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.

05 December 2011

Mr #26 - Halfway Mark (if only his name actually WAS Mark. But it wasn't...)

The preamble:
I've been messaging Mr #26 for bloody months it seems! We're talking well over 80 messages, and would the bugger suggest a date? Would he hell! So I did, and we swapped numbers and that was that. My only reservations about him had been that he was rather vocal about telling me about other dates he'd been on, and could occasionally be a little too cheeky in his messages, but he still piqued my interest, so I met him.

The man:
Profession: IT bod working in a massive bank
Random factoid: He is half-Irish half-Jamaican,

The date:
The date was another 52 First Dates first - the venue? Docklands. Hmm. I have to say I wasn't entirely convinced, but since I'd never been out there, perhaps it would be worth a whirl. 

I met Mr #26 at the Tube. My first thoughts? He was a little miniature, and probably weighed less than I do. My second thought? What a cracking smile and a delightful set of gnashers. Well done him and his orthodontist. 

Without a final destination in mind, we wandered off in search of some bar action, and finally we came across an establishment that I thought was the name of a popular strip club about town, and it was as Mr #26 pointed out (and that he'd been there a few times before), but that this particular venue was fortunately tit-free, couple on date notwithstanding. 

My first impression of the venue was that it wasn't actually in London at all, it felt rather like we were somewhere like Colchester, and the bar was very much in office party mode. We grabbed some booze and pews and started chatting. Before I continue, so you get a real sense of the mis-en-scene, that my date was sat right in front of a light, so actually I couldn't really see his face, but his perfectly circular cranium cast a spectacular silhouette. My eye was also periodically drawn to the couple sat diagonally behind him, not because they were interesting, but because they had chosen to take a big sack of cat litter with them. 

The soundtrack to the evening was also nothing short of shocking, with Five, A-Ha, Peter Andre and the Spice Girls being cracked out in rapid succession early on. Amid the aural assault, I was aware of another 52 First Dates first. My date had decided to wear a zip up fleece. A zip up fleece he chose not to remove all night. Hmm again. 

Fleeces aside, the conversation was some of the best I've had on 52 First Dates yet, it turns out we have loads in common, in music and film terms at least. We covered musical guilty pleasures, top 10 bests and worsts of 2011, the merits of Florence and the Machine, the demise of Hard-Fi,  a track by track analysis of Pendulum's Immersion, horror films, the publishing industry, book recommendations, Christmas presents, his obsession with Harry Potter, and how diabolical the guy singing karaoke was (oh yeah, it turned out to be karaoke night - we didn't partake). 

It also emerged that he's quite a garrulous chap, and could out talk me by about 120 words per minute. He also spent at least 10 minutes telling me the plot (and ruining it) to a book he'd been trying to sell me, and another 20 minutes showing me every picture he had on his phone of his dog. Yes, it's cute, I get that. Stop with the pup shots now. Stop it now...

Anyway once he'd finally stopped showing me pet pictures and we'd sunk a good few cheeky vodkas, my 5am wake up came back with a vengeance, and I proposed a conclusion to the evening on account of the fact my eyelids were getting rapidly more intimate. We moseyed off to the station said our goodbyes with an attempted half-grapple from Mr #26 and a cheeky snog-dodge from me, and went our separate ways.

Memorable Quotes:
'The mens' loos here are awesome - there's some great big wooden trough that you sit on'
'Shakira has been banned on Radio 1'
'Ooh the YMCA, I love this song'
'Jo Whiley is quite frisky, apparently'

Events of note:
A quite spectacular murdering of Alanis Morrisette's 'Ironic'. And not a moment too soon...

The verdict:
Tonight has genuinely been one of the nicest dates I've been on, as we had an inordinate amount of things in common. Yes he's small, yes, he wore a fleece, yes he's a little too obsessed with Harry Potter for a grown man, but you know what, I actually didn't care. Did I fancy him? I'm not sure, but I would definitely meet him again to see, if anything to carry on our systematic review of every horror film ever made. So what a way to mark the halfway point of 52 First Dates...with something positive. Yay, go me!

It has been a week since our date, and I've not heard a word from Mr #26. When I started this challenge, I vowed not to do any chasing, as I have done in my undignified former life, and if someone wanted to see me again, I would leave it up to them to ask. I say I've not heard a word, but this was until an hour ago. On different dating site. The message read 'have we been on a date?'. Er, yes we have. My my, what a fantastic impression I must've made! When I replied saying yes we had gone and done a date, he asked when it was. Jeez, that's some frighteningly short memory you have there sir! Needless to say I told him, and he's since blamed it on the booze. That's a pretty poor excuse when you meet someone stone cold sober sunshine. No second date for you!