Joanne and Morgan
Photographs: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian
Impeccable Table Manners

Joanne and Morgan

As we approach the concave middle of January, land of detox, naked trees and dark evenings, December and its joyous lights, capitalism-based optimism and mountains of cholesterol seems another world away. We forget – or regret – the raucousness of December, the states we get into and the inhibitions we cast off like a vintage mink slipping to the floor to reveal our true selves. Were we even the same person? Is this pathetic creature barely keeping up on the treadmill the same brave warrior who climbed a tree with a bottle of Prosecco in each hand plus a Santa hat AND reindeer deely-boppers on their head? Can you be nostalgic for something that happened two weeks ago?

Well, apparently you can, because today’s date, as will become apparent very early on, very clearly happened at the fag-end of 2018. Exhibit A:

You may call it clickbait, but that is a *headline*. Let’s hope it lives up to its promise. There is an old in-joke among the LGBTQ community that women-only couples move fast, like lightning fast. It sounds like a sexist stereotype, which of course it is, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t sometimes true. Almost every lesbian friend I’ve ever had has zoomed through all the obligatory dating and courting niceties and got straight to the crux of it – the relationship, the love. You might feel they’re missing out (are they though?!) or even wonder why it happens this way so often, and the only answer I can really think of is that there isn’t some man in the way, messing them about, playing games and being generally obstructive to happiness. Happy to hear your theories too (I’m just saying that to be polite; please don’t write in.)

Anyway, read the date, and take a good look at Joanne and Morgan in a full-length situation:

Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

Joanne on Morgan | Morgan on Joanne
What were you hoping for?
A fun evening on the Guardian’s dime!
Someone to break up the week.

Well I think we can safely say mission accomplished there, even without reading on.

First impressions?
Cute, chatty and early.
Super tall with really nice eyes.

Out of all these first impressions, the best one is early, if only because the opposite of early is “late” and that’s such a negative. I know, because I am told very often, some people can’t help being late and it’s not malicious or anything like that and I understand – nobody wants someone to arrive to meet you anxious, worried, and sweating from that run from the bus stop. But by the same token, who would want to stand around waiting like a spare prick at a wedding for ages, or arrive late to find the person you were meeting distressed and, worst of all, late-cross, which is such a deep funk it may take days to come out from. Just try your best to be on time, text often, be apologetic, and, importantly, the first round is on you and it should be something speedily intoxicating. Anyway, no worries here as Joanne and Morgan know how to behave (unless Joanne was late, but if she was Morgan doesn’t seem to mind because… well, read the headline again).

What did you talk about?
I can’t really remember much after four negronis and wine but: books, scumbag Tories, coming out.
I can’t wholly remember. Maybe, failing sex education in UK schools and her fairly ugly but sadly estranged cat.

Can’t remember
Four negronis ?
All in all this is a good selection. I am very anti-politics on a first date, just because it’s so boring and also I feel it has unnecessarily shoved celebrity gossip into being a very low-grade interest, but when you think about it almost everything in our lives is touched by politics in some way so perhaps not talking about politics in 2019 is nigh impossible.
Cat ? I don’t want to make any assumptions about this pair’s sexuality but, look, yes, lesbians have cats get over it. Sad that it’s estranged. Is it estranged because it has decided Joanne isn’t generous enough with the IAMS, or has it been whisked away by a former lover? Saying goodbye to a pet post break-up is like losing custody of a child, except the cat doesn’t ignore your calls until they want £100 for “a thing”

Any awkward moments?
Probably when we got kicked out of the house party we crashed. And leaving my knickers behind. I think I also fell over at some point.
I walked into a glass wall at one point and my head still has a bump.

OK, so this is a lot. Shall we read it again?

Any awkward moments?
Probably when we got kicked out of the house party we crashed. And leaving my knickers behind. I think I also fell over at some point.
I walked into a glass wall at one point and my head still has a bump.

Right. Let’s take a minute. I know we’ve all got whiplash from this escalation but we need to stay focused. We’ve gone from illegally parking an Austin Maestro in a “parent and child” parking space outside Asda to spacecraft zooming toward, and landing on, the dark side of the moon in about seven seconds.

As I’ve said on many occasions, the gays get. it. done. I don’t know what it is about the male-female couples but they’re so wrapped up in societal norms and weird rules and regulations that have suffocated them for centuries – sometimes I think they like it that way – that the dates usually end up in missed opportunities, mere brushes against the cheek, awkward hugs on Tube platforms and non-committal “yeah maybe” conclusions. “The only thing I’d change is I would have had the beetroot strudel” – honestly, piss off. Barely enough to get your porridge bubbling.

Now, while there’s definitely been a trend for lesbian and gay men couples acting all prim and proper – you’re 24, Steve, unbutton the collar of your blouse, ffs – on occasion the LGBTQ crew deliver. They know only too well just how impossible it was not that long ago to express your sexuality – and for many many many people those challenges remain – and they’re taking life, these rights, these modern times, this ostensible freedom, in both hands and squeezing them harder than your window cleaner wrings out his chamois.

And this is why, in 2019 – Plenty Nineteen? – with all those struggles ahead of us and no end in sight, we have two women out on a date who have decided, “fuck it, the world is a spinning dumpster and I can either be mere kindling for its fire or I can be accelerant and go out with a bang”. And, reader, by the look, feel, smell, and sound of it, they did indeed bang. ? ? ?

Good table manners?
Excellent, we both spoke with our mouths full.
Who really cares?


Best thing about Morgan?
Her energy, intelligence and sense of humour. And she was up for getting pissed.
She is obscenely fun.

Not only did they bang – which on most dates is enough, tbh – they connected! They are fun, so had fun! Plus, also, while alcohol is not the be-all and end-all, we do live in a culture where it is (for some reason) more fun getting drunk if the other person you’re with also wishes to get drunk. Where would these women be if one of them had said no thanks to that fourth negroni (YUK btw, sorry I cannot let that one go by me)? I tell where they’d be – home, separately, knickers on. It’s no kind of life.

Would you introduce her to your friends?
Yes, asap.

Describe her in three words
Fun, interesting, fit.

FUN, like the kind of person who would positively encourage you to take your knickers off at a stranger’s party.
INTERESTING, like this scenario must’ve been to watch from across the room.
FIT, like, everyone, we banged.

Describe her in three words
Tactile, funny, engaging.

TACTILE, as in she prodded me in the shoulder until I helped her take off her knickers.
FUNNY, like three episodes of Catastrophe playing at once.
ENGAGING, like a PowerPoint or whatever. Come on, Morgan, you can do better than this.

What do you think she made of you?
Maybe that I talked a mile a minute and was a bit overexcited. Also that I am “cool and hot”, because that’s what she said in a text to her friends, sent when I went to the loo.
I think she thought I was really great, because she said she texted her friend that while she was in the bathroom.

Like Christmas never went away.

And… did you kiss?
We did. A lot.
Sure did.

Marks out of 10?
Marks out of 10?

Two tens. Double-10. A collective 20. Does this ever happen? I never keep track; life is too short for spreadsheets. But it feels like the start of something. (And perhaps the end, several people have called on me to retire my reviews after today, so thanks for that.)

Either way, this is a full marks situation and I guess, well, I hadn’t really prepared anything but I suppose I should thank the Academy, the Guardian, my laptop, my two-finger typing, my readers, but most of all Joanne and Morgan for doing the only we’ve ever wanted a couple on a Blind Date to do = STOP. PISSING. ABOUT. AND. BANG.

Would you meet again?
Yeah, next week.
Would you meet again?

Rejoice! These women have saved January.

It doesn’t matter what happens next, whether that second date came to fruition, or that cat got to meet a new stepmum. Because we will always have this moment, today – this one perfect, bawdy date, that ended in a fat round 20, with no knickers on. And nobody can take it away from us.

Joanne and Morgan ate at Emelia’s Crafted Pasta, London E1 – what was in that linguine? We should be told. 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. My responses are always based on my own thoughts and not influenced by others although I do love to hear what you think. If you came here for a roasting, you are clearly a part-timer; I can do “up” too. 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. Underwear brands: Joanne could be your next influencer! Perhaps pay her to leave a pair of your nags at every party she goes to. Just saying.

BUY MY BOOK: Blah blah blah. Out May 28 etc etc etc. Please preorder. If not for love, do it out of pity.






  1. SO glad you covered this date, because as you say, these girls were *fun*. Was a joy to read, I sort of want a cinematic re-enactment of it. (Reminded of a Broad City episode.) As always, your write-up was also very fun, the review and the actual G Date gave many smiles on a cold miserable January day. Cheers.

    (The old -ancient- joke here is, “What does a lesbian bring on a second date?”
    “A U-Haul.” )

  2. Unlike the case with restaurant reviews, blind dates that are positive from start to finish – along with your commentary – fill me with a happy feeling. Is that empathy? Perhaps not, as I’ve never been on a blind date. But damned if this one didn’t make me happy for Joanne and Morgan.

  3. People – and by “people” I principally mean my son the first time I took him – wonder why I have a season ticket at one of Scotland’s larger football clubs. Isn’t it boring a lot of the time, they ask? Aren’t there minutes, days, weeks when nothing much happens and you wonder why you bother? Indeed so, my darling son: but it’s only when you’ve suffered through the boring days that you have the RIGHT to celebrate the days when everything falls into place.

    And so to this week’s Blind Date.

  4. I loved this story. Two minds with but a single thought: To Shag Each Other Senseless.

    “And… did you kiss?
    We did. A lot.”

    So after a brief conversation, and the intake of the appropriate amount of alcohol, their mouths locked together like a KC-135Q tanker and a SR-71 Blackbird doing a mid-air refuelling operation. Or two Dyson V10’s, if that is your preferred comparison. Either way, there were clearly a lot of tongue manoeuvres involved.

    And after a brief exchange of texts : Game On 🙂

    And after staggering into a house party, it was only a short step to the knicker jettison phase of the operation.

    “Good table manners? … Excellent, we both spoke with our mouths full.” Hmmm – we aren’t just talking about food here, are we?

    “we got kicked out of the house party we crashed. And leaving my knickers behind.”

    An excellent end to the evening. Well, probably not the end; my intuition tells me that service was resumed as soon as possible.

    But seriously: Joanne and Morgan, I am very happy for you. Carpe Diem: You must seize any scrap of rapture wherever you find it.

  5. A fanfic author just used this date as inspiration for their Heartstopper short story and kindly linked to your blog. And I now both absolutely obsessed with the column and your blog!!! My afternoon will now consist of me reading through your blog 😀

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