Picking A Winner
After finally getting over a long term relationship that had ended horribly (finding someone else’s underwear under my pillow after a weekend away!) and after moving away from the small town where I grew up to central London, I decided it was time to try out online dating.
I had a couple of dates with some nice guys, but there was no real connection, so things had fizzled out by the second or third date. I decided to give it one last go with a guy I’d been chatting to for a while. We had progressed from the dating site to emails and phone calls, and I decided that the time had come to meet in person. We agreed to meet in Leicester Square (a nice busy touristy area) and walk down towards the park, seeing as it was a nice day. Having seen a number of pictures on the dating site and on his Facebook page, it was decided that R was very handsome and looked well presented. I’m not sure who the guy was he sent in his place…
I saw him across the square and as I got nearer I realised that he was wearing incredibly ill-fitting jeans that kept slipping below his waist, flashing little glimpses of his butt cheeks. He was also wearing a shirt that was covered in food stains. His hair was a mess and it honestly looked like he was on his way home from the night before. I tried to brush this off and not be so judgmental, although it did sting a bit knowing that I’d gotten up early to really make an effort with what I was wearing.
I reached R, shook his hand and he grinned. He was missing two of his front teeth. These led him to talk with a strong lisp and to flick little bits of spittle through the air with every sentence. Again, I decided I was being judgmental and the date should progress.
We headed to the park and stopped on the way at a coffee shop. As a non coffee drinker, and it being a hot day, I grabbed a juice from the fridge. I headed to the counter, put the drink down and opened my handbag, at which point R turned to me and loudly said ‘You better not be expecting me to pay. This isn’t a proper date.’ Humiliated, I grabbed my purse and paid for my drink. I quickly changed my mind about offering to get his (I’m an equal ops kinda girl).
Once we got to the park we proceeded to chat about our work, friends, lives, etc. I explained about my career (I work in live music) and he proceeded to tell me he had worked undercover for the police in a fraudulent ticketing company. When I questioned him about this (it was an area I knew a lot about, I did my dissertation in this area and had worked in a similar company myself) he soon realised that I knew what I was talking about and quickly changed the whole story. He hadn’t worked there as an undercover police informant, his friend had and they had made a documentary about it. A documentary he’d edited and that was nominated for an Oscar.
Both my flatmates at the time worked in TV and film editing; again I asked more about this and as soon as he realised I knew what I was talking about, he quickly changed the story again. Only the director was nominated for the Oscar, he didn’t really edit, he was the director’s assistant and so on.
Shortly after this the conversation started to wane. I got a phone call from a family member and, although I am loathe to take calls in situations like this, I was concerned as to why this family member would be calling and answered the phone. Whilst I was on the phone I watched him, repeatedly, pick his nose and then eat what he had discovered. That was when I decided this needed to end. Quickly.
I finished up the call, turned to him and started to talk about my plans for the rest of the day. He told me he had ‘kept the day free and got rid of all his flatmates because you are all mine for the foreseeable baby’. I made it quite clear that I was not ‘his’ and would not be returning to his house with him. He then proceeded to pick a ball of lint out of the top of his bum crack, wave it at me saying ‘what do you think that is?’ He then sniffed it.
At that vomit-inducing moment, I stood up and said I was leaving. He insisted on walking me out of the park and said he would join me on my bus and make sure I got home safely. Again I said no. He persisted and followed me up the road.
I had to risk running across the road at a busy crossing, leaving him stranded on the other side, and then walked extremely fast to get away before he got a chance to cross and catch up with me.
I left the dating site after this.