Music: Sad Story - Plain White T's
So despite all my reservations about our date, Mr. Side Parting and I met.
When he was walking towards me, he only vaguely resembled the man I’d swapped spit with a few days before. Damn vodka. He looked much older than I remembered too, late thirties I’d say, and a bit unkempt. The “indie” look which I’d fancied on Saturday was actually just general scruffiness.
His hair was long and a bit shaggy which I usually like, but he hadn’t even been arsed to wash it. He was wearing a “white” t-shirt which was now off white at best but closer to “grubby” after one too many outings, and as he approached me, the slight breeze didn’t do him any favours as it blew his manky top against his chest and showed off his moobs somewhat spectacularly. Not a man who looks after himself too much then. We headed to a quiet bar, and as we took our seats I told him about the situation with the project, all the time noting that his fingernails were chewed and dirty and that he hadn’t even bothered to shave. I played the potential for receiving an emergency phone call down, willing myself to give him a chance.
Ten minutes passed, and it felt like several lifetimes. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone so difficult to talk to in my whole entire life and we did the exact opposite of click. We’d already covered music, sport and TV in that short time – topics that I can usually talk about with someone for hours. Still, it was early days so I persevered...
"So do you go out in Leeds often then?" I asked as I took a sip of my diet coke.
I know, such a lame line but I was running out of inspiration.
"I only moved back up here from London a couple of weeks ago," Side Parting said as he started picking his fingernails.
"Oh really?" I replied. "How come?"
It was an innocent enough question, but I wasn't prepared for what was coming next. Let's just say it was Classic Dating Gold.
"I'd been living with my girlfriend in London but she moved back up north for a job, so I followed her," he began.
"Oh right." I replied.
Eh? Did he stalk her up the M1 or something?
Side Parting must have noticed the quizzical look on my face, as he quickly moved to allay my fears.
"Don't worry, we're not still together or anything!" he 'reassured' me. "I'm not cheating on her with you, if you're worried about that!"
Well no I wasn't, but I was keeping my fingers crossed, as it would have been an excellent Get Out of Date Free card.
"You see it's a bit complicated," Side Parting continued.
"I mean, I did move up here to be with her... But when I got here she dumped me in less than a week," he continued, looking totally tragic.
Cue a five minute (one sided) conversation about his ex-girlfriend, how he felt about her, what he thought they were going to do in the future and where he thought it all went wrong. I'd say it was your manky T-shirts and chewed up fingernails for starters mate.
Still I decided to try and appear interested in him and steer the discussion away from exes, so I attempted to change the topic of conversation.
"So where are you living now?" I asked as I sipped my drink. "You must have been lucky to find a place to rent so quickly after only getting back a couple of weeks ago?"
"Oh no", Mr. Side Parting said, "I’m back living with my Mum and my Grandma and I'm sleeping on the sofa bed in the spare room."
I thought he was joking, but alas he was being deadly serious. Man, I wish I could have a beer.
So to summarize, I was on a date with a totally unattractive, tediously dull bloke in his late thirties, who’d just told me all about his evil bitch of an ex-girlfriend and how he'd stalked her from London before she dumped him, leaving him to live with his Mum and Grandma in a small box room. Oh, and did I mention that as he left London so quickly he didn’t have to foresight to line himself up with a job, so he spends most of his days watching Jeremy Kyle and QVC but still doesn’t find the time to wash his t-shirts properly.
What a catch. This was now officially the worst and most painful date of my life. Not only was he unattractive, but he was blatantly not over his ex and nothing in his life seemed to be going for him. Except for when Beth rang, as I hot footed it out of there faster than a cheetah with its arse on fire, therefore saving both myself and Mr Side Parting from any more stilted conversation and very awkward silences. He knew that the date was terrible too, and happily I never got another stalky (or any sort) of text message from him again.
• Seriously. Learn the lesson that alcohol in vast quantities does not help you meet nice men.
• Text stalking = text stalking. You can be keen and still manage not to harass someone in 160 characters.
• I was quite obviously this guy’s rebound date, and didn’t I know it. It really made me realise that talking about exes in any way, shape or form is bad news when you’re meeting someone new.
• To reiterate: alcohol is not my friend.