Chapter 12 - Can't Date, Won't Date
When I was a student (the first time around), there were various TV programmes that epitomised student-dome. Home and Away, was one; the Teletubbies was another (don’t ask); Supermarket Sweep, and Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook! I used to love that programme; how Ainsley Harriot turned a plastic bag full of peppers, an onion, a bit of cheese and some butternut squash into the most delectable three-course meal was like something out of a magic show. It never occurred to me that apart from the ingredients in the bag, the chefs had access to a whole kitchen full of dairy products and herbs/spices, to help things along their way. That’s me in a nutshell; gullible!!
Interestingly, or not, I had noticed Pete online about a year before he emailed me. I REALLY fancied him; he had the most amazing tattoos on his upper arms, and a lovely smile. He also had photos of himself with beard, and without beard, and I can honestly say I didn’t mind either way. He was lovely! Pete lived about an hour and a half away, and he was in to the gym. He asked me which photo of his I liked the most, and when I replied, he told me that unfortunately that photo had been taken a few years earlier. He was a bit beefier these days; but I liked beefy, so it was no deterrent.
Pete and I Skyped (without the webcam bit) for about two weeks; I liked his banter, and he was quite self-deprecating, which I found endearing. Personally, I don’t tend to go for the arrogant type, I prefer it when a guy knows he isn’t perfect, and it made me like him even more. Pete was a bit negative at the fact we lived quite far away from each other, but I was sure that geography wouldn’t matter if there was chemistry between two people, and I was willing to give it a go. Our date was planned; I would travel to where Pete lived, and we were going to watch the rugby. Scotland were playing England in the Six Nations, and beer would be involved. Perfect!
Pete was late meeting me at the train station in his town, but when I caught sight of him jogging towards me, I didn’t mind. He was SO my type; a bit beardy, slightly scruffy looking, but he smelled amazing, and I could tell that he had made an effort. He was nervous, and started telling me the reason for his tardiness (car trouble), but when I faked falling asleep and snoring loudly, he laughed. The ice was broken.
We drove to one of those franchise pub places that serve beer and a full menu, and sitting opposite each other in a cosy booth, I was able to really get a proper look at this guy. He had big soulful brown eyes that I found myself melting into, and as I reached for my diet coke, he grazed my hand with his, ever so gently. Butterfly city!
After lunch Pete asked me if I wanted to watch the game back at his flat; he could drop the car off, and he had beers in the fridge. Naturally I agreed, and we settled down on his two-seater sofa. The tension between us was palpable, and although nothing was said, I could tell that something was brewing. If I’m honest, I wasn’t really interested in the game. Once it finished, we switched to an old Star Wars movie that we were both massive fans of, and by this point Pete had moved slightly closer to me on the sofa. He turned to say something to me at one point, and when our faces turned towards each other, I felt like the pit of my stomach had fallen through the floor. That first kiss was magical; it was honestly like I had never been kissed before, and I was a complete quivering wreck. This was the danger zone, but I didn’t care. Pete was a gentleman, however, and made no move towards anything else.
A while later, it occurred to me that I didn’t want the night to end, plus there was the added inconvenience of having to get back to my village, which involved 2 trains, and probably a taxi at this hour, so I suggested to Pete that I stayed over. He didn’t argue, so I did. Naturally we took precautions, as neither of us was silly enough to presume not to, and the sex itself was pretty good. The worst part was that Pete was not only a snorer, but what I call a BEAR. He snored for his country and back again, and it kept me awake for most of the night. The following morning, we skipped the breakfast in bed for just the bed, and it was pretty damn hot.
Pete drove me back to the train station, and we had a pretty smooch farewell, with him suggesting that he make the journey to see me on our second date. “Second date”? I enquired, while trying not to air punch the sky. I smiled the whole way home.
A couple of days later I Skyped Pete, generally asking how he was getting on, and his reply was somewhat chilly, to say the least. My heart sank. I knew a brush off by now, but I ignored it, didn’t rise to it, and remained my normal self. Maybe he was having a bad day…
By the end of the week, I knew I wasn’t imagining it, so I took the lead and messaged Pete one last time. I asked him if he was interested in seeing me, as it was obvious that he had cooled off, and I hoped that he could be honest. Nothing.
About a week later, once I had got around to the idea that Pete was just another in a long list of failures, he sent me a message! His message went along the lines of, sorry for being a dick, but he wasn’t over his ex, and my presence in his flat had only reminded him of this fact, and he wasn’t emotionally ready for someone new. He was sorry for stringing me along and being rude by ignoring me, as he would have hated someone to do the same to him.
I was very polite in my response; I agreed that his behaviour had been on the rude-side, but no hard feelings and I hoped he found what he was looking for.
It seemed that Pete didn’t want to date; and no amount of extra ingredients could have persuaded him that I was a decent dish. In the end, sometimes you just don’t like what’s on your plate, no matter how tasty it might be.