The Vegan Welder continued: Post Date no 1

The Phone Call:
Promptly at 9:01 the next day, I rang the Dating Agency to report that while VW was “lovely”, there wasn’t much future for us. Marcy the Matchmaker had other ideas. She was insistent that I was writing off VW, he had really liked me, and that I absolutely should go on Date no 2. She was surprised to hear about his 7pm to bed routine and how that might conflict with a musician’s schedule, and insisted she would get to the bottom of it. Marcy also dropped a large hint about how I wasn’t in a position be fussy at my age, and had nothing to lose by seeing VW again.

Vegan Welder rang to arrange another date, but promptly backed off when I proposed an evening with a later start time, telling me he couldn’t possibly go to a concert finishing at 10pm. If nothing else had been, that was a deal breaker, which I told him, and for a brief second thought I was off the hook.

Alas. Marcy the Matchmaker meanwhile was counselling VW (who had a more expensive level of membership and his own personal matchmaker). VW called back and apologised for being so unflexible, and being unwilling to stay up until 10pm. He just couldn’t believe how rude he had been, wanted me to arrange the next date so that he could experience the types of things I loved. I was dreading it already.

This time, the date was on my terms. Having done the 5pm vegan dinner thing and feeling totally pressured to see this dude again, I organised an evening I would (hopefully) enjoy despite the date. Dinner starting at a normal time at the Himalayan Café in New Farm, followed by cool show at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Time for him to join my world.

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The Chemical Engineer with the fake German accent: Aftermath

The next day I received a multiple choice questionnaire as to why I wasn’t keen to see him again (which of course I read together with the whole house). Wise responses below from one of my besties.

> > a) Am I into too much stuff you just don’t understand?

ohhh… how patronizing. from the man who probably doesn’t even know the name “Rameau” because he was pre-1950… fucker

> > b) do I ride my bike too fast? (PF: might I add there was no bike riding involved in this date?)

hhahah… again, patronizing – implying he thinks his fitness level might intimidate you… he’s “just too fit” for you… you blob you… hahaha. NOT

> > c)  should I have kissed you as you got out?

ewww!

> > d) Am I too rich?

see above : “patronizing”

> > e) Am I too old?

hmmm – first sign of actual weakness. nice to see he’s not a total geek-bot, but then again, this particular ailment is something he has no control over, so is technically not a ‘weakness’ more than ‘nature’….still not admitting to fault…

> > f) Am I too bald?

see e)…

> > g) do you find this RSVP thing uncomfortable?

.. oh, so now we blame THE WEBSITE! good good. nice to see he’s not asking the real questions like “did I appear to be a geeked-out loser to you?” or “did I make you feel physically ill by just being there?”. This questionnaire is RIGGED I tell you! Its like politicians saying : “Are you going to vote for me? Are you NOT going to vote for the other guy?”

> > h) did you read my poetry?

hahaha… though this seems like he MAY think you may not have liked his poetry, I think this is more loaded in terms of “Did you read my poetry, but it had too many big words your poor, feeble, female mind could not begin to understand? I pity you, my dear… pat pat…” hahahah

> > i) are Stockhausen and Nick Cave just too weird?

HAHAHAHAHA there’s that word weird. If he only knew some of your friends/ex-friends and well, ANYTHING about you and he’d understand that Stockhausen isn’t even the beginnings of weird. What a loser. I hate people who insist on calling themselves weird, because I think it’s a word you just can’t use on yourself, except in the case when you’ve had a ‘weird day’ or a ‘weird mood’. But ‘I’m SO weird!’ is just stupid.

I reckon you should be honest with this guy and write back. Don’t answer his questions though – just write a short paragraph saying you think his questions missed the point, and not to underestimate your intelligence, and that given his profession, he should “understand that “Chemistry” has a whole lot to do with anything, and hell baby, there AINT NONE with YOU and your odd little delusions…”

roowr….

> > What are you looking for?

> > Oh well, I think I’ve just about lost all my senses now… was jetzt/was bleibt?  Nix

> > Maybe you’d be interested is some pure “fun” on the side?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH I just noticed that part… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

I’m sorry, but SO no comment!!

Scratch the above suggestion. You should write back and say “No, but my flatmate still thinks you’re cute, and I know that though she’s not after anything serious right now, she’s definitely looking for a FUCK-BUDDY and I think you’d make a good BONK COUPLE myself”…. ahh sweet revenge…

Vegan Welder: Date no 2

We settled in to dinner at the Himalayan Cafe. While normally I don’t eat tonnes of meat, and really love vegetarian food, this was not the night for it. What was the most challenging thing on the menu for a vegan to watch me eat? The goat curry seemed to satisfy that requirement. There would be hunks of meat on the bone to be prised off, maybe even an opportunity to grab the carcass and gnaw on the last stringy scraps, Asterix and Obelix style. I had brought wine despite knowing VW didn’t drink, so asked for one glass and poured some wine for myself.

The conversation was literally as follows.

VW: “So, you like music?”
PF: “Yes, remember, I’m a professional musician?”
Forced smile, didn’t we establish this on Date no 1? In fact, the agency had told him this before we met??
VW: “So, you like listening to music?”
PF: The forced smile is becoming harder to produce, the eyes are definitely not involved now. Pan Am smile. I take another big mouthful of goat and slurp of wine.
PF: “Yes, I’m a musician, I love listening to music”.
VW: “Oh, then we have so much in common. I love music too, and I own two classical CDs”.
PF: “Really?” He has had coaching. His personal matchmaker has been onto him.
VW: “Yes, the name starts with V…..i…….(long pause)”
PF: (knowing where this is going) “You own Vivaldi’s Four Seasons then.”
VW: “Wow, That’s amazing, we have so much in common, I can’t believe you guessed what my favourite CD is”
PF: Suddenly he’s a classical music lover. Oh God.
PF: “You mentioned you own two classical CDs, which is the other?”
VW: “They’re the same one, Vivaldi, it’s a double disc”.

Da da boom. OMG, two whole classical CDs and that was his big attempt at finding common ground. It’s going to be a long night. Lucky he struggles to stay alert past 8pm. My smile is more like a grimace as I pour another glass of wine for myself. Shame I have to drive to the Powerhouse, I could do with a pretty large serve right now.

VW interrupts: “So do you ride a horse?”
PF: What the? What kind of question is that? What kind of tense is that? Am I currently riding a horse? Have I ever ridden a horse? Ok, Vivaldi wasn’t a huge conversation spinner but that was one helluva segue.
PF: “No, I don’t ride a horse” (keeping the same tense. Why not. I started to enjoy myself. This was going to be great material for a book one day. Small consolation for surviving this evening with sense of humour intact).

PF: The horse conversation was going nowhere fast, so I decided to emphasise my anti-vegan flesh devouring. “How’s your dinner? The goat is just fantastic, and the wine goes so nicely with it. Such a lovely red!”

Now I’m getting cruel. At least I might get to the bottom of this rising in the middle of the night business before this evening is done.

PF: “You know, I’d like to understand you better, and the hours you keep. I’m curious about why you get up at 3am…”
VW: “I wake up with the sun.”
PF: “But the sun doesn’t rise at 3am…..?” What the?
VW: “That’s also when the US stock market opens, I’m learning how to trade shares. I don’t actually trade shares, I trade practice shares, until I learn more about it, so I don’t risk losing money”.
PF: Right. So the agency’s description of Vegan Welder having his own successful trading business was a colourful exaggeration. Being familiar with the time difference from NYC to Brisbane, I also knew the stock market opening time was also far from the truth.
PF: “But that’s 1pm NYC time?”
VW: “Oh, but that’s also when I do my yoga class”.
PF: After just telling me earlier he does evening yoga classes…this bizarre timetable will remain an unsolved mystery, clearly.

I gave up trying to understand why, and turned to the practicalities.
PF: “It must be very difficult to do social things if you have to be asleep by 8pm?”
VW: “Who am I meant to catch up with?”
PF: This is bad. Pause. “Your….friends?”
VW: Silence. I correct myself. This is REALLY bad.

UntitledFortunately, there wasn’t much time left to finish our carnivorous curry and vegan vegetables respectively, before having to leave for Part 2 of the evening, a show at the Brisbane Powerhouse.I had deliberately chosen a challenging, weird theatre piece to really turn him off once and for all. 10pm finish, so way past his bedtime, foul language, nudity, and an obscure plot – perfect. As hoped, VW became increasingly dozy, and the evening slowly ticked over to 10pm. The show was not really my thing, but a small sacrifice worth making.

Just to finish off the Vegan Welder experience, as we were bidding each other goodbye (FOREVER!), VW asked for me to give him a lift to the CityCat. I politely suggested that it would be much easier for him to walk the 300m across the park to the City Cat stop, rather than walking to my car, and driving a couple of minutes to the terminal, as cars aren’t allowed to drive across public parks in Brisbane. Or most cities for that matter. I was done with this guy.

9:01 the next morning, I was quick to ring the Dating Agency and request a meeting to review my profile. This was not working. I had just wasted 1/6 dates (which means $350) on two painful evenings, not to mention having to deal with an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness. Marcy the Matchmaker was adamant that VW and I were indeed a great match, he was merely shy. “I hadn’t really got to know him, he’s a lovely guy who really wants a family (HINT again that you’re in your late 30s and shouldn’t be too fussy if you want kids)”.

I stressed that his profile should be updated so that potential girlfriends knew his lifestyle habits, and that his “very social” status be altered. As I had guessed, I was then informed that he used to be “very social”, but he had developed some serious health issues as a result of being “very social”, which prompted the radical life transformation. In other words, alcoholic or drug abuse, looking to overcome HepC with a puritan diet, yoga, and of course those early nights to bed. Sure it’s a great story of personal transformation, but it’s not what I need.

I simplified my perfect man wish list. Just send me someone smart, interested in the arts, with whom you can have an intelligent conversation. Then came the Serious Spaniard. Sometimes, what you think you want is not what you need. To awkwardly paraphrase the Stones.

 

Agency Date: The Vegan Welder. Date no 1.

One can’t help but have raised hopes when the Dating Agency rings to tell you that a new match has been found. After all, they’re meant to be pros at unearthing those kindred spirits whom the Universe has chosen to mysteriously withhold until they magically join the agency. Notwithstanding the cool $2000 for the year’s membership to meet six amazing blokes, of course chosen queueing from the hundreds on the books that are just perfect for The Purple Frock. Pardon me if I seem cynical.

Let it be known that I had doubts from the time the agency called to announce the unearthing of the Vegan Welder. Sure, I eat pretty healthily, and make a pathetic attempt at a weekly yoga class (both in attendance and executing the moves), but I’m not obsessive. I never say no to dark chocolate, don’t mind a glass of wine on a hot or cold day, and can be tempted by all manner of things salty, fatty and of preservative origins after that glass of wine (or three). Also, call me a snob, but after dedicating 11 years studying at tertiary level, including a PhD, I just wasn’t sure that our worlds would overlap to find enough common ground for an evening, let alone develop a romance. At this stage, I still trusted Dating Agency though, so I swallowed my doubts after a few weak interjections and went with.

Vegan Welder: Date no 1.
The first warning was VW’s suggestion to meet at The Forest, West End, on Sunday at 5pm. As suspected, the café was devoid of any activity, even staff. Not their fault, it’s just not when most people eat. To delay eating until at least grandma dinner time, I suggested a drink instead at a nearby bar. That’s when I discovered what the agency hadn’t told me:
– VW does not drink alcohol
– VW does not drink caffeine
– Apart from being a strict vegan, VW does not eat anything that comes out of a tin, bottle or plastic bag. (Not sure how that works)
– Despite all of the above, he had no issue with polishing off a Coke.
– VW retires at about 7 or 8pm each night, rising at 3am.
– He does long yoga sessions nearly every day.
– He’s no longer a welder, but runs his own business from home.
– Despite the profile of being “totally dedicated to his family, really wants a family, such a family man etc”, he calls his parents once every three weeks. When I asked if he was planning to visit them in Melbourne for Christmas which was coming up, he was totally shocked by the idea, and hadn’t considered it until now. Right.

By 6pm the Forest at least had some signs of human life, so dinner was the obvious next step. The Forest is actually somewhere I enjoy. It was much more fun in the old days when you sat on the floor, and random hippies wandered in, played bizarre noises on the flute for a while then sauntered off aimlessly, midphrase. The waiters were totally spaced out, usually forgot to give you cutlery, and / or after serving up a runny curry would inform you that they just didn’t have any rice (and clearly couldn’t be arsed to walk half a block to the 7/11 and buy more). The food’s healthy and good. But a “Feed your self as much as you can for $15 ONLY per person” is just not romantic. By 8pm, VW was looking sleepy so it seemed a good moment to bail. I mentally washed my hands of this one.

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Speed Dating 2b

Post nerd speed dating.

Nursing my aching head, I tried to think clearly. Seven matches, seven potential lovely men, and I couldn’t really remember any of them. Google and Facebook stalking didn’t yield any helpful hints. To make things worse, there were two Andrews (or were there two Anthonys?). Who’s to know. I will confess to even writing to some of them and asking to see their photos again – was he the dude that was raving about the expansion of the universe?

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I was still cut that Bug Dude had rejected me twice, once a couple of years ago, then again last night. And grumpy at myself for not recognizing him and falling for him again. Grrr. He must have had better hair last night, or else the PhD blur ruled out any memory cells about that first speed dating experience.

The Indian guy wrote me a two-page epistle about how we were so meant to be together, and that he was available ANY time, yes ANY time in the next three weeks to see me. Wrong move. If he had said, Tuesday and Thursday evenings are good, maybe Sunday afternoon, I would have met up. The idea of a guy having absolutely nothing in his calendar was a total turn off. No friends, no interests, no family commitments… that level of dependency and need for a partner to fill the holes in his life was pretty terrifying. Delete. There’s no point trying to explain.

Another dude wrote with some cryptic quote from Macbeth, which apparently we had discussed in great depth. I was totally lost. I wrote a cute email back, pretending to be confused as my last date was Table no 1. So was he the first or the last of the night? There was a bit of texting back and forth along metaphorical lines, but I took my time replying as I still wasn’t sure in my hungover state who the hell he was. As he confessed later, nothing is more attractive than a woman who is hard to get. The more unsure I was, the more desperate he was to see me again. As I have learnt, too late though, playing hard to get doesn’t work, one has to be genuinely uninvested.

sliced_pizza_187695In the end, I had nothing to lose, and met up with Macbeth dude. If it was the guy I suspected, we did have an interesting chat, so hopefully would be an okay night. When we met, I realized I had never actually seen him standing up, and that my beer goggles had been on big time. He was considerably shorter than me, and was a really plump guy who wore sneakers with his dress pants (Seinfeld style). Macbeth dude was really excited to go West End, as he had never ventured there before. (How can you live in Brisbane and not have been to West End? Ever??) We had agreed to meet after dinner, just for a drink, but nevertheless he ordered a pizza as a snack. My sister’s doctorly voice sternly whispered in my ear, “A pizza is not a snack!” I’m no size 6 model, but I do want a partner to vaguely take care of himself. This was not boding well. The ultimate decider though was when he talked about his Christianity and hardcore happy clappy friends. This one was not for me.

To round off the speed dating trilogy, fast forward to 2014, when the Indian dude found me on EHarmony and sent me the first communication round of five questions. Ten points for persistence, I’ll give him that! This is his third attempt.

But now I can’t go back to Speed Dating. Indian dude will inevitably be there, and Bug Dude might reject me for the third time. They’re out there, waiting for me.

Speed Dating Part 2

2013

Some time later, my gorgeous little sister was sick of online dating, and decided to try out speed dating, despite my ordinary experience. Her only online date was a guy with low self-esteem and nine fingers. His missing finger was the most interesting thing about the date.

So she tried the following speed dating tactics:
-Buying a $29 voucher on Living Social. Much less pressure than paying the full $89. A few champers and you’re about even. We agreed to go to different sessions, in case we both fell for the same guy. Some things you just have to face alone.
– Going on a Thursday evening, which doesn’t have the pressure of being a weekend night. It’s like late night shopping, but with men!
– Having a few vodka shots before leaving the house. Then a few more.

She had a blast. I received the pre-event tipsy on the bus phone call, followed by the post-date download. She was giggling so much that I literally couldn’t understand a word. And she’s very cute when she’s tipsy and giggly. In fact, so many guys found her cute in her tipsy and giggly state that she was granted A++ rating by Fast Impressions, which meant she would be invited to exclusive events with other A+++ daters. She didn’t need that though, as she met this great guy (who also scored an A+++ rating), a financially secure creative dude (what an oxymoron), and they’ve been happily together for a year now.

imagesSo, she inspired me to give speed dating one more go. I even found a nerdy postgraduate speed dating night. Perfect! I would be in good geeky company, among my own kind. This time, I arrived well fed and watered. Another champagne at the bar next door ensured I would arrive juuuuust on time and would skip the awkward initial conversations before the night got going.

Things became a little tense in the initial group conversation when it became apparent that every female in the room had a PhD. Some guys visibly developed instant complexes as they confessed that they never been to uni and sold carpets for a living. Which is fine, but if you sign up for a postgrad night you might expect to meet a few postgrads. It was weird though how ridiculously qualified the girls were compared to the guys. Is there something about PhDs and bachelorettes? Does having a PhD make a girl undateable?

Once our academic status rankings were out of the way, I had a wonderful night. The strike rate was great, I would have happily seen eight of the ten guys I met again. As the hours and cheap bubbles wore on, I even gave in to the Indian guy from the last speed dating night, and even agreed to go on a date. We did have common values, he persuaded me, and enough compliments will wear any girl down. I did disgrace myself by dropping and smashing my champagne glass, right before I met this really cool guy who had a PhD in something to do with bugs or insects. He was my pick of the night by far. There was something endearingly familiar about him, like I’d met him before, but he ended up going off with the Fast Impressions host.

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Later, maybe it was a great conversation, maybe I was too drunk to move, but I ended up chatting to the last guy for about half an hour. God knows what we (I?) talked about, but he was kinda cool. Nerdy but cool.

The next morning, my head was pretty fuzzy as I waited for that inevitable email to reveal my fate. Seven of the eight matches were mutual, but the bug dude had rejected me. Then it clicked. He was the same guy from my first speed dating, years ago!!

Small problem was that I couldn’t actually remember anyone well enough to match the faces to the names…this was going to require careful and subtle planning.

Speed Dating Part 1

Date: Somewhere between 2009-2011.

This was more of a pre-speed dating story. It took place during my PhD years, so my memories are fuzzy, even the venue. Everything  is a vague blur really. I do recall that at this speed dating night, all of the women were teachers, and all of the men were engineers, which makes sense: most teachers are women, most engineers are men, therefore it’s hard to meet the opposite gender at work. In the arts, most men are gay, so there’s that other complication. There was this really cool guy who wasn’t an engineer, and was doing a PhD on bugs or insects. He was the only one I ticked to see again, (I’m morally opposed to dating engineers, they can be a bit too much like my Dad) but Bug Dude rejected me. It may not seem like much of a story, but this evening set events in place for the future. That’s all I’m saying.

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 Speed Dating Part 1b: 2012
 Some years later, I was PhD free, had a normal,    balanced life, free evenings and weekends, time on my hands, and was ready for a relationship. As we all know, relationships tend not to happen when it is a good time, and this night was no exception.

In hindsight, I didn’t handle my first post-Phd haze speed dating experience very well.

May I share with you my mistakes:
– It was a Friday night (meaning that only those with no friends and nowhere else to be signed up)
– I was on time (all the more time for awkward milling around before the night begins)
– I had not eaten dinner (delicious canapés were promised)
– I was completely, totally, stone cold sober. This was the biggest mistake of all.

That particular night, the ratio of girls to guys was not the 1:1 as advertised. The men were in short supply and the smell of desperate women was in the air, who were simultaneously complaining about how terrible men were and how there weren’t nearly enough of them. I immediately wanted to leave. The scene reminded me of that Woody Allen film in which two ladies complain about how bad the food at the restaurant was, AND in such small portions.
To make it worse, the food arrived – even the waitress couldn’t identify the origin of those miscellaneous deep fried blobs, and the cheap (watered down?) champagne wasn’t working nearly fast enough for this to be fun.

The bonus girls milled around, whining about men, and planning the post-party drinking and picking up. Apparently Limes Hotel down the road offers cheap rates if you need a room then and there. Gradually, we were released one-by-one into the dating room to begin the round of seven-minute chat ups with seven men, instead of the ten to twelve promised.

It was a completely unmemorable night, apart from one Indian guy who was sure that we were meant to be together and keen to lock in a date. He was available ANY time at all that weekend, which made me suspicious. Especially when he mentioned how bored he was when not in a relationship, with so much free time on his hands. Had he no friends? No interests?

AS soon as I had done my rounds, I left without even handing in the yes / no card, feeling pretty low.

That was that. Or so I thought.
As always, there was more to follow. Brisbane is too small to meet the same single guys only once.

Tell it to your hairdresser

Soundtrack: The Andrews Sisters

There is a German saying “sag es deinem Friseur”, which translates as “I’m not interested, tell it to your hairdresser”. Hairdressers are trapped for that couple of hours while they try to cover up your grey bits, and pretend to be fascinated in the events or lack thereof in the previous six weeks. Mine is a super cool chick with tats and bright blue hair who does awesome pinup photo shoots and burlesque shoots after hours, into all things rockabilly, with a soft spot for pineapples. Which aren’t particularly soft, but you get the picture.

b2494238ee2b6fba541e7b33823be470So I was telling her about this blog, obviously loudly enough for the girl next to me to join in (she was having burgundy hair done for fun, not to cover up ANY grey bits).

Young Girl: “Maybe I could get some tips from reading your blog. I’m 20, and my friends ask how many dates I’ve been on, but I’ve never been on a date.”

PF: Non-commital grunt, being flooded with memories from my early 20s. Too many one-way love streets, while trying to escape one-way love streets heading my way from suicide-threatening Leonard Cohen obsessed medical students (the latter is thankfully still alive and has also changed career paths, thankfully for his potential patients). Amazingly, I’m still friends with the girl who tried to set us up. Not sure I’m a great mentor for Young Girl.

Young Girl: “I know I’m a late bloomer, but I don’t mind waiting. I’m sure he’ll turn up”.

I didn’t want to crush the Young Girls’ naïve hopes, and tell her that when I was 20, I thought he would turn up pretty soon too. Life would follow the same path as my parents. I’d meet a nice guy when I was 24 or so, get married soon, have kids, do the happily ever after thing. At my age, my parents were responsible for four kids being fed, clothed, schooled, pianoed, sported, happy and loved, with the eldest (me!) entering those terribly awkward teen years. Geez. I can barely keep my plants alive.

I didn’t tell Young Girl that I was thirty-frickin-something and still hoping that he would turn up. And that while he hasn’t yet appeared, life has delivered some amazing opportunities that don’t tend to happen if you have four kids by 32. I’m happy with where life has taken me, and at peace with the past.

Don’t get me wrong though Romeo. For all that philophising, you’re still a slacker. I forgive you in advance already, but it’s high time you move your ass, leave the house and find me ☺

The Chemical Engineer with the fake German accent

the halfway houseScene: a falling down old Queenslander, which we affectionately named The Halfway House, four girls, and a guy who spent a lot of time tending the worm farm in the backyard (picture a hippy looking kind of guy happily stirring a compost-filled old bathtub with a delighted and ever-growing worm colony, occasionally collecting the black juice which was apparently wonderful for gardens). The entire house was on a slight slope. Water collected in the corner of the shower rather than flowing down the drain; when we did house collective yoga balancing poses it was that much harder to balance.

rusty hills hoistBeing 2001, there was one (yes, ONE) computer, which we shared between the five of us. In those days, mobile phones could make and receive calls, text at a pinch, had large antennas like the Matrix “I need an exit” phone, and were occasionally held together with rubber bands (in my case).

albion road gloryAt that time, most of us girls were on RSVP. Little did the potential Romeos know that each kiss and message sent was analysed and discussed by the house. One fateful day, slightly stressed after a magpie took a chunk out of my nose whilst cycling home, one of my flatmates announced she had found THE perfect guy for me on RSVP, and was forwarding him on. According to the profile, Mr. Chemical Engineer was hugely intelligent, 6’2”, spoke German, and was a huge Leonard Cohen fan (not sure how the latter was a common interest but whatever) and I just had to meet the love of my life-to-be.


My terrible date radar was on high alert, but nevertheless I turned up, appropriately beglammed, befrocked and high-heeled at the Brunswick St Mall at the required time. I saw Mr. Chemical Engineer well before he recognised me. There was no escaping the designer jeans pulled up to harry-high-pants above the waist, nor the super-expensive branded shirt carefully tucked into and bloused over the top of said jeans. As I completed the once-over scan, the socks with sandals completed the experience.

Now while I appreciate a well-dressed man, I can deal with nerds with no dress sense. What screamed at me to just keep walking was how much he had lied about his height. Oh yes. Instead of being the 6’2” as advertised, he was a good 20cm shorter. Now, we all like to think we’re a little thinner, have a few less grey hairs, and that we’re more intelligent and lovely than in real life. Fine. But if a stranger can immediately see that you have lied big time (suddenly Mr. Tall Chemical Engineer only reaches my chin when I’m heeled up) then all faith is immediately lost before the real-time introduction.

Against my instinct, I persevered with “making an effort”, “getting out there” and all of that baloney that single women convince themselves with in an attempt to overcome singledom, and introduced myself. Mr. Chemical Engineer spoke with a German accent despite being Australian, no German heritage nor serious language study, and his non-chemical-engineering time was spent passionately writing a secondary critique on a French philosopher who hadn’t himself found a publishing deal. Instead of sculling a glass of wine and bolting, I again ignored my inner voice screaming “RUN NOW!” and went with the dude to a Veejay event.

Big mistake. Apart from the event being in a cool converted warehouse (ie industrial area far from cabs, buses and other means of escape affordable for poverty stricken students), there was the opportunity for Mr. Philosopher to have another beer, and with first sip miraculously become so tipsy that he tried to make a move.

I shuffled away. He came closer. Press repeat twenty times. After half an hour, I literally hit the wall. There was nowhere else to shuffle and that face was coming closer. The idea of Mr. Not German Dude kissing me was so stressful that I physically felt nauseous. So much so that I just had leave, and being so far from civilization and public transport I broke another personal rule and let him drive me home. Our parting was brief.