**** this post is a continuation of The Vegetable Man***
“Hi, jesus, sorry I’m late”
“Oh no worries, hey, nice to meet ya” I said as he leaned down to kiss me on my cheek.
He plonked himself down on the couch beside me and looked around for a waitress. He wasn’t the best dresser truth be told, he was wearing jeans, a plan dark grey t-shirt and a large navy mid length jacket that looked like something a bouncer from a local pub might wear.
“So how ye doin” he gulped, nervously looking at me. “It’s so great to finally meet you after all this time, I feel like we’ve been talking for ages so it just so nice to actually be in front of you now”
Ah god, bless him.
“Aww, yeah I know, it was touch and go there for a while for us but sure hey look we’re here now ” I said patting him on the arm.
He nodded back at me.
“So you’re good yeah?”
“Good thanks yeah how are you? How was your day?”
“good yeah, like, grand, sorry I was late” he pushed the beer mat on the table and then picked it up and flicked it against his other hand.
“oh god don’t worry it’s cool” I said smiling widely trying to put him at ease.
“Sorry the yung fella was having a sleep over but he was bein a bit clingy and I felt mad bad dropping him off so it took me a bit longer getting here”
“Honestly it’s grand I was only here about 15 minutes before you”
“Yeah ok good, yeah ih’s jus’ hard ye know like as I was sayin on the phone like it’s been a long while since I’ve been on a date so …..you look nice” he inhaled deeply and sat back in the couch.
“Oh thanks” I said smiling brightly.
A waitress came and he ordered a pint bottle of Bulmers and a pint of ice, then he pointed at my glass…
“Wha’ are ye havin Princess?’
“Oh em, a glass of Pinot Grigio, thanks” I said, both to him and the waitress.
He kinda smirked at this.
“Such a Poshie” he said shaking his head.
Um ok. I didn’t order a glass of Cristal but ok. If a Pinot Grigio makes me a Poshie then um ….hmmm.
“Ha. Seriously you need to lay off the Poshie business”
“Ye are though” he said nudging me.
“So what’s your son’s name?” I attempted, trying to change the subject
And kept on answering for about 25 minutes. He went into what can only be described as a soliloquy about his son.
A soliloquy (from Latin solo “to oneself” + loquor “I talk”) is a device often used in drama when a character speaks to himself or herself, relating thoughts and feelings, thereby also sharing them with the audience, giving off the illusion of being a series of unspoken reflections.
Look don’t get me wrong, about 15% of me found it endearing. 5% of me went off into some kind of daydream about all the things I meant to do in work but forgot to do the day before and the remaining 80% of me kept thinking there is no worse buzz kill than telling a girl who you just met on a first date about your son’s football match.
“So he kicked the ball, he’s a great little player, and the goalkeeper ran out and…. fecking cracker of a save he made, but yeah no like it’s great to see him play”
“Mmmm greaeettt. Yeah, aw that’s nice” I said for the 17th time.
“Sorry, sorry I’m talking about him too much” he said as he gulped down some cider. “I just love him ye know”
Ah god the poor fella. I felt sorry for him. He was very clearly out of practice. He had spent the last 9 years living for his kid, of course he was going to talk about him. I chastised myself for being such a cow.
“Ah no not at all, it’s lovely, you’re clearly a very good Dad”
“Thanks” he said, glowing.
“So tell me more about you”
“Well as you know I work in advertising, been really busy the last few weeks but it’s grand, I like it, pays the bills and all that jazz. Um god, I dunno, I’m one of 8 kids. I have 4 sisters and 3 brothers”
“8! Jaysis that’s big”
“Yeah I know, I’ve 13 nieces and nephews too!”
“13!! Wow jesus ye must be great wi’ kids so” he positively beamed at this and kinda shifted in his seat. Clearly sizing me up as potential step-mother material.
“Ah yeah I love them. But to be fair they live all over the world. I’ve sisters in Paris, LA, Brisbane and Wexford, and brothers in New York, London and Dublin so we are fairly spread out”
“Jaysis, loads of places to visit so” he said gulping down more of his Bulmers.
“Yeah defo, it’s great”
“Do you have any brothers or sisters?”
“Eh yeah an older brother and a younger sister, de bro lives in England and me sister lives in Kilcock, she has two little nippers herself, two gorgeous lil girls”
“They get on great with my fella”
Oh no quick I need to steer him away from this again…
“Um.. so, what are you into”
“what do ye mean”
“Oh like in your spare time do you play any sports or anything?”
“Eh, no, not really no, I used to play soccer but I hurt me knee a few years ago so don’t get te’ play anymore, I just get to watch my boy play now, he’s great so he is”
“Oh yeah, aww that’s nice, um so like are you into music”
“Music, yeah well actually I used to DJ a bit back in the day”
“Oh yeah? DJ. That’s so cool, where did ye do that”
“ah like just in the local pubs in Coolock, back when I was in me 20’s”
“Deadly, you don’t do it any more no”
“No no god not for years now. Me gurlfriend used te ge’ mad jealous so I packed it in”
“Oh was that your son’s Mom”
“No no actually me gurlfriend before hur”
“Oh so how long were you with her for?” I asked sipping on my wine, I was almost finished my 2nd glass so signalled to the waitress
“Eh about four years, she was a mentaller though, gorgeous gurl like bu’ just mad jealous when I was dj’ing, like if a girl came up to me and requested a song she’d accuse me of flirting and all this shite, it was a bit of a nightmare”
“Ugh god yeah that sounds annoying. I hate girls like that gives the rest of us a bad name….um Hi sorry yeah can we I have another glass of pinot grigio and a pint bottle of Bulmers, thanks a mil” the waitress picked up my first empty wine glass and headed to the bar.”Sorry, so four years, wow and how long were you with your son’s Mom for”
“Eh bout 9 years altogether”
“Wow, god, ok, so um you must have gone straight from one relationship into another then did you?”
“No, no there was about 3 years in between them”
Hang on, I’m confused, I thought he said he was 38. And his son is 11, and they broke up when he was 2, but he was with the Mom for 7 years before the kid was born so that puts him at 22, but he said he was single for 3 years and went out with the other girl for four years when he was in his twenties…..hang on oh my god.
“Hang on, I’m confused, I thought you said you were 38”
“Em, I am” he said not looking me in the eye
“But that doesn’t add up”
“Ehhhhh, ehhhh, fuck”
“Oh my god, are you lying about your age?”
“Fuck you’re too clever for me” he said looking down as he wiped an imaginary thread off his jeans.
“Oh my god, how old are you?”
“Does it really matter?”
“Eh yeah, how old are you?”
“I’ll tell you later”
“Noooo, tell me now”
I started to get a teeny bit freaked out. I felt like I was being catfished in a very mild way but still it irked me to not know how old this guy was, especially as I had been talking to him over text and on the phone for the past 2 months or so.
“Look I was going to tell you on the phone but I was just worried you wouldn’t want to meet me”
“Dude, what the fuck, tell me now how old you are”
At that exact moment the waitress came over and placed our drinks down in front of us. Christ it had been a while since I had gotten to third drink territory on a date, was I about to walk out of this one before I even got to sip my ‘posh’ glass of pinot. He took out his wallet and handed the girl €20 even though it was my round.
“Right ok, look, I’m 46”
“FUCK OFF, are you serious”
Jesus he looked good for 46 I thought.
“FUCK, 46, man, woah”
“I know, I’m sorry, I didn’t want to say anything because I really like you and I think your gorgeous and I figured if you knew you’d cancel the date, but, fuck, you’re clever. I hadn’t reckoned on you being a mathematician, Jesus are you Carol Vorderman or something”
I laughed, almost spilling my wine as I did cause I was sipping and laughing at the same time. Fuck it I needed the drink at this stage, in for a penny and our for a pound.
“Ha, eh I don’t think ye need to be Carol Vorderman to figure that shit out eventually”
“I know, I know, look I’m sorry, do you want to leave”
I sized him up. He was pretty hot to be fair. He had lovely eyes with a sprinkling of laughter lines crinkling the sides. He had a good mop of hair, a strong jaw line with a hint of stubble and his skin was dark and creaseless. You never would have guessed he was 46. But fuck me that’s a 13 year age gap. I mean the chap was nearly 50.
In fairness though Brad Pitt is 50, and Clooney is even older and I definitely would do either one of them.
“No, not yet” I said taking a deep glug of my wine
“Look honestly, it’s less the age gap I’m concerned about, but more the lie. Like why do you have to lie about it, why can’t you own your age and be proud of it?”
“I am proud of it. Look I’ve no problem with being 46, but me mate set up me profile for me. One of de lads in de station got me phone and was like yer not saying his real age are ye and he grabbed me phone and put in that I was 38, he said I was cutting out half the potential women out there by setting my real age”
Ok in fairness he has a point. My own Tinder settings were set to people within a 10km radius between the ages of 29 and 39. If he had put his real age we never would have matched. But isn’t that my prerogative. I purposefully don’t want to match with people over the age of 40. But maybe that was cutting out lots of potential dates for me. Maybe my OTL was wasting away in the 39-49 age bracket and I’d never know cause I was being facetious about my stupid tinder settings.
“Yeah fair enough” I said, sitting back in my seat “My setting is set to 39” I admitted
“Well there ye go then, see me mate was right, I never would have been here with a gorgeous gurl like you if I hadn’t let me mate take over”
Despite myself I felt myself warming to this guy. Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the compliments, or maybe it had just been so long since I had kissed a man…never mind anything else . All I know is that I suddenly felt very attracted to him. He was this older, gruff, sexy, tall, poorly dressed fireman, ex DJ who was clearly nervous as all hell in my presence making me feel like I was the hottest thing on the planet.
He looked me directly in the eye and I don’t know what came over me but I leaned over and kissed him full on the mouth.
I think deep down I was thinking I’m probably not gonna see this guy again after tonight so I might as well get a snog out of it!.
I pulled back and the chap was positively gobsmacked.
He just sort of stared at me in this stunned silence.
“Um sorry about that I just wanted to kiss you”
“Jesus, I wasn’t expecting that” he stuttered
“Haha, sorry I know”
He blinked twice and picked up his drink.
“It was nice though, jaysis, just been a while since I got a kiss off a stunner like you”
He was full of the compliments this one.
“Right I’m gonna go for a smoke” I said picking up my bag and my drink
“Bad for ye” he said
“Oh I know, it ages ye they say, you must have had a tonne of smokes tonight wha’, aged 8 years in a few seconds you did” I said, slagging him.
“Ha…Oh, ye have me there” he said with a wink
I went downstairs and out into the cold. No one was in the smoking area. It was about 10.30pm a this stage and people had started to trickle home or into town for the night. I lit my cigarette and wondered what the hell I was doing. Was I mad to be entertaining this guy? Should I have just stormed out in protest at the deceit. Maybe I needed to be more open to possibilities. Nobody was perfect and I told myself I was going to give people more of a chance to prove themselves but maybe this was just way too forgiving.
But he was so nervous and I felt empowered. He was undoubtedly hot and yet he was like putty in my hands and truth be told I felt sorry for him, the kiss was very possibly a pity snog on my part. I felt that he needed to be assured that the date, his first in years was going well and I just thought, ah well, it’s nice to be nice.
I stubbed out my cigarette and thought, fuck it, I’ll have another glass of wine and see what happens.
We spent the rest of the evening just kind of bantering back and forth. He didn’t let me put my hand in my pocket and paid for all the drinks, which normally I don’t allow. I like to pay my own way, especially on a first date but part of me was punishing him. Like ye bloody well can pay for all the drinks mister after a fib like that!!
The conversation was just stupid silly surface level conversation with intermittent kissing.
He was a good kisser, putting his big fireman hands in my hair he eagerly reciprocated my initial advances.
At 12.30am the waitress came over and said that we needed to finish our drinks as the bar was closing. I knocked back the last of my wine and ordered myself a hailo while he was in the jacks.
Collecting our things we went outside into the cold and I lit a cigerette while waiting for my cab to arrive.
“So you live near here?”
“Got any coffee?”
“Ha yeah right, you ain’t coming anywhere near my house mister”
“Ah fair enough, just chancing me arm”
He pulled out his phone and ordered a hailo for himself.
“Look, Ariana, I really enjoyed tonight. I know I’m a feckin eejit and I know you probably have a tonne of men wanting to get you out for a date but I’d love to see you again”
I pulled hard on my smoke.
Just then my phone buzzed telling me my hailo had arrived, I looked up and a car was just pulling in across the road…
“Ha, aw thanks Mister that’s nice. My car’s here, but look I’ll be honest I’m not too sure to be fair.The age thing threw me for a loop. But I enjoyed myself too so look, sure we’ll see, I’ll drop you a text during the week yeah?” I said leaning in and kissing him on the lips. “Thanks for the drinks.”
He texted me 20 minute later.
“Please give me another chance, you are fabulous and I’d love to take you out on a proper date”
“Ok go on then, one more chance, wow me with the 2nd date and we’ll go from there”
“Deal” winky face.
********to be continued*******