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.
I have lots of female friends. I’m not showing off or anything, I’m just stating it as a fact.
They are great because you can ask them why a girl you are dating did something weird, they are often more willing to go clothes shopping and they are generally more up for a dance off.
Also you can provide them useful things in return, insight into the male mind, fixing things and help lifting heavy objects.
I love my female chums, no that’s not quite right, I treasure them.
I think any chap who thinks guys can’t be friends with girls (or the other way around) is a fool and they are closing themselves off to a whole world of fun.
Yes there is occasionally the little sparkle of something else there when you hang around with them but that just adds a bit of extra fizz to the friendship, like the bubbles on top of a glass of champagne.
This post isn’t a party political broadcast though. It’s a record of what happened last night.
How I learned to jive badly
I’ve made some new chums in the past few weeks, it’s one of the best things about London. You never know who you’re going to bump into or which chance encounter is going to turn into a friendship.
There is an actress. She is a friend of a friend, or she was. Biscuit and I went and saw her in a play. She was terribly good and we had a brief slightly awkward chat afterwards before we went off to another bash. She is a small brunette with massive, expressive eyes and an excellent fringe.
A few days later I was at an event and she appeared. Loads of other people were there but we spent most of the night talking nonsense, got incredibly drunk and had a great time. When the party ended we (a group of us) went to a restaurant. There may have been some dancing. It was one of those perfect Soho moments.
She has a boyfriend who she lives with so it’s not line any sort of nonsense was planned, and there were other people there so it was just a jolly lovely time.
We went out again on Friday. She had been drinking all day with a chum. I rocked up after work and joined in the drinking. Everyone was pleasantly mashed. Some of the chums left because they were ruined and we ambled on to a restaurant. There wasn’t any dancing, it was quite a sensible meal really.
The point where the levels of fizz become dangerous
After the excellent food the rest of the people left.
She called her boyfriend to ask, on a scale of 1 to 10 how much trouble would she be in if she stayed out for a few more drinks. He said 1 and so we ended up in a club.
I ordered some drinks. The man messed up our order and so we got a double round. Then the dancing began. She pranced onto the dance floor and did some moves, after the song finished she got a standing ovation from the entire club.
I was taught how to jive, I picked it up reasonably fast and soon I was flinging her around the dance floor. I only fell over twice and I didn’t smash any glasses which is a personal best for me.
Every time a rubbish song would come on we’d stop, sip cocktails and down pints of water and ice. The club was really warm, really really warm. Her hair got a bit messed up and I took my jacket off (I was wearing a suit).
At one point she started up a limbo and we got complete strangers to join in.
There was a lot of dancing, and a bit of drinking but mostly dancing. We made a pact that if she becomes a mega celebrity I have to become a professional dancer so we can win Strictly Come Dancing together. I think, provided I can get enough practice in we would do okay.
Some time, much later we stumbled onto the last tube home, sweaty but laughing like morons.
I parted ways with rushed hug as I changed tube lines. There wasn’t a hint of any sort of nonsense, but after conferring with Biscuit he said I had to write about it because while it wasn’t a date date it had some of the same properties of a nice date.
Something could be about to begin, or not. It’s complicated, but in a nice way. Just like the best friendships between men and women.
She was a bit of a weird mood on Friday, but I was very busy so there wasn’t a lot of time for silliness. It late transpired that she hadn’t slept very well the night before for various personal reasons. She did make a point of having a word with herself to cheer up. That’s quite admirable.
The large amounts of mulled wine probably helped too.
We ended up in the pub after work with the rest of the people from the paper. It’s a tradition and it tends to cause some sort of event, although typically the event is ‘everyone gets terribly drunk’.
I didn’t get to have ‘a chat’ with Mia until way into the evening because people get getting in the way and I didn’t want it to be obvious you know?
Anyway after I’d had a bit too much to drink we finally had a moment to talk.
I said I’d like to take her out to supper to a restaurant, and that I’d found an excellent place.
She said yes but ‘as friends’. I said that was fine, lets just see how things go. She was excited by the choice of restaurant I’d picked out – Smiths of Smithfield
It wasn’t quite the outcome I would have liked, but it wasn’t ‘no fuck off’ either. On Monday we will go out and we shall see what happens won’t we? I think I should see how this meal goes and take a view on the whole situation.
Honestly it’s getting a bit ridiculous now. If this was a TV show I’d be moaning that the writers are trying to stretch this out a bit too far.
The most annoying thing about the whole affair is that all the other women at the paper are constantly going on about how they would like to date me (including a couple of lesbians) and yet the one I’ve got my eye on seems to be immune to my charms.
Maybe it’s time to break out the sexy dance.
I am Toast, and I get myself into very stupid situations again and again, and again.
Things were a bit weird on Monday with Mia after our first kiss on Thursday. Sort of stilted and awkward. It was not fun at all.
It was all the sorts of weird that we both wanted to avoid.
Today (Tuesday) things were better, perhaps we had got over the weird bump or perhaps snow just has that sort of effect on people. Snow is great.
Anyway, since we were back to joking with each other and the fact she was looking absolutely amazing I was driven to action. Seriously, if you had seen the slinky wool dress she was wearing today you would completely understand.
So I decided to email her to see if she was still up for going to a restaurant. I chose email because I didn’t want to have to try to lure her into a side room to ask her in private and all that.
Anyway here is the email conversation in full, edited lightly to take names out.
Toast: I’ve had a dig around and I think I’ve found the perfect restaurant that serves ‘lots of meat’, so would you care to join me for supper?
Mia: Ah I’d love to but I’m having dinner at my friend’s tonight, house-warming festive drinks etc. Lot’s of meat does sound ridiculously good though…
Toast: Well shall we co-ordinate diaries and find a free day?
Mia: Yes. Are you around for work drinks on Friday?
Toast: Yes, yes I am.
Mia: Cool, lets chat then x
So not a complete blow out, but not a raging success either. I think the following characters express it best
I’ve got a few first dates semi-arranged now so I’ve been fitting them in when I have a spare moment in London.
At the weekend I had a morning free so I sorted out a date with a girl from Vermont who had contacted me on a dating website.
We had arranged to meet up in Soho, at a place I know that makes amazing coffee. Coffee dates are good because if they go well they can evolve into lunch and if they go badly you can disappear after one cup.
First dates, especially blind ones are basically an interviews anyway. If it’s awful you need to be able to run away screaming about how you’ve suddenly turned gay or your house is on fire.
You can’t do that if you are on a ghost train or in a restaurant.
Soho can be a bit of a maze if you are hung-over so I ended up being about 30 seconds late. She was waiting outside the café when I arrived.
The girl from Vermont was medium height with short light brown hair in a tight bob. Her eyes were icy blue. She was wearing jeans, a brown coat and a light blue scarf that matched her eyes.
She did look like her photo, but I suspect the photo was taken at least a year ago, possibly longer. It’s always a bit of a warning when people on dating websites only have one photo. Everything has a camera these days so there is no real excuse.
We ordered coffee and a small selection of pastries (which were absolutely amazing) before sitting down at table outside to learn a bit about each other. Oh my word the pastries were good.
She worked for an Italian countess as a PA and had been in London for a year, before that she had been in Italy. We exchanged silly stories about jobs and anecdotes about why London is great.
She told me that Vermont is the best state in America and that I should visit. She also said that she knew the best Indian restaurant in London. I liked these bold claims but not enough for a second cup of coffee. So I paid and we said our goodbyes. I didn’t feel I needed to fake an emergency.
The date was pleasant enough but I have now resolved to only go on second dates with people who really impress me so we won’t be meeting up again. It wasn’t bad, just sort of ‘meh’.
That’s what the wager has done; it’s made me very focused when it comes to relationships.
Marriage percentage: 5%