Impeccable Table Manners

Danny and Anni


Another week, another pair of attention-seekers who think true love awaits between the staples of a Saturday supplement. Charmingly, they have rhyming names – imagine the years and years of bad jokes they could get out of that one at the dull, predictable dinner parties both are surely destined to attend. Let’s hope the fact they sound like two children’s TV presenters isn’t the most interesting thing about them, eh?

Read what happened on the date before I get my blowtorch out.

Danny, handsome in that “works at Foxtons, rents a flat with laminate flooring” kind of way, is 26 and a management consultant. You can tell this by the way he is wearing a suit.

Anni is 22 and an intern. I’m dying to know where she’s interning, said nobody ever. Anyway, let’s kick off. Danny:

danny_hoping for

Ugh. Errrrrrr. Groooooo. Yuk. Bantz bantz bantz with a top bird who loves the lads. I bet Danny is a proper “all right mate, nah mate, what a nightmare, you’re jokin’ aren’tcha, maaaaaate” certified bantosaurus. “Strong banter.” Unless Anni confesses to being a serial killer/Ukip voter/the Lindbergh baby, you have utterly lost this for me.

Banter – the sole conversational mode of people who never tell their family what they mean to them but cry when a millionaire they’ve never met scores a goal.

anni_hoping for

I’m guessing Anni has not read this column before.

danny_first impressions

You don’t normally get men going on about women’s eyes. In my experience, it tends to be women who get excited about a potential partner’s eyes. It doesn’t matter how nice someone’s eyes are – after ten years of marriage, you’ll want to poke them out all the same.

Let’t just assume this is a safety blanket for Danny and that really he wants to say something about her boobs or bum. And as for the accent fetish – whatever.

anni_first impressions

Remember all those times someone said you looked “nice” and you were all like “OMG they must really fancy me!!!” No, me neither. On time is a big plus, though. As I often tell my boyfriend, usually as he arrives to meet me flustered and wishing he were going out with someone else, if you arrive bang on time, you are in fact late. Three to five minutes early is actually on time. I know.

The topics they talked about are all super dull, except for the revelation he is from Portugal and she is from Estonia, so let’s wander on to awkward moments, with this baffling statement from Danny.


I don’t know. I am going to assume, knowing as I now do that Danny is from Portugal, that this is a language thing. I have known many a sarcastic eye, but never one that wandered sarcastically. I suppose whoever compiles the column could have phoned Danny to check, but hey ho.

Mind you, the entire date reads like it was run through Autocorrect so maybe he meant “salaciously” or “sexily” or “onion”.


Oh, God, aren’t these two boring? I fear poor old Banthony Hopkins’ hopes of some proper bantz have been permanently dashed. I have felt more sexual energy from bending down to pick up a dropped piece of toast from the floor and scraping the hair off it.

danny_table manner

anni_table manner

See? Duuuuuull. A day without weather, the last Digestive in the packet, a slightly untuned radio (long wave). As a policeman guarding a car accident would say, “Move along, there is nothing to see here”.

danny best thing

Remember that Debbie Gibson song “Lost In Your Eyes”? Oh, it was terrible. But it was only slightly less cheesy – but perhaps not as sweet – as that. Anyway, you only get lost in someone’s eyes if you’re not listening to a word they say, so way to go D-man.

anni best thing

Really? WHEN?!

danny made of you

Have you noticed how people say this a lot in this column? To compensate for the fact one half of the date sits in stony silence, the other apologetically confesses they talk too much. You should never apologise for being able to hold a conversation.

anni made of you

Yes, Anni, those peepers have yours made quite the impression. Thanks goodness you didn’t wear Ray-Bans or this may have all turned out differently.

Both of our contestants say they wouldn’t change a thing about the evening –perhaps they don’t get out much – and then it is on to scoring. Danny:

danny score

A “generous” 7? Honey, there ain’t no such thing. Given that a 6 in Guardian Blind Date terms is effectively a zero, Danny is giving Anni a courtesy score. But after all that talk about her eyes, why the low score, with the bizarre qualification that it is a “little generous”?

It’s obvious: Anni sitting there like the Mona Lisa in slingbacks all night has led Danny to believe that she probably doesn’t fancy him, so there’s a good chance she’d be scoring “honestly” when the column came out.

Perhaps if he had shut the hell up for longer than five seconds and asked Anni a question or two, he might have reached a different conclusion, because, well, looky here:

anni scpre

You don’t give eights to people you don’t fancy. Although “haven’t decided yet” – this goes out on PAPER, Anni. I know you are 22 so are a digital millennial or what-fucking-ever, but you do understand that once the copy is submitted and printed, it cannot be altered, right? Anyway, people who say “8 or 9” mean 9. So, 9.

danny meet again

Oh, Danny. You have really, really misjudged this one. Perhaps if you concentrated less on your bantz and more on what is actually happening opposite you at the table, you’d have seen there was no need for this blatant face-saving. Maybe your tie (which I can’t believe you wore to be photographed in) is too tight.

Final word to Anni:

anni meet again



Photograph: Frantzesco Kangaris for the Guardian



  1. Ooh wow, I just noticed the different pictures. In your review, Anni is facing Danny; in the Guardian, she is facing away! Did you change the photo, or did the Guardian? (It’s an old date, I know – I’ve been catching up on the older ones)

    I realize the photos are taken in advance and have nothing to do with how the date turned out. But still …

    1. My photo will have been taken from the magazine – the online version had them the other way round for some reason. They do that sometimes.

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