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.

11 June 2012

Mr #52?

So, I’ve finally done it! 51 first dates down and now it’s time for the last one. I won’t lie, it’s been an awesome experience, for a myriad of weird and wonderful ways. And now I’m faced with the final date, and somehow I’m sad to let it go. For the last couple of months, I fear I’ve maybe lost sight of the purpose of this project – to find someone special – because as soon as the big five two hove into view, the competitive part of me wanted to reach the bitter end. But perhaps that’s what it’s become, bitter, and that’s not doing the blog any justice at all. I knew I had to get to number #52 and I knew I had to do something very special for it. 52 First Dates deserves to end on a high, and of course, I’d rather like a happy ending for me too.
 

My first plan of action involved doing what I have never done in this entire process – putting my pride on the line asking someone nice out on a date, and being the one to make the effort. Over the last four months or so, I’d struck up a rather lovely long distance correspondence with a rather lovely single Danish boy. We’d spoken about the big serious things: religion, love, family values, as well as the trivial things: Will Ferrell, rum, cake, coffee, log cabins and knitwear. As the last few dates approached, I’d decided to swallow my pride and do the unthinkable: to summon up the proverbial balls ask this boy to be Mr 52. Because whatever would have happened, assuming he agreed in the first place, I knew we’d get on as people, and I knew it’d end the blog on a high. I had this silly idea that for the grand finale of 52 First Dates I’d bake a cake, hop on a plane to Copenhagen, deliver said cake and hopefully share a slice over a cheeky espresso, and then hop back on the plane to England again. For me, it’d have been positive closure to what has been a life-changing experiment, and for everyone who’s stuck with me through the blog, their chance to see me do something different and positive. Good plan right? Yes, in principle...


Trouble was, in the interim of my making this decision, the lovely Danish boy had found himself his own rather lovely girlfriend. Ah. I’m not the sort of girl to meddle with other people’s happiness, so that idea bit the dust pretty sharpish. But DP, if you're reading this, there's still a cappuccino cupcake with your name on it should you ever end up in London town.


Anyway, back at the ranch, I was once again left with the quandary of how to make date #52 as special as I’d hoped. Enter my good friend Maggot*, a PR guru who then suggested in so many words that my choices of dates have been pretty poor at best and fucking diabolical at worst, and to let the long-suffering readers of 52 First Dates choose the final date for me!


Brilliant!


So, dearly beloved readers of 52 First Dates, this is where you come in. I put it to you that since you probably all know me better than myself by now, having endured every buttock-clenchingly cringe-worthy moment of the last 51 weeks of my life, that you help to find Mr #52 for me. You may know the perfect person to tick this elusive box, or even fancy yourself for this coveted slash much-afeared position. Well now’s the time to play Cupid and get that little bow and arrow of yours out (but perhaps leave the nappy at home). You’ve been on these dates with me (virtually), you know the sorts of things and people I like and don’t like, I’m obviously making a total balls-up of finding a boyfriend myself so perhaps you can do a better job.


Perhaps.


All you need to do is get your proposed Mr #52 (or in fact yourself if you fancy being the boy to break 52 First Dates) to email me with some information about themselves / yourself and a photograph, and hopefully some light-hearted correspondence will ensue (although I must add by means of a casual disclaimer that this isn’t guaranteed, not because I’m rude or anything like that, I’m always happy to email, but I’m just a bit shit at times, especially when I’m in the middle of moving house).


I’ve given myself a month to do this because quite frankly I’ve grown too cynical about this whole dating malarkey, and I figure a month sans dates will give me enough time to get my turbulent domestic situation sorted and more importantly to cleanse my former date-induced scepticism so Mr #52 has the fairest of shots. Therefore, on the 11th of July 2012, I shall short-list 5 possible candidates (or just list them if five or less apply for the date which is more than likely) and I’ll open them up to a poll whereby you vote for the final date of 52 First Dates. I do trust you will be kind. I will then go on said date, and write it up so you all know how it went. Simples! And, as an added incentive, if you voted for the right Mr #52 and I end up marrying him, you will of course all be invited to the wedding**.


In the interest of fairness, I should probably also give you some vital information about myself (or lifted from my online dating profile) so budding Mr #52s know a little bit about who or what they’re up against.


Name: CTS (obviously not my real name, but my real initials)

Age: 31

Profession: Edit producer formerly in television, now for a charity.

Random factoid: Used to be a falconer


Likes: knitting, baking, chutney-making, playing the piano, cake, teaching her parrots pointless things, writing in the third person, Tim Minchin, weird films, dark comedy, gigs, blowing raspberries, a wide range of cheeses, cats, Elf, sarcasm, writing, secret London pubs, feathers, loud guitars and louder drums, regional accents, festivals, crispy smoked bacon, Hackney, taxidermy, Eddie Izzard, my nephew, a good book, riding around on the top deck of the bus, cricket, the correct use of grammar, the Overground, lie ins, Charlie Brooker, overripe bananas, being independent, the ukulele, long words, antidisestablishmentarianism.



Dislikes: lateness, bad grammar, stubbing my toe, cucumber, the word ‘moist’, arrogance, spiders, Keane, being disappointed in the human race, the Daily Express, laziness, low-fat spreads, money-lovers, seafood sticks, noisy eaters, unripe bananas, football hooligans, Marley and Me, people who chew gum with their mouths open, the tube.
 

Would like to meet: Someone fun, funny, possible funny-looking but ideally not funny-smelling. Own teeth and hair essential (or at least acceptable substitutes toupees notwithstanding). Someone who likes to ponder the pointless as well as the poignant. Someone who can make me laugh. Someone who will hopefully not make me cry (unless it’s through laughter, see previous point). Artists, musicians, creative types especially welcome.


Oh, I have a face too. This is it.



 So to sum up, I CTS ask you lovely readers to help me find my happy ending. You can help me out by spreading the word, passing this on, telling your friends and helping me round 52 First Dates off with a wonderfully big bang. So until next time, thank you and goodnight.

30 comments:

  1. Oh I was just so excited to read about the Dane, since I myself am Danish and following your blog - not from Copenhagen but somewhere else in Denmark ;-) But oh well....
    Don't have another Dane up the sleeve for your mr. 52 but am excited to hear how it all ends - and will we hear more about the Bulgarian Sherlock?! Or the guy who went to Mexico?!?
    /Liv

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'll keep my eye out! On a side note, I hate the word 'moist' too. It's horrible. Ugh, makes me cringe! xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love this...exciting times indeed!! xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just like Liv I'm also Danish and I was so happy when you wrote about your plans to come to Copenhagen for your 52. date. But I agree, now that he has a girlfriend you need to move on to bigger and better men! I'm sorry I don't have any good candidates for you, but I hope you find a great man for the final date and I'm looking forward to your update.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Dane is a fool. Your a catch. Whoever gets to be able to call you theirs is a lucky guy indeed.

    Paul

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Dane is no fool, nor is he psychic. It was my bad for being too slow and too cowardly. That'll teach me...

    CTS x

    ReplyDelete
  7. Will totally pass this on, see if we can find you a fabulous cake loving man with excellent grammar!

    dp
    x

    www.inanityandthegirl.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ah thank you very much Dawnie - I've not had any offers yet. I hope I haven't ballsed it up by putting a picture of my real face on it, rather than some uber-Photoshopped pseudo-sexy -avatar...

    CTS x

    PS. Mmmm, cake. Is 11pm too late for cake?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is no such thing as too late for cake, it works in every part of the day. Its bready element makes it perfect breakfast fare, lunch obviously completely acceptable, all hours between 11am-9pm make it adequate 'tea provision', post 9pm it becomes completely snack worthy, then in the small hours of the morning it returns to the bread alternative. So technically cake is like fancy toast, it works at any time day or night. I do enjoy fancy toast.

      dp
      x

      Delete
  9. I can offer a cast iron guarantee to anyone thinking about doing this that CTS is the best and you'll have an ace time. x

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm from Denmark, too - so disapoiting, that the cute Dane was caught up, so to speak. Hope you find another lovely mr. 52 :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ah CTS if only you'd asked 2 months ago. I would have the perfect London based musician friend in mind but he's moved to Berlin! Let me think on. Whatever I look forward to the voting!

    And will tweet this out.

    Thanks
    Grace

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ah thanks Grace! Pan-European travel is no object. If it was further afield, then maybe a tad more problematic...

    CTS x

    ReplyDelete
  13. What is it with all these Danes? Do Danish people spend their lives on line reading about virtual relationships? Not that I can talk! I have waited patiently for each new dating report after discovering 52firstdates.com at about week 19. Wait a minute though ... I have always been convinced I am decended from Vikings ... is this the proof??
    Good luck with your hunt for #52. I am afraid I can't help, having lovely young men in my acquaintance is long since over for me, but I will definitely be voting.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well according to my statistics, a third of all my readers hail from the land of the Danes, so I fully embrace their appreciation of dating stories!

    CTS x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really?!? That is hilariuos... :-)

      Delete
    2. I know, crazy huh? I think it's mostly thanks to the lovely folks over at www.Amarorama.dk who've been fighting my cause for the last year :-)

      CTS x

      Delete
    3. We Danes all love a good love story - I hope for a happy ending:)

      Delete
  15. Haha... so many danes!

    .. and yeah.. I'm one of them as well :D

    I'm pretty sure it's a sign - you need to find a new handsome dane ;)

    ReplyDelete
  16. dear CTS,

    Danish guy here. Not single though. Just wanted to share some thoughts.
    I'm a devoted reader of your blog and I really wish you all the best in finding THE man.
    As for the future cinematic release of your blog, you may want to tap into the Danish market as it seems you have struck a connection here.
    Anyways, as for your Mr. 52, I am worried that you may have scared potential good-quality men out there away. No, not by your photo - don't worry, but by the competition-like finale of your dating life. Ask yourself this: would you like to be lined up and compared with 4 other women just to have the public vote and judge who is most interesting?
    Sure it happens in talent-shows and the likes all the time, but this is your future happiness on the line and not ratings....... or is it?
    I know it is a game of sorts, alas I am just worried that my sex may have too much pride and/or shyness to venture into this. At least the serious daters out there looking for something more than a good or bad mention on your excellent blog.
    No matter what happens, thank you for a brilliant free-of-charge read for a year and I hope you find him wherever he is.

    regards
    Gunnar

    ps. What happened to the Sherlock character?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gunnar,

      Thanks for your message, and your ongoing readership. You know what? I've been thinking exactly the same thing, and since writing the post I've been wracked with all sorts of guilt that it was the wrong approach. But short of a. asking someone out myself (and I have no potentials for that anymore) or b. resorting to dating sites again which as we've all seen haven't done me any favours so far I wasn't sure what to do. ALthough I must stress it's not a case of people voting for who they think is most 'intersting' or would make the funniest read, it's the person they think would be best suited to me based on what my readers have learnt about me. I want the last date to be a good one, just for us to get on. In mind it's not too much to ask, but in practise, perhaps it is.

      Anyway thank you for reading, and I realy appreciate your feedback.

      CTS x

      PS. He's in Italy for a few months.

      Delete
    2. dear CTS,

      Thank you for a swift reply.

      I understand you want the public to vote for who is 'best' for you, but do not overestimate us. We are fundamentally selfish and want entertainment. Or at least a part of us is. Even if we don't like it.
      But even if people do vote for the 'best candidate for you', you may not get the 'best candidate for you' on the list to start with because, as the readers, they too have to understand it is not about being 'interesting' or 'a funny read', but being a genuinely good match for you. As the men are putting themselves 'out there', it is a risk maybe not many are willing to take and they might not pick up the phone. Or smartphone. Or iPhone. Or whatever.
      Also I am a little worried people might vote for whoever THEY would date and not who YOU should date. Again something I believe we have very little control over.

      This might not be all that problematic. Just wanted to highlight some concerns. And yes, I will vote if I have to.

      Or you will just have to fly to Italy. (would work perfectly for the movie)

      regards
      Gunnar

      Delete
    3. Hi Gunnar,

      Once again I totally agree. This is why the entire process is fundamentally flawed. But I genuinely don't know what else I can do other than surrender myself to the mercy of my readers and hope they feel strongly enough that I should have a happy ending. Or at least an entertaining one...

      CTS x

      Delete
  17. I've loved following 52 first dates and will be very sad to see the last one - in a very selfish way really as through the blog I've relived some of the anticipation and frisson of the dating game (which I haven't experienced for over 40 years). I must say CTS the methods of engagement may have changed but people are still people and life hasn't really changed that much. Sorry I haven't anyone suitable to offer but good luck. I'm rooting for you x

    ReplyDelete
  18. It's all understood about him. Next, please!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I can't believe that the end of the road is nigh! You started this blog around the same time I moved to Berlin. One of the many reasons I jumped ship from London was because my romantic (haha!) life had become stagnant. So I did pay extra attention on your blog to see how you would fare and if that would irrationally give me some hope about LDN and men...
    Anyhoo, a year has gone in Berlin and I am still single,though like you there have been many an interesting encounter.
    Its a good idea about how you are going about no. 52 and no matter what happens, whether the froggie turns into a prince a not- it's been a great ride (figuratively speaking!).

    ReplyDelete
  20. I know exactly who you should date! THE MALE NANNY. He's hilarious, intelligent and creative and clearly has depth and perspective. And you have anonymous bloggin in common. And having my two favourite bloggers dating would be ace! A great exit!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow, I just found my new favourite blog!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've been single too. I'm a good looking kid. I don't have problems finding dates. I'm cute. But... I can't get the right girl. So I'm turned off on dates.

    I love reading. I really do. And when I say that some chick smiles then a week later I find that she meant Harry Potter level reading.


    Life. Call me.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading 52 First Dates! And thanks even more for commenting!

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