Date with the Finance Worker

My brother – that’s an odd introduction to a dating blog I hear you say, bear with me, there is a point. My brother, dearest frère, spent the Bank Holiday ridiculing me for the sheer magnitude of my blogs.  “Oh here’s a picture of my supper, let’s whack it on the blog,” “Oh I woke up today and had a shower, let’s blog about it.” Obviously he was exaggerating, but after browsing through the past month’s blogs, I did find some of them to be rather wanting…

“Why don’t you just wait until you actually have something interesting to say? Wait until you have a blog that is worth reading,” he advised.  I took it on board, and as you can see haven’t been my usual religious blogging self this week. Instead, I decided to harbour the fascinating details of my daily life and wait until I had something really interesting to report. Well my friends, as of last night, I now have something worth writing about: my second online date – and my worst ever date of all time.

Even thinking about it now makes me wince. The finance worker, who was based in IT, was, without doubt the most intolerable human being that I have ever had the displeasure of dining with. Where to begin?

Let’s go chronologically, let’s start with the beginning, which the arrogant twerp was late for. We had arranged to meet at 7.30pm. At 7.28pm I received the following text: “Traffic a little slow, should be there in 10. I am wearing a check suit and will be holding a brolly.”

At this point, I was (ever timely) already on my way, so had to stop and make a few phone calls to avoid rocking up as keen-bean-early as I had with the Doctor. Oh the Doctor, the nice, nice Doctor. Anyhow, despite being put out by this tardiness, my impression of Finance Worker was still unprejudiced. In fact, at 7.28pm I was still quite looking forward to meeting the man. His POF messages had been entertaining, forthright and confident, just the type of man I think I need. Sadly, I would find out over the next two hours, that what he was in print didn’t translate into personality. Didn’t translate at all.

At 7.40pm I spotted a check-suited man wielding a brolly. However, this check-suited man, was not, as his profile led me to believe, 6ft. He was 5ft 10 at a push. Nor was he athletically built. He was podgy. I’ve got nothing against a bit of podge, but don’t masquerade as a 6-pack Adonis online, when in reality you’ve got a belly worthy of liposuction.

So I may have been aesthetically let down, but I didn’t walk past, I didn’t turn and run, I was still keen to get to know this, what I thought to be, personable charmer. Intro was fine, ‘sorry I’m late,’ ‘good to meet you,’ ‘shall we go inside’ kind of thing. I wasn’t nervous. Indeed, I’ll divert quickly, for I have recently decided that nerves and feeling nervous is a luxury of being well rested. You have to have energy to get nervous. If you are exhausted, there is no physical energy left to waste on nerves. So there you have it, if you want to avoid the sweaty butterflies on first dates, just rock up knackered (with a good layer of make-up to cover the bags.)

Back to the Finance fiend. We entered the restaurant and commandeered a nice little table outside. The waitress came over and he ordered (first, without asking what I would like) a mojito, I chose an elderflower martini. He jumped in and delivered a well-prepared monologue on his life, his achievements, his work and his recent shoulder surgery (the result of his “professional” ski-ing days) which had prevented him from doing any exercise recently (the belly figures). He talked of his recent selection to a small group of individuals who are supposedly going to change the world. I mean honestly, there’s confidence and there’s just plain, unadulterated arrogance.

The drinks arrived, and he proceeded to tell me all about his previous dates, many of whom he proudly told me, he had normally managed to ‘convert’ with, by the second date. It was during this speech that I noticed how short his arms were, and how short, plump and stumpy his fingers were – which he was incessantly tapping together. By the third conquest, I started to get that increase in saliva feeling common just before you puke. I swallowed.

Maybe this was [his] nerves, I appeased. A rocky start, yes, but let’s not give up yet, I thought. I talked about some of the messages I’d received on POF, and mentioned the one (posted on here earlier – what a proposition) where a young man had suggested that I was the perfect specimen (with good bone structure) to carry and deliver his spawn, and that if I didn’t meet his requirements and provide him with a son and heir, then he would chop of my head. Quite, I think you’ll agree, a weird and freaky story.

What did Finance fiend have to say? “So, you think that you’ve got really good bone structure?” But he didn’t say it in a jokey way, a flirty way, his tone was nonchalant, short and actually quite aggressive.

“Well no, I mean it isn’t bad bone structure, I haven’t really thought about it.”

“You don’t think it’s bad?”

“No, I wouldn’t say it was bad, I wouldn’t, I mean I rarely talk about my bone structure.”

“So you don’t think it’s bad?”

I have to say, I was quite confused by this persistent and increasingly heated exchange. What was he doing? The answer came with his next shot. It was all a game. More specifically it was The Game – that dreadful and absurd dating guide for men, which in essence tells men that to get laid, they should be vile to women. What he was doing was the ‘neg’ – when you put a girl down enough, that their confidence is destroyed – and from these ruins you can pick them up as easy prey. This didn’t click until he had played (as mentioned) his next shot, which was…drum roll please…

A psychoanalysis of me, through the medium of ‘the cube’. Again, it comes from The Game. He told me that he would help understand me. Understand why I was online dating, why I was so hard on the outside, explain to me the barriers that I was putting up because I was so desperately insecure. I know – I’d known the guy for just over an hour. I indulged him though, “go on then.” And so we played. I’d actually played his ‘novel’ game before, so I knew, or at least I thought I knew what they represented: the cube – self-image, the flowers- your children, the horse – your potential spouse and the ladder – your life ambition.

So my cube was white, my flowers – a wild meadow, the horse – a huge, powerful stallion and the ladder – reached all the way up to the heavens.

His understanding of the first three were the same, but the ladder…oh dear lord, his interpretation of the ladder. He said that was representative of how well I wanted to get to know him.

Fuelled by what was now verging on loathing, and a few glasses of white wine, I couldn’t help myself: “Ah, well that obviously doesn’t work then, does it.”

Who did this egit think he was? Freud.

By this stage, every word that left his mouth was a clanger. Realising that things were going badly, he got progressively more vile. “Are those leggings, they are tight aren’t they?” “I would have thought that you’d have been texting about me while I was in the loo, but it seems you’ve just been eating.”

I’d had enough, I threw in the towel.

“Let’s get the bill.” It came, out of politeness – which he didn’t deserve – I offered to pay half. He accepted. I had to pay for this torment. We paid and I went to leave, he cleared his throat:

“Yeah, bit of advice for you. On the next date you go on, chill out a bit yeah.”

I kid you not.

After this horror, I need a bit of time to recover. I think I’ll have a week off. But, I shall not give up, the quest for true love continues…but dear God, please, please don’t subject me to another human being as shocking as this one.

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Date with the Doctor

He wasn’t called James. Or John. Or Jack. His name didn’t even begin with J. He wasn’t a doctor either, well not exactly a doctor, he was an  assistant anaesthetist. But fortunately he wasn’t in nature what he was by trade and neither he, nor his chat put me to sleep. Indeed, as first dates go, and as first, first online dates go, it was rather fantastic.

I arrived 15 minutes early (I really need to sort out my obsessive punctuality), I’d just been at an interview in the RAF Club, Piccadilly and hadn’t gauged my timings very well. Walking briskly up the cobbled street behind Embankment tube, it wasn’t until I arrived outside the pub and checked my watch that I realised my faux pas. Arriving 15 minutes early, I mean that looks keen…

It turns out that the Doctor (we’ll stick with that) was keener. He was sat at a table by the bar, drinking a Bulmers, and next to this bottle was a glass of white wine. Surely this was him? I walked towards him slowly and uncertainly gave him a smile; he smiled back…and then to my relief got up. First hurdle done.

What was odd was I wasn’t in the slightest bit mentally nervous, but as I sat down and the first question was fired, I broke into what can only be described as a pre-menopausal hot flush. My whole face started to burn and I had to put my hair up in a desperate attempt to cool my hypothalamus. Dodgy bloody hypothalamus.

I found refuge in the small glass of white wine, which though sickly was cold. “I hope you don’t think I’m stingy, I just didn’t know what to order you,” he said as the majority of the glass disappeared with my second gulp. Phew! At least he agreed that the glass was small, and didn’t think I had an alcohol problem. And at least now it was nearly gone, so I could have a glass of rosé next. A large glass.

The large glass arrived and my body regained a normal temperature. We talked about POF, about previous dates – well his previous dates, all three of which had looked nothing like their photos. Now sporting a sweaty glaze, and perhaps being guilty of some slight online photoshopping tweaks, (oh don’t judge me, we’ve all done it!), I jumped in: “It has been a long day, I do scrub up well!” He laughed and told me I did look like the photos. On one of his dates a woman had said she was 5ft 4 and slender, he arrived to find a 6ft 3 whale. On another he was convinced the woman was on Meth.

“So this is going pretty well, then?” I said. “Yes.” And you know, it really was. For two people who hadn’t met, it was remarkably easy. At not one point had it been awkward, okay well maybe one point, when he asked how long I’d been single…I told him – everything had been going so well until then – and he did look extremely taken aback. “But why?”

Blimey, imagine if I hadn’t knocked off a year! “Um, well…good question…I suppose, well I suppose, I’m a bit of a commitmentphobe.”

We moved on.

The Doctor talked about his job and gave me a brief lesson on the heart; the literal heart – Ventricles, Atriums, Vena Cava – Venus blood deoxygenated, which I found interesting, I’ve always liked Biology.

“So would it be pushing my luck to ask you out again?” he asked.

“Hmmmmn, well…”

He squirmed.

“No, of course not.”

I had got on really well with him; he was attractive, nice, funny and not an overt psychopathic killer, but do I see myself with him…I’m not sure. After that list, why not? Oh it’s so superficial…it’s that, well it’s that he’s 5ft 9. 5ft 9. You’re not tall though, are you? I hear you say. No, I’m not tall, I’m 5ft 5, but I like tall men…6ft +, it has always been the way.

Will the rest of his attributes be able to sway my height discrimination policy? We’ll have to see at the next date. That’s right the next date.

Before then however, I have another date with a Finance worker…a 6ft Finance worker. It appears I’ve caught the online dating bug.

Tonight’s the night!

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My first online date is just 7 3/4 hours away. After numerous postponements (on my behalf thank you), I’ll finally be meeting with the Doctor. I’m feeling okay about it all, nerves haven’t kicked in yet, but I am slightly worried about the fact that I don’t know his name. I have a feeling that it is James, but I’m just not sure, and the problem is, unless I upgrade on POF to see older messages (aka the one’s from the friend to him, which include said name), then I’m not going to.

I’ve signed off the last few Alice to try to coax him into signing off with his name, but he just hasn’t taken the bait. It’s not going to look particularly good is it? ‘Alice,’ he’ll say – and what will I do, ‘Hi?’ God this has the propensity to go horribly wrong. ‘Hi, I’m Alice and I go on dates with people from the internet without even knowing their name!’ – Well, it doesn’t look overly classy does it…

Maybe I’ll just go with James, I mean it’s quite a common name isn’t it? And if his name is Jack, or John, or Jim, or Josiah (okay that’s pushing it), I can just pretend that he misheard me. I’ll smile while mumbling the name, that will work. Well, that’s the only choice that I’ve got.

Oh dear, perhaps I am nervous.