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Sunday, 15 July 2012

#1 - Getting drunk on a first date...

After deciding that my love life was a little lacking in the...well, life department, I registered with an online dating website in an attempt to meet people outside my current circle of men. I say circle, but realistically they're more of a huddle these days (times are hard and they fear the lone female hunter). One of the reasons for packing up and leaving my hometown was that I had run out of men to date - after introducing my last boyfriend to my best friend she had to take me to one side and inform me that the young man in question took her to our year 11 prom...I knew he looked familiar...

Initially I was a little sceptical about online dating, as I don't know many people for whom online dating has worked. Moreover, I was concerned by the sheer amount of men on the site in question - I've never noticed this many men in my immediate vicinity before...where do they go when they're not internet dating? Do they all live in a complex surrounded by an electric fence, only granted freedom if they can prove someone wants them? Why are they all single!?

However, after receiving  a few fun and sparky messages on mysinglefriend I dropped my guard enough to arrange a few dates with some normal looking people, the first of which was with a fairly cute (though slightly shorter than average) man from East London. I would never voluntarily travel to East London unless I was being paid to do so (I find all the skinny people in identical clothing very unsettling), so we settled on Kings Cross, and I discovered I'm being taken to a cafe that specialises in cakes and cocktails, called Drink Shop and Do. I am very impressed: this stranger had managed to find a venue that would instantly put me in a good mood! I don't hesitate to order a big slice of Red Velvet and an Espresso Martini (spiced rum version, it's far superior). 

From here it's very easy to relax and enjoy getting to know my date, who proves charming, witty and, as far as I can tell, genuine. It helps that despite his less than sizeable height he is very attractive with a lovely smile and excellent teeth (I'm fussy about teeth). We finish our cocktails and cake, and decided that the date is going well enough to venture to a new watering hole, and have 'one more' drink. This was, in hindsight, a less than excellent idea. We end up in a wood panelled pub showing Sky Sports news, drinking pints of beer and telling stories of stupid things we have done, places we've been and would like to go, and for a while it all seems very straightforward and fun, with no pressure to make decisions or get frisky. 

Then it happens.

My date puts his hand on my knee. An innocuous, barely noticeable shift has occurred. A move has been made, and I now have to consider my options. Should I acknowledge the hand, and if so should it be a positive or negative response? Do I like the hand being there? Maybe I should put MY hand on HIS knee? At this point, I go to the ladies room to clear my head and take a moment to make a decision. It's too late. The Bad Idea Bears* are waiting for me, and they have a round of drinks in their paws.

*The Bad Idea Bears lurk in the background of potentially dangerous, naughty or otherwise deviant situations, making inappropriate remarks, ordering shots and handing out condoms.

One hour later, we're still in the pub. Hands are on knees. Noses are dangerously close to touching. Eyes are not entirely focused. He leans in for what is undoubtedly going to be a very nice, albeit drunken, kiss....and I shush him. For a split second, the only thing separating his lips from mine is my index finger, which by this point is pushing him away while I begin to babble that I don't think it would be a very good idea, because we're both a bit drunk, and we've only just met, and there are these Bears following me around telling me to tickle his kneecaps, has he seen them too?

The moment passes. We continue our conversation, and I think I may have gotten away with my rather bold rejection of his advances. I'm very annoyed at myself. Now that the kiss is off the table I want it back. He really is very good looking, and has lovely teeth, and why did I shush him? We finish our drinks and decide that, as we've missed the last tube, that it's probably time we head home, to get a few hours sleep in before work. But maybe it's not too late? He offers to walk me to the bus stop, and we continue to chat about our plans for the rest of the week. I throw a couple of sultry glances his way to show him I'm available for some kissing now thank you, but he's not playing ball. I've hurt his feelings, or possibly his pride. Either way, it's obvious what I need to do. I sacrifice my own pride and lean in for a kiss. He backs away, smiles, and tells me I was probably right to push him away . My bus arrives. I get on and wave goodbye.

The next day I send him a message thanking him for a lovely evening. I don't get a reply. 

Bloody Bears.

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