There are dates, and then there are EPICDATES. The distinction was created while the Theatre Producer was in America. Dates are dates, Epicdates are above and beyond the call of duty. I said when she returned I would like to take her on EPICDATE#1, she agreed.
(Normal dates can happen between EPICDATES).
There was a lot of planning, focus groups (no really, I asked a mutual friends), diagrams and brainstorming sessions.
The eventual plan was simple, I’d meet her at the airport when she got off the plane and then I’d take her to a restaurant. That doesn’t sound very epic right? Well the latter bit of it.
I had a plan.
Some friends had just opened a new restaurant in London. I’d been going to their other places for years and I was owed a favour.
So I went in and chatted to them and they said they could give me super-dooper treatment. A reserved table, champagne on arrival and a tasting menu of food paired with the perfect wine to go with each dish.
That sounded quite epic so we went with that.
I hadn’t told the Theatre Producer what we were doing, but I had let her know of the required dress code and given a couple of clues to add to the fun. I said that smelling was involved and that it was something that couldn’t happen until recently. I also gave a vague location.
Annoyingly she worked out where we were going. Now I do find intelligence very attractive but this sort of fiendish detective work had caught me slightly off-guard. Future EPICDATES wouldn’t involve any clues.
I pretended she hadn’t worked it out (It’s amazing how much deception is required in romance) and met her at a nearby location. We said hellos and went into the restaurant.
The moment we appeared through the door we were ushered over to our table and given a glass of champagne and sat down. The Theatre Producer was showing the right mix of surprise and excitement.
The owner came over. I introduced him to the Theatre Producer and he suggested a tasting menu of dishes which he would select wines for. We went with that.
Dishes started arriving. Each one would have a perfectly chosen wine to go with it. As in perfectly chosen. The wine would be explained with tasting notes so we had impressive things to say while trying it
‘Oh yes this one is very structured’
‘You can really taste the wine-yness of this one. By the red tone colour you can tell this is a red wine.”
‘The lack of tannins compliments the duck perfectly’
Guess which one was my phrase.
The evening rushed by, we ate potted duck, perfectly cooked steaks, salty greens, beautiful cheeses and everything was matched with the perfect drink and attentive service.
We talked about all sorts of things, exchanged stories and caught up, by the end of the meal we were holding hands across the table.
Some time later, and rather sozzled we finished off the meal with a glass of Tawny Port and stumbled off into the night.
We ended back at my house, on the flimsiest of pretexts. This was unexpected so I had to make the Theatre Producer wait in the kitchen while I furiously cleared up some mess.
I didn’t do a terribly good job, but I don’t think she was really noticing. There was quite a lot of kissing going on. She kept falling over in her ridiculous heels, so I picked her up and carried her upstairs.
* fade to black *
The next day we woke up and I made us coffee. Even though it was decaf it was poncy decaf and the Theatre Producer approved. I fed her chocolate buttons for breakfast in bed and then made us both scrambled eggs.
With great regret we went to work. It had been an epic first date*
Marriage Percentage: 55% – This feels a bit low actually but I’m trying to remain level-headed over this.
*if it was the first date or not is a source of debate and mild ribbing.
Even when pining, life goes on. June is a smashing month, and it just wouldn’t do to spend the whole time inside listening to The Cure. I’m still doing a bit of that, I just not spending the entire time doing it.
I was given a couple of VIP passes for the Polo. I’m not really into watching sport, but I’d found out some chums were going and they assured me that it was mostly about drinking. I am quite into drinking.
I thought quite carefully about the sort of chum that would be fun at the Polo who would be fun but wouldn’t read too much into my invite.
After a bit of hunting around I invited Rebecca. We had stayed in touch since our slightly disorganised date (in a chummy way, not in a flirty way) I asked if she wanted to join me at the Polo and she said yes.
My first Polo match
It was an extremely hot day, ideal for shorts but I had been invited to a pre-polo lunch which required the wearing of trousers. This was a bit annoying but I thought I’d brave a linen suit.
It was very hot. Thanks to work on the tube line I ended up having to get a bus most of the way there. The bus was very slow, so slow that I missed my free lunch in a posh club. I know, some times life on the streets can be brutal, but it doesn’t help anyone to shy away from the tough stuff.
My chums were already there and drinking away. I joined them and we steadily worked our way through a lot of Pimms and some pink cocktail thing with gin in it. It was amazingly hot so putting cold drinks in our mouths seemed like an excellent idea.
No-one thought to order any water.
We ordered some more drinks, it seemed like the only way we could possibly stay cool under the intense heat of the sun. We got quite drunk.
My date arrives
Some time later Rebecca appeared. I joined her at the gate and handed over her pass. She was wearing a gold dress with massive gold heels. She looked very much the part.
We went straight to the VIP area because it would have free drinks and possibly even some food. The Polo was rammed at this point with a plethora of boozy rahs, but when we walked past the overweight security guard we entered a world of calm.
People using soft polite voices ushered us to our area. It was a giant tent with sofas, a selection of sandwiches, a lot of booze and lots of helpful people wearing aprons. Outside there was an outdoor area that was right on the polo arena (ring? pitch?) with lovely wooden chairs and sunshades.
We had a glass of champagne (not free) and then ate lots of tiny sandwiches (free) and cakes (free) before getting stuck into some white wine (free). It was lovely. The horses had lots of fights over the ball right next to us which was exciting and the bit where you have to invade the pitch to stamp all the holes in with your feet was excellent fun. I’ve never invaded a pitch before but I’d definitely recommend it to friends.
We became chums with lots of people in our section, learning all about the game and which side were supposed to be cheering on. Sadly the Polo ended and we were ushered out onto the streets.
Later on that Evening
Rebecca went off to meet up with some friends and I crossed London to meet up with set of my chums who were celebrating a birthday. I arrived, had to eat a steak, drank some wine and then moved to a pub for some cider.
Biscuit and Jen appeared and we all drank lots of booze while talking nonsense. I was exhausted by this point so we shared a cab home. It had been a good day.
Rebecca Marriage percentage: 20% She is lovely, but my mind is somewhere else.
Rebecca is fun, and interesting but she is in the friend zone now, part of this might be due to the fact that I spent the whole day exchanging text messages with the Theatre Producer. I’m such a bloody sap it’s sickening.
I was a little bit hungover on Friday after going out with Rebecca. Not ruined or anything just not at 100%.
I wanted to battle through work and then spend some quality time with my sofa.
I’d forgotten that I had a lunch date. It was with a girl from the Internet, well from America but we’d met through the Internet. Well not met. This was to be our first meeting.
The lunch date had been arranged for a while and so we hadn’t spoken for a few days, well ten. I’d messaged her a few days ago just to sort of confirm that the date was still on. She hadn’t replied.
I sent her another message with my phone number asking her to give me a call to say if it was still happening.
This might seem a bit needy but the restaurant was on the other side of London, it was going to be a bit of a quest to get there.
There was no reply.
I hate being stood up so I decided to go to the restaurant to see if she was there. If I hadn’t gone I would have spent the rest of the day wondering what could have been.
It was quite far away and I had transport issues. I couldn’t find the right bus, and then the tube stopped in the tunnel for ages. I was a little bit late.
I couldn’t see her, or at least anyone who looked like the couple of pictures on the dating website.
I asked a member of staff if they had her booking because I didn’t know her surname this was a bit more tricky. They were jolly helpful though and didn’t seem to bat an eyelid when I said I was meeting a friend but I didn’t have her phone number or surname.
I waited at the bar, scanning the restaurant and anyone who arrived while checking my phone to see if she had messaged me.
Eventually I gave in and headed back to work. Lunch was an unpleasant sandwich on a bus. When I got back to the office I got a minor telling off for having a too long lunch break.
It wasn’t a very successful date.
Penelope invited me over for a drink in a pub near her on Monday evening.
She lives in a satellite town to London and said we could go to a country pub which sounded like a lovely way to end the weekend.
She met me at the train station in a car. Which I was surprised by. This would mean no drinking, but country pubs don’t often have very good transport links so I suppose it made sense.
She started the car as we caught up and after about three turns we stopped. We weren’t in the countryside. We were on an street with houses. I couldn’t even see any green.
We were at a pub near to the station, like really near. We probably could have walked it in ten minutes.
It wasn’t really a country pub, more of a suburban pub. It was an old, slightly rough looking place with about dozen people in to who welcomed Penelope and eyed me up a bit strangely.
We got our drinks and sat down at a table. A man was performing loud Dire Straights covers with a guitar in the corner of the pub. It was so noisy it was hard to have a conversation.
We chatted about work stuff. She mentioned someone who is in her PhD group who is being a bit weird and we giggled about a few things. Most of these conversations happened in the pauses between songs because the singing man was offensively loud.
A few hours later it was time to get the last train home so we hopped into the car. The subject of previous relationships came up. I told her about the angry letter and how that went down.
She explained that she had broken up with her previous chap a month or so ago because it hadn’t been going anywhere, and that they had been going out for four years.
He had even worked in the pub we had just visited which explained why the locals were giving me weird looks. I suddenly felt a bit weird about the whole thing. Why did she decide to take me to that pub?
Even stranger she mentioned that she was meeting up with the ex the next day to make sure he understood it was over. Why wouldn’t he get that? I was suddenly a bit perplexed by the whole thing.
It had been a very strange weekend.
Marriage percentage: 20% - Couldn’t we have gone to a different pub?
I had a lunch date, well a pre-lunch date.
There was a girl off OkCupid who wanted to meet up and so we did.
I did think about cocktails but I didn’t want to drink because 11am on a school day is a little bit too early for me. Or at least it is at the moment.
She doesn’t drink coffee or tea and it’s a bit too warm for hot chocolate so I suggested we meet for juice.
You know, one of those slightly pretentious juice places with wheat-grass on the menu. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.
She was late (-5 points) and lost (-5 points) so I had to leave our meeting point to hunt her down. She walked past me on the street, so I had to jump after her waving (-5 points) and then call her on the phone.
She was tall, with mousey blond shoulder length hair. Brown eyes and a hint of freckles. She was wearing a rather short denim dress (+5 points) with tan heels. There were legs (+10 points).
Anyone for juice?
We went to the juice bar and ordered our drinks. She had a banana based one and I had one with lots of bits in and some wheat-grass. My juice was pretty crunchy for a juice but nice.
It definitely tasted healthy, even if none of the health claims could actually be backed up with any sort of actual scientific evidence.
We talked about jobs, London and hobbies. All the usual stuff. She has recently taken up Burlesque but has no plans to present a show. It’s just for fun. I learned that when you start doing Burlesque you take on a Burlesque name. I still don’t know why but I like the idea.
She is mid-job hunt but has also decided to ‘make a project’ of sorting out her private life. I liked her focused attitude on this. I was briefly tempted to mention the blog but decided against it.
The date lasted about an hour, which pretty good for a single juice and we parted ways. There is a vague plan to meet up again. We shall see. With Biscuit storming ahead in the lead I have to get my act together.
Marriage percentage: 20% We got on, she was nice but juice dates are weird. How are you supposed to get drunk and reveal too much about yourself?
There are a few things you should do when you find yourself single again. I did the usual trio. I bought some new clothes, I went for a run and I re-activated my account on OkCupid.
It must be dating season because I started to get messages a few minutes later from girls. Hurrah.
One of whom had no picture. She was amusing though so I sent a reply and we got chatting a little bit. Eventually she shared some pictures. This was a good thing.
I think it’s unfair if someone doesn’t put pictures on their profile. If you have put pictures up they should take an equal amount of risk, no? She shared some blurry photos and didn’t appear to be a man at least so we continued to talk.
I can’t remember how it started exactly but we started messaging in the third person. I think something to do with a man pestering her and she was asking a hypothetical question. Anyway, we started talking in the third person, and then didn’t stop.
The lady wonders if the man would like to go for a drink some time?
The man would quite like that, where does the lady live in London?
And so on. She wanted to meet up and so we did, last night.
It was in Green Park because that was where our tube lines crossed. Green Park isn’t a great great location but since she was running ten minutes late I had time to scout out a suitable place for us to have a drink.
She arrived and we said hello. She was medium height, long dark hair, dark brown eyes and sparkly lips. I suspect she had lip-gloss on rather than being half unicorn or something like that.
She was wearing blue jeans and a strappy top. Not that dressy but it was a Monday night so who knows what one should wear?
We ambled over the pub and ordered our non alcoholic drinks. She isn’t a big drinker and I decided to have a night off because I feel a bit weird if I’m drinking and the other person isn’t.
We talked about all sorts of things. She is from Portugal, is doing a PhD and plays squash. She attracts 24 year old men a lot and isn’t very girly girl but likes make-up. She was nice. Conversation was easy and the time passed fairly quickly.
A bit later it was time to get the last tube home so we walked back to the tube station and said goodbyes with vague plans to meet up again. She was pleasant and lovely but I was so excited about meeting up with Dawn on Saturday that she didn’t really have a fair chance. She was nice though and had an amusing accent.
Marriage percentage 15%
During the day New York continued to amaze and impress us.
We played on the giant piano from Big ($250,000 if you want your own), ate knishes (I’m going to miss them) and had conversations with complete strangers (about all sorts of things).
In the evening I’d arranged to do a ‘trivia night’ (pub quiz) with another girl off OkCupid, one that I’d been speaking to for a month or so.
Biscuit and I arrived at the pub early. It was called Common Ground and was pleasingly New Yorky. It had a long wide bar with polished rails and some tellys showing sports. When we arrived it was empty so we took up a place by the bar and ordered some beers.
I emailed the girl to say that we were early and to just say hello when she got in. Twenty minutes later I got a message back saying she was there. We turned around and they were sat behind us. She had brought a chum along.
The girl looked like a far more glamorous version of Blossom from the hit 90s TV show Blossom. Except she was wearing the regulation New York uniform of all black. Her chum looked exactly, I mean exactly, like a younger version of Marcy from Californication. She was also wearing black.
We had a few drinks, talked about places to visit. They were impressed by the bar that Biscuit and I had been to for second lunch and suggested a couple more places for us to go.
Some of ‘Blossom’s’ chums turned up for the pub quiz who were all excellent fellows apart from one of them, who was acting a bit weirdly and kept having whispery conversations with ‘Marcy’ at the bar.
Biscuit made balloon shapes for everyone to wear, which went down really well. Soon our entire team were sporting a range of balloon hats, glasses and swords.
Just before the quiz started, MyLoveLifeInYourHands turned up. There was a huge cheer and he told us all about his trip to DC. We got more drinks in and settled into the quiz. Blossom moved so she was stood next to MyLoveLifeInYourHands and they chatted away.
We did pretty well at the quiz until there was a round on Baseball and we walked out in protest over that.
Also we wanted to get some food. The slightly grumpy friend had left at this point, but was having a long text conversations with Marcy, who was ruinously drunk.
The next bar was a painfully cool jazz place. We sat on a low table. I was next to Marcy, who was constantly lit up by the screen of her phone and MyLoveLifeInYourHands was sat next to Blossom.
Biscuit was sat in front of us all and fading fast. I’ve never seen someone go from normal to broken so fast.
We ordered drinks and then were told that the kitchen was closed. We drank the drinks. MyLoveLifeInYourHands quizzed Marcy about the constantly texting.
Apparently the grumpy friend was sort of seeing her but had felt really threatened by three bumbling British types, yes the mind boggles, and so had stormed off into the night.
After the drinks we grabbed a cab home. Cabs are way cheaper in New York.
Marriage percentage: 10%, she was fun, but I suspect she has designs on MyLoveLifeInYourHands…
I understand that the following post may make me sound like an utter berk, but this blog isn’t about sounding good it’s about the truth and getting married.
The date on Saturday went really well and that is a bad thing.
We met up outside the cinema in the afternoon. The Consultant was wearing a dark green dress with frills on the front and black boots. Her hair was expertly ruffled with a messy fringe. She looked excellent.
I got the tickets and chocolate ice cream for us to eat while watching the film. I also had a hip-flask with whiskey in it. I’d heard that Black Swan could be quite harrowing and that we might need a stiff drink to get through it.
I was right. It was harrowing, but in an excellent way. Sort of like dating a mad person. I was utterly captivated by it, I leaped with horror a couple of times and I was gripped until the end. Also it made me want to go and see Swan Lake so that is a plus.
The hip-flask was definitely needed, the Consultant asked for it during a scene in a bathroom. If you have seen the film you will know what I mean.
After the film the Consultant suggested we go back to my house so I could show her a TV show I’d recommended. So we did that. On the way we bought supplies for gin and tonic. The house was warm and we sat on the sofa watching the show and drinking very good G’n'Ts made with fancy gin.
About two episodes in, the Consultant put her legs on my legs. Just resting there. We had more gin. She was drinking far faster than me and ended up a couple of drinks ahead. In my defence I was a little broken from the night before.
By the time the third episode had begun there was some definite if subtle stroking going on. Just a little flex of the leg to suggest that her intentions towards me might be a bit more than just watching an entire series of an American comedy together.
So took a slug of gin and I did the honourable thing. I kissed her.
She was pleased with this and there was some more kissing. Then some other stuff, and we ended up going to my room.
She asked for a glass of water, I went and got one and by the time I returned she was lying on my bed resplendent in some terribly fancy underwear. Smooth moves indeed.
I am sure you can guess how the rest of the evening went. I will only just imply that it was surprising in a good way.
The next morning I woke up before her, and slipped off to get some breakfast supplies. I returned with the Sunday papers, fresh pastries, strawberries and some light breakfast chocolates. We ate them in bed. She read the travel section I ruffled through the style pages. She was a very well-behaved house guest.
At midday I had to rush off to a film premier and so pulled on some fancy clothes and walked the Consultant to the tube. We parted with a mwah and I said we should meet up again in the week, suggesting Friday because it was my only free day. She said she would email me.
Marriage percentage: 30% – More good frocks, amazing fun on sleep-overs and her hair looked even more beguilingly messy in the morning.
I just wish I hadn’t met her just before the New York Trip. I don’t want to string her along but also I really don’t want to have another trip to America when I am at the beginning or the end of a relationship.
At the film premier I met another girl, the date had been planned for weeks, but I still felt a bit guilty meeting up with her. The film was pretty awful but the girl was nice and had an absolutely beautiful grey coat on but sadly I doubt I’ll see her again. I don’t need another nice girl in my life just before a trip to America.
Marriage percentage: 10% – Perfectly nice but awful timing.
So it seems the path to having slightly too many suitable women around is to swear off them for a bit. If only I had known this a few months ago or at least before I’d booked flights to New York.
And yes, I am aware that this whole post is basically me saying ‘My bag of gold is too heavy’ or ‘My pet dinosaur is too much fun’.
If you have the world’s tiniest violin you might want to play it a little for me.
I had a very date related last day of holidays. In the morning I wrote a friend’s dating profile on www.mysinglefriend.com and in the afternoon I had a date.
MySingleFriend is a website where you recommend friends to other people, so you write most of their profile and they get a little reply, generally to tell you off for mentioning the time that they laughed so much milk came out of their nose.
My chum has been going out with some utter berks. She is clever, successful and pleasantly silly. I’ve known her for years. Recently she has lost a lot of weight.
About a year ago her business was doing amazingly well so she decided to buy an Alexander McQueen dress to celebrate. She picked out one she liked but couldn’t fit into it and so collapsed into tears on the changing room floor. She vowed to get into shape and now she is amazingly slim, amazingly so it’s like she is a different person. Oh and she bought the dress and it fits her perfectly.
It’s great stuff all round, and very sweetly she doesn’t quite realise what a catch she is so has been putting up with a lot of nonsense with a couple of unsuitable chaps. It came to ahead over Christmas and ended, I managed to get her sold on the idea of internet dating.
The profile writing didn’t take long and we spent about an hour taking photos of her in a range of poses for the website. It was hillarious, champagne fuelled fun and we clearly got it right because within about 10 minutes of being on the website messages were pinging into her inbox from a range of chaps.
She hasn’t been on any dates yet but it’s only a matter of time. I suspect she will be married off before either of us berks even get a real girlfriend.
I’d arranged to meet a girl for coffee at Bar Italia. I was early and even managed to reserve a couple of seats. The place was rammed as usual, but in a lively way. Lots of men in long camel coloured talks were talking loudly about how they were drinking the ‘best god-damn coffee in Eng-erland’.
The bar smelled of portiguese tarts and coffee creme. It’s well lit and now that I think about it more a man’s coffee place if anything. The woman arrived a little late. She had amazingly straight brown hair, glasses with thick black rims that favoured by ultra-trendy types and shocking red lipstick on.
She was wearing tight jeans, with a black polar neck sweater and a ruffled brown scarf. She looked like a New York hipster, which was what she was.
We talked for a couple of hours. Covering the Holocaust (no seriously), public transport, how she hates her job, London and how she didn’t want to ever have kids. There wasn’t much of a spark, and we disagreed on quite a few important things. Or at least we would have disagreed if I’d managed to say anything.
I’ve never been on a date before when I’ve said almost nothing. By the end of it I could have sat an exam on her family background, political views, history in London and plans for the future. I don’t think she even knew if I’d been waiting long.
Eventually I managed to get a word in edgeways and so I made my excuses and left, uttering the immortal line of ‘it was nice to have met you’ before disappearing into Soho.
In short it was a bit of a damp squib of a date, I think Bar Italia has bad date mojo.
Marriage percentage: 5% – Good lipstick.
I’ve recently rejoined a dating website. It was a website that introduced me to The Fez, as well as a couple of other fairly serious girlfriends. It’s one of those sites where it is free to look but if you want to actually talk to people you have to pay.
The plan was to browse a bit over Christmas and maybe ask some people out in the New Year. I have a wager to win after all.
This website lets you add people to your favourites, and they are alerted when you do so. It’s the Internet equivalent of catching someones eyes in a bar. Or that is how I think of it.
Shortly after re-joining this very pretty girl added me to her favourites.
She sounded really interesting, looked pleasingly kooky in her photographs and was also quite tall. I’m under-playing this a bit really, she was so interesting that within about a minute of finding out she had added me to her favourites I was upgrading to a full account so I could message her.
Messages were exchanged, and a meeting was suggested and I spent rather too much of the weekend looking forward to our date.
I was a little bit late because I had to change my outfit three times to find something that worked, and even then I left the house in something that wasn’t warm enough but looked good.
The plan was to meet for a hot chocolate, the best hot chocolate in London and then see how things went from there. I arrived 15 minutes late because of the outfit issues and she was waiting outside.
The hot chocolate place didn’t really have anywhere to sit so I suggested we amble over to the Tate and so we walked and talked.
She was half Swedish and half Indian, tall with long dark hair and dark brown eyes combined with a slightly cheeky smile.
Her accent was mostly Californian but every now and there would be a hint of a Swedish. It was utterly beguiling, the way a woman talks is almost one of the most important things to me and she had the charm in bucket loads.
She was also extremely smart and writes for a well-known science magazine about really grown up things. It would be an understatement to say I was impressed by her.
A massive understatement.
The walk to the Tate was lovely, frosty and revealing. We swapped housemate stories, talked about California and the quirks of Londoners. When we arrived at the gallery I noticed that the Gauguin exhibit was still going. I’d wanted to see it months ago when The Teacher stood me up so I suggested it, she agreed.
I bought us tickets and we went through the exhibit. We alternated between making insightful commentary on art and silly quips. It was a very giggly visit to the gallery. We both picked out our favourite pictures and decided that Gauguin was probably a bit of a nightmare to know.
After the exhibition we got some drinks and chatted for a while with views of the Thames. We talked about jobs, hopes and plans for the future it was quite grown up. I mentioned I had a party I was going to go to in the evening and said she would be welcome to join me. She said yes and so we went off in search of food.
After a short and very chilly walk we ended up in Ping Pong eating dim-sum and talking about the dating book The Game, a mutual love of hot food, relationships and family backgrounds. I revealed quite a lot for a first date which is unusual for me. We split the bill, hopped onto the tube and then ambled down Regent’s Street to go to the party in a private members club.
Max Factor were launching their new face of one of their ranges of make-up. The face came out, gave a short gig and then disappeared. We watched, drank free wine and played with the fake diamonds that were scattered all over the bar.
At about 8 she said she had to go (she had mentioned earlier in the date she was supposed to be exchanging Christmas presents with flatmates) and so we left the party before the goodie bags had even been made up. We saw what was in them, and since neither of us had a burning desire for blue eyeliner we left into the night.
We said goodbye at the Tube and she said she would text me. I don’t have her number so I must wait now to see if she will. Waiting is painful. I won’t give her a name unless she text messages me.
I’d love to see her again, she is probably my favourite so far.
Marriage percentage: 35%
Gauguin was a very messed up puppy but he did do some nice paintings.
Giggly dates at the Tate are always a win.
Unless a girl grabs my leg, or sexually assaults me I have no idea if she is interested or not.
Waiting for someone to text is painful.