“The Am-Dram”

I haven’t dated in a while, it’s pretty much been a month as I was giving the Second Chancer far too many chances, so I have had a little break.

I matched with The Am-Dram on Bumble, which meant I had to message first and steer the conversation from the outset – I say this because this is pretty much how it felt on the date.

We met in a pub not too far from where I live, a halfway location from him as well. As I walked there I thought to myself, this is local to one of my colleagues. I said this to The Am-Dram, he said it was a local for some friends too. Then said colleague walked in, took a table not far away, not realising he was opposite me, so I waved and then he later mouthed over ‘are you on a date’. Part of me wanted the ground to swallow me up there and then, the other part thought this will make leaving easier!

The Am-Dram was pleasant, he is a nice guy. Why is he called The Am-Dram? Because he kept going on about amateur dramatics, referring to it as ‘am-dram’, he was later going to some engagement drinks with some am-dram folk. I have no problem with hobbies, by all means I wish sometimes I had something better than my interests, but please don’t chew my ear off about them. Every thing he did is am-dram related because he is no longer playing rugby.

What The Am-Dram also mentioned, is that he was engaged about 18 months ago, which is honest and let’s face it not everyone would be so honest on a first date. I wonder if it was to someone from am-dram. He also mentioned his father passed away not long after his engagement ended, and what transpired is he really isn’t ready for dating or meeting someone. I was steering the conversation, he didn’t ask me that many questions about myself, something which happens when someone isn’t interested…

I think The Am-Dram assumed we had similar careers, yet he is making a break from his to become a teacher – in hindsight, he was patronising me a little bit for not making a similar career break, not getting out of my house-share (er it’s London, that’s quite normal), which doesn’t make you feel overly great. It was raining and I think both of us were unsure how to continue.

Meanwhile, my colleague mouthed over that Al Murray, The Pub Landlord, was in the pub. Useful and a change of focus! I like a celeb spot, and told The Am-Dram that I had spotted Iain Glen from Game of Thrones recently (he didn’t need to know this was whilst on a date). The Am-Dram said he watches Game of Thrones sometimes… how can you watch it sometimes?!

After a few more drinks, the rain had cleared, The Am-Dram needed to leave for his am-dram buddies. He confirmed he isn’t ready for dating, said I am a great girl. I think if he was ready for dating, the date would have been quite different.

He left, and I went over to my colleague and his wife, joined them for drinks and a pub quiz – the same pub quiz I went to with Choco Leibniz. This blog is wonderful for reminding me just how many dates I go on…

“High Guy”

On my dating profile I have a little list of things about me, which I often doubt that many lads read.

High Guy did, his opening gambit on Tinder was a ramble of a reply to each point on the list. It was better than ‘hey’, ‘hello’ or ‘hi’ so I replied and consequently there was a bit of back and forth in messaging. 

It turned out that High Guy had had a big night the night before, his name now might make sense. He was taking his mum and her friend to lunch and would I like to go for drinks later: I was non committal. I already had some plans; I was going to Wembley to watch football and didn’t really fancy a big night of drinks after this which is what he was alluding to. 

As the afternoon went on High Guy bailed on the drinks anyway, said he was totally hanging and in bed drinking whisky. I ventured back from my already made plans, told him not to worry, what will be, will be. I should point out we both live in the same part of London, such are Tinder’s super capabilities, and I had also mentioned I was getting a McDonald’s and heading home. 

High Guy said to wait 5 minutes, he’d man up and head out to meet me. Mainly because he was flying off somewhere the next day and this was his chance, and that I wasn’t allowed to go to McDonald’s.

High Guy arrived, still totally out of it and off his face. Clearly. Whilst this was amusing, it was obviously a struggle. He asked me the same question three times. We had a drink and I said I would be heading to McDonald’s – he knew his time was up and agreed he should not have ventured out. He wanted to take me to a Turkish place, so he twisted my arm and off we went and High Guy tells me he is a vegetarian. Actually a pescatarian as I asked him if he eats fish. This makes it tricky when you’ve got a cheeseburger on the brain.

He inhaled the mezze, wanted lots of chilli sauce, and that was that. We said our goodbyes, and I went to McDonald’s anyway.

“The Netballer”

I had the day off work today and whilst enjoying my time with a trip to the swimming pool, doing a few errands and watching Once Upon A Time, I dabbled with Tinder. I matched with The Netballer. His profile, because I actually read it, said a few things but ended with ‘the only day we we won’t have a date is Thursday, I’m playing netball’.

Turns out The Netballer was off work too, on a staycation he said. He seemed alright, he suggested lunch, and he suggested coming to where I live so that all made it pretty easy. And I am often spontaneous and can’t stand a penpal type of situation when it comes to dating apps.

We met at the tube station, which yes I know I whinged about with Cheese-Bored but this was daytime, at a less busy time, and when I got there, Iain Glen, who to my mind is best known for Game of Thrones was also there and I was giddy. I was trying to take his photo on the sly when The Netballer appeared and ruined it.

He ruined it with his bad jeans, bad leather jacket, bad trainers. I wish I wasn’t so mean but studies have shown you only have 7 seconds to make a strong first impression, and in that 7 seconds The Netballer ruined my celeb-spotting time and topped it off with his bad dress sense.

We went for a cuppa, we chatted but he seemed very awkward, and whilst eating his sandwich was making odd sort of gulpy type moves like my dad does when he has eaten too quickly. He got food stuck in his beard. He didn’t ask me about my job, where I am from, or anything about me. He only asked me about my swim and pretty much talked about himself and his stressful job as an economist and netball.

He actually plays netball.

I didn’t fancy him.

I asked him what he was doing with the rest of the day in a bid to get out of this date, he had netball to go to of course and he then asked me – to which I said I had shopping to do, things to get back to the house for (all lies, I only had Once Upon a Time to get back to and the sofa and tea). He offered to carry my fake shopping for me three times. The lad was keen. Perhaps my giddy excitement at seeing Iain Glen was a good first impression.

I think he even wanted to kiss me when we said goodbye. He messaged me after as well ‘let me know if you get bored’.

I will not be seeing The Netballer again.

 

“The Teacher”

The Teacher, on paper, was, if requirements are a thing (I don’t have many, since I generally go for bald idiots), pretty good. He teaches ‘little people to become great designers’, so my opening line on Bumble was that ‘I work with big people who are designers’. For those who don’t know, on Bumble the girl has to message first. Easy…

We messaged for a week or so and arranged to meet, on a Friday, which is against my dating beliefs and links to a rule I mentioned when I went on a date with Inferno. This is ‘Don’t have a first date on a Friday night unless you have a plan to go somewhere else (or fake plan) or are too bothered about potentially ruining your Friday night’. The other issue I have with Friday, is that sometimes I just need to unwind after work, and that’s best done by getting totally wasted or going straight home.

I’d already had two pints at lunchtime, and a beer from the Friday drinks fridge… I was also running late which isn’t something The Teacher really understood I don’t think (I could enter a comment about him leaving at 3.30pm every day here but I know this isn’t true). Unfortunately, if something needs to be done at work, it needs to be done and leaving on time becomes a dream – I did give him plenty of warning however. And then he was late, and I was there first, the classic, see Inferno, Paddy McPasta, The Big Man; it seems to be a skill of mine.

Anyway we got drinks, we chatted, about holidays, he’s going to Jordan (I have been – I could have been born there too as my family lived there before I was born, just FYI) and I am contemplating going to Thailand. We chatted about where we are from (clearly not both from London), families etc., all usual and flowing conversation.

The Teacher then suggested that being a teacher means that he can never work at under 100% effort and that in my job and others, we can have days where we work at 50-70% and nobody notices. Great thanks, so you think my job isn’t important? Everybody has ‘off days’. I have many friends who are teachers – I know how hard they work, I also know some who have bad days. We are all human. This triggered some bubbling annoyance within me, it is an insensitive thing to say when you are meant to be impressing me…

Then Six Nations rugby came on the television… Wales v Ireland… and that was a distraction. He likes rugby a lot (as do I) so why on earth agree to a date when clearly you want to be watching it? And then some Welsh and Irish people wanted to sit at our table and watch it too and they started talking to us; The Teacher even bumped into a friend – it was all too much.

When he went to the loo, I went on Facebook on my phone and watched this video from BBC News where a guy is being interviewed and his kids videobomb the interview. I laughed a lot, watched it a few times and that was the most fun I had all evening.

“The Kiwi”

I have never dated someone from New Zealand before, therefore The Kiwi will be his name. I appear to be on ‘a bit of a roll’ with first dates at the moment, so much so that my brain is confused with what I know about people, so I have had to scroll back to the start of my Tinder conversation with The Kiwi to remember how it all began.

And it was a pretty good beginning in some respects, The Kiwi opted for the ‘2 truths, 1 lie’ approach to engage me in a conversation. This is better than what GQ suggests, ‘hey’ really is not an opener. The Kiwi’s method worked, however he got the answer from these options below incorrect:

  1. I’m fluent in German.
  2. I don’t like pineapple.
  3. I have naturally blonde hair.

Conversation on Tinder then flowed to the usual small talk, which was all going on around the time I was about to go on a date with Choco Leibniz. Hence I get confused about what I knew. Too many details to remember!

It was all pleasant enough, he invited me for drinks and I like to drink, so plans were set.

We went to a busy bar, conversation flowed, we talked about our top 5 destinations we haven’t yet made it to – we have different lists. He was drinking pale ale, which I like, so after a couple of drinks, we went to a pub for a better offering of the stuff, so that I could have some too. We whinged about work, though I think The Kiwi was whinging more than me!

We must have decided to get food after a couple of pints of pale ale, but there was a wait at the restaurant of choice, so I suggested a bar next door for a cocktail in the meantime. We then had more pale ale with our food in the restaurant.

After the waitress gave us a free pudding, we somehow were talking about tequila. Another thing we have in common, though The Kiwi had not had tequila with a slice of orange to follow, nor had he had honey tequila. I highly recommend this stuff! We decided to go looking for tequila after settling the bill (he paid).

The pub we found closed pretty much after we had ordered our drinks and tequilas, so it was time to call it a night. I think he might have still been whinging. I think I was drunk (I know I was drunk). The Kiwi casually put his arm around me, stops me in the street for a quick kiss and on we go to the tube.

It was all very pleasant, I think he said something about me showing him some other pubs sometime. To be continued? We shall see.

“Choco Leibniz”

Choco Leibniz actually started out as “Guitar-man“, when I started this blog, which is a bit lame (though I had a thought pop in my head ‘he could teach me the guitar if this goes well’). He soon became Choco Leibniz based on our messages about biscuits and our biscuit of choice (a great topic of conversation). FYI, mine is a Hobnob, all varieties. Choco Leibniz was on to a good start.

He suggested a pub quiz. I was a bit hesitant. Whilst this is a great date idea, is it right for a first date? Some overthinking occurred:

  • Committing to the quiz for a couple of hours, if not more, is quite a big ask for a first date. Recently, how long should a first date be is something I’ve thought about a lot.
  • What if I know too much and come across as a geek? Unlikely, I quickly realised.
  • What if I know nothing? Again unlikely, but what if I don’t know enough? Was I being tested?

I like pub quizzes so really none of this mattered. Choco had made a plan, which is a rare thing itself.

We met, we quizzed. Between us we were pretty average. We didn’t come last and that’s the main thing. My chosen specialised subject of the evening were the word/anagram based sections, Choco Leibniz’s was music (not biscuits), between us we were ok at TV/celebs and history but pretty useless on sport. We doodled on the back of a sheet, him mocking my rubbish maths where I had panicked and added an extra digit to my answer to how many centimetres wide is a tennis court.

We drank quite a lot… even when the pub closed after the quiz ended, we went on for a couple more drinks. Probably a little unnecessary, but maybe that proves we were having a nice time…

The bar was closing, it was time to call it a night. I ordered an Uber, and after a cheeky snog, off I went.

I wonder whether I will be making the quiz team again.

“Titchski”

Before I met him he was getting names like “SkiSkiSki” as he had 3 ski trips lined up and I was marginally jealous. This is pretty much all I knew about him, this and where he lives. However, Titchski, and my housemates were right (they sussed this from his photos), was a shorter than your average male, he seemed even shorter than The Big Man.

I wanted to leave immediately. I know, give the guy a chance is what you might think but how long would I have to sit there? How long is acceptable? I was hoping an hour, two maximum. The ideal time for a first date.

Anyway there wasn’t even a glimmer of hope, particularly as the first thing Titchski said was “oh, have you come straight from work?” – which infuriated me who wouldn’t go on a date in London straight from work? I was thinking to myself what does Titchski do that meant he could go home, maybe exercise, freshen up before going on a date? Something to do with investments.

Yawn.

We went back to talking about what we had in common, skiing. He slated my recent ski trip which let me tell you is something you just do not do in my presence. Ever.

We talked about how many weddings we were going to this year, and their locations, this topic is becoming a bit of a regularity on my dates; this happened with Inferno. It was too competitive and too dull as a conversation. I was bored.

Titchski got up to get more drinks which confirmed he really was a titch. Cue the phone check in with pals, “he’s short”.

It annoyed me as in my profile I’ve noted  my height and where I live, I knew he’d read it as we had talked about the latter briefly. Perhaps he was after a Jamie Cullum/Sophie Dahl thing, or Rob Stewart/Penny Lancaster, or my godmother and her husband (though of course he wouldn’t know about them). I wish he had said so beforehand as sorry Titchski, this not for me.

We had one more drink before we decided to call it a night, it wasn’t a tricky one to get out of as I think it was pretty obvious to both of us after around an hour and a quarter, that this was not going to end up in a ski wedding.

“Paddy McPasta”

Something you should know about me. If I’m going to spend my time on the proverbial shelf then I might as well have fun whilst I’m up there. This means I have entertained behaviour in the past that perhaps I shouldn’t have or pursued things I should have ditched. 

Paddy McPasta. Irish-Italian in case you can’t work out why we are calling him this. 

We had messaged a lot before the date, a constant flow of taking the mickey and finding out things we had in common. This is either a good thing (it’s fun, you know more, they have good conversation – he’s got Irish within him so past dating tells me this has potential to be fun) or a bad thing (you may run out of things to say when you meet because you know too much, or the worst thing, you meet and a lack of chemistry is zapped out of you quicker than you can say zap). 

I got to the date first. I prefer this sometimes because then they have to find me. However the bar was empty; Paddy McPasta walked past where I was sat in a dash as clearly he’d been rushing but then reversed and came over.

After the initial whinge about the journey here, the working day, we settled in to conversations about friends, weddings (because seems we both go to many) and holidays. Paddy McPasta gets me another Malbec (he makes it large) and himself an Aperol Spritz… we joke about his manliness. I learnt some Irish words and he gets more drinks and I become a little Irish. It’s like when I was in Dublin being an idiot all over again. 

We had some bar snacks, then Paddy McPasta somehow got onto being needy and hungover and says how he likes a neck rub and a tummy rub, just like a puppy dog. 

It was home time, he stands up, he’s not that tall. Oh dear Paddy puppy. 

We say our goodbyes – not really any flirting had gone on other than fun conversation – so just a hug and off I go.

He sent me a message to check if I had got home ok, asks if I’m in bed and asks me what pyjamas I am wearing and here is where I refer you to the beginning of this tale, I tell him and ask the same question back – I think this is a fair thing. Though by this point I’m a bit disappointed in him and I think the wine I’ve had knows where this is going: perhaps Paddy McPasta is a troublemaker. 

Paddy McPasta chooses this moment to send a pic of his pants. 

I wasn’t expecting this and said as such, I also said he didn’t seem very bothered on the date. I am still none the wiser other than thinking Paddy McPasta is like many others I have dated who are after nothing but mischief. It’s marginally disappointing and a bit strange after a seemingly normal and nice date.