Oh. My. God. Ohmygod. Omigod, omigod, omigod! I went for a date with a guy and … he was NICE!
Now, I understand this may sound as though I’m damning him with faint praise, but considering my usual fortune with the opposite sex … well, let’s just say I’m reluctant to go overboard prematurely.
Anyway, the Resting Administrator – he’s taking a break from his usual admin career to come to the UK and improve his English, as well as date the locals – is tall, dark, handsome and, shockingly, nice. I can hardly believe it. For once, the dating site has come good, I think.
Although our date is brief, we have time to go for a coffee, take a walk and sit in the sunshine, watching the world go by. And we have a thoroughly pleasant time. So it seems only logical to arrange another date to see how this thing progresses.
And so we arrange for a drink the next evening (I know – evening! Get me…) in a pub that’s close enough to home to facilitate a quick dash if anything happens that my dear babysitting friend can’t cope with.
Although the gap between the little guy’s bedtime and the start of the date doesn’t leave time for a whole heap of preening, I brush my teeth, do my hair and treat myself to a slick of lipstick. At eight o’clock sharp I’m stood at the appointed place and…
… my date isn’t there.
Undeterred, I take a seat and try to resist the temptation to fiddle with my phone. Not five minutes later he arrives, apologises for his tardiness and zips off to get the drinks.
And it’s then that the wheels come off the wagon.
Because when he sits back down, he’s not the charming man I spent the afternoon with; he’s a leering, over-“friendly” guy who’s either undergone a complete character transformation or has made a little too free with the pre-dinner sherry.
I sit, perplexed, as he tells me he’s disappointed that I didn’t immediately start calling him ‘baby’ or ‘honey’ as he had done in his texts. Then he embarks upon an embittered rant about how the people in his building don’t respect him and how wrong this is as he’s always respected other people and even as a teenager he never disrespected anyone and if I did then I’m surely a bad person…
Initially, I just feel bored listening to him rave on. And then I begin to question why I’m sitting there at all. I’ve got barely an inch down my drink and I already know that this is going nowhere. And so I raise my hand to bring his torrent of bitter words to a halt.
He looks at me for a moment, and blinks.
“I’m sorry,” I say. “I’m not having a nice time. In fact, I’m feeling quite uncomfortable and I’d like to go home now.”
Immediately, he wilts.
“Sorry,” he says. “Yes … I’m sorry … of course … let’s go.”
I half-expect him to contest my decision, but at the door he just apologises meekly once more and we part.
My babysitting friend mimes disbelief as I walk through the door not 45 minutes after I’ve left.
“Already?!” she says. “What happened?”
And so I tell her.
And the next day, I receive a string of apologetic messages, but it’s plain that there’s no going back from here. I reply to one, then delete the rest. Eventually, he falls silent.
I feel utterly confused. How can someone’s character change from black to white – and back again – in so short a space of time? But I refuse to let one setback get in the way of my new dating regime. In fact, the very next day I get another message from another gentleman who – on the surface at least – appears to be quite normal, and a date is duly arranged.
Now, I’m working on the basis that a girl would have to be very unlucky indeed to meet two crazy guys in one week, right?
Let’s hope I’m right because I’m meeting him for coffee in half an hour…