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.

29 February 2012

Mr #39 - Leap of Faith

The preamble:
There had been relatively little preamble between Mr #39 and I, but he had a great profile, liked lots of the same things I did plus many more I could be tempted by, and looked nice from the couple of profile pictures he had up on the dating site. So, since Mr #38 had pretty much fallen off the radar since last week which is a bit of a shame since there had been a certain amount of promise, I didn't think twice about accepting Mr #39's offer for a drink. There was a limited amount of text banter, but what I instantly loved about him was not once did he call me babe, he used full and proper English in his messages and he had a cracking sense of humour. All the signs pointed to a pleasant evening, regardless of chemistry.

The man:
Age: 34
Profession: Works in recruitment
Random factoid: Manages his own football team.

The date:
Sadly the day after the date I had to get up at stupid o'clock in the morning for a shoot, so I forewarned Mr #39 I wouldn't be able to stay out and play very late. I was also  unfortunately only able to meet him at 7.30pm, so he'd had to amuse himself in the pub for a couple of hours before I arrived, which is never a bad thing, I'm a big believe in beer goggles counting in my favour. 

I met Mr #39 outside a pub near Soho, and I was instantly struck by how handsome he was...not in the same way as his picture as he was dressed very differently and was wearing glasses, but he had a lovely manner about him and I liked his style, so immediately I was impressed. We headed off to a lovely little establishment behind Carnaby Street, he rustled up some drinks, and although there was nowhere to sit, we found a cosy corner to hide in and get acquainted.  

It soon transpired that Mr #39 and I have an awful lot in common, taste in music, film, comedy, cake and root vegetables, all the important things of course. In a short space of time we covered a lot of the essential big bases, work, home, singledom, religion, festivals and sport as well as some of the more not-so-essential topics such as murder, peanut butter, my Catfish experience, how he copes with his dog's menstrual cycle, my parrot's masturbatory habits, why no eating establishment should have a name ending in 'Zone' and  things you could legitimately combine with Marmite. 

Mr #39 was utterly charming and a real gentleman throughout the evening despite being a little tipsier than I was on account of his extended time in the pub, but it didn't matter a jot. What I really liked about Mr #39 was how up front he was about pretty much everything. As the evening wore on, I grew increasingly resentful of my impending early start as I was having one of the nicest evenings if not THE nicest evening of 52 First Dates, but by the same respect I also wanted to quit while I was ahead as it was going so well. 

A couple of drinks in, Mr #39 asked me how my date was going, to which I replied 'rather well', and since he thought the same he asked there and then if he could see me again. Without hesitation, I said yes, and he then asked when was a day when I didn't have the Sword of Damocles of an early start hanging over my head, and it turns out a week on Saturday suits just fine. And that was that, second date already sorted! 

With date #1 in the bag and date #2 in the diary, we called it a night and headed off to the tube. As we headed down the escalators I was riddled with potential-snog anticipation, and when we said goodbye I won't lie, I was a little disappointed when it was just a peck on the cheek. But there's always the second date, right? Fuck me, a second date! Steady on CTS...!

Memorable Quotes:
'My dog is currently running around the house wearing a customised pair of mens' pants to stop her making a mess everywhere.'
Re my friend Louise's dessert making habits: 'Your friend mixed butterscotch and chocolate Angel Delight? She's single handedly responsible for the downfall of the economy...' Thinking back on timing, he may have been right!
'Blancmange - what the fuck's up with that?'
Mr #39: 'You don't like asparagus because it looks like a willy?'
Me: 'No...I said woody.'

Events of note:
Since this date occurred on the 29th of February, a leap year, the girls in the office were teasing me that I should propose to my date. So, after one drink, thinking he might find it funny, I brought it up. His answer? 'Well if it keeps going well, yes I'll marry you.' Well that was easy! Nice knowing you, readers...

The Verdict:
I don't think you really need to ask this question, since you already know I've agreed to a second date. Throughout the course of 52 First Dates, I've been pretty cagey about second dates if I've not felt something there, in fact I've only ever been on the one, which was with Mr #5. But a third date with him never happened, because he simply fell off the radar. I don't want someone who's happy to fall off my radar, I want someone who wants to be to be in full beam and making it beep loudly. And although 52 First Dates hadn't turned up the man of my dreams thus far, it has reinforced the fact that I know what I'm looking for and when I did finally meet someone right, I'd know about it. 

With Mr #39, something clicked for me, and very easily too. And without wanting to jinx things, it felt like something may have clicked for him too. I loved the fact that I didn't have to play guessing games, because I'm beyond shit at picking up subtle signals and the eternal overanalysis combined with my innate inability to flirt in return drives me potty. And the fact that he took my utterly foolish suggestion of a marriage proposal in such good humour counts for a lot. I say good humour, he said yes, so perhaps more fool-hardy than good-humoured. But there were no games here, he paid me very sweet compliments, was genuinely interested in me, and then asked me out again. And I have to say, not only am I really looking forward to seeing him again, but the butterflies in my tummy are too. At the moment nine days feels like an awfully long time to wait. Watch this space...