Photography by Kaye Ford.
"I was brought up in a world where dates seemed fun. They seemed like the height of sophistication, getting dressed up, doing your hair and makeup to perfection, trying your best to impress the person on the other side of the table. Now the more I swipe my way to a date, the more I feel like I was grossly oversold a deluded dream. The reality is that I'll turn up, looking good, and undoubtedly leave in a disappointed sense of self dread, popping by McDonalds on the way home because a 6 pack of McNuggets (with sweet and sour sauce obv) is the only thing that will curb my mood of the dreadful hour I just sat through listening to Simon talk about how corporate real estate law is actually V interesting, and he never thought he'd grow up to be a tory but here we are."
HAPPY V DAY MY CHERUBS
Today's the day where single people are made to feel shit by every shop they go into, every restaurant seems to be dying their food pink - lol no thanks waiter, I do not want pink food dye put into my chocolate cheesecake but thanks for the offer, and loved up people, try as they might can't keep their hands off eachother. So instead of the loved up posts you'll no doubt be scrolling through today and possibly need a sick bowl next to your bed for, let's revel in how fucking shit some dates can be.
Have you ever been on a date so shit that you've found yourself replaying a movie inside your head just to try and look engaged while they talk about how their job as an insurance risk assessor is actually really interesting? Or you've wondered if you could get away with 'accidentally' stabbing yourself with a fork just so they would stop fucking talking? I have.
I've been on dates where I've 'popped to the loo' and not come back, I've been on dates where I've thrown a strop and started raising my voice to shout across the table 'YES CHRISTIAN YOU MAY BE RICH, AND I MIGHT BE A RECEPTIONIST, BUT I CAN PAY FOR MY OWN FUCKING RISOTTO K'
I was brought up in a world where dates seemed fun. They seemed like the height of sophistication, getting dressed up, doing your hair and makeup to perfection, trying your best to impress the person on the other side of the table. Now the more I swipe my way to a date, the more I feel like I was grossly oversold a deluded dream. The reality is that I'll turn up, looking good, and undoubtedly leave in a disappointed sense of self dread, popping by McDonalds on the way home because a 6 pack of McNuggets
(with sweet and sour sauce obv) is the only thing that will curb my mood of the dreadful hour I just sat through listening to Simon talk about how corporate real estate law is actually V interesting, and he never thought he'd grow up to be a tory but here we are.
So here's the thing - I go on quite a lot of dates. Some I want to go because I feel shit about myself and maybe making out with a stranger after 3 pornstar martinis will make me feel better. on because I generally like the person, think they have great chat and think it could go somewhere, some I go on because I fancy a shag, and some I go on (Note to self - do not go on dates in this mood.)
We talk about the good ones, we talk about the great ones. The ones where a kiss transports you to a different place, the ones that end in orgasms so good your flatmate might think you're being murdered, and the ones that end in relationships. But we never talk about the shit ones, that sort of chat is usually reserved for brunch with the girls over one too many glasses of prosecco and self loathing. So let's take a minute, laugh at my misfortune and relive some of the worst dates I've ever been on.
February 2011 - Scott - London.
I knew I fancied him, but I'd never actually heard him have a proper conversation with me. We met in the most tragic of clubs where I spent far too much of my youth, it was called PONANA, it was in Wimbledon, it has a sort of Tiki theme, one that even in 2011 felt stale, misplaced and I'm fairly sure the seats were always sticky, I'm just not sure with what... It also had a light up dancefloor, sort of in the spirit of the low budget Oceana it was and the jagerbombs were £4 which is probably why I didn't care about any of the above. I had spied him earlier in the evening and he approached me in the swing of a Rhianna song where my friend Lizzie and I were shouting 'PONANA what's your name' at eachother - do you see the pun there? We thought it was funny, it was not.
After a goodnight kiss and numbers exchanged we set up a time to get drinks, he worked in radio, and was naturally handsome, not in a 'holy shit look at him' way but a 'I swear chinos and work in media and I'm an awkward white boy' sort of way. After tequila shots, and 5 pints in a be at one, I was bloody drunk and the alcohol goggles had started to set in, making me think he was far more charming than he was. This ended in a blurry dance off in Tiger Tiger and him stealing my £150 heels. Lesson learnt - Never trust a boy who suggests Tequila Shots before a normal drink, also boys who work in media are usually the worst. (This does not stop me fancying them.)
Craig - October 2013 - The Whitsunday Islands.
I'd met him several weeks earlier in a hostel in Airlie Beach (an actual town name, not an actual beach - I say this because the in / on thing being used incorrectly greatly annoys me.) He was cute, a broad Australian accent that I found charming and naturally curly hair that I thought would probably look v cute on our kids if it worked out - (spoiler, it didn't.)
He took me out to a cute little abandoned beach somewhere near the hotel he worked for and it was just beautiful. The kind of picturesque place I felt I could sit and write a novel, the sand was white, seashells were scattered around and on the edge of some cliffs, it was just perfect.
Queue to us getting drunk on tequila, and just as I realised that he grossly annoyed me and I no longer wanted to fuck him, the tide had other ideas and had closed off the mainland to us. Yes, I was stuck on a DESERTED ISLAND (sort of) with a boy who I didn't fancy and a lot of tequila. So next time you complain about having to wait 12 mins for an uber to get home after a shit date just think of me, in a bikini, on a deserted beach, waiting 4 HOURS to get back to some form of civilisation and away from the most boring man I've ever met.
Mike - July 2012 - Nantucket Island
Fourth of July when I'm in the states is always going to end up in me getting very drunk, it just always is. The only exception is that 2012 is when I got so drunk I climbed over the wall into a nightclub I wasn't old enough to be in, decided to sail a boat, crash it, and had to wait 3 hours to be rescued by the Coast Guard.
He was a bro, which is something I usually detest and the opposite of my type, but I was 20, I was in America for the summer, and I was getting over my first heartbreak, so I just found myself thinking 'he'll do.' He went to Umass Amherst, so I instantly pounced on him and started talking about all my most coveted Maura Murray theories then I realised that underneath the 'bro' appearance he was actually handsome and had wit to match. I hardly ever find Americans to be witty, so that was something. He casually dropped in that his buddy from Yale owned a boat, at which point I decided that despite the fact it was fourth of july and we'd been drinking for approximately 10 hours, we must sail it to the closest island, Tuckernuck. Well we all saw where that was going to go....
After I crashed the boat I was told that this I was a Brit hungry to ruin a patriot's freedom day and lectured on all the ways in which the Brits went wrong and how we lost our empire and asked the question - 'So why does everyone hate America? Is it because we're the greatest country in the world? Where I snorted with laughter until I realised he was serious.