As so often occurs in my life, one recent Thursday evening, I found myself in the pub.
With The Redhead working behind it, I sat at the bar nattering and merrily getting in the way of TR doing her job whilst I waited for another friend to join me for supper and a long-overdue catch-up.
As TR turned away (rudely - I mean, how dare she?!) to serve paying customers, I turned to my left to find a dark, handsome stranger had sat down with a large glass of red.
We’d swapped a few polite pleasantries, when The Redhead introduced us properly.
“Pub Regular, this is Blonde. Blonde, Pub Regular. More drinks?”
If such a thing is possible as to declare one’s two favourite words in the English language, I think those come pretty darned close.
More drinks it was, and we continued chatting until my friend arrived, and she and I moved to a table by the window to gossip about her forays into online dating and misbehaving sixth-formers (for clarity: the two are definitely discrete subjects. I don’t think the head at her school would be too thrilled if they were a mutual problem).
She and I worked our way through a nice balanced supper of houmous, olives, gossip and more houmous. A couple of hours later and I was back at the bar to settle up.
Pub Regular, having been joined by his flatmate, was still there, knocking back a bottle of Malbec. A quip about how they absolutely weren’t on a man-date (despite the fact they were planning on going shopping together the following day), and a few moments later I was walking back to The Teacher with a receipt for the mountain of houmous and PR’s number.
Being a fairly traditional kinda gal, I left it to him to make the first move.
And left it.
And then left it a while longer.
I’m not the type to play games - and, thankfully, the guys I’ve seen in the recent past haven’t been either. If I’ve liked someone, they’ve known it. Messages, phonecalls and dates have been sent, or received, or arranged and executed in the course of life. I’ve never sat and thought about how long I should wait between receiving a text and sending a reply; or worried about whether I should hold more back. Because, in my experience, dealings with men are baffling enough without adding layers of complexity to the dating game.
So when the required “playing it cool” 48 hours had passed; and then a frankly rude three days had passed and I’d heard neither hide nor hair from PR, I assumed I wouldn’t, and wrote him off.
I didn’t realise you’d actually swapped numbers! The Redhead messaged when I told her I’d finally had a text.
Indeed, I said. Although he’s very clearly from the “playing it so cool it’s glacial” school of thought.
It had taken PR a whole week for a message that simply said: Hi. Thought of you. How are you? x
I’m all for making dating work however you can, but I don’t know that applying your own set of particularly frosty rules is a philosophy I want to adopt - or encourage.
Forty days: Pt 12 (the half-term shuffle)
17 hours ago