Some things are date activities; some are not. And, with my wealth of experience in the field, you’da thunk I’d know what falls into which camp by now. Apparently not.
But, in my defence, when The Filmmaker suggested we do dinner and a movie, I didn’t really see what could go wrong. [An aside: he’s a man who says ‘movie’. I’m a girl who says ‘film’. But, whereas I’m in PR, he’s in the industry, so I can’t say anything because he's probably right, but keeping the crazy English-stickler pedantry under wraps is harder than you’d think.]
I met TF outside his office one evening, and we wandered into Soho to grab said dinner before said movie. Diving into a great little Italian place introduced to me by The Metrosexual, we ordered drinks and perused the menu. Having made his decision in a split second, TF waited patiently as choice paralysis threatened to take hold. Eventually, I gave in and ordered what I’m always tempted to, but never dare.
And, some 12 minutes later, it became patently clear to me why I never order squid ink linguine, and especially never in public. And never, ever on a date. Because while it might be endlessly delicious in its squiddy, inky unctuousness, it’s a bloody nightmare to eat.
“Er, you’ve got a little…” TF smiled and pointed to his chin. I dabbed at it with my napkin “No, a little to the left… a bit more… Yeah, um, sort of…”
Which happened at least twice more before I leapt up and scurried to the loo where I found several splashes of squink (gotta love a Nigella-coined phrase) all over my face, lips and - attractively - teeth. Muttering furiously to myself, I made desperate attempts to scrub it all off and cover the worst bits with concealer.
Going back to the table, I eschewed the rest of the linguine and plucked out the remaining chunks of squid, swearing silently to myself that only neutral-coloured food is to be consumed on dates from here on in.
Things weren’t much better once we’d settled into our seats at the cinema. Admittedly, what followed was partly my fault because I agreed to go and see the damned thing. In a peculiar week during awards season in which there was nothing I was too fussed about seeing that I hadn’t already, and because TF did want to see it, we were smack bang in the middle of a screen showing 127 Hours.
I’d even had advanced warning via email.
Are you sure? It is quite gory.
SAW III gory?
No, not quite that bad.
Ok, well I’m sure I’ll be fine.
Hah! Being able to grin and bear one’s way through a short burst of improbable surgery on Grey’s Anatomy does not, apparently, mean you can stomach shot after shot of a man sawing through his tendons with a penknife. Heads up, kids.
Of course, had I thought the situation through, I’d have used the opportunity to play the ‘meek and feeble girl’ card: squealed at the opportune moment and then buried my head in his shoulder.
Not being that smooth, instead I squeaked audibly, pulled my scarf up over my nose, folded my arms over my chest and slumped down the seat, sticking out my tongue and shutting my eyes when the gore got too much.
“So, what did you think?!” TF said, sliding his hand into mine as we left the cinema once all the chopping and severing had stopped.
I think that squid ink and blood are not substances that have any place on a date. You heard it here first.
Jamie Oliver Telicherry Black Pepper
11 hours ago