Here we go. Write up of date number one!
I was nervous about this whole meeting-a-stranger-to-see-if-love-will-blossom thing. So before D-Day I’d been texting K for around 48 hours non-stop, which is a big thing for me as I usually get bored and absent minded when texting. I’m crap at being the stereotypical crazy girl ‘Why aren’t you texting me back?! Where are you? What’re you doing? WHO ARE YOU WITH?!’
So we agreed to meet at 1pm, this is nice because it means that if he’s a total weirdo then there will be less chance of me seeking help from another weirdo than there would have been at night.
I get the train to Manchester city centre. We’ve agreed to go to a nice cocktail bar that’s acceptably cheap and busy enough for it to not be awkward, but not so busy that we can’t hear each other speak.
It’s a bit nerve-wracking walking into a bar and trying to spot someone, so we have arranged to meet outside a well-known supermarket just down the road beforehand. I get there first and find I’m in a bit of a flap stood there like a lemon at lunch time on a busy street. So I whip my phone out and round the troops for some reassurance.
I’ve had a bit of a to-do with one of my best friends from back home, S, about my gossipy mouth. So I send a rousing, emotive text begging for some help and she replies superbly with; ‘Just be yourself and he can’t not like you.’ Wooo, see, I am loveable.
Texting my best guy mate, C, and he offers to ring me, then when I refuse because it would be seriously awkward if K turns up and I’m chatting away on the phone. He gives me some lovely advise about not ‘putting out’ tonight (sigh) before reassuring me I’ll be fine.
Whilst I’m bolstering my courage it appears that K has sifted through the various office persons on their dinner breaks and is now stood right next to me, looking expectant and …nervous? He opens his mouth to speak and his voice shakes, yes, very nervous, more nervous than me in fact! He even stumbles on his words!
Once we get into the bar he seems a bit more…straight laced than I thought. I kind of want another drink but a sideways glance at him and I wouldn’t be surprised if he opted for an earl gray. There’s nothing wrong with that, but dates are supposed to be…fun?
I hazard the question but thankfully he has two beers because there’s a deal on. We locate a table downstairs and start to discuss life. I find out he still lives with his parents after finishing uni but has his own bathroom, so it’s kind of like having his own wing in the house. I go from smug about him living with his parents, to a bit taken aback. They clearly have money if they can afford an en-suite for him…and I am used to having none. I know this shouldn’t matter but it kind of does for a second? I’m clearly still learning important things about myself!
I’m still quite taken aback by how shy he is. As he stumbles over his words again whilst going to order us some nachos (in his ‘likes’ section on his profile he had nachos. This is hilarious if you know me because it’s the main thing I order when going out to eat.) I again feel a bit smug with how relaxed I feel as opposed to him. He’s older, he approached me, he very simply just asked if I’d like to meet up, has met several other girls via dating websites already…this isn’t the guy I was expecting.
As the date goes on we move to a museum (!!) and some underground dive of a bar which is my kind of place but only serves beer and cider. I opt for a pint, ladylikeness be damned. And he shows me his tattoos. One of an octopus. And one of a Velociraptor. Hmm. I’m a bit of a tattoo snob and he got so embarrassed by them at first I assumed it was a girl’s name and my opinion lowered significantly. I’m still unsure how I feel about the various animals…
I find myself having a very nice time. He’s even let me buy a round (having money spent on me makes me uncomfortable, I’m just a ball of awkward) and maybe it’s the alcohol and the sunny day but I feel like I like him.
We go back to the first bar we were in (this is turning into a very extended date, but he has a footy match to go to at six so I’m not too worried about getting trapped here all night. I’m a firm believer that you can have too much of a good thing) and there’s some moments of comfortable silence where he looks at me awkwardly and at first I’m wondering if I have something on my face. Then I realise he’s trying to bolster up the courage to kiss me. The bars getting crowded now and I am not a fan of pda’s so I’m keen to not acknowledge it. Before he knows it (he tells me multiple times) it’s time to head to the station.
He asks me out again (!!) and in that moment I can’t see why not, so we simultaneously go for it and kiss. It’s ok, but I can feel the eyes of commuters on us, so I give him a quick peck and make tracks. I’m on a high from how well this has gone, and how lucky I’ve been for a first date. He’s text me by the time I was on my train, but only to ask if I’d got on ok because it was fairly busy, which I accept. I am very smug.
Pointed moments of awkwardness: on our way to the museum a lovely Manchester resident approaches us, knuckle touches us in turn, and proceeds to ask us for money. He’s squaring up to K a little bit and I DO NOT want this to turn into an incident so I rebuff him nicely and shove K along. Thankfully we get no retaliation. Phew.
During our second visit to the bar after a few drinks he seems keen to put the world to rights. Unfortunately I do not want to discuss the topic of euthanasia, which I tell him gently, but I’m still a bit freaked out and can’t meet his eyes for a few minutes. I’ve dismissed it as nerves and drink. But still. Weird topic to bring up.
There’s a fly in the dive bar we go to. It’s annoying me and I’m wafting my hand around as I speak, trying to tell it to piss off without getting angry. He says: ‘I would kill that for you, but you know. I’m a vegetarian…’ I respect people’s views and lifestyle choices but the only thing I thought was how is he going to handle me eating a bacon butty in front of him if he doesn’t agree with killing flies!? Hmmm…