I’ve got plans for this V. Day. They will probably go pretty well which will make a boring story. Instead here are three bad Valentine’s Days I have had.
1) The one with the gift
I’d been seeing a girl for a while. It was Valentine’s Day. I decided to get something from Tiffany’s for her. Just a little frippery. I also managed to pull in some favours and get a table at a super trendy restaurant.
I dressed in my smartest clothes and sauntered over the the restaurant a little early. Smiling to myself the whole time in a slightly smug way about how aces the evening I had planned was going to be.
She didn’t turn up. I got stood up on Valentine’s Day by my girlfriend. Never has so much pity been poured on one man while he eats bread sticks.
Lesson learned: Never smile in a smug way on the way to a date.
Fail rating: Moderate
2) The one with the costume
It was Valentine’s Day. I was single, so were most of my chums We were at university. Our logic told us that the nightclubs would be OVERFLOWING with girls who were up for some company. This was our moment. Our time.
We decided to up things even more by going out in costume, because like that always attracts girls. Fancy dress for the win!
I went out in my Storm Trooper armour (Star Wars, not Nazi). Let’s not go into why I had a suit of Storm Trooper armour, that’s a story for another time. Let’s just say that it looks AMAZING.
It’s like totally out of the films. The only problem is it’s uncomfortable and the helmet means you can’t see very well.
Anyway we went out to the club, and the Storm Trooper armour was causing a scene. I was like King OF THE WORLD. I had a few drinks and then hit the dance floor. Soon a crowd of girls were dancing around me. I was like the Fonze, but in white.
The dancing got a bit flirty. Not like sexy or anything, just you know. There was some co-ordination, we were rocking OUT.
This one girl and me. She seemed hot (my vision was very restricted) and we were getting on well. It was just us dancing together for hours. Some time later I took my helmet off to talk to the girl and see if she wanted to take the dance somewhere more private…
It wasn’t a girl. It was a man. With a beard. Called Patrick.
Lesson learned: I can’t tell someone’s gender while wearing my Storm Trooper armour. This might explain why Storm Troopers are such terrible shots in the films.
Fail rating: Low (Patrick and I became good friends)
3) The one with the flowers
It’s Valentine’s day. I’ve been flirting outrageously with a person at work. We’ve been for drinks but nothings happened yet, but boy, did I want it to happen.
I decided to get her some flowers for Valentine’s Day. Hours are spent fretting over the message (not too serious, fun, mildly mocking) and the flowers (£50 of flowers delivered at work, mostly Lilies, no roses.).
The flowers were ordered and I got to sit around smirking to myself about when they would arrive. They did. They went down well. GET IN.
Then some more flowers arrived. Some other blighter was trying to win her affection with plants. This would not do.
I found somewhere else that could deliver in the same day, ordered twice as many flowers and an even more amusing but like ‘here are some flowers I got you, but like what-ever’ message to go with them.
They arrived, and blew her away. In your face other flower buying man. I had won.
I’d won for about an hour. Then another bouquet arrived, and it was even bigger than the one I’d just sent.
Reeling from this I wondered around in a daze. Then I did the one thing I could do. I phoned the flower place and ordered EVEN MORE FLOWERS. Ha. He wouldn’t be expecting that right? This was bound to work. A message was composed and then a catastrophic amount of flowers arrived at work.
POW! Out of the park. I’d definitely won this time. There was no way I couldn’t have won, right? It was like Rocky and I’d just delivered a knock out blow. In your face The Man.
Wrong. More flowers arrived, they were so large it took two people to carry them. The whole office stopped working to watch two burly men manhandle a titanic bouquet to the girl’s desk. I thought about ordering more but it was home time now and I had ran out of money.
Lesson learned: When it comes to total war with flowers the only winners are the florists.
Fail rating: High – I was on the rice only diet for a few weeks because I’d spent too much. We did end up dating eventually but it was a disaster. I hate rice now.
After quite a lot of waffle about woe. I thought I’d lighten the mood a bit with three of my most cringe-worthy dating moments. These might be in order of badness, I haven’t decided yet.
A Holiday camp in France, sometime in the 90s
My first holiday with friends. I was about 13, I went with two friends and their parents. It was really exciting.
We stayed in huge tents and spent all day swimming, buying bangers or pumping coins in to dated arcade machines. It was the first time I’d ever heard Stairway to Heaven. It blew my mind.
My two friends quickly got rather pretty ‘holiday girlfriends’ and spent a lot of time snogging them in the café.
I did not. So to cure this they took me on a tour of the holiday camp, presenting me like a socially awkward horse to all the ladies in vaguely the right age-range to see if any of them would go out with me.
They didn’t. I spent a whole afternoon being peered at from caravans followed by a slow shaking of heads. Just thinking about it still makes me shiver.
Secondary school, first week
We had a sort of trial week where we went to the big school. It was very exciting because it was a BIG SCHOOL with thousands of pupils. I was 11. My previous school had 4 people in my year.
It was a culture shock. I spent the entire time worried that someone would trick me into taking LSD and/or flush my head down the loo.
There was a girl there, she wasn’t actually going to the school but had gone along for a week to be with her friends. I fancied her and wrote her name all over my pencil case.
I wrote her a letter too, after the week. The letter was quite cool but for reasons I don’t quite understand still. I used a stamp on the envelope to make it look like it had lip marks all over it. Huge red lip marks.
This turned it from a private message of affection into something her HUGE brothers found. There was quite a lot of mocking. I was at the same sailing club as her brothers, they were instructors. I got wet.
House party somewhere remote, after being at an awful club
I went to a terrible club near where I grew up. It was the only club in a small town. They showed RUDE VIDEOS in the bar. My DJ partner and I arrived late and sober because we’d been at a gig. This sounds cooler than it is, as far as I remember we’d been DJing in the function room at a golf club.
Some friends of my DJ chum were there, which is why we’d gone to this dive. We chatted for a bit and had a couple of drinks. There was a girl there.
She took a shine to me, I knew this because when we were stuffed into a tiny car going back to her place she kept licking my ear and biting my leather jacket (vintage 70s obviously).
Back at the house she invited me to stay in her bed. I did. Then my DJ chum appeared and jumped in too. Things got awkward, because she didn’t seem to want him to go.
I’ll never know if she was trying to arrange a threesome or not because I spent the rest of the evening and most of the morning shivering in in the kitchen in just my underpants (I’d left my clothes in the room when I stormed off) until her parents reappeared…
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.
Sunday was supposed to be a multi-date day but alas things didn’t quite work out like that.
The morning date was with an interesting brunette with a fringe. This date had been planned for a few weeks.
Late on Saturday night I received the following message from her.
Sorry but I shan’t be able to make tomorrow. Had a lot going on over the last couple of weeks and actually met someone in real life (!) who I’m kind of seeing so would feel a bit weird going on a date with someone else.
Sorry for the late notice and hope you’re having a good weekend.
I replied wishing her well and I think I almost learned a lesson about not planning things too far in advance. I seem to have a bad track record with interesting brunettes who have fringes, although that’s probably mostly my fault.
What happened to my second date on Sunday?
That wasn’t going to be the only wash-out of the day. I was supposed to meet up with another woman but she sort of went quiet. She was all enthusiastic and then she disappeared off the face of the earth. I can only assume one of the following things happened.
1) A giant psychic squid attacked London. Luckily most people managed to escape but she was grasped by one of its mighty tenticles and dragged below the inky water of the Thames. The squid then used it’s awesome psychic powers to make all the witnesses forget about the attack. The thing left to ever prove that the lady I was going to date ever existed was a solitary damp kitten heel near Waterloo bridge.
2) It was raining. She sought refuge in a library. As the heavy rain pounded on the windows she idly walked through the shelves of books dragging her fingers along the spines. Her index finger rested on a book and she pulled it out. It was one of Nietzsche’s notebooks translated into English. She read it and was spellbound by it. Some hours later she paused, realising she was supposed to be meeting me, but she had adopted Nihilism. She dropped the book, shrugged off her coat and walked out into the street abandoning everything because it all meant nothing.
3) She was actually a con artist. The whole easy email chat and exchange of ideals was just a ruse to get information from me. This was going to be her last con before she retired to Florida for a life of ease and dolphins. On the way to meet me she saw a small boy playing with a puppy. It reminded her of who she had once been and what she used to be. She changed tube lines, hopped onto a train and by the time it was dark was in Vienna. She will live a life of simple means painting passing tourist and playing the accordion in a tiny bistro on the edge of the Wien, always watched by a a sleepy beagle called Geoffrey.
So I’d had a lovely evening with the Starlet but what was next? She was going back across the pond and wouldn’t be back for a while.
She did say something that I did remember through the fug of drunkenness. That she’d like to do a play, in London. I didn’t give it a lot of thought, I didn’t know anyone in that world, but I did store it away for later.
On Saturday I met a not-quite-a-chum-yet. I didn’t know her exactly, but we had scores of mutual friends and since we happened to be in almost exactly the same part of London (Twitter saves the day again) we decided to meet for a coffee.
Which turned out to be a gin.
Gin makes magic things happen
It was lovely and while talking about all sorts of pleasant nonsense she mentioned that she was a theatre producer and she was looking for projects. I suddenly remembered that thing that the Starlet said about a play, so I asked the Theatre Producer if she might be interested in The Starlet for a project.
She said potentially yes, but we’d need a script.
This got my mind racing. Could be the method to lure the Starlet back to London? It could be.
Before I could find out more details I had to scamper off to meet another chum and then onto a birthday party and the Theatre Producer had to go off to a wedding so we parted way with plans to talk.
Much later that evening
At the birthday I drank quite a lot of booze. I sent the Starlet a text mentioning I’d just had coffee with a Theatre Producer who was game if we could find the right script.
She was delighted by this, and there were vague plans to meet up for drinks later after she had finished work. On her instructions I tried to get hold of our mutual friend to find out where I should go but sadly my phone was running out of power.
I just managed to send out a text about my phone dying before it finally gave up. Which I hope would have added to my mysterious an enigmatic nature. It was a shame we didn’t get another night of boozing though.
The next day a few more text messages were exchanged, where the Starlet reiterated that she really wanted to work with me.
So if I want to see her again I’ve got to magic up the perfect play, or write it myself. It’s not the stupidest thing I’ve done to impress a girl but it’s got to be in the top five.
My evening plans had radically changed. I had got chatting to a not quite an old not-quite-a-flame about meeting up but that plan got delayed for something else.
So I was wondering around the house building BBQs and drinking wine. It was a nice day so this wasn’t a painful activity. I was chatting to a few people on twitter, about nothing really and I said in a DM to one person, who I’d never met
‘Fancy a drink some time? <A FRIEND> thinks we’d get along and she is only mostly wrong most of the time.’
To which they replied
‘Sounds like a brilliant idea! We’re drinking in South London at the mo if you fancy x?’
And that is why about 30 minutes later I was knocking on the door of an almost complete stranger to gatecrash their garden party. Well it was a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon, what else was there to do?
It wasn’t so much a garden party as two girls getting drunk in a garden. One was wearing a blue play-suit and the other was in a floaty summer dress. The one in the play-suit was blonde with blue eyes, the dress girl had dark hair in a bob and loved Doctor Who. They were friends of friends so it wasn’t massively weird. Just mostly weird and polite.
They were lightly sizzled and I joined in the fun. By joined in the fun I mean I got ruinously drunk, with people I didn’t really know. Wine is good isn’t it?
After we’d drunk all the wine in the house, we went to the pub which was next door and got more drinks. A man turned up and set up a karaoke station. Another person I didn’t really know, but I could pretend to be a F.O.F. turned up, there was more karaoke related fun going on.
The stupid idea
I got not just drunk, but destroyed. How do I know this?
Because I challenged a girl – one I didn’t actually fancy – to a game of strip Scrabble.
I don’t know why? It wouldn’t even work as a strip game, because Scrabble mostly just involves two people arguing about words. That’s not very sexy is it? Also when would you strip? Would it be a points system? Or when you use up letters? Why did I ask I girl I didn’t fancy to play it with me? Did I just assume she looked like the sort to have a Scrabble set with her? Or did she look like the sort of person who would have access to a set but also wouldn’t know any good words?
I clearly hadn’t thought this through very well. Luckily at exactly the time of the nudie-scrabble-challenge I was waiting for my cab to appear so I dived into it and went home. The next day my head was very hurty, but also a bit glad.
Sober Toast has reasonably good judgement and self control, drunk Toast is a bit of a berk sometimes, but I forgive him because he is so much fun and he has nice hair.
As previously mentioned. I am a berk. This wasn’t just a one off thing. I continue to be a berk.
Why? Well let me show you. After I accidentally sent Dawn that text message I thought I’d send her an email today to see if I could save things. Here is the message I sent.
Sorry about the spazzy text on Saturday. When my afternoon plans changed I asked Biscuit (The balloon guy) if he was doing anything fun, he said he was having tea with his grandmother and said I was welcome to join him. I sent a silly text to him, or at least that was the plan.
Instead I sent it to you and thus one of the most cringe-worthy thing I’ve done in a while, or at least a week, happened.
I am a massive spaz at the best of times, it’s a wonder I’ve managed to live this long.
I would still like to take you out for a drink but If you feel I’m too much of an imbecile to seen in public with I will of course understand. Which sadly does mean you’ll never get to see the greatest cowboy boots in the world*.
*They have caused a slightly specialised style revival as seen in the <REMOVED> section of <REMOVED> out <REMOVED>.
Not bad Toast, you might think. It’s silly, light and engaging. What could possibly go wrong?
Well what if Toast called her Dawn instead of her real-life name. That would be quite bad wouldn’t it?
That’s what I did.
What a massive spazzer.
(She hasn’t replied)
She has replied.
You are a massive douche. But hiliarious and brilliant entertainment. I will give the cowboy boots a miss as have a lot on at the moment but thank you for the explanation and hope you have a nice week and you get everyones name right x
A brush off, but a lovely one none the less. I can’t say I entirely blame her though.
The Serbian wanted to meet up again. I’d been rather busy going to art galleries, Christmas shopping and suffering under man-flu so we eventually went out for brunch.
She had never brunched before but I love a good brunch. It’s a meal you can only really take if you’ve got time off. So it’s always a special occasion.
We met up said the slightly awkward hellos of people who have kissed while drunk but haven’t quite decided if more kissing is in order and sat down to eat. The food was excellent but the conversation was troubling.
The Serbian spent the whole time talking about some other chap who had contacted her through a dating website and how she was talking to him but she wasn’t going to see him. Then she mentioned how she had got into the top 20 of another dating website.
I wasn’t quite sure what to say in reply to this.
The rest of the conversation followed this form. She would talk - with distain – about other men who have attempted to ask her out and I would be baffled over what she wanted me to say. This was for the entire meal. Yes, the entire meal.
It was decidedly less fun than magic and video cameras.
We parted with a vague promise of a drink and I think it will be left as that.
Marriage percentage = 0% – Don’t talk about other dates when on second dates.
Doing excellent stuff can sometimes make a connection seem like more than it is
Talking about being unpleasant to other men doesn’t impress me
I really like brunch
When I was young
I never needed anyone
And making love was just for fun…
Sorry. When I was young, I used to read about Samurai. Look I was young and male, so I was genetically programmed to think that Samurai are cool.
I mean they are men, with swords who dress in an excellent way. They would stride around in good trousers, write poems and then totally chop someones head off in the name of honour. Skill.
Anyway, Samurai were feared because they didn’t care what happened in battle. They had the power of meh. Using special Samurai logic they had worked out that any fight had three possible outcomes.
1) The Samurai defeats their foe. Epic Win.
2) The Samurai gets all stabbed up to death leaving the foe to steal their hats. Epic Fail.
3) Both people in the fight get stabbed up and die, possibly covered in cherry blossom. Poetic Fail.
So most fights would end in a fail, and thus a Samurai could go into battle with the sort of casual indifference usually reserved for teenagers. I can’t remember why this made them so fearsome but it definitely did.
Dating is a bit like that. Why? Because any date has four possible outcomes.
1) You and your new chum fall passionately in love, marry and spend the rest of your lives being smug. Epic Win.
2) You really fancy your date but they aren’t into you. Unrequited fail.
3) You don’t like your date, but they love you. Stalker fail.
4) Neither of you like each other and so you both pretend the date never happened. Epic Fail.
So since your date is 75% likely to not go well, why stress about it?
Just enjoy the evening and be glad it’s not going to end in actual death. Or perhaps if you are a really lucky la petite mort.
The Virginian sent me an email after kicking me out of her dorm. Which makes the plot so thick it’s positively gravy.
‘So I don’t know if this is going to come off as very weird or what (most likely), but I’m typically pretty direct when it comes to addressing these kinds of things. Romantic or friendship whatever the case, I would bring something up. If this is too odd, please tell me and I’ll keep my nonsense to myself. Or it’ll just scare you away by coming off as crazy. But I’m a direct person so here goes-
It seems to me like we had a more open friendship prior to meeting; more casual, and more communicative. But after the dinner and after last night; it seems like it changed territories into being awkward; kind of reverting to the wait-two-days-to-contact sort of space. It’s not that I’m inferring this is more than it is, or complaining about not talking enough (etc) — Just that I would have expected us to be more open after meeting than revert.
Just wanted to know if I did something to offend you, or if it’s something else entirely. I just sense some kind of weirdness and wanted to address it. The thing I really liked about you prior to meeting is how I feel like I could message you whenever with whatever stupid thought and not think twice about bothering you, but now I have reservations and would like to clear the air.
I really hope this doesn’t read as crazy because it’s only been a few days; but I feel that I know you well enough, as a friend, to be able to say something serious and be plainly honest.’
I replied with the following
Honest is good. Sorry if it’s suddenly Seemed a bit weird – the events of Saturday caught me entirely off-guard, but I’ve not been attempting to be more distant or any of that ‘game’ nonsense.
I would very much like it if we could resume the normal service of lightly mocking each other over a series of slightly too many emails.
To which she replied.
I was worried that I messed things up by being so forward. We haven’t really talked about this kind of stuff – but I usually don’t do a second date with someone if I don’t feel a connection; and since we were having such a good time and I felt attracted to you – and went for it. Sleeping with someone to me is not a big deal, I enjoy it, but in the same reign I haven’t been with tons of guys either. I had been dating a guy for 4 1/2 years; and single the past 2 (well minor little things, nothing serious) — so I guess my attitude is go with the flow and see what happens; since I haven’t dated much and am rubbish at it.
And now she is going to cook me supper by way of an apology next time I’m in London. I think we can chalk that down as a win. Or at least only a light fail