Carefully thought-out poses of her skiing, snorkelling, cycling and dancing showed a young, attractive woman actively enjoying life. Curiously she was Russian, a Buddhist and claimed to play rugby. As an ex-South African I think I was taught to pass a rugby ball before I could walk. A stunning rugby-playing, Buddhist Russian I just had to meet.
I had blotted out the previous night’s date with Potty Mouth as I stood waiting for my date outside Covent Garden Tube station on a cool Friday night. As tourists marvelled at the historical sights and Londoners made for the pubs and restaurants, it occurred to me just how business-like our email exchange in the previous week had been. It was refreshing to have a woman agree to a date within three emails. I like decisiveness and detest wasting my time swapping endless emails that ultimately lead to nothing because the other person just can’t bring themselves to meet in person. That had been happening too often in the previous months.
When we spotted each other her face remained deadpan while I smiled. I kissed her politely on the cheek and said hello. She didn’t say anything in response and started walking off, her eyes said “follow me”, so I did. What the fuck?!
She led me to a small quiet pub and confidently she went inside, strode past strangely quiet drinkers at the bar and went up a flight of stairs at the back of the place. Intrepidly I followed this tall, blonde Russian who hadn’t said a word to me. Was I going to walk through a black curtain into a dark, smoky room where a guy with a Russian accent wearing a trench-coat and holding a briefcase was going to ask me if I was Red Bear?
The stairs led to another floor that had a small bar and six tables with chairs. One table was free and we headed for it. The others were occupied by couples that were on dates given their smart clothes and stiff body language.
“What would you like to drink?” I asked.
“A black Russian,” she said, finally speaking and doing so with a sexy, rasping voice.
I returned with our drinks and when I sat down she gave me a very pleasant smile. We began to chat and her English was nearly fluent. She was intelligent but a little dull for me. After an hour I decided that there was no chemistry between us.
Then I spotted something.
If she turned her head away from me and the faint light was strong enough, I noticed that she had blonde facial hair where a man would have side-burns. At first I thought nothing of it, but noticed it more and more and hopefully wasn’t staring at her.
Then I noticed her top lip…it had a very bleached moustache. When I was young enough to want to look older, I grew a moustache. Hers would have rivalled mine.
I subscribe to traditional gender stereotypes, especially the one that says ladies should have little hair on their faces. It just wouldn’t work if my girlfriend reminded me of Chewbacca. How Photoshopped were her photos?
The more I looked at her, the more I realized that she was the hairiest woman I had ever come across. How hairy was she under her clothes? I really didn’t want to find out. All attraction toward her flew out the window quicker than a bad wig flying off on a windy day.
We had another round of drinks despite me knowing that I didn’t want to see her again. I felt very sorry for her and wondered if her being hirsute was the reason that she was single. Behind the polite smile and clever conversation I got the impression that there was a very active brain whirring away. Undoubtedly she had an agenda of her own, but I didn’t really care what it was.
I walked the hirsute Russian to her Tube station and waited on the platform with her. As her train approached I said to her, “It was a pleasure meeting you. If you would like to see me again, send me a message.”
She smiled and got on the train without saying another word. Hello and goodbye didn’t come easily to her.
Nobody warned me that internet dating could lead to me discovering the missing link or sharing a drink with Yeti’s lovechild.
I’ve never ever heard from her again, but more than a year and half on at the time of writing, revisiting the Happy Humping Ground website, I saw that she had logged on recently and her pictures hadn’t changed
I was starting to believe that dating was a numbers game and after enough dates, I would find Her. I was looking forward to the next date that I had lined up for the following evening…with a German psychologist. Could she be The One?
LESSONS LEARNT: Pretty pictures on dating profiles are deceptive. Don’t go on a date just because you like the pictures.