The Vegetable Man

**This blog is in two parts. See “V Day” for Part 1**

The date that had been rescheduled for the Tuesday didn’t happen either. He had been called into work on the ambulance crew. He doubled as a paramedic and they were short on staff and who was I to argue with saving lives. He was full of apologies and promised that no matter what happened we would go out on the Saturday night.

We didn’t.

He had been messaging me a lot right up to the Saturday but by the time the day of the date rolled around  I didn’t hear a peep from him. By 5pm I was getting impatient so I texted.

“Hey Mister, what’s the story with later”

“Sorry just waiting to hear from my sister about whether she can take the young fella, I’ll let you know as soon as I hear”

By 6.30pm I still hadn’t heard from him.

“Hey sorry to push but if tonight isn’t happening I’d like to start making other plans”

He messaged me half an hour later.

“Yeah gutted sorry can’t get anyone to watch the kid. Hope you have a great night out, sorry I couldn’t sort it tonight, are you free next week?”

Are you fucking kidding me ! That’s the 3rd time I’ve been cancelled on.

“That’s a shame. Actually no I’m not free next week. I’m away. Not free actually for about 3 weeks so ye know what, maybe it wasn’t meant to be. Best of luck”

“Don’t be annoyed with me. I will make it up to you, let me take you out during the week”

“Sorry I’m not actually free any day next week”

“You’re a busy lady, Princess”

“I am indeed… Hence why it was a bit frustrating for tonight to be cancelled so late in the day”

“I know and I’m genuinely sorry. I think you are a great girl, and really pretty and I’d love to take you out”

This guy was frustrating the hell out of me. But come on enough is enough you either want to see me or you don’t. Being cancelled on three times is just ridic.

He messaged me a few days later wishing me a nice trip away and said he hoped to see me when I was back. But I didn’t reply. “Fuck ‘im”, I thought.

Three weeks passed and I had pretty much drawn a line under him, until one day I was driving home from work and a Fire Engine zoomed past me. All blue flashing lights and sirens blaring. I had been feeling particularly sorry for myself that day and I started feeling guilty about how I had just shut him down. Life was hard. And we can’t all just drop things to accommodate new people in our lives. I needed to be more understanding about things, I need to stop expected too much from men who I haven’t even met yet. I know I know I was creeping into seriously maudlin territory.

But that’s what being single these days is like. It’s a fricking rollercoaster. Somedays you’re like feminist as fuck and couldn’t think of anything worse than being in a stinky relationship with a pooey man. I’m all swilling cocktails and saying things like “ugh my life is wonderful why would I want to taint it with a penis”…..and then other days your down (mostly Sundays) and you would quite happily walk over hot coals to have a boyfriend that farts in front of you and pees with the door open. Today was one of those days.

So as the blue lights faded into the distance, a metaphor for my love life I thought, rather poetically…I figured I should at least have a date with someone before I break up with them …. so when I was stopped at the traffic lights I took out my phone and messaged him.

“Hey so I want to apologise. I’ve become cynical and hardened when it comes to dating. I used to be a romantic and now I’m just a realist but I think that it can sometimes make me come across like a total bitch which I promise you I’m not. Just don’t want your impression of me to be tainted. x”

He literally messaged me back straight away.

“oh don’t worry at all. I’m really laid back and don’t get stressed out about things, in fact probably too laid back, it’s half my problem”

“Aw ok thanks I appreciate you getting back to me so fast”

“Did you have a nice trip away?”

“Yeah I did thanks, really nice, how have you been?”

“This seems silly talking over text, can I just call you”

“Erm…I’m driving, nearly home, but like I said before, it’s 2015 man… why can’t we just stick to text for now”

“So what people don’t talk on the phone anymore? I know I’m out of practice but come on, I want to hear your voice”

Hmm I was really torn now. I seriously hate talking to guys on the phone. Especially ones I haven’t met. Like what the hell are we supposed to talk about. “Um, Hi, yeah, so, my day was good thanks, yours, oh ha ha ha ha , yeah totally, I know…ha ha ha…Um so, yeah um….” That’s basically how this conversation is going to go in my head.

He messaged again while I was thinking “Ah come on, what is it,  do you sound like a chipmunk or something?”

“God, ok gimme 10 minutes”

I got home and poured myself a glass of red wine, lit up a cigarette and went out onto my balcony and dialled his number.

<Hi!>

<hey how are ya, your wish is my command>

<Good good, ha ha ha, you are a poshie>

<Oh my god no I’m not>

mimicking me <Er Mi Gawd, you so are>

Ok so the truth is that now I was hearing him speak I was a bona fide poshie. He had a really strong northside Dublin accent. Which basically meant that the letter T was missing from his alphabet. Words like “What and That” sounded like “Wha and Dah” and “It, This and There” was “Ih’, Dis and Dere”. He said “ye know wha I mean” a lot, as a sentence filler.

But his voice was deep and gruff and sounded quite sexy and manly.

<So wha’s a gurl like yew doin’ bein’ single anyway huh?”>

Is there a worse question in the history of the world than this question?.

<Ha! A girl like me? Em probably the same reason why your single I guess. We just haven’t met the right person yet eh>

<Dis is ih, How long you been single fer den?>

I took a long slug of my wine and a pull on my cigarette.

<Bout two years now I guess. You?>

<Ah longer dan you, not since me and de yung fella’s ma broke up>

<Oh really how long’s that then?>

<Well we broke up wen he was 2 so like 9 years or so, ha, mad in ‘ih>

<Wow that’s long>

<Ye well I mean like I share cus’ody wi his ma so like when i’m not werkin I have him ye know so like I don’ ge’ te go ou’ much  ye know yerself. Dat’s why like I do really wanna go ou’ for a drink wi’ you, ih’s just been hard sor’ing the fella ou’ ye know.>

Jesus the pressures on now. But he sounded really sincere on the phone and I felt kinda sorry for him

“Ah yeah I know it must be tough alright, tell me about your boy”

He spent the next 10 minutes talking about him, and how much he loved being a Dad but how his son was getting older now and was wanting to do his own thing and hang out with his mates and he realised that he had spent the last 9 years single because he wanted to give all to his son but that now he knew he needed to get back out there. He said he wanted to have more kids some day and was looking for someone who he could settle down with.

Now on any given day I more than likely would have been running a mile at this point. This guy was clearly wife shopping and there is nothing worse then finding yourself on a date with a wife shopper. (I’ll explain more about that in another post). But remember I was feeling maudlin and suddenly everything he was saying started to make sense. I mean this guy was tall, 6’2′, he was a good age at 38, he could clearly procreate and was a devoted and caring Dad, I mean the man saves lives for a living for gawds sake he was a dream boat.

Can you tell that I had just finished off my 3rd glass of wine?

wine

30 minutes later we were wrapping up the call,  He had made me laugh and I had made him laugh and we had had quite a lovely chat by all accounts, not the stunted mundane one I had envisaged.

<Right so Saturday night for definite this time>

<100%, de yung fella’s on a sleep over in his mates gaf so I’m all your’s Princess>

<Cool ok, so where do you wanna go?>

<Eh jaysis I dunno I’m outta practice, you decide>

<Ok grand I’ll have a think and text you>

<Gud Nigh’ Poshie>

<Night, night>

Ok so that wasn’t so bad. Yes he might have a strong accent but beggers can’t be choosers, I thought as I stubbed my third cigarette out before retreating back inside. I was feeling warm and tingly, from both the wine and the phonecall and was just thinking that phone call’s should be much more of a ‘thing ‘when he messaged me.

“I really enjoyed that chat with you, and I can’t wait to kiss you”

“Oi, Oi, easy tiger, we’ll have to see about that :). But yes it was nice talking to you too”

The Date

He messaged me early on Saturday confirming the date but said that he wouldn’t be able to meet until 9pm. A tad late for a first date but it was fine.There was a big match on that day and I knew town would be mental especially at 9pm and I didn’t fancy standing in some packed pub shouting to try and hear each other so I chose a little pub that had a nice, kinda romantic cocktail bar type space not far from where I lived and that I knew he could easily get a taxi to.

I got there first and found us a nice comfy couch in the small dimly lit room. There was a DJ setting up in the corner and some kind of drinks promotion but I ordered a glass of wine and waited for him to arrive. I was wearing a black dress and black tights and a nice black and brown pashmina type shawl thing. I thought I looked nice anyway.

10 minutes later he walked in. He was certainly tall, he had good hair and kind eyes. He was packing a few extra pounds but his height let him get away with it. His pics on his profile were clearly a few years old but over all he wasn’t bad and he was definitely quite sexy in a rough and tumble kind of way.

But I suppose what surprised me the most is that he was really, really nervous.

“Hi, jesus, sorry I’m late”

to be continued

***** see Vegetable man part 2*****

 

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