So my first date is scheduled for yesterday lunchtime. A 35 year old Australian economist, let’s call him Bruce. Looking forward to it, I wear a pretty dress to the office, a dress that I never wear. We confirm by Tinder message that we will meet after his morning meeting.
11.47am and a message comes through from Bruce:
“Really sorry but I’ve decided that I don’t want to do this. My apologies.”
“Why?” I fire back. No reply.
Upset, suddenly feeling silly in my tight blue and green neon-rainforest print dress, I want to burst into tears and go home. Will they all be this flaky, I begin to wonder. Is a site that is free, where clucking on someone takes just a second somewhere where etiquette is unimportant, I think. Discouraged, I want to drop the whole project, close the blog and just forget it. But then I re-read Bruce’s message and realise that he could mean he doesn’t want to do the whole dating thing, that it genuinely could be nothing personal. We had a couple of chats: I just can’t take it to heart. This project is only going to work if I manage – and lower – my expectations, if I keep emotionally uninvolved with people who are effectively just phrases on my phone screen at this stage.
The day passes in a blur of office work. By 5pm I’m struggling to finish reading and reporting on a play before 6pm. There have been a few Tinder chats during the day, but I am all dressed up with nowhere to go and a bruised ego.
A message flashes up from a pink-shirted 26 year old, who my brother termed “a ridiculous toff” when I showed him the chap’s profile which contains the simply priceless line:
“I fly little planes for fun”
next to a picture of a tiny plane. He also shows himself making pasta – as in making the actual spaghetti and hanging it up and on a terrace in France (presumably) wearing slip on brown shoes – moccasins? – long shorts and a pink Lacoste polo shirt.
Let’s call him Freddy.
“Hey gorgeous,” Freddy says. “What are you up to?”
We correspond for a bit.
“What about a drink tonight after work?” Freddy writes at about 5.30pm.
“Yes please, I’d love that,” I squeal – well, it would be a squeal if it wasn’t a message on my phone screen – this new-fangled technology
certainly has its advantages.
Freddy lives in Bond Street – totally normal for a 26 year old doctor in his first job – and we arrange to meet at the Churchill Bar.
Leaving the office at 6pm with a spring in my step, I make my way to the tube station.
( to be continued)