The date I had last night was an hour and a half of my life I will never get back. Seriously. I’m getting a bit sick of online dating now if I’m honest. When I first activated my profile, I thought the free site ‘Oasis Active’ was a gateway to all sorts of exciting adventures, a wonderland if you will, full of interesting men all dying to wine me, dine me and,… well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I couldn’t wait to get going… was practically chomping at the bit to have my pick of the crop, but what I’ve plucked from cyberspace so far can only be described as terrifying. Maybe it’s me? No, SURELY not?
Is it me?
Well, maybe a bit of it’s me. I do tend to scrutinise every man who sits before me like a mad professor prodding at a beetle under a microscope. I blame my Scorpio side. Sometimes, the guy won’t have even made it through the door and to my side before I’ve dismissed him for having awful hair or bad shoes. A little voice in my head shouts “NEXT” before he’s even bought me a drink and therein lies my problem. I’m too picky. I’ve been spoilt.
Sometimes I think I might have just dated way too many men from the Internet in the past, and now a little part of my brain sparks up in their actual presence and categorises them without me even asking it to, like a computer: Too short. Too fat. Older than he said he was. Libra. Taurus. Won’t sing karaoke with you. Warning Warning. Warning!
Back to last night. To be honest, before we met up, I just wanted to cancel. We’d spoken on the phone quite late the night before and he’d sounded a bit dull, but determined to silence that irritating voice in my head, which at the time was screaming: “He’s probably wearing stripy pyjamas and sipping hot chocolate, surrounded by his alphabetised CD collection!”, I agreed to meet him anyway. Even better, he said he really didn’t mind whizzing by my workplace once I’d finished for a quiet glass of wine round the corner, which meant I didn’t have to go to any effort at all to give him the chance he rightfully deserved. Perfect.
I finished work late and still I managed to arrive before he did. I had a bit of a flirty exchange with the cute barman in the pub, who knocked 50 cents off my glass of Merlot, and settled myself into a chair. I was texting Stacey when he turned up. Part of me wanted to run away. As he stood grinning like a full moon in front of me, the first thing that went through my head was: “Karaoke man”. He looked exactly like the kind of guy who might run a mobile karaoke business. Usually I love people like this – they’ve given me HOURS of pleasure – but not because I’ve dated them.
I realised I should probably get up and do the obligatory peck on the cheek thing, so I did, and it was then that I clocked the mass of wrinkles round his eyes and mouth. His profile said he was 34. He looked about 50. Holy shiz!!!
In all my years of online dating I have never, ever actually met someone who’s lied about their age on their profile. I mean, you hear about it happening all the time… maybe I’ve always been lucky in that respect, but this guy had clearly not only told one huuuge fat porker of a lie about his age, but he’d also uploaded a photo that didn’t look anything like him. The guy in the photo had been 20 years younger, tall, slim and very, very smooth.
Just when I was thinking it really couldn’t get much worse, I was struck by the fact that his head was massive and he actually had a pot belly. When he came back with another glass of wine, he sat down and grinned at me again, eyed my crossed legs in my new pink skirt and said absolutely nothing. I thought I’d initiate a conversation, which went something like this:
“So, how old are you?”
“I stopped counting at 36”
“So you’re older than 36?”
“But your profile said you were 34”
“No it didn’t!”
“Yes, it did, because I don’t go out with guys who are older than 34”
“No, you must have read it wrong”
“I’m sure I didn’t. Anyway, how old are you really?”
“I told you, I stopped counting at 36”
“That’s nice, but mother nature didn’t. So how old are you really?”
“You’re not going to leave it, are you?”
“Well, I kind of want to know the person I’ve agreed to go out with isn’t lying about his age… I think that’s kind of creepy.”
“I stopped counting at 36”
At this point the voice in my head was screaming so loudly I thought I was going to pull my hair out, but I did a pretty good job of finishing my wine, listening to him talk about how much he loves to travel and how much he loves working from home (probably wearing pyjamas) without acting like a bitch. When we were done, he offered to drive me home. This would have been a nice gesture if he hadn’t shown up quite tipsy after being at a dinner with friends (or another bad date, probably) and then proceeded to drink even more.
I walked outside with him, told him I’d be fine in a cab, at which point he stopped outside a silver hybrid sports car that looked like a space pod and asked “Are you sure?” with another infuriating grin. He was clearly waiting for my jaw to drop open at the greatness of his awesome, zillion dollar vehicle, but I decided I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction, so I acted like I hadn’t noticed.
He got out his keys, waved them about a bit, obviously disappointed he wouldn’t get to demonstrate a drunken wheelspin at the next set of lights and waiting for me to change my mind. He asked: “How much is a taxi home gonna cost you?”
“I’ll stop counting at 36” I replied, before walking off into the night. Honestly.