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Date of Destiny a.k.a. The hot date

On Sunday I drive for what seems like an eternity to get to Cambridge to see The Artist. I arrive after lunch and I get to meet her friends whom I instantly like. We get in my car which she makes approving sounds about while I’m struck by how natural it feels to be with her. It doesn’t take long for the chemistry between us to be almost touchable. I’m pretty sure that we like the look of each other, but there’s a definite meeting of minds as well.

The Artist has her hair down today and she looks lovely. I even tell her so and my words seem to lift her up. I find us parking in a multi-story car park in the centre of Cambridge and there is little drama involved. I can’t help but think how with my Exgf this mundane activity could lead to an argument. Outside we instantly hold hands and it feels good to me. I think she’s a instinctive hand-holder too.

Walking and talking with The Artist feels perfect. We feed off each other’s input and the last time I had this happen was with Baltic Babe. Through the confused streets of the academic district of Cambridge we walk, but I don’t think either of us notice a thing really; we only have eyes and ears for each other. We could be anywhere, it didn’t matter, we are engrossed in each other, lost in each other.

After a while I have a strange feeling inside me, like I’m in free-fall, but I know I’m not, it’s just a strange sensation that feels good. We can’t stop holding hands and I’m pleased that it feels like a totally natural fit the way our hands and fingers entwine. I can’t help but stop occasionally and kiss her. Each time it feels like it is our first ever kiss, it’s that good and exciting for me. Her smile tells me that she likes it too.

We wander aimlessly, just enjoying doing this together. This is what I want, this is what I have been missing, this is what I’ve been waiting for.

We stop in at a museum that The Artist visits regularly as part of her work. She needs to use the ladies and upon her return says to me the words I was hoping to hear. “Come, I want to show you my favourite things.” It tells me that she wants to share her world with me and is not afraid of rejection. It could also be her testing me, but I don’t think that that is her style of doing things.

It doesn’t take long before we’re standing in front of an exhibit and I watch in awe as The Artist comes into her own before me. She starts telling me about the technique of producing what we’re looking at, explains the variations and the history of these derivations. I listen politely as she speaks, not daring to interrupt her, but marvelling at her obvious passion for what she is talking about. It’s a beautiful moment that I will treasure forever more.

After a while we move along, making our way to the exit when I spot something that presents an opportunity to show her my cultural side, to display my knowledge of history which I think gives her some kind of brain-erection. She seems suitably impressed and interested in what I have to tell her too. We are definitely an intellectual match; that’s worth a lot in any relationship.

Dusk approaches and we become hungry, so we walk back to a pub that The Artist liked the look of. Sitting comfortably at a table for two, it’s a perfect romantic setting. Conversation is still flowing like a river of sweet nectar and we can’t get enough of each other. As the meal progresses it becomes dark outside, the restaurant dims the lights and staff put candles on the tables. She even looks beautiful by candlelight.

We hold hands across the table and I decide it’s the perfect time to find out conclusively just how compatible we are. I walk her through the Magical Forest scene and at the waterfall scene she jumps straight in. Perfect; same as me. With the wolf she stood her ground, while the house she first went in then ate what she wanted. That again is very similar to me in that she doesn’t run away from her problems (I attack) and she has a zest for life, just like me. I realize that her answers are the most similar to mine that anyone has ever given me in the almost thirty years I’ve asked these questions. Inwardly I go ice-cold while my heart goes warm; could she be The One? It looks and feels like it.

I want to tell her something nice, feeling cute, I beckon to her to come closer. She thinks I want to kiss her and she smiles. The Artist innocently leans across the table towards me. I smile to myself.

Ka-woosh!

Her hair catches alight!

There’s a football-sized yellow fireball on one side of her head and it’s about to spread to her face!

The strands from one side of her tresses has fallen onto the candle in the middle of the table. She must have used hairspray on herself for our date. Before she realizes it I’m swatting her hair with my hands as the fire is slowly spreading. Luckily I’m quick about it and douse it just as she realizes from my actions, the sound and pungent smell what is happening to her.

The Artist jumps up and runs off to the ladies. I look around the restaurant to see everyone there looking at us. The waiting staff are all rooted to their spots next to the tables they’re attending to, their jaws hanging open. The patrons all have eyes like golf balls. There’s not a sound to be heard. I think bubbles in champagne flutes stopped moving too. I look away and sounds of normal life return as voices murmur, cutlery clinks and bubbles flow again.

I think that this date will end here when The Artist returns to the table. She’ll probably ask me to take her to the train station. The embarrassment might be too much for her and I might never see her again. Damn.

When I set off this morning to fetch her, I had thought of this being a hot date; this is not what I had in mind.

The Artist returns and gives me the sweetest smile. Her hair seems fine, amazingly no trace of damage. There’s just an awful smell in the air, like that of grilled excrement but we try to ignore it as we resume our conversation. To my surprise she has regained her composure and continues like nothing has happened.

I was expecting the worst, but she is obviously intent on still being with me. I know for sure now that she wants me. Any other woman would have wanted to go home, but not The Artist, no she wants to keep going. My sense of relief is followed by a sense of comforting satisfaction. I think I’ve finally found The One.

After another hour of easy conversation I ask her opinion about Californication and she hasn’t even heard of it. I wonder what she’ll make of it? I have so many questions that I crave the answer to and I suspect that she does too.

The meal ends, but we don’t want the night to end. A moonlit stroll around the deserted historied streets of Cambridge seems a good idea – it might rid us of that awful smell from her hair – but after a while it becomes too chilly for her. I need a plan and quickly too otherwise this date will peter out and before I know it we’ll be at the nearby train station. Think, dammit, think!

“I don’t suppose I can tempt you with the first few episodes of Californication back at my place?”

“That might be fun,” she says with a coy smile.

Daniel Bedingfield – If You’re Not The One

Disastrous second date

I remembered The Finn telling me on our first date that her favourite cuisine is Turkish, so I did research on the web and found the best Turkish restaurant in North London. I make a booking for the next night and in the evening talk to The Finn about my plan. Unfortunately she had already been to that restaurant, but I wasn’t going to make another booking elsewhere.

On the day I get there very early and kill time in a nearby busy coffee shop. Two young women are at the table next to mine. One of them, a pretty brunette, keeps looking at me. I find that flattering but I do nothing about it. I don’t think I’ll ever have so-called ‘day game’ whereby I chat up a stranger whom I find attractive. In the recesses of my brain I keep telling myself that there’s a 95% probability that she will want children. I’d be wasting my time. I ignore her flirtatious glances and coy smiles. In the past two years I’ve had this happen several times and each time I rebuff the unsolicited attention. My friends think I’m crazy for ignoring these opportunities, but I know what’s good for me. Well, I like to think so. What intrigues me is how women know that I’m single.

I meet The Finn at a nearby train station and my initial reaction upon seeing her again is positive. She is the prettiest woman I’ve seen all day. The sight of her makes my blood flow faster. I kiss her hello on each cheek which makes her almost blush, then I lead us to the restaurant.

Conversation doesn’t flow easily and naturally. On second dates you find out a lot more about a person. Well I did. She never asked a single question about me again, which made me think that she isn’t taking me seriously as boyfriend material.

A far greater issue is that it’s becoming apparent to me that, besides a mutual physical attraction, we have very little in common. For example, I asked, “So what’s your favourite kind of movie?”

“I don’t watch much television or movies. I definitely don’t watch horror films.”

“Okay, so what’s the last music concert you went to?”

After much thought she answered, “My last concert was a Nordic music festival.”

“I see. I was meaning mainstream pop music.”

After more thought and an uncomfortable silence she answered, “I can’t remember.”

“Okay, not a problem.”

I’m trying to come across as making polite small-talk, but inside I’m becoming alarmed at her seemingly having little cultural pursuits and what she is into is nothing like mine. I’m trying to not make the date sound like an interrogation, but her answers or lack thereof was making it so. Nevertheless I persevere.

“What kind of books do you read?”

“I definitely don’t read horror stories.”

Silence.

What’s a guy to do?

For the rest of the evening it felt like I was pushing an elephant up a mountain. Conversation was as dry as the Atacama Desert. Her impenetrable answers give me no idea about whether she’s a Taker or a Giver, but quite honestly, I now don’t care because she’s become boring to me. What chemistry there was is fading.

I decide to stop asking questions and let her deal with the awkward silences. It’s an old dating tactic of mine to not break the silence, to let the other person speak their mind as it reveals much. She would do so every time by starting to talk about her favourite pastime of hiking. I hate hiking.

By the time the meal ends I have come to the conclusion that we have very little in common. Our interests and pursuits are worlds apart. The question is: Do I take this as an opportunity to broaden my horizons or do I decide that we have little basis for a relationship? This was to play on my mind.

Neither of us feel like dessert as the Turkish meal we had just shared was sublime. We chose to settle the bill, which I paid despite her offering to pay her half. I sometimes wish I wasn’t such an old-fashioned gentleman, but letting the woman pay even half would spoil the experience for me.

It’s a balmy Summer’s evening and a very pleasant temperature, so we decide to go for a walk along the high street where there are many boutiques, restaurants and pubs. She seemed to have eaten at every second restaurant that we passed, which surprised me because of how skinny she was. Then I remember that she confessed to having been on many dates.

As we walked past an old-fashioned butcher, she asks me, “Do you like venison?”

“Absolutely. I like all sorts of exotic meats. How about you?”

“Yes, me too. Growing up in Finland we’d have elk after the Summer hunting season.”

“Well, my town has a monthly farmer’s market where there is a butcher who sells all sorts of meats. Would you like to visit it sometime?” I asked, hoping for an enthusiastic response which would indicate to me that she was open to growing a relationship with me.

Instead I get a stony silence.

I now got the impression that she isn’t that interested in me. After all, if the person you were interested in invited you to visit their town with an implied visit to their home, you would jump at the opportunity, right? I feel down-hearted and somewhat confused by her inaction that borders on rejection.

It was now getting late so I escort her to the nearest Tube station. In that time I decide to test her by trying to kiss her. You can tell a lot from a kiss. Maybe this will be a catalyst between us and a relationship will spark into life? We approach an escalator and I stretch my strides so that I can stand in front of her. Was it going to be like the first kiss with Baltic Babe?

I turn around and face her, a naughty smile on my face. She smiles too and I think she suspects what I was up to. I lean forward to kiss her, but don’t go all the way in, choosing instead to hold back just a little bit, waiting to see if she comes in to kiss me too. After all, I don’t want to force myself on her and I was looking for an indication of interest and attraction. If she doesn’t come in for the kiss, then I would know that I was wasting my time and for sure wouldn’t be seeing her again.

The Finn puts a dainty hand deftly on my shoulder and leans forward to kiss me. Her lips are so fine that I can barely feel them. Our lips are badly mismatched and the kiss is unappetising; a big disappointment. It is my worst first kiss ever.

Instead of the date ending on a high, it was a deflated feeling. I got an answer about the level of attraction that she felt for me, i.e. minimal. I have also never encountered such a bad kisser before. I’m learning that a bad kisser gives bad blowjobs.

I wait with her on the platform until her train arrives. Conversation is stilted. She hops on board without any hint of wanting another kiss. We smile politely and I give a perfunctory wave goodbye as the train pulls off. A part of me suspects that I might never see her lovely face again.

Fuckit, I'm going home.

Fuckit, I’m going home.

By the time I get home I’ve decided that she isn’t right for me. Despite a promising first date, this second encounter was a big let down because it became obvious that we have very little in common. Our interests are too divergent and I can’t see a basis for a relationship other than what, at best, seemed like a mutual physical attraction. If all I wanted was easy sex then I’d spend more time on her, letting matters meander to the bedroom…or my sofa after watching Californication. She is beautiful and seducing her would no doubt be a sweet experience. That’s not what I want.

I’ve learned that first dates are about pleasantries and formalities; everyone is on best behaviour. On a second date you find out if you really have anything to talk about. By the end of the third date you know if you want to keep talking. With The Finn I know that I don’t want to keep talking and it’s only been date two.

The young White Knight me would have tried to see where things could lead with the Finn, but I have enough experience, knowledge and, crucially, understanding to know that I would be trying to make love out of nothing at all. That would be foolish and I’m not that fool any more. The me that I have become, this older Grey Knight, knows what needs to be done next.

The Finn was going away for the weekend to Finland for a wedding and returned on the Monday night. That night I sent her the following message:

I’ve spent a lot of time over the weekend thinking of you.

I’m sorry to say, but I have come to the conclusion that I do not believe that we are right for each other.

We just don’t have enough common interests that we can enjoy together. I have optimistically thought that we can introduce each other to new things and broaden horizons together. However, I realistically know that that is not likely to be the case. At this stage of life we are all set in our ways to a large extent and our interests are fixed.

I hope you understand, and perhaps even agree?

You are a remarkable woman and have much to offer – and deserve much in return.

I wish you all the best in your search.

Her response arrived a few hours later:

Thank you for emailing me your thoughts rather than becoming uncontactable. 

I know what you mean by perhaps not having enough similar interests. Although we didn’t really have a chance to find out if something you like could develop an interest in me or vice versa, which has left me slightly disappointed.

Anyway, meeting you has given me hope that there are decent men out there! You are a lovely guy and I really enjoyed your company and our chats.

Good luck with your future dates. 
All the best,

This experience felt cold, icy even. This was my time of Ice. Fire was next, but I didn’t know this.

LESSONS LEARNED: 1) A profile’s words has to invoke a sense of “wow – I want to meet her”, not be just a few pretty pictures. 2) Don’t get your hopes up until after the first kiss. 3) Physical attraction is more common than a cerebral connection.

Air Supply – Making love out of nothing at all

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

Wild Child and the Suicide Blonde

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m at a shopping mall outside London, waiting for Wild Child. I’m leaning against a railing looking down at a set of escalators below, trying to spot her. I notice a blonde woman with large breasts standing on a step as it ascends. She gets to the top and turns around. It’s Wild Child! She’s gone blonde, a bright yellowy blonde.

The transformation is startling and I swallow hard. I think that our first impressions of someone’s appearance is somehow indelibly etched in our mind’s eye, our lasting memory of them. If you meet a person with a certain hair colour, that’s pretty much how you’ll remember them. (In the same way that I remember the Picky Pole of the previous Sunday, except in her case it was the shabby clothes.) A radical change in appearance causes us to do a double-take and some time is required to make any kind of mental adjustment about how you perceive that person.

“Wow! That’s quite a change,” I say with a smile. It kind of suits her.

“You like?” Wild Child asks.

“Yes, I do,” I say with a degree of honesty. It’s my sense of surprise that might hint at a reservation.

“I’ve been meaning to do it for a while,” she says with a giggle that make her breasts wobble.

We catch a movie and afterwards end up in a Mexican restaurant. We start chatting. Wait, let me correct that; she starts chatting, I start listening. She doesn’t ask any questions about me, what I’ve done or what I think about something. No, Wild Child just keeps going with her vagina monologue. Can I be blamed for being reduced to staring at her tits when she’s not looking?

This woman is verbally incontinent. She prattles on about her shitty job, her shitty bosses, her shitty commute, the shitty place she’s sharing with some shitty guy, her shitty parents, her shitty ex-friends. I get to hear all of that in graphic detail. Deep joy. For entertainment value she starts telling me about all the things she read this week in her favourite celebrity gossip magazines.

Okay, so we’re intellectually mismatched. However, when life hands me lemons, I make lemonade. People like me cause communism. I always try to make the best of any situation. I think it’s a commendable character trait. So, all the time she’s talking, I’m sitting there wondering what her breasts feel like. Would she shut up if I slid my cock between her tits? Probably not. I bet she even talks in her sleep.

It’s getting late and Wild Child tells me that she needs to get to the train station to get a train back to her town. I had anticipated this and have brought my red sports car. She’s thrilled when she sees it; the adrenaline junkie in her is aroused. I’m in a generous mood and ask Wild Child for her postcode. She tells me then thinks about why I had asked that. As the realization dawns on her, I’ve already typed it into my sat-nav and away we go.

We’re speeding along a deserted motorway when she says to me, “Do you see that pub over there?” pointing towards a solitary building with a large car park sited just off the motorway. She does seem to know a lot of desolate places next to motorways.

“That’s not an ordinary pub. That’s a swingers club,” she says.

“And how do you know this?” I ask, excited at the prospect of finding out something naughty.

“Because I’ve been in there,” she says proudly before realizing what she just said.

“Do tell more, “ I coax.

“Well, an ex-boyfriend and I accidentally went in there once, thinking it was a regular pub,” she says. I wonder if the boyfriend was that innocent about that accident.

“What did you see in there?” I ask.

“A lot of old, fat people having sex,” she says with a giggle that makes her chest heave. Yes, I can spot that out of the corner of my eye even as I’m doing a hundred miles an hour.

“Did you join in?” I ask, pushing my luck.

“No. My ex-boyfriend wanted to, but I wasn’t interested,” she answers.

That little titbit reinforces my belief that she’s a reformed Good-Time Girl. What other stories does she have in her? I decide to concentrate on my driving, otherwise I might get too excited and cause an accident. Naughty stories will have to wait for another time. I reckon she has loads of stories.

We arrive at her home nearly an hour later and I decide it’s time for our first kiss. I know that we have no long-term potential and are woefully mismatched on fundamental levels, but I do want to seduce her.

“Thank you for a lovely evening. You’re such a good conversationalist,” she says without a hint of irony. It’s because I didn’t want to interrupt you, I think to myself.

I lean over towards her and look her in the eyes. She seems surprised but gets what I’m suggesting and giggles once, then leans in towards me too. Our lips lock gently and I hear her take a breath in through her nose. A couple of seconds later her little tongue shoots into my mouth. It tastes of guacamole.

There was a time when I would have flinched at having someone else’s tongue in my mouth, but I’ve learned not to, but instead let her do what she wants. Wild Child runs her tongue all over the inside of my mouth. I feel her spine stiffen; she’s enjoying herself. I resist the urge to put my hands on her body because I know I might give into temptation and grab a boob. Not very classy if I did that. One base at a time.

I remember to do my pussy-mouth test and slip my own tongue into her mouth for a few seconds. She thinks I’m teasing her, but the truth is I’m inspecting her. Yep, her mouth doesn’t feel tight or too wide, her pussy is likely to be the same, so she can handle my cock. Time will tell.

I’ve got what I needed to know, so I pull away, knowing that teasing her like that will leave her wanting more. Wild Child exhales, opens her eyes and smiles at me.

Without another word she gets out of my car and I watch her go through her doorway. She doesn’t look back.

The next time we get together, I’m going to try to seduce her.

INXS – Suicide Blonde

Date #10 – Quiet Katie killed me softly

I stood outside Tower Hill Tube station at noon on a Sunday going over in my mind the plan for the day when I sensed someone looking at me. I turned to see approaching me a tall, atrractive woman with auburn hair who was smiling at me; it was my date, the fourth in four days. She had bright, sparkly blue eyes and round, rosy cheeks. I kissed her hello on one of those cheeks. Let’s call her Katie.

As we neared the edge of the steep flight of stairs that lead down to the Tower of London, I said to Katie, “Do you like chicken?” and before she got a chance to answer or say anything, I continued with “Take a wing,” and offered her my bent arm which she accepted with a laugh.

Once at the bottom of the flight of stairs I moved my arm and she uncoupled hers. Yes, it might start with a cheesy line, but damn, does coupling arms break the ice! A lady can’t help but become more comfortable with me. I think the act also taps in to a deep-seated need in a woman’s psyche to know that her man is physically strong and can protect her. It also displays a dash of gentlemanliness and consideration. I might be wrong and deluded, but as delusions go, I like this one.

We walked around what would have been the moat to the Tower of London towards St Katharine’s Docks, past the restaurants and pubs that line the marina and towards the Dickens Inn. Once there we shared conversation over a pizza and some wine. Katie was a rare creature: a Londoner born and bred. I couldn’t help but ask how she perceived all the changes that had happened in the city. She didn’t seem to have an opinion.

I found myself broaching topic after topic and almost every time Katie’s response was a variation on “I don’t know”, “I’ve never thought about that” or “Let me think about it”.

That in a nutshell was the problem. She didn’t seem to have any ideas or opinions on anything. There was a vast intellectual gap between us so large that you could drive a London bus through it. For a while the state of the lighting overhead assumed a curious fascination and importance to me.

Snapping back into it, I was ever the gentleman and gave this date time to flourish. Perhaps she was slow to warm to people. Katie certainly seemed quite willing and able to smile a lot, but struggled to say a lot. I wanted to be with someone that I could share lively, funny banter with.

In my mind I decided to call her Quiet Katie.

I’m not a bad conversationalist and can talk to anybody about any topic. I’m quite well-travelled, having been to more than thirty countries on long vacations. I’ve even lived in three countries and hold two passports which I use regularly. I have a natural curiosity about our planet, its peoples, histories, cultures and cuisines. I like to think that I know how to keep a conversation going. I can find humour in pretty much any situation and I’m not backward in coming forward. In many ways Quiet Katie was the opposite of me.

Several months earlier I had bought a Groupon deal for a river cruise and high tea on the Thames. It was a surprise that I had been saving for Baltic Babe and had to be used by a certain date, so Quiet Katie was the unintended beneficiary. We walked down to the nearby Tower Pier and queued, waiting for the river cruiser. I don’t think she once started an avenue of conversation or asked a single question. Did she keep quiet because she didn’t want to interrupt me? To be fair, she did enthusiastically join in on any topic of conversation but it would peter out as she ran out of material to contribute.

Mercifully the river cruise came with a deafening audio commentary that pointed out all the sights as we travelled up the Thames to the Houses of Parliament and then down to the Millennium Dome and back. The booming cockney voice provided an excuse to not make conversation and be distracted by what we saw on the riverbank. The tea, coffee and sandwiches arrived and we ate in silence, politely smiling at each other when making eye contact.

Quiet Katie was a sweet, decent person who, much like me, was just looking for someone to love her. However, we were not a match. I was starting to think that if I gave her another brain-cell that the two would fight and that the battle would echo in her head.

Boring

Back on dry land I decided to cut my losses and end the date. She seemed ambivalent to this, but it had been several hours and it was getting dark. I walked her to the Tube station and bade her farewell. There was zero sign of emotion in her, nary a hint of relief neither.

The next night there was an email from Quiet Katie waiting in my inbox. All it said was, “Hi. How was your day?”

Oh lordy.

I hate the saying “no thanks and goodbye” part of dating. It’s just not in me to hurt someone else’s feelings. Well, a woman’s that is. I have no problem hurting men’s feelings; I actually like it. As an alpha-male, I always get away with it. I can bulldoze my way over men no problem, but I have utmost respect for women and treat them with kid gloves. Finding the right words to let a woman down is so difficult for me.

Revisiting the STD clinic would be more fun than another date with Quiet Katie. I decided to answer her email with a polite “no thank you”, but opted to also be honest with her because it was what she deserved. Doing so over the phone seemed like unnecessarily hard work, so I wrote to her saying that I found making conversation with her very difficult at times and therefore we didn’t have the kind of chemistry that I expect.

I have never heard from her again.

LESSON LEARNED: No matter how attractive, a lack of chemistry kills that initial attraction.