Date #42 – The Russian MILF

Mother I’d Like to Fuck = MILF. That’s not a term I’m fond of, but I do appreciate the concept. A stunning blonde on OKCupid is suddenly a high match and I’m intrigued by her profile. She says she’s 45 years old, but she looks 25. My experiences with women using old photos causes me to discount her attractiveness. She writes of her longing for a true love and her zest for life shines through in her profile. Her love of travel resonates with me and causes my dusty passport to wriggle. The only blemish on the landscape for me is that she has a child, but her photos show him to be a young man so that shouldn’t be an issue.

I fire off a cute approach email and she responds within hours. Her response is much longer than my message and I take that as a positive sign because I’ve learned that if a response is long in coming and especially is short, it means that she has loads of emails to deal with and I have much competition. If the response is wordy it means that she’s keen to meet me.

A quick Google image search leads me to her name which enables me to find her Facebook profile. Some people might find this precaution a little creepy or stalkerish, but in online dating it’s a necessity to prevent yourself from wasting your time, money and emotional capital. It turns out her photos are very recent and she is stunning, one of Nature’s freaks, a very youthful looking middle-aged woman. Blonde hair, blue eyes, milky-white skin, good figure, pretty face, albeit a little on the short side for me…now that’s a mother I’d like to fuck.

After just two emails each she suggests that we meet in central London after work on a week-night. I like her positivity.

Could she be The One?

I think and write the above words yet again and I’m starting to feel like an obedient dog tethered to a lamppost outside a grocery store who expectantly stands up every time someone comes out the exit, but having to sit down again, swallowing disappointment.

I have an additional reason for wanting to meet this woman: she’s Russian. I’ve decided to write a blog about my dating experiences. My target reader is me, when I was 21 years old. I wish someone had told me all the things I’ve had to learn in recent years. It would have been nice to have had a father or older brother clue me into the realities of women, dating, sex, love and relationships, but I didn’t. I’m hoping that my stories and ideas find a home in the hearts and minds of young men who are smart enough to learn from someone else’s mistakes. If in the process I entertain or inform other readers then that’s great too. Will they spread the word about my blog? Time will tell. If by some minor miracle it leads to a book deal, a television series and then a Hollywood movie, well, that would be great too. I’ll gladly accept the money, but they can keep the fame. I digress…

I’ve been writing about Baltic Babe for my blog and find myself wondering if she was that special. The Russian MILF is partly an attempt to find out is she was. Are there going to be common behaviour traits that make me go mushy inside while maintaining the most manly of exteriors? In deciding that I’m more likely to find true love with a woman from Eastern Europe I’m taking this date very seriously, not just because of the remnants of a hankering for Baltic Babe.

It’s a cold Thursday evening a matter of days after 2014 has begun and I’m early for my date with The Russian MILF. I find myself sitting in a Starbucks coffee shop in the fashionable King’s Road in central London. I take the opportunity to send text messages to Busty Blonde and Travel Gal; got to keep the pot boiling with them. While trying to keep warm I see that I’m surrounded by groups of stunning, young women who look like models. They’re all tall with long hair, expressive eyes, pronounced cheekbones and are skinnier than their lattes. A strange place for sexy, young things to congregate. Maybe this is the part of London where I find Her?

At the appointed time I make my way to the darkened entrance to the Saatchi gallery where The Russian MILF suggested that we meet. After a minute I get a text message from her that she’s running a few minutes late. I decide to stand and wait, although it’s close to zero centigrade. A quarter of an hour later a short, shadowy figure approaches me. I decide that it must be The Russian MILF so I step out into the light.

It is The Russian MILF and she is as stunning as her photos lead me to believe. How nice to have a date who actually looks like her pictures. I don’t know what she makes of me because the moment our eyes met she stopped dead in her tracks. If this was one of my early dates then her sudden reaction would have caused me to think that she didn’t like the look of me. I might have wondered if she was about to spin around on her knee-high boots and walk off. I would have thought that because I’d never thought much of my looks. I considered myself at best average looking.

OKCupid has a handy facility hidden away on the site where you can submit photos of yourself and, for a day, total random strangers from all over the planet rate your appearance. You can specify which gender rates you, so I obviously said women only. I found this a daunting thing to do, but I did so wanting to have a clearer understanding of how others perceive me. You can submit batches of photos and usually one of them will rate better than others, so the best pictures I’ve used on my dating profiles. What surprised me is that none of my pictures rated lower than a 7 out of 10 and the average photo was rated a respectable 8. This lead me to improve my own self-image that for all my life was one of being a freckly, gap-toothed teenager. I think we’re all guilty of believing the things we tell ourselves, no matter how self-limiting or counter-productive. We cherish these notions, not realising that they’re holding us back. Online dating has freed me from a false, out-dated self-image.

I’m better looking than I’ve given myself credit for, so The Russian MILF’s reaction I won’t assume is for negative reasons. I stoop down and kiss her hello on each cheek, but I can’t feel much with my lips because they’re so cold from standing outside as long as I have.

“So where would you like to have dinner?” I ask.

“Right there,” she says, pointing towards a fancy-looking Italian restaurant that is lodged against the side of the imposing gallery.

“It’s my favourite restaurant in London,” she adds as we walk towards it.

She is shorter than I expected and I find myself wondering if we make for an odd couple given the discrepancy in height. Sex with a smaller woman has always been good fun. Sex?! Yes, I’d love to take her to bed. Physical attraction to her was almost instantaneous.

We find a quiet table in the restaurant which is filled with kookily-dressed people from the art world having a raucous time. Drop-dead gorgeous models across the road in the Starbucks, label-wearing oddballs in here. Is there a convention of some kind happening here? No, this is how it is in this part of London. Pretentious people trying to impress other pretentious people they can’t stand. Not my scene, but it seems to be The Russian MILF’s. I think you can tell a lot about someone from the restaurants that they frequent. Hmm…

“Do you work nearby?” I ask. Always a good conversation starter that question.

“No. I work on the East side of London,” she answers.

That’s why she was late, but why make that effort?

“I guess you must really like this restaurant?” I ask.

“Yes. I love the food here. It’s always good,” she says as she buries her nose in the menu.

I look at the menu and see that even the starters are £10 a plate. The main courses start at double that. This is going to be an expensive evening. Is this why she quickly suggested meeting here? She wants a free meal from this restaurant? Hmm…

A waiter arrives to take our order. That’s when it started. The Russian MILF wanted to know the ins and outs about almost every dish on the menu. The poor chap had to leave us several times to go find out about a dish that she was considering having. Does it really matter what kind of vinegar the asparagus is daubed in?!

It was after the fourth time when he had to disappear into the kitchen to talk to the chef that I remembered something. Pay attention to how a woman treats people who serve her, people who are powerless before her, because that will give you an idea what a relationship with her will be like. The Russian MILF was showing herself to be high-maintenance.

Food was ordered after a quarter of an hour of explanation and fact-finding. I have never experienced such a labourious fuss over food before. I’m unimpressed, but I’m reminded of a time with Baltic Babe when she made a Polish waitresses’ life hell too.

“I see from your profile that we share a love of travel. Where’s your favourite place?”

“Oh, I absolutely love Italy. In fact, last week I got back from there having bought a farmhouse in Tuscany,” she says excitedly with a hint of a Russian purr that I find so sexy.

Hmm, so she has money of her own. Good. She can pay for half the meal tonight.

Conversation rolled around as I tried to keep things as positive as I knew how. Eventually it became serious and she started telling me her life-story. Her first love got her pregnant and shortly after they were married he died from a congenital disease. Wanting a better life for herself and her child she decided to leave Russia. After series of adventures and close calls in countries along the way to England she arrived on this sceptred isle a young woman with a toddler on her hip. She worked illegally as a cleaning lady in a London train station because her English wasn’t good enough for better work. Her precarious visa situation severely limited her options. She worked hard, took her chances and today had a high-paying job in a promising industry. I admired her tenacity, daring-do and drive. She reminded me of a younger me. I’m sure that there is a bigger story, probably with some ugly bits to it, especially to do with legalising herself and her child, but this being a first date I wasn’t going to pry.

We compared notes about our lives as immigrants in the U.K. and there were many similarities. However, it became obvious to me that our expectations of the future were very different. Love was not her highest priority, whereas it was mine. Understandably financial security is what she craved most. Her son was a young man finding his way in the world and as such was making mistakes that were an emotional toll on his mother. A man will always be in second place in a mother’s heart; her children will always come first. It’s totally in keeping with Nature’s Grand Conspiracy…and I don’t like it. I want to be the one and only in my woman’s heart. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t want children: I want Her all to myself. It’s one of the reasons why I have avoided dating single mothers.

After a couple of hours our main courses were finished, but The Russian MILF was still hungry and she ordered another over-priced side-dish. The food was quite ordinary and not worth even half the price. My understanding of her culture was that status, prestige and impression counted for more than substance. I couldn’t care less what other people thought; I’m my own man. Were are at opposite ends of the spectrum in this regard.

The Russian MILF made an ambiguous comment that had a sexual innuendo to it. Ah, we’ve arrived at the point when a woman feels comfortable enough to indicate her sexual interest in me, if it exists. I made a sexually laden reply, thinking we were getting playful now.

“Whaat?! What do you mean by that?!” she exclaims, obviously annoyed by my remark.

Shit, I’ve got it all wrong. Better apologize and backtrack.

“I’m sorry, but I misunderstood what you were saying. I do apologize,” I say.

“Good, because I didn’t like what you said,” she chides.

In that moment she reminded me of Baltic Babe. When annoyed by something, no matter how small, the cool demeanour instantly evaporates and is replaced by a demon spitting venom. Is this an Eastern European cultural trait?

I moved banter along and we enjoyed a very ordinary dessert. However, conversation between us wasn’t the same after that incident and I couldn’t see how to rescue the situation. Was there any point in doing so? I decided that the answer is “no” and asked the waiter for the bill. When it arrived The Russian MILF excused herself and went to the ladies.

I pulled my wallet out and paid the £100-plus bill. I think the waiter deserved his tip. I wasn’t too impressed with her manoeuvre to avoid paying for the bill. Was she punishing me for the spat? Or is this how she operates, getting men to buy her meals at this place? It didn’t really matter, I know she’s not The One.

The Russian MILF returns and I help her put her coat on. As we’re leaving the restaurant she makes a point of thanking me for the meal. I appreciate her manners but feel that it was money wasted. Was it an evening wasted? No, I got some reminders of Baltic Babe and got to see that she wasn’t so unique as I had always thought. The chemistry we shared was unique though.

It’s below freezing outside and the streets are deserted. I escort The Russian MILF to the nearest Tube station where we both have to catch a train to get us elsewhere. We sit side by side making small-talk until I have to get off first. I give her a polite kiss on a cheek to which she smiles and just says, “Goodnight”.

It was an interesting evening, but not what I was expecting. We didn’t really have any kind of chemistry between us. I do feel that I was led up the proverbial garden path when it came to the choice of restaurant. She is definitely a materialist and therefore we would never get along.

I would much have preferred to have spent the evening with Busty Blonde or Travel Gal. However, there is the little matter of meeting another Russian MILF in two day’s time. It’s going to be a busy Saturday because I’m seeing all three of them on the same day.

LESSONS LEARNED: 1) Baltic Babe was not that special 2) Easter European women are materialistic, more so than other cultures 3) Beware women who use dating as a way to a free meal; I need to control the choice of venue better 4) I need to get into the habit of letting a woman pay for her half of the meal if I have no interest in seeing her again.

Madonna – Material Girl

Travel Gal surprises – Final part

It takes less than thirty seconds for Travel Gal to be lying on my sofa, her jeans and panties thrown to one side and I’m licking her clit. Her jumper I tossed aside and it landed near the dog which made him open his eyes and wriggle his eyebrows before resuming his slumber. Her blouse is unbuttoned and open, her bra is pushed up under chin. Travel Gal’s breasts are surprisingly large, as are her brown nipples. She’s put her hands behind her head, as if she’s about to do some sit-ups while her eyes are closed. Her minge is neatly trimmed in a Brazilian style so it’s easy for me to get to her clit with my tongue. Her pussy is moist as I slide a finger in there.

Good gracious, her pussy is cavernous. I can easily fit two fingers in. Has she been fucked recently? Did she have some fun on her business trip? Is she seeing someone else? Is she safe to fuck without a condom? These are the thoughts that race through my head as I slide a second finger into her vagina. I can easily cross these fingers inside this pussy, it’s that spacious.

With my fingers crossed as in the hoping for luck gesture I swivel them around in her while I lick and suck her clit. Her g-spot swells and with a bit of help from my fingers there she cums with an almighty squeal which makes the dog almost bump his head on the underneath of the table. Her wonderful breasts wobble like mounds of jelly as she shudders from the climax which lasts for almost ten seconds. Hmm, maybe she hasn’t been fucked lately. That orgasm has been stored up for quite some time.

I let go of everything and cuddle up beside her. Women’s clits become too sensitive to touch after an orgasm and many women feel a bit vulnerable so they feel the need for a cuddle. I’ve never been sure about what to say in this moment so I always just keep quiet and let the woman enjoy the moment.

“Wow, that was incredible. Where did you learn to do that? Wait, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know,” she finally says.

While her motor is still running is the time to get a woman to do what I want; that’s something else I’ve learned. I stand up in front of her, an unspoken invitation for her to undress me. She gets me hint and sits up on the sofa to start stripping me. As she does so I take the opportunity to grab hold of one of her breasts which feels perfect to the touch. They rival Krazy Girl’s boobs in the perfection stakes and I’m mindful of the fact that Travel Gal is almost fifteen years older. Age does not prohibit sexiness.

“You’ve kept these well hidden,” I say.

“I’ve learned to. I don’t like people staring at them. Some women can be very jealous,” she replies as she unbuckles my belt and drops my jeans to the ground.

Now I’m standing in just my underpants and socks. I’m expecting her to tell me to take my socks off before she drops my jocks and starts playing with my cock. I’m sporting a massive erection now and the tip of my penis is sticking out of the top of my undies. Surely she can see how big it is and now wants to see it and play with it? How will she look with my cock in her mouth? Does she know how to give a decent blowjob? I bet she does.

Travel Gal runs her hands up and down my body, feeling my muscles, slowly working her way down to my waist. Ah, she’s taking her time about it; she likes to build the anticipation. Oh, here we go, she’s just put her hands on my underpants. My cock is going to spring free. What will her reaction be? Will she stop for a second to have a good look at it, like so many other women have? Will she pull the foreskin back and lick the tip first, like most women have done? Or will she just close her eyes and take it in her mouth, first sucking slowly before building to a frenzy?

“No, he can stay right there,” she says, patting my hips before pushing herself back onto the sofa.

What the fuck?! What the hell’s going on here? No woman has refused to pull my cock out before. I don’t understand what’s happening, but I’m not going to say anything. Maybe she’s now feeling guilty and remorseful about what has just happened between us and is trying to reclaim some dignity. If that’s the case then I need to slow things down before speeding them up again. I’m turned on and want to cum too. Maybe she needs more coaxing of the orgasmic kind?

I reach down and grip her heels, pull her legs up towards me and splay her legs open on the footstool in front of the sofa. Again I get down to give her some finger-licking that a fast food chain didn’t think of when they came up with their slogan. Again it doesn’t take too long before she has a squealing orgasm. I was expecting it to take much longer, but as my first time with Tech Titan and some other women has taught me, if a woman hasn’t had it in a while then when it can cum out, it does so in a flood.

I am intrigued by her sit-ups-ready pose, as if she’s also trying to hide her face. Is she one of those people who finds sex shameful, a by-product of an overly-religious upbringing? She keeps her eyes closed the whole time, as if she’s in denial. I find myself wondering if I have another Teacher Gal on my hands (literally) who has issues about sex?

Once again I cuddle with her before standing up in front of her, now almost demanding my own satisfaction. I’m getting a little frustrated and impatient. My balls are on fire. My baby-batter wants to breathe.

“Don’t you want to play with him?” I ask, pointing to my penis, thinking she needs a little help getting over the line.

“No, not today,” she answers.

In less than a second my rock-hard erection goes limp and flaccid. What…The…Fuck?!

Okay, this is new. I decide to relax. I can’t force her to do something that she doesn’t want to do. I lie down next to her, trying my hardest to hide my displeasure. What kind of woman lets a man get all turned on and then spurns him?

Just then I notice that her dog is looking as us; his face serious. Her last climax must have woken him. His eyes dart from me to her. Is he annoyed about being woken up? Does he think I’m attacking her and her needs to defend her? Does he want to join in?

“Have you ever let him lick your pussy?” I ask her.

To this day I do not know where that question came from.

“No. I’ve never even done it in front of him,” she says.

Her tone of voice must soothe him as the dog drops his jaw to the floor, puffs his cheeks once and goes back to sleep. I notice that he’s been shedding a lot of his black hair on my cream carpet. That’s going to take some time to clean up.

Travel Gal and I lie wrapped up under a throw, watching more Californication. The worlds’ greatest marital aid prevents me from saying something I might regret. I sit there trying to figure out what her issue is. I don’t want to seem clingy and insecure, so I decide not to ask. There’s no rush after all. I wasn’t wanting things to be like this today anyway, but here we are. Just have to make the best of it.

A couple of hours go by before even I think it’s time she head back to her part of the country. It’s no surprise to me when she says, “I have to work tomorrow, so I need to get going, I’m afraid.”

“No problem. I understand,” is the best I can say. I wasn’t expecting her to spend the night.

“Thank you for everything. Next weekend at mine?” she proffers.

“Yes, it’s a plan,” I instantly say, without thinking.

Travel Gal gets dressed, wakes the dog and I help her put the leather coat on. I walk her to her car and we enjoy a sweet, lingering kiss before she and her faithful companion disappear into the dark of the world.

Why did that just happen? I’ve heard it said that Xmas and New Year’s makes people do things that they ordinarily wouldn’t. I don’t think that that’s the case here. I’m in a particular frame of mind that some might call confused and others desperate. I call it ‘transition’. Maybe she is too? Whatever she’s thinking and feeling I want to find out.

Dan Fogelberg – Same Old Lang Syne

Travel Gal surprises

It’s a few days after Christmas and Travel Gal is passing my town on the way back from visiting family so she offers to visit me. At first I’m not too keen on the idea because I don’t want her seeing my place so soon. In the past other women’s opinions and behaviour has changed for the worse. As we speak about it on the phone I’m unable to think of a good enough reason to put her off so I agree to her visit. Only after we say goodbye does it dawn on me that she’ll also be arriving with her dog who is always by her side. My place is neither pet- nor child-friendly, but what can I do?

It’s a cold, dreary Sunday when Travel Gal arrives at my apartment complex. I go down to meet her in the car park where we I kiss her hello on the cheek. She seems happy to see me but has other matters on her mind.

“I don’t suppose your place has space for a dog?” she asks, gesturing towards her companion who is sitting imperiously, staring at us with impatient eyes.

“Of course there’s space. Let’s go up,” I say while hiding my reservations.

I couldn’t say that he stay in the car all day while it’s so cold. Maltreatment of animals is something that gets me angry very quickly. There’s never been an animal in my apartment so this could get interesting. Just how interesting the rest of the day will be I don’t know. I’ve not really come up with a plan or objective for this date other than to cook for her, make small talk, get to know her better, perhaps take the dog for a walk if it isn’t raining or snowing and, if it seems appropriate, introduce her to Californication.

The black lab strides into my apartment, sniffs a round for a few seconds and throws himself down under a coffee table and goes to sleep. That was easy and Travel Gal relaxes too. I take her leather coat and hat and stow them away where Krazy Girl liked to keep her stuff.

The lunch I make for her is essentially the same collection of exotic meats that I’ve made for other women, but she’s had it all before courtesy of her job. Nevertheless she enjoys it and I’ve learned that almost all women are impressed by a man who can cook. We finish off a bottle of chenin blanc over lunch and I realise that she’s not intending leaving any time soon because she’s had too much to legally drive.

After a dessert of butterscotch pudding Travel Gal suggests that we go for a walk, which I take to mean that her dog needs exercise too. We wander around my town and it’s such a grim day that we don’t see anybody. The dog does his business in the nearest park and it’s only as we’re leaving that I spot a sign saying that owners have to clean up after their pets. I say nothing and hurry us along.

As we walk and talk about her familiarisation trip of recent weeks I notice her wrinkles less and less. Her way of speaking that initially grated has bothered me less too as the day has progressed. More than anything I see her cheery smile and mesmerising blue eyes. Her jeans and thick woolly jumper hint at a good body that was hidden on our first date. Do I find her physically attractive? Yes. Can I imagine myself having sex with her? Yes.

Back at my place the pooch resumes his place and, not knowing what I should do next, I resort to putting Californication on. Pretty much like any other woman who has sat by my side watching the first two episodes Travel Gal is amused and can’t stop smiling. Okay, so she has a naughty sense of humour; that’s good.

Normally at this point I would make my move; the seduction would begin. Within minutes a woman would be naked on my sofa while I would be fully clothed. Today, however, I’m in no hurry. I want to take things a little slower with women. The fury in my loins has led me into trouble at times.

I offer to make Travel Gal a coffee, which she accepts and I go to the kitchen. After switching the kettle on I turn to talk to her, thinking her to still be in the lounge, but she’s followed me and is standing in the kitchen. She leaning back against a wall, her hands behind her back and acting as support for her backside. Her one foot is propped against the skirting board and her breasts are pushed out towards me. She’s smiling at me. Fuck, that’s a sexy pose.

Her eyes are saying “come hither” and I decide that a little kiss can’t hurt. I’ll give her one of my soft, gentle kisses and see what effect that has on her. Without a word I walk over to her, keeping my eyes on hers, I place my hands on her hips. She says nothing and just keeps smiling at me. I slide my hands behind her hips and hold her wrists. I lean slightly forward, deliberately stopping short of her mouth, wanting and waiting for her to come that little bit towards me, which she does.

Our lips touch and Travel Gal makes a sound of approval. Has she been looking forward to this? I read somewhere that most women love being forced up against a wall and then having a man lean his weight against her. I’ve never really thought about that and here’s the perfect opportunity to see if it’s true, albeit with a sample of one.

Travel Gal pushes her tongue into my mouth and in that moment I’m taken back to when I was seventeen years old and my high school sweetheart was the first girl to French kiss me. Back then it was such a shock that I lost my balance, toppled us over into a seat and I stubbed a fingernail that turned black the next day. Today I don’t have that reaction any more; it might be something of a passion-killer if I did. Now I accept it as something that almost all women like to do when kissing. They generally don’t seem to like it if a guy does it first, but if they do it first then it’s a turn-on for them. I’ve learned to not initiate and to only reciprocate once they’ve started doing that. It seems to me that a woman will only do so once she’s getting turned on.

So now Travel Gal is turned on. What do I do? Stop matters as tactfully as I can before she’s naked and spreading her legs for me on my sofa? My other dating experiences have taught me that when a woman wants a man to take her and he doesn’t do so, his chance is pretty much lost because she won’t risk being rejected a second time.

I’ve read enough profiles on OKCupid to have arrived at a conclusion about when the time is right for a couple to get physical. It appears that 90% of women want to get intimate within three to six dates with a guy. I was astonished when I realized this and went reading profiles just for the sake of verifying the answer to the question that indicates this. It’s a skewed distribution curve and there are equal outliers who expect it sooner as there are women who want to wait longer. This falls under ‘Another Myth About Women Destroyed’, in that the chaste virgin is a rarity and the truth is that women are more eager sexual beings than most men have been brought up to believe.

One kiss leads to another and I decide to let my hands do the wandering. Travel Gal maintains her pose against the wall as I glide a hand over her body. It’s a surprise to me to feel that she has large breasts, something her clothing has kept well hidden. Naughtily I slide my hand between her legs, deliberately touching her vagina and she lets off a gasp of pleasure. I think she’s ready to fuck; no turning back now.

I force my hand under her jumper and blouse, push it up towards her breasts where I grip a pleasant mound of mammary while we continue to kiss. Squeezing her breast leads to her giving off a little giggle which I take as a sign that she’s not going to resist me in any way. My hand finds her bra clasp and I loosen it with a single movement, a trick I’ve learned in the past year. I return my hand to the nearest breast and she lets off an ‘ughh’ sound as my warm hand takes hold of a cold breast. Damn, these are a nice surprise. I want to see them now.

To be continued…

Cat Lady Christmas

It’s the weekend before Christmas 2013 and all the other ladies I’m juggling are away from London for the next week or so. I have a couple of Groupon vouchers left over that are expiring soon so I decide to use them, to go out and enjoy what life has to offer at this time of year. The only person available at such short notice is Cat Lady so we agree to meet on Saturday. I’m not thinking of it as a date, but more two friends going out together.

It’s lunchtime as I spot Cat Lady coming towards me as I loiter in a coffee shop in central London. She’s late again because she insists on taking the bus everywhere despite the Tube taking a third of the time. I’ve reserved a table at a novel Japanese restaurant and then shortly afterwards it’s off to see a West End show; this time it’s ‘The Two Guvnors’. Because they’re Groupon vouchers the timing wasn’t of my choosing so when I told Cat Lady of the details I made a point of asking her not to be late. She’s almost half an hour late. I find her constant tardiness annoying. If I were to date her I’d tell her earlier times and if she ever was on time then she could wait for me.

We kiss hello on the lips and I say nothing of her lateness. What would be the point of that? I usher her towards the restaurant which even I’m impressed by. It’s super-modern with futuristic ordering done on the table surface, funky décor and innovatively presented dishes and surprisingly good food. I’ve always found restaurants that put money and effort into the surroundings to be a disappointment when it came to the food, but not this place.

Cat Lady is wearing skin-tight, grey leather trousers and she looks sexy. She does have a good body on her. I think we’d fuck well together, but that’s not what I’m hoping or aiming for. This is just a good, clean fun outing as far as I’m concerned. I notice her stealing glances at my mouth. It takes a little while before I realize that she’s got kissing on her brain. Are my kisses that good to her? She did seem to enjoy my goodnight kiss the last time we saw each other. Maybe it’s that sweet spot in her monthly cycle when she’s horny? It would explain the trousers.

The rushed meal ends and we stride to the theatre where we join the back of the queue for the matinee show. We take our seats just as the curtain goes up. When I’m at work I rush around like a headless chicken, so when it’s my time I prefer to be leisurely about it, to savour the best moments, to enjoy the experience. There’s nothing to enjoy when rushing. I wonder if this is one of the reasons why she has had so many short-term relationships: guys just won’t put up with her inconsiderate behaviour?

‘Two Guvnors’ is raucously funny and I’m glad I made the effort to come out. At intermission we head to the bar on our floor where Cat Lady stands holding her hands, expecting me to buy her a drink, which I do. I find her presumptuousness somewhat offensive, but I say nothing. I’ve been unemployed since I walked out of my job in early August, while I know that she earns a decent amount of money in her profession. I’ve treated her to a meal and show, the least she could do is offer to buy me a drink, but no.

Drinks in hand we make conversation which inevitably leads to discussing plans for Christmas Day.

“So what are you doing for Christmas lunch?” she asks.

“Some friends have invited me around, but I haven’t said yes yet,” I answer.

Various friends have indeed invited me over for Christmas lunch, but I’m tired of feeling like the charity case at the dinner table. The previous Christmas I spent at friends with me and my dating dilemmas becoming the focal point of discussion for what felt like an eternity. I don’t want to repeat that experience. This might surprise you, but I’m quite a private person; I don’t like being the centre of attention.

“Hey, why don’t you come have Christmas with me and my friends at my place?” Cat Lady says excitedly.

I think about it for a second and reply, “You know, I’d like that.”

“Cool. I’ll send you the details later,” she says as a bell sounds, beckoning us to retake our seats.

After the show we rejoin a darkened London and Cat Lady suggests that we go for a walk through Green Park as it’s her favourite park in this metropolis. Initially we walk side by side, like friends ought to, but after a while our arms are couple and I don’t know how that happened. I can’t help wonder if she’s expecting different things from this encounter compared to my agenda. Lordy, could she be hoping for us to spend the night together?

No, this is all becoming too complicated and messy for me. I’ve got Travel Gal and Busty Blonde well into my pipeline; they’re both at Phase 2, i.e. Dating. I’ve also got two little Russians at Phase 1, i.e. Pre-Date. Have I lost control of matters with Cat Lady and she has been at Phase 3 (Pre-Bang) without my knowing and now she wants to move on to Phase 4, i.e. Banging?

We aimlessly wander around Green Park making small-talk while in my head I resolve that if she offers herself to me that I should decline. I know deep down that she’s not The One for me, so why get embroiled in what could turn into a nasty situation for one or both of us? She doesn’t deserve any more hurt since her last relationship and I don’t want to hurt her. I also don’t want to be someone’s rebound fling; it’s not what I’m looking for.

It’s barely 7pm when we find ourselves standing at a bus-stop on Piccadilly. She wants to catch a bus which could take over an hour for her to get home. Conversation dies for a moment, I spot her staring at my lips yet again and decide to indulge her in a little of what she obviously wants.

I lean forward and she instantly comes in to meet me. Our lips gently lock and I feel her breath out onto my chin. We kiss slowly and in less than half a minute she starts using her tongue. I think that’s the first time she’s done that and I take it as a sign that she’s frisky. I counter with my own tongue and she makes sounds of approval as I wrap my arms around her. Cat Lady feels good in my arms; her body is a good fit for mine.

Slowly I unwind myself from her and let my lips be the last thing to touch her. She stands in front of me, biting her bottom lip and looking lustfully into my eyes. Yes, she wants to fuck, but I’m not going to. It seems that neither of us know what to say or do next. She furtively looks away but within seconds looks at me sideways. My dating and sexual adventures have taught me that when a woman gives me that sideways look, it means she fancies me, perhaps even to the point of wanting to get physical with me. It’s always been a wonderfully flattering feeling when I’ve spotted that look, but tonight it’s an unwanted complication.

No self-respecting woman is going to say to me, “Wanna come back to my place for sex?” That’s not how women operate. They expect a man to pick up on their subtle clues and signals, but sadly most men are not as observant as women would like. In my line of work attention to detail is vital and, when recruiting staff, I’ve always leaned towards hiring a woman because I believe women to be at least twice as observant as men. I think it’s an evolutionary thing in that, during caveman times, a woman would spot the danger first and retreat with the child while the man, is sent off to fight the threat. It also plays out elsewhere in that, after sex, the man falls asleep while the woman is wide awake. Should a predator present itself the woman will wake the man to do the fighting while she does the running away. We really haven’t progressed far as a species.

I’m not going to suggest going back to her place and she’s not going to either, so we’re at a stand-off which suits me. Just to make sure that I’m reading the situation correctly I lean in to kiss her again and this time it’s more passionate than before. In the last year or so I have had women compliment my kissing technique and I know that it turns most of them on, so Cat Lady must be dripping wet. She must regret choosing to wear those leather trousers.

Mercifully a bus arrives and Cat Lady climbs aboard this new version of the old open-rear entrance where she clings to the pole. We make utterances about Christmas Day just as the bus pulls off.

I go home not too sure what to make of this encounter. Is she warming to me? Does she want more than she previously indicated? It doesn’t matter because I’m not that taken with her, largely because she’s just too damaged from her last relationship, just like Krazy Girl is. I need to find a way to let her down gently.

On Christmas Eve morning I get a text message from Cat Lady. She says that she has a bad cold and that she’s had to cancel her Christmas Day plans. I respond wishing her improved health, but inside me all sorts of other thoughts and feelings rage. I don’t believe her story, something doesn’t ring true. Does she feel spurned by my not going home with her on Saturday night? Is this her revenge? Or is this her way of pissing me off to the extent that we don’t see each other again?

If that last notion is her intent it has worked. I’m pissed off that I now have nowhere to go on Christmas Day. I can’t phone around at this last minute seeing which friends have a spare place at their table, it’s just too embarrassing to do.

That’s how it came to be that I spent Christmas Day of 2013 by myself. It was initially a very depressing morning; I felt lonely. Yes, I phoned my usual people that I speak to on Xmas Day and lied about my plans for the day. I even lied to my mother. As the day wore on my mood improved. It felt less stressful than yet again feeling like the spare wheel in a room full of happy couples.

I got to think about some things, mostly reviewing my dating experiences of the year. I even sat down and wrote a few of the things that you’ve read. Although it wasn’t time for New Year’s resolutions, I decided that I need to slow down my dating life and focus on getting more quality dates. I resolve to be more ruthless with women I meet. If the first date is no good, then there’s no second date. I’m learning that, in life, as things start it is generally how they tend to go. I’m tired of being surrounded by people who have a negative effect on me.

As a consequence of these resolutions I decide to not see Cat Lady again. It’s not doing either of us any good. She’s just too flaky to even have as a friend.

I’m hoping that next Christmas will be better. It can’t be much worse.

Yes – Owner of a lonely heart

Rainy date

On the Wednesday night I see Busty Blonde again. This time I’m treating her to a West End show and a restaurant meal beforehand. I’m doing this not to impress her or because she deserves it in some way, but because Christmas is near, the vibe in London is festive and I want to do something nice to see the year out.

I wait for her in a coffee shop near her work and she meets me a few minutes early. It’s rare for a date to be early. I greet her with a kiss on each cheek, a la French style. Again I’m struck by how much older than me she looks. On our first date on Sunday she had mentioned that she had been a smoker, so I’m learning that ex-smokers look a few years older than their actual age. Sweet Thing, The Lost One, Teacher Gal, Deranged Dater, Wild Child, The Randy Russian and The English Shrink were all ex-smokers and, courtesy of extra wrinkles around the eyes, looked older than what they were.

It’s pouring with Winter rain and we make the best of it trying to huddle under my umbrella, but I give up on it and choose to cover her properly with it while I slowly get soaked. We walk over a pedestrian bridge that spans the Thames and at the bank there’s a steep set of stairs. Busty Blonde clings tight to my arm as we descend it. At the bottom of the stairs we encounter a mother with a pram, trying to make her way up the stairs, but struggling to do so. Without a word I force the umbrella into Busty Blonde’s hand and I carry the pram to the top of the stairs. The mother thanks me and I rejoin my date.

“You really are an old-fashioned gentleman. You’re very rare,” Busty Blonde says.

I just smile and move us along to Chinatown for our dinner. As we walk I muse to myself that the world has become a sad place if I am so rare in my consideration for others. To my mind kindness is like manners: it doesn’t cost anything, but it is valuable. I contend that if chivalry is indeed dead, then it was murdered by feminism. Many modern men are afraid of being chivalrous because they are afraid of being called sexist or patronising by a vocal, embittered feminist. I’ve been on the receiving end of such verbal attacks, but I just laugh them off because their behaviour is far uglier than mine. Besides, you can’t reason with an unreasonable person.

Busty Blonde and I arrive at the Chinese restaurant which is found via an unremarkable small door in a nondescript alley but then opens out into a courtyard that has a small footbridge over a water feature in the approach to the dining area.

“Gosh, you’d never think that this was here. You do know interesting places,” Busty Blonde says.

Gosh. Who in this day and age uses that word any more? Then again, who carries a stranger’s pram with a baby inside it up a flight of stairs in a downpour any more? I guess Busty Blonde and I are outliers on some curve somewhere.

We take turns to go to the restroom to dry ourselves off. For the first time in my life I stick my drenched head under the hand dryer. It was tricky but it worked.

We sit down to what I knew would be a remarkable extravaganza of Pekingnese and Szechuan cuisine. I tell Busty Blonde about my travels around China and she’s mesmerised. Her life has been dedicated to work and just the occasional short-haul flight to somewhere on the Mediterranean counted as travel for her. From her words and questions it seems that she is an unrequited traveller. I can’t help but think that we have much in common in terms of what we enjoy.

Dinner ends and we make our way to the theatre where The Commitments is being staged. I got us last minute seats so they’re not the best in the house but are easy to find. Busty Blonde enjoys the show and at intermission we get drinks from the bar. I remember something from our first date of a few days ago.

“So how was your tough day on Monday?” I ask, not expecting much in return.

“Oh, it was awful. I had to make my whole department redundant. I had to call each of them in and give them the news. I think having to sack people just before Christmas is despicable,” she answers.

“I’m sorry to hear that. I’ve never enjoyed sacking people either,” I reply, hoping my words ease her discomfort.

“Now guess what? Today I got retrenched. That’s why I came out early to meet you. I just don’t give a damn any more. I worked hard for them for twelve years, then they make me sack people with families, then once I’ve done that for them, I get sacked,” she says bitterly.

“Never mind. You’re a smart cookie with loads of experience. Something will come along. Perhaps even something better. You never know,” I say, trying to lift her spirits.

“I hope so. I’ve never been unemployed before,” she retorts.

A bell sounds and we retake our seats. I tell myself that I’m proving a pleasant distraction for her after a rough couple of days. When the show ends we rejoin the world outside where the rain has abated. Busty Blonde is starting to look tired and I suggest that we call it a night. I walk her to the nearest Tube station where I wait with her on the platform until her train arrives. We quickly kiss each other goodbye on the lips before she hops on the train, takes a seat facing me, smiles and gives me a brief wave. I smile and wave back just as the train speeds off.

If she hadn’t told me about her work situation I would never have guessed that something bad had happened to her today. Banter between us is lively, just as I had expected. She’s a naturally upbeat person and she always seems to look for the positive in anything. I like that. Do I fancy her? Not really. Do I enjoy being with her? Absolutely.

What do I do about Busty Blonde? I really don’t know.

Travis – Why Does It Always Rain On Me?

Date #41 – Busty Blonde

I was swapping messages with Travel Gal when someone else caught my eye. This new woman had words and ideas that intrigued me because I identified with everything she said. The only problem was that she was six years older than me. That was offset by the fact that one of her profile photos showed her in a bikini, sporting the biggest pair of breasts that I had ever seen on a dating profile. I could put the age-gap to the back of my mind and if she was young in spirit then it shouldn’t be a problem. Quite honestly, whenever I thought of her, the image that popped into my mind was that of the bikini photo. I couldn’t help wonder what those breasts would feel like in my hands. In a moment of inspired brilliance I dubbed her ‘Busty Blonde’.

Travel Gal was spending the next two weeks in southern Africa for work, visiting new hotels and game lodges that were hoping she would send business their way. I wouldn’t be seeing her for some time, which suited me fine because I wanted to meet some more women in the hope that I could make an informed choice.

Busty Blonde and I swap messages on the national newspaper’s dating website and we get along as well as can be expected via such a limited, tricky medium. I’m still thinking of Travel Gal’s snobbish way of speaking which irritates me, so I suggest to Busty Blonde that we have a chat on the phone. I have reservations about her because of the age-gap and I’m starting to believe that all women’s dating profile photos are at least five years old. I’m forming a theory that the older a woman, the more likely she is to use old photos.

The Wanderer is sitting on my sofa in my lounge as I withdraw to my bedroom to speak to Busty Blonde one week-night. It’s 8pm and she’s just got in from work. Is this why she’s single – a typical London Girl married to her job, no time for a relationship? Our chat is pleasant enough, but I’m struck by how old she sounds. It feels like I’m talking to a pensioner but I know that voice calls distort our speech which is why I’ve avoided screening calls in the past. Towards the end of the call Busty Blonde sounds serious and sceptical because of the questions she asks me about recent relationships. I find it difficult to discern what someone is saying when I can’t see their face or properly hear their tone. I decide to end the call before it spirals out of control and descends into nothingness.

I’m not too sure what to make of our conversation. It wasn’t sparkling and began to feel defensive for reasons unknown to me. The single greatest thing that comes out of it that I’ve learned that she’s Scottish. That gives some cause for optimism, given my track record with English women. I decide to suggest a date and do so via email, thinking that she’s probably not interested in a man so much younger, but I’m wrong when she responds suggesting meeting this Sunday.

Could she be The One?

It’s a typically overcast grey Winter’s day as I arrive at Tower Hill Tube station’s exit. Instantly I spot Busty Blonde standing waiting for me. The first impression is underwhelming. She looks her age, perhaps a few years more even and I’m not filled with any sense of desire. Lust at first sight is not to be ignored but today it’s missing. I’m not used to dating a woman with wrinkles. She’s wearing an expensive-looking long brown winter coat that covers everything so no sign of those massive boobicles. Busty Blonde gives me a wonderful smile as she recognizes me. At least she has a great smile.

I kiss her hello on the cheek and give her a smile of my own. She’s tall for a woman, coming up to just under my nose. Photos never really give a proper sense of proportion. I can only guess that like most women she prefers her man to be taller than her, which I am, but I’m not sure that I can pick her up if I needed to. On her profile she describes herself as ‘curvaceous’ which is refreshingly honest, but the term can hide a multitude of sins. Those boobies must have extra wobble to them.

As we approach the stairs that lead down to the pedestrian subway, I turn to Busty Blonde and say, “Tell me something, do you like chicken?”

“Yes. Why?”

“Take a wing then,” I say, extending an elbow to her.

She bursts out laughing and a second later slides her arm around mine, shaking her head as she does so.

“That’s so cheesy,” she says.

“Yes, I know, but it made you laugh,” I reply.

That moment was our ice-breaker, the instant from which a bond began to form, the moment when defences started to crumble. I’ve always used that ruse as a way to test a woman’s sense of humour, to see if she would appreciate mine because I can be quite punny. Now I think of it primarily as a way of getting a woman comfortable in my presence.

I lead Busty Blonde to St Katharine Docks, somewhere she had heard of but never been to, despite her having lived in London for twenty years and, as I would learn, worked only half a mile away from it. The world over people do not do touristy things in their own back yard. Instead they scrimp and save, fantasize and plan for the day when they get to see what others take for granted. Funny lot, us humans.

We sit at a table for two in the pizzeria restaurant of the Dickens Inn, somewhere I’ve had dozens of dates in the past year and half. The Slavic waiter who has almost always attended me and my date greets me with a raised eyebrow. Is he silently asking, “Where the hell have you been for the last two months? My tips are down because of you!” Or is he hinting that this date is a little old for me? Maybe he’s thinking, “Ah, the gigolo’s back”?

Busty Blonde and I get along like two horny rabbits, only having eyes for each other and thoroughly engrossed in what the other is saying. We’re an obvious intellectual match and have much in common. We both left high school and have made our way in the world by dint of hard work and having the courage to seize opportunities when they presented themselves. We’ve both achieved managerial positions because of our abilities and not our contacts. I respect her for that.

The afternoon rolls by as conversation wanders aimlessly and easily, lubricated by a bottle of South African chenin blanc. I pepper the conversation with open-ended questions, letting her tell me more about herself in a natural manner. She’s open and direct, just like me, so I appreciate that. Busty Blonde is also far more bubbly and positive than what I was expecting. She seems to one of those people who is permanently happy and positive.

After a couple of hours I come to the conclusion that Busty Blonde is a thoroughly good person, imbued with old-fashioned morals and values almost identical to mine. There’s still an innocence about her, an unblemished view of the world that I used to have until I started online dating. My antics and experiences from dating have taken that innocence from me and sitting there talking to Busty Blonde, I realize that it’s never going to return. It’s gone forever.

The sun comes out to bathe London in a hazy light. With lunch over and the date going well, we mutually decide to stroll along the Southbank. It’s a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon, walking past buskers, street artists, scammers, galleries, ticket touts and people who have scrimped and saved to visit our back yard.

Busty Blonde and I walk and talk, eventually ending up in a quiet corner of a Thames-side pub. Another bottle of South African wine goes down easily while banter and laughter flows between us. I’m having a good time and so is she. To me it feels like I’ve reconnected with a long-lost friend, but there’s more it than just that. After months of disappointing experiences with other women, in mere hours it feels like she has lifted my spirits, brought me back to life. She exudes goodness and silly fun and for some reason that I still don’t understand, it makes me feel safe with her.

Her coat is slung over the back of a nearby chair and for the first time I get a hint of her mammaries. Even in the snug confines of her blue sweater they’re bigger than I expected. How does she not topple over? There’s a lot of bounce to the ounce there.

By now we’ve each the equivalent of a bottle of wine in us. Does she notice me occasionally peeking at her breasts? Or is she used to men doing that? Well, she did post that revealing bikini photo on her profile. On a dating site doing that is the equivalent of walking topless down a busy road; men are going to look.

Amidst a bout of laughter, under the slight affluence of incohol I lean over towards Busty Blonde, she responds instantly and we kiss. I do my usual thing of keeping my lips soft and using minimal force before being the first to pull away.

“Gosh, you’re a good kisser,” she remarks, blinking frenetically.

I just smile and continue talking about the topic at hand, as if nothing had happened. I’ve never really enjoyed kissing because it does very little for me physically, but I do enjoy the effect that my kisses have on women. It usually gets their sexual motor running. My having just kissed Busty Blonde sends the signal that I not afraid to escalate matters to the sexual level. Other women have told me that this is where many guys fall short because the woman was interested in having sex with a guy but would never make the first move for fear of seeming like a slut or coming across as desperate or gagging for it which usually leads to only a one-night stand. I’ve never been backward in coming forward so this has never been a failing of mine.

Something else I’ve learned courtesy of all my dates is that laughter mixed with alcohol turns a woman to putty in my hands. If she starts using the same words as me, parroting my exact words and ideas back at me, then she’s mine. Busty Blonde has been doing that for most of the date. I think it’s safe to assume that she’s keen on me.

The atmosphere between us has now been heightened but conversation is not affected by it. We talk some more before I lean over and we kiss again, this time for longer. This repeats itself periodically for the next hour or so. It feels like we could talk all night but I know not to let a good date end on a flat note by letting it go on for too long. Busty Blonde must be reading my mind because she starts saying that she needs to go home as tomorrow is going to be a challenging day at work for her. I didn’t ask what that meant but I was intrigued. In hindsight I should have asked.

By now darkness has spread itself over London, shadows smothering light, warmth giving way to cold. I don’t relish the thought of another Winter alone. What would Busty Blonde think or say if she knew that The Wanderer would be keeping me warm tonight?

I walk Busty Blonde to her Tube station and the banter between us just keeps flowing. This date has been a pleasant surprise, but I’ve learned not to put too much stock into a first date. We kiss one last time before she gets on her train. She beams at me once more from her seat before being whisked away.

Two fun dates in the space of a week. Maybe me and older women are a better match? Maybe I’m seeing things differently? Maybe I enjoyed this date with Busty Blonde because it felt like she had brought me back to life in some way? Whatever the reason, I want to see Busty Blonde and Travel Gal a few times more each. None of us have committed anything to each other, it’s ‘all just dating’. That’s an expression I saw recently that helps make me feel less guilty about dating several women at once.

With that said, is now a good time to mention that I also have the attention of two Russian ladies whom I’ll soon be meeting?

Evanescence -Bring Me to Life

Date #40 – Travel Gal

The Wanderer was sitting on my sofa watching telly when I came across an interesting profile on the national newspaper’s dating site. My subscription to the site was about to expire and I was seeing if there was anyone interesting to meet before I let my membership lapse. The lady who intrigued me lived exactly a hundred miles from me, so ordinarily I would discount her. She was also English, a factor that I have recently forsworn but her profile’s words and ideas were unlike any other Englishwoman’s. She was attractive, well-travelled…and four years older than me. She worked as a travel agent and she professed a love of southern Africa. I couldn’t stop thinking about her and dubbed her ‘Travel Gal’.

I made contact on the site but was disappointed by her sending a canned reply from a drop-down menu on the site that her subscription had recently expired and that was reluctant to renew her subscription. I tried sending her messages via the site that gave my email address, full name or ways of finding me on Facebook or LinkedIn, but the site’s censors were incredibly effective and thwarted my every move. She kept sending me canned one-liners that clearly showed that she was interested in me too.

Then I noticed that the site offered a low-priced, 3-day gift subscription so I bought her that so that we could communicate. I thought it a cute way of showing my serious intent. How could she refuse such generosity? Well, she didn’t and the usual email ping-pong ensues. There’s to my mind a rhythm to email exchanges, almost like a dance and at the opportune moment I suggest that we meet. She agrees.

Could she be The One?

On a dreary Winter Sunday I drive for two hours to get to a quaint, old market town that has become a haven for all things antique and artsy in that part of England. The pub where Travel Gal suggested we meet is empty when I arrive, so I make myself comfortable at a prominent table near the door. She texts me at noon that she’s running “a bit late”, despite having a less than a fifteen minute drive. I’ve been on enough dates to know what her words mean.

Half an hour later the pub door flies open and someone tall wearing an American waxed-leather, long brown raincoat and leather cattle-rancher’s hat strides in. The figure stops, turns to me and takes the hat off. It’s Travel Gal.

Guess what?

Her profile photos were on the old side.

Where other women have crows feet, she has ostrich toes. Travel Gal has obviously spent a lot of time in the sun as, apart from the wrinkles, her skin is a bronze that a surfer would be proud of. Nevertheless she has mesmerising blue eyes and a friendly smile. She does have a pretty face and I can see that when younger she must have been stunning. The rest of her is hidden under the raincoat and remains so for the duration of the encounter.

I stand and kiss her cheek hello as she stops at my table. We exchange courteous pleasantries and it’s then that I am struck by her manner of speaking. It’s in keeping with the ‘horsey set’. It’s not such much an accent but a preferred way of enunciating and trying to sound upper class. I find it annoying, unnatural and hard work to listen to.

I’ve generally avoided the screening phone-call as part of setting up dates because I believe that it exaggerates accents (we all have one) and gives a distorted, one-dimensional impression of a person. When I have done the screening call, it has usually not worked out in my favour. So much of communication is non-verbal and I believe the telephone to be the enemy of clear communication. If I had spoken to her on the phone I wouldn’t be here now because I would have found her voice off-putting.

I decide to make the most of this. I know that I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. My cover is soon to be past its best too.

We sit down next to the log fire and quickly find ourselves engrossed in sparkling conversation. It’s a wonderful feeling as a conversation with a stranger grows and takes on a life of its own, entertaining you, stimulating you and challenging you. We’re definitely a match for each other in the intellectual stakes. As we get lost in recounting travel adventures I find myself noticing her wrinkles and way of speaking less and less. All I see is her eyes and smile and after a couple of hours I can see her soul too.

Travel Gal is a good, decent person who doesn’t want an unreasonable amount from life and intends no harm to anyone. She is gentle, thoughtful and fair. Do we want the same things from the future?

“So if I may be so bold, what is it you’re looking for?” I probe.

“A simple, satisfying way of life and someone to share it with. Too much to ask for?” she says with a sparkle in her eyes.

It’s that moment when I started to take her seriously. We want the same things. How can I ignore that? Yes, she has an annoying way of speaking and she’s not a spring-chicken any more, but I’m realistic enough to know that The One is not going to be perfect, only perfect for me. I move the conversation along before I reveal something that I shouldn’t.

“I get the impression that you like dogs. There’s a great black lab that crops up in your profile pics,” I say, hopefully deftly changing the topic.

“Yes, that’s my dog and main man in my life. Would you like to meet him?” she says.

Um, did she just invite me back to her place? I’m not sure that I fancy her enough to want to sleep with her, well not just yet anyway.

“I’d like that. Where is he? At home?” I respond.

“No, he’s outside in my car,” she replies.

Before I get a chance to say anything Travel Gal stands up and says, “I’ll go get him,” and disappears out into the cold world brooding on the other side of the pub door.

Less than a minute later a black Labrador with greying whiskers saunters into the pub as if he owns the place. He comes straight up to me, looks me in the face and wags his tail. I pet him and stroke his fine hair (not all dogs have fur) which he likes. Dogs and I have always got along. I don’t know if it’s some kind of animal magnetism or what, but dogs like me. Travel Gal gets him a bowl of water and he slumps down on the ground under the table.

I realize that for women with pets it is a factor in their world if their companion likes their man. I think I’ve passed that test. Then another thought occurs to me.

“Is he the puppy in your profile photos?” I ask.

“Yes, it’s him,” she answers.

“How old is he know?”

“He’s twelve,” she replies.

She’s used twelve year-old photos on her dating profile?! I don’t think she realizes what she’s just confessed to, but before she does I move the conversation along.

We drift off again into our own little world, regaling each other with more accounts of exploits under the African sun. The afternoon eases by as we share a meal and a socially-responsible single drink. It’s rare to find a woman who loves Africa and even rarer a woman who loves the part I’m from. For a few moments it feels like I’m talking to a kindred spirit, a fellow scatterling of Africa.

It starts to get dark when Travel Gal asks if we can visit a nearby cookware shop. It turns out she’s quite a baker and that suits me just fine, because I’m quite a cake-eater. The sleepy dog is attached to a lead and we brace ourselves as we head out into the icy darkness. The main street is nearby and it is picture-postcard scenery, with wonky Tudor-cottages and antiques shops abutting art galleries. The dog is like an emperor visiting his realm, paying no attention to yapping dogs and friendly children, the latter wanting to touch him but he just brushes past them.

In the store Travel Gal is very specific about what she wants, some bizarre French baking utensil I’ve never heard. She does take her baking seriously and I’m struck by her refusal to compromise when the shop assistant tries to foist something on her. Is that why she’s single? She won’t compromise? Maybe that’s why I’m still single too.

I sense that now is a good time to bring this date to an end. I have a long drive ahead of me in the dark and I don’t want to blow what has been a good experience.

“May I escort you to your car?” I say to Travel Gal once we’re back out on the street, hoping that she grasps my inference.

“That would be lovely. You’re quite a gentleman. I like that,” she says with a smile.

Finally, an Englishwoman who likes my old-fashioned ways.

At her car the emperor claims his seat. Travel Gal turns to me and smiles. It feels a bit awkward between us, for the first time since we saw each other. Neither of us seem sure what to do next. I’m surprised by this because I should be an old hand at ending dates, but this one seems different. I’ve had an exceptionally good time talking to her. It feels like I’ve met someone remarkable.

I wonder what she thinks of me? I can only think of one way of knowing for sure.

Slowly I step towards her and lean in to kiss her on the mouth, but stopping short, leaving time and space for her to reciprocate. Will she? Oh hell, yes. Our lips touch gently then lock tighter. I put my arms around her, hoping to know something more about her body, but all I can feel is the damn leathery, waxy leather raincoat. I’m grappling with a tarpaulin. I have no idea what her body is like and even in this embrace I’m none the wiser.

Gingerly I pull away from her. As first kisses go, that was good. Travel Gal has a look of surprise on her face, a mixture of shock and satisfaction. We say nothing more as she gets in her car and drives off into the darkness.

Will I see her again?

Johnny Clegg – Scatterlings Of Africa

Online dating, dates, internet dating, romance, love, sex, relationships

%d bloggers like this: