Thursday, 6 September 2007

First Dates, Mashed Spud & Unending Boredom.

Dave was my first foray into internet dating. For some time we had been chatting using the site and then our relationship took a step further and we glided seamlessly to MSN Messenger.

He finally showed me a photograph of himself, (warning to ladies and gents thinking of internet dating: if they don't upload a photo, ignore the hokum about them being shy - they're generally married or incredibly unattractive...this I have discovered time and again ever since) and he reminded me immediately of my favourite uncle, Bill, but a younger version - such dark eyes; gentle face, muscular shoulders.

He told me he was a chef, and tantalised my taste buds with suggestions of exotic concoctions which made my mouth water. As I was a very big girl with an equally big appetite at the time, I was more keen than most to meet with this man.

I am still a bit of an old-fashioned 'gel' at heart and so I hoped and hinted that he would ask me out on a date. He told me he found me attractive and liked my personality, and so I waited for what I deemed the inevitable: a date...Nothing. Absolutely bugger all. In the end, I got fed up of waiting and, throwing the traditionalist values away, came out with it: Why don't you ask me out for a date?
The ball was skinnier than meI got the oddest answer in response: he didn't ask women out on dates. That was it, full stop. They had to ask him. As I felt pretty desperate at the time, I broke with my principles and asked if he'd meet me at a pub in a few evenings' time. He readily agreed. I danced (or should I say, 'lumbered') round the room with excitement and next day, rushed to the Famous Factory Store and bought some incredibly unflattering (in retrospect) pin striped trousers and a jumper. I looked like a monochrome beach ball.

I was so nervous that day. All my work colleagues quizzed me about the potential man of my dreams. My mother asked lots of questions; demanded every contact number I could give her; where I was going; what brand of condoms I was planning on using (I made that bit up), until she was satisfied that every base was covered for my safety. I felt 14, not 35. My mother seemed quite impressed by my description of Dave. She always thought her brother was a very handsome chappie (especially as there is a strong family resemblance between them) and her approval was metered out hesitantly.

Smoking is bad for you, but very enjoyableI multi-mapped the pub's directions and proceeded en route, to get hopelessly lost, as is my wont. If I was an inventor, I would devise a box that could be attached to the boot of my car, or the rear windscreen which lit up at the touch of a button, declaring, SORRY, I AM LOST. PLEASE DON'T GET CROSS WITH ME. I think it would be a best-seller, actually. Getting lost added to my nerves, and by now, I had been forced to turn the CD player off so I could concentrate, and was onto my third cigarette, after only 15 minutes. I suddenly realised I would stink of fag smoke and fumbled, with one hand, for my perfume which I sprayed liberally over my head and face, almost choking on the over-powering pong. Not a particularly auspicious start to my first date, really...

I finally pulled into the pub car park at the same time as Dave. As soon as my feet hit the tarmac, in my Nine West wedges, I realised I would now be towering over him by a minimum of five inches. And he didn't have the dark eyes of my uncle - it must have been the lighting (or he wore coloured contact lenses) and his was not a broad-shouldered, muscular build - he was what I might quaintly term, 'petite'.
"Arice der, Agnes!" came the dulcet tones of a very Scouse accent. "Adda recognizzzed youse anyweeeerrr."
"Er herrler, Dave," I replied, unable to keep the poshness from my voice (I always become ever so posh when I am nervous.) "So delightful to meet you. I wouldn't have recognised you, I must admit. You to your photograph." We walked together to the pub entrance, and I affected a Quasimodo-type stoop in order to compensate either for my too high heels, or his lack of stature.

It was mineral waters all round. I didn't drink at all, and he didn't drink if he was driving. Weren't we mature adults?

I'll hand it to him: he was very friendly; put me at ease straight away; chatted amicably in order to break the ice, and gave me lots of opportunities to ask questions. So I did. Because I am nosey...and I made the grave mistake of asking about his work as a chef.

What's interesting about mash?Well, his days of being a chef such as we watch on The F-Word or Ready, Steady Cook, were long over. He now held the grand title of Development Chef for a company which made ready meals for big supermarkets. What he didn't know about mashed potato wasn't worth knowing, and I can quite safely say, that I, too, now know everything about pulverised starch. I listened seemingly attentively, not glazing over too obviously, to tales of cubed spuds being intensively heat blasted, rinsed, dramatically cooled through refrigerators, pumped full of E numbers and preservatives (all to strict percentages) and finally mashed and piped into trays for him to taste and work out whether an extra 0.07% of salt ought to be added or removed.

After 45 minutes (I tell no word of a lie), there was silence and I realised it was my turn to say something. "Err, um, do you ever work with chicken?" I asked.

ZzzzzzzzzzA further thirty minutes later, I had been told everything I needed to know about pre-cooked chicken. However, I have no idea what I needed to know, actually, as my brain went onto screen-saver and I mentally prepared my shopping list, worked out which clothes needed to be ironed for the week ahead, wrote a letter to my solicitor and fretted about losing some weight so I wouldn't have to keep financing the coffers of

At the end of the lecture, I generously offered to get in another round of water, only for Dave to decline graciously and inform me that he had to be in bed by 10.30pm as he was a creature of habit, and didn't like to stray from his routines. I was more than happy to leave, too. My next question was going to have to be about boil-in-the-bag cod steaks and I didn't think I could stand the excitement much longer.

NB. I have lost all the weight now. And I still don't have a bloke, so I might as well go back on the Dr Fatkins Diet.


Amel's Realm said...

WOW!!! What a story!

Zoning out is truly sometimes the best way out of a boring situation he he he he...

fishwithoutbicycle said...

If there's one thing to be said for bad dates it's that they make fabulous blogging fodder. Great story Agnes.

I am intrigued by his unwillingness to ask women out on dates. Afraid of rejection or a follower of the Mystery Method perhaps?? We have a TV show over here called the Pick Up Artist where 8 socially inept men learn how to make beautiful women fall at their feet, under the tuteledge of Mystery, a master pick up artiste. The show makes me want to vom on a regular basis. It's good for weight loss ;-)

Matt Chingduvé said...

Chefs get it easy don't they? Women who date chefs never like them to cook because it's their day job.

I, on the other hand, am an electrician, but the same rules don't seem to apply to me. The first thing they get me to do is to rewire their house!

There's no justice for Matt on dates.... and usually no hanky panky!

Rant over... I'm off to teach my Budgies to swear!

alcoment said...

I think some kind of home check (like they do for rescued dogs!) should be made for potential internet dates! It could save everyone a lot of hassle (I've been there) in the first place. I bet if we started it, our services would be in great demand. Could be a winner!

And thank you for the award - I was overcome, well, until I hit the vodka ;)

Agnes Mildew said...

Amel: Yes, I certainly did zone out, quite spectacularly, but ever the consummate actress, I did not allow it to show!

FWB: They do make good blogging fodder, don't they? I still have a lot more to bore you with, not surprisingly! I don't think I could hack that programme you mention. I have seen something similar called Beauty & The Geeks, which was nauseating. I'd have fed them all arsenic.

Matt: I never got you to rewire the house. You got away with mowing the lawn. Count yourself lucky! When the budgies are expert potty-mouths, you can put them in the circus and make a few bob on them.

Alcoment: Can I volunteer for the position of 'checker'? I'd love to do that, and I think I have all the necessary skills: excellent bull-shit alert, excellent gaydar skills, excellent ability to home in on homo marriedus. And it's not Friday yet, you know - don't wake up stinkingly hungover tomorrow - save it until the weekend!

deathsweep said...

Dear Miss Mildew,
I once again have to regretfully apologize to you for my behavior during the reading of your potato post, since once again I was consumed with laughter! I haven't been single since 1980 so I never had the fortunate opportunity to be involved in an "internet" date and I had no idea what I've been missing. You poor thing! Please keep telling me your woes, I love them! I hope you find them as funny as I do now that they're behind you.


Agnes Mildew said...

DS: I love to spread a bit of happiness around at my own expense. What is disconcerting is that after I had realised, some time ago, that it would be fun to write these dates up for my own enjoyment and my friends, one particular date sussed me and demanded to know if I was going to write about him. I reassured him that this was not my ulterior motive and he relaxed.
And I lied!
You read about him previously - Clive who thought I was a Russian immigrant after a visa.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I can feel your pain with that one.
BTW- When you get a patent on that lost button I'd like to know where to pick one up.

Agnes Mildew said...

Karen: It is my oldest daughter's idea as I embarrass her incessantly with my 'short cuts', wrong-turns and detours. She is mortified when I end up driving at 25mph down a busy road and I am panicking trying to find Haddock St or somesuch nonsense. I am going to encourage her to invent this as I haven't a clue about anything electrical!

Stealth said...

I hate to always leave the same comment: YOU ARE HILARIOUS! - but it's true. I can't help it. I am seriously addicted to your blog.

Agnes Mildew said...

Stealth: You need to get out more. This blog is not an attempt to be hilarious. It is a serious look at today's society and its deterioration. I am thinking of approaching Oxford University to volunteer as a lecturer in Anthropology, so dedicated am I to educating the masses - hilarious, indeed ;-)