Yes, the title is ironic.
Over the years, I’ve been on some truly terrible dates. Most of these have gone wrong for one of two reasons:
* I’m an idiot
* I’m a moron.
On this particular occasion, it was both. I’d signed up to Tastebuds.fm, a dating website that attempts to matchmake based on your musical preferences. Now, the concept sounded a little goofy to me - after all, I’ve met plenty of girls that also like say, Prince, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into a desire to visit their Paisley Park.
Still, I thought I’d give it a go, and was surprised to find that when I filled my profile with a ton of bands, the profiles it matched me too did share surprisingly similar tastes in other areas too. Now, as with all dating sites, there’s a certain amount of confirmation bias going on here; the brain is very good at accepting the pieces in other people’s profiles that fit your personality, and discarding the bits that don’t. But it seemed to work, because I quickly got into a conversation with a girl called Gemma. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s quite a few musicians on there, and I saw on her profile that she played the guitar. So my opening gambit was asking her if she could teach me how to play C and G chords. She countered with an offer to teach me how to play London’s Burning on the recorder. After that we fell into a conversation about music, psychotic teens and my island getaway in Norway. As you do.
Read about the date itself after the break!
After a week or so, we decided to meet. I decided to take her to Bradley’s Spanish Bar, which is just off Oxford Street in central London, mainly because it’s got a cool vibe and an excellent juke box. She arrived a little late, but first impressions were excellent - sometimes it’s really hard to tell what people are actually going to look like from their profile pictures. Some people turn out to be incredibly photogenic, and less attractive in real life, some the other way round. After all, almost anyone (even me!) can find a few nice photographs of themselves. Fortunately, Gemma fell firmly into the second category.
Now ahead of time, I was slightly worried about this date. Not because I doubted by obviously excellent conversational skills, but more because of the date. You see, it was Friday 13th. I’m not particularly superstitious, but I am incredibly accident prone, and I thought that if there was even a chance that something would go wrong, it would be sod’s law that it would happen on a day when bad luck is almost guaranteed. But, to my astonishment, the date seemed to go very well. We moved around a selection of West End pubs, and talked each other’s ears off with silly anecdotes and amusing observations. By the final pub, we’d gotten pretty cosy, and were quite nicely drunk. Turned out, it may have been a little too drunk, as when the evening drew to a close, I asked what she was doing after. She mentioned that she had quite a way to travel home, so, idiot that I am, I suggested “Well… you don’t have to go home…” And I’m not sure, but I thiiiink I might have waggled my eyebrows at the same time. She laughed and brushed the comment off, and I said no more about it, but I had clearly made a bit of a tactical error, trying to be funny, but probably coming across as far sleazier than I’d intended.
But still, I was still impressed that nothing had gone really wrong; I hadn’t been attacked by a dog, or mugged, or lost any of my major limbs, which is the sort of thing that usually happens to me. As we left the pub, I pulled her close and we had a most pleasant kiss. As we were both headed roughly in the same direction for the first part of the journey, I offered to accompany her part of the way on the tube. On the tube there was some more kissing, and she asked if I was available again next week, to which I replied that I was. We pulled into the station where I had to change trains at around 12.01 Am. And it was at this point that the whole thing went to hell in a handbasket.
“This is where you get off isn’t it?” she asked, and as the doors opened, I could see my connecting train was about to depart on the other platform. Mentally, I realised I was going to have to dash if I wanted to catch the it. “Bye!” said Gemma, and as I rushed across to the other platform, I yelled “Goodbye!” over my shoulder.
At least I meant to yell “Goodbye!” over my shoulder. Instead, as I leapt onto the other train, just before the doors closed behind me, I realised that in the confusion, I’d actually shouted “I Love You!”
I felt mortified. My train and hers began to pull away in opposite directions, which was about the exact moment, that I realised that I’d jumped on the wrong train, and was now locked into traveling 20 minutes in the wrong direction. The very last thing as her train vanished, was my bright red panicked face, as I realised both what I’d said, and my commuting error.
I’ve no idea why I said such a ridiculous thing, and the only thing I can put it down to (other than, of course, my general moronic ways) is Friday 13th. You see, it’s like Halloween. They say that on Halloween, nothing genuinely scary happens, because that’s the night that all the ghosts, witches, and vampires take a holiday. In a similar way, on Friday 13th, nothing bad will actually happen to me, as it’s my day off from ridiculous cluster-fuckery. Of course, as soon as the clock struck midnight, it was no longer Friday 13th, and my idiocy reasserted itself at full force. Well, that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.
Result: The next day, I got the dreaded, yet inevitable “Had a great time, think we should be friends” text - I could hardly complain, and I think it probably had more to do with my ill-advised jocular offer to show her my etchings than the ridiculous goodbye. But one thing isn’t in doubt - this truly was a Dating Disaster.