So 2015 ended with a bang not whimper!
It kind of started raining men (hallelujah!!).
First was Mr Fox. Mr Fox was Spanish and I swiped him because he was a) Spanish and b) he had a cracking photo of himself with a live fox on his back. I was basically curious to know the story behind it.
So we began the direct message chat. And keen to learn from my last experience of wasting four weeks of my life, I decided to take this Spanish bull by the horns and asked him out.
Here’s a little insight – (Mr Fox is grey and I’m blue).
And there it was …. my first date in what seems like an eternity.
And it didn’t stop there, because as Mr Fox and I continued to chat and text-flirt in the lead-up to our date a week later, I managed also to catch the eye of a lovely French man. He was a stock broker, been in the UK for 12 years (like me). He was confident, polite and got straight to it. He asked me out and we had an afternoon date booked.
So I went from dating drought to two dates in two days. (Hallelujah!)
This was exciting and also interesting because the approaches and interactions were like chalk and cheese, further proving my theory that there is no magic formula to this dating game.
You see Mr Fox, despite being 6ft6, into rugby and Spanish, had felt slightly emasculated that I’d asked him out. Our conversation, in a joking way, consistently referred to the fact that I was acting like the boy, simply because I was direct and on several occasions took control of things. And I wasn’t doing it intentionally.
Let me explain.
He originally wanted to delay our first date until after the New Year. Ugh! Another avoider, I feared, so I told him if it didn’t happen before he went to Spain then the chances were, it wasn’t going to happen. Miraculously he was free the next Friday.
As the meeting point of the date, he wanted us to go to the Rugby World Cup shop so he could pick up some Christmas gifts before heading home to Spain the next day. I explained that shopping wasn’t that romantic, unless he was going to model rugby tops for me and I suggested I would meet him later in a bar if he wanted to shop. (At this point he was impressed that I was expecting romance on the first date – so things turned slightly positive.)
But then I forgot his name (so he accused me of being like a boy and not reading his profile properly).
So along came date night. I opted to wear a skirt, not trousers, and even some heels and arrived at the agreed 6pm meeting point. At 5.55pm I received a text to say he meant 7pm. Not a great start – but I opted to stay positive. (He’s not going to stand me up, he’s not going to stand me up). By 7.15pm he still hadn’t arrived and I was already in a bar demolishing a SMALL glass of wine (don’t get shit-faced in case he arrives Nat, don’t get shit-faced in case he arrives Nat).
At 7.35pm a very tall, very coy Spaniard arrives and apologises. I noticed he had no shopping. He had spent so long faffing he hadn’t even been to the shop! I asked where we were going for the date and he wasn’t really sure. So I suggested we go to the rugby shop or else he’d be grumpy all night.
By 8.15pm I’m gagging for a glass of wine and bored of shopping – despite his offer of modelling for me. So he buys a rugby shirt and we head to a wine bar.
I learn that he’s a science teacher in a secondary school, he grew up on a farm in Spain, the fox was tame and had been trained to do the jump on the back trick, he makes a mean Spanish omelette, he loves new world wine and he doesn’t understand why everyone on Tinder talks about a love of cheese. (This conversation occurred while we were sharing a cheese board).
There were a few awkward silences, which I tried to fill, but I got the sense that we were lacking chemistry (I know – and he’s a science teacher – go figure!)
He then received a text from his room-mate who had left his house keys somewhere (ah – that old chestnut, the escape the crap date excuse). He suggested we pay up, head somewhere for one more and then he’d need to go.
He made a feeble attempt to get the waitresses attention and after five minutes of standing there, I’m at the till and paying the bill. (Yes – I became the man again!).
So we start walking to the next bar and I commented on how good his English was, particularly after he had said on text that his written English was much better than his spoken English …. and then the penny dropped.
I turned to him and said: “You haven’t understood anything I’ve said tonight have you?”
He sheepishly replied: “I’ve understood some things, but you speak very fast!”
I then berated him for not speaking up sooner and telling me to slow down and he explained he felt stupid asking people to continuously repeat themselves.
We laughed and decided to start afresh. So I led us towards a pub nearby and went to open the door. He pulled me back onto the footpath and shut the door and said “we’re not going in there, I won’t be able to hear anything you are saying – even if you speak slowly.” He was right – it was loud and it was nice to see him take control.
So we headed to a quieter wine bar and had a final glass. I spoke slower, we flirted, I used the arm touch manoeuvre and the chemistry slowly started to grow. He paid and we started walking towards the station. We got to my bus stop and I wished him a happy Christmas and went to give him a kiss on the cheek goodbye.
Then in a move that reminded me of one of those Mills and Boons romance novels I read as a teenager, he grabbed hold of me, pushed me against the bus shelter and said: “that’s not how Spanish men say goodbye.”
Needless to say he took control and showed his Hispanic charms and kind of took me by surprise. Given the see-saw nature of the date I wasn’t sure that he was actually that interested. So it was happy ending of sorts. He gave me a final kiss, promised to be in touch in the New Year and headed off to the station.
I turned to the bus shelter (which was thankfully empty after my Mills and Boons public display) and waited for my bus.
I pulled out my phone and it buzzed. It was the French man.
“Nat – what are you up to?”
And that my friends is when it started raining men.