Okay so on Monday I had the "privilege" of going on what will hopefully be one of the worst - if not the worst date I will ever go on in my life.
Like all stories it's best to start at the beginning. I was happily chugging along with my life when a lovely friend of mine suggested that I try out Tinder - the newest internet dating craze (newish I guess - a bit behind the times)
She was the third person to suggest it (So Jr. I don't blame you for anything that transpired - I blame the other two people who suggested it) so I thought what the hell - lets give it a go.
After a couple of outright "Hi I'm married and looking for a lover" messages (I said thanks but no thanks but at least they were more up front - though still - ugh) and some chatting that went nowhere. I got asked out for coffee. I thought - why the hell not it could be fun. Spoiler alert - It wasn't - but I digress
So after a few "hey I'm going to K road you wanna come along" last minute type messages that couldn't make I suggested that we made a time to meet. He seemed keen so the time was set.
The txt he sent me saying "hey it's really rainy out should we meet later (or I can come over to yours with a bottle of wine and we can see what happens)" should have clued me in but still I believe in expecting the best of people.
So the date.... I will write it using the the literary device of the present tense to help you fully understand the unfolding what-the-fuckery of the whole experience.
The "date" whom I will call MrTinder or TT - because his name is XXX and he contacted me on Tinder - has txted me to say he was just hopping in the shower and coming over to the bar so I have tried to time the arrival to be punctual but not so early that I have to sit around for ages looking like a weirdo. I get to the bar and procure a seat at a table wedged between the entry to the Pokies and the pool table. Probably an omen as to what would follow but anyway. So I'm waiting....
Actually now might be a good time to describe my "date" aka what I'm expecting... so late thirties - think he looks moderately well preserved from the photo's, plays the drums - so that's good - something in common. His hair, however, is a bit of a worry. I have never considered myself shallow but apparently I am. He has that "I had long hair in my twenties and still have it now but now I'm-starting-to-bald-from-the-front-hair-migration" vibe. I'm not sure if I can make out with someone who can't let go of his youth hair (hey dude your twenties called and it wants it's hairstyle back)but I have a firm word with myself - don't be shallow- maybe he's a "lovely person".
Anyway I'm waiting at the table and I see him come in. He looks older than the pictures... his hair is.... well..... but still not wanting to be shallow, I wave with enthusiasm. He gets me a drink and comes over to the table. This is where it all starts to go down hill. He hugs me hi... and I think ugh he smells really excessively erm musky? It's overpowering. He sits next to me at the table and immediately has his leg right up against me. His knee is insistent and persistently pushy. I feel uncomfortable I don't even know the guy - his knee hasn't even bought me dinner yet. I try to be charitable - maybe there's not much room under the table. I sneak a surreptitious look. There's room.
I try to move away. The knee follows. It's like a pointer dog or a magnet or an amazonian leech or one of those Dead Sea hand treatment people at the mall. I'm finally wedged against the wall pretzled around my bar stool trying to make sure as little of me touches him as possible.
I am now cornered by the knee and its wing-man the aggressive insidious and all-permeating man musk smell -it's a bit gag inducing (I momentarily picture the Knee and the Musk hanging out together on the weekend, they call each other Goose and Maverick. The Knee likes Holdens, the Musk prefers Fords - it's the only thing they really disagree about.They have beers and watch porn together and and give each other manly and very pointedly heterosexual high fives. The knee looks like Burt Reynolds just after he got his first toupee - the musk looks like Zach Galifinakis).
I remind myself to be less judgmental. I look at the table his hands are tiny. No no no tiny hands no! Less judgmental... don't be shallow - it's becoming a bit of a mantra. His phone rings. He answers it and wanders off a bit to have a chat. Then he comes back. The rapey knee immediately reassumes it's position.
"Sorry" He says not looking sorry at all "That was my dealer - he's gonna come drop off some weed for me - like it's a hassle to get it from him so yeah...."
He looks around the restaurant /bar and does a little toss of his hair. I suspect that he straightens it... it's thinning and the ends are split (Yep he's so all up in my space that I can actually see his split ends). I consider suggesting a good treatment. Also it seems he thinks he's pretty sexy.
"Well" he says " at least I won't see anyone I know here."
Uhm what? I say inside but I try to smile politely. Politeness is the worst thing that could happen to a woman on a date I think.
He quickly changes the subject. He's got a menu. One menu. And he's going through it to find something to eat. He doesn't offer it to me. He's talking about what he wants to eat. He says he wants the cheapest thing. I judge him. I suggest fries "you can't go wrong with fries" I say trying to be supportive.
"Nah" he says "I'm not doing carbs"
Inside I start to laugh. I look at my glass I drink a really big sip. And then another. I look longingly at the exit - but I think it'll be rude to pull the plug at this point when he's driven over to meet me. I try to make conversation.
He orders the salmon. Awesome - now I will have to deal with the fish man musk double whammy. When the wait staff come over I give back my set of cutlery because I'm not eating - they look at me in confusion - Tinder Tom doesn't stop me or offer to share.
I already have some info on Mr Tinder - He's been renting the same property for 15 years with flatmates - he changes stuff in the house without asking the land lord (he seems pretty proud of this I heard about it at length)
He has twenty bucks in his pocket - that seems to be what he brought for the night. Classy. Guess I'll have to buy my next drink myself.
At this point MrTinder has yet to ask me one thing about myself. He is obviously content to let his knee do the talking. I ask him what he does for a living. Another hair flick. it's one of those hair flicks where the hair isn't actually thick enough to flick so it just does a bit of a stiff wobble. I think he might actually also use hairspray. His knee is some sort of 70's mustachioed playboy type with an open shirt and a hairy chest and his hair is Mrs Havisham - unable to let go of the past, still wandering around the house in it's sad wedding dress and one shoe (which I later think is something I would rather end up as rather than dating a guy like this).
My nose has shut down at this point and I've finally managed to maneuver in such a way that he can't actually get to my leg anymore so I relax slightly - foolish move Ms. Ewan.
He says he works in "freelance search engine optimisation marketing" I know this means he phones small businesses and harasses them into parting with money for something that can be done but is really expensive and is filled with corrupt companies of which the one he's working for most likely is ( I know this because I did it for about 3 weeks when I was desperate for work and found out all about how it works... so I'm not really very impressed when he goes on about search engine optimisation and all that kind of jargony crap)
It annoys me how he assumes I'm stupid and will be easily impressed. I think I might be struggling to hide it already. He quickly adds that he's also a drummer and proceeds to name drop a whole bunch of musicians - none of whom I know so cannot be suitably impressed. And says he's been on tour in the UK for six months over with "Mumble mumble mumble"
"Sorry which band?"
"Mumble mumble mumble - didn't chart - it was all the managers fault mumble"
He also mentions a long-held, long distance across the dance floor band crush of mine known to all who know me as code name "bongo-lover" and proceeds to go off on a long and bitter diatribe about said 'bongo lover' - who I know is really talented and from what I hear from reputable sources on the brink of some big things.
Sir Tinder bitches about how they played a wedding together and BL and the other guy got drinks but they made him wait to the end of the night before he could get his - cause "he wanted to drink during the set and what was he going to do with ten beers after the set". Can't think why they wedding party didn't want a completely hammered drummer on their wedding day...
So lets quickly go over the list so far... He's got no sense of personal space, he smells like the inside of Burt Reynolds's satin boxers from the seventies (I also suspect that he hasn't been honest about the shower - because seriously....... like seriously...), he has tiny hands, he is holding onto the hair of his youth, he's low-carb (which might actually be the thing I judged the most lol), he's bitter and jealous and he's cheap.... what a catch.... but like any good infomercial.... wait there's more.....
So now he's off about his musical achievements... he says his new band is playing on Tuesday at Sale Street (I think?) and I try to act enthusiastic and say "oh I could come to that" I do like seeing new bands so what could it hurt.
And he says.... wait for it..... "Well my other girlfriend is coming to that"
What!! (I've been trying to cut down on the exclamation marks but I think that we can all agree that one needs at least two actually here's another ! I think that statement deserved three)
WHAT? I have literally been possum frozen in place by that statement - mainly because I'm really confused.... first thought is - "haaaaang on a minute..... if she's your other girlfriend.... does that..... make.......me..... your girlfriend... too......? Because I don't really remember discussing that..... or would I be like number three?"... followed rapidly by "that poor girl"... followed by "is she blind or something" followed by "fuck, if this guy can get more than one girlfriend there really is a man drought" all of this happening while I am sort of grimace-smiling with all but vital functions shut down completely. (In hindsight the best reaction would have been to get up right then and leave but seriously I just flat lined. Also I was sort of stuck in a tar trap of morbid fascination.)
At this point I think "fuck it - I'm getting another glass of wine and seeing what other offensive random shit this guy can come up with"
I ask him about his favourite gigs of all time - He says "hang on I've got them on a Google doc" He seems to think I will find that impressive. "Wow a Google doc this guy is so organised I must open the sacred flower of my womanhood to him immediately and never never tell his girlfriend of it ever. His musk makes me giddy".
What I want to say is I can also make a Google doc bud and have been known to make lists too but not really of things that will stick in memory for all time because the fact that they are memorable is because they're the ones you remember, no?
He hands over his phone and I check the document out gingerly. I fear the influence of the knee will have taught the phone bad habits and if I am too nice to it it might start to get funny ideas.
Then he talks about his plans to seduce the bass player of bongo-lover's previous band (my friends who know of bongo-lover will also know that the bass player in the band is a woman of rather spectacular beauty, talent and intelligence)
I mention that she has a boyfriend (I saw them at the Pack n Save once buying frozen vegetables)
He says "so what."
I restrain the urge to lean over and punch him in the nuts - I fear that he might take it as a come on.
I drink more wine - I suggest he definitely try it - he should get some candles and a bead curtain for his "music studio" because nothing attracts a woman like the bead curtain and a fake music studio scenario. He doesn't seem to get that I'm being sarcastic aaaaaand with that the knee is back with doubled vigour.
I ask (at this point to over it to even make eye contact and trying to get free from the knee) "What were you on Tinder for anyway?"
He says " A "friend" " (the inverted commas inside the inverted commas are his)
I feel something primal rise up in me and growl in my best scary angry Charlize Theron voice (refer to Prometheus post) "I'm NOT your FRIEND" I don't mean to do the voice but it pops out - I hear it - it even scares me a little.
He looks a bit nervous but regroups impressively and acts like it's all cool and rather magnanimously says "Well then you can come to the gig on Tuesday (Wednesday? can't remember)" (he's pretty smug as he does this - it pisses me off)
I say cheerfully and with 110 % sincerity and 0% guile, " That would be awesome!... I could meet your girlfriend... we could hang out... it would be FUN"
For the first time he looks a more than a little worried. He shakes it off like I'm never said anything thing then he grabs my leg gives it a squeeze then leans in with that sort of half droopy gonna kiss face and says "aw just give it a go."
At this point I push his hand off my leg and literally yell "Hell no" into his face and start laughing slightly hysterically.
This signals the end of our date...
Honestly I'm not sure about how i feel about this whole business. I can't be too judgy because I've done some pretty awful and shameful things in my time... but I still feel really angry about it all. How dare this guy think that because I said yes to one drink he has some claim on me? And his poor "girlfriend" (to be realistic maybe she's also just someone he has had one drink with). And who are people to think that they can do that and the other person will just be complicit with their secret? What's stopping me from just going over there and being all "Hey I met him on Tinder, where do you know him from?" And I know I won't ever do it but sometimes I wish I could.
One thing I can be sure of is that buying seven cats, wearing my dressing gown all day and yelling over the fence at my neighbour's children while shaking a broom at them looks like a much better outcome than being involved with a fucking idiot just to be involved.
PS This experience finally tops the time I went to the most tragic singles night ever and a 67 year old man came over and said "age is only a number"
PPS In a weird kind of coincidence I put up a video I made a couple of days ago of a song I had written ages ago about cheaters.
Here it is - for anyone who hasn't seen it yet:)