Dropping a Clanger
Saturday I had a first meet with an internet date. I had actually contacted her just after new year but we hadn’t been able to find a convenient time to meet until now so we had occasionally swapped witticisms via the dating website, text and then Facebook.
Moving to Facebook contact early is a double edged sword. It may be generally better that a potential date does not see my stream of consciousness about accidentally squashing kiwi fruit in my work bag, or see the picture of me in just speedos with bad wetsuit sunburn. Sometimes I think it’s better to fool a girl into not thinking that you are a massive spaz until she is hopelessly infatuated with and betrothed to you. However I reasoned that since I am unlikely to keep it hidden for long enough to get that far then it’s probably better to get it all out in the open from the outset.
The dates I’ve had of late have been mostly with people who I have met first in actual real life so first impressions had already been formed (apart from Little Miss Naughty, but we had already formed certain impressions of each other based on ‘other’ characteristics). This time I felt I had an opportunity to make a decent first impression so drew lessons from some of my earliest failings and resolved to arrive well dressed and on time.
I put on my smartest black shiny shoes, a short sleeved shirt and, my nicest jeans. Unfortunately, because I was posting my last update, I put them on about an hour after I SHOULD have done to arrive in good time for the date.
This necessitated an unnecessarily stressful emergency taxi ride from West London to Soho. 25 minutes and £25 later I arrived, miraculously only 5 minutes late.
Oh well, one lesson out of two is better than none.
I’d opted to meet mid afternoon, which allowed plenty of time for adventures but also meant we could cut our losses and not wipe out an entire evening if the date was terrible.
I had arranged to meet in a tiny shop which boasted the most decadent cakes I have ever seen assembled in one location. I walked in to see my date smiling back at me. We had joked about her wearing a wedding dress on the date. Instead she was wearing a tight vest top with a rather risqué neckline, tight slinky jeans, cream heels and a rather cheeky grin.
I don’t normally notice shoes… maybe I am catching the gays from Toast?
Armed with red velvet cake and coffee, which I bought in penance for being late, we pulled up a couple of stools to the breakfast bar and started chatting. This is the first time I can remember meeting for a first date and not immediately furnishing ourselves with alcohol. There’s something very reassuring about a refreshing gin or full-bodied ale and maybe I haven’t realised quite how much I have come to rely on it to calm the nerves on a date.
I’ll admit it, I was nervous. I’v been on so many dates over the last year that I’m almost NEVER nervous anymore, and certainly not an hour into the date. She seemed a little nervous too and we were both a little hyper, although in retrospect perhaps that was the massive sugar rush from the ENORMOUS slice of cake.
She works in IT (which is the LAST thing I would have guessed) but was quite dismissive of it, however I’ll still call the the IT Girl because it sounds quite pleasing. We actually barely talked about grown up things at all and quickly settled into a slightly silly and irreverent banter.
Leaving the cake shop for Chinatown we stopped to enjoy some of the partying and watch the Lion dances for Chinese New Year. the IT Girl is a little, well, ‘little’ so I found her a good step so she could see what was happening. Managing to avoid buying a ridiculously tacky ‘Alladdin’s’ style lamp we finally got to a pub and started putting booze in our faces.
The conversation got even sillier very quickly and Vegas weddings, sex with horses and doing bad things to children were all mentioned. I fancied her before we started drinking and only fancied her more as we carried on. I sent Toast a text saying “Marriage percentage 60%”. I mention this because he then posted it all over Twitter and I was mocked for my recent run of enthusiastically high M% that go into exponential decay with each date.
Despite living in London, I don’t really know my way around the streets and drinking holes yet. Thankfully the IT girl did. We moved from cozy pub to painfully classy cocktail bar (where I was glad I had put my nice shoes on) to a cheap and cheerful dive of a pub.
Mid chat about her family I dropped a clanger that made me go bright red. I meant to say something throwaway about ‘if I met her parents’ but what actually came out was “when I meet your parents”. With sudden horror I realised my mistake and I was suddenly rather flustered and backtracking rapidly. Thankfully she didn’t make a girl-shaped hole in the wall and laughed it off instead. *phew!*
I rather wanted to kiss her from about halfway through the date but wasn’t confident it would be reciprocated. I got my chance on the walk to Trafalgar Square. She stepped into a sheltered spot out of the wind and backed up against the wall to spark a sneaky fag. Something about the conversation made a perfect excuse to step in close. I don’t remember what that thing was because we we then rather distracted by the kissing. It wasn’t quite as cheeky a moment as obeying the little purple love imp when he tells you to kiss but it was pretty perfect apart from that.
…or it would have been if we hadn’t stepped apart and noticed the puddle of piss that had been next to us the whole time.
We were sat in Trafalgar square about 10pm waiting for the firework show that had clearly already been and gone when she got a text from the friend she was due to be staying with. She lives outside the opposite edge of London so it would have been a nightmare to get home. Her friend said that he was going to bed. IT Girl weighed up the options between going there or attempting to trek all the way back home.
I had told Toast that there was NO WAY I would be bringing anyone home as my room was in an utterly shameful state. This is a bit like the boy equivalent of not shaving your legs. Feeling slightly prompted I tentatively offered that she could stay at mine if she preferred. Pants on though, as I’m not that kind of boy. I did offer the spare room but she gave me the raised eyebrow implying ‘yeah, like THAT’s going to happen’.
I had forgotten to let Toast know that I was bringing a guest back until a few minutes before I arrived so really hoped that I didn’t find him and the consultant ‘holding hands’ in the living room. The plan of ‘no hijinks’ plan didn’t quite work out, even with the messy room.
Despite everyone’s jibes I am going to stick to my original M%. Yes, it is enthusiastic but there’s no harm in a high M%, as long as I take it slowly and calmly.
…and for those of you now scoffing at me, it’s not very becoming. :p
- Good shoes are a must for first dates.
- Being late because you are writing up last night’s adventures is costly and stressful. Don’t do it.
- Don’t send Toast marriage percentages, he will use it against you.
- Dropping clangers that makes it look like you had already planned the honeymoon is embarrassing and should be avoided at all costs.
- French Martinis are not as delicious as raspberry Martinis.
- The tidiness of my room seems to be inversely proportional to the likelihood of me bringing home a guest.
- Look for puddles of wee before you kiss.