August 19, 2017

The Twitter Date (Part 3)

It's the day of Lucy's date with Al, the 32-year-old bearded mechanic, lifeboat rescue crew member,
and father-of-two who asked Lucy out over Twitter.

To read from the start, click here.

For the first time in a long time, she's nervous about a date. This isn't your usual, run-of-the-mill online date. The man asked her out over Twitter, for Chrissake!  Without having even seen a photo!

When she walks into the pub, Al is already there, wearing a crisp blue checked shirt, jeans, and proper brown leather shoes.   Arrived first, she notes.  Tick.  Nicely dressed.  Another tick.  Tall, slim and looks just like his photo.  Three more ticks.  But then there's the beard...

The man looks like he has a poodle strapped to his chin.

"Hello," he says, nervously.  His voice is soft, with a distinct Sussex accent - a sort of country burr with dropped Ts and short vowels.  It doesn't fit with the manly action-hero image, and Lucy feels a twinge of disappointment.

"What can I get you?" he enquires politely, heading towards the bar.  Lucy hesitates.  Is this a 'two-polite-spritzers-then-leave' kind of date, or a 'sink-several-wines-and-see-what-happens' kind of date?

Lucy clocks Al's extremely cute bum and decides to go for a large white.  After all, she's come all this way.  It'd be rude not to.

They settle side by side at a nearby table and Lucy takes a gulp.  "Well this is a bit weird.  I've never had a Twitter date before."

"Me neither," says Al.  "But I thought you seemed like you had a really great personality and I was intrigued. So I thought, 'what the hell' and went for it."

Great personality, eh?  Lucy likes to think so, but it's nice when a charming man agrees. Clearly Al has excellent taste.  And she admires that he had the guts to take the risk.

"Also," he adds, "We tend to date people we find physically attractive first of all, and then hope that their personality matches up.  Which hasn't really been working out so well for me.  This time it was just the other way around - I already knew I liked your personality, so why not take a chance and see if the looks match up?  Which I'm delighted to say they do, by the way."

Smooth, Lucy thinks.  She takes another gulp of wine to hide the blushing.

"And now you've seen it in person, what do you think of the beard?"

Lucy studies the offensive item in question.  It's about three or four inches long, thick and bristly.  To be fair, it is neatly-trimmed and well-groomed, but even so, she still thinks it looks like Al has fallen face-first into a vat of wire wool.

She hesitates, not wanting to offend him.  "I've seen worse," she concedes.
"It's very soft, you know," he says, invitingly.

Lucy has never touched a beard before.  This seems very intimate for so early on in the date.  Gingerly, she reaches out and prods the bushy cushion with one finger.

It feels exactly like it looks: coarse and wiry.  Lucy frowns, "It's not all that soft. Not like head hair, anyway."
Al looks crestfallen. "Well, no, I guess not.'  He tries again.  'But it smells really nice too.  I use moisturiser."

This is getting weird.  No way is Lucy about to start sniffing Al's beard.

Al senses he's losing his argument.  He tries another tack. "I get loads of compliments, particularly from men. Guys often come up and admire it in the pub."
Lucy thinks Al might be missing the point.  "But what about women?"
"They either love it or hate it," he confesses.
Lucy doesn't completely hate the beard as much as some she's seen, but she's extremely wary of it. It's suspicious. She's not sure what it might suddenly do.

"Would you ever shave it off?" she asks, hopefully.
"I probably wouldn't ever go back to being clean-shaven, but I have thought about trimming it shorter."
So there is room for improvement.  This is good news.  Lucy reckons she could cope with a neat, short beard.  Something like a Gary Barlow or Ryan Gosling look would definitely be acceptable.

Not that she's already trying to improve Al.  Not on the first date, anyway. There'll be time for that later.

Lucy wants to find out more about Al's background.  Could they possibly have anything in common? "So how did you become a mechanic?" she enquires.

"Actually it was a bit of a long route.  First of all I dropped out of school at 17 and joined the army..."
Crikey, Lucy thinks.  A school dropout and squaddie.  Hardly the ideal match for a nicely-educated lady with a first-class honours degree from a top university.  Her mum would have kittens.

"Army? Gosh.  Did you do active service?"
"Two tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.  In between I also did an Open University degree in mechanical engineering, went to Sandhurst to become an officer, and rose to the rank of Captain."

Well this puts a very different colour on things.  You can definitely take an army officer home to meet the parents.  Lucy looks again at Al's broad, war-hero shoulders and warm brown eyes, crinkled at the corners from the Middle Eastern sun, and feels a confusing frisson of attraction.

"So how long were you in the Army?"
"Twelve years. Eventually I left and now I work for a breakdown assistance company."
"You must rescue loads of damsels in distress by the roadside," Lucy observes.  "Surely you don't need to be picking up strangers on Twitter?"
"Actually I rarely meet attractive women through work.  But I do get propositioned by older ladies a lot.  Just recently I had one lady in her 50s who was so pleased that I'd fixed her car that she offered me 10 minutes alone in the back of the truck."
Lucy can see why the older ladies fancy him.  At six years his senior, she might just be one of them. Even if they do appear to have almost nothing in common.

The music in the pub is suddenly turned up loud.  Al moves his chair a little closer.

"So how are you finding the dating apps?" he asks. "Lots of ghosting I suppose?"
"Of course. Happens all the time."
"Actually I've never been ghosted," he reveals.
Lucy is stunned.  What, never?!
"I think it's much more of a guy thing to do. Guys do ghosting.  Girls do crazy stalking."
"I would never do that," Lucy assures him, and makes a mental note never to reveal all the stuff she found out about him online.

Al has a theory about relationships.  "All men are dicks to a greater or lesser extent, and all women are crazy. But it's a sliding scale.  You just need to find someone at the bottom end."
"So where are you on the scale?" Lucy asks.
"Hopefully I'm at the lower end, though I'm sure I have my dickish moments too."
Lucy wonders where she falls on the crazy spectrum.  She likes to think she's pretty sane, but she knows a few of her friends would probably disagree.

"You must be a rare exception," she tells Al.  "All the guys I match with seem to be right up at the top of the scale."
"That's because you are going for the wrong guys.  Guys who are in their late 30s or 40s, who have never been married and don't have kids, are like that for a reason.  They're arseholes.  You need to go for the divorced ones with kids."

This is actually something Lucy has known for a while - but has been avoiding admitting to herself because dating a dad would mean having to deal with Other People's Children.  And Lucy makes it a rule to avoid the little shits as much as possible.

"I don't get it, she complains. "Surely there must be some nice, baggage-free guys still out there?  I know loads of gorgeous, successful women in their late 30s who have never been married and don't have kids, and they're not dicks.  Why are all the guys such arseholes?"
"That's cos they're men," Al shrugs. "So they're on the dick scale.  Your female friends are probably just a bit crazy instead."

Lucy hates to admit it, but Al is making perfect sense.  He seems to have a very wise head on his young shoulders.  But the conversation is quite serious and not really as flirty as she would have liked.

They stay until gone 11 pm and it's time to for Lucy to get the train back to Brighton.  Al offers to walk her the short distance back to the station.

Lucy gets her coat.  What now? she wonders. She's conflicted.  Al is totally unsuitable for her: they have nothing in common.  But with his mature, calm, gentle manner, warm brown eyes, and tall, muscular body, she's finding him rather sexy.  And after two large glasses of wine she would even possibly be up for a kiss... it weren't for that beard.

But Lucy's just not ready to get up close and personal with that much facial hair quite yet.  She imagines kissing Al would be a little bit like being molested by an amorous badger.

So as soon as they arrive at the station she gives him a quick hug, turns, and swipes through the barrier before he has a chance to stop her.

On the train, she suddenly realises they never paid the bar tab.   Lucy is mortified and texts a profuse apology for leaving him to pick up the bill.

His reply comes back swiftly.

"I had a great evening. I would love to see you again and I wanted to pay xx"

(To be continued...)

August 13, 2017

The Twitter Date (Part 2)

Lucy has been chatting with a guy on Twitter.  If you missed it, you can read the story so far here.

Al is a 32-year old mechanic and lifeboat crew member, and unlike so many of the twats and weirdos out there, actually seems like he might be moderately sane and normal.

Sadly, as always, there's a catch.  While Al may seem like a nice enough guy, he has a fatal flaw: his apparently good looks are almost entirely obliterated by an obscene amount of facial hair.

And beards, as any sensible girl will tell you, are fucking gross.

Normally Lucy would take one look at a bearded man and briskly cross the street to avoid him. But there's something about Al that has picqued her interest.  For one thing, he's has been publicly flirting with her in 140 characters or fewer, and it turns out that in spite of the obvious stupidity in growing a beard, he's actually pretty sparky.  For another, he's an ex-army hardman turned lifeboat rescue hero, so he's got at least twelve thousand sexiness points right there.

But so far it's just been a bit of banter - and clearly that's the way it's going to stay.  Idle online flirting, a bit of fun, nothing more.  Nice guys don't go round asking random girls out via Twitter - particularly not when they haven't even seen a photo.  That's just not how it's done.

But then Lucy receives an extremely surprising private message.

Lucy is flabbergasted.  A man who knows almost nothing about her, and who has no idea what she looks like, wants to meet her.

That's just fucking weird.  Al is clearly a psycho.

Of course, there is a chance that Al has read all of Lucy's adventures online. If that's the case, he's probably just come to the conclusion that she's sufficiently sad and desperate for him to be able to get a shag out of her if he plays his cards right.

In other words, a pretty normal guy.

On the other hand, there's no way he can have read the stories. If he had, he would never have approached her.  The revelations about her sex life (or lack thereof) and her neurotic thought-processes would definitely have put him off.

Lucy needs more information.

So he claims not to have read Lucy's ramblings.  In that case what is wrong with him?  Is he desperate?  A fuckboy just looking for somewhere to put his dick?  A scam artist who is going to try to steal all her money?

Of course it is just possible that Lucy has managed to win Al over simply by the power of her wit and personality.  It's happened before, with Steve.  But it that really likely?

On the balance of probability it seems far more feasible that Al is a serial killer.

Al assures her he's not a hipster.  He tells Lucy that he is 6 feet tall, and has tattoos to go with the beard. He also has two kids.

A bearded and tattooed mechanic and dad, who is 6 years younger than her, is a huge departure from the clean-cut, highly educated, geeky, slightly older types Lucy always goes for.

But at least he can spell. That would have been bigger deal-breaker than the beard.

And it's not like Lucy's normal type has been working out so well for her.  She wonders if maybe it's time to take a risk.

Lucy is finding herself rather attracted to Al.  He just seems, well, like a Good Guy.  And Lucy has met so many arseholes through online dating that Al's no-bullshit decency seems to shine off the page. She starts looking forward to getting messages from him and checks her phone every half hour to see if he's replied.

He seems genuinely interested in her for her personality alone.  He had the sparkiness to ask her out, knowing almost nothing about her, and he still hasn't asked to see a photo.  Lucy is impressed.

She wonders how many dates they have to have before she can ask him to shave off the beard.

But while Al seems like a nice guy, Lucy wonders if she could really have a relationship with him.

Does it matter that he's a mechanic and not a lawyer or a doctor?  Will he pour scorn on Lucy's sheltered middle-class upbringing?  Does it matter that he probably doesn't shop in Waitrose?  That his toaster probably doesn't have a bagel setting?  That he almost certainly won't know the difference between ricotta and mascarpone?  Will he sympathise when her cleaner fails to show up, or when she buys 'perfectly ripe' avocados that turn out to be rock solid?

And most importantly, could Lucy ever bring herself to kiss a beard?

Lucy's certain that 10 years ago her mum (who is exactly like the mum from Bridget Jones) would have been visibly disappointed if she brought home someone who didn't have at least one degree from a top university.  But now Lucy's mum is so desperate for her spinster daughter to settle down that she'll be delighted with just about any man who's willing to take Lucy off the shelf.

Even, probably, one who's a serial killer.  As long as Lucy can manage to squeeze out a grandchild first before she gets hacked to pieces.

So Lucy accepts.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  And if it turns out badly, at least she'll have a good story.

Assuming her body hasn't been dumped in the sea by that point.

They agree to meet at a pub near the train station in Lewes, which is a compromise between where Al lives in Hastings and Lucy's base in Brighton.

But Al still hasn't asked to see a photo.  Lucy's not sure what to make of this.  She reckons he must want to see one but is too afraid or polite to ask.  So for her own amusement she decides to troll him, and asks if he would like her to send one.

Unsurprisingly, his response is enthusiastic.

So Lucy does exactly as promised and sends him a photo of herself.

His response comes back right away.

The reply makes her chuckle.  Ok, so Al is not a total dickhead.  Which is nice.

Lucy rewards him by sending him what he's really after - a proper photo that shows what she looks like.

Apart from anything else, she does it as a favour to any random girls who might be sitting on their own in the pub. She doesn't want them to get accosted by a weirdy beardy stranger claiming to be looking for 'Lucy'.

Al is delighted with the photo.

As she boards the train, she's nervous.  Lucy is not normally nervous before online dates (she's been on far too many to care any more), but this will be her first ever Twitter date, and her first ever date with a beard.

Lucy wonders if she will find the beard off-putting.  She may not be able to stop staring at it.  Will she find it repulsive up close?

And if the date goes well, will she have to kiss it?  She wonders what that would be like. Probably like nuzzling a hessian sack.  Seriously, WTF is up with all those women who like beards?

Still, there's only one way to find out. The train pulls in to Lewes station, and Lucy gets off.

(To find out what happened next, click here)

August 06, 2017

The Twitter Date (Part 1)

This is a story about how Lucy got asked on a date via Twitter.

Wait... you mean Tinder, right?

Actually, no.  Not Tinder.  Twitter.  Here's how it happened...

Lucy has only recently joined this popular social media platform, and she doesn't really understand it. Currently she has about 130 followers - which doesn't seem like very many.  Lucy wants more.  Having hundreds of followers will make her feel loved and popular - even if she doesn't know any of these people and at least half of them may be robots.

So Lucy is looking at Twitter to see if there is anyone interesting on there whom she can tweet at in the hope that they will follow her.  She spots a chat between Tinder Girl and a guy called Al.

In his profile picture, Al is clearly sporting a large and bushy beard.

Personally Lucy has no idea how anyone could love a beard, and reckons the girls who say they do are only pretending because they like the man underneath and they're hoping that in time they can persuade him to shave it off.

Lucy doesn't have nearly enough patience for that sort of thing.  She hates beards.  More than she hates wet dogs, slow walkers, and unexpected items in the bagging area.

As far as she's concerned, the current obsession men have with growing haystacks on their faces is hideous and obscene and ought to be made illegal.  It's hard enough for a girl to meet a nice man as it is, without two thirds of them immediately ruining themselves by hiding their perfectly decent faces behind an impenetrable thatch of wiry fluff.

The worst is when attractive young guys, with slim figures and well-groomed hair, entirely destroy their features with the addition of a foot-long matted rug that wouldn't look out of place on a desert island castaway.

As far as she's concerned, the only people who should legitimately be allowed to own any kind of facial hair are lumberjacks, old testament prophets, 18th-century scholars, and Arctic explorers.  For anyone who has access to clean water and a razor, there is simply no excuse.

Yes, Lucy hates beards.   So she joins in the conversation.

And swiftly, she gets a response from Al.

Lucy looks at the pre-beard photo.  Al has a friendly face and good hair, with just a small amount of stubble.  Lucy thinks he looks very handsome.  It's certainly a vast improvement on the ridiculous face fungus he's currently sporting.  She tells him so.

Lucy is rather disconcerted.  Is Al flirting with her?  After she slagged off his chin wig?  This is her first proper Twitter conversation with random strangers, and already it's taken a rather unexpected direction.  She hesitates, not quite sure what to say.

Al seems like a decent guy but he's quite clearly joking.  No one in their right mind would ask someone out on a date after just a few exchanges on Twitter.  Especially given that Al has no idea what Lucy looks like.  Her profile photo is of a giraffe.  Admittedly it's a rather attractive giraffe, with large brown eyes, long eyelashes, and a cute smile, but still, it's a fucking giraffe.  If Al fancies giraffes, his problems are far greater than just the beard thing.

Lucy googles the number for the RSPCA helpline, just in case.

So Al can't really be gunning for a date, since no one in their right mind would ask someone out without knowing what they look like.  Lucy could be 85 years old, or 85 stone, or even a man.

But the banter is fun, and Al seems to be doing his best to convince Lucy of the merits of beard ownership.

Lifeboat?  Lucy takes a look at Al's profile.  He says he's a 32-year old mechanic and lifeboat crew member, and has tweeted photos of lifeboats.  Lucy can't help being impressed - the man is an actual fucking hero. Not to mention the fact that if he's a lifeboat volunteer he must be (a) a Good Person, and (b) pretty damn fit.  Not that she's going to let him know she's impressed.  That's not how this game is played.

The article in question says that men with beards are more likely to lie and cheat than men without. 

Aha!  Al has inadvertently proved her point.   Everyone knows Jesus was a massive con artist, and that Santa breaks into people's houses at night and encourages little kids to sit on his lap - so he's probably a paedophile.  Further proving that men with beards are not to be trusted.

Lucy admires Al's persistence.  The problem is, even if he's serious - which clearly he can't possibly be - but even if he were, there's no way she can actually meet him.  There is already far too much personal information about Lucy online.  Al could easily read her messed-up dating stories and jump to all sorts of conclusions.  Not to mention the fact that he would immediately find out about her tendency to neurotically overthink everything.  And then he will definitely realise she's a crazy person and run a mile.

Bizarrely, in spite of the beard, Lucy is starting to find Al extremely attractive.  He has a handsome face, he's funny, and he seems intelligent.  Not to mention the full-on action hero thing.    

But of course they can never meet.  Quite apart from anything else, Lucy's pretty certain Al is a good five years younger than her. When he finds out her age, there is every chance he will lose interest.

Still, 5 years younger, and an action hero.  Lucy's willing to bet Al has quite a hot body.

But even though Al and Tinder Girl share a love of beards, Al does seem to be more interested in Lucy.

It's the chase, she realises.  Like all men, he likes a challenge.  He wants to pursue me like some fucking Neanderthal chasing after a woolly mammoth.

While Lucy could stand to lose a few pounds, and is frequently too lazy to shave her legs, she'll be damned if she'll put up with anyone comparing her to a hairy prehistoric herbivore.

All the same though, it's nice to have a bit of an online flirt.  So Lucy decides to continue the chat and see what happens.

(To find out what did, click here)

July 30, 2017

The newly-single friend (Part 1)

Lucy's friend Amir has recently split up from his long-term partner.

Lucy and Amir met through work, and have been friends for about five years.  They don't work together any more, but they have a feisty ongoing WhatsApp chat, and get pissed together every so often.

When they met, Lucy was living with The Ex, and Amir was with Julie.  Getting together was never even a possibility.  So they developed an easy, relaxed friendship based on brilliant banter, mutual appreciation, and a fair bit of innocent flirting.  Amir frequently praises Lucy for her talent and humour, which just goes to show what an intelligent and discerning fellow he is.

Amir is two years older than Lucy, and he's funny, clever, and extremely handsome.  Also, he has the greatest hair known to man.  Other guys stop and stare at him in the street, and girls regularly chat him up on the tube.  Lucy's sure it's because of his thick, lustrous, dark head of hair, now lightly sprinkled with salt and pepper.  If Amir could bottle his hair genes and sell them to bald men, he'd be a millionaire in no time.

But in spite of the perfect hair, Lucy's never really fancied him before, because he had a partner and two children. And because he comes across as a bit cocky (with hair like that, who can blame him?).  But mostly because he's only about an inch taller than her, and Lucy doesn't fancy short guys.  No matter how hard she tries.

And boy, has she tried.  She's dated a few men who were the same height as her, and even slept with one or two.  But every time she gets up close and personal to a man who isn't significantly bigger than her, she feels like a big fat butch lump of blubber.  And that's just not sexy.

But although Lucy doesn't lust after Amir, she has always thought of him as one of the Good Ones. You know, as in 'why are the Good Ones always taken?'  One of the ones you're hoping will get divorced so you can snap them up second time round.

This, I'm afraid, is the lot of the late 30s single woman.  All the Good Ones have been grabbed already by girls who in their 20s were prettier and more confident than Lucy.  But statistics say that sooner or later a good 50 per cent of them are going to come back round again and this time, Lucy will have the last laugh.  In the meantime she's been busy keeping her body as near gym-toned perfection as her wine and sugar addictions will allow, and getting eight hours sleep a night, so that when the next Good One becomes available, she'll be the fantasy dreamgirl at the top of his wishlist.

Ok so fantasy dreamgirl might be a little optimistic, but she's definitely doing better than quite a few of her smug married girlfriends on whom the pressures of motherhood have started to take their toll.

And now Amir is no longer taken.

He and Julie were together for 10 years and split up at the end of 2016.  Now he feels like he's ready to dip his toe back in the dating pool, but is lacking confidence, and he's started turning to Lucy.

Amir has also started asking Lucy for her advice about online dating.

Lucy's not sure how she feels about this.  On the one hand, a few nightmare experiences with the crazy women of the Tindersphere might help Amir realise what a total catch Lucy is.  On the other, she doesn't want him doing anything stupid like going on just one date and meeting the new love of his life.

Which has happened at least two friends of hers.  Bitches.

But the thing is, although Amir might be considering getting back into dating, Lucy is pretty sure that he's interested in her too.

At the work Christmas party, when he was drunk, he made a half-suggestion about coming home with her.  Lucy pretended not to understand and ran away.

More recently, he sent her a rather mysterious late night WhatsApp.

Ah, but was it a joke? Lucy wonders.

Recently, Amir and Lucy met up for a drink after work. One thing led to another and before she knew it... (no, it's not like that, get your mind back up out of the gutter)... before she knew it, it was 2 am and they had sunk two bottles of wine and cocktails and were having the best laugh EVER.

At the tube station, they hugged for ages before going their separate ways.  Lucy got the strong impression that Amir wanted to kiss her.  What she doesn't know is whether this is just him feeling single and lonely and wanting a little affection and reassurance, or whether he likes her.  Like, you know, wanting-to-be-in-a-relationship LIKES her.  Seems a little soon after his breakup for that, tbh.

Amir asks Lucy to let him know when she's home safe.

'You smell amazing'?  Is that really something you say to someone who's just a friend?

Safely home, the chat continues. 

There is definite Chemistry here.  With a capital C.  But Lucy needs to be careful.  She's not at all sure whether she has proper feelings for Amir or just has a lot of fun with him as a friend.  And also, she doesn't want to ruin the friendship by getting messy with him when he's on the rebound.  

That said, The Ex got engaged to his rebound girl just five months after he dumped Lucy.  The cunting bastard.

But it does mean being the rebound girl might not be the worst thing.

After their drunken evening together, Lucy doesn't hear from Amir for a few days.  And then out of the blue comes a strange request. 

Lucy's stomach does a little skip of excitement.  This is intriguing... what could it be?

Ok, so this is... interesting.   A mock date?  What does he mean?

Seriously, it's not as if Amir needs to practise talking to women.  He's charming and chatty, he meets new people through work all the time.  It's not like he's socially awkward.  He doesn't work in fucking IT, for Chrissake!

But this is good gossip. She shares screengrabs with her friend Lily, to get a second opinion.

Lucy and Lily have known each other a short time, but already they are BFFs.  They have top level fun together, and agree on everything (just once, Lily disagreed about something, and Lucy was really shocked - until she discovered that it was just a misunderstanding and Lily did actually agree with her after all).  

Lily gives great advice on everything from work to boys to fashion, and can always be relied up on to say it as she sees it, with no sugarcoating.  Lucy thinks Lily is just The Best.  Sometimes she wishes they were both gay so they could get together and Lucy could be done with stupid fucking men once and for all. 

But sadly both Lucy and Lily prefer boys.  We all have our crosses to bear. 

As usual, Lily gives her sensible clear-cut analysis of the Amir situation. 

So she's not imagining it.  Amir just asked her out on a not-a-date.  This is very exciting indeed. 

They do always say the best relationships begin with friendships, and Lucy likes Amir a lot.  Plus he ticks most of her boxes apart from the height thing and the fact that he has two kids.  

Which to be fair, are both pretty big deals.   But nobody's perfect. 

So Lucy accepts - taking care to keep up the pretence that this is just a helpful friends thing.  Which, you know, it might be.  Men are weird and dysfunctional and Lucy doesn't understand them at all.  So it's entirely possible that in Amir's fucked up man mind this is a perfectly normal thing to do with someone who is just a good friend. 

Amir is off on holiday for two weeks, so they leave it there.  It remains to be seen whether he will get in touch once he's back, or whether he'll have shacked up with some 28-year-old hottie by then.  Lucy wouldn't be surprised. 

To be continued...?

July 23, 2017

The Booty Call (Part 2)

Lucy's had three dates with Peter who works in radio.  (To read from the beginning, click here.)

The third date wasn't really a date - more an entirely unapologetic and surprisingly acrobatic sex session, after which he vanished completely into thin air.  

Lucy was just about start googling for news of Peter's death, when he resurfaced and invited himself over again.  How romantic, she sighs, starry-eyed.  It's just what every girl dreams of. 

But Lucy's decided that since Prince Charming is taking his sweet time showing up, she'll have to take what she can get in the meantime.  So she's accepted Peter's terms of engagement. 

He rolls up in his flashy white Porsche and climbs the stairs.  Lucy waits for him at the top.  It's just like that scene at the end of Pretty Woman except that Peter is shorter and has far less hair than Richard Gere.  Also Richard Gere brought flowers, while  Peter has come empty handed.  Nice to see he's made an effort, she sighs.

When Peter reaches the top of the stairs, he goes straight in for a full-on snog.  They kiss in the stairwell for a while, until Lucy realises that the family who live opposite may be watching through their peephole.  She ushers him inside before they scar the young children for life.

Lucy and Peter sit on the sofa.  Lucy has a large glass of wine.  Lucy is sure wine makes her sexier.  At least, she thinks it makes her sexier.  Which is kind of the same thing.  Peter has orange juice.  Clearly he will not be staying the night.  Sex AND a good night's sleep, thinks Lucy.  Win. 

Lucy and Peter both know he is only there for one thing.  But they pretend to chat and be interested in each other's lives.  

"How has your week been?" she enquires.
"Pretty stressful," he replies. "Work has been extra busy because of that disaster that's been all over the news in which dozens of people died."

Peter needs to work on his chat-up technique.

Lucy wants to tell Peter how infuriating she found it that he didn't reply to her messages last time.  She also wants to know why he sometimes sends enthusiastic replies but then vanishes for days, and why he's so hard to pin down to a date.

I'm literally offering no-strings sex, she thinks.  You should be chasing me, not the other way round.

But Lucy knows that if she says any of this stuff she will come across as needy or nagging.  Instead she must pretend to be cool and sexy and a little bit hard to get. Guys like that. 

So she puts her glass down and takes off her top.

They have sex twice.  Despite having been hard to pin down, now he's here Peter seems very enthusiastic - and he's also extremely chatty.  He seems to like describing what's going on in graphic detail, narrating what he's doing, what's going where, how it all feels...  Lucy finds it slightly offputting.  It's nice to have feedback but she's not sure she needs a running commentary.  It's a bit like what watching the horse racing must be like - if horse racing was on a porn channel.

Lucy only knows three positions, but Peter seems keen to try out several more. Lucy's fine with this, although she's not too keen about being on top.  It means she has to remember to hold her stomach in.  I must start doing more sit-ups, she thinks.

She tries sitting up tall and running her hands through her hair like they do in the movies.  Is this supposed to make her boobs look more pert?  It might work if you're a movie star with unfeasibly round breasts, she thinks.  Sadly if Lucy is like anyone off the telly, it's Monica from Friends. 

Afterwards, they lie together on Lucy's bed.  Lucy idly strokes Peter's chest.  She notices that he has quite a lot of body hair, but he has completely shaved his pubes.  Lucy panics: was she supposed to have shaved hers?  Is this what the etiquette is these days?  Lucy doesn't think this is the sort of thing she can ask her friends.

"You're quite hairy, aren't you?" she observes.
"I'm actually hairier than this really," he replies.  "But I trim it with a body hair trimmer."
Lucy has never heard of such a thing.
"It's like hair clippers for your head, except for your body.  You can set it to any length you like and then you can just trim all over."
Peter seems to have gone for Grade 3 or 4 for his legs and arms, and Grade 1 for the pubic region.
That's an awful lot of hair, she marvels.  How on earth does he keep his drains clear?
She hopes she never finds out what he'd look like without the trimmer.

Lucy goes to the bathroom, and catches sight of herself in the mirror.  Her nose and chin are rubbed red from Peter's stubble.
I look awful, she grumbles. How come this never happens in the movies?
Lucy wonders if she should put some more make up on to cover it up. Then she remembers she's supposed to be not giving a fuck.  So she doesn't bother.

Lucy tells Peter that she thinks they should just use each other for sex, regularly.
Peter says he feels violated but clearly he's delighted.
"What, so we're going to be friends with benefits?" he asks.
Lucy's not sure they are really friends.
"We could be friends too, but we might have to keep our clothes on for that part."

They decide to just do benefits.  That's assuming Peter doesn't just disappear again.

(To be continued...?)

July 19, 2017

The Booty Call (Part 1)

Peter, the radio guy who slept with Lucy and then disappeared, has resurfaced.  He wants to know if Lucy is free to meet up this Saturday.  

It's a tale as old as time, she reflects.  No sooner have you decided not to bother with a guy any more, he starts pursuing you.  The lack of interest is like a red rag to a bull.   But why the hell does it not work when I try to fake disinterest with guys I really like?  They must have a ninja sixth sense.

Though clearly in Peter's case it's because he's got an itch that needs scratching.

Lucy's cross.  The cheek of it!  He doesn't reply to messages, he pretends not to have received them, he won't answer a question or agree a date to meet up... She's wasted far too much time and energy on this guy already.  She should tell him where to go. 

Problem is, she's really tempted to say yes.

Lucy is a pathological over-thinker, so she decides to draw up a list of pros and cons.  It looks like this:

  1. She doesn't have any other plans on Saturday.
  2. She's already invested time and effort in Peter, it wouldn't be that much more trouble to say yes.
  3. She's already slept with him once, so that awkward first time is out of the way. 
  4. And it was really good.  Or at least, certainly better than no sex at all, which is the current alternative.
  5. She's already decided she's not that fussed about him, so there's little chance of her getting hurt. 
  6. She definitely hasn't had enough sex in her life so far, so now's her chance to make up for that.
  7. She wants to, and saying no would only be denying herself something based on principle. But principles only get you so far. Lucy is fed up of having principles.
  8. It's been sunny all week so she won't even need to shave her legs - they're already done. Win!
  1. He's messed her around and she doesn't want to reward his bad behaviour.  Or give him the satisfaction.
  2. He'll probably disappear again immediately afterwards.
  3. It'd be a bit slutty.
Lucy wonders if point 3 should really go in the 'pros' column.

Anyway, it's clearly a no-brainer.  She accepts.

But this time, she's determined not to make too much of an effort. She's not even entirely convinced he will actually show up.  So as a way of showing how entirely unconcerned she is about this whole thing, she decides not to wash her hair.  That way, if he cancels, at least she won't have wasted her time.

This small act of rebellion delights her. That'll teach him to mess her around.

Nevertheless, when Saturday rolls around, she's nervous again.  She's barely spoken to Peter since the last time, and he still feels like a stranger.  She hopes he won't be late - it's the waiting that gets to her.

Who is she kidding?  He's been late on all of the last three dates.  Lucy decides she'll be happy if he just bothers to turn up at all.

This is how they win, she grumbles.  Get you to lower your expectations by being dicks, so that you're grateful if they do something even the tiniest bit nice.  Like showing up.

Even though she knows this, Lucy still spends 10 minutes deciding which underwear to put on.  She goes for the (obvious) red ones with the push-up bra.  No point in owning this stuff if you don't wear it, she decides.

She spends a further 10 minutes in front of the mirror practising being sexy and trying to work out if red underwear makes her thighs look fat.  If only I had bigger boobs, she reflects, maybe my life would be different.

Then she remembers that she's too old for this shit.  She should be married by now to someone who is so grateful that she even owns red underwear that he doesn't give a fuck about her B-cups.

Peter phones.  He's running late.

Lucy pours herself a large glass of wine.

(To find out what happened, click here)

July 15, 2017

The Online Dating Virgin (Part 2)

Lucy has a date with Daniel, who does the same job as her.  Lucy likes Daniel because in his photos he looks like David Tennant.  Not that Lucy is shallow or anything. 

Daniel is divorced, and this is his first ever online date.  Lucy's determined to be so impressively witty and gorgeous that this will be not only Daniel's first internet date, but also his last.

She arrives at the bar moments before Daniel, and is still scanning the room to see if he's there when he walks in, wearing jeans and a pale blue shirt.

She does the instant, 2-second judge.  Looks like his photos?  Thankfully, yes.  Does he look like David Tennant?  Not so much, but still handsome.  Height?  As predicted, short, no more than an inch taller than her.  Does she fancy him?  Not on first sight, no.

They order cocktails and squeeze onto bar stools at a corner table.  Lucy's stool is wedged tightly between the table and the wall.  Good thing I'm not chubby, she thinks.  A fat girl'd never fit in here.

Daniel is chatty, and shoots questions at her like it's the quick fire round of a gameshow.  Lucy would like to ask one back, but doesn't seem to get the chance.  Still, at least there are no awkward silences.  Lucy always feels the need to fill silences and invariably ends up saying something stupid.

Daniel fills her in on his weekend.  He went to a stag do.

"I had to arrange it all," he tells her.  "I always seem to end up being the one in charge because I'm really organised."

Lucy, who alphabetises her DVDs and colour codes her knicker drawer, thinks she might be in love. In spite of his height.

"I haven't been on a hen do in ages because all my friends are already married," she tells him.  "Though I guess they'll be moving on to the divorces soon, and then we'll be on to round two."

Daniel looks uncomfortable.  Shit, she forgot he's divorced.

To lighten the mood, she tells him about the last hen party she went to.  "It was in someone's flat," she recounts.  "There was a stripper.  It was pretty awkward.  I've never seen a real, full-on stripper before."
"Did you see an erect penis?" Daniel asks.

Lucy is quite shocked that they are only 15 minutes into the date and Daniel has already said the word 'penis'.

She tells him the penis in question was not erect.  But it was pretty big and the stripper did swing it around and grind up against the bride.
Daniel looks concerned.  Lucy hopes he doesn't think she's into that sort of thing.

Now the subject has moved onto penises, it's hard to talk about anything else.

"Once, at a house party, a stranger touched my cock," he tells her.
"How does that happen?" Lucy queries.
"I was staying in the house with an ex-girlfriend. During the party we went back to our room to have sex. We were getting down to business when this random guy walked in and put his hand on my cock.  I think he wanted to join in."

Lucy wonders if this is Daniel's way of suggesting a threesome.  Just in case he's about to get any ideas, she tells him she's never had one and has no intention of trying.

"But I have been in the room when other people have been having sex," she adds.  Doesn't want Daniel to think she's a prude.

He looks intrigued.

"It was in a youth hostel in Colombia.  I was in a shared dorm and a couple started having sex in the middle of the night.  I had to listen to the whole thing."

Nice to get Colombia in, she thinks. Now he knows I'm adventurous and well-travelled.  But also not a pervert.

The date seems to be going well. They've had three cocktails.  Daniel suggests going to get some food, so they head for a Japanese place round the corner.

As they walk in, a waiter passes with some delicious-looking meat skewers.

"Yum," says Lucy.
Daniel drops a bombshell. "I'm a vegetarian," he confesses.
Lucy wants to cry.

They order boring vegetarian food, and wine.  Daniel offers to pay for the meal.
Too bloody right, thinks Lucy.  Forcing me to eat cardboard.
If we have a second date, she wonders, next time can I force him to eat meat?  Seems only fair.

Outside the restaurant, they say goodbye.  In spite of the vegetarian bombshell Daniel has been good company and Lucy has had a good time.
"Look, it's 11 pm," she points out. "That never happens."
"Why," he asks.  "What time do you normally stay out till?"
"I try to stay for 2 drinks out of politeness.  But a couple of times it's been so bad I've left after just one."

Lucy hopes Daniel realises how lucky he's been to meet her on his first ever online date.
"It's not going to get better than this for him," she thinks. "He's going to get a nasty shock when he carries on and finds out what Tinder girls are really like.
Lucy feels sad for Daniel, what with all the twattish behaviour he's got coming his way.

Daniel tells her he would like to see her again.  She wonders if he will try to kiss her.
But he doesn't.
Lucy is disappointed.   Just because she doesn't fancy him all that much doesn't mean a snog wouldn't have been nice.

(To be continued...?)

July 12, 2017

The Online Dating Virgin (Part 1)

Lucy has matched with Daniel.  Daniel is 45, has brown hair, and looks a bit like David Tennant.  Lucy is deliriously in love with David Tennant.  She even took up watching Doctor Who, and sat through dozens of ridiculous episodes, because of him.  (So she was bloody relieved when he quit.)

David Tennant is 6 feet tall.  Daniel doesn't give his height in his profile.  Lucy examines his photos to try to work out if that means he's short.  In general, tall guys always boast about their height, but short guys try to hide it for as long as possible, so Daniel is probably short.  This is disappointing. 

In one of the photos, Daniel is lying in the road.  Behind him is a bicycle.  Lucy tries to analyse the relative sizes of the bike and Daniel to try to work out roughly how tall he is.  How long is the bicycle?  How far away is it from Daniel?  What effect does the perspective have on their relative sizes in the photo?  Why is he lying in the road anyway?

She gives up.

It turns out Daniel works in the same industry as Lucy.  He even worked at the company she's currently based at until just a few weeks ago, and knows many of the people who still work there.

Lucy is delighted.  Maybe Daniel could be The One (despite probably being short).  They missed each other by a couple of weeks, but maybe fate just needed a little helping hand in the form of a dating app to bring them together.  She wonders if ballet flats would go with a wedding dress.

Then Lucy remembers that in 14 years, she has never met a decent, straight, single man working in her (female-dominated) industry.  All the men are either married, gay, or arseholes.  So if David is single, what is wrong with him?

The quickest way to find out, she reasons, is simply to ask him.

Ah. Divorced with kids.

Lucy is not sure about dating a man who already has kids.  On the one hand it means it's likely he won't want any more, which is fine by her.  Lucy enjoys sleep, freedom, travel and disposable income far too much to give it all up.  Especially not to become a slave to some tiny psychotic dictator.

But on the other hand a man who has kids will always have other priorities.  And dating a dad would mean she would have to pretend to like Other People's Children.

As everyone knows, Other People's Children are, without exception, little shits.  Lucy tries to avoid Other People's Children wherever possible.

Then she remembers Daniel looks like David Tennant, so she decides to give him a chance.

Lucy turns to the company intranet to see if Daniel is still listed there.  This is not stalking.  This is research.  Research is allowed - and in fact is even advisable.  A sensible girl will always check out her date online if she can, she reasons.  Just in case he turns out to be a convicted criminal.  Or a vegetarian.

There are five Daniels in the company phone directory.  Lucy googles all of them but nothing of interest comes up, except that one of them shares his name with a top rugby player.  Either that, or the top rugby player has quit sports and is now working in HR for Lucy's company.   She makes a mental note to check out the boys in HR next time she visits the second floor.

Lucy and Daniel agree to meet for cocktails after work.  He reveals that he has only recently joined the online dating world and this will be his first actual date.

Lucy is going to pop Daniel's online dating cherry.

This could be a problem, she thinks.  Online dating is like house hunting.  You need to experience a few rubbish ones, a few that have been mis-advertised, one or two that are falling-apart and smell weird, before you can appreciate the good ones.  If you see the perfect house on your first viewing, you won't recognise it.

Lucy is not a mouldy and cramped ex-council flat described by a cocky estate agent as 'a stylish and spacious city dwelling with opportunity for redevelopment'.  She's a gorgeous (and yet reasonably priced) Victorian conversion with high ceilings and outside space.  Daniel has hit the jackpot on his first roll of the dice.

But if he's never been ghosted, or stood up, or had to sit through one excruciating hour with someone weird or boring, how will he know that he's struck gold with Lucy?

Daniel has peaked too early.  All Lucy can do is hope that he's sensible enough to recognise a good thing when he sees it.

Lucy is determined to make this the best date ever and be Daniel's first - and last - internet date.  But if that fails, then at the very least she plans to set the bar high.  This date will be the gold standard for all that follow.  In 20 years time, Daniel will still remember the girl who popped his internet dating cherry and wish he hadn't let her go.

She selects just the right outfit - a casual dress that says "I'm feminine and have great legs but I haven't actually made all that much of an effort".  Flat shoes in case he's short.  She even plucks the stray hairs out of her chin and upper lip.  And heads out to meet him...

(To be continued...)

July 09, 2017

Blast from the past

Lucy's matched with Mark from Bumble. 

Mark appears to be very handsome but it's hard to be sure as he only has two photos.  One is a head and shoulders shot with just blue sky behind.  The other is the same photo, only zoomed in.   

Lucy wonders if Mark has arms and legs. She messages him to see if she can find out. 

WTF? thinks Lucy.  We've met before?!

Lucy estimates she's been on several hundred internet dates in her time, so it's entirely possible she's forgotten a few of them.  But Mark's photo is not familiar in the slightest.  She really doesn't recognise him at all. 

There can be only one explanation.  Lucy is never wrong.  Mark must have made a mistake. 

Mark seems determined they've met before. How can this be?  If he's right, she's mortified!

Recently, on Bumble, Lucy came across a guy she'd had a date with about a year ago.  At the time he'd asked her out again but she'd turned him down.  Now, out of curiosity, she swipes right and messages him - and he completely doesn't remember her.  Lucy is outraged.  He was supposed to have been heartbroken!

She really doesn't want to be that person.  So she digs through all her old emails and WhatsApp chats to see if she's ever dated anyone called Mark before.  She ends up reading through some amusing past conversations and reminding herself of a few shockers... but there is no sign of Mark.

It's a complete mystery. She needs answers.

Facebook?  Lucy racks her tired, dating-addled brain.

Then the penny finally drops.

Lucy doesn't remember going on a date with Mark before because she never did go on a date with him.

Lucy met Mark in 2010 when she was travelling alone in New Zealand - back when she was younger and hotter but had just started dating The Ex.  She had just arrived in Christchurch and was eating dinner alone in a small cafe when Mark walked in.  He was also on his own, he was attractive, and Lucy wanted to meet people - so she bravely invited him to join her.  They ate together, swapped details and never saw each other again.

And now, here he is, 7 years later, single, and in London!  This is perfect.  Maybe the timing wasn't right when they met before but now fate has brought them back together.  This will be a great story to tell the grandkids.

Mark is a good, strong name.  And he's a lawyer.  She can definitely introduce him to her parents.

Lucy goes to Facebook to check his profile out and see if she can glean any more information. But she hits a snag.

It appears that at some point in the last 7 years she has defriended him.

All she can see is his profile photo, which is of a young David Bowie, and his cover photo, which shows some pissed-off looking cats superimposed onto a representation of the Galaxy.

Well this is awkward. The only thing she can do is try to style it out.

Lucy's not sure what to make of this.  Is he joking?  It sounds like he's joking.  But she doesn't know him at all, so maybe he's genuinely offended.  After all, she didn't believe him when he said they'd met before - and she's also deleted him from Facebook.  This is not going well.  

Lucy gives up on trying to style it out and tried to defend herself instead. 

Ah, ok, so he WAS joking.

Lucy can almost hear the sound of crashing and burning as her dreams of a summer wedding to a handsome solicitor fall to pieces.  But might be ok, she thinks, there's still a chance to rescue this, with a cheeky dig.



The fantasy bubble bursts and Lucy lands with a thud.

Admittedly things weren't going brilliantly, but there was no need for that.

But maybe, just maybe, he's still joking.  Doesn't say much for his sense of humour, and it would be a pretty terrible joke to make via text with someone you don't know, but a joke is now the best case scenario here.

Lucy's not sure Mark deserves it, but she decides to give him one last chance.

Well what is that supposed to mean?  Was it a joke or not?  If he won't apologise, or explain himself, what is Lucy supposed to say?

She decides to say nothing and see if Mark will come back with a better response later.  He doesn't, and a few days after that he unmatches her.

Lucy has no idea what fate was playing at, but she wishes it would stop being such an arse.

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