Saturday, 8 September 2007
Bitter Dates and Better Nights In...
Are you getting bored reading about my dates or do you want to hear more? You DO want to hear more! Well, that’s unanimous. The little voices in my head, which just won’t go away, all sang a chorus of, “Yes, Agnes, pleeaaase tell us more.”
Are you sitting comfortably? Then, I’ll begin.
At one point, Match.com appeared to be a hotbed of activity. This particular ‘point’ was the three day free trial I had subscribed to, and I was going to make the most of it. So I was not quite as discerning as usual, reckoning that if I fired away a generic introduction letter to any bloke who wasn’t holding up an ID number on his photograph might be worth a try.
One such gent who replied was Karl. Karl was a German architect who had lived in many different countries with his teenage daughter and had recently settled in the UK. We arranged to meet at the Leigh Arms, where I had met many of my previous dates (and where the bar staff were starting to wonder if I was now some form of Call Girl, collecting my punters for the night).
I was running a bit late for Karl, and had texted him accordingly, so he had chosen the seats in the pub, which were, thankfully for me, in the (then) smoking** section (A Hex on You, Labour Government, for your public smoking ban!). I walked up to him, with a beaming smile on my face, and held out my hand. I don’t know if it’s because he was Continental or what, but he pulled on my hand, and suddenly, my face was squashed up against his lips, as he performed the ‘mwah, mwah’ kissy rubbish on me. He must have felt me struggling as he let go abruptly and I recoiled, tottering on my heels and bashing against the table.
Karl’s accent, despite his many years in other countries, was still very Germanic and I did struggle at times to understand him. “Vot vud you like to drink?” he asked. When I replied, just water, he, like most other blokes, stared at me in horror. “Vot? No alcohol? Vy? Vy no drink?”
“Oh, OK, then, make it a lime and soda,” I replied.
“But zis is not a proper drink! You must have vine.”
I could continue this volley for you, but you would have done your weekly shop at Asda by the time it had finished, and I can’t be bothered saying the same thing over and over again. Take it from me, I fixed him with my eyes, and said, finally: “A. Lime. And. Soda. That’s. It. Thankyou.”
At last we got down to the business of getting to know each other. Or at least, I got to know things about him. He talked, and talked and talked. And it was only about one thing – How horrific, unnatural and freaky his ex-wife was. He told me at great depth (and in quite personal detail, some of which made me squirm embarrassedly in my seat) about her – from her dogged pursuit of her career (she is a paediatrician) to her rejection of stereotypical stay-at-home Mum lifestyle, to her new bloke, to her almost non-existent relationship with her daughter…It was all quite alarming – particularly when he petitioned me to bitch about her too!
Now, people who know me, often get rather irritated by me when I am asked to judge others whom I don’t know, as, generally, I hate being drawn into a one-sided bitching session and will always attempt to see things from the other’s point of view – just to provide a bit of balance. If I know the person, however, and have witnessed bad behaviour, well, it’s a case of, ‘Get behind me, it’s my turn to tongue-lash’, but not if I haven’t experienced anything firsthand.
(Don’t let this put you off hiring us for Hexing, though, if you give me enough info, I will get suitably retributive on your behalf!)
It was, actually, quite disturbing listening to this man harangue his ex continually. OK, as a mother, myself, I cannot understand why a Mum would willingly give up her children, but it was her choice, her life, and not my business.
As with many of my dates, I sat for the rest of the night, having my ears bashed until they bled, interjecting with an ‘Oh dear’, ‘Mmm, I know’ etc. when it felt as though I ought to say something.
Karl was onto his third glass of red wine and getting a little bit frisky when he touched my knee and fondled it. In horror, I leapt off my stool with a clatter, and inadvertently kicked him in my haste. My rapid movement shocked the pants off him and he, in turn, threw a whole glass of wine down my new frock and splashed my lovely (suede) coat. The look of horror on my face must have been a picture.
“Ach, sorry, sorry, sorry,” he wailed, “I vil get napkins from ze bar and vipe you down.” He came to me bearing a wad of tissue, and attempted to paw my breasts, but my reflexes were lightning fast, and I grabbed the tissue out of his hand and informed him that ‘I would take it from here, thank you!’ My coat was ruined. You can’t chuck a glass of wine over a suede coat and expect it to escape unscathed, and I was pretty naffed off, as it was the only coat which was halfway decent for me to go out in.
“I think this is a suitable juncture for me to go home, Karl,” I said. “I am soaked through, and I don’t want to sit, steaming here in my red wine marinade all night.”
“Shall I come back to yours, for coffee?” he asked.
“Err…no,you shan't,” was my response.
“Vel, can I see you again, as you are very, very nice,” he continued.
“Err…let’s see, shall we,” I replied.
“Oh goody! Ven ve meet again, ve shall haf lots of kissinks, ja?”
“Nein, Karl, we will NOT haf lots of kissinks!” I retorted quite clearly.
We parted in the car park, and as he lurched towards me for more of that Continental kissy slush, I backed off faster than Carl Lewis off the blocks, leaving him puckering up rather impotently, to fresh air.
I drove home, closely trailed by the police who were ready to nab me if I went 31mph through the village, hoping that my lights weren’t faulty or anything. Had I been stopped, the pong of wine over me would have meant an instant breathalyser and probably some very awkward questions.
I never did meet up with him again - I would be better off at home, simply navel gazing. He persisted for a while, texting me, leaving messages, which I never returned, until one day, I sent him an email by accident, meant for a close friend, which contained information about a more recent date, in gory, HexMyEx-type detail. At last, he was able to learn something about me, and obviously decided he didn’t like what he had read. If only I had thought of that weeks previously…
**He also proceeded to smoke all my fags, claiming he never bought any, but did enjoy the occasional smoke. I really hate people who do that...