Following a few months well and truly away from dating, I found myself in a familiar bar spot with the girls on a Saturday night. We were a couple of bottles of prosecco’s down and talking about heading to a more classy venue in Mayfair, a conversation that we always had but inevitably ended up in Cargo (which for anyone outside of London looking a comparison is basically Sankeys…enough said) We also always ended up playing some ridiculous game like never have a I ever or some teenage type of truth or dare. Basically, my life hasn’t evolved since the age of 16, I just have more disposable income (and even saying that is slightly optimistic)
Anywhoo, as we drank our prosecco and chatted away, I looked over at the bar queue to see if now would be a good time to stock us up on another bottle. As I did, my eye was caught immediately by a guy at the bar.
Now, when a stranger catches your eye, lets be honest, it isn’t usually because of their mega hot personality, 9/10 times it’s because they are looking pretty. However, on this occasion, this wasn’t really the case. The guy stood at the bar was not my usual type, around 5”10 with dark cropped hair and draped in a dark green leather jacket (yes I said that), I couldn’t help but stare over. I recognised that guy from somewhere! Had I worked with him? Did I go to school with him?
The stranger turned around and I could now see his face more clearly.
Ok, so I definitely recognised him. Who was this man?… He looked over at the table and caught me mid stare. It was only at this point, I realised that I probably looked like a bit of a creep and was staring so intently I was practically squinting. Embarrassed, I looked away and shuffled for something to make me look preoccupied. This ended with me toasting a candle, great diversion and smooth as always.
After finishing my delicious candle, I walked over to the bar, keen to avoid the man I had just basically eye raped. As I grabbed the final bottle at the bar, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to be greeted by the stranger I had stared at rather intently earlier. Hmm, he was actually kind of cute.
“Hey” he said smoothly. “I’m Tim” and stuck out his hand.
What was this? A handshake? Mid bar? Formal. I awkwardly held my hand out to shake back (what else was I supposed to do?!) and I as I did eyed Tim over. He was actually kind of cute and it’s not very often I would comment on something like this, but had a very lovely voice (it’s what every girl wants no?). And I still really recognised his face. And as if he had read my mind (or very obvious staring)…
“Yeah you recognise me right? Don’t worry, I get it a lot, I’m on TV”
THAT WAS IT! He was a TV presenter, now I realised. I smiled, glad I wasn’t going crazy (already there fyi). He continued…
“But I couldn’t help noticing just how pretty you are. And let’s be honest you weren’t just staring because you thought you knew me” he smirked. I half expected him to finish the sentence with this…
Wow, next level confidence.
Not wanting to bruise his ego (as I wasn’t actually staring for that reason) I agreed to a date the next week. He was cute, confident and I do love an extrovert. As the week went by, I can’t say it wasn’t weird seeing the guy I was going on a date with on my TV every night and turns out, I knew more about politics than any other person in the office (one week only guys).
When Friday night came round, I headed over to the cocktail bar that we had agreed to meet. As I arrived, I asked the waitress for the table under Tim’s name.
“Sorry Miss” she replied “He hasn’t arrived yet”
I looked around the dimly lit cocktail bar and realised that the whole of the lounge was filled by pairs. I would for sure look like the third (maybe twenty third wheel) if I sat down now, so politely excused myself to wait in the local pub until Tim arrived.
As I walked into the pub, I felt a little more comfortable surrounded by a surge of Millwall fans (mega lolz). I pulled out my phone and text Tim…
“Are you on your way? I am waiting in the pub next door and going to grab a drink, what would you like?” I pressed send.
Within seconds Tim responded…
“Hey bae, running late, will be there is ten and do me a favour, surprise me yeah?”
Hmmm, 20 minutes late for a date and now trying to engage in some alcohol based trivia with me. Not a great start on Tim’s part. I ordered the glass of wine and waited for his arrival.
After another 20 minutes (not 10) passed, when like a whirlwind Tim rushed through the pub door.
Donned in a velvet blazer and chino’s, looking like a young Hugh Heffner, I was a little surprised at how over (and not so well) dressed he was.
“Bae” he exclaimed (dying inside right now) “I am so sorry I am late, I must seem like such an arse hole, but you know what the TV game is like”
I couldn’t decide at that stage what was funnier, the blazer, the comment or watching 10 50 year old Millwall fans roll their eyes and giggle as they shot me looks of concern. Tim downed the glass of red wine (without a thank you I will note) and whisked me away from the pub and to the cocktail lounge.
Thankfully (or maybe not so thankfully), we hadn’t lost our table and after being seated by the waitress and our first cocktails ordered, I finally began to relax, when suddenly.
“So, bae” he started (so loudly the rest of the cocktail lounge jumped simultaneously) “You are looking dee-vine, now, let me tell you what happened for me to be here so inexcusably late”
As Tim went into explaining the reasons he was late (that I certainly wasn’t listening to), I continued to observe him. Had he been this loud in the bar? And why was he trying to fit so adjectives into one sentence? I glanced around and the quiet looking couple of the table next to us, stared over, obviously agitated by the conversation around Tim being late that they could here… them and me both, what I would give to be the third wheel now…
“What do you think bae?” he asked. I snapped back from my day dream. Shit. What did I think. Should I toast a candle again? That would surely distract him. Nope, let’s just go for it…
“Yeah, I totally agree” I nodded (worth a shot). Wow, it seemed to work, Tim continued to talk as my agreement to the conversation seemed to appease him. And when I mean Tim continued to talk, I mean Tim continued to talk…
“This time on set once was hilarious…”
“And you know, when you get stopped on the street it’s pretty embarrassing…”
“Meeting Ricky Gervais was such a dream…”
“No one believed in me when I initially got into acting…”
“Girls just love knowing I am on TV…”
Two. Of. The. Longest. Hours. Of. My. Life. Later…
“So B, what do you do?” he asked (the first question he had asked me on the whole date!). It almost threw me off as I was awakened from my day dream where I had descended into thoughts around drowning myself in my shallow cocktail or how acceptable it would be to pretend faint on a date. I replied, but within seconds the conversation had veered back to Tim. Jeez, at least when he was on my TV I could turn him off – no option to do that here!
After another hour of Tim talk, I simply couldn’t bear any more and made my excuses to order my Uber. Tim followed me outside and was loitering around. Surely he couldn’t think the date had gone well?
“So B” he asked “Where are you heading back to?”
I told him where I was heading back to.
“Great bae!” he replied (loud as always) “I’m heading back that way, let’s pool”
Oh. Good. God. No
I couldn’t take anymore of Tim talk. But what could I say?
“I would rather walk home through Leytonstone and risk being stabbed than be in a confined space with you?” Probably a bit much.
As Tim and I jumped in an Uber, I tried to think of a way I could not engage? Do a pretend sleep maybe? No such luck. As Tim continued to chat, I continued to try and find inner peace
It wasn’t working.
As Tim continued to talk, I noticed that he had pulled out chewing gum and offered some to me. Surely this wasn’t going where I though it was…
“So B” he smiled (his very dazzling TV smile)
“Seeing as we are here, you know, in the back of this taxi, let’s make out like sixteen year olds, yar?” As he leaned in, I felt only one emotion…
“Sorry Tim, I don’t kiss on first dates” and with that lie told the Uber pulled outside my house.
As the Uber pulled away, I breathed a sigh of relief. Thank god that was over. What an awful start to being back on the dating scene. Well at least it couldn’t get worse than that I thought to myself. Turns out, I was wrong about that too….
Thanks for reading!