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.

03 May 2012

Mr #46 - Napoleon Cokeparte

The preamble:
Mr #46 had exchanged a few emails over the course of a couple of weeks, and I was not only impressed by his sense of humour, but also his enthusiasm for fancy dress (namely a Transformers costume). He also wrote and texted in full Queen’s English, with not a sniff of a LOL in sight, and even though he spoke a bit too much about the weather over text than I’d usually tolerate, I thought it only appropriate to meet the chap for a drink. Did I also mention he was handsome? Well, he was. That helped, what can I say, I’m only human.

The man:
Age: 34

Profession: Runs his own software company

Random factoid: He once crashed into Wolf from Gladiators whilst snowboarding.

 The date:
In a rare occurrence in my experience of going on dates, Mr #46 had a firm idea of where he wanted to go on our date, a certain underground bar in Covent Garden. So my new fringe and I pottered along to see what Mr #46 had in store, and as expected, he was propped up at the bar with a beer in hand. My first thought was how he was much more handsome in real life than in his pictures, which was a welcome surprise. But as with all things, there was a catch. His height. Yup, same size as me, a sniff off five four. That was definitely not mentioned on his profile. But instantly his compensatory confidence spoke volumes, and I knew straight away I was on a date with textbook Short Man Complex. He leant over the bar to summon service from the staff in a over-exaggerated, slightly embarrassing wavy-and-shout fashion, and it turned out he always went to that particular bar because he provided them with their software. They all knew him. ALL OF THEM. So they must have all known we were there on a date. I suspected he probably did this a lot, as it was a very slick routine, the usual drink, the banter with the staff. Once he’d finally sorted me out with a drink, we went over to perch on some stools in the corner where it was quieter. I mounted the high stool in one go. Mr #46, however, struggled to get his low-slung bum on his, and three laboured attempts later, he was finally fully-perched. What then happened was quite possibly one of the most bizarre dates I have ever been on, and I want to share with you as many details as I can possibly remember. Pretty swiftly I realised this guy’s confidence was chemically-assisted. All the telltale signs were there: the nose tweaking, the sniffing, the chewing off his own pretty face and the frequent trips to the toilet. He was drinking shorts (no pun intended). No-one’s bladder is that small, not even Napoleon’s. And as a result, I hardly got a word in edgewise all night. There was no way on God’s earth I was going to be allowed to show him even a little bit of my personality, as the room was so full of his over-inflated ego, mine was being kept outside behind a velvet rope by the metaphorical bouncer. In terms of conversation, well, the one half anyway, he covered a broad range of subjects: how he’s started up his own IT company which was going to be massive next year, how he underpays his staff, and how he won’t take on anyone new as ‘each new member of staff is £20k less in my pocket’. Right. I was briefly allowed to tell him about my housing situation, which he promptly hijacked by number-crunching the inflation levels on my rent, potential mortgage prices and by offering me a fraudulent work contract to help me get a mortgage. Charming. Staying on his favourite subject of money, he pointed out he would move closer to London, but £700k was ‘a little too much for him to pay to live where he wanted to’ (after I’d mentioned my seemingly measily dreams of getting on a shared ownership scheme for less than a tenth of that), and told me about an ExCel spreadsheet he’d made of his wishlist for what he’d spend his money on with certain targets, ranging from £500k to £100 million. FYI when he gets to £100 million, he’ll buy his own private mountain so he can ski down it. And maybe a helicopter to drop him off. Perish the thought he’d break his own neck whilst ski-ing on his own private Berg! Financial ambitions aside, he then went back to his other favourite subject – himself. He told me that he was a break-dancer, before demonstrating some basic popping and locking moves from his stool (presumably too scared to dismount in case he couldn’t get back up again). Despite my egging him on to do the Worm in the middle of the floor, he was adamant a shoulder injury and ‘the wrong shirt’ would restrict him, so he declined. He bragged about his auditions for a number of game shows because he wanted to go on for the ‘free money’ (none of which he was selected for, I might add), regaled me with his Heath Ledger as The Joker and Yoda impressions, his knowledge of the entire Marvel comic franchise, showed me pictures of him drinking an entire bottle of Jaegermeister through a straw and a ‘hilarious’ anecdote of how he once woke up drunk and topless in the back of a Transit van. Soon it was my round, so I popped off to the bar to ask for his usual ‘special’, for which the staff refused to let me pay. It turned out, we’d been getting drinks on the house all night. When I took his drink back to him, a very expensive rare rum, diet Coke and ice in a 12oz glass (it HAD to be a 12oz glass. Just because...!) he sat and counted the cubes, and was put out that they’d ‘fucked up’ his order and given him 7 ice cubes and not 6. When I queried it and offered to remove a cube for him, he hurrumphed and said it just made the mix all wrong. Hmm. Mr #46 then decided to go and get us some crisps, so he scampered off to the bar and shortly returned with...a glass full of foam bananas and flying saucers, which he then proceeded to gum his way through. As if Class As weren’t enough to make him talk, he now had half a pound of Haribo in his system. Aces. He then moved on to bragging about the time he ate seven and a half racks of ribs, an impressive feat, but not as impressive as the detail he then went into as he described trying go for a shit the day after. He even used the phrase ‘it started off as a one trouser leg off affair, but then it became a brace yourself against the stall walls kind of thing. Childbirth could never be as painful as that, at least women are designed to accommodate something that size’. Er, what the holy fuck??? Whilst this was all going on, a drunken birthday party were dancing around near us, and I could tell Mr #46 was itching to get on the dance floor to demonstrate his breaking prowess, and I started to feel bad for restricting him despite giving him full permission to shake his tail feather. We carried on chatting, but his dialogue was interrupted first by Mike and the Mechanics coming on the jukebox and him insisting on pausing the conversation so he could whistle along for the solo, and then, my favourite, pausing the conversation again to sing along to Peter Andre’s Mysterious Girl. He knew ALL the words (including the rap). Then suddenly, as if he body was suddenly sapped of sugar and narcotics, he slumped on his stool, sat there in silence for a minute, announced ‘right, I’m over this’ and I took the hint that that was it for the night. Brilliant. We headed off to the station, he rattled off all of his available train times like some sort of savant, and at the station he literally said a half-arsed bye, didn’t even look me in the eye, and ran off to get his train.

 Memorable Quotes:
‘There’s this toilet in Marbella...’ The beginning of a cracking anecdote if ever there was one...


‘I’m like Rainman’


‘My mate was given an island for his 21st birthday’


‘What was the music like when you went to the toilet?’


Events of note:

Everything. Just everything. I just wished he’d got on the dance floor and properly busted a groove. Although I did particularly like the look on his face when I highlighted that everyone looked like they’d come straight from work, and he looked a little crestfallen as he insisted he’d gone home to change and put on a shirt and shoes especially. Face it mate, you still look like an office worker.


The Verdict:

Once again, this is a bit of a no-brainer. No. But to be honest, I can’t imagine him wanting to see me again either considering I was hardly allowed to breathe a word, and he probably thought I was the most boring date in the world. But if I have to turn into a Lil Miss Cokey-Blownose to win his affections, I think I’ll stick to my rum and ginger beer, thanks. And the moral of the story? Drugs are bad kids, m'kay?

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