So after the first meeting with the Theatre Producer I emailed her a few times and suggested another, longer drink to talk about plays and writing. You know, like a proper business meeting.
This however ended up a business meeting with a dress-code. For some reason, we ended up having a competition to see who could dress like the most tragic hipster. I spent hours working on my outfit.
I arrived a little early at a bar near Old Street. It was underground and was like a speak easy. It was a Sunday so that was almost empty. It was a very cool place. Not the sort of place to be wearing an outfit that would make people wish for colour-blindness.
The Theatre Producer arrived, she was wearing a cape. Yes an actual cape and irresponsibly short shorts. Her hair was in a bun on the top of her head and she was wearing proper hipster glasses. She did admit that the glasses were fairly normal for her, but that the cape only came out on special occasions. She looked rather silly, but also stunning. I just looked like a spaz.
The drinking begins
We sat down in the corner and had a couple of cocktails. We chatted about everything apart from plays and writing. Then we ordered some grog. It was grog for eight people served in a funny wooden barrel/jug. It was extremely tasty.
We talked more, and more and more. We laughed while discussing families, friends and all the catching up stuff you do when you are starting to get to know someone. The Theatre Producer has done a lot of really impressive stuff.
I love conversations where one of you can have a silly idea and the other person understands it and then takes it one step further. You take it a little further and with in minutes you are laughing so much you feel a bit sick. We had a lot of those.
We also drank all the grog.
It was an excellent business meeting.
We talked about plays for about 30 seconds at the end.
I had put my card behind the bar earlier so asked for it and the bill. The bill arrived first so I had to ask for my card again. In the time between me asking and the card arriving the Theatre Producer had settled a bill. That has never happened to me before, ever.
It was a good business meeting, although I have to admit I had been a bit distracted by having too much fun.
I think I should probably start at the beginning. Remember when I met a friend of a friend who was a theatre producer? Well I think I may have slightly undersold how fun that meeting was.
It was just half an hour long, just a quick drink, but it raced by and I spent most of it giggling.
She was wearing a smashing frock, had a hat on and it was a beautiful spring day. We sat in a famously lovely pub just by Regent’s Park drinking gin and tonics. The bar was a collection of sunbeams and dark wood, because a wedding was going on nearby everyone who appeared was extremely well dressed.
It was only a brief meeting because she had to go to a wedding and I had to go to the zoo but it was enough for me to realise two important facts.
1) She was exactly my type. Intelligent, interesting, amusing and a beautiful, tall brunette.
2) I’d like to see her again, as chums. It had to be chums because she was a reader of the blog and thus forbidden.
(Cunning readers will have already worked out that the later half of two must have got a bit wavy because otherwise this post wouldn’t be here)
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?
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.
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%
It is traditional at work to go out for drinks on a Friday. I don’t begrudge this because my work chums are excellent fun so it’s something I look forward too.
There are a couple of pubs we normally go to because they are close to work, but on rare special occasions we go to other places.
This was once such incident. It was a proper old man pub full of slightly grumpy men with shaved heads drinking pints. They all glared at us as we tottered (there are lots of girls at the paper) upstairs because we had booked out the room.
There was a roaring fire upstairs but more importantly a special offer on.
If you bought a load of shots you would get a free inflatable gorilla. I was mesmerized by this and so started buying round upon round of horrible tasting shots to ‘free the gorillas’.
It was far too early in the evening for shots but I felt I needed the gorillas. I needed to set them release from the bar. There were soon a lot of gorillas and a lot of people doing that slightly shocked face people do after downing a shot that tastes peculiar.
Mia got hold of one of the gorillas and stamped on it until it died. When someone asked why she said.
“Because I hate men.”
Lets all try not to read into that too much.
The previous date with The Virginian hadn’t gone brilliantly. There had been good moments but the whole affair had been slightly awkward. Not chew-your-own-tongue-bad just not as easy as it could have been.
However, she was new in town so she didn’t know many people, and since she had made me laugh I had invited her out on Saturday with Biscuit and I.
This is how I expected the evening to go
We would have met up in a pub, had a slightly awkward hello and one drink. With that out-of-the-way we would have hopped onto the tube down to South London to a rock club. Biscuit had organised the trip to the venue to see some band he liked.
Since Biscuit loved the band he would have hit the mosh-pit and gone a bit mad, only appearing occasionally to drink booze and enthuse about how great the band were. The Virginian and I would prop up the bar and get steadily drunk while making cutting remarks about other people there.
At some point we would have had enough of the music (the club closed at 6am) and either leave without Biscuit or drag him away. There would the offer of some late night food and then we would part company. I would see the Virginian perhaps a couple of times, maybe as a plus one at a gallery launch but that was it.
Oh how wrong I was
What actually happened
Biscuit and I arrived at the pub a bit late. the Virginian was waiting with a drink. She was wearing a brilliant ensemble of a light leather jacket with coordinated handbag and lady-brogues. This was combined with a purple top and slightly faded jeans. Very rock chic.
She was pleased to see us and introductions were made. Biscuit and the Virginian hit it off, and almost immediately started mocking each other. There was a lot of mockery, and laughter. The whole thing was far more relaxed than the first date and so time flew by.
The first event of the evening involved pork scratchings. the Virginian had never tried them so Biscuit got a bowl and we forced her to eat one. I filmed it on my iPhone. Even it HD it’s hard to get across the full look of horror on the Virginian’s face.
This caused a wave of laughter, Biscuit and I were howling with mirth. So much so that a nearby table of visiting Slovakians asked what we were eating.
We shared the pork scratchings with them which caused a mixture of disgust and delight and they became our new friends.
To make up for the pork scratchings I bought a round of Guinness and then demonstrated how to down one.
The Virginian had previously said that she could handle her drink and that she would easily drink me under the table. I downed the pint in about seven seconds, this was also caught on video.
I think this was the point at which the evening turned silly.
Biscuit started making balloon animals and giving them to nearby tables. Or to put it more accurately nearby tables, full of people from a wide range of European countries, were demanding he made them animals. Or rude hats. The hats were VERY rude.
The Virginian grabbed my thigh under the table. I said ‘blimey’ and nearly choked on my pint.
We looked at each other, I raised my eyebrow in query.
Biscuit handed out another balloon animal to a waiting person.
The Virginian squeezed my leg again and smiled.
I did the only acceptable thing and squeezed her leg back.
Biscuit put an X-rated balloon hat on the head of nearby man.
Some more time passed. We had made life-long friends with the French couple on the next table and were even speaking bad school-boy French at them while Biscuit showed the man how to make a giraffe.
The Virginian leaned over and whispered in my ear ‘You should come home with me’
‘Okay’ I replied.
More time passed, there were more drinks and giggling and friends made with a couple of chaps from Finland.
It was last orders, in a daze I stumbled out of the bar with the Virginian and said goodbye to Biscuit. We took the tube back to her house. On the escalators she kissed me a few times and then complimented me on my lips.
We arrived at her room in the student halls. There wasn’t a lot of talking and we ended up in bed. I’m sure you can imagine what happened next.
It’s the bit after that shocked me.
At first she asked me if I would rather stay or leave. I said stay. It was late, I was drunk and she was good company.
Then after a little bit she said ‘This isn’t working out for me. Would you mind if you left?’
I said ‘No of course not’. I did mind a bit, but I am British and so raised to be polite.
I pulled on my clothes. She got out of bed to say goodbye and fell over. We were both quite drunk. We said goodbye. I stumbled out into the night and found a mini-cab company. The tubes were all closed.
As I waited for the mini-cab I realised not a lot of time had passed. As in, I hadn’t been at the Virginians place very long. It had been a flying visit.
In the cab on the way back I couldn’t decide if I felt used in a good way or a bad way.
Biscuit was still awake when I got back to his place and we ate hash browns and tried to work out if I’d be used. The jury is still out now
Marriage percentage: 30%
The Virginian gained a load of points by being far more amusing and eating things we gave her. However the whole late-night mini-cab ride cost her a lot of points too.
- Sometimes people can be way more fun on a second date
- The pub on the corner of Oxford Street is great for meeting people randomly
- Everyone in Europe loves a good balloon animal
- If a girls squeezes your leg she probably wants something.
- The ‘Cab ride of pride’ can often be very confusing.