How To Scare Your Date

First date red flags popping up everywhere

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Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

She had arrived before me. There she sat, huddled round the candle light for extra warmth. Her blonde hair cascaded down her shoulders. A slim woman with a strong presence. I knew this first date was going to go well.

The waiter pointed to where she sat. He was under the impression that this was our first rodeo. An air of expectancy surrounded her. She rose to greet me and I beamed my most dazzling smile. Eager to please, I pulled my chair up close to hers, leaning in so I could hear clearly, to take in her intoxicating aroma. She smelled of cherries and sweet blossoms.

She pulled back.

I pretended not to notice and signaled the waiter to bring me a double. Two fingers in the air aimed directly at the immigrant worker. A proud Polish man stressed with the ongoing debate about Europeans stealing all the jobs. He didn’t take kindly to my waving and spilt the liquor onto my crotch. He sneered when I asked for a wipe and threw his cloth violently at me.

My smile was weakening.

My date asked if I had any plans. I looked down at my wet crotch and told her I only wanted to get my pants off and into some clean underwear. I meant dry but the point was mute.

She pulled further away.

“In life. Do you have any plans in life was what I meant?” She wanted to go deep. I respected that. A long game player. I couldn’t help but show-off. I carried my plan with me everywhere. Ten pages long. A Five Year Life Plan laid out in one extensive Xcel spreadsheet.

She gasped. Clearly she hadn’t realized that I’d been planning this actual date for the last three years. I couldn’t believe she finally caved in and said yes. Her eyes spoke volumes as they rolled upwards.

She’d began to look around.

I was such a dummy not picking up on the signals. Her head darted from side to side searching for an exit. She needed this nightmare date to end.

I’d come from work and had my laptop on me. I was running through year three, the ‘Marriage Year’ and all that behold, when my 2nd drink arrived. My date told the waiter she was expecting a phone call and could he get her when the call came through. He winked at her and sneered at me.

I ignored the fact she had a mobile and thought how splendidly old fashioned she was asking for the house phone.

“That’s a bit forward isn’t it?” I asked her. Innocently, she said she hadn’t noticed. “The wink…” I let the accusation trail off. I wasn’t about to let a surly waiter spoil my big reveal.

“After the honeymoon, in Mallorca, Spain, we’ll move in with my parents. We can save money and then have the first child.” I thought she’d be happy to hear that.

“First? Mallorca? What the fuck…?” hissed my soon-to-be bride.

She stood up abruptly. The chair wobbled and collapsed. The effort of containment was too much for it’s wooden base. It died a thousand deaths. It’s purpose no longer holding it together. I felt for the chair.

“Don’t you want to hear the names of our children?” I cried out.

She muttered about the waiter signalling her. She apologized about the phone call. She said she’ll be quick. She said she’d need the bathroom too. She said that it was unlikely she’ll be back for the start of the meal. She said, begin without her.

I did.

I waited. Then ate. Then waited some more. I called over the waiter to ask if he could check the toilet. See if she’s alright. He nodded and haughtily stood at the bar giggling with his colleague, pointing in my direction. I imagined the worse.

I began to think that she’d stood me up. That she’d left. That maybe I’d need to revise my plan. It sounded like she didn’t like Mallorca. Or kids. I thought I’ll give her a quick call.

The number was blocked.

I’ll Messenger her but weirdly I found I was blocked on that also. Whatsapp too. Even my tweets were misfiring.

I knew then, with clarity, that my date hadn’t gone so well.

My life is filled with weirdness and awkward situations. I also hate with passion Paul McCartney and familiar strangers. I bear grudges against old men in speedos and mock interns with intent.

But don’t ever joke about lettuce…

Or teacher’s parties…


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