Monday, 20 September 2010

In which I go on a terrible, terrible date and eat my words

Some months ago, having sat through an evening of incredible mediocrity in the lovely Café Boheme with Lawyer (?) from Bar, I said I’d rather have a bad date than a mediocre one. Those words have come back to bite me - firmly, leaving teeth marks - on the arse. And, having spent an evening in the company of a man with so few redeeming features I was tempted to give up dating altogether and just acquire more cats, I take those words back.

Once one’s been on a certain number of dates, one learns a few tips and tricks that help sort the wheat from the chaff, and the chaff from the no-hopers. And if he takes you to a chain pub, rammed with bankers and estate agents in slightly shiny suits, you know you’re not on to a winner.

So it’s unsurprising that, as I stood recently in a pub of the above description in London Bridge, I had a definite sense of foreboding.

Sending a text to inform of my uncharacteristic punctuality, I asked Chap in Question what he was drinking. I expected a reply that would tell me wait, and he’d get the first round (equality be damned: some things are just good manners) or - at the very least - some kind of generic pint. When the reply bounced back of single vodka and diet coke please!, I considered my options and very nearly left then and there.

And I wish I had, because what followed was a litany of terrible.

Having given the matter some serious consideration as Best Mate and I contemplated margaritas, I’m still at a loss to work out which of his features was least redeeming.

I don’t know whether it was his first anecdote about still being hungover from his previous night out at a ‘hot burlesque place’; his declaration that Russell Brand’s autobiography was the last great book he read; his assertion that he’s deeply interested in food and drink, and seriously into his music, yet his preferred wine is Chardonnay, and favourite band Keane.

Whether it was the fact that, despite being in his early thirties, he’s so far from being grown up as it’s possible to be without physically being in aisle two at Toys Я Us; whether it’s that he’s exceptionally proud of owning a house without being house-proud (seriously: how does anyone go eight months without owning anything to sit on?); that he thinks a wine rack containing four whole bottles (presumably of Chardonnay) is the pinnacle of sophistication.

Whether it was his total awe at having been to a black tie event at Christmas (spoken of with such fascination, I think it might have been the first time he ever put on a dinner jacket); his wonder at an upcoming work project of mine that’ll involve a couple of celebrities as if I’d mentioned I’d be working with a Nobel laureate; his embarrassment at partaking in any activities that he deemed ‘geeky’ (as far as I could tell, that’s pretty much anything that doesn’t involve getting utterly hammered).

It could have been the trying too hard; the faint tones of homophobia in his unfunny jokes; his terrible, total insistence on the glottal stop. His teeth. The peculiarly bad watch.

I could go on. But I won’t.

Just as I won’t, ever again, claim that a bad date isn’t the very worst kind.


PaulH said...

My good god girl...that is ridiculous. Much that I do (occasionally!) like to stand up for men in general, I suspect that this would be like defending Ghengis Khan as a symbol of morality, compassion and understanding!

I know you said it was bad, but that almost makes me feel quite good about myself. Never again shall I be ashamed of admitting that I am a true aficionado of Katie Price's autobiog whilst drinking Black Tower!

Robbie said...

When is date two then? I want to know how this works out.

theperpetualspiral said...

I have to ask, where did you find him?

nuttycow said...

I'm with Perp... where *did* you find him?

Any man who drinks Chardonnay should be shown the door pronto (and vodka and coke? Seriously, if you're going to drink a spirit, it has to be G&T)


But at least it gave you something to write about :)

LB said...

Just cos your favourite band is Keane, doesn't necessarily make you a bad person.


Blonde said...

PaulH: I think you'd have trouble defending this one; I don't know that you'd want to tar the name of men by having him associated with your species.

Robbie: HAH! Good one.

TPS / NC: The ninth circle of hell. Seriously.

LB: No, I'm sure it doesn't. But it, and the rest of the list, does.

The Pedant said...

At the risk of being pedantic, I feel I have to point out that chardonnay is the grape behind some of the finest white wines in the world, including Chablis and most white Burgundies. It saddens me that through poor wine-making and overselling this otherwise innocent grape variety now occupies the place that Blue Nun used to (and don't get me started on how utterly fantastic many German wines are).

PaulH said...

Pedant: I agree entirely - I should add that I was being slightly facetious with the Blue Nun comment.

Chardonnay perhaps gets a tarnished reputation from some of the overly oaky tasting varieties that are kicking around out there. Give me a non-oaky Chardonnay and you might find me quietly drinking it - and enjoying it.

I might even drink it whilst listening to Keane!!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Urgh...I can only imagine the sort of place he took you two. B@1 or something equally horrendous, perhaps.

My worst date wasn't so much the date itself, but the afterwards bit when we were back at mine, and the bloke was utterly transfixed with the sports on the news and while I was talking, stared at the TV and said "Don't worry, I am listening, it's just Sheffield Wednesday are on"


Mike said...

I want to be sympathetic, Blonde, I really do. But he ordered a vodka and Diet Coke, so the case can be made that you were adequately warned.

roseski said...

Wow. Please say he was from a website? I can't work out how else you could have found him and not realised how utterly unsuitable he is!

Zstep said...

Is it wrong that if I was Minister of Culture in a Totalitarian regime that I would instantly put to death anyone that orders Vodka and Diet Coke? Good god, that sounds dreadful.

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