9) Al’s worst dates ever

Dating is a funny thing isn’t it? Two almost strangers meeting and trying to decide if the almost-stranger opposite is a suitable match. I’ve been on many dates. These are three of the worst.

1) She had a prior engagement

I had spoken to the girl on the telephone and we had exchanged messages. She was the same age as me and lived in Newcastle which is just a short hop up the motorway or the east coast mainline from where I live. We arranged to meet on a Saturday afternoon. I said I’d get the train. That way I could have some drinks and we could have a nice afternoon. She said she’d meet me in a pub close to the train station. I didn’t know the city very well back then – still don’t – and she didn’t want me getting lost trying to find somewhere far off.

I had never seen her but she described herself to me. Blonde, tall, the bar wouldn’t be busy. I’d know her because she would be sat alone. I arrived at the bar and sure enough, sat with her long legs curled up underneath her stool, she was. Wow. I was blown away. She was gorgeous. Out of my league by a stretch. I approached, I said hello, I asked if she wanted a drink – she already had one and said for me to get my own. I walked to the bar wondering who was watching over me for me to be going on a date with this goddess.

I got my drink and went back to the table. I was flustered, sweating, stuttering. I didn’t know where to put myself. The words I wanted to say just didn’t come out. I’ve never been one for being overly confident (ha!) but I was a nervous wreck trying to speak to this girl. I tried to refer back to the cool confidence I’d shown on the phone in order to blag this date, but it just was not happening.

After ten minutes of tolerating me trying to form the words to have a conversation she must have given up. She had forgotten, she had to meet her friend in the city, nice to meet me but best to just leave it, didn’t think we were going to be anything but friends. She couldn’t leave fast enough. Bemused, I returned to the train station and headed for home.

2) Bling

I arranged to meet this girl at my local. She was driving and I was between cars at the time. We had spoken previously. She described herself as brunette and petite. I’m more of a buxom blonde lover, but I’ll try anything once. I ask my friend to drive me to the rendezvous and he’s all too happy to oblige for a sneaky peak at the date. We arrive and pull up next to her in the car park. She gets out of the car, all 4′ 10″ of her with a giant moon face, riot of black curls, and diamante encrusted skinny jeans. One look and I know this is a bad idea. “DRIVE!” I say to my friend. He pauses, turns to look at me, and says, “Get out of the car”.

When she spoke it was as if someone scraped their nails down a blackboard. I managed to spend ten minutes in her company before faking a ‘my brother’s bike has been stolen’ phone call and fleeing the scene like a coward.

3) Oh baby?

I met her at the Metro Centre. Her suggestion. I was new to the area and unaware that it’s actually hell on earth. She said she’d meet me in the Blue Mall – which is essentially just a quarter of hell on earth with red, yellow and green making up the other seventy five percent.

I was early; I’d travelled far, by train and tram to get where I needed to be. I stood at the pre-arranged meeting point for my date to turn up. She had described herself and I had a mental image of the person I was meeting. Blonde, blue eyes, big smile and here she comes. Blonde – check. Blue eyes – check. Big smile – check. Pram with new born baby enclosed – WHAT!?

This was not on the menu.

We went for a drink. She seemed nice. We got on. The baby thing (I was 22) was an issue. I’d never dated a mother before. But perhaps I could look beyond that if it didn’t get weird.

We talked, I was charming and she was attentive. Yeah, I like this, this has got potential. I could see this girl again. Maybe without the kid in tow. She laughed at my awkward jokes. I complimented her on her blouse. It’s going well. It’s going really well.

“I think you’re going to make a brilliant Daddy”



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