As I stood at the bar I kept glancing over to our table and saw Mr Fit's friend looking over at me. Beth and I downed a couple of shooters each before returning to our table, and almost immediately Mr Fit's friend came over and started chatting away to me whilst Beth went to join Louise. Unlike his Ferrari-driving cockhead of a mate he seemed pretty nice, and we had a good laugh talking about anything and everything from sport to music to how his friend, Mr Fit (who wasn’t actually his friend just someone he used to work with) came across as a bit of a twat. Now please remember, I’d been mixing my drinks like a wino and therefore my beer goggles were firmly affixed to my eyes. Not sounding promising now, is it? Anyway, we had a bit of a kiss (which was very nice as I remember) and swapped numbers. He was called Stephen and worked a project manager in the next town.
Over the coming week Stephen and I played text message ping-pong and swapped email addresses, so my working days were filled with the excitement of waiting for an email and carefully crafting my reply. Should I be flirty or just friendly? Was he flirting with me? I couldn’t tell over email…. It didn’t matter, as we arranged to out for a drink that Thursday so things were looking good.
Thursday evening came, and as I approached our designated meeting point I could see the solitary figure of a man waiting there and I knew straight away that it was Stephen. Even though I’d consumed enough alcohol on the night we’d met to kill a small herd of buffalo I was pleased that I recognised him, and even more pleased that when he spotted me he didn’t try and leg it. However, I was soon to wish that he had actually done an impression of speed King Usain Bolt and made a run for it, as this was quickly about to rank second on the Worst Dates of my Life leader board.
Here is a brief overview of our date:
We walk up to the bar.
Stephen: “Can I get you a drink?”
Good. Nice and gentlemanly.
Me: “Yes please, I’ll have a bottle of Corona”.
Nice barman gets me a bottle, opens it and puts it on the bar.
Barman: “Anything else?”
Stephen: “Yes. A vodka and diet coke please.”
WTF? A bloke drinking vodka and diet coke? On a date? Is he gay? OK, don't judge him too quickly Kate...
Barman: “Sorry mate, no diet coke at the mo’. Is regular coke OK?”
I’m still standing there, smiling awkwardly now. Just say yes so we can go and sit down. Surely you’re not so bothered about a few extra calories in your drink? You’re a man for goodness sake.
About ten seconds pass whilst Stephen umms and ahhs and shuffles from foot to foot, all the while drumming his fingers on the bar. It feels like ten hours, when finally he sighs and sounds really downcast as he says:
Stephen: “Oh. Er, no thanks. Can I just have a glass of tap water instead please?”
At least he’s polite I think to myself, but WATER? Not that I’m an alcoholic or anything, but that’s a bit weird.
A pint of tap water it is, and we sit down.
“So, er, water?” I say, somewhat bemused.
I’m glad we’d managed to get a table as this was the last input I had into the conversation for about half an hour, apart from the odd umm and “Oh, that’s interesting”. You see, good old Stevie baby has an allergy to sugar, and in what I can only class as possibly one of the most tedious thirty minutes of my life he explained to me the intricacies of his affliction in graphic detail, what he can and cannot eat/drink, what happens if he has more than 1 gram of the stuff (you really don't want to know), and that Splenda is apparently the best thing since sliced bread and has revolutionised his life (I kid you not).
OK so I know that he was probably really nervous but seriously, what a topic of conversation. Did he not realise this is something he really shouldn't talk about on a first date?
So only 0.5 hours into the date and I’m losing the will to live. This isn't looking good...
Newly single and rapidly approaching my thirtieth birthday, I’ve realised that I need a new game plan in order to find the drop dead gorgeous, rugby-playing boyfriend that I’ve been lusting after for years. Or at the very least: a man just like him...