Date with an older man (Fleabag, pizza, and murder)

Okay so he wasn’t THAT old. He was 37. But given that I almost exclusively go for men in their twenties, he was fucking ancient in comparison. We met on Tinder and had been chatting for about a week. We arranged to meet at King’s Cross on Wednesday at 2pm and go for coffee. He lives in Hertfordshire so he got the train down to meet me.

I may not have turned up at 2pm. God the Piccadilly line at the moment. Not sure how it’s going to run a night service when it can’t even run a bloody day service. The fact I left my house at around 1.55 has nothing to do with this. Anyway he waited for me by the Christmas tree and when I first saw him I didn’t get that panic feeling to turn around and walk away in the other direction that I often get with internet dates.

That morning I had phoned the Soho Theatre to find out how to go about getting a ticket for Fleabag, and if I could queue for returns on Thursday. They said it depends, but that there was an extra performance happening that day that wasn’t sold out, so I should come down at 3pm to get a ticket! So I basically turned up to my internet date at 2.25 and told him we were going to see a play. He seemed slightly unsure at first but then warmed to the spontaneity of the idea.

On the way to the theatre we talked about life and work. He is a self-employed digital designer, I think he owns his own home, and generally seems to have his shit together. This was very new territory for me. When we got there I tried to pay for my own ticket, but he insisted on paying and put in his card for £50 for both tickets like it was nothing.

We also talked a bit about internet dating. He said he’s been on some good ones, but that it’s usually him who doesn’t want to see them again because there wasn’t enough there. Then he told me a story about how his brother’s wife’s sister’s best friend (or something similar) had been murdered on a Tinder date by a lawyer in a hotel.  It wasn’t very widely reported in national press, but of course the Daily Mail picked up on it. And people wonder why lawyers have a reputation for being untrustworthy.

We discussed how you can be spending time with someone and just not know what they are really like. All you have to go on is your intuition. I postulated as to whether she’d had any bad feeling about him, but ignored her instinct and went to the hotel anyway, which we’ll never know. I wonder if he tells this story on all his Tinder dates as a warning to women not go home with men if you have any doubts – but the problem is psychopaths are naturally charming and that’s how they trick people.

As for the play, it was much more intimate seeing Phoebe Waller-Bridge in front of me on a stage, after watching the show on TV. You get to see a lot more physicality in the play and how versatile she is, as she plays the part of other characters as well. Her delivery is impressive – good punchlines become hilarious because of the way she says them.  It was a bit darker than the TV show, as she says she always wants to go darker. I forgot that she kills the guinea pig in the play and have to admit even I was a little bit shocked.

I did prefer the TV version, but I think that’s like when you read a book before seeing a film or vice versa. (My date started watching the TV show afterwards and said he preferred the play). In the play she’s addressing the audience, but in the sitcom she has to break the fourth wall to do this, something I love watching. I also missed the visuals involving the other characters, e.g.  when the man at the bus stop opens his mouth for the first time, or when she sees the anal sex guy in the shop and pretends she’s buying regular tampons instead of super.

I can definitely relate to Fleabag – I’m not as much of an awful person as she is, but people I know said she reminds them of me, I guess it’s the dark, filthy, ‘bad’ feminist side they are talking about. When she does the long speech at the end about fucking and how she fucks everything literally and metaphorically, and it’s sort of a cry for help; a recognition that she’s fucking to fill some kind of void, it resonated with me and I actually got a bit emotional, and then I thought fuck that, and wiped the tears away before my date could see them.

Afterwards, my date and I sat in the bar and I ordered a pizza (pepperoni and red chillies). It came with onions sprawled all over it, despite not being mentioned on the menu, so I spent the next few minutes picking them off (anyone who knows me knows I woke up one day in the mid 2000s and suddenly couldn’t eat them anymore). I let my date have some of the pizza, and we talked about the play and various other things.

He said he doesn’t really like stand-up comedy, which I can weirdly kind of understand, although he did do that whole ‘you’re so brave I could never do it’ shit that us comedians hear on a regular basis. He then did quite a funny rant about not understanding how bicycles stay balanced and planes stay in the air, and then we wondered about boats for a bit. Why don’t they sink?! Phoebe Waller-Bridge wandered past a few times and I almost went to talk her, but didn’t and then wished I had. This is unlike me, usually I would just go for it, but there just didn’t seem to be a good moment. But oh well. That ship has sailed. It’s all Waller under the Bridge. I bet she gets that all the time. Okay I’ll stop now.

Anyway it was a fun and random afternoon, he seemed like a really nice, genuine guy, but ultimately I don’t think we had enough chemistry to see each other again. We texted a bit afterwards (mainly about Fleabag) but I didn’t reply to the last message (there was no question) and he didn’t pursue it. I did tell him about my blog, so he might be reading this…Well at least I didn’t get murdered, and I got to see Fleabag. Result.

The end

Date at the Tate

On Saturday I was on my way to do Shaggers at Leicester Square Theatre when I got a message from a guy I’ve been talking to from Tinder asking to meet up that evening. I did initially invite him to the gig, although I’m quite glad he didn’t come now…

He suggested we meet at 9 and go to to Tate Modern (which is now open until 10 on Fridays and Saturdays). I thought that sounded cool and artsy so I agreed to meet him.

The gig was awesome and it was really fun being able to do all my dirtiest jokes. The audience seemed to enjoy my set, although one man did look shocked when I said the words, ‘but I don’t see you sipping out of my mooncup’. Apparently even at a sex themed comedy show, I’m still pushing the boundaries. Which I love doing. The show finished at 8.30 and I walked across the Thames to go and meet my date.

This man has spent the last few weeks or so basically being my news source. He likes to send me politics links, weather updates, pictures of the sky, and ask me stuff like who I think is going to win Euro 2016. (I can’t even remember who won now…was it France?!) Anyway, I was quite intrigued by his method of communicating and thought we might get along.

The problem with internet dating is you have no idea what a person is really like until you meet them. When I go on a date with someone, I generally know within 5 seconds if I am attracted to them or not. Which sounds like a really quick assessment. But that’s just how I am.

We meet, and I quickly realise he is not my type at all. I know that’s shallow, but I think that sexual attraction is very important, especially as I am not really looking for a relationship at the moment, more just some fun. I also don’t think that looks and personality are mutually exclusive and that when you meet someone in person you get a sense of that person as a whole and their general vibe.

But it’s rude to say straight away ‘Sorry I don’t fancy you, I’m going home’, plus I do (usually) like art galleries, so we go into the Tate and I think ‘well it closes at 10, so I can bail after that’.

The new building has a nice viewing platform, and the sky looks beautiful. I guess it could be quite romantic if you were there with the right person. I’m more interested in taking photos though.

Picture of the London Night Sky

We go back inside and see the Louise Bourgeois exhibition I have heard so much about, sadly I think I don’t really get it. It’s full of body shaped sculptures and dolls and I don’t understand or enjoy looking at them. I do like the spider on the wall though, I think spiders are beautiful and most people look at me oddly when I say this.

Picture of Louise Bourgeois's Spider

The gallery assistants keep telling him my date he’s not allowed drinks in the exhibitions, as he is carrying round an (unopened) coke can. (I ask him later when we are going back to the tube why he hasn’t drank it and he says he found it in a Boris bike and doesn’t want it. Right.)

We look at a few more rooms and nothing really grabs my attention. We talk about how art is all about networking and good marketing. For example, how the hell do you convince someone that this is worth putting on display?

Picture of Three Blank Canvases

I feel like art in a gallery should be at least a bit better than something I could make or just buy from a shop. Apparently this is not the case.

After a disappointing hour we walk back to the tube and my date tells me about how him and his last girlfriend dated for 5 years without having sex because she was religious (but he isn’t) and she wanted him to convert so they broke up. He also tells me that he was shocked when he came to England and saw people with Down Syndrome, as in Latvia where he is from ‘disabled people stay at home’. Wtf?!

When I get out of the tube there’s a message from him saying it was nice to meet me. I tell him it was good to meet him too (I’ve had worse dates and he did make me laugh a couple of times), but that I don’t think we have enough chemistry to meet again. He then says ‘why? I liked you’, so I tell him that he’s not my type (there’s really no need to ask for more information if someone says you don’t have enough chemistry). Do you want me to text back ‘I DON’T WANT TO SLEEP WITH YOU?!’

The next day he sends me a picture of the sky and I don’t reply.

The End