Her’s was one of the first profiles that caught my attention on the national newspaper’s dating site because she was so pretty in her photographs; a quintessential English Rose. I sent off an approach email and she responded within hours, which is always a good sign as my dating experiences have proven to me so far. She was a primary school teacher and lived in the same county as me, but we were on opposite ends of it. We couldn’t agree on a mutually convenient date to meet because she was going away on holiday. In that time I became embroiled with Musician Gal, The Irish Cougar and a couple of other minor dates, the most recent of which, Make-up Madam, was not ticking all my proverbial boxes. Optimistically I resurrected contact with Pretty Teacher and again she was quick to respond and this time we had time for each other.
Could she be The One?
It’s a dreary Saturday morning in October as I arrive at the Pretty Teacher’s apartment complex. Until now all women have been happy to meet somewhere public and I put that down to being a safe thing to do, but today’s date was insistent that we first meet at her place and then go somewhere. The ‘somewhere’ I found interesting because there isn’t much around her dormitory town to see and do.
I ring her entry-phone and within a minute she comes down. Wow, she is as pretty as her photos! For once a woman who not only looks like her profile pictures but might also be better looking in real life. She’s slender, comes up under my chin, has clear unblemished milky white skin and shoulder-length golden-blonde hair. Her eyes are a bright sky-blue. Just the look I like! I smile my approval and she reciprocates.
Before we’ve even said a word and there is a connection between us. It’s obviously a mutual physical attraction that we have and it confirms to me that this is what was missing with Make-up Madam. Lust is indeed part of chemistry. It sets a positive base on which to build further, if that’s possible.
“How about we jump in my car and go to the next town over for lunch?” she suggests.
“That sounds good to me,” I retort, taken aback by her confidence and brazenness. This date is off to an unusual start because no woman I’ve met would be happy to have a strange man get in her car with her like this.
We chatter away seamlessly as if we’ve known each other for a long time while Pretty Teacher speeds recklessly through country lanes that I hope she knows well. She’s well-dressed in smart jeans and white blouse covered in a long grey coat. Her car is new and funky; this is a classy woman. I might be onto something here.
We end up having lunch in a coffee shop in a historic market town that I’ve never been to. Pretty Teacher is 35 and I’m 42, but that age-gap is invisible and irrelevant because we get along so well. As time ticks on I’m filled with a sense of relief that stems from feeling an affinity with her. We’d pretty much covered basic requirements in our email exchanges and it’s pleasant to have that exaggerated and brought home in real life. As we talk and laugh it becomes evident that we like and dislike the same things and to a similar degree. This feels good, it feels right.
Then I catch myself remembering a couple of things from her profile that don’t sit well with me. She stated a preference for a wealthy man, which is not that unusual because no woman wants to be with a poor man, but it featured heavily as a ‘non-negotiable’. She also hasn’t made up her mind about whether she wants children or not. I decide not to broach these topics because it’s only the first date. My instincts tell me that we’ll be having more dates.
We go for a walk around a local park as a cold Autumn wind nips at our cheeks. I think we both want to keep the date going as we’re enjoying ourselves but it’s getting too cold outside. Before I can suggest something Pretty Teacher speaks.
“It’s getting chilly. How about we go find a cosy fireplace in a pub? I know just the place,” she says.
I just smile at her directness, which I find refreshing. Some people are just too scared to say what they’re feeling and thinking, but not Pretty Teacher. I’m really starting to like her and it’s only been a matter of hours.
Once back in her car she speeds like a crazed maniac through residential streets. Her car must be very new and she’s putting it through it’s paces, I tell myself. We arrive at a sleepy pub on a busy road. Inside there is the obligatory barfly and a roaring fireplace waiting for us.
We sit side by side on a large leather sofa and conversation flows like sweet nectar. I was only expecting a quick lunchtime coffee and cake, perhaps she was too, but neither of us seem to want today to end.
Then it started.
“I’m sorry, but I hope you don’t mind, but I just have to check my phone,” she says, getting her phone out and almost feverishly investing her attention into that.
It has been almost six hours together, she hasn’t had the chance to do the safety-call to a friend that most women on dates do, otherwise this might be a little rude. I give her the benefit of the doubt because there is probably other things going on in her life like a family emergency that I’m not aware of.
We resume talking after a few minutes, but the phone has been left on because it’s making noises in her handbag. About ten minutes later she breaks away from our conversation again to check her phone. She stares at it intently, obviously reading something serious, so I don’t interrupt. She quickly fingers her phone and puts it away.
I continue with our conversation while being aware that I’m very interested in her but am trying not to show it. I force myself to become Passive-Disinterested in her. After all I’ve had loads of practise doing it naturally. On cue her body language becomes more focussed on me which confirms to me that she is very interested in me too. This is going well.
Her phone chortles in her bag and without making an apology she gets it out to read whatever it is that someone has sent her. She eagerly types a short reply while smiling. I’m now interested in what’s going on. I also don’t want this date to go on all night; I want to woo her. Yes, I fancy her and would love to take her to bed, but I’m willing to wait for the right time. However, I need to make sure that the way forward is not a highway littered with strewn baggage from her past.
“Is there some kind of emergency? Do you need to be somewhere else?” I ask, more out of consideration than anything else.
“No, no, it’s all fine,” she says and our conversation resumes.
It’s now dark and hunger has arrived, so we order a meal each. Over dessert she grabs her phone again and stares at it intently. She makes a seething sound, sucking in air through her pearly-white teeth. This is getting annoying now.
“So what is it that is distracting you from your dessert?” I ask.
“Oh, you may as well know now,” she begins.
I don’t like the way she said that. Oh shit, what now? She’s married, in the midst of a messy divorce, has a stalker or is supposed to be meeting another guy for a date right now?! From all these dozens of dates that I’ve been on I’ve heard all sorts of horror stories about what other people get up to in their messy private lives.
“I’m addicted to playing online scrabble with my friends,” she says with a guilty look on her face.
What the fuck?! Seriously?! Online scrabble via a phone. Every ten minutes you just have to?
“Addicted? That’s a strong word,” is the best I can come up with.
“Yes, it’s silly, I know, but I just can’t help it,” she answers.
I don’t expect my other half to be perfect, I only expect that when we”re together that it feels perfect. With time I might prove more of a distraction for her and this scrabble is just a passing fad. I decide to not make a fuss over something so small. It’s just a date after all, albeit a very promising one.
We sit and talk and laugh some more next to that fire which slowly burns down, almost at the same speed as our fondness for each other grows. My stunt with Career Girl comes to mind and I decide to go for it.
“I can’t make out what colour your eyes are. Can you come closer?” I begin.
Pretty Teacher shuffles closer.
“I still can’t see. The lighting’s bad. Come closer,” I say.
She smiles and leans in close to me. I can clearly see the colour of her eyes, but we both know that that’s not what’s going on here. I only need to move my head forward a few inches and we can kiss, but I’m not going to.
“Closer,” I whisper.
Pretty Teacher comes full into my face, closes her eyes and kisses me. I kiss back and it feels perfect.
I like to think that’s how I hooked her, but the truth is I might be the one who was hooked. Which one of us was going to become addicted first?
Avicii – Addicted To You