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.

20 May 2012

Mr #48 - Ricey Missiles

The preamble:
There hadn't been a tremendous amoung of preamble between Mr #48 and I before we'd arranged a date. The reason was I'd had such a lovely evening with The Bulgarian Sherlock last week, we'd arrranged to meet again for a second date this Wednesday (which was delightful by the way, thank you for asking, but that's as much as you're going to get on here on account of the fact it's 52 First Dates...not 52 First, Second, maybe Third Dates depending on how CTS gets on), and I felt uncomfortable meeting someone else in the interim. 

But I was aware that I needed to cram a date in during the week, and since all of my evenings were booked up with other things, I had a bit of a panic, and took up the offer of a coffee with Mr #48 from an online dating site on Saturday afternoon. Two things struck me about Mr #48 after we'd exchanged numbers...a. he was really grumpy by text, and managed to make me feel that a quick message to confirm the date was interrupting his incredibly busy working schedule and b. he was absolutely rubbish with predictive text, and never made any attempts to remedy it eg. I can come to White japes. Er, did you mean Whitechapel? Weird.

The man:
Age: 37
Profession: Freelance lettings agent. Mmm, estate agents. My favourite...
Random factoid: He knew more about the  history of the Rotherhithe Tunnel than anyone I'd ever met. This is nothing to be proud of...
The date:
Saturday afternoon galloped around with frightening aplomb, and before I knew it I was heading off to Brick Lane to meet Mr #48. As per usual, I texted him to let him know where I'd be, what I looked like and to warn him I'd had a fringe cut since I'd updating my profile pictures. His response? 'I'll be in a black jacket'. At this point I hoped that no-one else on the busy bustling Brick Lane would be wearing a black jacket too (hmm...) or even more worryingly that he was wearing more than just a black jacket (although that would have definitely added a certain je ne sais quoi to the date. 

Fortunately, when I arrived, he was the only one matching that description, and yes, he did have his trousers on. Phew. Unusually for my dates, he was tall, very rough around the edges, not particularly attractive (well, nowhere near as nice as he'd looked in his pictures), and was a prop'ah geez'ah! 

Before we set off, he made it perfectly clear to me that he needed to eat and that he had to leave in enough time that he could go and watch the football, one man, two missions. We marched up the lane to grab a coffee, and I noticed he didn't have much appreciation for personal space, and as we kept walking I found myself veering closer and closer to the wall on the right hand side. Fortunately before I grazed the skin clean off my right arm, we found a quaint little mezze place, so we commandeered a table, I ordered a peppermint tea, and to my surprise he went for the same, as well as ordering a mammoth bowl of brown rice and meatballs. 

As we waited for his food to arrive (I wasn't eating as it was mid-afternoon, I'd already had lunch, and we all know I'm not the biggest fan of eating on first dates unless there are mitigating circumstances), he cracked on with the small talk, with him taking particular notice to my dress and necklace, both of which he was not content to just look at but was determined to paw. Easy now. 

Being the football-heathen I am, I foolishly asked what the big match was (I knew there was a big match, that's enough surely????) and was then subjected to a rather painful pop quiz of my knowledge of the Europa League. After ten excruciating minutes, Mr #48 conceded that it was okay that I didn't know that much about football, because I am a girl after all. 

As the subject changed, the teas and meatballs arrived, and the rest of the date ensued in between giant mouthfuls and munchings. The date was relatively brief on account of Mr #48's pressing engagement with the big game, and the subject matter was varied. He covered Thailand (well, he did mainly on account of his just arriving back from 5 months away there and all of the accompanying anecdotes, and my contribution that I'd never been to Thailand, but their cuisine is ace), lettings prices in London (don't get me started!), birds, the weather (pleeeeeeeease!), car and van hire (his instigation, not mine thank you very much), the fact he has no idea what a fringe is, quinoa and the Rotherhithe Tunnel.

Soon enough, the meatballs had evaporated, and his internal body clock was telling him it was beer with the lads time. He went off to pay for the food and teas, and then spent the following 10 minutes arguing loudly with the guy behind the bar about the bill, as he was adamant that he had been overcharged. It turned out he hadn't, and rather sheepishly he returned to collect his jacket and we headed off. He frog-marched me back down the lane again and offered me a lift home, which I gracefully declined on account of not wanting to get in a car with someone I didn't really trust to keep himself to himself. 

We arrived at a stunning Rolls Royce and he offered up his goodbyes. And as I walked away, I noticed in my peripheral vision the lights on a battered old Fiesta on the opposite side of the road go, and Mr #48 stealthily scampered over to climb into the vehicle. I pretended I hadn't noticed.

Memorable Quotes:
'So where exactly do you live, what road? Don't worry, I won't stalk you or sit outside your house or anything...' Sorry love, not taking any chances...
'I do like brown rice. Makes me feel all healthy and stuff.'
'Look at you and yer Brick Lane shoes!'

Events of note:
Over the course of the date, I'd successfully managed to dodge no less than ten brown rice missiles as Mr #48 chattered away through mouthfuls of food, all of which I had to quickly pick off my dress when he went to the bar.

The Verdict:
As we said goodbye at his imaginary car, Mr #48 suggested he'd give me a ring and we could go out for 'prop'ah booze!'. Sadly, I fear that's a bullet I'm still going to have to dodge. He wasn't very attractive, was too much of a wide boy and we just didn't have anything in common. I was retrospectively grateful he had something else to do afterwards so I didn't have to call the date short myself, but to be honest I was rather pleased to escape.