As a companion to their popular – well, I like it anyway – Blind Date series, the Guardian has launched Watch Me Date, a video series that allows you a gonzo view of two people on a date.
This week, it’s gays! Oh, thank goodness. These are no ordinary gays, though – they’re intellectual and all politicky or something. Can we not just have two massive stereotypes with frosted tips and vest tops? Just once? These people do exist.
Watch the video – have some strong black coffee handy – before we unnecessarily dissect absolutely everything they have to say.
David is a journalist – you’ll probably recognise him if you live in Scotland and/or read the Herald. He’s actually an old hand at the Guardian Blind Date thing – he went on one in 2013. Imagine coming back for more. He does realise there are other ways to meet men, right? Surely one of his friends can help him download Tinder?
Alex works at the Treasury. I tell you what, if there’s one thing Guardian Soulmates isn’t short of, it’s men called Alex who work at the Treasury. Of all the dates I went on, about 1 in 5 was an Alex. Reader, I did not marry him.
David’s first impression of Alex? “He was relatively attractive.” Now, that may seem like he’s not that keen, but I should point out David is from Edinburgh – they’re not one for throwing compliments about. “Relatively attractive” means he really fancied him – he can challenge that if he likes, but I won’t listen because I am right.
Alex says David has “perfect hair”. It’s quite common on Guardian Blind Dates for hair to be talked up to a staggering degree, usually in the absence of anything else to say, but I have to say if Alex thinks David’s hair is perfect, he should come and get a shot of mine; it’ll blow his fucking mind.
They were both “really into politics”. It’s what they do for a living, so fair enough, but I have aways found dates where politics has been the main topic of conversation to be the dreariest, most frustrating red-in-the-face-argument-tastic of them all.
David is a serious name-dropper, the list of people he has interviewed reading like the pages of The Sunday Times I always skip. He is currently writing a biography of Nicola Sturgeon.
It’s all going fairly well until the pair talk about hometowns. David gets rather ahead of himself when Alex talks about his idyllic childhood growing up on a farm in Devon, dreaming of the day they’ll walk hand-in-hand around it, watching lambs being born. David himself however, grew up in Lochend, Edinburgh. As David puts it, “It’s not Marchmont”. It certainly isn’t; Marchmont is terminally boring and everyone who lives there either talks like the cast of Made In Chelsea or is a crotchety old rich lady called Fiona.
Alex makes a grim mistake when he makes a joke that hasn’t been culturally relevant for a generation: “How Trainspotting was your upbringing?”
David laughs in the post-date VT when recalling the incident, but it’s the kind of strangled laugh usually accompanied by a fork pressed into the back of the wrist and followed by the upending of a table and the snapping of every neck in sight. I think David has been asked that question before.
Alex is very complimentary about David and his achievements, but it does feel the entire date isn’t about him at all. Beyond his Trainspotting comment and references to his Elysian childhood, Alex hasn’t made much of an impact. It feels a little like he was so in awe of David’s career – which David was only too happy to talk about – that he forgot to, y’know, make an impression himself. I get the feeling any potential relationship between them would carry on in that vein.