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Thursday, 8 November 2012

#7 - Making an exception that leads to a date with a sex pest...

It may come as a surprise to some of you to discover that, despite a deep rooted appreciation of really really ridiculously good looking men, I have a fairly straightforward selection criteria for potential dates. I've shared the criteria many times with anybody bored enough to ask me about it, as I feel it's important to show that despite being terribly shallow, I'm also fairly realistic (and increasingly concerned about the prospect of getting a cat to keep me company).
An artist's impression of my love life

Up until a few weeks months ago my deal breakers for dating were the following:

1. Taller than me
2. Own teeth1

I've always felt that my criteria is both practical and inoffensive to the majority of men (and should the situation ever become really dire, women too). Moreover, it gives me a lot of raw material to work with. After several years of experimentation, including the discovery that I definitely need to run out of men with teeth before I go gay, I settled on these two specific but broad criterion in order to give myself a fighting chance of being in another serious relationship before gravity finally takes over the more entertaining parts of my body. To say I have been unlucky in love is somewhat of an understatement2, and so as I've grown older I've tried to keep an open mind about who my potential future partner could be. This does of course occasionally mean I spend too long eyeing up men on the tube wondering whether their charming woolly hat is hiding male pattern baldness, but that's my particular brand of crazy. At least I don't have a cat. Yet.

1 I don't bother specifying where they keep their teeth; as long as they know where they are I'm happy
2 see #9 - Flogging a dead cheval...

I get sent a lot of random messages on okcupid, some of which make me laugh out loud and reply immediately (these messages make up for the ones that make me feel sad to be part of the human race). I always look forward to receiving messages, as it's a nice confirmation that the profile I took great pains to make as enticing as possible is working. However, my favourite messages to receive are those asking me if I would like to go on a date. Because after my disastrous encounters with people I only liked until I saw them close up, I tried to get the awkward first meeting over before I had time to discover their interesting or otherwise personality and subsequently feel shallow for not wanting to shag them, despite their excellent culinary skills, or knowledge of Australasian bugs3. A lot of the guys I have exchanged messages with have been of the all talk-no trousers variety4, but occasionally a genuine offer comes up.

3 I dated an Entomologist once
4 I'm still waiting for Possibly Dave5 to take me to play twister in Trafalgar Square
So maybe I'm not exactly committed to the twister either...

I received a message asking me, very bluntly, whether or not I would like to go for a date with him, citing his knowledge of good pubs and anecdotes as reason to accept. I had nothing else going on that week so I said yes, and we arranged our date for the following week. I wasn't too excited about the prospect, as after checking out his profile I discovered that he was in fact a little bit shorter than me (strike one) and we didn't have a huge amount in common. Imagine then my pleasant surprise when, upon meeting him face to face I discovered he was actually quite attractive, with a very good sense of humour (including the promised anecdotes of some dates almost bad enough to make it onto this blog) and a chilled out attitude towards online dating6 that further supported the burgeoning thought in my head that maybe it was worth ignoring the fact that his hands are smaller than mine (as I suspect are his feet) and consider making an exception to my height rule, just this once. After all, he definitely had most of his teeth. And in his mouth too.

6 see # 4 - Trusting the profile picture...

We parted on a coy cheek kiss, with tentative plans to maybe arrange to see each other again. I was fairly pleased with the date overall, and very proud of myself for not being a shallow minx who rejects men out of hand for being vertically challenged. I sent him a text message the following day thanking him for a great date, and suggesting we meet up again. I then waited patiently for a reply for the next two days, whilst maintaining a calm and controlled attitude and telling myself that I didn't care either way if he replied or not. After all, he did have very small hands.

After two days of silence I was beginning to wonder if perhaps I has unrealistic expectations of the date - it wouldn't be the first time I had misinterpreted polite conversation for genuine interest in the contents of my underwear. I was visiting friends in Brighton for the weekend, and hadn't given the matter too much thought when on the Sunday, three days after our date, I finally received a reply. Up until this point I had envisaged two possible scenarios arising from a reply message:

a) he asks me out on another date, where he explains a hilarious comedy of errors that led him to ignore my message for two days, such as falling off his bike into an open manhole
b) he politely rejects my advances, citing my abnormally large hands and feet, and an aversion to women taller than him

Neither of these happened.

I was browsing a small jewellery shop at the time when my phone went off. I retrieved it from my bag as I examined a rather lovely necklace with an rather offensive price tag. I opened the message, and froze. The message outlined, in a very straight-forward, impossible to misinterpret way, that the man in question had no particular desire to go on a date with me, but would very much like to have angry, meaningless sex with me, then show his appreciation upon my bosom. 

I did not speak for nearly five minutes. I have always considered myself to be a very outgoing, open minded gal, with an adventurous attitude towards dating, sex and other extreme pursuits. Unfortunately for the gentleman in question, these qualities somehow eluded me that day. I attempted to compose a reply several times, but felt that somehow a polite 'no thank you' would not suffice. Moreover, I was very annoyed that he deemed it acceptable to send me such a crass, unimaginative message. In the quest for answers (and to give the poor man a fair trial) I showed the message to several friends, male and female. Most of the women were as baffled as I was, which rather nicely balanced out all the men who read it, chuckled and said 'lad', as if this was reason enough. One friend said he thought it was probably a genuine offer of free sex, made in the hope that I would find him charming in a vulgar sort of way. 

In case anyone is still wondering, I did not find him charming in a vulgar sort of way. I thought he was a prick. Which is why I re-saved his telephone number as 'Sex Pest' and made a concerted effort to believe that his height and freakishly small hands are not directly related to his sex pest behaviour. Because I know deep down that, despite my very short list of criteria, and my attempts to be less shallow, I keep looking for the same type of man to date, and therefore keep dating men who are not actually that nice. My friends have long despaired of my terrible man choices, and after the most recent cock-up I had to face the facts - I need some new criteria. Maybe I would benefit from being a little more choosy, or from simply thinking outside the lustbox a bit more?

I decided it was time for a change, and arranged a date with someone completely different from my usual fare. He seemed fairly normal and non-descript on his okcupid profile, and is a little younger and more French than I normally go for, but I was intrigued by his bold assertion that his favourite foods were chocolate and cheese...7

7 I've dated a few lactose intolerants too...well, it's a start...

Watch this space...

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