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.
I love Wayne’s World. I understand it’s not a to everyone’s tastes but it does have its moments.
It really spoke to me when I was younger, perhaps I was just at the right age when it came out that having long hair and talking about rock music seemed impossibly amazing.
I must have watched it a 100 times, I used to know all the dialogue in the film off by heart. I hadn’t seen it in years, so when The Theatre Producer mentioned that it was being shown at the Prince Charles cinema as a ‘Schwing Along’ I got a bit excited.
I emailed some chums to see if they wanted to go and they got excited too. However we missed out an important step. Actually buying tickets instantly and so it sold out before we could get organised.
However a vague plan was formed. The Theatre Producer and a chum were going and I could meet up with them afterwards for a drink. I watched Wayne’s World on DVD to get into the right frame of mind and then hopped on the tube to meet up with them.
They were in a lovely pub tucked away in a back street, before I’d even arrived they had got me a gin and tonic which rather set the tone for the evening.
The Theatre Producer was wearing a Stacey (from Wayne’s World) inspired look. It involved a blue very swishy skirt, the dressing up theme continued as her chum was wearing an amazing body-con dress. We said hello and then talked about the cultural importance of Wayne’s World.
I got another round of drinks in, large drinks, well two rounds of large drinks because I feared the bar was going to close soon. We started drinking those but the bar closed so briskly that we had to fight to finish all our gin.
Then we went to another bar. I ordered a round, and then shots for nine people. There were three of us. In hindsight this could have been the point when the evening went a bit wrong.
There was a jukebox in the corner of the bar, full of lovely juke. We took it in turns to buy drinks and inflict our musical tastes on the bar people. There were even more shots and quite a bit of dancing.
Everyone was very mashed at this point.
A complicated matter of kissing
I was chatting away to the Theatre Producer’s friend about, well I don’t remember. I had been on a bit of a charm offensive because I had realised that The Theatre Producer made me feel a bit tingly and so I wanted her chums to be Pro-Toast.
The Theatre Producer had nipped to the loo. We were alone for a moment and The Theatre Producer’s chum kissed me. No tongues or anything just a kiss on the lips. I looked rather shocked not because it was unpleasant, but because it was a total surprise. I think I may have said blimes.
I then sort of told her off a bit about how kissing wasn’t allowed. In hindsight sounds a bit arsey but I did realise in my drunken state that if I kissed chums I probably wasn’t going to be allowed to ever kiss the Theatre Producer and that would make my tingles sad.
We had drunk an awful lot of booze at this point, and we’d even been talking about flirting so I can understand how perhaps I was sending out mixed signals.
The Theatre Producer returned and left the two of them to put more music on the jukebox. Foxy Lady to be exact.
There was some dancing, the Theatre Producer’s chum went to the loos and then the Theatre Producer said ‘So you’ve kissed X eh?’
‘Erm, well it was more like she kissed me. I told her not to do that anymore.’ I replied.
This continued for a bit. I can’t remember the exact words but I decided to kiss the Theatre Producer.
She didn’t say blimes and it was nice.
We had a brief chat about how this could be complicated because she knew about the blog. I said something about how while it did make things complicated I hoped it wouldn’t make things impossible. I think I may have said some slightly soppy things too.
We danced some more and even drank some more. It was time to head home. The Theatre Producer lived nearby so we said goodbye (with a little bit more kissing) and I fell into a cab home.
It had been a very surprising evening.
Jen, Toast and I had gone to the mash-up night on the Friday of the first of the two long weekends we’ve just had. On the Saturday Evening she text me to invite me to visit her (she lives outside the M25 remember) and get pizzled with her friends on the Sunday
Although I was initially a little reluctant, it sounded like fun and I did enjoy spending time with her so agreed to come and play.
After she met me at the station we sauntered down to the riverside bar where they were all drinking. There then followed one of those memory games where you have to memorise a collection of items before they’re covered back up, some removed and then you have to remember what was missing. Only I played this game with about 12 people.
Her friends were great value entertainment and I seemed to strike up a slightly jokey/antagonisic relationship with one of the girls fairly quickly. To be honest I thought I might have totally misjudged the situation and actually wound her up.
After a flurry of cocktails, we headed back to hers for grub before going back to town to a pub and then a divey, dark indie club. Here I met many more people, at this point I was struggling to remember most of them but just thrust my hand out and started talking to anyone who appeared to be part of the group.
The place was BOILING so I joined Jen outside to keep her company whilst she had a fag.
We’ve not actually talked much about either of our past relationships. I still feel sufficiently bitter about Cupcake that I don’t really want to bring any of it up. However we started to chat about some of our recent history whilst stood in the dark alley that was the smoker’s area.
I mentioned that she had said to me that she had blown out three other men who she’d been on dates with once we had a couple of dates. Well it turned out that one of the men I had been talking to was one of them.
This is the problem with small towns and why London is so great.
This was faintly amusing so, in the spirit of honesty, I said that she had been sat at a table in the comedy club with a couple of other people I ‘d done naughty things with. It was a relief to start to open up about things and we covered a little ground about significant relationships too. After some amorous kissing brought on by the party atmosphere and excitement of new levels of intimacy, we headed back inside.
Eventually it was time to leave. Jen’s feisty friend who had been particularly fighty earlier was full of hugs for me and effused to Jen, out of my earshot, about how lovely I was. Seemingly I had judged her just right after all, which I was reaslly pleased about as I didn’t want to come over as a dick to her friends.
The fun fair
After a VERY long snoozy lie in we took advantage of the amazing weather and walked to a local park that was hosting a travelling fun fair. You know the type; where wondering if the contraption will fall apart mid ride sending you hurtling to your death is all part of the fun.
We ate ice creams and too many donuts then went on the most vomit inducing ride we could find, which I somehow managed to make even more sickly by timing our momentum to keep us spinning at such a speed that the centrifugal force felt like it would break our neck.
Aren’t I just the best date EVER.
After a bit of a lie down on the grass to recover, we bid the fair farewell and she dropped me back at the station for my journey home.
Marriage percentage: 61% – I think this is really going somewhere. This is the first time in a couple of years that I’ve felt this comfortable with a girl I have amorous interests in. Of course… it’s not long until the May 5th deadline so I had better make my mind up soon.
One of the things that enjoyed most about living with Dragonforce was going to gigs and festivals and being able to get drunk, bounce around being punched by sweaty strangers and have an awesome time without the need to babysit anyone or feel bad for having fun. I’ve been to gigs with girlfriends before and it’s sapped my enjoyment if I can’t be where I want to be or feel guilty for being where I want to be and having to keep running back to check they’re ok.
When I last saw Jen we spent a lot of time swapping music recommendations and I invited her to join me at a filthy electro rock gig I had the following week. This was real make or break stuff. Seriously, had potential to be a bit moshy so it really could have been ‘break’!
Having spent the week with an ambivalent mix of excitement and trepidation she arrived at mine looking suitably attired for a gig: leather jacket, flats and some rather slinky jeans. Also her accidental Princess Diana haircut had now grown out to a fiery, slightly shaggy, rock chick cut. I was so proud that I wanted to take a photo to start an instructional “Dummies Guide to Gig Going” manual.
Because I had insisted on buying the tickets, she insisted on buying the booze. After the support band we settled into a comfortable spot in the crowd (after I’d finished mincing around, fretting that we’d not get where I wanted to).
When going to gigs with Dragonforce we used to use fluro wristbads to find eachother in a crowd. Her being about 5′ 10″ helped too. Despite being at a tiny venue with Jen, there was a not unreasonable chance of losing her as she is 5′ 3″.
As it turned out, she was brilliant. After the initial surge when the crowd sorted itself into ‘dancy’ and ‘non-dancy’ people, I slotted her into a space in front of me where she had a good view. We bounced around threw embarrassing spazzy shapes with abandon. She was gleefully absorbed in dancing whilst I would bound off for the odd song for tussle , then come back dripping with sweat to see her grinning at me. or whilst I fought off the bodies that would ricochet too near to us and I was worried about her getting hurt (I needn’t have been, she can look after herself)
She was even highly amused when, after kissing me, I unconsciously wiped my hand across my mouth because of sticky lipstick (hers, not mine… Wow, I’m really building myself up as a hot date)
I don’t think the night could have gone better. The more I date her, the more I feel like I’ve discovered a partner in crime. This is five dates now. FIVE! Look at me being a grown up and taking it slowly!
Marriage percentage: 57%
I would ordinarily add WAY more for that kind of excellent gig performance but she is already very high as it is. Is that a fair approach? If I had put on the 15% (at LEAST) that would otherwise be worth then we’ll be almost over the 70% and that leaves little headroom before we hit 100% and I have to propose.
I at least need to ask her more about her cat first.
Having seen Jen and had a lovely time with the dinosaurs, I still had a date arranged with the Irish Girl (who I will call Shannon). Technically this was a first date as the first time had been a chance meeting that turned into her deciding that I was her responsibility. It was a smooth move.
She had suggested an event that was part art installation, part performance, part interactive experience and all booze.
We were numbered and given fake money on entry. Apparently there was a ‘bingo wedding’ later. There was some obscure underlying game going on that we couldn’t figure out but soon discovered that we could illicitly collect more cash by sweet talking the ‘ruling elite’. Soon we were deeply embroiled in the game… or rather I was deeply embroiled. I’ve been known to be a little competitive at times. Hell, I think that’s a fair description of anyone who has a wager over who will get married first.
The second ‘Queen’ that we spoke to had a game of truth or dare going on. We didn’t dare refuse as we had no idea what sanctions might be employed. I had already seen her confiscate someone’s flag of nationality. I took a dare, which she was surprised at but there were too many awkward questions she could have asked. I was dared to sidle up to an unsuspecting woman and softly sing the first line of Lionel Richie’s ‘Hello’ into her ear… which I dutifully did.
Shannon was then dared to perform Irish dancing in front of a couple sat at the bar… however she copped out by explaining at length before not really doing any dancing. During this time I was schmoozing with the Queen for extra cash. Actually she was flirting back and was incredibly cute in her cape and faux military hat.
I then dared her to do her best dancing in the middle of the warehouse space, which she performed with flamboyance and abandon. I was impressed… and rather fancied her.
Before long I soon had more money than anyone else could possibly have had, 5 different coloured flags and a cardboard and balloon construction that was drawing envious glances and attempted thievery. I had also drunk a lot of cider. During some of this time Shannon had been happily chatting to a couple of SCUBA instructors about doing her PADI. I did hunter gather drinks too but at times she was content to let me run round on missions, slightly bemused by my behaviour.
I also found myself using any excuse to go and talk to the Queen. She knew we were on a date but was undoubtedly flirting with me as we kept having those lingering eye contact moments long after we should have been looking elsewher.
This is where I crossed a line in my mind. Between the cider, the party atmosphere, her cheeky but authoritative persona and my apparent total disregard for any good form at all, I started to try and work out how I could get her number WHILST ON A DATE WITH SOMEONE ELSE.
I’m not proud of this at all and I make no excuses. The truth of it is that the only reason I didn’t overtly try was because I wasn’t sure I could get away with it.
The stupid thing is that I actually had a great date with Shannon. She stole a royal standard and happily tolerated my exuberant excesses. She also clearly spotted that there was something going on as she put herself between me and the Queen on the dancefloor later.
To make my behaviour worse, Shannon then came and stayed at mine and there were hijinks. I walked her to the station in the morning and promised to sort out the next date, but in my heart I knew she deserved better than that kind of treatment. If I was hitting on someone else on a date with her it clearly means that:
- I need to SERIOUSLY re-evaluate my priorities.
- I’m clearly not that into her.
- I should save her from any of this behaviour.
I’m not quite sure how I got to this state. This is less ‘with great power comes great responsibility‘ and more ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’.
Marriage percentage: 5%. This is entirely my fault and not hers. I had a long chat with myself after all this… but that’s another post in itself.
The following is actual dialogue that happened on Thursday.
Toast: My sister is going to be there. Just warning you. She is a bit evil.
Biscuit: Sister? So no…
BISCUIT MAKES KISSING NOISE AND MIMES SNOGGING HIS HAND
Toast: She is my sister Biscuit
BISCUIT SLICKS BACK HAIR
Toast: And she is engaged, to a man, who will be there.
Biscuit: You haven’t actually said no.
Toast: I’m going to put this on the blog.
Biscuit: You’ve still not said no.
Biscuit: To the blog? So kissing is fine?
Toast: Blog fine, kissing sister not fine.
Biscuit: So just to make sure. You don’t want me to kiss your sister, much?
Biscuit: No to that you don’t want me to kiss her much? So you don’t mind if I do.
BISCUIT’S DATE ARRIVES
As a side note after meeting Biscuit my sister sent me a text message.
‘Biscuit seemed a good bloke although I suspect he might be a womaniser’
After seeing Claudia off to the Subway station and getting a grilling from Toast and MyLoveLifeInYourHands for my behaviour, we discovered that we had an extra day in New York. Toast has already covered that revelation and some of what we did during the day.
At some point I’d like to share some of the hypothetical questions that the other were posing to try and work out which of the girls I should marry. I won’t go through them here as they deserve a post in themselves but I will say I objected at the point that the questions turned to “The three of them are trapped in a burning building by a girder that has fallen on all three of their ankles. You have a hacksaw…”.
Boys are sick.
Seeing as how I had bailed out on Kim the previous night, I arranged to see her that evening. I even left a party and had to negotiate replacement subway busses in a journey which ended up taking about 90 minutes, but not before having some fun at Toast’s expense in revenge for the merciless questioning he’d given me on the ferry.
There was a lady at the party who Toast knew and had specifically banned me from kissing. This wasn’t a problem as I had no intentions of kissing anyone after my conduct over the previous week. His chum was such a good laugh that I ended up ‘fessing up about my actions and the fact that Toast had banned me from kissing her, which she thought was rather lovely and protective of him.
My revenge came because Toast spent the whole time throwing me ‘don’t you dare’ looks from the other side of the room. Tee hee!
When I arrived a Kim’s she was spending the night with her housemate recovering after the events of the preceding evening. Things felt slightly strained between us and I wondered if this was anything to do with having bailed on her the previous night. Eventually her housemate went to bed and Kim and I moved onto the same sofa.
Then Kim did something entirely unexpected: she turned the telly on. I found this a little confusing as she had specifically said that I should go over to see her. Resigning myself to the rubbish American teen show I laid down on the sofa and put my head in her lap where I eventually started to doze off. Had if not been for the TV this would have been an entirely agreeable situation.
It was a sleepy last night in New York and a lazy morning kissing and talking about music and photography. There were some goodbye hijinks and we gave each other a big hug before I had to leave to catch the flight.
Marriage percentage: 33%
I was confused by the TV move but I probably deserved a lot worse considering my behaviour the previous night.
Mostly I was sad that I had to leave and that it would be very tricky for me to see any of the girls in the near future.
Lesson learned: I heart New York.