Picture this: you’re walking from your car, which you’ve conveniently parked on the sly at the back of the Asda car park (shhh) towards the pub where you’ve agreed to meet a 28 year old ‘artist’ (the quotation marks are clearly sarcastic and will be explained later). You see a weedy man standing outside the pub, baring very little resemblance to the PoF profile of the man you’re meeting. In fact, he looks remarkably like an 11 year old Toby Macguire. Begging the dating gods to make this man not be your date, praying it’s a sick coincidence that he’s looking directly at you, with his pudding bowl haircut and jumper tied round his waist like he’s on a school trip.
Of course the damn dating gods aren’t going to listen to you, they think you should just be grateful you’ve got a date.
In case you haven’t guessed already, this is a recap of the date I had last weekend.
He paid for my lemonade, so that was one positive, but that’s where the chivalry ended. We sat at a table, in the midst of other people enjoying their Saturday nights, and the interrogation began.
I totally understand that people on dates want to get to know each other, but when you’re grilling someone like they’ve just committed a crime, the date takes a turn from First Dates to The Bill.
He asked me what I did for work, I told him, I work in accounts and have started my own business on the side.
He immediately retorted with ‘so you don’t have much time for other people then?’
That is true, and it’s not. Certain times of the month and year are busier than others in accounts, and I do have commitments to my business, but if it’s worth it, I do my very best to find time for myself. I find time for girls nights in and out, family dinners and pamper sessions, its all about a healthy balance.
He then went into a 15 minute long rant about people that stretch themselves too far, and that I shouldn’t do it. “You’ll work yourself to death” he said. By this point I was irritated – “well, that’s my decision, isn’t it?”
The topic was changed, and he began regaling in tales of his artistic ventures. None of which he’d actually actioned, they were all empty plans that never came of anything. A James Bond parody, a Comic, and now a Novel. His novel should be called how to deal with dying alone, because he’s got a wealth of knowledge on the front.
The conversation dwindled and switched between his narcissistic self-praise and questioning my very being.
I was desperately slugging down my lemonade (let’s not waste what we didn’t pay for!) praying the night to end. That’s when he said it… “Why are you so guarded? I bet I’m more miserable and depressed than you.”
I defended myself “I’m actually the happiest I’ve been in a long time.’
Normally I’m quick witted and sharp, but he got me beat. “Have you told your face?”
“Yes, I do my self-appreciation every morning in the mirror, thank you. Tomorrow I will be adding I appreciate and am grateful that last night’s date was a one off, and will not be repeated.”
He dug deeper, “Why is that brick wall up? What happened to make you so guarded?”
I fought the anger rising inside me, and calmly explained over and over again that I was not behaving any differently than I would with anyone else, that I was not guarded or protective.
“Dating someone means you’re supposed to let them in, let them get to know you, you’re preventing that from happening.”
I had literally met this man an hour ago and he’s criticising me? And and and, he thinks that an hour in a pub and one lemonade denotes ‘dating someone’ I don’t think so.
He asked me “So, why is your guard up?” for the 11th time and I snapped.
“Maybe because my ex beat me up and stole from me, and you know what I’d rather be sitting opposite him right now.”
As I turned on my heel to leave, I heard him shout “I won’t be calling you.”
I had just enough time to shout “Good.” Before I ran out of earshot.
What an absolute penis.
Hope your dates are going better than mine!