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 a year, that's 52 dates in 52 weeks.

2. Taking someone home after a drunken night on the cider does NOT count.

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.

28 October 2011

Mr #19 - Rum, Forrest, Rum!

The preamble:
Mr #19 and I had exchanged messages on and off for a while now, and my reason for agreeing to meet him was mainly because he called himself a poet, and expressed the sort of enthusiasm for meeting me that I had not quite encountered before. And by enthusiasm, I mean sending me reams and reams of his own poetry, links to his band's music, and unfortunately after I'd agreed to meet him, wedges of text telling me how beautiful he thought I was, something I'm neither that used to nor am that comfortable with from a virtual stranger. He was very generous in his emotional outpourings on the whole, as I would expect poets to do. But the over-riding impression from our messages was that he was oh so very 'umble, had severe self esteem issues, and on the whole was quite possibly the most pessimistic person on the planet. I wouldn't be surprised if he ate bowls of nihilism for breakfast. Oh. This will be fun...

The man:
Age: 26
Profession: Poet (although technically and more prominently, a lawyer)
Random factoid: Only moved to England from Bangladesh 4 years ago. His English is rather beautiful, and currently far better than most you'd hear in your average secondary school, however, his morals remain firmly and unbudgingly at home with his parents.

The date:
We were due to meet week ago, but thanks to work flogging the near soul out of me, I had to reschedule. And when I did eventually reschedule, Mr #19 was incredibly surprised that I wasn't just standing him up. Well I didn't, but after being sat for half an hour on my tod outside Barbican station, he nearly found himself that way. 

Eventually, after a text about something about a red light obscuring our romantic intervention, he turned up. He was another 52 First Dates first - he was actually shorter than me. I was also later to find out, his hands were also smaller than mine, a most unnerving quality, feeling like you have giant man hands!

He also, and I need to work on a pencil sketch to ilustrate quite how weird this was, had a bizarre third tooth somewhat like a fang slap bang between his two regular top front teeth. I'll be honest, I couldn't keep my eyes off it, and I'm pretty sure it spent the night watching me too! 

I was also aware that he also had a lot of hair, but on meeting him, it was obvious he was self conscious about is, so he had not-so-subtly tucked it under his shirt, creating the impression of a modern-day Quasimodo, an analogy on which he rather embarrassingly drew on a number of occasions. But fear not, I wasn't to miss out on this hirsutiary delight - over the course of the evening he gradually released his barnet in full until I had the full hairy effect! I think you're getting a picture of him by now. 

We headed off to the nearest pub, and I was chuffed that he'd remembered I was a Sailor Jerry's fan. Initially this was thoughtful, even when he brought me slices of lime by hand, until he said 'what does it take to get you drunk', and it rapidly emerged he thought he could have his wicked way with the frequent supply of such a spirit. Even on insisting I bought a round, he said 'where I come from, there is no woman's round'. Unfortunately for him, as he was soon to discover, I could hold my liquor. He, however, couldn't.  

I won't lie, my date with Mr #19 was more than enlightening. He spent most of the night telling me how by Bangladeshi standards, I was very pale and therefore very beautiful. But also the fact that all of his friends from home felt that by definition I would be a shit wife. Easy now, we've only just met! 

After a couple of drinks, the true Mr #19 soon came out, as he was determined to convince me that in his own artistic way that life was meaningless, a mantra that it'd take a hell of a lot to persuade me of.

He also became rapidly possessive about any time I mentioned another man's name: 'I see you like Eddie Izzard...', 'yes I think he's a genius', 'oh so you love him then?'...'so you wrote your dissertation on David Cronenberg, do you fancy him?'...'er no, I was studying him for literary theory!'. He even asked if I was married, as I was wearing a ring. Costume jewelry. On the wrong finger too. 

To cut a very long story short, our chat was nothing short of hilarious. Despite his nihilistic view on anything and everything, he was paradoxically jolly. And despite me insisting on offering drinks, he pulled the culture card out time and time again and bought all the drinks. Unfortunately for him, he had no prior benchmark of my alcoholic stamina. 

We soon moved on to his proper venue of choice, a club where his 'band' were due to play. And let me tell you now, there is nothing more embarrassing than meeting all of someone's band mates and their accompanying friends on a first date. Nothing. 'So how do you know Mr #19?' 'Oh. you, help?'.  Fortunately their own taste for narcotics spoke on my behalf otherwise that'd be REALLY awkward! 

Once in the venue, the fun really began. Throughout the bands, Mr #19 deemed it appropriate to have a hand firmly gripped around me at all times and at all costs, and insisted on playing air guitar on me throughout, even though I knew he couldn't play guitar as he was 'strictly front man only'. He literally, wouldn't let me go, not even to walk to the bar or the loo, I was on a weird arm-bungee at all times! 

It also got a lot funnier when he insisted on buying even more rums that he clearly couldn't handle and he thought that I wouldn't notice him taking big handfuls of my hair and sniffing it behind my back. But I did. Hell I did!!!! 

By the end of the evening, he kept asking me and asking me and asking me to tell him how great his poetry and his band were, because he was a self-confessed narcissist. I told him they were great, but in truth, had no idea, I was drunk, he was sniffing my hair, but l'll wager they were pretty shit.

Memorable Quotes:
'Where I come from, pale European women are very beautiful'
'Are they now?'
'If I were to ask your parents why you were so beautiful, what would they say?'
'She doesn't go out to play in the sun much???'

'Do you know, I think you're what Americans may call 'the One'...
'I think our signs are sexually compatible. what sign are you? Cancer? Pisces? Gemini? Taurus?' Just keep guessing sunshine, you'll get there eventually...well, not THERE there...!

Events of note:
Mr #19 bringing over more rums, dropping his specs on the floor, and then promptly face-planting it. It literally took me a good 2 minutes to pull myself together enough to peel him off the floor, before he sat dripping his rum-sodden long hair all over me and trying to recover the situation. I didn't have the heart to tell him there was no metaphorical AA man for whatever had just happened. None whatsoever.

The verdict:
I don't think I've ever been on a date so eventful, ever. Nor have I ever felt so guilty that someone insisted on plying me with rum and telling me I was beautiful. Not that I blame the rum, but no doubt it helped a hell of a lot. But no amount of booze was going to claw back the fact he was shorter than me, hairier than me, that evil extra denture, and the fact  he was trying to get me drunk, a plan which back-fired because he just couldn't handle his booze. 

And let's not mention the fact he rang me the moment I walked in the door to try and arrange a rematch and to try and convince me to join his band, as long as I promised to take any attention away from him. Seriously Snaggle-tooth, give me a fucking break! You are most definitely not my future husband. But I do think you'd make a rather interesting pet...? Perhaps we should discuss further. Over a rum... 

It is precisely 24 hours since I left Mr #19 staggering around the station, and he's tried calling me three times. I can also see him looking at my dating profile, and I feel a little bit sick. He's just left me a five minute long voicemail saying he has absolutely no recollection of the latter half of the date, but that he would like to prove to me that he can be the perfect gentleman. I think I'll wait until later before I text him to put him out of his misery, and then I shall be switching my phone very much off. Why is it the guys I really don't want to see are so keen on me, and yet the very few people I want to see again are just never interested. 

This, my friends, is life. 

And it sucks.