A wager needs proper protocols. After all Phileas Fogg didn’t didn’t tramp off round the world without first establishing a few ground rules (note: Phileas Fogg did not technically tramp off round the world at all, what with him being a pretend man in a book an’ all).
At the start of our London adventure, Toast and I wrangled out a quick guide to conduct throughout the bet. This compilation will no doubt be further expanded over time but we needed a starting point to ensure no foul play on the first earnest weekend of the wager.
This is the list that we have currently agreed:
1. No deliberate cock-blocking. We may accidentally date the same girl but phoning her up to say the other one punches kittens for fun is off.
2. No telling girls you are dating about the blog. This is for our own safety really. No good can come of this. Although it’s probably wise to explain a bit after the proposal.
3. No outing. Since the girls you date don’t know about the blog it would be wrong to take photos of their faces or identify them openly.
4. No quitting.
5. Dating an ex of the other challenger is permitted but you have to let the other person know first. However, exes listed under the relevant challenger’s ‘Dating History’ are STRICTLY off limits.
6. EVERY date must be blogged. No secret dates. No ‘we just went for a coffee’. Every single one has to be recorded. Also you have to provide a Marriage Percentage (M%), scored at the end of the date.
7. There are no bad dates, only good stories.
8. The definition of a ‘real engagement’ is that you tell your mum.
For the sake of clarity and fair play, any future additions will be added to ‘The Rules of the Wager’ at the top of the blog. With that established we were free to start the weekend in earnest! (Note: for the sake of further clarity, we were in ‘London’, not ‘Earnest’)
Biscuit and I are going to London this weekend, and I can’t wait. The weekend will be devoted to some extreme dating. Well actually not that extreme. More concentrated dating. Various female focused meetings be scattered through-out the weekend. In between the rendezvous, Biscuit and I will meet and compare notes, scores and M% (The percentage chance of you proposing to the girl when drunk).
This is the plan, what I suspect will happen is that the first date, or perhaps the second will be incredibly boozy and at that point the weekend will decend into a messy heap of booze and weird clubs in East London. This result isn’t a bad thing but it’s not part of the plan. We must stick to the plan. The plan is important.
Oh and, I didn’t realised that Biscuit really liked that girl and now I feel bad. Maybe it’s not too late to do a swapsie?
Ordinarily Toast and I don’t overlap in girl-taste too much. Given that we both live so far apart this is usually inconsequential anyway. However internet dating can be a little like a long-distance version of one of those Panini sticker collections; we both often find potential dates that we think the other might be interested in and will pass on the info in the manner of kids swapping stickers. “Got, got, swap… OOH, a shiny!” (ok… perhaps I’m taking the analogy too far now, unless you are into hypothermia victims in emergency blankets).
Occasionally we find girls that we’re both interested in. Last night I sent Toast a link to a girl I was rather taken with, purely as an offhand “look, she’s lovely” type of approach. He misinterpreted my banter as a recommendation and rather took a shine to her himself. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go, the swine.
Rather than duke it out over MSN we decided that the only way to approach this was to BOTH email and see who was successful. Suddenly it had all turned a bit Fight Club: shirts off, circling, beads of sweat running down the forehead, keen eyes alert for the opportunity to land the knockout blow. I gladly proposed this approach as my response rate to opening emails has been pretty good. I also had an absolutely world-beating plan: I would draw a PICTURE!
Now the girl in question had made reference to an experience drawing avian mammals in a particular park whilst drunk. In a moment of inspired comedy I set to, sketched the above picture and sent it in the full knowledge that she would find it hilarious and be instantly compelled to marry me, or at least buy the first drink and a packet of pork scratchings.
24 hours later and no reply….. clearly she was composing herself to construct a response worthy of such a masterpiece. Then came the bombshell… Toast had a reply. A bloody REPLY???? HE didn’t spend an hour grappling with the inaccuracies of his optical mouse on a shiny desktop. All HE had done was write some WORDS! I mean… anyone could do that.
So… the result of the first Girl-Off™ is conclusive: Toast 1 – Biscuit 0.
Evidently there was a lesson to learn here, although I’m not entirely sure what it is:
- Be super secret over girls I fancy.
- I cannot draw as well as I think I can.
- Toast has used some Derren Brown mind control.
- Next time we should ACTUALLY fight it out, Queensbury rules.
Perhaps it’s just: “The first rule of Fight Club is don’t draw pictures of animals being sick”.
Having spent most of my grown-up life in relationships, the last last 7 months have been by far the most entertaining that I have ever spent single. This is mainly due to:
- Adopting a certain ‘devil may care’ attitude.
- Realising that crashing and burning is not as TERRIFYING as it seemed in my younger days (and at least makes for a good story).
- A penchant to gravitate toward the girls that your mother warned you about, especially if redhead, and especially if in possession of fine norks.
Now, being single and carefree is lovely an’ all but where I live it is very difficult to meet new people. Most of my friends have inconsiderately moved away shacked up, got married or had babies (or a combination of the above). All my favourite social locations in the nearest ‘going out’ town are overrun by the clique of the recent ex (AKA ‘Cupcake’) and as such I have excommunicated myself.
Thankfully I am a not unreasonable train ride from that Mecca of promise and allure that is LONDON. The plans are as follows:
- Get a job in LONDON.
- Move to LONDON
- Live up the bachelor lifestyle in LONDON (on the huge income I will no doubt be generating in the new job that I will just waltz into)
- Marry Alison Mosshart
- Meet someone that makes my tummy feel funny, impress her with my Twister skills, romance her and marry her… crucially before Toast manages to marry anyone.
- Gloat as Toast sings at my wedding (as per the conditions of the wager).
Admittedly, this plan is not without it’s flaws. Currently there is no one who comes close to fulfilling plan component 5. As such I have embarked upon an quest to date new girls. LOTS. This is rather new territory for me (due to mostly having girlfriends over the years) so I am having to work out the dating rules on the fly.
So far I have discovered that pub games of Jenga are an excellent way of gauging manual dexterity, competitive streaks and grace in victory or defeat. I have also discovered that no matter how fit I am ice skating HURTS and makes me walk funny for a couple of days.
I am single, normally this is fine but since leaving London it’s rubbish. In London being single is exciting because the women of your dreams may be on the bus, or the tube or waiting for you in the next bar. She often isn’t, but just the possibility she might be is enough to put a spring in your step.
It’s not the same in small villages, there is no-one. Anyway, I do know some girls. There are two of them whom I like but sadly I think I’m in the friendzone with both of them (definitely with at least one). This isn’t a massive problem because delightful female company is always, well a delight, but you know, it’s a bit annoying. Also it’s tough because these two women are considerably more interesting than any of the girls I’ve been on actual proper dates with in the last few months. Top Tip – Never get set up on dates through co-workers, so far I’ve been out with a racist and a girl who cried at supper because she thought I didn’t fancy her.
Girl one, AKA ‘Spain’
She is called Spain because I’ve agreed to cycle to Spain with her just because it means I’ll get to spend more time with her. There will be other people there, about 14 or so, but still it’s a thing right? I met Spain through a friend and she blew me away. She does something clever with money for a living, makes me cackle with laughter and is walk into walls pretty. We are chums. I’m hoping that by spending more time with her she will suddenly realise that she should ask me out but that’s about the same level of hope of me getting a pet dinosaur.
Girl two, AKA ‘Tate’
I’m calling this girl Tate because we went on a date to the Tate and it was marvellous. Amazing, spectacular, wonderous. I’ve never been on such a good date. We laughed our way around the gallery, and then went to a bar for a drink or two. I got the train back to the wilderness full of joy and then got the ‘lets just be friends’ line. Mega lame. I still see her, as a friend, because it’s such a delight to be with her but also I worry that I should be off seeing people who want to date me instead. It’s complicated.
So that’s where I am right now.