Adventures in Dating...or how not to:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd like to share the story of Last Night with you. But first the backstory:

As you know, I tend to hang out at 103. It's a lovely eaterie within staggering distance from my house. It's a place where I can indulge in great food, with or without company. It's the sadly rare place where a single person can eat, or drink coffee and not feel like Billy No-Mate or Desperate Woman on the Pull (I am determinedly neither). During the summer, I fell into conversation with a gentleman who was witty and not-so-long divorced. We'd bump into each other there every so often. He appeared good company and I encouraged him to join the Unthank Supper Club. I was in London and so unable to go to September's do. At the October do, I was pleased to see him there. My adventures in London and with Northern Bloke meant that I've not been frequenting 103 as regularly. I gave him my mobile number and said, text me when you're having coffee and I'll join you.

Now, I abide to certain rules regarding the newly-divorced male. I am friendly, but I leave all romantic inclinations to one side. Generally speaking there's usually a pattern with them that I prefer to steer well clear of: they're either very wounded and need someone to pick up their pieces (and laundry) or they're angry and bitter and want to pick a fight. Having been through both those states myself, I figure if you're newly-divorced and living in a new city, you need a friend far more than a lover.

Yesterday, I got a text from said gentleman asking if I'd join him for dinner. I said yes. Never pass up on the opportunity for great food is my motto. I'm shallow like that. So, I rock up. The evening began well. He'd already had half a caraf of wine and ordered me a glass of Merlot. There was casual banter and I was enjoying myself. He was quite tactile, which surprised me. And I began to look at him more closely. The view was most illuminating as he drank more wine.

We were sat at the bench, in front of the windows of the deli, so we had a great view of passers by. He then began commenting on the women passing by. We both agreed that some women can't park a car for toffee, and frankly some just shouldn't be driving if their spatial awareness is so poor. But that's my bitch.

His bitch was perhaps a little more...bitchy and unkind, shall we say. He expressed very negative views on curvy women and his language was not so much bitchy, as offensive. I kept my peace. Until, a teenaged girl stood waiting for her friend. She looked very much like one of Boy's good friends (she wasn't, but very similar). And he started to drool. Don't get me wrong, I have tended to go out with older men. However, there's something really not right about a man in his late forties drooling over a woman not quite into her 20s. And there's something exceptionally not right about a man doing so, in the company of a woman, whose hair he's been trying to stroke.

I called him on it. He just shrugged and said 'it'd be different if we were an item.'

Actually, no. It wouldn't be different. In my mind, it's bad manners. But perhaps that's just me? In fact, I'm okay about it. No, I don't want my dinner companion drooling over other women in my company, because it implies I'm an 'also-ran', I am the boobie prize; even if we're just mates meeting up.

And then I got the low-down of his marriage. It didn't paint an altogether flattering picture of him. Especially, as he missed his wife's housekeeping skills. He then started to talk about his chat-up strategy in the meat market scenario. He's the sort who sits on the sidelines, watching the pretty girls waiting for them to come talk to him. Because, obviously they are telepathic and know he's interested because he's looking at them. He doesn't do any work in the scenario. And then gets bitchy when they go off with someone else. I told him I wasn't doing NLP on him for free.

I think I'd had enough when he started going on about fat guys. I said, 'I like my guys with a bit of meat on them' and swanned off for a smoke (yes, lecture later). We parted company upon my return. He didn't offer to even buy me a drink.

Boy was suitably unimpressed when I gave him the full low-down. He rightly asked 'why did you go?' Good question. I went because I am curious. I wouldn't have known, had I stayed home. I had a lovely meal, and now I know. I'm not particularly disappointed, I am slightly miffed at my loss of 2 and a half hours of my life. But that's okay. I do know that I am beginning to recognise how sexy kindness is. Had I stayed home, I'd have missed that lesson. Heck. You don't know, if you don't try. And I'm prepared to kiss a few frogs.


  1. Ha! The old escaping outside for a cigarette routine!!
    Unfortunately this is one of the benefits of smoking; I'm not going to lecture.
    Live and learn.

  2. are nothing if not tenacious... a full 2 and a half hours of that! Arghhhhhhhh

  3. ms scarlet ~ yes, the space between fags got smaller, the more I lost patience with him.

    lady jacky ~ hey, the company might have been appalling, but I wasn't going to miss out on the great food!

  4. I hate to judge before all the facts are in, but this guys seems slow on the up-take!

  5. Sounds pretty unpleasant. Did you make your feelings clear, or is he likely to suggest meeting up again?

  6. von LX ~ yes, I'm sure he has his own version of last night. Having a snapshot of his internal dialogue, I'm sure it's equally uncompliementary. So, it's best we don't do that again.

    z ~ I think he was genuinely surprised when I said it's not on to oggle other women, while in the company of another woman. In the beginning of the evening we floated the idea of fireworks tomorrow evening. That was not brought up at the end of the evening. Should an invitation be issued, I will be washing my hair.

    von LX ~ now that's class!

  7. "it's not on to oggle other women, while in the company of another woman" - certainly NOT on such short acquaintance...the man's an oaf...

    I've occasionally made the odd comment like that to my missus...but thereagain she's prone to making the odd favourable comment on the buttocks of the young bloke in front too, so it's honours even there!

    But that's an easy familiarity based on donkeys years in a stable (mutually miserable we always say) relationship...

  8. Kindness, friendliness, manners. They ARE important.

  9. cogidubnus ~ exactly that. If you've been together for awhile, then it's definitely different.

    mago ~ I don't mind obnoxious men, but I've low tolerance for rudeness, I've discovered. And I found his behaviour rude. Ugh.


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