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.

06 April 2012

Mr #42 - Dumb Blonde

First of all, apologies for the tardiness in bringing Mr #42 to your computer screens. I've had a bit of a bugger of a time trying to squeeze in dates with a bonkers work schedule, and last week when I was finally able to line one up, he cancelled the same day on account of a sniffle. Sadly I wasn't able to turn another date around in time, so last week my date life was more barren than Samantha Bricks' soul. But this week, by way of apology to the followers of 52 First Dates who haven't had their fix of interweb weirdness, I managed to pull the elusive #42 out of my sleeve in the nick of time, and with the promise of a Mr #43 as back up.  Double date week leading up to Easter? Well, it's what Jesus would have wanted. Probably.

The preamble:
Mr #42 have been in touch for about two months or so prior to meeting, but thanks to him jetting off to China for two weeks and me working all hours at work, it took us a while to have a date. Although he was 10 years older, he looked like a game sort of fella from his pictures (most of which for some reason were topless which I hasten to add did not influence my decision to meet him in any way, although for the record, he did have a wonderfully carved torso), and he had a good sense of humour, despite the fact he used LOL a little too freely for my liking. 

However, once we'd exchange numbers, he was pretty keen to spark up the text banter, and from past experience I try not to get too deep into the old texting malarkey as it always ends up getting sticky and disappointing, never a good combination of words. It felt a little like a vetting process, asking whether I wanted kids, my living arrangements, and sending me pictures of him with his daughters, his garden, and some weird chest of drawers he was selling on eBay.  Hmm, possibly the strangest dating preamble to date. But the date was already in the calendar, and it was too late to back out now!

The man:
Age: 41

Profession: Runs his own property business as well as selling weird shit on eBay.
Random factoid: Once owned 20 guinea pigs.

The date:
I'll be the first to admit I wasn't on my finest form leading up to the date, on account of an irresponsible marshmallow eating competition in the office which lead to me rapidly growing the equivalent of a 6 months sugar baby in my very bloated belly. So, hoping I wouldn't encounter any awkward questions about my due date, I hauled my mallow-child off to Waterloo to meet Mr #42. 

If my date was an animal from a film, he would have without doubt have been Marley from my least favourite film in the whole wide world ever. He bounded over in a shock of blonde hair like some sort of Haribo-psyched Labrador and before I knew it we were both bounding off together in search of a pub. 

After grabbing some drinks, we found a little corner in which to perch, and get down to the dating. On closer inspection, my date looked like the bastard lovechild of Paul Hogan in Crocodile Dundee and Mick Jagger (a union definitely made to make the mind boggle). He had the shaggy hair of an aging Aussie rock star, and the deep facial crevices of someone who enjoyed the eighties and probably forgot the nineties. 

He was incredibly attentive, very chatty, and really easy-going. He was also not very bright. For someone who runs a couple of his own businesses, I was really surprised by some of the shit he was coming out with. We covered all the main bases, work, family, travel, and the one thing that I found a little uncomfortable was the amount he dwelt on my single status. He said on no less than 4 occasions how surprised he was I was single, and every time he did so he made me feel more and more insecure that maybe I do have some massive personality flaw that I've not acknowledged yet but that my friends and family are all too kind to point out. 

He spoke at great length about his ex who was a cleaner, and his two daughters, It's clear he's an awesome dad who adores his children, but he was so forthcoming about wanting more kids I was slightly concerned I might've been fertilised there and then by intoxicating paternal osmosis. But after calling me a 'clever girl' for living on my own in London, and then drawing a comparison between the age gap between my sister and I to that of his daughters, It suddenly made me very aware of my age and how much older he was. Another example was his constant allusions to the fact that as a young(ish), single girl I must be out getting irrationally bladdered and pulling boys left, right and centre every night of the week. How little he knew of me. One blanket, a tub of Haagen-Dasz and a Horlicks, please barkeep.

Memorable Quotes:
Oh there were a lot of these...
'I showed my colleague your photo before I left work. She said you looked like you were 25. She also said you looked really normal, which is strange as people on the internet aren't normal'
'I don't drink rose wine, it's poofy'
'I've never been to a gig before. Except when I went to see Bon Jovi. Three times.'
'What do you like to do? I like holidays'
'I got a swan stuck in an oar once. Turned the boat over. But it was okay, as I had a few layers of lycra on'
And the best question on a date yet...'Who is your best friend?' No, that one's for your daughters, NOT your dates...
Events of note:
When two girls with absolutely no sense of propriety plonked themselves down at our little round table without asking or even acknowledging we were probably on a date, and about 10 minutes later a bottle of wine and two plates of pasta arrived at our table. For them.
The Verdict:
Oh dear, I feel a bit sad writing this. Throughout the date Mr #42 was incredibly complimentary, very tactile, obviously keen, and well-meaning. He's obviously someone without a bad bone in his body, and would make someone a wonderful partner. But trying to find some sort of chemistry between us was way too forced, and I think it was more hopeful from his side of things rather than sensing a genuine connection. I won't be seeing him again, but I sincerely hope he finds that special boat-loving lady with whom he can pop out a whole tribe of mini Hogan-Jaggers