Busty Blonde and I are nearing our demise. I go on to MatchAffinity curious to see if there were any new prospects that had joined in the months since I had last subscribed. One of my highest matches is a South African lady who wrote a very direct and heartfelt profile. Although I’m not a member and can’t write to her, I decide to ‘favourite’ her nevertheless. She is just my type: blonde hair, blue eyes and pretty. Maybe one day I’ll contact her.
Overnight she writes to me, having noticed my favouriting her. She sends me a very lengthy email which I can read. In it she asks if I am from a seaside suburb, which I almost was, being from the seaside suburb alongside hers which she had mentioned. Intrigued I answer her email, explaining that I could only send one response for free, gave her my surname and suggest that she Google me and contact me via one of my websites. I wasn’t going to spend another penny on a dating website that had largely taken my money, wasted my time and only delivered a couple of disappointing dates.
I immediately get to work Googling her, given that I had her first name and where she was from. Within seconds I find her Facebook page which is wide open to read. To my amazement we have two mutual friends. I contact one of these friends, asking about our mutual friend. The response is a very positive one, so I make a friend request on Facebook to my prospective date. In my mind I was thinking of her as ‘The Saffa’.
It isn’t easy for me to do all this. I have Busty Blonde on my mind and it feels like I’m cheating on her. My regained sense of moral righteousness is squirming. However, my curiosity and desire to find The One dictates that I at least make an effort to meet this woman; we have too much in common to ignore.
The Saffa and I start swapping messages on Facebook and then text messages on our phones. She works as a live-in carer for elderly wealthy people around England and doesn’t have a fixed address. She has also only been in the UK for just over a year. A minimum wage, homeless person was a drastic drop from high-flying Busty Blonde, but chemistry is vital.
Late on a Wednesday night The Saffa texts me “Hotel California”; just those words. I responded with “The Eagles 1977. Saw them at Twickenham a few years ago” and then went to bed. The next morning I awoke to three more text messages from her in the hours after I went to sleep, telling me that she was with friends, drinking wine and listening to 70s music. I felt quite flattered that she was thinking of me, feeling the need to share her thoughts and feelings with me, not even having met me. I also found this behaviour a little unusual, bordering on disturbing. I appreciated the fact that she liked 70s music because I do too, but texting while inebriated shows a lack of self-control to me. My hopes aren’t high.
Is she another nutter?
We swap a few emails during the week. Mine are short and to the point, while hers are elaborate. She is unafraid of telling me just how much she was looking forward to meeting me. In my mind an impression is forming of a high-spirited chatterbox.
I’m very aware that, courtesy of my experience with Cat Lady, our common heritage will be an immediate plus point. I’ll be at pains to look past that to see if we have any grounds for a relationship. My acid test question will be, “If we were still in SA, would I want to see her?”
In a very unusual plan for our first date, The Saffa invites me to visit her at a friend’s cottage which is an hour’s drive away. The friend was away on business and The Saffa was house-sitting.
Could she be The One?
Well, I met her and she was as I anticipated, except more physically attractive than what I was expecting. Prettier with a flawless skin, plus bigger boobicles than her photos let on; I’d totally do her. An awkward kiss hello at the door to her friend’s cottage was followed by coffee and biscuits in the lounge. Not my typical date.
Yes, she’s a stereotypical blonde chatterbox, but I think she is gripped by a bit of nervousness. It turns out that I am only her second-ever internet date. The previous guy was as tall as her and not significantly taller as his profile said. The Saffa barely comes up to my shoulders. I think it a shame that the majority of women are so obsessed with their man being taller than them, but it works in my favour.
Hours of conversation reveals that we went to the same high school but at different times. I arrived there in the second year of high school which is when she left to go to a new school that opened in her suburb. All my school friends were hers too, yet we never met outside of school. We were like ghost ships in the night, gliding past each other, only visible to an astute observer.
Looking past the obvious South African connection, it becomes apparent that she has some baggage. Her previous long-term relationship of 8 years had ended 12 years ago when her partner died of cancer. Since then she has not felt ready for a relationship. She admitted to a couple of flings, one of which lasted 2 years, but she knew that she never loved him, but kept going anyway. I can’t be judgemental about that one.
It doesn’t take long for me to conclude that she fancies me too, because she started making unnecessary physical contact, brushing my arm or shoulder when speaking to me. We went for lunch in a restaurant in a nearby town and after lunch she responded very well to the “do you like chicken?” routine. Even after having to uncouple she would come back to couple up again.
Lots of positive conversation, but the stand-out items were unfortunately negative ones. Firstly, she intends to return to South Africa one day; I’m not prepared to do that as there a very bleak future there for me because of my skin colour. Secondly, when we were at the restaurant she struggled to make a decision about what to have and had to ask the waitress for a recommendation. This speaks of an indecisive person that is easily dissuaded and doesn’t know how to make a decision. This micro-issue gets magnified in her larger life in that she has moved to and from the UK three times. Thirdly, she has been retrenched 5 times in her life. That is unheard of in South Africa and in my experience speaks of someone who is a problem worker. She also recounted other workplace stores that told me that her employers moved her to a shit job in a hope that she would resign.
I have a dreadful cold, but that didn’t stop The Saffa from planting a big kiss on my lips when I leave. I wasn’t expecting that. I drive home with my head and heart full of conflicting emotions. It’s clear to me that she is quite taken with me. I wonder what our mutual friends have told her about me? Are their words colouring her perception of me? I did very little talking during this date; my man-flu reduced my energy level and I didn’t want to interrupt her.
She openly admits that she is a gypsy at heart, a constant wanderer. I don’t think that that is her intent, I think that’s how things have worked out for her. Is she relationship material? I don’t think so. Is she emotionally healthy? It seems not. She’s like a little bird, given to flight at the merest disturbance. This little bird is controlled by a vulnerability that she has become so accustomed to that it is now part of her nature.
I agree to meet her again for another date, but my hopes aren’t high. I feel like such a treacherous bastard for having anything to do with The Saffa. If Busty Blonde ever found out she’d be so hurt. Out of curiosity more than anything else I’m going to see The Saffa again. I must add that it is with a touch of reluctance.
Oh, there is also the little matter of meeting someone new soon. Now that date I’m looking forward to…
Nelly Furtado – I’m Like a Bird