Chapter 13 - Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance
Generally speaking, I’m not a planner. Planning makes my toes curl, and in fact sometimes it brings me out in a cold sweat. I actually feel under more pressure when I have to “plan” stuff than at any other time, and I can’t say I enjoy it. It’s not like I’m planning anything big on a daily basis, but I like to go with the flow and see how things pan out. I remember when I moved home in my late 20s and would appear at the breakfast table, to be asked by my adorable mother what I wanted for dinner that night. I don’t know! I’m having breakfast! I tend to go to the supermarket and wander about thinking “hmmm… do I need such and such..?” rather than writing a list. Lists take time! And planning. I don’t like planning.
Maybe if I had “planned” my love life better I might not have endured the last 18 months and the endless search for love. Then again I might not have met all these colourful characters. Some of the men in question did not warrant a full chapter to themselves on account of them being a bit… well, vanilla. There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with these guys, but then there wasn’t anything particularly right with them either.
There was Craig, who was a bit of a silver-haired fox and seemed nice; a Dutch guy who’s name I can’t remember for the life of me, who was incredibly dull; Peter, the teacher, who was very clean-cut with better fingernails than me (always a turn off in my book); Derek, a countryside Ranger who looked great on paper, but was just plain odd; and Darren, who was a lovely guy, but that was it.
Pretty much a week after I dated Darren, I met up with Donnie, who (by this stage) seemed to be the best pick of a pretty bad bunch, and we arranged to go for drinks one Saturday. Let’s be honest, Donnie didn’t exactly float my boat. He looked normal in his photos, he was no oil painting, but he looked like a decent guy, and I had begun to think that settling for “ok” would do. The first thing that slightly raised one of my eyebrows was that we had been waiting at what was a very busy bar, for roughly 3 minutes, and Donnie started mouthing off about how crap the service was. Now, I’ve worked behind many a bar, and when you only have one pair of hands, well, you can’t magically fashion another pair out of thin air; so I did feel that he had over-reacted. He (we) marched through the establishment until we came across another bar that wasn’t quite as busy, and proceeded to sit down at a nearby table. I can’t say the conversation blew me away, but I could tell he was a bit nervous, so I asked him to tell me more about his job to see if that would relax him.
What? Oh sorry I nearly dozed off there remembering Donnie telling me all about his job. What did he do? Can’t for the life of me tell you as I stopped listening.
More gin? YES definitely!
After about three gins and tonics I started to find Donnie slightly more attractive. Perhaps I had been too hasty in thinking he was a bit average and a bit dull. He seemed an ok sort of guy. Hmmm.
Another gin? Yesh pleeassshe!
I think I had about seven or eight gin and tonics in Donnie’s company, but I was still aware that I needed to catch the train to get back to my village, so when he asked me if he had passed the first date hurdle and would I like to see him again, I readily agreed. “He was nicer than I thought!” (I thought to myself on the way home). Gin goggles? Absolutely.
Over the next few days I did find myself thinking about the reasons I agreed to go on a second date with Donnie, as his tone of emailing had taken a left turn. Somewhere along the way, he had become a bit overly ‘suggestive’ for my liking, and seemed to be trying to impress me with promises of massages and expensive red wine. By the time Saturday came round again, I wasn’t exactly brimming with anticipation, and when he sent me a text saying he was going to be late, even less so.
Donnie was one hour late. If you’ve read Chapter 2, you’ll know that my tolerance of lateness is not what it used to be! I was pissed off, and not in the mood to even go on the date. When he eventually arrived at my front door, clutching a bottle of red wine and four beers, I was seething! Clearly he was expecting to share these alcoholic gifts after our date, which meant he wouldn’t be able to drive home…. Think again, mister.
The second date was crap. At one point I was so unbelievably bored and frustrated with this moron that I actually considered ditching him and doing a runner. The deciding factor was when we were in a museum of national honour and he complained that he hated bagpipes. HATED BAGPIPES! How very dare he?! He signed his own death sentence there and then.
For the rest of the afternoon I squeezed out every last drop of manners and fake smiles, “uh huhs” and “oh reallys” until FINALLY we arrived back at my flat. Before he had a chance to switch the engine off and undo his seatbelt, I thanked Donnie for the date, and told him that I wouldn’t be asking him up to my flat. I would go and collect his drinks for him and return them, if he liked, at which point he turned a shade of blush and stammered that they were for me, and I should keep them. Oh well, if you insist…
I exited his car like a speeding bullet and never looked back.
The thing about planning is sometimes you overlook the delights of chance. I like to leave things to chance, and while chance doesn’t always play a fair hand, it throws up all sorts of curveballs. You never know what you might find in the “daily specials” isle in that supermarket that wasn’t on your list…