Photograph: Jill Mead/The Guardian
Impeccable Table Manners

Amy and Harry

We return to the scene of our many previous crimes, the mortuary of hope that is the Guardian Blind Date column, to meet two 24-year-olds who have clearly exhausted all other avenues of meeting new people.

It is, sadly, a heterosexual date, but I guess we have to let them infiltrate our world every now and again – just as long as they don’t ram it down our throats, eh? Amy is an event producer (lots of clipboards and shouting about ice sculptures I imagine) and Harry is a management consultant (I honestly don’t know what this is – do they come in every new tax year and sack people?).

and then please return for my dissection. Kettle’s on.

Amy on HarryHarry on Amy
What were you hoping for?
Someone incredibly fun.

“Incredibly fun” is quite a reach when it comes to Guardian readers, Ames. Have you never read the comments underneath any article? Do they even know what incredible fun is? If it doesn’t cost twice as much as normal fun and has to be bought from a delicatessen in East Dulwich, they’re not interested. LOL jk please keep commissioning me, thanks.

What were you hoping for?
Somebody interesting, challenging and funny.

If Harry isn’t careful he’s going to use up all his adjectives before he gets to the question where he actually needs them. I’m not sure why you would want to meet someone “challenging” on a first date. Challenging how? Challenging you to what? A poker game? The Marble Zone on Sonic the Hedgehog? A duel? I don’t really want to go on a date with a Question Time audience member tbh but you do you, Harry.

First impressions?
Tall, confident, great glasses, easy to talk to from the outset.

Did you scroll back up to have another look at Harry’s glasses? Yeah, same.

First impressions?
Smart, relaxed, engaging. The pizza and cocktails were nice, too.

What is this, Harry? A first impression or your TripAdvisor review of the entire evening? Absolutely nobody cares what the pizza and cocktails are like. Also, the word “engaging” needs to be retired unless used to describe two basics planning to get married. It’s a non-word, the “nice” of the 21st century. You don’t have to say how you felt if you’re saying something is engaging, just that you felt something. It’s a copout. Anyone using this in future columns will feel the full force of my gifery.

What did you talk about?
His days as a DJ, modernism, the art of finishing projects, Danny Dyer, finding catharsis in writing, that another season of The Thick Of It is long overdue.
Aspirations, anthropology… She also schooled me on architecture – turns out I know zero.

Alliteration always seems like a good idea at the time, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I guess modernism is a ✅ here.
His days as a DJ – Lord save us from straight men, spare time, and remixes.
The art of finishing projects – Deadlines and the threat of eviction usually do it for me, guys.
Danny Dyer – My favourite DD fact is that he was friends with/ a mentee of Harold Pinter.
Finding catharsis in writing – Excuse me while I just laugh with terrifying hollowness into a Tesco bag for life until my breathing calms down.
Another season of The Thick of It – No, I don’t think so tbh. What would it parody? We are beyond satire! The looking-glass has been fully penetrated and has absorbed us! Also that last special was not that great, I’m sorry.

Any awkward moments?
I went to faire la bise and he greeted with a hug so I sort of kissed his neck.

One day I will write about my teenage obsessive francophilia; it’s quite the story and all started with French onion soup aged 9. Anyway, “la bise” is that thing they do in Europe of kissing one another several hundred times on each cheek by way of saying hello. I am quite into it tbh. When I was 21 I lived in Belgium and was closeted and it was quite a thrill to see men doing la bise to one another like it was the most natural thing in the world.

Good table manners?
He ate his pizza with a knife and fork, otherwise impeccable.
Following a lengthy debate about eating pizza with a knife and fork (or not), it was clear that Amy did have excellent table manners.

I eat pizza with a knife and fork. What the fuck has it got to do with you? It’s like these people who moan about you having your steak how you like it, or being particular about egg yolks (set, never runny, and not hard, don’t @ me on this), or… well anything food-related. I can exclusively reveal that my decision to eat pizza with cutlery will not:
a) change the flavour of your own pizza
b) cause some kind of tear in the space-time continuum or whatever
c) ever be any of your business.

If, after watching me eat pizza with a knife and fork, you decide I am no longer fuckable well GUESS WHAT…

Why do I eat pizza with cutlery? What’s it to you? (I don’t like eating with my hands or food coming into contact with my fingers unless absolutely necessary. That’s it really. Is it weird? Who cares?)

Best thing about Harry?
He embraces eccentricity.

“He’s weird.”

Best thing about Amy?
Very intelligent – the conversation was incredibly stimulating. Amy seems to think about the world in quite a similar way to me.

“She too is weird.”

Would you introduce him to your friends?
He’s chatty, fun, liberal and up for getting pissed, so I’m sure they’d get along.
I think she vaguely knows some of them anyway.

You know, it’s a sign that I’ve been successfully groomed by social media so that when I see the word “liberal”, I do a little groan – a bit like a hamster realising it is just a hamster and not, as it had hoped, an eagle, or Jourdan Dunn.

I mean, I am liberal too, I guess, but there is so much gaslighting online about how being liberal is officially bad, I sometimes wonder what we are supposed to do. I think if I see one more right-wing columnist reappropriate “woke” as some kind of insult or eye-rolling “state of the nation” metaphor then I’m going to become extremely non-liberal and go on some kind of insane crime spree or perhaps wander the streets shirtless, screaming.

Describe Harry in three words?
Witty, tactile, original.

Witty, like a last-minute guest on Have I Got News For You who steals the show and is immediately offered their own series. Don’t get too attached though: they tweeted a joke about child murder in 2011.
Tactile, like the timing of this could not be worse tbh.
Original, like that Leftfield song. Do you know the one? I used to listen to it really loudly on my headphones on the way into university, in my second year (the one I failed LOL more on that another time). I have a crystal-clear memory of walking along Lodge Road with it blasting into my ears. I imagine I must have had a 28″ waist at the time. Christ.

Describe Amy in three words?
Curious, polite, funny.

Curious, like a cat that has decided that, yes, jumping on top of the wardrobe will definitely be worth it.
Polite, like children in soaps never are, have you noticed? Why aren’t they? Why do they all go “off the rails” at 11? Can’t anyone just be boring anymore?
Funny, like haha not peculiar, I imagine.

What do you think he made of you?
He said he thought I was “really great”, but that was after three bottles of wine and earlier in the evening he’d said I was quite scary, so who knows?
I think she found the conversation interesting and had a fun time.

Three bottles of wine? Nice one. “Really great” is nice enough but strange how Harry didn’t have his adjective collection out with him on the date. Perhaps that’s why he’s now rammed his answers with all his favourites from the thesaurus.

Did you go on somewhere?
Yes, to the oldest gym in the UK, now a wine bar.

I googled these oddly specific keywords yet found nothing – I didn’t try very long tbh but I assume it’s that one by King’s Cross? – but I guess this is a nice bit of information to have… IF YOU ARE JUDITH CHALMERS. Honestly, who cares. Did you bone?

Did you go on somewhere?
We did – we found a very nice bar and then went to Soho, and went our separate ways at around 2am.

And… did you kiss?
A bit.
A gentleman never tells.

If you could change one thing about the evening, what would it be?
I really regret declining the pudding menu.
We should have gone to a club.

“I really regret declining the D.”
“We should have fucked.”

There, fixed it for you.

Marks out of 10?

Amy’s is a 10 and Harry’s is a shy 9. How do I know? Because I KNOW.

Would you meet again?
Yes – I had fun and usually find it hard to tell what I think after one date.

Just say yes, Harry, no need for the embellishment – you’re not recording an audiobook.

Anyway, good news! Well done! Next time try four bottles of wine and see how many inhibitions you can toss away.

Amy and Harry ate at Happy Face, London N1C. Fancy a blind date? Email If you’re looking to meet someone like-minded, visit

NOTE: The comments I make are based on the answers given by the participants. The Guardian chooses what to publish and usually edits answers to make the column work better on the page, but get in touch if you want to give me your side of the story; I’ll happily publish whatever you say. Use as many adjectives as you like – I can take it.

ADVERTISING: If you haven’t bought my book yet, you are a cop. Please fix this and purchase it as soon as possible. Apparently, if I don’t pay the rent my landlord says I have to, like, live somewhere else? And also, like, exposure is not a valid currency. Is she for real? .

BRITNEY: I love you. 


  1. Yes – German Gymnasium was the first purpose built gym in England. It has a strange atmosphere, it’s 1/3 people with suitcases killing time before trains, 1/3 hen parties and 1/3 people eating plates of bratwurst.

  2. Interesting. Cause I read Harry’s response as a “no, she was keen, I wasn’t really into her”. Kind of like Charles’ “whatever love means”.

  3. So nice to have you to read on a Saturday: it makes my day. I am not sure about those emojis though, honestly.

  4. Loved this, funny as ever, always happy to read your newest. Thank you!
    Just, tbh you used “tbh” five times. And one “Honestly”. No big! Great work.

  5. With you on pizza, especially in public places.

    Not so sure on the general principle of finger food. A Young Person has just handed me a bowl of rather delicious popcorn (Drum and Kernel). And No Fork!!

  6. You don’t want polite children. I once was in a car and had to listen to the Archers. The children on their are polite and it’s like some sick grown up fantasy. “Oh isn’t little Annabelle so knowing and considerate”

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