This week coming I’m due to post my ‘Thoughtful Thursday’ question asking whether you would give someone a second chance after a bad first date. Like I’ve said before I don’t have a whole lot of experience in the area of dating, but I can think of at least one occasion where I wanted to hightail it out of there, but to make this more enjoyable for your reading pleasure I’ve also borrowed a few. Before I share them with you, I want to stress that I have not exaggerated any of these anecdotes. Unfortunately, they are very much what happened to the poor individuals involved. Remember, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and gives you good tales to tell down the pub over a packet of Walkers and a glass of something alcoholic!
Freak number one – “I have no personality!”
I feel I have to make a few admissions before I begin this tale for one might question as to why I agreed to go on such a date in the first place. Firstly, I had been on Sambucca when I met this tall, older Canadian guy, and as we all know this is a drunken mistake kind of a drink. Secondly, I was with a couple of ridiculous university friends who were always up for a good giggle. And finally, I was down Exeter way, where the marine naval base in Exmouth was but a hop, skip and jump away, so most of the gentlemen folk out this evening were, in fact, marines. And who doesn’t like a hunky, chunky almond in uniform? Alas, I must have had some serious Sambucca goggles on, which I’ll have you know are somewhat different to the more commonly known ‘beer goggles’. Unlike ‘beer goggles’ which has you seeing Mr Rich Tea as Mr Belgium chocolate cheesecake, ‘Sambucca goggles’ has you imagining Mr Bean is someone with the charm and personality of Chris Hemsworth. Personally, I feel they are much more dangerous. I’ll tell you why through my recount of the coffee date I had with him the very next day.
It was a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon when I drove my little, grey Renault 5 (still the best car-albeit unreliable-I’ve ever owned) into the city. I parked up and nervously ambled up to the pre-arranged café, counted to ten, and walked inside. Things were looking good for not only had he a) shown up, but b) he looked pretty much how I remembered him (I don’t drink beer). We waved, exchanged awkward smiles, then sat down. He ordered coffee, I had tea, and that’s about as interesting as this date got. An example of our conversation:
“So, you’re from Canada,” I smiled with too many teeth and an aching mouth because I had already worked out this was going to be hard work, “what’s it like there?”
“Er…pretty much how it is here,” he laughed breathily, then sipped on his coffee. I waited for him to elaborate, to perhaps continue talking after he had drunk his coffee, but no. That was the extent to which he was going to talk to me about his home country. And did he ask me something in return? Again, no, he did not. It’s fine Taylor, you’re a waffler, you can bullshit your way through this.
“And the marines? What’s that like? Do you enjoy it?” I asked with lots of enthusiasm and hope in my voice.
“Er…yeah,” he replied, by which point my enthusiasm was fast depleting.
“Ok, then. What do you like to do when you’re not ‘marining’, you know, in your spare time?” I was now eyeing up a fork in the cutlery pot and beginning to contemplate if I would feel any pain if I stabbed it in my eye repeatedly, or if GI Bean here might react with something other than saying, “Er…”
“Er…swimming?” That was it! I shit you not! Somehow this most boring man had found a way to answer an open-ended question with just one word. I wasn’t even sure if I was supposed to confirm he liked swimming but by this point, I was now grabbing hold of my bag and making an excuse to use the ladies.
“Great! I just need to go and use the toilet. Be right back!”
Oh, feck me! I have never wanted to escape mid-date more than I did during this train wreck.
Once inside the Safe Haven of the ladies’ loos, I reached inside my bag for my phone and subsequently began dialling my hilarious friend, Lizzie. While waiting for her to pick up and give me answers as to how to get out of this, I began wondering how the hell I did not manage to pick up on the fact that this man had no personality the night before? Seriously, it was like pulling teeth but less interesting. It was left to me to ask him questions, the totally mind-numbing shit you fall back on when on a date, and even then, I got nothing but a guttural moan from the back of his throat.
“So, how’s it going?” I heard her giggle, no doubt realising that my calling after only ten minutes of meeting him, was not going to be in any way positive.
“Lizzie, oh my God, what do I do? This man is so boring I’ve almost fallen asleep twice!” I was met with hysterical laughter, which went on continuously for no less than two minutes. After which, she asked if there was a window I could escape through. And yes, I did look around for one because I was that desperate. Alas, there was only a small postage sized affair on the back wall, one which wouldn’t even fit my hand through let alone my considerable boobage. So, taking in three, deep, Christ-do-I-really-need-to-go-out-there-again breaths, I dived back in for yet more “Er…” responses.
In the end, it got so bad I made up some excuse about going to see a farmer, being hung over and needing to buy some cabbage, before hightailing it out of there. As you can tell, my lying skills leave a lot to be desired. That evening, I considered the fact that maybe he just wasn’t interested and had made the date as awful as possible just to put me off. But imagine my surprise when I got a text the following day asking me for another one. Hmmmm, no.
Freak number 2 – “I’m in way over my head!”
So, this story isn’t actually mine, though was rather hilarious. When I was eleven, living in our family home in the middle of the woods, my sixteen-year-old sister, Liz, was asked out by a guy from…well, actually I can’t recall where they met but they did, and she reluctantly agreed to go on a date with him. I say reluctantly because she was much too mature for him and wasn’t overly keen. Still, she went for the experience.
Now Liz was used to hanging out with a crowd of older people down our local boozer, those who also socialised with my parents. All in all, this poor nineteen-year-old boy, let’s call him Steve, had no chance and probably should have given her a wide birth. My parents were liberal enough, but she was still going through a rather rebellious stage. She wore make-up which made her look like a twenty-year-old, pelmets, and low-cut tops with a set of boobs which rivalled those of page three model. He must have thought his luck was in. Alas, it was more like his doom!
Anyway, the night went on, I went to bed, my parents stayed up watching TV and all was well. When I woke, there was the sound of someone knocking on our front door, to which my parents got up to answer. They put on their dressing gowns, all the while looking quite concerned over this late-night caller. Now, my father is not at all thuggish looking, you wouldn’t call him intimidating, but his ability to curse you into submission was enough to make poor Steve quake in his boots.
“What’s going on? where the hell is my daughter?!” Or something to that effect, though probably with a lot more effing and jeffing thrown in for good measure.
“I d-don’t know,” he stuttered while the angry rottweiler before him growled through our front door. “Sh-she left and I c-couldn’t find her!”
Now, I don’t know what was said or how the next ten minutes came about, but I do remember standing at the dining room window, peeking through the curtains, watching with confusion as my father (still only wearing a dressing gown) chased this poor man child up and down our country lane, with the latter yelping out in a girlish cry. My mother walked calmly behind him, trying to talk him down from committing some heinous crime on dear old Steve.
Eventually, Dad returned inside, leaving my mum having to talk poor Steve out from behind the bushes.
“He’s not going to get me, is he?” the boy flustered whilst Gus, the old, fat horse across the way watched on with obvious amusement. You could tell he was enjoying himself by the frequent nickering coming from his direction.
“No,” Mum said in soothing tones, “I’ll walk you to your car.”
Bless him, I don’t think he quite deserved what he got, and neither did my parents when they had time to think about it. Liz, who had left him to go to a party with the aforementioned, older friends, was made to apologise, even though she tried to explain it away by arguing, “I warned him not to let me drink! I said I would become a complete bitch!”
Poor Steve! Well, he was poor until the silly bugger asked her out again. Glutton for punishment Steve! “Oops, I did it again!” will forever be my sister’s anthem during those teenage years.
Freak number 3 – “The Cyndi Lauper fan”
This is quite possibly the most hilarious, real-life, ‘date’ story I have ever heard. I’ve borrowed this one from my honorary sister, Jo, who took a chance and got a real corker of a story out of it. This is how she explained it:
“I was working for ‘company A’ and my job was to welcome people into the store. A few employees were coming down from the head office, which was situated a few hours away. I greeted the man in question pretty much in the same way I had done with everyone else, but apparently, I had caught his eye. The following day he turned up again, as in he had driven over two hours to come and see me to ask me out on a date. ‘Ahhh,’ I hear you say? Not in real life ladies. A guy that eager, based on a smile, is someone to be a little cautious of. In fact, the word ‘stalker’ springs to mind. However, I was young and naïve and couldn’t bring myself to say no, so we went out that evening. To my surprise, the guy was a perfect gent.
The following week we went out on our second date. Again, he was the perfect gentleman all through dinner, kept me entertained and didn’t smell (always a deal-breaker, ladies). Anyway, he drove me back home and we continued chatting in the car for a bit with the radio playing. It was only our second date, and I wasn’t ready for him to come into my home yet, so the time was coming for when I would bid him goodbye and make my way upstairs alone. That’s when Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Boys Just Want to Have Fun’ came blaring through the speakers. What a fun tune! Not anymore, my friends, not anymore!
“I love this song,” he said seductively, “maybe next time we could listen to it up in your flat?”
“Yeah, maybe,” she responded with a soft, nervous laugh, “maybe next time.”
“This could be our song,” he whispered, leaning in closer, “and maybe we could give each other lap dances…wearing your underwear!”
“Wait, what?!” she gasped with a look of utter shock and confusion. He continued staring with a creepy grin before she thrust a finger between him and her, convinced she must have heard him wrong, “As in you and I wearing my underwear?”
“Yeah, why not?” he continued to smile, still thinking this was somehow seductive for my poor friend.
“Because it’s fecking weird!” she spat before exiting the car altogether.
She never saw him again and took about a month to stop having sporadic shudders over the memory of it. She also can’t listen to Cyndi Lauper without grimacing. Each to their own but I think some warning might have been appreciated before dropping that suggestion.
Thanks to my sister and my honorary sister for your stories and I sincerely hope our ‘dates’ eventually found their rightful matches.
Thanks for reading!