42. Crazy Horses: The Italian Stallion

First of all, Merry Christmas everyone, I wish you all the best for the festive season.

Secondly, here’s a funny tale of past dating from before my 100 dates challenge:

I hinted a little about a previous public transport encounter in my last post so it’s about time I explained more to you about the “Crazy Italian Stallion”. Crazy_Horses

 

It all started when I was on my way home from the gym, I was walking to the tube station and was standing outside whilst I finished talking to a friend on the phone.  Out of the corner of my eye I spotted this tall dark Mediterranean looking man looking at me.  I thought nothing much more of it, finished my call and headed down to the subway.

Next thing I know he’s standing right next to me and asks politely if I can tell him the best way to get to Baker Street.  Being the helpful (is that gullible?) person that I am, I give him directions and we continue talking as we head to the train.  Eventually we end up exchanging numbers and arrange to meet up another time.

A couple of dates on and all was going well, we’d spent the day in Kew botanical gardens, had a date at the British museum and were getting along fine.  We both seemed to have a quirky sense of humour and would talk nonsense for hours – actually a lot of it was nonsense as his Sicilian was that strong I could barely make out what he said at the start.

Now as much as we got along to start I did have a couple of early concerns about Crazy Italian – namely his being almost 40 years old and still working as a temp barman – doesn’t exactly scream ambition.

Anyhow being the non-judgemental soul that I am, I put aside my qualms and decided to see what happened.

After a few dates, he invited me round for dinner… which of course meant sleeping over…

My first shock came when I saw where he was living – it was basically like a student house, a really run-down student house where the landlord hadn’t done any repairs in over a decade!  Again foregoing better judgement I tried to ignore the dilapidated décor and concentrate on the fact that a tall, dark Mediterranean man was cooking me dinner and I knew exactly what we were having for dessert.

Dinner was… forgettable – at least I can’t remember what the hell he cooked for me but dessert…. UN-FOR-FREAKIN-GETTABLE!!!

And for a number of reasons I might add.  You see my crazy Italian was particularly adept at a certain sexual technique – the man was an extremely cunnilinguist.

Never in my life before or since have I ever met a man who could do what this man could do with his tongue… he was like a freakin pneumatic drill… the rapidity and accuracy would have put a trigger happy sniper on speed to shame!

Seriously – I cannot emphasise enough how astoundingly amazing this guy was with his
tongue – I was almost in tears from the paroxysms of pleasure he was causing to washWoody over me.  It was like Woody Woodpecker having had an extremely fat line of the old magic dust, with a tongue instead of a beak just hammering away and hitting the bullseye every damned time! – it almost brings a tear to my eye at the mere memory, and certainly means I’ll be having a few pleasant dreams tonight 😉

Once I’d recovered my composure and had slowed my gasping to a gentle pant, I asked him where in the hell he had learned such skills.  It turns out he had a lesbian friend who taught him everything he knew… I swear if I ever meet that woman I would firmly shake her by the hand and beg that she set up a school to teach every straight man in the world her genius skills.

But back to that evening and what puts the crazy into Crazy Italian…

After several hours of jackhammer inspired pleasure and a rather unfulfilling bout of ‘lovemaking’ – I now realised why he spent so much time on pleasuring me (not complaining of course).  Unfortunately my Italian Stallion had some issues with keeping his pecker up.

But this is not the crazy part, and in fact I think his pecker problem was probably connected to the crazy problem…

By now it was about 3am and we were in post-coital (well actually post-cunnilingual but why split hairs?), the discussion moved towards past significant exes and I noticed his face drop… warning bell number one.  My initial instinct was to let it drop, this was clearly a sensitive subject, but then something – let’s call it female intuition made me push for more information.

Crazy Italian, then proceeded to tell me of his tumultuous relationship with the Mother of his baby! Yep, news to me too!!!  The basically he’d ‘discovered’ that his girlfriend was cheating on him and ‘god forbid…’ with a black man… ohh the scandal (please note the British sarcasm here – to be clear I am not in any way indicating shock or disgust at her possibly having cheated with someone of a different race to him or her, it was more shocking that he seemed to me doubly offended and abused that she could sleep with a black guy – like the race that someone cheats with even matters).

Now at first I listened thinking – ok the man was clearly hurt and betrayed, understandable.  But then his tale continued, he explained how he knew, just knew that she had been fucking this other guy whilst heavily pregnant with possibly his child.  When I asked him how he’d found out he became rather vague and started telling me how she had then thrown him out and threatened to call the police.

The next part of his tale was to tell me how he hid in her apartment when he’d come to pick up his things and how she had at some point thereafter contacted the police, had a restraining order put on him and had told the police she feared for her own safety.  All the way through this tale he protested his innocence and anger that she feared for her life.

“I have pictures of us together where she’s smiling, how can she have been scared if she was smiling?”  All I kept thinking was of a woman with a fixed smile on her face but fear in her eyes.  It just didn’t ring true… I also kept thinking, ok getting a restraining order is no easy matter.  I was more inclined to think this poor woman whoever she was, really was in fear of her life and that this guy was slightly unhinged – it was something in the way he spoke about her and his paranoia about the child not being his, even though it clearly wasn’t mixed race.

Again my women’s intuition, aka survival instinct kicked in and I just knew this guy was clearly a few salami slices short of a Panini.   But given the hour I had to play it safe…  lying naked next to a guy you’ve just been intimate with and now fear is a bit of a psycho-obsessive with a restraining order, does not make for a restful night I’ll tell you that much!Pretend_asleep

I spent the next few hours feigning sleep until I ‘awoke’ and had to return home… “busy day today and all, but thank you so much for a wonderful evening…”

I beat a hasty retreat home feeling thankful that I’d pushed my line of enquiry and truly believe I had a lucky escape.

My lesson in all this? Well I thought I had taken the time to get to know him before moving onto the next step, but sometimes things come out later rather than sooner.  But the main point is trust your instincts, if it doesn’t sound right and you’re getting that crazy freak vibe, then get the hell away as safely and as quickly as you can!

The other key lesson here – No type of crazy tongue skills, no matter how earth-shattering they are is worth the other type of crazy this guy was packing.

But not all random train guys are loopy as the circle line, I have met some lovely people on the tube too, some of them are still friends and as far as I know none of them have any restraining orders…yet

39. Mr Big

So I have lots to tell you all of my dating adventures including a wild trip to Barcelona and a random hot guy on a train.

I’ll start with the guy on the train.  Okay so I may have mentioned in the past how I’ve been picked up on London’s great public transport system.  I even managed to score a date on a bus once – a long time ago I hasten to add.  I was only 20 at the time and was still a relative newbie to the city (I’m a Northerner by birth).  I was still at that naive stage of smiling and talking to strangers, before reality sinks in and you learn that most people in London are freaks, and if you’re speaking to strangers – well you’re probably a freak too.

So there I was, a self-acknowledged young freak talking to a good-looking guy on a bus, so of course we exchanged numbers and went on a few dates.  Sadly nothing much came of him and I was left waiting for yet another metaphorical bus to arrive.MJ

Several years (a decade and a half – cough) there was Train
Guy 1 – the original.  A very tall slim guy, he looked like Michael Jackson sans Jerry Curl, when he was still relatively black and less creepy looking, that small window of time between Off the Wall and Thriller.  Before his nose looked like something he’d stolen from Mr Potato head.Potato Head

Train Guy used to get on the same carriage as me every morning.  For several weeks, possibly even months, we exchanged furtive glances and the odd half-disguised smile.  Eventually one morning he came over and spoke to me and after a few more morning conversations we exchanged numbers and went on a few dates.  But as you’ve probably already guessed it came to nought – well not totally, we stayed friends for a while until he moved away and I ended up having a very short-lived fling with his half-brother who I much preferred and had way more in common with.

Then there was Crazy Italian – He’s a story in itself – which I’ll have to divulge in full in a blog post all of it’s own – it is that weird and scary.  But just as a teaser intro, basically I was standing outside the tube station talking on the phone when I clocked a handsome tanned guy with short dark hair looking at me.  I then walked down to the ticket area where he approaches me and asks me with a comedically (is that even a word???) strong Italian accent, how he could get to Baker Street.  Eventually he admitted that he didn’t need directions at all but was just looking for an excuse to talk to me.

So another couple of years on and I’m on a crowded tube to work, pushed up against someone’s armpit on one side and with someone’s backpack pressed into the small of my back.  Clearly I had not learned that all-important lesson that so many of us ‘Londoners’ have learned about avoiding eye contact at all costs and I ended up aimlessly staring at the people luxuriously lounging on TFL’s finest plush seating.

It was a few seconds before I realised that the person I was staring at with that vacant, slightly haunted look of the terminal commuter was staring back at me.  In fact they weren’t just staring, they were grinning – and they weren’t half bad looking either!

I did my thing of looking away several times, but I could feel him still looking at me which of course made me look back like a kid that’s been told not to point and stare at the dwayne-johnsonfreakishly tall person standing directly in front of them.  And speaking of tall… at the next stop he stands up, gives up his seat and pushes through the crowd to speak to me… This
guy is at least 6F 2” of dark, skinned handsomeness.   He reminds me of a less muscle-bound version of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and unsurprisingly he’s American.

Well, I mean come on!  How many English guys do you know who give up their seat on the tube willingly just to speak to a stranger?  Okay – you can’t include the pissed guys at 12 o’clock at night on the last tube home.

It turns out that he works in the same area as me and we get off at the next stop together where he hands me his business card and asks if I’d like to go to lunch with him some day…. Like OMG Hell Yeah!!!

But of course I smile demurely and say that that would be lovely and he laughs at my “quaint, English way of speaking”.  I then rush into the office and google/online stalk him and his company like any self-respecting horny, crazed single woman would. Mr Big

Jackpot! He’s handsome, presumably single and has a high-flying city job.  And promptly I start day-dreaming about him possibly being my “Mr Big” of SATC fame.

A couple of days later… I’m a busy lady don’t you know – Okay I’ll admit I had to be forcibly restrained… I contact him and we arrange to meet for lunch at a posh French restaurant nearby before he has to fly off to Brazil on business…

And that’s where I’ll have to leave it for now.  More on how the date went with Mr Big in the next post.

27. Tiger Ears, Potential Stalkers and a Date with No Smell – Part 2

Hello Lovely Readers,

I meant to update this a couple of days ago but my social live caught up with me and I’ve been catching up with friends the last few evenings rather than dating for a change.

My second cautionary tale is of a date that did happen and what I like to think was a lucky escape. Again this harks back to my early adventures on Match.com.

I had already been on one date with Psycho Boy (you’ll find out why he is so named later on) several weeks before. It had been a pretty good first date, we’d got on pretty well, had a couple of drinks and ended up continuing on to a club nearby.

At the end of the night we kissed and there was a definite spark between us. But then… radio silence… It seemed odd, as he’d appeared so keen to the point where he was trying to persuade me to stay over.

Yes I admit I was pretty naive still, and I hadn’t realised that my refusal could be precisely why he’d dropped me faster than an epileptic guy trying to juggle hot coals in an eighties strobe-lit roller disco.

Several weeks later I get a call from Psycho Boy, it turned out he’d had an accident and been in hospital for some time with concussion.

Yes, it actually happened – the excuse that I always imagine is the real reason why a guy just disappears into the ether from whence he came, never to be heard from again, actually came into being.

See! It’s not just an urban myth (whilst we’re on the subject – I did once have a guy claim his long absence and lack off communication was because the Danish military police were interrogating him as a suspected spy – he was an actor and he seemed quite put out that I didn’t find his story that plausible).

Given that Psycho Boy’s excuse was 98% more believable than the Danish Actor’s, I decided that I would meet him for a second date. It turns out he’d been on a work night out, gotten totally smashed, fallen down some stairs and cracked the back of his head open – he even showed me the scar!

Unfortunately the blow had caused him to loose his sense of smell and taste. The net impact of this was that it changed his personality somewhat too. He wasn’t anywhere near as light-hearted as the first time I’d met him, and he admitted that he was really struggling to adapt a lifetime of bland food.

I actually felt a bit bad for him, and I was feeling the need for some physical affection too so I ended up going back to his place. It was only when we started to get intimate that he seemed to have a real problem with my confidence.

He asked me why I always felt the need to be in control and wanted me to lie back and let him take charge. Okay… so he clearly likes to be in control too, and that’s fine as long as we’re both comfortable with what’s going on.

The weird bit was what he said in the middle of us having sex… He looked me dead in the eye, put his hand round my throat and said:

“God, this feels so right! It feels like I own you… Doesn’t it feel like I own you?”

“Erm, not really no, it feels like I own me”

I left pretty sharpish after that as quite frankly he was creeping me out and I found his darker side pretty unnerving.

I really believe I dodged a bullet there and I don’t regret my over-cautiousness for a moment. There are plenty of nice guys out there who are not creepy at all and who don’t want to own or possess the woman they’re with and thankfully they are the rule rather than the exception.

If you’re getting the feeling that someone is a wrong-un, well you know what, they probably are. My spidey senses may not be right every time but I’d really rather be safer and single than end up in a dangerous relationship with a control freak.

Well that’s going to have to be it for now as I’m meeting up with Football Guy this evening and I need to prep…

But I will give you part 3 of this tale over the weekend.

26. Tiger Ears, Potential Stalkers and a Date with No Smell – Part 1

This is a tale about two dates that never happened, and another that I wish hadn’t.

I’ll start with my first ever internet date.

At the time I was using Match.com I was relatively fresh to the dating game at the time, still being in my first 12 months of singularity after almost a decade of coupledoom (yes the typo is on purpose).

I’d say I should have known better but I was literally a fresh newbie to online dating, he was literally the first guy I clicked on to contact. The reason I say I should’ve known better is because of his profile picture – never, I repeat NEVER trust a guy wearing fake tiger ears and hugging a giant stuffed toy. Alright, alright I told you I was a newbie, and it had been so long since I’d seen any action I was beginning to suspect that my hymen had re-grown.

Much as in the previous tale, emails had gone well and we’d decided to exchange phone numbers. He enthusiastically texted me first thing in the morning at around 7.15am whilst I was driving. A full two minutes later and my phone pinged again with a second message…

I parked up and looked at the two messages, the first one quite harmless wished me a good morning and asked what I was up to… errm going to work??? But then there was the second message

“ Oh I see you’re too busy to reply to my message…. Xxxxxxxxxxx”

WTF??? It was literally two minutes after the first message…

In my naiveté, I decided to reply and explain I’d been driving (may I remind you I was a dating newbie?) and therefore unable to reply sooner. That seemed to quell his nerves and we resumed normal texting, albeit there always seemed to be a profuse amount of kisses at the end of his texts.

A couple of days later and we were due to have our first date. By this stage I was starting to get a bit apprehensive about the whole thing. Not just because of his growing ‘affection’ towards me on text but also because it was to be my first time to meet an online date.

I was studying my massage course at the time and I had an important assignment due in the following day. I had been extremely busy writing it up but realised that morning that there was no way I could go on a date and get my essay in on time. Something had to give, and that something was going to be ‘Tony the Tiger’.

I apologised for the late notice but I was going to be too busy writing up my assignment to meet him. He was understanding, even suggesting I eat some fish… good food for the brain apparently… He then called me and offered to bring some fish to me … what? I’d never even met the guy!

Now some of you may think this is really sweet, and to be honest, if I’d been dating the guy for a while I would too, but I didn’t even know if he even looked like his photos in the flesh, or even if his ‘tiger ears’ were fake or not.

I politely declined his offer and after the third call in an hour I decided that perhaps it was best if ‘Tony the Tiger’ and I never actually met. I explained to him that I had ‘gotten back with my ex’ and we’d decided to give things one last try. And that was that.

match pic

Several months later and I was waiting for a friend outside a pub opposite my low budget gym in town. A cute looking guy comes over and starts talking to me, he seems slightly familiar but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why.

He proceeds to chat me up and after much persuasion I end up giving him the number to my new phone. A couple of minutes later and my friend finally turns up, the guy is still hanging about and joins us for minute or two before returning to his friend in the pub.

It’s at this point that I start to recall where I know him from… I picture him with stripy tiger ears and a cuddly toy and I start to get a little worried. A while later I go to the bathroom and when I return to my table I spot Tony the Tiger chatting to my mate. He then scuttles off quite sharply back to the table where his friend is waiting for him.

“Who was that bloody weirdo?” my mate asks

I then proceed to tell her of my suspicions of who exactly I think he is.

“You know as soon as you went to the toilet he came over and started begging me to put in a good word for him.” she says

Stalking pic

“Kept on harping on about how he’s a great guy and that you could be great together even though there’s an age gap and that he can see a wonderful future of the two of you together…”

Dear God! And if that wasn’t creepy enough, I got three texts from him straight after leaving the pub asking where I was going later, could he come along and what …. Two days later I got yet another text saying he recognised me from Match.com and that our running into each other like that must be a sign – a sign of a lucky escape if you ask me!!!

Well that’s it for now, I have to go to bed soon so I’ll fill you in on the rest as soon as I can.

07. Private Education and Public Services

Well it’s been over a week and it’s time I give a progress report on how things are going. The two main points being 1) I’m still single and 2) there is still hope that might change…
This hope is in the shape of my most recent prospect – Public School Boy. I’ve been corresponding with him for a couple of weeks now and we really clicked online. He’s very funny, intelligent and judging by his online pictures, doesn’t look too shabby either – reminds me a bit of a slightly bulkier and less tattooed (shame) version of Chip(munk) – the UK rapper as opposed to the cute furry animal with a striped tail.

We arranged to meet at a very posh bar with sweeping panoramic views of the city (his choice) and I have to admit I was impressed if not a little intimidated by the choice, and for the first time in a long time I was actually nervous and very excited about meeting him. You see as I mentioned previously, I have a type and that type is not generally speaking highly educated or well to do. In fact my good friend describes my usual preference in men as ‘those young pretty-boy hood rats’. I can’t help it, I’m a fool to my own tastes…
Well given that this guy is definitely not a hood rat and is several steps up the dating evolutionary ladder, I’ve really decided to pull out all the stops and chose a tight fitting just-above-the-knee number that shows off all the right curves and pulls all the wrong ones into total submission. Now as a rule I don’t tend to get nervous before dates, I’m pretty comfortable meeting and chatting to new people and generally speaking, I usually feel like I’m in control of most of the dates I go on (oh dear a psychologist would probably have a field day breaking down my dating habits). In fact the last time I was nervous about a date would quite possibly be the policeman…. Oh gosh the policeman, oh what could have been…

Ok I know I’m side-tracking again but this one is worth telling. Picture the scene two years ago… I arrive home with my sister around 9pm one evening only to find that all the lights are on in the house. She starts berating me for leaving the lights on to which I protest that I’m pretty damn sure I didn’t. It’s then that we notice a police car outside the house and we start to realize that something’s not quite right. We then see the back window has been totally smashed in, and yep we’ve been burgled. We then get a knock on the door and a tall dark, muscley policeman (he was wearing one of those short sleeved shirts with a stab vest on top and of course a policeman’s hat) is standing there in the doorway under a halo of light (OK that might have been the porch light there but still…). Well right at that moment in time he just looked like a knight in shining uniform and we were both swooning like giddy teenagers at a school disco after having drunk one too many Bacardi Breezers. Once all the preliminary chat of are you ok, can you tell us what’s missing etc etc is finished, he leaves handing us his details and staff ID number along with the crime number.

A couple of days later and I’m still thinking about this tall, muscular man who came to our rescue in the night and I decide I just have to do something… I have to contact him and let him know the effect he had on me. I decide that the best way to do this so as not to get him into trouble but at the same time to let him know that I’m interested, is to send him a thank you card. So I spend the whole of my lunch hour deliberating over the type of card to send that’s not too soppy or stalkerish but at the same time puts me across as light-hearted and genuine. I then write a note that says roughly the following: Hi PC Phwoar (OK that’s not what I wrote but to be honest I can’t remember his name and even if I could I’d have to change it in order to protect his identity – he could actually get in trouble from this), my name is Kissey Grenuile (again not my real name – protecting the not-so-innocent this time). I just wanted to say thank you very much for being so kind and helpful when my flat was broken into. I also wanted to say – and I know this is probably not very professional but, if you wanted to contact me in a non-work/crime related way, I would not be adverse to you doing so. If you want to call me here’s my number……
I then sat back and waited…

Almost a week later and I finally got a call from my local Constabulary representative in the form of PC Hotness where he proceeds to tell me that he could get in serious trouble for contacting me at all (huge grin on my face) but that he couldn’t help himself as he’d clocked me that evening too. We then spend the next few days outrageously flirting by text and we arrange to meet up for Sunday lunch the following weekend. Now during all this heated flirtation I find out that he’s an ex semi-pro rugby player (which explains the hot physique), he’s of suitable age and has a refreshingly small ego. As much as I’m saying how his amazingly big muscular arms make me go all a-quiver, he’s always quite self depreciating, expounding that he really isn’t all that at all. In fact he goes as far as to say, “I don’t get it I’m not good looking at all, in fact I’m pretty unattractive – I think you’re imagining things…”

By the time Sunday came around I had worked myself into a frenzy of nerves and excitement, having tried on at least 15 different outfits depending on mood, weather and water retention levels. So this time when there was a knock at the door it was with a very different type of trepidation that I answered. I was as nervous as a small child getting ready to open that big box on Christmas Day that they just know contains a shiny new bike with streamers and flashy lights and bells. Now the only way I can describe how I felt when I opened the door a second time to PC Hotness, this time in the cold light of day, and without the benefit of a halo of heroic light around him, is like that same small child opening the big box on Christmas Day and finding that the shin new bike they wanted is actually a battered old rusty bike with a broken chain and a puncture – you appreciate that you’ve been given a bike, and with a bit of care and attention it may even be pretty presentable and quite probably even serviceable, but it’s not quite what you were hoping and dreaming of when you wrote that begging letter to Santa.

It was then that I realized the power of adrenalin on our levels of perception. It had totally shaped how I thought PC Not-So-Hot looked that first night. I also realized that he hadn’t been wrong about his having fallen out of the ugly tree, and that he may have even hit a few branches on the way down too. But I managed to disguise my shock and disappointment and rolled with it, even making a few remarks about his gorgeous physique – which I hasten to add I was not lying or exaggerating about. And I’m glad I did roll with it, PC Not-So-Hot was actually a great guy, totally lovely, a good laugh and a total gentleman throughout our date. The sad truth was that without the adrenalin fuelled rush of having just had my property broken into and being robbed, I just didn’t find him attractive in the least, not even a tiny bit. Which led me to the other sad conclusion that unless I arranged to be mugged about 30 minutes before every date with him, our relationship was doomed to remain in the category of friends. Now I’m not heartless and as I say looks aren’t everything, but I do need to at least have some basic level of sexual chemistry, but this was just not happening, not even after a second ‘mercy date’. So once I’d concluded that really there was no chance of me feeling anything other than platonic friendship for him, I made my excuses and never saw him again – though I have to admit every time a police car comes round my neighbourhood I do wonder if it’s PC Not-So-Hot behind the wheel and if he’s thinking of me too…

So yet again I have rambled on into the past again – I promise I don’t mean to … it’s just that there are so many tales to tell and I’m easily distracted.
But I promise I will update with the full story on Public School Boy very soon, after all I’m rather excited about him…

05. Je Ne Sais Quoi – Part Une

I am post-date with French Artist and have taken a while to unpackage said Parisienne delights. So My French Artist… it all started so well, promising in fact. Here was this cute guy on his laptop, gorgeous French accent, cute artsey hat tilted to the side, looking all European and all. On our first meeting we established a shared taste in music, art (well we both liked the installation we’d been to see and met at) and a shared passion for dancing. He also seemed super-keen and quaintly over-enthusiastic about meeting for a date. It was all rather sudden – we’d only met the previous day before our arranged date but I thought what the hell, roll with it, take life by the horns and see what happens.

As this is my turf and he’s a visitor I decided to take the heat off him and arrange where to meet, so we went to a nice little bar in a slightly arty, but not so much that it’s so far it’s own pretentious rectum as to see the sun shining, part of town. I’m quite comfortable going to a bar on a first date and always think it’s a wiser choice than jumping whole-heartedly into dinner – as long as you don’t overdo it on the booze. I have in my formative dating years made that rookie mistake of committing to a rather uncomfortable 1.5 to 2 hours of watching someone you have increasingly very little in common with, slowly eat a meal that I have long since lost the appetite for. So now I either meet at a bar, coffee place or for lunch (max 45 minutes) so I can make a quick escape if needed.

This reminds me of an early rookie date where I went to dinner with a guy I’d met in a bar – who in the gloom (I mean atmospheric lighting) of the bar seem pretty damned hot! In daylight and in a more sober state he was more kind of average looking and became less and less appealing as the night and tedious dinner proceeded. For ease we’ll call this guy Tightwad – you’ll find out why in due course if you haven’t guessed already, and no it’s nothing to do with anything going on in a tightly fitting pair of jeans. So the date with Tightwad started off…. badly, he was running late when he picked me up and proceeded to drive aggressively and was a bit sweary all the way to the restaurant, in no way attempting to hide his anger and frustration at the traffic on the road. Now I’m a forgiving kinda gal, some would say too forgiving, but in this case I think I was being fair in letting it slide and putting the angry swearyness down to nerves and his anger with himself for being late in the first place.

When we eventually reached the restaurant I was pleasantly surprised to see we were in a very quaint and quirky little restaurant, a lot of character and good food. Sadly the company didn’t compliment the place. I found myself increasingly bored as Tightwad proceeded to tell me about how he didn’t like this, didn’t like that, resented the other and didn’t see the point in much of anything. His conversation at one point was so dull that I found myself daydreaming of stripping wallpaper, plastering said walls, painting them, and then watching the paint dry, sloooowly. When the bill finally came, two painful hours later I did my customary fumble for handbag and slowly reached for my purse. Now this is a point where some of you may agree and some may disagree with my views – in fact I’m always having heated debates with my best (male) friend about who should pay the bill on a first date. To my mind if the guy has asked you out, and he dictates where you go I believe it’s only polite for the man to pay. I don’t assume, but I will admit it’s not going to impress me if you want to go dutch or even worse, expect me to pick up the tab after you’ve asked me out. Now if I did the asking, heck I’m happy to pay – and if we’re dating a while, lets take it in turns, believe me I’m happy with this and spent most of my early single years adamantly paying my way. But now, I prefer to let a man pay, let him be the hunter if he wants to be. Of course that said, I will caveat that with if it’s an internet date and you are meeting for the first time then yes, I’m paying my way and I’m more than happy to.

So the bill arrives, I fumble, I fumble a little more, and Tightwad hasn’t even reached for his wallet… Instead he looks at me and says, “Oh so you’re one of those.” “One of those?” I enquire, “Yeah one of those women who doesn’t let the man pay”. I say “No not particularly”, to which he replies “So what would you rather do?” Now don’t get me wrong, I was happy to pay half to start off with, knowing that I wasn’t sure I’d want to repeat this experience again, but what really pushed me over the edge was his rude abrupt manner and his assumption that I was “One of those women” whatever ‘they’ are. So in reply I told him that I would rather the man be a gentleman and offer to pay, I’m not normally so blatant but this guy was really pushing my buttons. He says ok and finally pays saying, “Well YOU can pay next time then” AS IF!!!! Never seeing your sorry ass again my dear. And as if to compound this, he proceeds to show me the bill, pointing out how cheap it all was. Now I don’t care if the meal is a reasonable 20 quid or an exorbitant 200, the real point is if the food and the company is good and sadly in this case the company was definitely not. In fact I will admit that my first date with my ex was at a fast food chicken joint – okay not impressive but we were rushing to eat before going to the cinema, but he paid. Second date was at an eat all you can Chinese buffet (we went dutch), and ok I have no excuse here for his poor dating choice – ended up repeating on him in a very bad way, at a very inopportune moment (he belched in my face mid-snog and actually passed wind in flagrante – proof that love knows no bounds), but the point is the company was good, the food ok (alright, alright pretty questionable at best) and on the first date he was a gentleman and paid.
Needless to say Tightwad was not given a second opportunity and I was sadly unable to buy him dinner at MacDonalds, Dixie Chicken or some other fine but very reasonably priced eatery.

Wow, I’ve now realised I’ve rambled on and ranted for a fair while now and still not gone into how my date with my Parisienne Artiste went. So I will pause for now and make this entry a two parter – to be continued…

04. Options and Stubble Rash

So it’s been a few days and I’ve now got a couple of interested parties from the website and a Random! (Randoms being anyone I meet in a random fashion during everyday life). Firstly let’s deal with the interweb guys. The first one is a public school educated guy, 29 years old, plays rugby and has a great sense of humour – online at least. He works as some sort of analyst and comes across as pretty intelligent and adventurous. He looks like he could be British born Nigerian and reminds me a little of a well-built ‘Chipmunk’ – the rapper not the park animal with the stripy tail.

Then there’s an Asian guy, reminds me of the hot British Asian guy who was in Lost, with the curly long hair, all smouldering looks. He comes across – from his pictures at least- as a bit more of a free spirit, all leather bracelets and chains. There’s not as much online banter as there is with the other guy but he seems nice enough so far. Only real concern at this stage is body hair… Now personally I’ve never been one for the hirsute man, a smattering of chest hair has usually been my limit and shoulder/back hair…? Eugh!!!! My concern is based on his profile pictures, one of which shows him in the sea and there looks like some definite evidence of shoulder/back hair… Now I will admit that as I get older I am happier to be with a man who has a manly chest rug (within reason). So I’m keeping an open mind – after all I would rather have this than the horrible chest stubble I have had inflicted on me in the past – namely from Asbestos man.

Ahh Asbestos man… this was a Random guy I met about a year ago at a friend’s birthday drinks. I thought I was being good breaking my already well formed habit of going only for young guys in their mid-twenties. Little did I know at the time that Asbestos man (imaginatively named as he removes Asbestos for a living) may have been on the cusp of 40, but had the mental age of a guy on the cusp of his 20s. Also, I have to admit that I hadn’t totally broken form in allowing him to make a move on me, he did actually look like he was 25 at the most, and he had those pretty boy looks that so often lead me into troubled waters. He was the brother of the birthday boy, and like all good alpha males made it extremely clear from the get-go that he was interested in me and that anyone else really should just step away and jog on. Really, he couldn’t have been much clearer if he’d un-zipped and peed all around me to mark his territory. But me being a bit squiffy, and having had a dry patch on the man front for quite a while, decided to ‘roll with it’ and when he suggested that he really ought to come home with me at the end of the night, I politely acquiesced.

What followed over the next few weeks was several evenings of sizzling hot sex, and a lot of stubble burn! Some from his shaved chest and the rest mostly from his weird non-beard chin. He possessed an odd patch of beard hair that rubbed my chin much like a cheese grater and would leave me for days with a very red, painful chin that even scabbed over after one rather prolonged episode of passion. Asbestos man was an amazing kisser, and it is testament to this that I endured the pain of his sandpaper chin so many times. The other rather disconcerting issue with Asbestos man was his previous dating form, you see it wasn’t just me who was stepping out of their comfort zone. Previous to me he had only ever dated much younger than him glamour models and strippers, so with me he found himself with a grown up woman with as he termed it ‘a proper job’. I’ll admit there was a part of me that felt flattered that here was this gorgeous guy who normally went for hot young things and was now interested in someone like me. But there was also a part of me that was concerned with his past choices, his insecurity around his own intelligence (very smart guy – no education), and more worryingly his cocaine/mdma habit. This habit became clearer and clearer each time we met on the weekends, when I would notice that he was always happy, chatty… and off to the bathroom every few minutes and I don’t think it was a bladder infection. But his mood would darken considerably during the week and any arrangements we made would quickly fall to the wayside due to his ‘not being in a good place’ (I think they call this comedown). Needless to say the ‘relationship’ did not last long.

So back to the present day and the new random – the French Artist. So I met French Artist in the queue for surprise surprise, an art exhibition. He was on his own, I was with a friend showing her my online profile and talking about my two new options when I caught the eye of the cool looking guy in a hat in front of us. We got talking, asking how long he’d been waiting, and we decided we’d all go in to the see the art installation together. After viewing said exhibit we came out and after some small talk my friend helpfully made her excuses and left me alone with French Artist to guide him to the second nearest station. It turns out that he is visiting his brother for a month and is actually returning to Belgium, where he currently lives in two days’ time. But regardless of this and because we seem to have a fair bit in common (a love of music and dancing) we’ve decided to meet up for a drink tomorrow and we shall see what happens from there…