Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Mr. Side Parting: The Brush Off

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Well no I wasn't, but I was keeping my fingers crossed, as it would have been an excellent Get Out of Date Free card.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.

Post mortem:

• 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.


  1. OMG!

    Man boobs, dirty fingernail, soiled t-shirts, being unemployed, and sleeping on your Granny's sofa are definitely not a good look!

    Re you being his rebound date, I'm not so sure about that even. It seems you might have just been an escape from another evening of watching telly with his mum and grandma.


  2. Kate you are brilliant. From the man boob pic, to the indie rock reference to the "Get out of date free card". I so enjoy reading your stories. Oh yea, and uh...sorry the date did not work out well ;)

  3. Ewww, Kate you poor girl! I think we've all suffered agonising dates like that. I can remember waiting for someone I'd met while wearing my vodka visor and thinking, "Oh no, please not him" as a short, chubby bald bloke in a really nasty shirt made his way in my general direction. Yep, of course it was him, and no he didn't have a wonderful witty and intelligent personality to compensate.

    Keep going, the dates can only get better - honest!


  4. I don't know what you were thinking Kate. I mean, you could have totally made out spending the rest of your life washing this man's shirts, getting him to do basic hygiene, motivating him to get a job, Sunday tea with mom, and potential stalker tendencies! Sure missed out. Some other lucky gal probably snapped him right up ;)

  5. And the Miss Selfless award for enduring a terrible date goes to Kate!

    I realise it was horrible for you but your readers thank you!


    Rapunzel x

  6. Ewwwwww

    Is all I can say.... Well done for Sticking it out though, I would have run a mile *shudder* haha

    Lottie x


  7. Thank goodness you got out of there!

  8. Appalling and hilarious...
    moobs, off-white t-shirt, living with grandma.

    I hope you eventually find your rugby player, but in the mean time I'm enjoying the horror stories too much!

  9. Best worst story EVER! The point about alcohol is ssoooo true. Best to drink cranberry juice or lemonade when out on the town looking for nice men. Until they offer to buy you a drink, in which case by all means switch over to the champagne.

  10. Oh dear oh dear. ABORT!

    Love your writing!

  11. Thanks everyone. Yeah, this was the worst date I've ever been on in my life. So far. Although saying that, I'm not sure how I'll ever be able to top this one. We'll have to see eh? x

  12. At least you tried...you were nice to him and listened to him. You deserve better.