A couple of weeks ago, something quite remarkable happened to me. Unfortunately, I didn't wake up sporting an extra head and a forearm covered in glossy pink scales (imagine the money making potential if I had!), however, I did do something that would usually be a complete no-go for me. I went for dinner, with a man, on a first date. A real dinner, with a real man, on a real first date.
Once upon a time, after dropping a spoonful of my nan's delicious homemade spag bol on my face at a family dinner (I am capable of wonderful things), I made a vow that I would never, ever let a man take me to a restaurant on a first date. Added to the fact that I have a terrible habit of eating like a Rottweiler, I prefer a first date to be completely chilled out, without the added pressure of a not-so-sly audience glancing over to watch my awful table manners every five minutes. After all, forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't awkwardly laughing at the ridiculously awkward couple, sat in silence at the table opposite, one of the most beautiful perks of dining out in the first place?!
However, despite all of this, I found myself in a half-swanky Italian restaurant, in a pair of brand new, shiny heeled boots, sitting opposite a deliciously handsome man that I'd met for the first time just ten minutes previously. I know, I'm wild. Not only was Joe the gorgeous electrician the first man that I've ever been to dinner with on date number one, he was also the product of a three week flirtatious messaging frenzy that had begun in the wonderful world of Internet Dating. No pressure then...
Luckily, I'd booked a room in a hotel before realising that this would be the same night that Joe would be able to come down and see me. Despite the assumptions you might be making about this, I can assure you that I hadn't planned it, and that the whole night was perfectly innocent! It was however, a welcome relief, as it gave me full opportunity to play loud music to try and distract myself from the voice in my head that was saying 'you look like a beaten walrus'. It also meant that I could have a complete nervous breakdown that involved pacing up and down the room at about 657 miles per hour, talk absolute sh*t to myself, and contemplate throwing myself out the window.
You'll be pleased to hear that by the time I got Joe's text to say that he'd arrived, I'd convinced myself that jumping out the window for the sake of an evening with an attractive man wasn't the best idea I'd ever had. Shaking like a leaf, and having some kind of heart palpitations, I took a very deep breath in, and made my way to the lobby.
Joe was even more ridiculously handsome than he was in his photos (I'll be honest, I didn't think it was possible!) He had dark hair, piercing hazel eyes, a cheeky smile, and a polo top/more than adequate bicep/slim fit jeans combo. In other words, he may as well have been the definition of sex appeal. Trying not to let on the fact that I was a) in the middle of a silent panic attack, and b) trying to refrain from kissing him there and then, I casually strolled up to him, threw my chubby arms around his gorgeous neck, and told him how relieved I was that he wasn't a 76 year old man called Norman. He laughed, a little more awkwardly than I had hoped, and wollah, the evening I'd been anticipating since his very first message had begun.
After wandering around like a pair of confused tourists for a good twenty minutes, trying to decide what we fancied eating (I figured 'your face' might have been a fairly unsophisticated and invalid response so early on in the evening), we settled for the discussed half-swanky Italian restaurant. He was very gentlemanly, holding all doors open for me, and asking no questions when I chose the table at the very back of the room, in the furthest corner from civilisation. In hindsight, he probably thought I was a Class A weirdo the second that I did this, but at the time, it was definitely the best possible way of avoiding the not-so-sly audience.
The second that I sat down, opposite this fine hunk of a man, I had one of those 'note to self- remember this moment forever' moments, not because I'd fallen in love with him at first sight (as thrilling as this may have been, I'm afraid it just didn't happen), but because he was just so fudging-flipping-fiercely attractive, and for this evening, if only for this evening, this fine piece of male anatomy was all mine.
We skirted over the cliche first date conversation topics, and then moved into less standard areas of discussion such as transgender relationships, how many pairs of Converse he has in his wardrobe, and how many jars of marmite it would take to fill a bath up with it. By this point, all awkwardness had waved us a fond goodbye, and we were chinwagging away like we'd known each other for ages. Conversation wise, though we got on like a house on fire, and there was definitely chemistry, it wasn't necessarily the kind of chemistry that was about to catapult us into a string of ten more dates. It struck me that this date, and this chemistry, was all about 'tonight', and if I'm being honest, that made it all the more exciting!
Having eaten all of his dinner, and half of mine (Miss Generosity, I know), I was pretty amused when Joe decided that he was also having dessert. I've never met a man that can eat more than me, which made him seem even more masculine/desirable/attractive, and made me feel like less of a hungry Rottweiler. When he fed me a few spoonfuls of dark chocolate ice cream, and gave me a cheeky little wink, I was convinced that Joe was Christmas come early. He was very well spoken (men that speak well make me weak at the knees every single time), very confident, but also very down to earth, which made him extra appealing. I realised, that although we weren't relationship material, our connection in person was quite exhilarating, in a kind of 'you best spend the last 3 hours of this date kissing me' kind of way.
Once we'd finished dinner, and had a brief debate about whether to split the bill (he won, and paid- what a babe!), it seemed silly for him to drive for an hour and half home again straight away, so I invited him back to my hotel room to a) look at the hideous cushion covers I'd been telling him about, b) talk absolute rubbish with each other for a few more hours, and c) to give me the kiss I'd been thinking about since the second I'd seen him standing there in the lobby. I appreciate that this probably makes me sound like the kind of woman who lures attractive men into love dungeons under the false pretences of 'looking at hideous cushion covers', however I was not prepared for him to go anywhere fast.
After getting back, and putting my reindeer coated Christmas socks on (I so know how to impress a man), we put a film on and continued rambling away about all sorts of fine and wonderful things. He randomly stated something along the lines of 'oooh look, that's the woman who plays Cruella De Vil!' He was probably a little too excited about this fact, so I decided to be controversial and start our first argument by telling him that he was absolutely wrong. Being a man, this resulted in a 12 minute Google search just to prove me wrong, which indeed he did.
In a jokey, half-bitchy kind of voice, I said 'I'm a woman, I'm always right, even when I'm wrong'. I think this might just be one of the best things I have ever said, as within about 3 seconds of the words escaping my mouth, Joe, the oh-so-ridiculously-kiss-me-right-now-gorgeous electrician was holding my waist, and kissing me. Worth the wait is an understatement! He was an absolutely incredible kisser, and is a genuinely lovely guy, that I'm sure I'll stay in touch with.
When he left, at about 2am (after a good 3 hours of kissing, cuddling, and Cruella De Vil related banter), I couldn't help but wish we'd had the romantic/let's-talk-on-an-emotionally-deep-level chemistry that I'd so thought we would. After all, I could most definitely get used to evenings like that.
Joe and I have both said that we had an absolutely lovely evening, and completely agreed that we're on the same wavelength. This was a very welcome relief, as the last thing I'd have wanted was for him to disappear off of the face of the earth simply because he thought I was scribbling hearts around his name in a pink notebook. He said he couldn't understand why I wasn't (quote, "I'm handsome, sexy, ambitious, lovely, and the rest"), but he agreed that he had no desire to do the same for me either, and we decided that a spontaneous, chilled out second date full of marmite admiration and kissing would definitely take place should we ever be within a mile of each other again.
I had a fantastic night, but I'm pretty sure he won't be walking me down the aisle any time soon. Unless of course it's the hideous cushion cover aisle in Dunelm Mill.....
I hope you're all well ladies. Lots of love, hugs, and well-awaited kisses! ;)