Friday 29 January 2010

57 The Craic

This isn't how I imagined our first meeting to be at all.

Shouldn't we be hugging and saying we are so glad that we are finally seeing each other in the flesh? Instead, Fishy is standing there telling me he won't kiss me because his lip is bleeding, and I'm rummaging through the world's biggest bag trying to find some vaseline for him.

No, not even nearly like I'd envisaged.

He, on the other hand, is exactly like I'd expected. Or should I say that he's like all the photos I'd seen of him. He insisted on emailing me 10 before we met up. From all different angles.

He's nicely dressed. Probably cause he's wearing the same as me. Grey top and jeans. We're like twins. His jumper isn't off the shoulder though, thankfully.

Head through to baggage control. Fishy is talking to me but I'm unable to concentrate. I'm too busy wondering where I get one of the little plastic bags to put my make-up in. Can't ask Fishy, cause then he'll realise my look isn't natural.

Whisper the question to one of the security guards. He directs me to a vending machine back the direction I've come. His voice booms at me that I'm going the wrong way. The hundred or so people in the queue look at me. Fishy pretends not to know who I am.

Get my wee placcie bag, but then do you think I can find the things in my humongous bag that need to be transferred into it? No, I cannot.

Fishy has already gone through the metal detector and is standing waiting patiently for me. I'm getting flustered. The baggage handler tells me I'm going red which of course only serves to make my face flame even more. I start trying to multi-task and take off my belt and boots at the same time. Baggage handler tells me to relax. Then adds that everyone behind is giving me dirty looks.

I'm finally ready to prepare my innocent face and walk through the metal detector when baggage man stops me again.

'I can't let you go though with those earrings knives are allowed on board... or forks either.'

I'm about to protest then I realise he's joking. Think I must have put my bantering gene in the bag alongside my make-up.

Fishy sighs as I finally meet up with him. Think he's questioning whether I really have ever been on a plane before. Or even out the house.

We grab a drink before boarding. Fishy wants to taste my mocha. I surreptitiously wipe the cup after. (Well he did say his lip was bleeding...)

I'm fannying about with my ginormous bag as we get seated on the plane and end up jerking my cup with the result that a bit of liquid jumps out and lands on my jumper. In the nipple region.

I pray he won't notice.

He notices. And remarks on it. I make a crap joke about lactating. Great, now he's going to be thinking about my nipples leaking. I decide to stop talking.

A man sits between us making it hard to chat anyway. He also blocks my view of Fishy's crotch, so I don't have to worry about catching sight of his little problem during the descent.

Short time later we are in Belfast and sitting down for lunch. The waitress comes over to see if we are ready to order. I'm still dithering. Fishy tells her I'm always like this.

It all feels strangely normal, which is weird considering that I'm in a place I've never been, with a guy I've never met. Can't tell if that is just the Fishy effect or whether I just feel I know him through his blog.

I notice his trainers. 'Are they the ones you bought to go on the date with the hairdresser?'


'What did you buy for your date with me?'

'A plane ticket.'

Fair point.

Fed and watered we go in search of a bus tour round Belfast. We want a bit of 'cultcha'. Fishy suggests we link arms. Ah ha! I realise what he's doing. This is one of his tricks to try and steal a kiss. I link anyway. It's pissing down and we're sharing my umbrella so it seems sensible.

We clamber to the top deck of the bus and go to sit in the one remaining seat under the roof canopy. A man stops us and says he's saving that for a friend. Fishy and I talk to each other telepathically and decide to ignore him and sit there anyway. Teamwork!

I can feel Fishy shivering beside me. I, of course, am roasty toasty as I have packed with the Antarctic in mind. I feel sorry for him and give him my cardigan which he places on his lap. I suddenly feel like I'm participating in Help the Aged day. That's until he starts asking the tour guide various questions, then it's like I'm out with the school swot.

An hour and a half and two numb bums later, we head to the Crown, one of Belfast's landmark pubs. Fishy goes to order us some Guinness while I go to the toilet. When I come out he is chatting to an old Irish man propping up the bar, who remarks about the fact he is surprised that Fishy is out with a female.

As we sit down in a cosy booth I ask Fishy whether he could in fact be gay and maybe hasn't realised it.

'I mean you said in your blog that your neighbour thought you were and now he did too.'

'No, I think it's that he thought you were a man at first.'

With these boobs? Unlikely.

The banter continues. He flirts with me. Tells me he likes the way I say 'world.' We take photos of each other. He deletes all the ones I like of me and keeps all the crap. He offers to read my palm (another of his snog ploys!)It's all very comfortable. We even broach subjects that you should never mention on a first date. Things like piles, death and past relationships.

Dinner time and we cross the road and go into the Europa Hotel for dinner. We are shown to a table which is so close to the one next to it that we are virtually sitting on the laps of the couple occupying it. I ask if we can sit elsewhere.

I'm hoping to re-capture the intimate atmosphere we've just had. Plus I was worried that the couple would have been put off their food if Fishy decides to talk about haemorrhoid's again. As we sit down he whispers to me that he wanted to move as well but didn't want to ask.

A lovely meal later and we realise sadly, that it is time to leave. Fishy says he'll pay for dinner (Ploy number 3- he lurves me, he wants to kiss me!)

At the airport, we travel up an escalator, chatting amiably. As we reach the top, Fishy suddenly darts off.

Er...? I just stand there. I'm really unsure what to do. I start panicking. About the blog. What on earth am I going to write? I can't say that he just disappeared and left me. How mortifying. In fact more to the point, what will he write? What have I done wrong?

My phone rings. It's him. 'I'm round the corner. The football was on in that pub and I'm recording it so don't want to know the result.'

I'm still a bit peeved as we wait for our flight to be called. He tries to make amends by challenging me to a thumb war (ploy number 4...) and then by showing me his passport photo. This doesn't help. I look like a serial killer in mine whereas he is the only person I've ever met that actually looks good in their picture. Freak.

In no time at all we are back in Liverpool. Fishy offers to drive me home. I'm his friend again so accept.

His stereo plays Lionel Richie. I'm instantly taken back to being 15 and my older boyfriend playing 'Hello' in a bid to woo me.

We park outside mine and chat about what a great day it has been. Suddenly Fishy tells me to kiss him. I'm a bit surprised. He starts mumbling something about kissing on the cheeks, not the lips. I'm not sure what to do. I have leant over, with the handbrake jammed into my leg and my lips are hovering about the place. I feel embarrassed. So I tell him to 'Just shut up.'

'You told him to shut up?' my best mate Taggart queries. I call her for a de-brief as soon as I get in to the Tower. 'He uses every one of his techniques to try and get a kiss. You have the upper hand and then you go and spoil it by telling him to shut up. Do you realise that when he writes his blog, that 'Shut Up,' will now become 'Will you Shut Up, cause I really want to kiss you.'?'

'I know,' I cringe.

'Did you think you were in a film or something?'

Damn. I really don't understand it. We spent 13 lovely hours together yet the date finished exactly as it began. Awkwardly.

And to read Fishy's version, click here...

Thursday 28 January 2010

39 D-Day

I've been on a few dates in my time. Probably more than the average person. Yet after you read about my date with fellow blogger Fishy, you could well wonder whether I've ever been on any.

It all started fine, albeit early. Alarm went off at 7am. Pressed 'Snooze' while cursing my bright idea of going to Belfast. Who has to get up at Ridiculous O'Clock to go on a first date?

Once I'm in the shower though, I feel excited. Like I'm going on holiday or something. I suppose I am. Sort of. Just a weird sort of holiday that only lasts a day. And I'm going with a stranger. But still.

Get dressed in pre-arranged outfit. Give myself an imaginary 'high five' for choosing a day-date. No need to worry about whether to wear heels and run the risk of looking over-dressed. Casual all the way. I've opted for jeans and boots and a grey jumper (it's off the shoulder though in case I want to look a bit sultry.)

Dither over jewellery. I like weird stuff. Should I tone it down? Decide to be the real me. Wear my current favourite earrings - a miniature knife and fork. My friend's 3 year old daughter Summer told me they were horrible and asked why I'd want to wear a knife and fork in my head. I'm sure Fishy will like them though. Particularly if I tell him I made them myself for little over a £1.

Do my face and hair. Decide that my eyebrowist has got a bit over-excited in my last threading session. She's made me look a bit surprised. Put on my make-up. Subtly. Wish I could say the same about my hair. Feel that I've got a bit carried away with products.

Get my stuff together. Purse...check! Passport...check! (Decide I looooove saying 'Passport - check!' Particularly when going on a date.) New tube of Lucky Lipgloss - Check!

Oh yes, my Lucky Lipgloss. Fishy can keep all his elaborate techniques to get a snog. I have a secret weapon. Not only does this lipgloss plump up your lips and smell lush, it also never fails to get me a kiss. Never fails. Never.

Am just congratulating myself on my light 'packing' then something weird happens and I seem to think I'm actually going to the Antarctic on a date. I put in a scarf, a hat, gloves and a cardigan. My bag suddenly looks huuuuge. Worry that Fishy's going to think I'm hoping to move in with him.

Make my way to the bus station. Am really, really nervous. What is wrong with me? Might be all the texts from friends wishing me luck. Never before has a love story generated so much interest. Feel like 'Brangelina'. Decide I'll reply to them all when Fishy goes on one of his long toilet breaks.

Have been a bit over-eager and arrive at the station early. Have a mooch around the shop. Flick through magazines. Am paying for some sweets when a man comes into the shop singing 'Old MacDonald Had a Farm'.

The shop assistant isn't amused. Tells me she wish he would 'Piss off.' She needs to take a leaf out of my 'Good Mood Book.'

As I leave the man starts talking to a packet of Jacobs. Tells them that he is the same as them, crackers.

Have a sweet. For reasons unbeknown to myself, I've bought Werther's Originals. It's 8:30 am for God's sake! There should really be a law against that. If only to stop people like me committing a dating faux pas - they really stick to your teeth.

I struggle to prise open my mouth when my friend calls to ask how I am. Tell her I'm nervous. She says nervous is good. I believe her, even though I don't really know what she means.

Bus to Liverpool arrives. I struggle to find my purse amidst all the guff in my bag. Bus driver tells me I'm like a typical woman with my big handbag. Curse myself for being a cliche.

Get to the airport and head straight to the ladies to sort myself out. Give myself a pep talk. Not out loud. Don't want to be like Mr Jacob's Crackers. Apply my Lucky Lipgloss and I'm good to go.

Wait at the pre-arranged spot and I realise my nerves have gone. I'm just feeling excited. Maybe cause I'm in an airport. I like airports a lot.

Then finally...after all the days of phoning, texting and blogging, Fishy appears in front of me.

Finally we meet.

Finally he's here and uttering the words every girl wants to hear...

'I'm not going to kiss you by the way.'

Eh? But what about my 'Never Fail Lucky Lipgloss'? Am I hearing right?

It's clearly faulty. I decide never to buy from eBay again.

Tuesday 26 January 2010

30 An Open Email to Fishy

From: Rapunzel -
To: Fishy -
Date: Tuesday 26 January 2010

Oh Fishy,

You had to go and spoil things didn't you?

It was all going so well. Bamberio suggested we go on a date and being a reader of your blog and finding you hilarious, I thought/hoped that you were a man after my own heart and nothing could go wrong.

And nothing was going wrong. Even our first phonecall, which you were dreading, was better than we could both ever have hoped. We both got excited about our date. Everyone else got excited too. A friend even texted me to say she was going to buy a hat.

Now unfortunately my friends aren't so sure. All because of your last post.

It doesn't matter too much about the fact you've acted very blase about this date, because you and I both know that isn't true. The constant texts say otherwise. In fact I've been told that if you'd sent just another couple more I would have had reasonable grounds to take out a restraining order against you.

Yes I know that you love my accent, and that you think I look lovely in my facebook picture, but there are only so many times that a girl wants to hear it.

No, that isn't the problem though. The problem is that my friends know that I'm very fussy and they are actually questioning my sanity in agreeing to go out with you since you made your little confessions. Some are even a bit worried for my safety. They'd hoped that you would be an improvement on Mr Trafford Centre, not worse.

Despite my own concerns, I'm a woman (albeit young-looking) of my word, so I will still go on this date as planned.

You can dream on about trying your tricks in order to get a kiss though, as they won't wash with me. I've promised Taggart that I will carry a personal alarm and you really don't want to hear the noise that makes.

love Rapunzel x

Sunday 24 January 2010

29 Rapunzel's Dating Rules

Rule 1 - If your potential love interest volunteers to arrange the date, let him. Just sit back and enjoy...

Since our first phone call, Fishy and I have been texting and texting and texting. He gives really good text.

In fact if that's all a relationship was based on, I'd have him take me up the aisle straight away.

I start getting excited about meeting him. So much so, that I really want our first date to go well. We just need Fishy to come up with a good plan.

I ask a few people for date suggestions. Just in case.

I only ask my friends...and my mum...and the concierges. And I mention it to my work colleagues. And I ask the cleaner of the Tower, when I'm in the lift with her. And the barman of my local. But that's all.

I mean I've left the decision up to Fishy anyway and I'm sure he'll do a great job...

Rule 2 - The man likes to feel that he is the man. Let him have the final say on everything.

I call Fishy.

'I've had a great idea! What do you think about seeing if we can get a cheap flight and go somewhere new and random for the day?!'

'Absolutely not.' he replies.

He explains that he doesn't like 80% of people that he meets and it is unlikely that I will be an exception.

'Therefore,' he states, 'I will not, under any circumstances, be stuck with you in a plane. Or a train for that matter. Or a car either.'

I take on board his concerns.

I tell him to research flights and destinations and that I'll call him in an hour.

Rule 3 - Most men will want to pay for everything on the date. Offer to go Dutch, but if they don't let you, don't push it.

When we reconvene Fishy claims that he didn't know where to even start looking. I tell him not to worry and that I've found us dirt cheap flights to Belfast. He balks at the price.

'£18?! I'm not paying that.'

I remind him it would cost him almost that just to come and see me in Manchester. He agrees and asks if I'll book his flight. He says that he'll give me the money when we meet.

Clearly Fishy thinks I've just fallen off a turnip truck.

I'd feel a right idiot if he didn't turn up.

I tell him we'll both book our own.

Rule 4 - Be a little bit mysterious. Men like that.

We decide to get booked immediately. Both tap away at our respective computers inputting our info. Keep having to wait for him to catch me up.

Choose what flight we want. Put in our payment details. Names and addresses. He asks me my middle name. I promise that I'll tell him on the date. He'll definitely not stand me up now.

Do you want travel insurance? Is anyone carrying sports equipment? Does anyone in your party require special assistance?

'Well, do you require any extra help' Fishy asks. 'Perhaps for your wheelchair?'

'Your party is just you.' I tell him. As for whether my party needs special assistance...that'll just have to be a surprise..'

Rule 5 - Feign indifference. Act like you are always going on dates and doubt that this will be anything special.

We both finish booking!..get the email confirmations. I am beside myself with excitement!

'Ohmigod we are going to Belfast. I cannae wait!!! 3 more sleeps!!! I'm just going to go and tell my friends what we are doing. Then shall I phone you back? You can decide what we do when we are actually there. Ooooh Ive heard there's a great pub we must go to. We could go on a bus tour? I think we should go on the wheel. Oh how exciting!! Call you soon! Byeeeeeeeeee!'

Thursday 21 January 2010

54 The Foreplay

Receive my first text from Fishy.

Is it too late to call you?x

He wishes!

I know he's not a fan of the pre-date call, but I'd like to chat to him before we meet. For a start to tell him that I'm Scottish. Just incase he has a thing against haggis or something. I already know that he'll appreciate my tight-fisted side.

I'm really short on free minutes, but I worry that it will look particularly stingy if I text back and say he can call me now. Plus he probably won't. Grudgingly I phone him.

He's laughing when he answers. Probably in delight. Tells me that he could call me back but doesn't imagine this converstion will last very long anyway.

I realise that there is a distinct lack of a scouse accent. Fishy isn't originally from Liverpool. I'm not from Manchester. We are like two big internet dating frauds. I just hope that I haven't been fooled in other ways, and that he is in fact 67. Or blogging from jail.

I was going to tell you what a lovely voice he has. That's until he started doing crap impressions of my accent. Wouldn't mind so much if he'd gone for the Sean Connery, 'Mishhh Moneypenny' version, but instead he sounds more like Mrs Doubtfire.

We start talking about what we are going to do on the date. Says he'll decide. He says it is the man's job. Good boy.

I find it hard to give up the control completely though, so start tossing around a few ideas. Suggest we do something a bit unusual, maybe like bungee jumping.

Bungee jumping?! What the hell did I say that for? Sometimes I need to tape up my mouth. I'd never want to go bungee jumping on a first date. I pray he doesn't go for that...

He doesn't. And the reason he doesn't, is because Fishy is scared of heights.

'Houston, we have a big, fat problem.'

I live in a tower. My apartment is about 460ft in the air. Two of my walls are windows.

Well...looks like if this works out between us there will be no slumber parties at mine.

He starts trying to find things that we do have in common. Asks me the names of my parents. Says his have the same names. Yeah right! Wonder if he'd be playing that card if I'd said Ermintrude and Goliath?

Chat flows really easily. There's a lot of laughing on both sides. We talk about our bad habits. He says something rude. I laugh. Ask him to write that I didn't find it funny. Just incase my mum is reading. He promises he will.

We talk about our online dating experiences. He laughs about the guy emailing me to tell me about his small appendage. Fishy says he doesn't mention his itchy anus until at least the third date.

We start to say our goodbyes. Don't think either of us want to. Just have to because the time has become Stupid O'Clock.

I check how long we spoke for when I get off the phone.

1 hour and 19 minutes!!

My 1 hour and 19 minutes bill. He's so buying the drinks when we go out.

Read Fishy's (no doubt innacurate) version of our chat here >>

Sunday 17 January 2010

48 Something Fishy

I really need to to have a little word with myself.

I've just been on one of the worst dates I've ever had. The only good thing about it, was that I gave you all a laugh when I vented about the arse that was Mr Trafford Centre.

Why on earth then, did I think it would be wise to agree to go on a date with fellow blogger Fishy ?

Oh yes, I'll still be able to write about the date. Difference is that this time, not only will I be blogging to you, but to him as well. How can that ever be a good thing?

And worse still, he'll be writing about me too.

I couldn't be like those celebrities that say they don't read their own press. They never buy newspapers or google themselves. I hate not knowing things and hate being the one in the dark.

An ex discovered that after 'accidentally' putting his tongue down the throat of a Julia Roberts lookalike. My female intuition sensed that he was acting differently and I made it my business to find out why. Of course when I did know, I wish I didn't. I couldn't watch Pretty Woman for months.

Fact is I won't be able to stop myself reading Fish's post about our date. Even if I sit on my hands.

I'm worried that he might describe terrible habits that I have, that I'm currently blissfully unaware of.

What if I end up not wanting to go on dates with me either?

There is also the small matter that we have been match-made by Bamberio. She is a regular reader of both our blogs but has never met me or Fishy. Is she really in the position to do a credible Cilla?

And to be quite honest, Fishy isn't even my type. And that's despite the spec for my ideal man being fairly concise...

Mr Ideal is tall.
Mr Ideal is funny.
Mr Ideal has no dependents. And that includes pets.

Now before you think I'm some animal and child-hating witch, I'm not at all. I'm just a spontaneous person and would like to be able to travel to Timbuktu with my significant other at a moment's notice.

It's not the same when they have to be back in time to feed the budgie.

I did have a different list recently. After one too many Ribenas I asked the concierges to find me a boyfriend. When they asked what I look for in a man, I only had two criteria.

He must be able to swim.
He must be able to drive.

I've no idea what that was all about either and as these things didn't seem so important in the cold light of day, I didn't bother adding them to my must haves. Surely Fishy can swim anyway?

He doesn't fare too well with the rest of the list though...

Short Fishy lives with his depressed cat Mildred.

He is absolutely hilarious though and I love a man that can make me laugh. Is it a case of one out of three ain't bad?

There are various other good things I've discovered about Fishy from reading his blog. Like

What I meant to say was there are various other things I've discovered about him.

Like that he has small nipples and doesn't like morris dancing.

He is a fan of Feargal Sharkey and sees no shame in dancing along to A Good Heart on dates.

He once had a job as a dinnerlady (not sure how that works? Is he a pre-op transsexual I wonder?)

He likes The Smiths, but doesn't like tuna. I'm the opposite - does that mean we are doomed?

He's been propositioned by his gay neighbour.

He wears socks with the days of the week on them.

His annual spend on haircuts is a mere £96, whereas I pay that in two visits.

He is appalling at flirting, yet thinks nothing of trying to pull the waitress while on a date with another girl.

He's definitely an interesting one is Fishy.

I can probably overlook all of those problems, except the last. My concierges are very protective over me. If they hear that he has flirted with another girl on our date, Fishy can dream on about ever being buzzed into my building, let alone being allowed up to see my view.

Wednesday 13 January 2010

36 Mr Trafford Centre - Chapter 2

So there I was walking through the Trafford Centre with a stud muffin. A hunk of spunk. A hot piece of ass. Basically the most gorgeous guy you have ever seen. Phwoar!!

Well you would think so, wouldn't you? The fact he abandoned girls because they weren't up to his required standard, must mean he is something special himself?

If truth be told he was packing a few extra pounds. Being a guy though he'd get away with saying he was 'stocky.'

As for complaining about his dates not looking like their photos, I couldn't tell from his photo that he had a slight squint in one eye. Or a limp for that matter.

I realise that it could sound like I was on a date with Captain Hook. Please don't imagine that though, because inevitably when you start thinking of pirates, Jack Sparrow will pop into your head. I can assure you that Mr Trafford Centre was no Johnny Depp.

I was actually a bit concerned about his limp. It seemed like it was a new injury and he was still working out how to walk on it. I asked him how he got it.

'I did it years ago when I was mountain biking.'

'Oh right.' So not new at all. 'Does it affect you when you mountain bike now?'

'I don't know, I haven't been since.'

'Oh. What about when you ski? You said in your profile you love skiing. I used to go skiing. I went to France and Austria...'

'Yeah I went skiing once a couple of years back. On a dry was great!'

Couldn't believe I'd actually questioned whether I was outdoorsy enough for this guy. My walk to Harvey Nicks to participate in my hobby of cocktail drinking, probably means I'm more active than him. Liar, liar, your bum's on fire.

I ask him whether he wants to go for a drink first or go straight to a restaurant.

'You decide. The girls I've been out with before couldn't make decisions and it got on my nerves so I decided that on this date I'm leaving everything up to you.'

He was really getting on my wick.

I decide we should go straight for dinner. Get this date over as quickly as possible. (See some girls can make decisions. Wise decisions.)

We order and start chatting. The usual stuff. He tells me that his ambition is to go to America. I presume he means to live. No, he just means on holiday.

Now maybe I'm wrong but isn't an ambition something that you have to strive to achieve? Something you have to put blood, sweat and tears into? Something that you might never happen unless you work at it? (Like mine, which is to be able to do chin-ups. Ain't never gonna happen...)

Surely if you want to go on holiday to America, you just save some money and go? I mean, I've fulfilled his ambition three times.

I suppose there's always the possibility that he is a criminal...

'We're having a great time aren't we?' he says. 'Aren't we having a right laugh?...What about when we first met and I pretended to be a fat guy? Ha ha!'

I make a mental note that I must stop that bad habit I have. That habit of making the best of a situation and always trying to enjoy myself, because it seems to be giving him the wrong impression.

He tells me that he's checked the trains between Manchester and his town and they're frequent so I'll be able to see him easily. He suggests I go to his next weekend. Says I can stay over if I want.

Not in this lifetime.

Asks me if I have any pets. Quite glad he's moved onto safer chat territory but realise he hasn't paid much attention to things I've said though.

'Well no, because I live in an apartment, am a freelancer and am often working away. Pets wouldn't really fit into my life.'

You know how there is that myth that its always the girls that are the keen, clingy ones that move too fast? Not in mine and Mr Trafford's relationship...

'I'm thinking of getting a dog but don't worry, if we go away together for a weekend, I'll get my brother to look after it.'

A weekend away? Together? Hardly!

The bill comes. He pays. Good. At least there was one positive point to the date.

He gets up. 'I'm just going to the toilet. Don't worry, I will come back. Ha ha!'

Now was my chance. To do it for my sisters. To leave him, like he left those girls...

I'm sorry. I just couldn't.

I had to do something though...something to make him feel even a little, like they must have felt...

I shout at him across the restaurant, 'Actually now you've paid the bill I'm not too bothered whether you come back or not.'

So he didn't.

The End.

I wish! Of course he came back. He's so thick-skinned he thought I was joking.

And then since the date there have been plenty of texts from him. Texts saying what a great time we had. Texts reminding me what a hilarious joke he played on me. And texts asking me if I want to go over to his on our second date.

I have replied to him, but I can only presume his phone is faulty cause it seems like the 'n' and the 'o' letters just aren't registering.

Sunday 10 January 2010

29 Mr Trafford Centre

I wasn't going to tell you about my most recent date.

And the reason I wasn't going to tell you, is because I'm embarrassed about it.

And the reason I'm embarrassed about it, is because the venue for the date was the Trafford Centre.

To be honest, I wasn't entirely convinced that the guy in question was for me. Or rather, I wasn't convinced that I was the right girl for him. His online profile listed sports that he was into and they were all outdoorsy. Things like mountain biking, climbing, skiing and canoeing. Now I'm not saying that I'm against these things. I have in fact tried some of them, but at the moment I'm living in the middle of a city. My current hobbies are more things like drinking cocktails in Harvey Nics.

He seemed keen though, so I accepted his invitation to go on a date.

He texted me...I have the perfect idea for where we can have our first date..!

Oooh where?

The Trafford Centre. It's under cover. We can shop, eat and drink!

'Noooooooo!' I said out loud when I read it.

Now I'm really not a fussy madam. I can be as happy with a chippy tea as I am going to a posh restaurant, but the Trafford Centre....? It's a shopping centre! He was even suggesting we shop. Whoever shops on a first date?

I think what most concerned me was that he thought it was such a perfect idea. We were clearly on different wavelengths. I decided to make my excuses and not meet him.

I'd forgotten all about it until the other week when Mr Trafford Centre texted again suggesting we reschedule.

I don't know whether it was the fact it is a new year, or a new decade to be more precise, but I decided to go for it. I mean imagine if he was 'The One' and I'd dismissed him purely because of his venue suggestion? And actually I was starting to see his reasoning behind it. I told him he could dream on about the shopping bit but we could do the eating and drinking part there. And we'd be out of the rubbish weather. Maybe it was a really good suggestion? Maybe he's actually a genius?

I get there straight after work. He phones me when he arrives shortly after to ask where I am. I tell him what shop I'm in and suggests he meets me there.

'No I'm not coming there. Meet me outside Selfridges.'

'OK.' Demanding.

I get there. Look around. There is no-one that resembles his photo.

My phone rings. 'I can see you! Look behind you.'

I twirl around.

'No the other way. Can you see me? Ha ha, I can see you and you can't see me!'

'Where are you?' He was starting to piss me off. And I hadn't even met him. With hindsight, I wish I'd just walked off. That would have showed him.

'I'm coming towards you now. I'm that fat guy! Ha ha! Only joking!'

He appears in front of me, still on his mobile phone.

'Ha ha wasn't that hilarious?'

Yeah hilarious.

'You really thought I was the fat guy didn't you? Were you worried? Glad to see you aren't fat by the way. I've met up with a couple of girls from the site and both were fat and neither looked like their photos. I told one I had to buy a shirt and needed to go into that shop...'

'You met up with her here?'

'Yeah I always meet my dates here.'

'Not just here in the Trafford Centre, but here at this very spot?'



'Anyway she said she'd come with me, so I had to go pretend I needed to try the shirt on. Instead of going to the changing rooms I just went out the other door of the shop.Ha ha!'

'You just left her?' I said incredulously.

'Yes. The other one looked like her photo. If it was taken years ago that is! She'd put on a few pounds since then. I went to a bar with her and said I had to go to the toilet and instead I left. Ha ha!'

'Are you seriously telling me, a girl you are on a date with, about times you've abandoned other girls mid-date? Do you think that endears you to me?'

'You didn't see them. Anyway you look like your photo so you're OK, I won't do it to you.'


Now why at this point I didn't leave ('I just need to go to the toilet...') I've no idea. I'm clearly a sucker for punishment. And have better manners than him. No, instead I bit my tongue and began my Trafford Centre date...

To be continued (unfortunately)...

Tuesday 5 January 2010

22 Bye Dolly!

I have high hopes for 2010.

It has to be better than last year. I mean don't get me wrong, 2009 wasn't awful. I don't have any real complaints, but as I explained to my flatmate it was just a nothingy year.

"Nothingy?" He enquired.

"Yeah just nothing really happened. I won't really remember it for anything in particular. Bit boring actually."

Flatmate went back to watching his favourite programme Nothing to Declare while I mulled over what I'd done in 2009.

I'd shared my beautiful abode with three different people. A pilot from Ireland, an IT consultant from Mumbai and now current roomie from Oz, who does god knows what.

I did lots of different jobs. Some were emotional, like the documentary filming parents of disabled children. I had my eyes opened and met the most amazing people on that.

Some jobs were a bit more light-hearted, like the one where I was sent to Greece for three weeks with a cameraman I'd never met before. Luckily for me, he was one of the nicest guys ever and we had a ball. I just wasn't so keen on him when he filmed me jet-skiing. Or to be more specific, that he filmed the bit where I tried to get on the jet-ski. I've never looked so unladylike. And my ass looked huge. I'm sure that must have been the wide-angle lens.

There were jobs, that I'm not sure what possessed me to do them, like the night I spent working in a lap-dancing club. I could lie and pretend it was also for a documentary, but it wasn't. Just so you know, I worked behind the bar, not as a dancer. I made £32 in tips and trust me, I wouldn't have made anything close if I'd been dancing in my knickers!

I suppose I went to quite a few places last year. Taggart and I had a credit crunch holiday in Southampton and Brighton. I laughed at comedians at the Edinburgh Festival, I had a cream tea in Devon, I saw beautiful stars in Cornwall and in Cheltenham some filming.

It was the year of catching up with friends I hadn't seen for eons. My friend that I met when I was 18 and worked in Portugal in an Indian restaurant, my friend that I met when I worked in Gran Canaria in Indian restaurant and my friend that I lived with when I studied in Canada (was too busy being a student to work in a restaurant, Indian or otherwise!)

I also fell in love in 2009. A friend suggested I go to Barcelona with him when he read on Facebook that I'd bought a new bikini and had nowhere to wear it. So I did. That's when I fell in love. With Barcelona.

Of course it wasn't all good. There were a few terrible things that happened. Like when I was measured and I discovered I'm an inch shorter than I thought and I've been kidding myself for years.

And the time my dad's car was broken in to and I had two bags of clothes and nine pairs of shoes stolen. I was distraught. I even contemplated phoning Victim Support. My brother was as sympathetic as usual. He told me my clothes were shit anyway and the thieves had actually done me a favour.

That's about it. Nothing else happened in 2009.

Except I suppose for when I dressed as Dolly Parton and had a 'boob off ' with another Dolly.

And it was the year I dyed my hair blue.

It was also the year I had a wee in an £8million house that Robbie Williams considered buying.

And the year I 'performed' with a group of muscly, long-haired men wearing nothing but kilts and playing the bagpipes. I accompanied them on the maracas.

It was the year I was on TV in the audience of Don't Forget the Lyrics.

And it was the year an old man stopped me in Kwik Save because he thought I was Lisa Marie Presley.

It was also the year that a taxi driver in Greece wouldn't give me my change until I showed him my party piece (that's not a euphemism by the way, I do have a special trick I do with my double jointed arms..!)

So yeah, like I said. Not much happened.

2010 had better be better!