Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Worst first date

 I believe I was born with very poor spacial awareness.
I didn't learn to use a knife and fork properly despite sitting as a family every single night at the table to eat traditional fayre. Many an errant slice of sausage, flyaway hunk of chop or catapulting carrot landed on the floor, I was a scrounging dog's dream. My nickname as a child was Frank Spencer, as I often caused a chain-reaction of calamities with my clumsiness. You get told off an awful lot when you're clumsy, and it just makes matters worse. When we visited friends of my parents, they would often ask "Is Lucy left handed?" This was probably a polite way to ask "what on earth is wrong with your fuck-witted daughter, is she blind and pissed?"

My tale this evening (all true, as always) is about me going on a date. I hate dates, I don't know how anyone can enjoy one on one meetings with people they hardly know. I must have been about 18, and living with my parents, they were getting concerned that I never went on dates. Why, I don't know. 
The first meeting of the guy who was to go on the worst date of his life, was at closing time in a local pub. My friend (really, I'd say if it was me) wanted a piss but they wouldn't let her back in. This guy offered to shield her while she relieved herself behind the train platform. Obviously, she declined such a bizzare offer, but he insisted on chatting, and we discovered our mums knew each other, and that we'd gone to the same nursery. This was enough for him to think he was on to something special, I just thought, what a shame he's short, ginger and thin ( being tall, podgy and dark myself). We were escorted home by him and his friend (who's appearance has been erased from my mind). When my friend went in for a wee, he asked for my number, I didn't give it to him, just said it's on the first page of the phone book, and gave him my surname. I did not expect to get a call. Embarrassed, I just sort of mumbled OK when he did ring, asked if I'd meet him at 7 o'clock outside Marks and Spencer's on Thursday. I told my parents and they were delighted, "his mum is nice" said my mum "he's in the Army, that's good" said my dad.  Thursday came, I had no intention of turning up, but couldn't bring myself to ring and cancel either. My dad bought up a bottle of wine to my bedroom and talked me into going.

 I put a wrap over white shirt on, jeans and I'm sure I put pink lipstick on, I probably looked awful. I was pissed.  I wobbled into town, feeling as if the whole world was watching my every move. It was just as excruciating as I'd imagined in my worst moments of doubt. Looking shorter and thinner than I remembered, we looked ridiculous together and totally mis-matched. The pub was dead, save for the handful of regulars who stared, it was obvious we weren't a proper couple.  Conversation was difficult, I asked rhetorical questions but the answers tended to be 'yes' 'no' or 'not really'. I stupidly had 2 pints, on top of the bottle of wine. Absolute bollocks starts spouting from my mouth, I wish I could recall an example, but all I remember is a painted-on polite grin which grew increasingly unconvincing. We were sat at the bar, on stools,  the landlord came over for a chat. The pub dog came over to say hello, I patted him on the head, then he lay down near my feet. I felt dizzy, but ignored it. My tepid date and the landlord were chatting away about men things, I leant forward to pet the dog. I fell forwars slowly, landed ON the dog. The gap I fell into was small, it was difficult to move without hurting the dog, so I had to be yanked up, by Mr Muscle. 

I can't really remember the rest of the evening, I know I was escorted home. I didn't dare tell my parents what had happened, I said it was a 'nice' evening.
Two days later, I received a call, "Hi Lucy, I really enjoyed our date, would you like to meet up tonight?" I thought, for god's sake, just how desperate are you mate? I look like I could carry you over my shoulder while still eating pie and chips, I get legless, talk shit and fall on a dog during our first date, and you want to see me again? I made my excuses, but felt incredibly guilty, I had been the arsehole, not him.

I explained to my mum what had really happened on the date, she said "he's in the army and he's short, he just wants anyone to be his girlfriend". That was the truth.

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