I thought I'd try to entertain you all with a personal tale today, so here is the tale of the worst date I've ever been on (long before I met Katherine I might add).
It was a Friday night in early February 2002. I was working for Rage Games in Sheffield at the time so was therefore having a few pints in the regular pub with a few of my colleagues. Our group gradually got smaller as people went to catch their trains home until I was left alone. I decided to stay for a bit, partly because I had drunk a few pints of Stella and fancied my luck on the pull, I lived alone and didn't have much to go back to at home, though mainly because I'd just bought a pint and wasn't going to waste it.
On the adjacent table was a group of girls. In an unusual fit of self confidence, I sauntered over and got chatting with them. One in particular was rather nice in my view and we got on really well together. They all decided to move on to another pub and for some reason I said I was staying put. One of them came back pretending to have left her cigarettes and asked me if I fancied the girl I had been talking to. I replied in the affirmative and she passed me a piece of paper with a phone number and a name on it (which I won't reveal here).
The following Monday I excitedly told my work friends about this and they eventually persuaded me to ring the number. I rang it and we arranged a date for the following night, meeting at the same pub.
Fast forward to the night in question and I'm sat in the pub alone, feeling really nervous, necking a couple of pints to stop me shaking. The pub door opens and in walks... half of the people in my office. The evil bastards position themselves on the opposite side of the pub for a perfect view of us.
Then my date arrives. It's not the woman I thought it was going to be. Not even close. It's their rather large friend with rock bottom self esteem who sat there saying nothing the previous Friday. I've been set up and my workmates are seeing everything.
Still, I try to make the best of it, so I buy her a drink and try to start the "getting to know you" conversation. She's very hard work. The dialogue went something like:
Me: "So... What kind of music are you into?"
Her: "I don't listen to much music."
Me: "OK, what films do you like?"
Her: "Erm... The last film I saw was Titanic"
I was finding it very difficult to find any common ground between us. It was made even harder by my workmates making whale impressions, winking at me, or generally making "you're in there matey" gestures whenever I saw them.
Later, as we had a few more drinks, she relaxed a little and eventually started talking. However, her idea of a first date conversation was to drop the bombshell that she had a two year old son and to rant about the bloke who had got her pregnant and then left her. I was way out of my depth here and I really didn't have a clue what to say.
After an eternity, she received a phone call. It was her mother to tell her that she was going to bed and that she should come home to look after her child. I bade her farewell and joined my friends at the back of the pub in an attempt to get most of the inevitable piss taking out of the way while I was still drunk.
I went home, deleted her number from my mobile and burnt the piece of paper that had started it all. This took quite a while with an electric hob, but was quite satisfying to watch the paper slowly blacken and turn to ash.
This would have been the end of it, but a few days later it was Valentine's day. At about lunchtime I recieved a text that went something like:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I had a good time the other night
And I think I like you
I ignored this, but more texts kept coming, getting increasingly desperate as the day wore on. Eventually I had to phone her and explain that I didn't think we were a good match. She was crying on the phone and sounded really upset about it - after ONE DATE!
Eventually though, she seemed to accept it and I never heard from her again.