SWIPED – DATE No. 5 – Dead-eyed Ed…. by Dating Confessions of a PR Girl
SO having blacklisted Svetlanka and Tomos from my rolodex and taken a European mini break to a place where the men have ponytails, ride mopeds, smoke Marlboro reds and have decidedly loose morals, what else was there to do but get back to swiping/resume the search for T1…with Summer just around the corner those barbecues are NOT going to light themselves.
And so I Happn’d upon Ed who described himself simply as ‘Rugby (Bath, England), Rum (Sailor Jerry, Angostura), Movies (anything good)’. I figured that anyone who considers Sailor Jerry as priority adjective when summing themselves up in 67 characters may indeed be my kinda guy, and his opening message (which I have finally learnt that no matter how old fashioned/backward/generally ridic it is, the man has to have to message first before you can even think about hoping for a response…I guess it’s something to do with when we used to live in caves and eat soot and men killed wild animals with their bare hands) revealed that he could spell, punctuate, and be mildly amusing…a GSOH? Just what I needed…
Chit chat continued apace where we talked about nothing of any particular value or relevance, but it didn’t matter given it was all very LOL. We laughed at the Tinderati for so frequently featuring a picture of themselves next to a sedated tiger (not even joking)/completing a marathon/building a school in a third world country, and apologised for the lack of demonstrable altruism, superior athletic ability, or love of big cats in our photos. (Mine tend to be more heavily focussed around a recent girls LOLiday to Myki – that’s Mykonos – in case you were wondering) Sure, there was a pretty suspect photo of Ed with a Labrador in which he stared rather hauntingly down the lens of the camera, but given that every potential suitor is allowed one anomalous picture (and trust me, everyone seems to have one…be it a selfie taken in the bathroom mirror (WHY?), flaunting a pair of bodaciously coloured chinos, or a not particularly creatively cropped pic with the ex-girlfriend…IS THIS YOUR BEST WORK?!) I chose to put it to the back of my mind….
And so we reached the point where we decided it might be time to go for a drink and see if we could be as LOL in real life as we were in our messages… Sure, I knew nothing of where he lived or what he did for a living or (perhaps more crucially) his height, but that’s all part of the adventure isn’t it…and surely you can never run out of things to talk about if you haven’t even covered the most fundamental of back-up questions….surely?!?
I declared myself incapable of making wise decisions (see entry 4 involving an impromptu facial peel and a disappointing Welsh civil servant) and so Ed took the initiative and suggested we meet at the trendy Thames-side cocktail bar, Skylon…which I guess is as good a place as any to spend a Thursday night with a complete stranger. Uncharacteristically I arrived just 5 minutes late to Ed’s 20 and managed to elbow my way to a seat at the bar where I could eavesdrop on slurry business-lunch-gone-bad conversations. Ed asked me to order him something rum based while I waited for him – true to his word – and I opted for a potent gin based drink with a ridiculous name, natch. After an excruciating 10 minutes of watching the bar tender cradle his cocktail shaker like a new-born child Ed arrived just in time to see him add the finishing je ne sais quoi of a burning stick of cinnamon to his lurid cocktail. LOL! Ed was looking harassed – beading up if you will – and just generally very uncomfortable as he acknowledged me and pulled himself onto the bar stool next to mine…That’s right reader, he pulled himself up because he was probably 5’6 on a good day.
But its personality that counts, right?
It turned out that Ed didn’t see the funny side of a stick of burning cinnamon being plunged into his icy beverage, nor that the bartender thought it might be amusing to berate him for being late. Turned out Ed also wasn’t a fan of making eye contact as he declared that he’d much rather be in a local pub than a cocktail bar (erm…you picked it bozo?!) There was no banter, and there were no LOLs as we trawled through a long list of generic first date (#snoozefest) questions. It turned out that Ed worked for the civil service doing something I didn’t quite understand but was disillusioned with it and wanted to quit. He declared that sometimes he liked to go home and take all of his clothes off and shout swear words at the top of his voice… (sure, doesn’t everyone? Oh, let me think about that…NO) which was mildly alarming and perhaps an overshare too far for a first drink. All the while Ed stared into his rum and simply couldn’t bring himself to look at me (and it wasn’t even like I was wearing dungarees/birkenstocks/flatforms which I understand to be generally considered abhorrent to men)
THROW ME A BONE HERE, ED…
We struggled through a second cocktail (in hindsight I have no idea why) in which Ed described his troubled relationship with his brother and Swedish girlfriend (who he incidentally quite fancied #inappropes) and I found myself asking about his love of rugby in a desperate bid to dispel the ever lengthening m-awkward silences. Yup, it was that bad. Fortunately I’d ordered a martini which was relatively easy to see off, and Ed’s drink was predominantly ice and foliage, and so the pain – rather like a toe stub – was intense, but brief. After what seemed like an eternity we finally managed to procure the bill and Ed scrutinised it as if it might hold the answer to how not to be socially awkward in a first date scenario. There was a car-crash moment where he looked as if he was going to suggest that I might owe 73p more for my share of the bill which I quickly overrode with a breezy ‘lets go Dutch!’ We paid. We left. Ed declared that it was nice to see that I was as fun in real life as I was in my messages on Happn and I felt unable to reciprocate beyond a ‘good luck’ – with what I’m not entirely sure…the therapy, perhaps. Two swift martinis and no complimentary bar snacks meant there was only one thing for it – you know how it ends, reader – the bright lights of West Kebab were calling, as was the need to resume that search for a good man who is a dab hand with a kettle drum BBQ…
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