“Stephens Green 6pm, it’s a date”
But as the Monday of the BH weekend drew nearer I was in no more mood for a date than I was for sticking pins in my eyes. After a 118km trek through the hills of Northern Spain with my Madre on the camino walk I was utterly exhausted. The thoughts of having to go and make polite conversation with anyone was enough to fill me with dread never mind having to be the perfect balance of sexy and demure, interesting and interested, coy and coquettish, funny and intelligent, I mean Christ it’s a balancing act even the cirque de soliel would have difficulty with.
So needless to say I cancelled on the poor bugger. Monday afternoon delivered a regretful email into his bumble box citing work pains as my reasoning, accompanied by a suggestion that if he was still game I was willing to reschedule to the following Friday. In fairness to him he was very understanding and said ‘No worries, you must have lots to catch up on, next Friday works for me”. With a promise to contact him the next day to firm up the deets I snuggled deeper into the folds of my couch and carried on with my Netflix binge.
As Tuesday melted into Wednesday and catching up with work and friends kept me more than busy I didn’t get a chance to reschedule. By the time Thursday rolled around I realised that I hadn’t messaged him as I had promised and so when my friend asked me if I fancied going for dinner with her on Friday night I said “Well I was supposed to go on a date but I never messaged him to arrange so it’s not gonna happen now”. She must have heard my silent sigh because she said “Oh my god, go on the date, text him tonight and lock it in, go on, you never know he could be the one”
Later that night I got to thinking……(stop it Ari you are not Carrie Bradshaw!)
Later that night I got to texting “Hey you I am so sorry I’m only texting now but I’ve been working late all week and last night I helped my friend mind her 3 year old and 7 week old baby while her hubby is away so I haven’t had a minute to myself till now, but if it’s not too late I’d still be up for meeting up tomorrow night if you were still free”
After a long ten minutes he replied “Hey ! I was about to lose faith in you but you have redeemed yourself at the 11th hour, as you know I can be understanding about these things and you have proven that a friend in need is a friend indeed which I admire so yes tomorrow night still works for me, Stephens Green 7pm?”
Again I had to fight the urge to reply with “Sod the park, Lets just meet in JT Pims, mines a G&T” and instead I said “Perfect see you then”.
He seemed really nice though. Not your average guy who would sulk if a girl cancelled on him. He was quick to reply to my messages and was oh so polite and nice. I clicked into his pics again and tried to analyse how tall he might be, height is big box ticker for me and something I always worry about pre-date but he definitely seemed to be hitting the six foot mark, meaning I could get away with wearing heels….c’mon I had to plan what I was gonna wear.
I decided on a black t-shirt dress, black tights and sparkly boots, not overly dressy but the sparkle on the boots made me date worthy.
Pulling up in a hailo (I refuse to call it mytaxi, terrible terrible rebrand!) I scanned the front of the gates and spotted him patiently waiting for me. He was 6ft at least, skinnier than I would have liked, more soccer player than rugger bugger, but he was tall, dark and certainly handsome so I couldn’t complain too much.
Sheepishly and self consciously walking up to him I swept my hair behind my ear and gave him a beaming smile which he returned before double kissing me in greeting.
“How was your day?” I asked after the “Nice to meet yous” had been exchanged
“Good, good but I’m tired, it was a long shift in work today” he said as we ambled down Grafton Street, all plans to ‘walk through the park’ seemingly abandoned. “So where do you want to go” I asked after we had shot the breeze about our respective work days.
“Are you hungry?” he asked, which kinda threw me. There is nothing worse than having to sit through dinner with someone with out so much as a drink had first. And I wasn’t the slightest bit hungry having just had a big steak lunch with clients in Unicorn that afternoon. But amn’t I trying the whole new go with the flow, trying not to take control approach so I said “Sure, yeah, I could eat if you are hungry”
“I’m famished” he said clutching his stomach and so my fate was sealed.
We wandered towards Sth William Street and he pointed to what can only be described as a cafe rather than a restaurant and said “Is here ok?”. Given that I knew I wasn’t going to eat much I acquiesced and we grabbed a seat outside.
Half an hour later I sent this text message to my friends.
Now look don’t get me wrong all these things are perfectly fine. I know loads of vegetarians, I know loads of teetotallers, I know loads of people who are anti-smoking and people who are clean freaks and like good for those guys. They are excellent, eco friendly, healthy, life choices and more power to you.
But I am the exact opposite of all of those things.
So far that day I had already had a rare ass steak, two glasses of wine, 3 cigarettes and had booked my cleaner to come and clean my house for me the following Monday.
When I scanned the menu after we had sat down and proclaimed that I was dying for a glass of wine he kinda looked at me funny “Do you not drink?” I asked with trepidation. “Very little” came his definitive reply “Two drinks maximum” he side swiping his hand across the table in a ‘cutting off’ gesture. “What about you?” he asked sternly with his soulful beautiful brown eyes.
I gulped…do I be honest or give him the answer I give my doctor when he asks the same question?
“Well um, I’m Irish so yeah I guess I drink as much as the next Irish person” I replied while frantically searching for the waitress with my eyes so I could order a large glass of Pinot Grigio.
He looked down and scanned the menu and said “I hope they have some good vegetarian options” I swear I almost guffawed in a “ha ha good one” kinda way but then I said “Oh, um, are you vegetarian”. “I am” he said “ten years now” he beamed proudly like I should be presenting him with some kinda medal.
“Oh cool good for you” I said while what I really wanted to say was “look I don’t think this is gonna work”
Just then the waitress came over and he ordered hummus for his dinner, I shit you not.
He accompanied my wine request with a chardonnay for himself while I just ordered some bread and dips, I needed to make this quick and painless.
Now look the irony is that he was actually a good conversationalist. We chatted about Bulgaria, what brought him to Ireland (which I did point out was an odd destination for someone who didn’t like to drink) which he agreed with and spent a good five minutes telling me about how he thought Irish people drank too much which is fine but like I didn’t spend 5 minutes telling him how Bulgarians mafia too much did I.
Anyway when the drinks arrived he held his glass up to the light and turned it around inspecting the rim with a disgusted look on his face before setting the glass down to the side of the table without even taking a sip. Two things here A) he chose this fecking CAFE, it was not the Ritz for gods sake and B) why wasn’t he man enough to complain and send the bloody glass back if he thought it was dirty?? Anyway I said nothing and gulped my wine.
The conversation went onto politics as it so often does in today’s landscape and I was relieved to find out he wasn’t a Trump supporter unlike the subject of my next blog post which will be entitled “The Trump Supporter” (a guy I dated for two months earlier this year), but that is another story…..
He was interested in me and I could tell he was impressed when I was able to tell him exactly how many seats the individual political parties in the UK had won the previous day. We talked a lot back and forth and the conversation never waned once as we waited for his hummus to be, erm , ‘cooked’. I was starting to think that maybe I had judged him too quickly when the conversation moved on to family.
“My nephew is a vegetarian too” I said as our food was placed in front of us.
“Oh you have a nephew?”
“Well actually I’ve 13 nieces and nephews” I said proudly
“Of course you do” he said dryly
“Wellll I’m one of 8, 4 sisters and 3 brothers”
“Oh that’s too many, no?” he replied deadpan
I cocked my head and narrowed by eyes “eh well, no I don’t think it’s too many no, I love all my brothers and sisters and wouldn’t be without any of them” I said losing my patience
“Oh well yes I’m sure but only the gypsies in my country have that many children and it’s too many” he said before sipping on his water.
Honestly I don’t know why I didn’t get up there and then and walk out but it was a sunny Friday evening, I had had a long week in work and quite frankly it would have been a waste of make up had I just gone home there and then so I said “so do you not have many siblings then no”
When we finished our ‘food’ I went to the bathroom and upon my return he had paid the bill, leaving his untouched wine on the table and asked me if I wanted to go and have another drink.
Now look he was good looking and I am trying to give people a chance so I said sure why not and fished into my bag for a cigarette to enjoy on the walk to 4 Dame Lane.
“Oh no you’re not a smoker are you” he said looking at me like I had just said I supported Isis and was moving to Syria.
“Um yeah” I said hesitating as the cigarette hovered before my lips. He placed his head in his hands and said ¨I’m so against smoking, in fact I would go so far as to say I was an activist against smoking¨
Right fuck this guy… I thought as I lit my smoke and sent the aforementioned text.
My friend texted me back asking if I wanted her to ring me with a fake emergency. I replied and said ‘No it’s cool, I think I’m just gonna go to the bar order a rake of tequila, a rare steak, and blow smoke in his face” I didn’t ….but oh how I wish I had.
Instead I drank a G&T chatted a little bit more and when he said he didn’t ever want children I started practising my I need to go home now speech in my head.
We parted very nicely with a hug and a ‘it was nice to meet you’, but there was no way a second date was on the cards.
I’ve often said, I could never date a vegetarian. Or a non drinker. Or someone with OCD. Or someone who tried to change me. Or someone who didn’t want to have kids. I just never for the life of me thought I would find someone who ticked all of the above.
There’s dealbreakers and there’s dealbreakers.
And that my friends was ‘The Dealbreaker.’