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.

24 April 2012

Mr #45 - The Real Greek

The preamble:
I hadn't been messaging Mr #45 very long before we agreed to meet, but I found him rather intriguing. He was very easy on the eye and enticingly moody-looking, with an artistic streak and an alluring profile, and I was keen to get to know this hopefully tall, dark and handsome Greek stranger. So when he suggested meeting for a drink, I jumped at the chance.

The man:
Age: 31

Profession: Illustrator
Random factoid: Has survived no less than 15 earthquakes when he lived in Greece.

The date:
The first I knew of Mr #45 was when he appeared in front of me at point blank range outside Boots inside Victoria station. He was relatively tall, reasonably handsome, and definitely moody. There was little to no small talk en route to the pub despite my attempts to crack out the fail safe questions, although he was the consummate gentleman in holding open every door for me as we went along. 

Once at the pub, we had to stand at the bar for about 15 minutes, and this bugger was not talking. At all. After about 5 minutes of decent interrogation, he wasn't giving much back, so instead I just stood there at the bar with him, behaved myself and shut up. 

Once equipped with drinks, we headed outside to find some seats. I plonked myself down at the nearest table without thinking and expected my date to do the same. But what then ensued was a rather lengthy debacle by which he inspected every single chair in the vicinity (and I'm talking about twenty here) until he found the cleanest one. Once he'd selected his chair of choice, we then had to move tables on account of a tiny bit of bird shit at the other end. Warning sign number one. See, I live with two parrots. Anyone that frightened of avian faeces probably wouldn't feel too comfy in a room with two of them that poo like clockwork (albeit normally in their own cages but occasionally on visitors to let them know who's boss). 

Once we'd sat in our final positions, we resumed the chatting. It took Mr #45 a little while to warm up, but once he got going, boy did he get going! I could hardly get a word in, and for me and my garrulous gob that's quite an achievement. He talked about his work as an illustrator, his previous jobs as doorman and railway worker, his extra work (nay background artiste work dahling) on such blockbusters as Johnny English, and his heady ambitions to become a regular extra in something like EastEnders or Hollyoaks (methinks he should go on a date with Mr #44 - they have a LOT in common!). 

He told me about his childhood friend who used to ritually slaughter local cats and hide the bodies, how he once saw a policeman have his eye gouged out with a broken bottle and bitched about how poor the rail replacement works are. He then decided to show me some of his 'etchings', and credit with credit is due, he's a very talented illustrator, although if we're being REALLY critical, his portrait of Captain Jean-Luc Picard was a tad over-generous on the cranium, and he did look rather like a Conehead. 

Over the course of the date, Mr #45 had gone from monosyllabic and moody to chatty and arrogant, and throughout the talking and drinking I became hypnotised by this grey bit of gum circling the inside of his mouth with cow-and-cud-like rhythm. Anyone who knows me knows what a mahoosive pet peeve open-mouthed mastication is of mine, and I could not take my eyes off it. At one point I willed it to leap down his throat just so I could get a word in. 

The only facts he gleaned out of me over the course of the date were where I lived (Whitechapel - you already knew that from emails), my job, and the fact I owned parrots (something I had to crowbar in there). I had to make a tactical trip to the bathroom after one drink, and by the time I returned he was yawning his gum-ridden chops off, and suggested we called it a day. Fine by me! And then, as we stood up to leave and I was finally able to see him in his full glory I saw them. Mustard-coloured shoes. Fucking mustard-coloured shoes. Three words my friends: straw, camel and back. 

We walked back to the station, and at the Tube entrance he kissed me on the cheek and said 'let's do this again sometime'. What, so you can talk about yourself all over again? No thanks. Sadly what came out of my mouth in that split second made me hate myself, as without thinking I blurted 'yeah, sure', and then pretending it hadn't happened I hot-footed it off down the escalator. Error. Bad CTS.

Memorable Quotes:
'My mate...the one who killed the cats...he has diabetes now and is like a balloon. Even the Army won't have him.'

'You have parrots? Why? Birds should never be kept as pets'. Uh oh...

Events of note:
During my only bathroom break of the evening, I ended up assisting a woman with the most spectacular mullet I've ever seen with a rather embarrassing coffee spillage on her revolting magenta shirt. I didn't have the heart to tell her that the coffee had probably done her a favour. I wish I'd taken a photo, just to mark the occasion.

The Verdict:
Oh dear. So much for the tall, dark and handsome cliche. Turns out his moody pictures were indicative of a very moody man, and a man who would probably have had just as much fun on a date sat in front of a mirror, like a giant bald budgie, pecking at his own refection and chattering to himself. And speaking of birds, anyone that anti my two favourite little feathered beasts is never going to be a genuine contender for my affections. Love me, love my parrots. That's the deal. Deal with it.