of eyeshot. And then I was home.

Memorable Quotes:
'For some reason I bought a gas mask...'
I've seen a seagull as big as a domestic cat. You've got to respect them.

Events of note:
Seeing my date head off towards his platform, and then as soon as he thought I'd disappeared, he retreated and scampered off to Burger King. Bless.

The verdict:
I think Mr #16 was genuinely a nice guy, but he was sadly a textbook example of the sort of man I often imagine hiding behind a computer doing online dating. He was not remotely attractive, and although he was pleasant enough, I don't think any amount of alcohol or, more worryingly, pity could make me want to pursue our correspondence any further. I know there's some sci-fi loving, seagull-respecting, gas mask-sporting lass out there to make him a very happy boy. But she ain't me. Five minutes after I left him at the station, he texted asking about meeting again. I suppose I only have myself to blame, I showed him my ass and let him plug his phone into my charger on a first date - no wonder he wanted to see me, and my snotty chops, again. So for now, I should put him out of his misery, and try and sort out a potential Mr #17. Note to self...fully body photos essential.

Update:
Oh dear. Since gently replying to Mr #16 saying thank you but no thank you to his offer of meeting again, it seems I may have unleashed something a little sad. He started up a conversation asking what it was that he'd done wrong, and when I said it was simply nothing more than chemistry and that he was all in all a nice chap, I ended up with a number of pitiful messages saying the chemistry line has been used on him an awful lot recently as he'd been on a number of dates, and that no-one seemed to fancy him. Sadly, I'm another one to add to the list. Once again, the pity returned, an awful feeling to have, but you can't see someone again just because you feel sorry for them can you? That's just cruel on both parts. I just couldn't bring myself to tell him that. I do sincerely hope he finds someone who's a little more his way inclined chemically. But once again, I can't stress enough, it's not me. Nor am I going to be your dating agony aunt, so please STOP TEXTING ME!

Read some of the emails that didn't make it to the real life date stage...