Goldilocks tries three bowls of porridge: one is too hot, one too cold, the last is just right. In my experience, most first dates fall into one of these three categories.
A perfect example of a ‘too cold’ date for me took place at University. Having left a respectful period of mourning after the conclusion of my first proper relationship (friends can vouch that I wore only black and ate only tinned pineapple for approximately 3 months), I was ready to date again – and luck would so have it that a half man, half string-bean (not green, but scarily lanky) asked me out on a date.
The evening arrived and we strode toward the train station (well he strode, I scuttled like Sebastian the crab to keep up with his freakishly long lunges). The date was to take place at a cinema a short train ride away – his choice, I’ve always thought that the cinema for a first date is a bit of a cop-out. Then again, perhaps that’s because I’m unable to talk throughout the whole thing in a bout of nerve-induced word-vomit (my usual M.O. on a first date). Past the eerily dark train station establishments of every English town, (kebab shops, solariums, betting shops), we arrived and I started towards the ticket machines –
“Oh don’t bother, they never check for tickets on this one!”
He said, as he marched ahead – looking over his shoulder with what was probably meant to be a cheeky grin – for me, it was the anarchic mirth of the Cheshire Cat. I could already feel panic rising in my stomach at the thought of being caught – didn’t he KNOW that it was a £200 fine for travelling without a ticket or validated oyster card?? At that very moment, the train pulled up to the platform and I was forced in a split second to between present myself as either un-sexily uptight, or carefree and cool. I chose the latter.
To describe my hands as merely ‘sweaty’ on that journey would be like comparing Niagra Falls to a small puddle. At this flagrant disregard for the rules, my nerves entirely took over – on the upside, String Bean seemed entirely unaware of this. He launched into a monologue about the results of some sport game or other, for which my participation was certainly not required.
Finally (time feels an eternity when you are secretly wiping your precipitating hands in your coat pockets – at hopefully unnoticeable intervals), we arrived. The smell of cinema food hit me as the automatic doors opened and I was filled with childhood memories of rucksacks hiding squashed sandwiches (à la Ron Weasley). I stared enviably at the children carrying buckets of warm popcorn and absurdly large drinks clunking with ice – surely this would be my long overdue chance to join them? Alas, it wasn’t to be. I was promptly lectured on the obscene pricing of food in cinemas, which I didn’t see fit to argue against, given my delicate state after the life-or-death train journey.
The film was without a doubt one of the worst I have ever seen – I won’t name any names, but it rhymes with Des Wiserbaables. After hours and hours and hours of singing, fighting, wailing, and more singing; I was ready to steal a loaf of bread to smother myself with. To make matters worse, String Bean was totally enraptured by the whole thing – a spidery hand squeezing my knee at especially rousing moments of song, etcetera. Perhaps he saw a reflection of himself in the constant and determined marching hither and thither.
So, the date came to an end with an inevitably awkward (and bony) hug. Yawning, Goldilocks climbed into her housemate’s bed and recounted the entire tale.The tears of boredom soon became tears of mirth – they lived happily ever after, and never, ever ate string-beans again.
Tune in next Sunday for my experience of a ‘Too Hot’ date – please note that this includes references to candle-light and experimental jazz, so is not appropriate for any readers with an easily triggered gag-reflex.