Recommended soundtrack: Milos Karadaglic’s imaginatively titled disc, The Guitar. Technically Milos is from Montenegro, not Spain, but he’s playing Spanish guitar music, which kinda fits the theme, and he’s hot, so enjoy him. I do. Here’s a little something to get you in the mood.
So as I mentioned, after the Vegan Welder dates, I heavily reduced my man wishlist to: smart / educated, likes some (any!) form of the arts, and would like a child before I die / hit 50, whichever comes first.
The Serious Spaniard’s description seemed promising. Now the way this particular agency works is that after agreeing to a match, Romeo picks up the phone, old-fashioned style, in a pre-arranged timeframe. Juliette must answer the call (or have a damn good reason not to answer), and the star-crossed lovers have a short and hopefully not too awkward conversation settling the whens and wheres of that magic encounter. It’s old school manners, Romeo is meant to make the plans (which is not always a good thing), has to pay for the first date without Juliette being too much of a feminist and insisting to go halves, and is advised not to pick up or drop Juliette home on the initial few meetings to retain decorum (ahem!).
First rule broken was the Serious Spaniard texting me instead of calling. Having been warned that his English was “improving”, I let it go, but his proposal of meeting on a Tuesday night at 9pm in the Queen St Mall was a bit weird. There’s nothing open going on apart from some dodgy tourist shops selling kangaroo memorabilia and ugg boots, and Korean tourists looking for I don’t know what.
Optimistically as always, I mused romantically on Serious Spaniard being new to Brisbane. He must still be on Spanish time suggesting a late dinner on a school night. How could I be a milksop and ask to meet earlier? How dull! I kept the fact that I had to start work the next day at 7am to myself, and applied my warpaint and date costume. Instead of running only-just-on-time as usual, I caught the earlier train so I could casually saunter over to Hungry Jacks without messing up my hair, or stacking it in my high heels (yes, Hungry Jacks is the meeting place in the Queen St Mall. It’s as good as it sounds.) This particular night, Queensland’s “Sunshine State” was far from that. It was raining cats and dogs, and despite my umbrella I was pretty soggy. Panic. Suddenly I wasn’t very glamorous for my Spaniard.
8:55, five minutes before date time, my phone beeped. Serious Spaniard TEXTED, not called, to tell me that his friend had given him a lift, but friend’s car had broken down, and asked to meet in an hour’s time instead, at 10pm. Could he not have abandoned friend and caught a cab? Could he not have just caught a train or a bus instead of relying on personal chauffeurs? Further texts revealed that he was nowhere near the city, so would have been horribly late even if friend’s car hadn’t broken down.
My iPhone weather update predicted unseasonable cold, possible snow even, heavy rain, extreme boredom, high chance of grumpiness and even greater probability of being mugged or unwanted toy kangaroo purchasing, so I was on the next train back home. A large glass of not-at-all-Spanish wine was poured shortly thereafter while watching a documentary on Kathleen Ferrier and bemoaning my unsociable and weird interests. Bingo, another text appeared, asking to meet the following night, again at 10pm in the Queen St Mall? Cue to turn off the phone, pour another glass of wine and turn up Kathleen.
9:01 am, I called the Dating Agency to complain. You don’t pay serious money for this kind of shit. Marcy the Matchmaker was profusely apologetic, and assured me that the Serious Spaniard wouldn’t count as one of my six dates. Good.
Of course, in my world, it never ends there.