‘It will be fun’, they said!
After months of my friends trying to convince me, I finally gave in and decided to try internet dating. I felt slightly apprehensive about joining, but was looking forward to getting out and meeting some nice people.
Once a day, I’d have a look. Every now and again a picture would catch my eye and I would delve deeper into their profile. About two months in, I came across a man who piqued my interest.
He appeared to be quite tall, smartly dressed and had taken the time to give some pretty in-depth detail about himself, while lots of profiles I’d come across were merely a picture or a few irrelevant lines (if you’re lucky).
I took the plunge and sent a few lines introducing myself and quickly had a response back. He was well mannered, articulate and very keen to meet after just a few messages. This should have been my warning.
I kept the conversation going by telling him I would like to know a bit more about him before I committed to seeing him. And, the more I found out, the more it seemed we had in common.
He told me he liked nice restaurants and loved the theatre; both things that I love as well. The more we messaged, the more boxes he ticked – everything I said I enjoyed doing, he did too.
I suddenly heard a noise that made me look up (Picture: Claire Hattrick)
After three weeks of daily chat, I agreed it was time to meet up and he suggested coming down in my direction. We lived 45 minutes apart, so that suited me as it gave me more time to get ready and make myself look my best.
I drove to meet him the next Sunday, at a lovely quaint pub for a drink. I arrived five minutes early and parked up next to the entrance. I had been waiting in the car for about 20 minutes – he was only late by about 10 – when suddenly I heard a noise that made me look up.
There was someone in a light grey Nissan Micra (Ex Motor Trade Girl, so I know my cars) driving far too quickly into the stone laid car park. The car hit a rather large pothole and the front bumper of the car sheared off. I looked at the driver closely, and realised that this was my date.
I looked away for fear of him seeing me laughing and cringing at the same time, as others in the car park were all staring at this point. He got out, picked up the bumper and put it on the back seat. I then got out of my car and tried to make out that I hadn’t seen. As he walked towards me, I was in total disbelief at the state of him.
He was wearing an un-ironed scruffy shirt with a great big stain on it. As he got closer to me, I could smell stale beer – it also seemed as though he hadn’t cleaned his teeth in a year, the smell was horrendous.
We went inside the pub and it was very busy, so I looked for somewhere I could ‘hide’ with him, in fear of being seen
I backed off and offered my hand to shake as a greeting, as I was not getting any closer than necessary. I walked in front holding my breath – and things were about to get a whole lot worse.
He looked nothing like his photos on the dating site. His pictures had shown a very smart, suited and booted, immaculately dressed man. In reality, he was anything but.
We went inside the pub and it was very busy, so I looked for somewhere I could ‘hide’ with him, in fear of being seen. We didin’t meet too locally to where I lived, but that didn’t stop how embarrassed I felt by how loud he was.
I had no intention of staying for long and immediately decided I was leaving after an hour, max. We ordered drinks and sat at a tiny table. He was quite chatty and as he got more into the conversation he got louder and louder – and louder. He was talking about his family, his career and at one point I specifically remember talking about Sylvester Stallone films.
There were children having Sunday lunch in front of us and an older couple behind, so when he started to swear everyone was turning around and looking in our direction, and so I asked him to talk a little quieter. He just laughed, began speaking quieter but gradually got louder again.
The smell from his breath was so bad that I was leaning as far back on the narrow table as I could, until I realised that I almost had my hair in the dinner of a little boy on a nearby table.
The whole thing was a disaster and I was praying for the time to go quickly. We had nothing in common and he was nothing like I had imagined, or how he had come across in his messages.
He chatted endlessly about his career and divorce, which became very tedious when he repeated the same thing several times, and told me that his cat had been part of the divorce settlement but he had won.
As time went on, I could feel myself trying not to yawn and was discreetly looking at my watch. He was very insistent that we had lunch but I was firm in saying I was off to friends’ later in the afternoon for dinner and so couldn’t stay.
My nose grew about a foot that day, but sitting there with a filthy, smelly, dishevelled, loud, swearing, Nissan Micra driving man was not my idea of fun.
I disappeared to the toilet and texted a friend of mine to say, ‘never again.’
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When I returned, I made my excuses and said it was lovely to meet him but I really had to go. As we walked to the car he tried to kiss me on the cheek but I managed to dodge it and walked quickly to my car (not easy in heels), saying my goodbyes as I went. I didn’t wait to see if his car started, or if anything else fell off as he left.
He then sent me a message when I arrived home saying he’d had the best time and asking what I was up to that night. I sent a polite reply saying I didn’t think we had much in common but good luck with his search.
I haven’t been on any dates since, though perhaps to your surprise I wouldn’t write it off in the future!
You can read more of Claire’s writing here: Clipboardclaire.com
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