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.

08 June 2012

Mr #51 - The Stinky Ginger

The preamble:
Right, Mr #51, the penultimate date of 52 First Dates. Excited? Admittedly I wasn’t, but that’s because the poor timing of my house move has sapped all of my energy and enthusiasm for pretty much everything except removals, mortgages, and the frighteningly amount of money I appear to be haemorrhaging all over the place at the moment. So as has been the case over the last few dates, I had a panic, and accepted the next date that came my way. He looked smart, sounded sane, and was really rather ginger. In my experience of ginger chums, they usually have about 25% more personality and chutzpah than the average person presumably as a self-defense mechanism cultivated at school when kids are mean about things like this, so I thought I’d be in for an entertaining evening. 

The man:
Age: 30
Profession: Freelance computer programmer. Currently unemployed.
Random factoid: He’s currently taking singing lessons.

 The date:
We’d arranged to meet at Oxford Circus at 7pm, on account of the fact that Mr #51 didn’t know anywhere to go in Soho, so once again I had to think of somewhere to go. So, at 7pm on the dot, I stood myself in the entrance of Nike Town, and texted to let him know I was there. He promptly replied and said he hadn’t left yet. Great. So I decided to potter around Top Shop in the warm, waiting for my date to turn up and trying not to spend money. I may have accidently put my face in a cupcake whilst avoiding the allure of the jewellery section, but what can you do! My poor wallet was crying out for some action, and my empty tummy was also shouting out, so it was a compromise I had to make. 

Half an hour later, my phone went, and Mr #51 had arrived. I found him propped up outside Top Shop in all his titian glory, with tatty black jeans, a sort of aubergine velour tracksuit top on and a big stubbly grin. We greeted, and rather embarrassingly I went for the one kiss on the cheek, whereas he went for a full on hug and ended up snogging my neck. Great start. 

Anyway he seemed cheery enough, so I proposed a couple of pubs up Great Portland Street, and we started walking and talking. He had a brilliant Northern Irish accent which I really love, but I really had to fight the urge to join in with the Ulsterness for fear of offending. As we moseyed up the street, we chatted about London, and since he’d only been a resident for just over a year (and only in Clapham), he was forgiven for his geographical ignorance. We happened upon a reasonable looking pub, so we ducked in and grabbed a table. 

First impressions, once the awkwardness of the snog-hug had worn off were that he was quite nice, very dry, but nice. As he warmed up, he also had a pretty decent sense of humour. But he was obviously knackered, and whilst I was trying to ‘give good date’, he did spend the majority of the time rubbing his face like an over-tired toddler. We covered music, playing instruments, festivals, vegetarianism, comedy, camping, pets and cannibals. 

He took great pleasure in telling me how that day he’d been for a test at an employment agency, and he’d sat in a room cheating on his iPhone. He also decided to tell me about the drugs he’d taken, and recommended I didn’t try miaow miaow on account of it turning him into a zombie. Thanks for the tip. 

After a couple of drinks, the face-rubbing got even worse, so we decided to call it a day. And just as we stood up to leave, he dropped a bombshell. Quite literally. From his bottom. I have never smelt anything quite like it in my entire life. And it was definitely him, as it sure as hell wasn’t me and there was no-one else within a 7 metre radius. It was inhumane, I could even taste it. In fact, writing this now, I can still taste it. The look on his face said he hoped I hadn’t noticed, but the look on my face must’ve given it totally away. My immediate reaction was to start talking about public transport and how best he could get home, and we quietly but stealthily headed off to the tube, where I left him, before I ducked into Tesco Express to buy some mints to stick up my nose. Game over Mr #51.

Memorable Quotes:
‘Do you need to take cats for walks?’
‘Stephen Fry is too intelligent for me’
‘In case you hadn’t noticed, I don’t do too well in the sun’

Events of note:
En route to the pub, we both stopped for some money, and there was a homeless guy sat right next to cash point where I was stood. Suddenly, an inopportune gust of wind lifted my dress right in front of this poor guy’s face, as if to say ‘Sorry dude, no cash, but here’s an ass’. Yes, I Monroed a hobo. Classy CTS, very classy.

The Verdict:
There was part of me that thought before going on #51 that the poor bugger didn’t stand a chance being so close to the end, but I did genuinely enter into the date with an open mind. And although for the most part the chat was fine and at times amusing, I felt like I was talking to someone a lot more immature than me, not just in personality stakes but in life stales too. But the final blow (literally) came with that dirty protest of his at the last minute, and after dropping a botty-bomb such as that, no thanks, no chance. 

So there you have it, 51 dates and still going. But there’s only one left. Who will it be? Well, let me tell you know, it’s going to be something a little bit different, and I’m going to need your help. Stay tuned for further instructions...


  1. I CANNOT believe there's only one more left CTS! Am intrigued... and a little sad... but mainly relieved for you that it's nearly over! Also a little worried that an entire year of dating has only thrown up a teensy handful of non-nutters who possess adequate social skills... Much love as always and looking forward to hearing what you have up your sleeve for the big #52 xx

  2. Irish, what a coincidence, I met a gorgeous (not ginger) Irish surfer/something else by day but too complicated to remember - yesterday night. Try professional events with guys of your level, lots of great guys in 'soirées' like networking, I'm discovering. La pêche est bonne (translation: fishing's good, another French saying). If you need some uplifting, try Sébastien Tellier's new album, very cool.

  3. OMFG how utterly MORTIFYING. Mints up your nose paha I will be laughing about that for a long time. Best of luck with the next! X


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