Fifty-one and going out on a date! Who’d have thought it.
He pulled up outside the house – some would say, in today’s dating world, that letting someone know where you live is a risky strategy – but I’m old school and trusting, I’m not sure I buy into all that nannying! He seemed like a nice enough man on the phone, and that’s good enough for me.
I peeped through the Venetians and hoped he hadn’t seen me. That’s fair enough isn’t it, wanting to check out if he looked as good as he sounded? Nothing wrong with that. Anyway, he did…I think. I like a man who looks after himself, and even though I could just make out a slight stretching of his shirt over the tummy area, everything else looked dandy. He still had hair, polished his shoes, and had obviously pressed his trousers and shirt. Good job he wasn’t wearing jeans, because if I’d seen any evidence of pressed jeans it would have been a no no, and my best mate come wing-woman Sandra, would have been sent a text immediately, informing her that an emergency phone call was required within the hour. That’s what mates are for, and I have played that role many a time.
Anyway, Paul sauntered up the path, pressing that key fob thing without looking (smooth) so that his car doors locked – yes, I was still nosing – adjusting his shirt and fiddling with his hair as he came and knocked on the door. I left it for a minute or so while I descended the stairs, always good to keep them waiting, and opened the door with a big smile and a sort of ‘I’m not quite ready’ (but of course I was) air about me.
‘Come on in, I’ll just be a minute, running slightly late’, I said. Poor thing.
‘Oh god, am I early? Sorry….’, he said, anxiously. Poor thing.
‘No no, it’s me, I’m a bit of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda girl. Come on in. Make yourself at home. I’ll be 2 mins.’ And I was gone. Poor thing.
Of course, this was all a pack of lies as I’m one of the most organised people I know, anally so. So, I was reduced to sitting on my bed waiting til I thought the time was right to reappear. I couldn’t really down a glass of Dutch-courage wine as our date was a day date. Yes, you heard right, a day date…..what’s that all about, I mean, what’s the world coming to? What’s happened to going to bar, all dolled up and getting royally slewed together. Doesn’t happen nowadays apparently, it’s all about ‘the conversation’. Anyway, I’d agreed to it, so that was that.
just as an aside, talking of getting all dolled up….trying to decide on something to wear on a ‘day date’ nearly finished me off. I mean really, how do you know what to wear? Smart casual is always safe, but it sort of reminds me of work. Anyway, I did it, and we sort of seemed to match. Weird that.
After what I considered to be the right amount of time, I breezed down the stairs and into the lounge. Paul was stood by the mantlepiece looking at some photos.
‘Nice pictures. That looks like Thailand to me. Been there then?’
‘Yes, a few years ago now,’ I said. More like twenty, I thought to myself.
‘You still look exactly the same’, he said. Flatterer, I thought.
‘Ha. Well that’s very nice of you to say so.’
I offered him a coffee, which he politely declined saying something about a reservation for lunch. Impressive, I thought, I’ve clearly got myself an operator here. That’s fine with me, nice to be spoiled. So off we went, in his nice blue car, to God knows where.
The drive was about twenty minutes. I didn’t think we’d arrived at a restaurant when he pulled up.
‘Here we are’, said Paul, and out he jumped. I looked around me, slightly bewildered, and jumped out too. My date was rummaging around in the boot, he slammed it shut and appeared with a wicker basket.
‘Uh, yes, yes, indeed, ready for anything me, ready for anything.’ I’d been totally thrown off guard. The man had prepared a picnic: ground rug, shawl, umbrella, the lot.
We talked and laughed for what seemed like five minutes, in fact, it was three hours. He’d kept a safe distance, but I could tell that he was into me. We packed up the basket and headed back toward the car. We stopped close by to the little cafe and sat on a park bench. We watched the birds, listened to the brass band playing in the band stand, and he sidled up to me getting gradually closer and closer. I played at being cool. He didn’t. I was aware that people were looking at us. Maybe it was because of our age. He rested his head on my shoulder. I stared straight ahead. He looked up at me with puppy dog eyes. I felt sick. And left. Date over as quickly as that.
All that effort, all that patience, but I couldn’t help myself, he’d made his move – and a sickly one at that – too soon.
Poor stupid thing.