Over the weekend I went on a date. I wasn’t entirely looking forward to it; it was more or less a blind date with minimal texting beforehand. I had seen a picture of the guy through What’sapp and he wasn’t my type but I tried to convince myself that I would have fun, that he would be fun, that the whole thing would be fun. To a certain extent it was, if by ‘certain extent’ I mean ‘almost no extent’, because he didn’t order any food and watched me eat. And that was possibly the most awkward thing ever. Ever, ever, ever.
He suggested a tea house at 2pm. Of course I was early since that’s how I roll and I sat in this kitsch little shop thinking about the castle I’d passed on my way (the posh Harrow school) and how this part of Zone 5 is too village-y for its own good. I got a table for two easily enough and waited. I was hungry and thirsty but didn’t tell him that when I messaged him. In fact I think I played it rather cool since all I said was ‘I’m here’ and ‘see you soon’. No response. Then just before two he called me asking if I was here already. Maybe that should have been the first clue that this wasn’t going to go well since he obviously didn’t read my message. Actually that was the second clue, the first was that he spelt ‘you’ with one letter only, ‘u’. I am way too much of a snot to handle that (WHY CAN’T YOU SPELL LIKE AN ADULT?! WHY?)
But he wasn’t late and this was fantastic. When he arrived we hugged and me being me asked the air out loud if hugging was appropriate or if we should have shaken hands instead (still unsure. Also how old am I? Ancient as fuck that’s how old). He didn’t answer possibly because I don’t think he heard. Otherwise he chose to ignore me which is probably wise.
Now I didn’t understand or realise that we weren’t going to be eating. I hadn’t had lunch and was therefore ready to eat the table while he had eaten beforehand. So when I cheerfully asked him what he wanted and he replied with nothing, I was slightly stumped. Was I also supposed to eat nothing? But I was hungreyyyyyyyyy. So I ordered food anyway only realising very dimly that this meant he would be watching me eat. I genuinely didn’t understand the ramifications of this until it was too late.
Conversation while we waited was stilted. But there was some conversation and he seemed like a perfectly ordinary if somewhat boring man who was slightly taken aback with my tattoos. He then went on to ask me if I was addicted to getting inked and if I would get my whole arm done (I have two tattoos and it is possibly the most middle class thing about me). Another clue that he might not be the one or even the one for right now.
Of course when the food arrived the coffin was ready to be buried because he watched me eat my avocado, sun-dried tomato, and buffalo mozzarella toastie (which was delicious by the way). All four little sandwiches and side salad – he watched me eat it all. I asked him maybe three times if he wanted cake or a sandwich or anything or something and every single time he replied with a polite no.
Fucking hell. That wasn’t me trying to force feed you, that was me trying to make the whole thing less awkward, take the hint.
But nope. Either he didn’t get the hint or had issues with food or was very happy to let this whole date become incredibly awkward. Actually I don’t even think it can be called a date by this point. Spectator sport might be more accurate.
And there was no way I could let him pay for my meal. But he was Indian so I expected the token ‘no I’ll pay’ to be thrown in before I insisted but that didn’t happen either. And that was possibly it. One thing about being Indian is that you always offer to pay, always. You offer to the point of rudeness but you offer. To not do so it actually kind of jarring. So instead I paid for my food and chai and his latte and spectating of my chewing ability. We parted pretty quickly after and while I could have walked a lot of the way with him I chose to hop on a bus instead and I wasn’t even sure if it was the right bus, it was just the first bus.