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.

09 February 2012

Mr #36 - Mate's Dates

The preamble:
So this week I’ve had a bit of a nightmare finding my Mr #36. My first option decided a couple of hours before the date that ‘he couldn’t be fucked’ to hang around in town and do some shopping after he finished work at 5.30pm to meet me on Oxford Street at 7pm. Not everyone it seems works the ‘crazy insane’ hours I do. Personally I don’t think leaving work at half six to meet at seven is entirely unreasonable, but he obviously did. 

My next option was then lined up for today, but at around 4pm, he texted to say he was in the grip of a cash flow problem, and wouldn’t be able to meet me. Fuck. 

Since I’m busy for the rest of the week, I then had a bit of a dateless wobble, and decided to cast the net open to Twitter and Facebook to see if anyone could sort me out with a last minute date option. Enter Jemma, who kindly offered up a friend of hers that it turns out she’s been trying to set me up with some time. It turned out the gentleman in question was free, knew what he was getting himself into, and was up for being Mr #36. Brilliant! Date saved! He also in game fashion agreed to write up his version of the date afterwards, which would at least offer you something more than just my word for things. 

And, of course, there was the added bonus that we had a friend in common, and although she relishes in my more nightmarish of dates, I really didn’t think (or hope) she’d set me up with a total freak. And she didn’t. In retrospect, he, however, may beg to differ...

The man:
Age: 30
Profession: Works in development in television
Random factoid: Once ran in the Pamplona bull run. Spoiler alert: he survived.
The date:
As it was such a last minute date job, I offered up my favourite pub in Shoreditch, The Water Poet, as the venue. I was due to meet Mr #36 outside Liverpool Street tube, and with only a description of his coat, I genuinely had no idea what to expect. Fortunately, we managed to find each other without too many hitches, although an idea was mooted before we met that perhaps we could find similar-looking people to bring along so we could turn it into a double date, but sadly there were no looky-likeys knocking around Bishopsgate at that time. 

Mr #36 was a cheerful chap, and en route to the pub we got the whole 52 First Dates chat out of the way. I won’t lie, the chat did feel a little awkward at first which I put down to first-meeting nerves, but as soon as we procured a pair of pints, things loosened up and date properly got underway. 

As it turned out, Mr #36 now works in an office where I used to work, and we had a lot of common ground with talk of television. We covered birds (specifically parrots, birds of prey and pigeons), hamsters, dads, weddings, nephews, our mutual friend Jemma, Skegness, Nazi captives, recipes and MEAT (we’d been on meat heat in the office all day and I won’t lie, babyback ribs had been playing on my mind considerably). 

One thing that impressed me more than anything was that Mr #36 knew the rules of bacon sandwiches and sauces: red sauce for white bread, brown sauce for brown bread. Amazing. We got on really well, stayed there until closing time, and then wandered off to our respective buses. All in all, I would say this evening passed without a hitch, but you’ve not read the events of note yet...*hangs head in shame*

Memorable Quotes:
‘You should see my pigeon fanciers film’

‘I once swung my nephew into a tree’

Events of note:
About three drinks into the evening on a toilet trip, I decided to text Jemma to let her know how the evening was going.

‘He’s such a nice guy. Such a shame I don’t fancy him’.

On returning to the table, Mr #36 kindly informed me that I had mistakenly sent the message to him, and that he was expecting a verdict after the date, and not during. I died a little inside. And when I say a little, I mean a lot. What an absolute dick! Schoolboy texting error number 1. And I meant every word I said, he was such a nice guy, one of the best dates I’d been on actually as he was really entertaining. I just didn’t fancy him. After the aforementioned incident, we decided that if 52 First Dates ever makes it into a film, he would be played by Jason Segel. And quite frankly, it’s the least I could do to apologise...

The Verdict:

Need I say any more? I would love to go out boozing with Mr #36 again as he was a great laugh, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the evening (except of course for the minute where I realise what a knob I had been). But to be honest, I doubt very much he’d want to see me again after that.

Yours sincerely,

A very shame-faced CTS.


  1. Cries with laughter. Sorry babe but oh noooooooo

  2. Watch your step here - a while back I went on a date and neither of us fancied each other as a potential couple. The date was great and we left as the best of friends but mutually pledged that we wouldn’t repeat the dating experience together. Three weeks later we were in the same group company and were sharing the fun of the evening and laughing together. That was in 1973 and after 37 years of married life, two kids and three grandkids later we are still the best of friends and still very much in love.
    Mind you I never ever got round to asking her out again but we still ended up married – how did that happen?

    Enjoy the rest of your dates. By the way Robert Phipps posted your blog on Facebook so that is how I came across it.

  3. No way! That really is a school boy error - on the bright side - at least he didn't go in for the kiss haha

  4. I went in a date when I wasn't certain if I fancied him but he was such a lovely guy and we had had such a great time, I agreed on a 2nd date. We've been together now for a couple of months and after a disastrous 2 years of dating, I can quite honestly say I am so glad I gave him a 2nd chance as he is the most loveliest man I could have wished to have met and yes, I do fancy him now!! So you just never know!

  5. School boy error indeed, oh dear...Well, erm, you could have said much, much worse and as Shakespeare once said, Shit Doth Happens.


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