Just shoot me, now. Really. Save me from a slow and painful, grisly end – Death by Dating.
Now I live on the south coast. Stuart lives on the north. Only about 25 miles away. Half an hour’s travelling anywhere else in the country, but in Cornwall, it takes at least an hour. You see, we have no decent roads down here, just wide footpaths. And they’re usually clogged up with tractors. Or cows. Or coaches full of squealing, clotted-cream-snatching tourists.
But I digress.
When Stuart invited me for a meal in his local, I knew the travelling was going to be a hassle, but what the heck! Who could resist visiting a pub on the beach. In December. In sub-zero temperatures. With icy sleet er… sleeting against the windows.
And he might’ve been my knight in stonewashed denim. Unlikely, I know, but still within the realm of possibility.
Stuart is actually a schoolboy trapped inside the body of a man. And boy! was I cross that he didn’t mention that in his profile. We made it through the door okay, and then he just stopped, and stood there, head down, shoulders hunched, pigeon-toed and mumbled, ‘Umm…What should we do, then?’
‘Well,’ I replied, ‘It’s a pub. How about we buy a drink?’
I kid you not – I had to lead him to the bar. I had to catch the barmaid’s attention. I had to order the drinks, and then pay for the bloody things. I had to ask where we ordered food. I had to lead him to a flaming table so we could sit down to eat! And this was his local, remember, not mine. I was a pub-on-the-beach virgin.
Stuart just stood there, like he’d died , eyes downcast, shuffling his feet a bit and blushing. What a man!
Once he’d downed a pint, he started to chat. Oh lucky, lucky me! Why do I always attract men who believe conversation is a monologue? On and on he droned. We’d been there less than an hour and I was already suicidal. I ran to the loo and hid, secretly formulating a getaway plan – a family emergency? Could the dog have swallowed another sock? Could I fake food poisoning? Difficult as the meal hadn’t even been delivered, let alone digested.
‘Umm…are you okay?’
Startled, I looked up. A woman was smiling, hesitantly. I suppose I must’ve looked strange, crouched in the corner of the ladies, deep in contemplation.
‘God, yes! Thanks…I’m fine. Really… I just need an escape plan. I’m on the Date from Hell.’
‘Don’t try the bathroom window; it’s smaller than it looks. I got stuck there last year. Really embarrassing….’
Our food arrived as I returned to the table. Excellent, I thought. Eat, make my excuses and disappear. And he could hardly keep chatting through mouthfuls of home-cooked pizza now, could he?
Oh yes, he could! The toilet woman and I exchanged looks. I mimed cutting my throat with a knife. She spluttered beer across her table.
I tried, really I did, but I was bored. Stuart was boring.
I stuck it out through coffee and then, tried to leave.
God obviously hates me. Or karma paid me back for thinking unkind thoughts. The sleet had morphed into a snow blizzard. I couldn’t leave. Seriously, an inch of the white stuff in Cornwall and the whole county shuts down. I was stuck. With the most boring man in England.
I couldn’t get home ’til the following afternoon. And boy! did I suffer. Turned out Stuart had written a book. He spent the night telling me all about it – ‘She says blah…and then, he says, blah…and the room was furnished in such a blah way…and then a man says blah, and he was dressed in blah…’
All night. A total of eighteen-fucking-hours of blah.
Seriously, I don’t think I can do this any more…