Date #2 – Second date and on the river – Sunday 15th July 2012 –

Baltic Babe and I had swapped a few more emails that Friday night and agreed to meet on Sunday at the Embankment in central London. I had planned the day ahead for us and she was happy to go along with whatever I had in mind. Baltic Babe was late, texting me that she had overslept after a late night. She joined me in the queue at the ticket office for Thames riverboats on the Embankment. She had seen a movie the previous night “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” which she poo-pooed as being silly. Standing in the pre-noon sun, we made small talk. All the while I secretly marvelled at how attractive I found her. I felt compelled to wrap my arms around her and give her a bear hug, but didn’t.

We caught a slow riverboat down to the old Millennium Dome as the Summer sun bore down on us. We sat near the bow and to the left so that she had a view of what there was to see. We didn’t do much spectating because we were engrossed in conversation. Baltic Babe liked discussing quite weighty, serious topics like the state of the economy, international politics and conspiracy theories. I enjoy and know quite a bit about such matters and found it refreshing chatting to a woman about such matters, especially one who seemed genuinely interested.

She didn’t know about the newly-opened cableway across the Thames next to the O2 Centre, so we did that. I had brought a camera and took some photos of her in the cablecar. She was a little under-prepared in the wardrobe department as it was chilly near the river, so I ensconced her in my jacket. She seemed to appreciate the gesture. I had brought a camera and we took turns taking pictures of each other as we sat alone in a cablecar suspended over the Thames.

After the cableway I led her over to the Dome and took her to a South African restaurant. For a petite-framed woman, she had quite an appetite on her. She had a steak as big as mine, but preferred a beer while I had a cider that she found far too sweet. Her table manners were impeccable; I value that in a person.

All the time conversation flowed effortlessly, regularly punctuated by laughter. I loved the sound of her laugh. We found what each other had to say of great interest. She was highly intelligent and interested in the world that we lived in. We fed off each other intellectually. With every passing minute I could feel her being more right for me, such was the intensity and quality of our interactions.

Baltic Babe and I could have talked until the sun went down and came up again; that was the impression I got. It was time to bring the date to an end and we made our way to a DLR station. At a flight of steps I decided to try something cute. It was a silly thing my mother had once told me about. I turned to Baltic Babe and asked “Do you like chicken?”. She replied “Yes, of course” to which I responded with “Take a wing then” and pointed an elbow towards her. She laughed out loud at the silliness of this, smiled coyly and put her arm through mine. Like that we made our way down the stairs, but upon reaching the platform, she didn’t let go. I liked that. We must have looked like such a youngish couple in love, standing there like that.

Once on the driverless train, we sat side by side, now even more comfortable with each other given that a bit of physical contact had been made. She told me that she had developed a back problem, probably brought on by her sedentary working life and stress. Her physio had said that she was to refrain from sex for a few months. I didn’t know if she was just testing me for a reaction, warning me off from expecting easy sex with her, but I couldn’t help but only smile. I didn’t say anything. I did want to have sex with her, but much more than that, I wanted to make love to her. I was aware that I was becoming quite taken with her.

There were several opportunities over the course of the day to have kissed her. I badly wanted to kiss her. I wanted to scoop her up in my arms, look her straight in the eye and slowly lean in toward her lips with mine, hoping that she responded positively. However, the urge was overcome by that nagging thought at the back of my head that she wants a baby. Every time that thought entered my head my ardour would subside.

Her train home was from Liverpool Street train station, so I escorted her there. On an escalator down to the concourse, I stood in front of her. I don’t know why she did this, but she felt the left side of my body with her hand, gently rubbing up and down my ribs. It set off a variety of emotions in me. I wasn’t too sure what to make of this, especially as I wasn’t expecting it. I said nothing of it and walked her to her platform from which a train was about to depart. We said a hurried goodbye and she scampered off. I went home in a foggy daze. I really liked everything about her, except for the baby thing.

I wanted to know more about her as I found her fascinating. The worlds we grew up in were so very different and we both enjoyed hearing and telling each other about our childhood years. We seemed to be able to tell each other about things we were mutually interested in and tell it in a similar way. There was a definite meeting of minds between us. More importantly and to my great relief, she loved my sense of humour. I could make her cry with laughter, literally. She just got my twisted, dark, sarcastic, naughty and unconventional view on the world and scenes before us.

Baltic Babe was too rare to simply ignore and walk away from.

Date #1 – Chaotic Saturday – 14th July 2012

It was going to be the Farnborough Air Show, something Tech Titan was interested in but had never been to. I had been a couple of times with friends who live near there. However, the weather forecast for the Saturday was dire. I couldn’t change our date to the Sunday because I had agreed with Baltic Babe to see her then. An alternative plan was needed if Farnborough was going to be a washout.

“Magic Mike” was a new movie that she had mentioned on one of our dates, so I booked tickets online to see that on the Saturday evening. On the Saturday morning it was drizzling in London and my friend near Farnborough called to say that he didn’t think it was going to be a good day and we agreed to skip the air show. I called Tech Titan with the bad news and she suggested going to the British Museum. I drove around to her place and we caught the Tube in to central London. She hadn’t had breakfast, so we stopped in at a Pret a Manger on Tottenham Court Road for coffee and pastries. It took several pastries and coffees before Tech Titan was ready to move on to the British Museum. She’s a big girl.

We walked around the exhibits in the museum, more interested in each other’s words and ideas than anything before us. Time flew by as the conversation was good, but we were becoming footsore. She was also becoming hungry again, but to be fair, I wasn’t too far behind her in that regard. We both felt like Chinese food, so we made our way over to Chinatown. I led us to my favourite Chinese restaurant just off Gerrard Street where dim sum was still being served. Tech Titan knew a few things about Chinese cuisine, which impressed me. She certainly was my intellectual equal.

The movie I had booked was being shown at a retail park near her home; I would have booked for central London if I knew how the day was going to turn out. We got back on the Tube and went back to her place where we jumped in my car and drove to the retail park. “Magic Mike” didn’t live up to my expectations despite starting well. It quickly descended into sentimental drivel, but Tech Titan enjoyed it nevertheless. The sight of scantily clad, muscular, gyrating men might have had something to do with her enjoyment.

It was now late and I thought it time to call an end to the date. I had no desire or expectation of having my way with her. I wasn’t even expecting her to invite me in to her home. I wasn’t disappointed at all when she didn’t invite me in to her place after I had driven her home. I didn’t try my luck with her in any way. It was the usual peck on each other’s cheek as we said goodnight.

Over the course of the day I had found myself thinking of my previous day’s date with Baltic Babe. On that date I felt infinite attraction and some chemistry – the slight hint of a relationship was also there. Most of the time that I was with Tech Titan, I felt conflicted. I was enjoying her company and it was good to be out dating again. Even though I felt no physical attraction for her – she was way too big for my liking – spending time with her felt good, albeit in a non-romantic way. I couldn’t see myself having a romantic relationship with her, no matter how much I liked her as a person.

Isn’t it interesting how, with enough time, things can change, usually in unforeseen ways?

Date #2 – Baltic Babe

I scoured a website that allowed you to browse its members for free. If you wanted to communicate with them, then you had to pay for the privilege. You had to create a profile to register, which I did. After many hours of looking at faces and profiles, only two stood out. One of them was of a cute little blonde Eastern European woman. Her opening lines I will never forget: “I am not English. If this is too much for you, stop reading my profile now. ”

That feisty, direct, funny, honest, cheeky and almost rude opening struck a chord with me. The rest of her profile was short and to the point and spoke of someone that I could identify with. To test the water I winked at her, wondering if she was a real and active member. I then favourited her and the other profile intending to return another day if I felt the urge to sign up. After all, paying out money for what could be two fake or inactive members that could also not answer me didn’t seem like a good idea. I clicked away to another dating website, satisfied that I had created a profile that might elicit some interest with the passing of time.

The next morning a pleasant surprise was waiting for me. Overnight the Eastern European woman wrote to me. It was a friendly and courteous message, which read “Hello from someone you have favourited. What do you think of this site?”

It took merely the blink of an eye for me to decide to sign up so that I could answer her. Once my credit card had been processed I crafted my response and sent it. Within a minute I got a response from the website’s system and an email to my hotmail account saying that my account had been closed. Stunned I set about trying to find out what had happened. No response from the website was forthcoming, but my payment was refunded. To this day I have no idea what had happened. Was it an omen?

A few days later I was browsing another website, not really intending to sign up as it was expensive compared to its peers. Then I came across her profile again, the cute little Eastern European. My curiosity got the better of me and I paid so that I could write to her. My first email explained about what had happened on the other site. I asked about her background and suggested that we meet when it suited her.

She replied the next morning and over the course of a couple of days we swapped polite questions and answers about our heritage, interests and pastimes. She was born and raised in one of the ex-Soviet Union Baltic Republics and this fascinated me. I too know what it feels like to be a product of a fallen system with my having been brought up in Apartheid-era South Africa. She suggested that we meet at Tower Hill tube station on the Friday at lunchtime for a quick coffee. We were off to a good start.

It was a bright sunny day in Summer as I stood outside Tower Hill Tube station. It was Friday the thirteenth. Lost tourists were milling around as I felt the sun on my back. I was excited, but not nervous, about the prospect of meeting her. How bad was her accent going to be? Was her English good enough to appreciate my sense of humour? Would we connect in less than an hour?

She was late and I found myself talking to a bored charity worker who had been canvassing tourists for her employer. You know that feeling when you just sense that someone is looking at you? I felt it coming from my left and my eyes locked on to a pair of striking yellowy-green eyes. Her head was askance and the look on her face was one of curiosity. I smiled at her and her head straightened as her eyes lit up and a faint smile relaxed her face.

I said goodbye to the charity worker and strode over to my date. She had continued walking and we met on the stairs outside the station. I gently took her hand and leaned down to kiss her on a cheek. I greeted her by name and she smiled broadly. She was as cute as I had hoped. She came snugly under my chin and had a petite frame. She was wearing a grey ladies office suit and she looked elegant in it. I was mesmerised instantly by her unusual eyes. Every man has a fixation with a particular part of a woman’s body and for me it is the eyes. I had never seen eyes like hers before. They were almost a jade colour, green with a tinge of yellow in them.

We walked along Tower Bridge towards St Katharine’s docks. She thought she was taking me somewhere new, but this was very familiar ground for me as I had once nearly bought a property here. As we walked I was very aware of how upbeat her posture and demeanour was. She would look at me, then look away and smile broadly. Her cheeks were round and rosy against her milky white skin. She did this several times. She was also almost skipping along next to me, she had a little girlish jump in her step, her head bobbing up next to my shoulder. I got the distinct impression that she liked what she saw. The feeling was mutual.

We went to the Starbucks to get coffee and pastries. She secured us a table outside while I got us our drinks and snacks. We sat with the sun behind us as the lunchtime crowd from the offices around the docks flooded the area. I didn’t really notice the people around us. All I remember seeing was her eyes and how the sun caught her blonde hair and would shimmer off it. I sat facing slightly diagonally away from her, leaning back in my seat. She sat on the edge of her seat, her knees together, pointed towards me with her hands clasped together in her lap. She was totally focussed on me. I remember these details, writing about them more than a year on, because the moment was magical.

We talked about a variety of topics, but especially about our working lives. The conversation was light and flowed easily. Her English was perfect, which I was impressed by and her accent I found sexy. My fears were misplaced. She laughed at my jokes when the opportunity for humour presented itself. The first time I heard her laugh I was taken aback by it. It was an uninhibited, joyous, guttural sound that came from deep within her. I liked the sound of it.

Toward the end of our date I made an off-the-cuff remark about dating sites being overrun by women looking for men to have babies with. Her body language stiffened and her aura changed. I had hit a nerve. She admitted that she was hoping to have a child of her own one day. I felt slightly deflated upon hearing this. Everything had been going perfectly until that moment. I didn’t dwell on it and moved the conversation along. We had a few more laughs and then it was time for her to return to her desk. The face she pulled told me that she wasn’t happy at her work. I escorted her back to the Tube station and we said our goodbyes.

I had the last word and said “If you’d like to see me again, let me know.” She smiled and walked off. I remained rooted to my spot and watched her from behind. I thought to myself “If she turns around and looks back at me, she wants me.” After a couple of seconds, in mid-stride, she turned and looked back at me. Our eyes met and we both gave a toothless smile. It was 2.15pm.

I went off to a bookstore to get a book that I wanted. I sat flipping through the pages of books, not really taking in what I was looking at. All I could see before me was her face, all I could hear was her laugh and all I could feel was how it felt being with her. Nobody had ever had that effect on me before. I sat replaying our hour-long encounter in my mind’s eye. I had a warm fuzzy feeling all over my brain for the rest of the afternoon. I knew that the child issue made a relationship with her a non-starter. I also knew that I wanted to see her again.

I went home later in the afternoon, never expecting to hear from her again. I was planning on sending her a polite email the next day saying how much I enjoyed meeting her and just leaving it at that. The child issue will have given her pause for thought. To my surprise she had written me an email at 3.13pm which said “It was very nice to meet you. I hope we can repeat the experience.”

Date #1 – Lunchtime date

Tech Titan emailed me suggesting that we meet up for lunch the following Wednesday. Seeing as I was unemployed, sleeping on my best friend’s sofa and had nothing better to do, it seemed like a brilliant idea. We were only a couple of miles apart and I drove over to her place to pick her up. I didn’t know exactly which terraced house was hers as I parked in her street. She eventually came out of a door and squeezed in to my car. We pecked each other on the cheek and I could see that she was in an upbeat mood. It was nice to be around someone cheery after the shit I had been through the previous six months with my ex-girlfriend.

I drove us over to a nearby high street where she knew a funky sandwich and coffee restaurant. There were rows of communal tables in the restaurant and although it was lunchtime, the place was only half full. I was concerned it would be noisy and that we wouldn’t be able hear each other. We ordered over-priced pretentious sandwiches and exotically-named coffees before finding a spot at the end of a long table in the centre of the room.

Tech Titan was wearing tight fitting clothing and I could quite clearly see her numerous rolls of fat. I could also see that she had enormous breasts which, in my mind, compensated for the unattractive lard. She had a “muffin top” too. If you don’t know what is, here you go: it’s when a woman (or man) has so much belly fat that it hangs over the top of their trousers, just like the bit of a muffin that creeps over the sides of the paper cup that it is in. Not a sexy look at all, but hey, some people might think so. I don’t.

We chatted about work stuff mostly as she was working from home that day and was in that frame of mind. Given that we did pretty much the same job, I think she enjoyed having someone to talk to who not only understood what was on her mind, but could also suggest solutions to problems and share insights. I could see that she was a dedicated person to whatever she was applying herself to; she always gave of her best. I like that as a character trait because that’s how I am too.

We ate our sandwiches and made small talk. I did find her very easy company. I liked her energy level and that she seemed to have a perpetually sunny disposition. Of course there was no way of knowing whether this was all an act and that normally she was a psycho bitch from hell. My mother used to say that “You only know someone when you’ve lived with them.” I’ve never really agreed with that, but got the idea behind it, i.e. it takes time to really get to know someone.

We took our time over lunch and ordered more silly-named coffees. She was in a chatty frame of mind by now, perhaps all the sugar was kicking in having had to take a little longer than it does with smaller people. I just let her talk, paying attention to what she chose to speak about and how often she was including me by way of asking me for input of some kind. More than anything I sat there feeling conflicted.

The thing was that I didn’t really fancy her. I didn’t want to jump her bones, so to speak. She was just too large for me to find attractive. Great person and pleasant personality. Shame about the package.

Tech Titan said that she needed to get back to work, so I drove her back to her home. I didn’t bother getting out of the car this time and we pecked each other goodbye. Neither of us made any mention of another date.

I should have ended it there…

Date #1 – Tech Titan

My very first date was a girl who had a very brief profile and just one fuzzy picture, not a profile I would even consider writing to nowadays. It was my first foray back in to the dating scene since the demise of my previous relationship. The attraction was that she fitted my most basic requirement i.e. blonde and that she lived only a few miles away. I considered it dating practise more than anything else because it was over five years since I had last dated anyone. There wasn’t enough to her profile for anybody to get their hopes up about.

In the lead up to our date, after swapping a few emails, I had phoned her to discuss the details of our date and I got her voicemail message in which she mentioned her full name. I immediately Googled this and found a treasure trove of information about her, including a video on YouTube. The video was of her delivering a paper at an industry symposium. Her LinkedIn profile made for interesting reading. She did the same job as me in IT. Given her obvious size and the role that she did in IT, I shall now call her Tech Titan.

She called me back and we chatted amiably and got along fine on the phone. We met outside a local pub on a Sunday at noon. Her initial impression was a lot more positive than I expected – I liked what I saw, despite her carrying quite a few more pounds in weight than I would have liked. Tech Titan was friendly, smiley, positive and upbeat. We were both a little nervous. My heart was in my throat, but I didn’t let it show. I opened our conversation by asking her not to mention anything about her job because I had spent time with Derren Brown and wanted to practise what he had taught me by figuring out what she did for a living. Meanwhile, I knew full well what she did, courtesy of her very detailed and public LinkedIn profile.

Conversation flowed easily and we got along well in person too. After lunch I asked her to give me her hands – it was time for me to tell her what I thought her line of work was. Tech Titan smiled cynically, but duly obliged. I had her hands before me, palms facing upward while I moved each of my index fingers around the inside of her palms in a slow, circular motion. I made quite a show of appearing to look deep in to her eyes and to feign going through a process of discerning her skills, experience and past employers. While I delivered my little routine I could feel the formation of cold, clammy perspiration (men sweat, ladies perspire) on the inside of her palms as a small degree of fear and consternation set in on her part. Her smile had now become more nervous and there was hint of bewilderment in her eyes. My show culminated in saying who her current employer was and what her job role was. By this point her hands were cold and wet, her jaw hanging open, eyes blinking sporadically with my every word. I took my index fingers out of her palms, sat back and smiled thinly.

Tech Titan was aghast. “How did you do that?” she stammered and half pleaded to know. I let a silence grow in intensity as we looked at each other. “I Googled you” is all I said to break the tension. Her reaction was one of even greater confusion. “But you don’t know my full name” she exclaimed. I explained everything and, to my relief, she laughed. This little gimmick had served as an impromptu character test. Many women would have reacted quite negatively I realised in hindsight.

I was enjoying her company and it felt strange, albeit a little demanding, to be on a date with someone new. I found myself having to think about things I had taken for granted for several years. I had to ask about her likes and dislikes food and drinks-wise. I had to apply myself to keeping the conversation going. Empty silences can be frightening if on a date.

I had parked my car nearby while she had come by train. It was Summer and I had hoped that our date would go so well that that she would be inclined to move to another venue with me. I knew of a park nearby in Golders Green that had a small zoo. I hadn’t been there for years, but knew that it wasn’t likely that we would end up back there. Nevertheless, ever the boy scout and optimist, I had bought a box of jaffa cakes and stashed them in my glove compartment. Tech Titan had mentioned in our phone conversation that jaffa cakes were her favourite naughty pleasure.

My suggestion that we go on to a park went down well with Tech Titan. In a silly, jocular move as we were approaching my car, I said to her “Do you normally get in to a guy’s car who you have only known for a few hours?” She laughed and got into my car as I held the door open for her. It didn’t take long to get to the park and just before she got out of the car, I said to her “Look in the glove compartment. You might see something you like.” She did and laughed when she saw the jaffa cakes. With the surprise dessert in hand we walked towards the park that was lined by very large bushes and trees with hanging branches heavy with leaves. There was a parting that led to a path. I stopped and turned to her and said, “So do you also just go into the bushes with a guy you’ve just met?” As usual she laughed and we walked through the parting on to the path.

We walked and talked, eventually arriving at the zoo, which she enjoyed. She had lived in North London many years and didn’t know that this zoo existed. We found a bench in the shade because she had a very fair skin and burned easily. We sat sharing the box of jaffa cakes, talking about everything and anything; family and upbringing mostly. By now we were very comfortable with each other. I felt relaxed and was enjoying the novelty of fresh female company.

Did I think that she was the person I was always meant to be with? No, I didn’t get that feeling. Did I want to take her to bed? I wouldn’t say no. It would be an interesting experience given how big she was. I had never fucked a woman so large. I have always had an affinity for women more on the petite side of the size spectrum. Tech Titan did seem to have rather large breasts, at least double d’s.

However, the sexual side of things would just have to wait. I only get intimate with a woman once I feel we are right for each other and after several months, at least, of getting to know each other. That has been my philosophy and I was proud of it. I don’t mind telling you that I had only slept with three women in my life so far. Yes, I was 40 years old and had only slept with three women. I am not the type to jump into bed quickly with anyone. With my last girlfriend we had sex for the first time after only a month, which I felt was too rushed.

The sun was starting to slide across the sky, so I offered to drive Tech Titan home, which she gladly accepted. She lived in a terraced house in a not-so-great area a short drive away. I parked and, standing next to my car, we said a brief goodbye which included a kiss on each other’s cheek.

She smiled, looked deep into my eyes and said “I’d like to see you again.”

I blinked, smiled and answered, “That would be nice.”

I didn’t sense any kind of romantic future between us. I wasn’t too sure whether I should see her again. I didn’t want to use or risk hurting her in any way; she didn’t deserve that. I also didn’t feel a driving urge borne out of desire to want to see her again, but it had only been one date.

There was no way that I could have known then what lay in store between us…

Quiz on my face – Late June 2012

My best friend and I were living together. I had finally left my long-term girlfriend at the beginning of the month. The novelty of sitting around feeling sorry for yourself wears off quickly. He had been internet dating for a few months, but without much luck. Just one oddball that he found interesting and entertaining, but distinctly not relationship material.

His preferred dating site was offering a night out to members that was a cross between a comedy night, a speed dating event and a pub quiz. Ladies would be assigned to tables where they would remain for the evening. The men would move between the tables after a few questions in a pub quiz that involved topics such as love, romance and relationships. It was a manner of getting everybody at the table talking, a la speed dating, but on a group basis. After a couple of rounds when men had changed tables a few times, proceedings would be interrupted by a stand-up comedian. After that the quiz and table swapping would resume. Nice idea right? It’s all in the execution.

My friend and I would go together, but truth be told I wasn’t that interested, I was far more interested in changing my belly-button fluff. He needed a wingman and I felt compelled to oblige given that I was staying with him and had done so at short notice. This was a big step in his world, walking in to a room full of single women. I found the thought of it slightly daunting myself. It didn’t seem too far off from walking past the cosmetics counters in a department store, staffed by those overly made-up women who glare at you if you’re a man, as if you had just groped their backsides.

I arrived early and scouted around the venue, walking through the roads and sidestreets of London that surrounded it. True to form, my mate messaged me that he was going to be late. He’s always late. I reckon he’ll be late for his own funeral. So I had little choice but to enter the venue a few minutes before the stipulated time. It was in a pub that had turned it’s main floor in to a seating area with collections of tables and chairs. There were about a dozen people present, mostly women, scattered about. The hostess at the door took my name and gave a me a table number to start off at.

I stiffened my spine, took a deep breath and walked toward the bar. I got the distinct impression that eyes were following me. I ordered a cider and looked in to the mirror behind the counter that spanned the wall. I noticed two women at different tables looking in to the back of me. Drink in hand I turned to go find my seat at table 8. The table was against a window and two relatively attractive fair-haired ladies in their late twenties or early thirties were sitting there talking to each other.

I sat down and introduced myself to them. They reciprocated and easy conversation ensued. They were friends and one of them (the less attractive one) was actively looking for a new relationship. The more attractive one, ok the one I fancied more, wasn’t looking as she had just come out of a relationship. We chatted about anything obvious and it became apparent to me that the less attractive one was very chatty with me, very forthcoming in conversation and was leaning in towards me. The one I liked the look of was leaning back in her seat with her arms crossed.

When I told them that I was there just a wingman for my best friend and wasn’t on the prowl as I had also just come out of a relationship, the whole dynamic changed in seconds. The less attractive one sat back in her seat and didn’t say a word to me the rest of the night, while the one I fancied unfolded her arms and became very chatty.

The venue was filling up quickly and eventually another youngish lady joined our table. She was petite and so softly spoken that I couldn’t hear a word she said. Then two guys in their early thirties joined our table and the whole tone of the evening took a turn for the worse. These two were so noisy, boisterous and embarrassing that I could only but keep quiet for a few minutes. The less attractive gal starting chatting to them, encouraging them almost and the noise level became unpleasant. I suspect that they had some Dutch courage in them. It became impossible to hear anything that the softly spoken little pixie said, even though she was sitting at my shoulder. A few more men and women joined our table, but I couldn’t catch their names as the two jackasses were making so much noise.

Eventually the master of ceremonies took to the stage, welcomed everybody and explained the procedure for the evening. After 3 quiz questions, all the men were to move to another table in a clockwise fashion. Ladies “teams” would remain seated and claim the answers or points for their table, the men were just helping out. Each table had to have a name. One of the jackasses suggested “Quiz on my face” and for some reason, nobody suggested anything else and table 8 became known as that.

Inane questions about all things related to love then ensued. This resulted in pandemonium at all tables. Most of the men at all the tables went in to over-drive trying to show off and it became almost impossible to hear anything. Because it was so noisy, the only way to make yourself heard was to be as loud as possible – and everybody across the room was doing this. It was a horrible experience. Is this what happens when a room full of testosterone and oestrogen meet?

I sat back in my seat, slightly disgusted with proceedings and really not enjoying myself. The attractive gal to my right leaned forward and we started chatting as best we could, ignoring everyone else. She had an easy smile, twinkling eyes and pleasant demeanour. If I was on the prowl, I would go for her. Looking around the room I could see three more women that I liked the look of. Going to their tables was going to be interesting but hopefully we could hear each other.

The comedy act took to the stage and she was Romanian with a perfect grasp of the English language with only a slight hint of an accent. While she was doing her routine, I became aware of the fact that the attractive gal to my right was repeatedly knocking me with either her left leg or left arm. I thought nothing of it and dismissed it as just her being a fidget.

It was time to move to the next table and all the men stood up. It was only then that I noticed how short the two jackasses at my table were. I’m six foot one inch tall and these two twats barely came up to my shoulder. I wondered if there behaviour was driven by Short-Man’s Complex. I now thought of them as two little yapping dogs, mouthing off in an attempt to get attention – any attention. I bade the ladies at my table farewell and moved over to my new table.

There were five women in their late twenties or early thirties at this new table. The Twats and two other oddballs caught up to me. I deliberately moved as quickly as I could wanting to have a few moments alone at the new table. I introduced myself and shook hands with each of the ladies, repeating each of their names as we shook hands and made eye-contact. One of them I liked the look of, but before any clever conversation could commence The Twats started their loud boyish behaviour. I looked at the ladies and could see that they were a little taken aback, not knowing what to say.

Three of the ladies were work colleagues, while the other two were independent. “Quite brave of a woman to come to an event like this by herself” I thought to myself. Or really desperate…or really easy…or badly wanting a baby. One of them, Helen, who had come by herself, wasn’t the best looking gal at the table (only one was), but she had bags of confidence and was quite lively. For some reason I believed her the type to take one guy home on the night and have a good time in bed with him, then kick him out asap and never see him again. I could never be with a woman like that.
Three questions were fielded and raucous pandemonium reigned almost throughout. I didn’t get much chance to talk to any of the girls and the one I liked the look of was seated furtherest away from me. Then it was time to move to a new table. Once again I moved fast because at this new table there was a very pretty blonde that I wanted to talk to. Not because I was hoping anything would come of it, but largely because I find blondes irresistible. Sad but true. After the round of quick introductions I immediately started talking to my target. It turned out that she was Czech and her English was not good at all. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. What must it feel like to be in city like London, single and not being able to speak the language? Especially London where everything moves at lightning speed, people don’t have much time for each other and there are multitudes of accents and cultures to contend with.

The room quietened down as the master of ceremonies was speaking. Except for one of The Twats (the gobbiest one) and one of the oddballs who were engrossed in a heated debate over something. Everybody near to hand was staring at them, but they were oblivious to the world, intent on their little duel of egos. The Oddball was a lanky, geeky character with a bizarre name. When introducing himself he compounded his bad initial impression by spelling his name out, emphasizing that it has a “y” and not an “i” in the middle of it. Their high-spirited exchange wasn’t going to end soon and even the MC had stopped speaking and was also looking at them. I tapped the oddball, who was to my right, on the shoulder and told him that the MC was speaking. He stopped momentarily and then resumed his heated exchange with The Twat. Only they were speaking in the room and everyone present had now turned to look at them.

I was getting annoyed by these two, so I grabbed the Oddball by the shoulder and said “Mate, shut up! You guys are disrupting the show. Everybody is looking at you.” Undaunted, he shrugged my hand off his shoulder and turned to The Twat, intent on carrying on. The Twat meanwhile had heard what I said, looked around and realized what was happening and turned away from the Oddball. Thus their argument died and the MC recommenced with proceedings.

Many people kept their gaze on these two numpties for a few seconds afterwards. I reckon most were thinking what I was thinking, which was “And that’s why those two are single.” They used their personalities as a contraceptive. This evening was becoming a drag, perhaps not just for me.

My mate then arrived, late and last, as was his style. He always claims something about making a grand entrance. I always say a lot of negative things in response. He joined his table, acknowledged me with a smile and got in to the spirit of things. I wondered what he was going to make of all this.

Three more questions and much more noise. I didn’t bother making small-talk with any of the other ladies present at my table. I was now not in the mood. I looked over to my friend and saw that he was leaning forward, a stern face, battling to make himself heard at his table too and probably struggling to hear anybody, just like everybody else.

There was a pause in proceedings and another comedian took to the stage. His routine wasn’t that funny and I suspect I detected a collective sigh of relief when he left the stage. It was time to change tables again. I made a beeline for the next table because a little cutie that I had been eyeing all night had a seat open next to her. I was trying to make the best of the evening and seeing if I could strike up a conversation with her was an appealing idea. She was just over five foot, thus short, petite frame and had long, curly, light brown hair…and big fat juicy boobs.

I got my seat next to her and didn’t waste any time in getting chatting to her because I knew the window of opportunity was short. There was a lull in proceedings, so I got more time with her than I had anticipated, which was good. We chatted amiably about all sorts of things. She was Scottish, from the Highlands and had been in London for a few years. She was very friendly, bubbly and conversation flowed easily. She was asking questions and initiating topics of conversation which gave me the impression that she was enjoying my company. The conversation took a turn for the serious when she started asking about children. I answered quickly and honestly that I had decided against it. It was as if I had hit her through the face with a fresh, wet Scottish salmon. Her whole demeanour changed and she partially turned away from me, her face visibly unhappy. I was astounded by her sudden change in attitude. I tried to continue the conversation, but she wasn’t interested, only giving curt replies and little eye contact. The evening was getting worse with each change of table. Could it get any worse?

The usual three questions were fielded amidst the predictable torrent of verbal diarrhoea and cock-fighting between the guys. Surely women were not enjoying this spectacle? Perhaps they were inwardly laughing at these jackasses, especially The Twats? I tried making small talk again with the Scottish lass but it was obviously wasted breath on my part. I couldn’t make conversation with the other women at the table as they were mesmerised by the shenanigans of The Twats. A drinks break was called and the bar was flooded within seconds. Great, already bad behaviour was now going to be compounded with alcohol.

For the lack of anything else to do (I’m not a big drinker and the bar was crowded) I turned one more time to the Scottish lass and asked if she would like a drink. “No” was her curt reply. “Rude little bitch” I thought to myself.

I was starting to look forward to the next table change. In fact, I was starting to look forward to the evening ending. I looked over at my mate at another table and could see that now he was slouched back in his seat, his hands playing with his phone, not talking to anyone and looking around the room. It seemed he wasn’t enjoying himself either.

The table change was called, I bid the ladies at my table farewell and moved over to the next table which had been obscured behind a column. There were four Chinese ladies sitting there. Only one of them spoke English. I was spotting a trend here. I was dreading the next table change. What awaited me then? Medusa, Catwoman, Miss Haversham, Cruella Deville and Sharon Stone?

Even The Twats fell silent at this table. The Oddball starting texting people on his phone. I tried to get a look at the next table. This was where the last of the three cuties that I had spied out earlier in the evening was. The optimist in me said, “Things can only get better”. I made some small talk with the Chinese girl who spoke English, largely as a way of defusing the obvious tension and discomfort in the air at this table. What the hell were they doing here? What was their game or expectations? I was too polite to ask.

The last of the three questions were fielded and the answers were scribbled down by a lady at each table and then taken to the stage where the MC sat dealing with the administration of them. It was suddenly and unexpectedly announced that the evening was ending. People were surprised, as was I, but I was also slightly relieved. I was willing to forego meeting the last cutie. What was the point? I wasn’t looking for a relationship.

The scores were totalled and the winning table was…Quiz on My Face. Back where it all began, all those hours ago, two in fact. Back where there was time for a decent exchange of banter and even an involuntary touch or two. Back where someone not looking had met someone not looking. A wingman met a winglady.

The MC invited people to partake of the bar revisit someone you “found interesting” and almost immediately unnecessarily lour music started playing. I thought for a moment about going back to table eight, a.k.a. Quiz on My Face and chatting to the very first two gals I had met. I looked over at my mate, saw the pained expression on his face and knew instantly that he wanted to go. His tilting his head towards the door confirmed it. I bade my table’s ladies farewell and made my way over to the door where my mate and I met up. We agreed that we wanted to leave. As we turned for the exit I noticed the Scottish lass walking past. We made eye-contact, I said “Good night” with a smile. She just glared at me and walked out. I was stunned by her behaviour.

Outside my mate and I walked past a table where the four Chinese women were sitting smoking. They just looked at us as we walked past. I felt a little bit bad about not going to say a few words to the two girls at table eight, but I was happy to be leaving.

My friend and I sat on the train home discussing the night’s events. We were of a like mind – that it was an unpleasant experience. Neither of us were keen to repeat it.

Before I fell asleep I thought about the behaviour of the men that night. It bordered on disgusting. Women can not find that attractive, all that verbose, loutish behaviour, chest-thumping and cock-measuring. I was so very different to all those guys that I observed. How would I be received by women? What was my marketability on the dating scene? Who could I meet?

I was very curious. There was only one way to find out.

I decided to go internet dating.

And that is how it began…all so innocently and so well-intentioned…

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

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