After The Smell I was ready to avoid Battersea altogether but then 3 things worked in the next guy’s favour.
1) He was cute. I’m a sucker for that Notting hill/ bloc party/ black-slack look
2) He was from Birmingham. Don’t ask me why but I have a soft spot for the accent.
3) He was a chef. A girl like me sees this like some girls see footballers and bankers. Maybe he could tell me what all the buttons on the cooker were for.
4) He lived in Battersea which meant he made the 45 minute dating zone eligibility.
Ok that’s 4 but he was REALLY cute.
We agreed to meet at Revolution bar. He walked in and I breathed a sigh of relief. He looked better than his pictures. By now I had my dating protocol down pat. No 1st date should last more than an hour. I always had somewhere else to be. This includes any lateness on their part.
Afterwards I surmised that it went well. There was something about him I couldn’t quite put my finger on. A nervousness perhaps but then my precious not everyone has had as much first date experience. We continued to chat online about work and life but my schedule was too hectic for a meet up. He seemed more available but then he said he worked shifts.
Then he called asking if I wanted to come round that evening? Too soon for an at home date perhaps but I was hungry. It was an 8pm meet so this had to mean……DINNER. I starved myself through lunch and contemplated which dress would forgive that extra portion. (I went with a Black A line number with stockings and heels.)
His directions were confusing. He lived on an estate with a stupid layout. I asked some youngsters and one kindly walked me and his Staffordshire bull terrier to the right building.
At the flat my eyes began to water and I really hoped that wasn’t my burnt dinner. It wasn’t. He was an extremely heavy smoker but that night I was going unfed. There was no heating in the flat so the windows remained shut and my coat on. I began to get that sinking feeling and I asked the “how was work” question.
Turns out he was on benefits and hadn’t worked for months. 23 months. I stepped through the food debris which admittedly smelt great and perched on a rickety sofa bed as his story of depression, benefits and dismal dating unfolded.
I can’t lie. We did have a fumble (did I mention he was cute?) and then…..he fell asleep! I woke him but he mumbled something and went back to sleep. Luckily the youngsters outside escorted me to a cab and I headed back home with a much needed takeaway stop.
My dating question list now includes current benefits status and/or mental health issues. He did call but his cuteness couldn’t justify his online lies and a lack of dinner. NEXT!!!