First Date in Twenty Years
March 13, 2012 § 81 Comments
From yesterday’s Times:-
Last night I had my first date in two decades.
For most of that time, admittedly, I was faithfully married, but I have been a plankton for years now. I have had the odd quasi date, but they were odd in all senses of the word and don’t count. This date with Long Shot was long-awaited and the real deal.
I am out of practice. During the day I saw, separately, two old (male, married) friends and made them laugh a lot. Each told me how attractive and funny I was. Oh, yeah? And what good has that done me? Obviously not attractive and funny enough. Still, it was a boost of sorts and gave me a midge of confidence for the evening ahead, but of course a date is very different from banter with old mates. However much one wants and tries on a date to be wholly oneself, as with old friends, there are in-built constraints. And not being able to make jokes about being a plankton is just one of them.
I thought hard about what I might wear, and the implications of getting “it” right – “it” being not just my clothes, but my body language, my conversation, my attitude, my levels of flirtatiousness. A bloody minefield, but the implications of the sum of these parts, crucial; a fun evening being the least of it. Everyone can tell me how foolish I was to invest anything in the date other than to hope for a jolly night out, and they are right. But when a date comes along just once in twenty years, I am sorry, but the stakes just do feel a little bit higher. He and I would part that night either fancying each other or not as the case may be, and I wanted to do everything I could to increase the chances of the former or, at least for us to be of the same opinion either way, so neither of us (most likely me) would end up disappointed.
I felt I pitched myself right sartorially. Simple dress, a little but not too much cleavage, heels, make-up but not caked in the stuff. Wine and conversation was forthcoming and I think he was enjoying himself and didn’t seem to want to leave. I liked him very much but I didn’t feel that elusive spark, mostly because I didn’t dare allow myself to do so, for fear that he wouldn’t feel it either. He paid for dinner – I did offer – which was kind of him and may have indicated that all is not lost, but probably smacked more of generosity than attraction.
We parted amiably but with no plans.
Today, still the Plankton, I feel flat as a plaice.