Now one of our two dear readers may consider it rather imprudent for me to continue to describe my dating disasters now that I am ensconced in affianced bliss to Mr Parsnip, but as he also gets a kick out of reading how bloody awful my single life was, I don't have too many qualms.
Peter was my very first date after Mr P and I initially split up. Always one to get back on the horse after falling off, I went out with him within days of our break-up, utterly determined not to waste any more time in mourning.
Peter had chatted to me some time previously, during my initial foray into internet dating, but we never seemed to pin each other down to actually organise a date. He was a very, very handsome chap judging by his photographs, and also held down a very good job as an accountant. He told me all about his property development ventures: his six houses and the seventh he was purchasing; and his little Mercedes SLK sports car. Being of quite a mercenary mind at the time, this all screamed money to me and as I quite fancied being treated by somebody loaded down with pots of gold, as soon as he offered to meet me for a drink, I jumped at the chance.
As some of you may recall, I am a bit of an anal retard when it comes to short men. I discovered to my delight (and surprise) this weekend that I am actually 5'8 1/2", not the 5'7" I thought I was and so, sometimes, it can be very, very difficult to find a date over whom I do not tower, particularly as I like to wear 4" heels most of the time. Trouble is, I don't like to be with a man upon whom I look down. I do that in my head with most blokes, but I don't actually want to do it physically, so when Peter confessed to me that he was 5'7 1/2" and in my ignorant state that I was only 5'7", I thought, Blast! Another short-arse, but at least he has that upper 1/2" over me...Flats tonight, eh?
Well, I did consider wearing my flip-flops, but as it was December, bitterly cold and I would have looked somewhat daft in them, I thought, Sod it! Heels it is.
For some strange reason, despite Peter having an enormously lengthy jouney to meet with me, he whittered on about aftershaves, designer labels, what perfumes he liked ladies to wear and his SLK on MSN long after I wanted to jump in the shower and get myself sorted out. Weighing up the merits of John Paul Gaultier versus Versace did nothing for me as I am most definitely Woman at Oxfam or a George at Asda girl and would find it fairly difficult to know my Farhi from my Farah.
Eventually, I encouraged him to stop talking about what he was going to wear, and just wear it.
An hour and a half later, I arrived at the meeting place and there was his sports car and he was sat in it. I climbed out of my beaten up Yaris, as gracefully as is possible from a heap of junk, and shimmied over, attempting to ooze as much sexual magnetism as possible. I seemed to make an impact, as his eyes lit up and he emerged from his car...all 5'5" and Cuban Heels. I don't think my face fell quite as much as my heart did, but I pulled myself together and shook his hand whilst delivering him my most beaming smile.
As was expected of me, considering he had banged on about it enough, I Ooohed and Aaahed over his little motor, which was, I have to confess, sex on wheels and I wouldn't have minded leaving him at the Leigh Arms for the night while I went off out on the pull in his car. But, ever the lady, I accompanied him inside where I got the drinks.
Yes, I bought the rounds all night! Considering he went on and on and on about how much money he earned and his six (soon-to-be-seven) rental properties, and his three foreign holidays a year, I did think he was a bit cheap for not dipping his hand into his pocket and treating me to a lime and soda.
I have to confess that Peter bored me rigid. Apart from Master Chef, I have never encountered a date who could talk a glass eye to sleep like Peter could.
Despite having already given his car a massive ego boost, I then had to sit in the pub and look at photos of it on his (new) mobile phone. The photos were taken at different angles, all on his ex's driveway (with whom he was still in touch, and which is always a no-no in my book if children aren't involved) and all showed...a car...
Yes, it was a lovely car. I had stroked his ego about it for the first ten minutes of our meeting, but I didn't fancy having an orgasm over a car that night.
I think he could tell he was losing me, so he then showed me his new watch. It was some posh make, but I cannot remember what now. All I know is that I had to watch the hands spin round while he set it to different time zones and the hands played catch-up to France, Japan, Brisbane and back to the UK. It was stultifyingly dull, and even when he confessed that he had procured it by his Nectar points, I didn't bat an eyelid, despite being ever a one for a ruse or bargain.
It was time for the analyses. His first question was: Do I look like my pictures? Well, to be perfectly frank, I am pretty sure he buys miniature furniture with which to decorate his homes because he looked enormous in these photos. And in real life, he was a perfect specimen of a midget. I was also considering using the Trades Descriptions Act, as I am blowed if he was only two years older than me. Either that, or he'd had a bloody hard paper round as the lines on his face could have directed me to London if I'd given them closer inspection.
It seems I did look like my pictures, if a little thinner in real life (hardly surprising, since I had shed about two stone since they had been taken) and he informed me that he was pleased with his choice.
Now, I don't like it when blokes come over all proprietorial like that on a first date. I am not his choice - I see it as a contract: he has invited me out on a date, and I have accepted. Offer and acceptance. That's it. I don't belong to him. This raised my hackles, somewhat, and I started to wonder about an escape route.
My trustworthy pal, Tracy, was out on a date herself that night and was therefore unable to imitate the sound of a dying child, in distress, down my mobile to me and I was thus stuck. Guilt overcame me at the distance he had travelled to meet with me, so I suggested that we went back to my house for a coffee. He readily agreed, much to my chagrin, as I really quite fancied an early night by this stage, now feeling as though the life blood was draining from me.
He followed me home and I let him in to my Mott and Bailey where I offered him a coffee and a bite to eat. He was singularly impressed by this, for some reason, and launched into a speech laden with pathos, about how much he yearned for a woman who would care for him, make his meals for him, and who would allow him to shower her with endless gifts in gratitude. Hmmm...I thought, I could do the latter...but what about sex? I'd have to be stoned every night...I metaphorically shook myself and continued with the coffee making while he annihilated his past girlfriends (with whom he kept in touch - yeah, right!) and told me how much he liked tall, dark women who could cook.
I nodded at all the appropriate points, smiled graciously, and kept him well at arm's length, going insofar as to sit at the opposite side of the living room from him, just in case he decided to propose to me.
At some point, he got onto the subject of his job, and, dear reader, it is at this point that I can tell you no more as, apart from him being some type of accountant (and not a 'normal' one, if you will excuse the oxymoron), it was like white noise. My last memory is of him catching me totally unawares and asking if he was boring me. Unfortunately, as my guard had slipped right down by this point, I bluntly replied, Yes.
Much to his utter horror...
I apologised profusely, and stuttered that I basically didn't understand what he was talking about, that I was tired, that the goldfish had kept me up half the night crying with earache, and that I wasn't quite myself.
He got the message and left in a hurry...
I decided that I wasn't going to pursue this date in any way shape or form, so he was promptly deleted from MSN and my mobile phone. Unfortunately, he didn't delete me and thus bombarded me with text messages for many months, sometimes being suggestive, sometimes being pathetic, but always being irritating. In the end, I told him I had found the man of my dreams (it was a new kitten in the household) and that my new chap wasn't happy with this contacting me.
That was the last I heard of Peter, thankfully. I am sure he now has an eighth property to brag about, and no doubt he has exchanged his SLK for a Mitsubishi Starion, but the fact of the matter is, I am 3 1/2" taller than him and that will just never do.