Fresh out of a 2 year relationship and on my first date in nearly 4 years - freedom was the word of the hour! life's too short! get your freak'um dress on! (if you don't know that one, please listen)
As you can see from the serious use of exclamation marks I was excited beyond belief. I was going on a date with a hottie. I was checking myself out in every mirror in my tiny flat (and working out which lighting made my skin look healthy and not sickly pale olive).
The date was set for a nice restaurant in my quiet little hometown so I knew I didn't have to dress up too much. He'd likely be wearing jeans. As much as I wanted to pull out one of my precious LBDs and sexy heels, I knew jeans and a nice top were probably best.
And so - we have date outfit Number 1
(I promise I'll start taking some pictures - but I was freaking out and running out of time!)
Black lace top with black silk camisole underneath
dark blue skinny jeans
black heeled ankle boots (okay so I decided to go with sexy heels after all – they’re just so me – I had to!)
black jewely looking earings (kind of elaborate but small so not tacky)
hair - bangs/fringe (forgot to mention that I'm an American living in
"smokey eyes" went slightly array but managed to reel it in with a black eye pencil -hopefully the redness will subside within the hour!
I'd love to say that he was very punctual, met at my door with a gorgeous smile and opened the car door for me... but in reality... neither of us have a car, so I walked the 20 minutes alone into town listening to MGMT Electric Feel in the frosty November weather in 2 inch heels (not drastic, I know, but a 10 minute walk downhill in that condition is terrifying!).
Thank God he was on time. It's on the list. If you're late I'm bored and that sets the wrong tone for the evening. Don't get me wrong... if you let me know you are running late, you are off the hook, but after 10 minutes I'm usually on my home or to the pub to find something better to do. A wise person once told me, "Early is on-time, on-time is late, and late is unacceptable". So, I try to be 5 minutes early wherever I go.
But it's a moot point - he was fashionably early - and he was ticking boxes.
nice fluffly ungelled choppy hair
nice navy sweater/jumper
nice light coloured jeans - not 90s light, but more like faded diesel light
and... oh my god... are those... are those... mandles? (Please see definition 1)
Oh no, no, no. Calm down, he deserves a shot, do not strike him on footwear! You are far too picky! ... okay, maybe we can change him?
… and then he spoke. Wow, if you want to completely crush a my every dream for a future with a man, saying the wrong name is the perfect start.
“Hi Larry, and actually it’s Josie – not Jill”
“Oh [apologetic surprise]… Oh! [sudden realization], you’re not Jill?”
“[annoyed confusion] No… I’m
“Oh, oh Jesus, I’m sorry… wonder where I got Jill from?”
…and then he appears to be thinking. It’s at this point I realize our short introduction outside the restaurant is taking a while… and it’s cold. “Shall we go in?” I say.
“Yes, sorry, here” he says and recovers by opening the door for me and putting my coat on the rack.
We order some red wine and I take a very big gulp and then start coughing. He was taking off his beautiful navy sweater and at first I was pleasantly surprised to see he had nice abs, but then he pulled his green undershirt down which read: I can be your private dancer. And would you know... I managed to find it online (see here).
“Are you alright,” he says with a look of concern as I struggle to calm the coughing.
“Yes,” I manage to say, “just went down the wrong pipe”
And so he hits me on the back a bit as if to dislodge the offending liquid. It was a bit alarming. There’s me, choking back shock/horror from the shirt, almost in a fit of giggles because I find the whole situation a bit comedic and all the while being bludgeoned to the point where I’m bracing the table for stability and we haven’t even ordered yet!
I never know what to order on a date. I wish all menus didn’t include the price on the side so I could just pick something that sounded good. I didn’t bring much cash with me and judging from the profession he displays on his attire, I’m assuming he’s a bit hard up for cash as well.
The carbonara has two meats, obviously more expensive, so scratch that. The salad will make me look like one of those prissy bitches. I’ll probably get spaghetti Bolognese all over me, so that’s a no. Ah, vegetable ravioli. Perfect.
And he orders the Bolognese so it’s this point that I just had to ask...
“So how long has it been since you’ve been on a first date?”
“Hmm, about two weeks – OH! That’s where I got the name Jill from! Fuck, that was really bothering me. Yea, so anyway, about two weeks, you?”
“About the same,” and I sipped my wine.
Over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at dinner conversation, get to know you questions, a little sarcasm and casual flirting, but that night it was all new. I’m a bit shy with crowds and people I don’t know, but one to one, I can usually talk about anything and go on for ages, but that night... all I could think about was the stuff I’d done with George – I’d just gotten back from Amsterdam recently (with him), was thinking of moving to London (with him), just gotten out of a huge relationship (with him), I was fucked for light conversation. And the pole dancer wasn’t making anything easy.
Instead of filling the gaps of silence with some banter or light chitchat, he found it fitting to look right into my eyes and smile ruefully. I really like that smile, it’s cute, a bit dangerous and with the choppy hair it makes him look a little like Josh Hartnett, but what was initially kind of sweet, got a bit uncomfortable (to say the least).
Is there something on my face? OMG do I have a wine mustache? (yes, in my inner dialogue I use words like OMG)
I casually felt around the corners of my mouth and rested my chin on my palm. He was still staring. I moved my fork around the table so it sat opposite the knife and sighed a bit. He was still staring. I looked up at him, pursed my lips with a little smile, raised my eyes brows and looked around a bit then back at him (as if to say... okay dude, stop staring). He was still staring.
“Where’s the restroom?” I asked.
“Just in the back,” he said smiling.
And I rushed off with mobile phone in hand.
I sat on top of the toilet and scrolled through my phone list. Oh my God, who do I call, I have no friends! I think Amy is away, Jess was at a movie tonight... yes, I can call Meg.
“Meg, it’s Jo. You have to save me. I know I haven’t spoken to you in ages, but I’m on a date and this guy is freaking me out... plus he’s wearing mandles! I need you!... Oh, George and I broke up by the way, it wasn’t working out. Speak soon, bye.”
Meg never called back – maybe because we’d only met once or twice and the fact that she was a mutual friend of mine and George, but I was desperate, and I didn’t build a lot of friendships in my time with George. If she’s out there, and she’s reading this – you are a bitch... there I said it. Karma is a bitch too and you’re likely to meet her before me so good luck with that you heartless cow.
The dinner was at the table when we came back and although Larry had a hard time talking before, he had no trouble chatting whilst stuffing stringy pasta into his mouth. I’m really being a bit hard on him but come on, really? Did he really need to discuss his recent rugby injury and barbarically stuff his face? No. At least the wine was good... it was very good. I think I had more than half the bottle.
Date time: 2.5 hours of pure hell.
Overall appeal of Larry: 6 for looks (he may be a Josh Hartnett, but mandles people!) 2 for conversation, 2 for manners (it's not polite to stare!)
Would I have dated him again? No, but lucky for me he never called again. I’m guessing things with Jill worked out better.
Goodnight kiss: YES! - and I think it was probably the wine's fault