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.

21 February 2012

Mr #38 Comedy Threesome

The preamble:
Mr #38 is a very unusual case in 52 First Dates because he is the only date I've been on where I'd seen his profile online and sent the first message. I've not been proactive in messaging people online so far, because in the past, I've not had a very high success rate, very rarely they'd reply and I'd be left feeling pretty shit about myself. So for the most part my dates would be reactionary, depending on who'd emailed me, some might say leaving it up to fate, others laziness, and that would be fair. But I think you'll probably agree, that hasn't really worked for me so far, so from now on I'll have to be more proactive and will just have to get a thicker skin about the ones that don't see me fit enough to reply to.

I had messaged Mr #38 way back in November, because his profile was just awesome. He had a brilliant sense of humour, wrote really well, had the same sense of nonsense surrealism as I did, loved all things creative, and to top it off had a wicked mass of curly black hair. So I sent a silly little message, no sense in a great long persuasive introduction, and the banter started from there. We emailed for ages, and then over Christmas exchanged numbers. We would text regularly, about the most ridiculous things, and some sort of virtual relationship kicked off. In the past, this has been a dangerous tactic, building up so much pressure prior to the first date that it'd almost inevitably be a disappointment. Both of us we were well aware that this could happen, so a month or so before we met we'd agreed to carry on with the foolish banter regardless of the outcome of the date. Perhaps this was a wise idea, perhaps not. 

Mr #38 was not the most forth-coming in suggesting a meet, but I rather liked that. For once, this would be a date that had taken a natural path, rather than something hurried to meet either my dating quota or their impatience. Finally, after three months of preamble, we met.

The man:
Age: 30
Profession: Theatre technician and stand up comedian.
Random factoid: Makes music using the Nintendo Gameboy.

The date:
As we both shared the same appreciation of comedy, Mr #38 volunteered a stand up night at a pub south-side for our first date, which was an excellent suggestion. This was one of the few dates I've been on that I was properly nervous, real stomach-churning, toxic-butterfly nerves, the sorts of nerves I used to get before dates prior to 52 First Dates. Because my hopes were really up, I wanted to like him and I wanted him to like me. I even took him a little bag of home made chocolates, as he'd become a bit fascinated by my domestic undertakings, so I thought I'd see if I would win over the stomach as well as the man. 

I turned up at the pub and he was perched in the corner. He looked exactly as I expected, tall, slim, with the same amazing shock of black curly hair, smart glasses and a textbook beard. He stood up to greet me and was an absolute gentleman, taking my coat and popping to the bar to buy me a drink. He was a really nice guy, delightfully geeky, bright and funny. But there was one thing I wasn't expecting about our first date - and that was his best mate.

It turned out his friend was doing a set at the pub that night, and within 10 minutes of us being sat down, this character clad in an aubergine trenchcoat wafted in, introduced himself, and sat in the corner rehearsing before his stint. We only had about half an hour before the comedy began, during which time we covered musical instruments, retro computer games and novelty cookery. We were then ushered into the back room, where the comedy began. 

It was a novices night, so anyone who fancied themselves as a little bit funny could put themselves up for doing a short set, so from the get go I wasn't expecting Billy Connelly. Mr #38's friend was first up, and I did feel sorry for him as the compere had done a rubbish job of warming up the spattering of humans in the crowd. Eleven acts later (ranging from 'pretty funny' to 'was that actually comedy or just a guy whinging about his water bill'), I'd still not spoken to Mr #38 an awful lot, so we grabbed some more drinks and tried to continue the date. With his mate, now buoyed on whiskey, also in tow. 

We carried on jabbering on dissecting comedy techniques, Dungeons and Dragons, Dr Who, Roland Rat. After one drink, his friend decided to call it a day, leaving Mr #38 and I to try and carry on with our date. The poor guy was riddled with cold, and he kept apologising for not firing on all cylinders. We got on really well, and although there was the odd pause in conversation, it didn't feel that awkward. By the end of the next drink though we were both flagging, so we wandered off to the tube and headed home.

Memorable Quotes:
'What actually goes on in the apocryphal hole in the tube map above Tower Hill? I've always wondered...'

Events of note:
The compere chatting to one of the old locals about their Valentine's Day plans. It turned out one went on an internet date with a woman he'd met online. I could've sworn he was one of the fifty-somethings that has tried their luck with me online. The compere then asked the crowd if anyone had done online dating, Mr #38 and I both went red and looked at each other awkwardly, and our psychic connection agreed to confess to nothing.

The Verdict:
This was a really unusual date, mainly for the fact that I wan't just meeting Mr #38, but his partner-in-comedy crime too. He was exactly as I expected, and I thought he was really cute, I really wanted to ruffle his great big barnet, so I was far from disappointed. My main concern was the fact that maybe we'd gone beyond the window of romance and had got ourselves into the friend zone, which can be very hard to come back from. But I was left thinking I'd really love to see him again, just the two of us, so he could feel like he was on form, and we could get a bit irresponsibly drunk and see how the chemical side of things worked between us. There certainly wasn't that instant thunderbolt of clothes-ripping chemistry, but there was something about him that fascinated me. I really hope he felt the same, and that he wants to see me again too. We'll just have to wait and see. Yikes!