- Find yourself a partner! 😉
It’s that season. Everyone’s looking for
a jolly good rogering love, so I thought I’d devote a couple of posts to great date etiquette. We’ve just had Things You Really Shouldn’t Say On A Date, and today, for your titillation, here is How Not To Behave On A Date…
Only follow these simple guidelines if you’re serious about dating. If you’re only going out because there’s naff all on TV, then have some real fun and DO all of the above. Not sure where you’d find the camel though…. 😉
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…
The year was 1986: George Michael had big hair and was singing with Wham! Kids all over the country were nervously sitting the new GCSE exams. Margaret Thatcher was busy fucking up the country, but took a day off to open the new M25 motorway – the biggest car park in the world. And I fell in love.
I was 19 and in the second year of my teacher training degree. Although we were affiliated to Hatfield Poly, our campus was in Watford, so us girls would bus over there on a weekend, or they’d come to us and crash on our floors. Not that any of us ever slept – we were too busy with parties and live music, end-of-term balls, country pubs and finding lurve. Who am I trying to kid? We were students. All we wanted was beer and sex.
Oh, they were halcyon days…
And smack bang in the middle of this was Perry Bacon. My First Love. Aged 18, studying chemistry and The Finer Points of Theakston’s Ale. I don’t remember how we met. Oh yes, I do. I was dating his mate, David. He was a bit of a knob, too.
Perry had ADHD, but in those days we just called it annoying. He was funny and loveable and smart. Always laughing, generally causing mayhem, and usually chucking beer. Oh yes, whenever I saw him, we’d end up in an infantile, enthusiastic beer fight. What can I say? We were kids. It was foreplay.
And each night apart we’d feed our food money into cramped campus phone booths and smile our way into the early hours, whispering our fears and breathing our dreams along the phone line.
And the funny thing was, we never once spoke about being in love. Never once said the words out loud, or acknowledged it, even. We were friends. Good friends who just couldn’t stop snogging. I bought him a huge floppy teddy bear and that’s how we communicated: ‘Come for the weekend? Theodore really misses you!’ or ‘Tell Theo I need a Bear Hug!’
And one day, two years later, it was over. I don’t remember the details, but we were on a train travelling through London. I was crying and then he was gone. Or maybe he left, and then I cried. But there were certainly tears. And he definitely got off the train. And I’m pretty sure it was London.
I bloody loved that bloke, and I often wonder: whatever happened to Perry Bacon?