“Excuse me, sir, but I’ve had a complaint that you’ve been aggressive toward this gentleman,” I hear the venue manager say as I turn to face him. Next to him is the drunk who only minutes ago was making peace with me. I’m astounded, but before I say a word, half a dozen people spin around and start pointing fingers at the drunk, all talking at the same time telling the manager what had happened. Rarely have I felt so supported by total strangers. I didn’t have to say a word as the manager was filled in, who then turned to the drunk who started arguing with the manager who in turn eventually pulled a funny face and walked off.
I turned away from this lot, knowing that the less attention I gave this twat, the better for everybody. Why me? I was starting to wonder if he was jealous of me because the prettiest girl in the place was totally into me while no woman would even talk to him. He obviously has no idea what to say to women, thinks that splashing cash around will compensate for what he lacked (a personality) and has no self-control.
Conversation with the two sweet ladies before me resumed but they were nervous about his presence, their eyes constantly darting in his direction. They were not going to relax until he was gone. I was racking my brain about how to get rid of this guy.
The drunk slams a bucket of ice with a bottle of Moet champagne on the table.
“Here you goes. Have this on me!” he bellows.
People turn to look, concern on their faces. I make make eye contact with some of them and smile, hoping it disarms them.
Again the drunk starts talking to me, saying I know not what because he can barely stand without swaying now. I’m not going to provoke anything, I’m going to let this play out and hopefully he gives me enough cause to get the manager to throw him out.
Instead he adopts his conciliatory tone again and keeps shaking my hand. “I’ll see you here in twenty years time,” he says again, but I don’t think anybody else watching understood a word that came out of his mouth. Eventually he stops repeatedly shaking my hand, grabs his bag and saunters off. Everyone around me heave sighs of relief, smile at each other and let their shoulders drop. People come up to me and congratulate me for keeping my cool. All I can think about is how the stunner feels about all this.
The good-hearted strangers leave me alone and I turn to my companions, half expecting them to have left amid the hubbub. They were still there smiling at me. The stunner’s eyes were twinkling. She’s lovely. That arsehole might actually have done me a favour of sorts.
A sense of normality returns to the night, to the table and the stunner is leaning in as close tot me as she can. After all the years of dating more women than most men ever dream of doing, well, I can read the signs when a woman is into me. The thing is that her being a smoker is a big obstacle to me. Maybe I can help her kick the habit by providing a little motivation?
The stunner starts hurling more probing questions my way and almost every time my answer results in her friend making an approving face as she turns to the stunner. The two of them live together and seem to know each other quite well. I’m enjoying their company. This night is starting to feel good again.
Out of the faceless crowd a drunken Irishman steps up to the friend and starts talking to her while pouring her a drink from the bottle that he has thoughtfully brought along for the glasses he’s carrying. The friend is shocked at his brazen audacity, her face screaming, “God no! Not another one!”
Is this the done thing with idiotic knobheads nowadays? They throw money and alcohol at disinterested women? I can see why so many of the women that I have dated have said that most of their dates have been horror shows. Ever since that very first ‘comedy night’ all those years ago it seems that my competition has not cleaned up their act. I feel sorry for women on the dating scene.
The stunner starts talking to her friend, in an attempt to rescue her from the unwelcome interloper. The guy’s speech is slurred and the friend has a new boyfriend. I feel sorry for her because she was being a dutiful wingman friend and was suffering for it. The stunner stops talking to her friend, leans over the table to me and says, “Please talk to her. She’s trapped.”
I think quickly and come up with a better solution.
“Now what would your boyfriend say if he saw you now?” I say loud enough for the latest drunken fool to hear.
My words hit him like a bolt of lightning, he seems to instantly sober up and stiffens his spine, collects the glasses and without a word walks off. At least he had the courtesy of leaving without any fanfare, pretty much like how he arrived.
The friend opens her mouth in amazement and we high-five. What is the stunner making of me I wonder.
I excuse myself and go to the gents. The guy standing next to me at the urinal starts complaining about how “hard these London women are”. Now that I know of which he speaks. My occasional peeks around the room showed me that some women had gone home first to get dressed up, which is not a bad thing, but it shows me how serious they are taking this event, like it’s a competition. I noticed very little hair flicking going on. I’ve only seen one woman making unnecessary physical contact with a guy by occasionally touching his shoulder if they laughed about something. I’m not getting the impression that any serious relationships are being forged tonight, which surprises me. I think it’s that ‘abundance’ thing of big cities, where people always think that they can do better than the person they have in front of them.
Returning to my table I’ve barely sat down when the stunner hits me with her latest question.
“Are you kinky?”
What?! Did she just ask me if I’m kinky? No, surely not. Did she say ‘thinking’? No, that makes no sense. Did she say ‘sinking’? No, that makes less sense. Her friend is looking at me with very serious eyes. This one matters; got to get it right.
“I’m sorry, it’s getting noisy in here. Can you repeat the question please?” I say.
She leans forward and says, “I want to know if you’re kinky,” with a deadly look in her eye.
Shit, I did hear right.
I think of a joke as a response. “Do you know the difference between kinky and perverted?”
“No,” they both say.
“Kinky is when you use a feather. Perverted is when you use the whole chicken,” I say, to which they laugh raucously. Job done?
“No. You’re not answering my question. Are you kinky?”
Bloody hell, she’s an intense little thing, but that means the sex will be good too. This is why I don’t drink much when on a date because it allows me to think clearly and quickly. I come up with, “I’m as kinky as you.”
That nothing answer seems to please her and she says, “Good, because I’m not kinky.”
I quickly introduce a new subject and lively banter between the three of us ensues. After a while the stunner looks at me and says, “So tell me, which one of us are you interested in?”
My strategy of giving most of my attention to her friend has worked perfectly. She can’t tell who I am interested in, which heightens the sense of intrigue in her. Seeing as her friend had a new boyfriend and would not be interested in me, it was illogical that I would be interested in the friend, but my deception was so complete that she couldn’t figure this out. I have learned to play women at their own game. The most important thing, however, is the fact that she asked this question, which confirms to me that she’s interested in me because she wouldn’t want to know otherwise if she wasn’t feeling some attraction to me. Right or wrong?
I look at her, I look at her friend, then say, “Well, she’s not available, so I guess I must be interested in you,” and look the stunner deep in the eye. In that moment all sound disappeared and everything that had transpired before in the evening was forgotten. We looked at each other like two tigers coming across one another in a clearing. Bubbles of oestrogen and testosterone collided and fused invisibly before us.
The friend then looks at the time on her phone and it’s almost 11pm. It’s been quite a night for all of us. Despite the drunken arseholes, it has turned out well, or so it feels. Now just the matter of closing the deal.
I say to the friend who is checking her phone, “Do you want to take my number down?”
The stunner immediately intervenes and says, “No!” so emphatically that I’m taken aback. The friend’s face falls and her eyes go big, she says”Whaat?!”
The stunner looks at me and says, “I’m old-fashioned. You must take my number.”
“Okay, I respect that because I’m old-fashioned too,” I say as I reach for my phone. Typically, for the first time ever, my phone’s battery is dead. I show this to the stunner and I say to her, “Sorry, but you’re going to have to take my number.”
She gives me a stare and I just smile back. Eventually she relents and gets her phone out. I give her my number and ask to check that she got it right. She phones it and gets my voicemail.
“There. Now you have my number too,” she says haughtily.
We gather our belongings and get ready to brace ourselves for the cold that is waiting for us outside. I lead the way, intending on walking them to their nearest Tube station. As we make our way through the crowd, strangers are patting me on the back, shaking my hand and saying nice things to me about how I handled myself earlier with the drunk. I’m not used to playing the conquering hero, but the timing is fortuitous because I’ve just met somebody unique who I am already looking forward to seeing again.
I feel a sense of appreciation towards the dating website because despite my years of subscribing and only having a few dates, they laid on something that I feel I got more than my money’s worth. I had a memorable evening for good and bad reasons, but I have no doubt that the good will be the prevailing memory.
Outside I offer to accompany the two ladies, but the stunner asks me, “Where is your station?”
“It’s one block behind me,” I say.
“No. Then you must go to that one.”
“I’m kind of old-fashioned too,” I respond, looking deep into her perfect eyes.
“Thank you, but it is not necessary.”
“Okay,” I say and watch them walk off.
The way the interaction ended, with her asking me not to come along tells me that I’ll never be seeing her again. I have enough experience now to know that somewhere towards the end she decided that she was no longer interested in me.
Was the evening a disaster and a total waste of time? No, I’m actually glad that I went. Firstly, I got to see what one of these events is like and although I’m no longer intimidated by such a setting, I have no interest in experiencing it again. Secondly, I got to see just how far my people skills in terms of conflict handling has evolved. Thirdly, I got far more attention from women than what I was expecting. Over the course of the evening I did notice several women repeatedly smiling at me, a come-on-over signal, but I wasn’t too interested because the stunner had my attention. There was a short, chubby little blonde who in particular stood out as being desirous of my attention. I’m still marketable, which is good to know.
The next day I go onto the dating website and find the stunner’s profile. Notably she has the premium subscription which tells me that she is being very picky and perhaps has trust issues because she has chosen to hide her online activity record so that nobody can see when she was last online. Why do that? The only other person who I knew did that was my best friend and he certainly was not relationship material. She has also told a few lies on her profile, such as her age and nationality. In truth I find her profile boring and uninteresting. If I was after a brunette, no matter how attractive she is, her profile would have put me off.
Nevertheless I send her a text message inviting her out.
She never replied.
Roxy Music – Same Old Scene