Close your eyes. Picture this…
Tim arrives for a date. (Girls; linger on this image for a while. Take your time. Go on - indulge yourselves. You’re worth it!)
So, I’m showered and smelling of - I dunno - David Beckham deodorant and Obsession. Wearing jeans and jacket. Smart shoes. You lucky girl whoever you are! We do the get-a-drink thing and sit down. We talk about our day, how we got here, some random observations about the bar we're in (for it will be a bar). And then. And then.
Well apparently, there's websites out there that supply approved first date questions. If you run dry of conversation, you're supposed to throw one of these into your date to get things going. For example: -
· Who is the biggest influence on your life?
· What was your favourite movie / song of all time?
· Who is your best friend and why?
· What were you like growing up?
· What's your goal in life right now?*
· What's your bucket list of places to go to?
· Blah - fucking - blah
It's rehearsed spontaneity, the wisdom of a parrot, the 'I'm mad me' humour of the unfunny. In other words, nothing - nothing would turn me off more than some lady asking me to discuss the greatest influence on my life. **
Of course, I accept that someone who reeled off some bollox question has probably put some thought into our date which in itself is charming. Or an indication that she goes on a lot of dates and is on auto-pilot. Or boring.
The point stands for blokes though too. Boring bastards with no wit but tall enough to get some girl to agree to a date. If you then rely on pre-scripted bon mots, well I’d have to put you to the sword like Stilicho in Ravenna. No mercy ladies.
This somewhat reminds me of the ‘Chechnya’ scene in Brigitte Jones where Brigitte – in order to impress upon Hugh Grant her seriousness – intones ‘But what about Chechnya’ and he responds ‘I couldn’t give a fuck’ and asks her to talk about her lesbian experiences (or just make shit up).
And the purpose of this curmudgeonly ramble? Advice to a perspective girlfriend? Advice to nervous dates that they just be themselves and let the god of wine be your guide? Perhaps, snidey bitching from life’s sidelines? Yeah, that’ll be it.
So, let me leave you with some real advice:-
No-one regrets what they did. They regret what they didn’t.
*Seriously – what’s my goal right now? On a date? Er, let’s think… Ooh, it’s on the tip of my tongue (like you will be in half an hour).
Was that crude? I apologise. But weakly.
** The greatest influence on my life? I would, of course, answer ‘drink’. I mean, like, doh! Exit pursued by a bear.
*** The Monday night find a husband / running club is humongous tonight. Lots of ladies. They completely outnumber the nerds trying to (get laid) get fit. If I wasn’t double their age, I’d seriously consider donning the lycra myself.
And Theodosius II? Well, he was ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire in the early 5th Century. When asked about what qualities he wanted in his future wife, he replied, "Well as long as she's good to look at." And so, that's what he got, a good-looking wife. A simple story but effectively rendered, I feel.