The following article was first published on the helium.com writers website.
You can view some of my other articles here.
Blind Date with an Italian Rabbit Breeder!
My dating tale is riddled with intrigue, lies and deceit and yet I find it all a bit of giggle in hindsight.
First of all you have to remember that we are going back nearly 20 years for the events of this story and dating was a little different back then. These days most people who are struggling to meet by conventional methods look for love via the Internet. I do sometimes wonder about experiences I would’ve had if this option had been open to me back in the late 80s.
The pictures that are used to enhance on-line datees chances just make the mind boggle. Some of the ladies practice their best sultry looks rather than giving a natural smile, the latter being far more appealing in my book. The men, meanwhile, look like their auditioning to be the next star of the next Diet Pepsi ad. Does seeing a guy’s rippling torso really have a bearing on whether you call him girls? It does? I’ll keep quiet then…
Back to my story. The date I’m going to talk about happened as a result of a lonely hearts advert I posted in the local paper. It was my regular routine for a Thursday for me to trawl this column to search a prospective date and I wasn’t having a lot of luck. I was only about 22 back then and had never had a girlfriend so with hormones rampant, I decided to post an advert of my own.
This isn’t as easy as you might think because you have to paint an image of yourself where you come across as an Adonis without sounding like an arrogant goon. The skill was to sum yourself up in about four lines using as many acronyms such as GSOH (good sense of humor) as possible. The danger is that you ad will end up just looking like a random set of letters.
So anyway, I placed my advert and waited for the messages to come into my telephone inbox and I was absolutely inundated: there were two. I rang the first but she cried off for some reason but the second agreed to meet.
Now, my advert gave an age rage of 18-21 which is quite narrow but I was quite young at the time remember and I also gave an indication that I didn’t want any potential suitor to be taller than me. I can’t say it would bother me so much now but clearly it did at the time.
Imagine my surprise then when I meet my date for the first time and she’s a good four inches taller than me at 6ft 1″. Perhaps more of a worry was that she was just 17. When I found this out during the date I was quite shocked that someone quite so young felt that they had to resort to this method so soon. Apart from anything else I think it was probably against the service rules.
There I was in a date with a girl who already essentially lied to me twice and we’d only been in each others company for five minutes. She was nice enough actually though she did have the physical presence of an Eastern European shot-putter which was a little disconcerting.
The next turn off was that she drank in pints of beer. While I don’t particularly have a problem with this per se but she was only 17 so it was therefore illegal for her to be drinking alcohol anyway. Even if she was over 18 I would’ve been far more likely to look favorably on a future together if she was more restrained on her consumption.
I don’t remember too much of what we talked about that night but what I do remember was that she was from Italian stock and bred rabbits. A nice hobby I’m sure but not one I could contribute much to in the conversation stakes.
A while later a band came on stage and it became difficult to talk so she suggested we go to her house for a coffee as it was only a few doors away. I wasn’t thrilled by this prospect but it still seemed early to be looking for a get out clause so I reluctantly agreed.
When we went in the house there seemed to be a party going on and I was beginning to wonder whether I had been set up. We entered the lounge and literally all the family were there, not just immediate family, but elderly relatives, cousins and the local mafia too I shouldn’t wonder.
There was nowhere to sit so I stood after refusing the option of sitting on the floor. My date later remarked that we were going to see her brother soon and it felt like I was already her boyfriend in her eyes whether I like It or not.
It was a tortuous couple of hours that followed before I finally made my excuses and left and was followed into the street by my date. She hung around expecting a kiss but she didn’t get one. Asking me if about meeting up again I said “Sure. I have your number I’ll give you a call.”
Except I didn’t.
That was very rude of me but I knew she didn’t know where I lived. She also didn’t have my phone number so I was pretty sure I could give her the slip and so it proved. However, I’ve spent most of the intervening years wondering whether I’ll wake up one morning with a horses head in my bed for besmirching the family honor!