Dear future husband: Mr Inconvenient
Dear future husband,
James: “What did the cheese say in the mirror? …. Halloumi!”
Me: “Gouda one, pretty punny! please go to the top of the class”
That future husband was my first exchange with James (Jaff). As openers go on POF this was an instant win in my book. After a mini pun war, some six nations chatter, contextual Anchorman references and banter on the messages, I was more than curious to meet this cheesy punster.
Jaff has text me to say he’s running 10 minutes late… I sip my drink and play with my phone in attempt to look occupied sitting alone in an otherwise bustling bar. Fifteen minutes later – I’m no further on candy crush, still dateless and feeling like a bit of a plum.
Phone vibrates and it’s Jaff – “where are you?”. I peek over balcony and spot a guy in a sailing jacket standing looking around at the bar. I consider running down to fetch my date but given that he’s made me wait, instead I text back a cool “upstairs”, quickly fluff the hair and try to look aloof…
However a further 5 minutes goes by and I’m still sitting alone. Has he still not read the text? Or has he seen my (now limp) hair and run away? A girl I know from a rival law firm shoots me a sympathetic smile from across the room. Aarrrgh! Right! I jump up from the table and skip downstairs to retrieve Jaff.
Jaff has extremely long eye lashes and as we get chatting I feel as if I’ve known him for ages. Jaff is nothing like my usual type, as friends know at 6ft and a half inch, I can be extremely heightist and Jaff is both a couple of inches shorter than me and completely bald. Yet I’m attracted to this cheeky chap. Curiouser and curiouser thought Alice…
We make each other laugh with some self deprecating humour and Jaff has plenty more brilliantly rubbish jokes in the bank. I crack a few of my own and he knocks them right back at me. It turns out not only does he play rugby but is the lead singer in a band, has run from John o’groats to Land’s End and performed stand up comedy. Holy smokes batman I might need to up my game here!
One of Jaff’s first questions is the question I have been dreading, which is what challenge I’m doing this month. Awkwaaaard. I pause to look at him and know I want to tell him the truth. I blather on nervously trying to explain that he’s not some kind of experiment and nor am I bunny boiler and offer him the opportunity to get up and leave. Jaff, smirking throughout, thankfully stays.
Time rolls on and we are the last two people left in the bar and staff are poised to close up. We part ways but before we do he asks if I can squeeze a second date in with him this month between the dating escapades I have planned. Without hesitation I agree.
As I drive off I try to process our encounter. I was expecting my first roll of the dice to be a Mr Uninspiring or someone with some horribly humorous flaws to write to you about. This is particularly inconvenient.
Second date seaside shenanigans
As a competitive person, I jump at the chance to show Mr Inconvenient my sporting prowess with some crazy golf. Nothing brings you closer than the fear of emasculation. I take an early lead on the first 4 holes and feel jubilant but fortunes turn as a rogue hair gets stuck in my eye (a factor I maintain was decisive here) and Jaff steals the lead and (despite my elaborate distraction techniques) clinches victory.
We take the high road on the cliff top towards Hengistbury Head, the wind is blowing a hooley and my hair is now candy floss but it’s a gorgeous sunny day and I stroll on unphased. As the sun beats down I develop a sweaty back from keeping my gilet on (a fact I possibly overshare with Jaff). Time for a pitstop me thinks!
We race down the steps onto the beach, which then puts the scores 2-0 to Jaff (boo!) and duck inside the cafe for a hot chocolate. Feeling in a silly mood, I take a big slurp face first and continue talking nonchalantly with a cream covered face. Jaff falls about laughing. Sadly I hadn’t factored in the chocolate dusting, which coats my nostrils and is seemingly incapable of being removed without actually picking my nose. An option I conclude is probably bad date protocol.
I excuse myself to go picking in private and as I stand up Jaff also confesses I have something brown in between my teeth. Mortified. I rush to the mirror to reveal a mustard seed from the bluddy panini has lodged itself in between my gnashers. Staring back at me is not the nautical chic I had gone for but rather a mustard toothed sweaty girl with wild hair and a brown nose. Bluddy marv.
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
Third date and Mr Inconvenient and I take our seats to dinner at the Grand Café. Vino flows and our mouths are suitably tickled by the mini soup (bit like chipshop curry sauce), pate and a vol au vent.
Jack Sinatra, a charismatic crooner is on the microphone and we tell him it’s our first anniversary (not untrue as it has been one week). Sinatra dedicates ‘Mack the Knife’ to us and the diners are up singing and swaying. We begin a game whereby we must take it in turns to outdo one another in expressions of gratitude to the waiting staff. The game starts gently and culminates in Jaff launching into a gushy monologue about the dessert and how it reminds him of our (fictitious) holiday to Italy. The waitress listens politely but clearly thinks we’re somewhere on the spectrum.
We split the bill for our ‘first anniversary dinner’ and as I punch in my PIN number, I exclaim “you’re so romantic!” to which Jaff replies “happy first anniversary you!” and we run off laughing to ‘New York New York’ leaving behind some pretty perplexed bar staff.
(1920s night. Jaff wears an ill fitting suit. Alice wears a blue squirrel)
Funny things start to happen when you dabble in the future. I was fully expecting (and hoping) for a month of average to crummy guys to make you chuckle. It goes to show that sometimes the best things come when you don’t expect them. Mr Inconvenient and I have since had a few more dates and at the end of the challenge we’re now exclusive. We’re having fun and who knows where it will go.
All for now,
Update: After 10months and some great adventures including a hitchhike to Istanbul and banger rally across Europe, Jaff and I have decided we are better as friends.
The best thing I’ve learnt from this challenge is that there’s no such thing as a bad date only funny stories.