Bad dates

Bad dates

The Selfie

Imagine being the most selfish person in the world. Never letting people pass on a narrow pavement, never caring about anyone else’s feelings, never censoring what you say, just barging your way through life satisfying only yourself. I've often wondered what it would be like, but I'm not really a selfish person – it has been my downfall over the years. I've spent many lost hours wanting to claw my own eyes out in frustration at other people's self-centeredness, or waiting – endlessly waiting – for people who can't be...
Bad dates

The Table For Two

A restaurant. The lighting is low, there is candlelight. Muzak pipes out of unseen speakers. Save for the waiter absentmindedly picking his teeth with a taxi firm’s business card, this is a perfect romantic setting. Of course, I didn’t pick the venue. I like my restaurants either comfortingly luxurious or the type of joint where you gnaw through an overcooked chicken brochette on an upturned tea chest. This middle-of-the-road suburban eatery isn’t what I’d normally go for. I can’t help but think it is a shame he’s picked somewhere so...
Bad dates

The Muse

Some people really love talking about their job. And I should know – I have spent many a sunny evening sitting under a cloud of boredom at a smeared pub table across from a guy going through his company’s sales figures in mind-numbing detail. Curriculum Borae. I don’t really like talking about mine; I never have, really. People always think it should be more impressive than it actually is, that I should be sipping champagne at celebrity events and photobombing Taylor Swift’s selfies. The sad fact is, however that most of...
Bad dates

The Plus One

“I’m going to a friend’s for dinner on Friday. Come.” I should say “No thank you, Toby; it’s only our second date”. I don’t. “Is there anything you don’t eat?” I should tell him about my phobia of celeriac and meringues. I don’t. When I ask “What shall I bring?” and he replies “Nothing, just yourself!” I should listen, but I don’t. When Toby spies the prosecco I’m clutching to my chest as we arrive and tells me “You can’t bring that; they’re teetotal and Polly won’t have it in...
Bad datesFollow-ups

The breakup: Mark and the herpes simplex complex

Oh, Mark. Mark and I had started off so well, with a humorously disastrous date in a museum followed by one too many drinks in a boozer laughing over how bad it had been. That first night ended with a drunken kiss, and half-hearted torso fumbling before we parted at a bus stop, sparks of sexual energy fizzing out of every pore as I watched his bus pull away. As time passed by, I could just about cope with him insisting on trying to put all his fingers in my mouth...
Bad dates

The Hold-Out

A restaurant. I hate going for food on a first date, but my date suggested it and so here I am. Leo is a student and 22 – that enchanted age where anything seems possible, but you’re still not old enough to realise none of it will ever happen. His pictures were, to put it bluntly, deceiving and he is not very good-looking at all, but I’m here now and we can at least have a nice dinner. I can tell he’s not a serial dater, as he’s picked Chinese –...
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