I’ve always been rubbish with the ladies. Being shy and having confidence levels lower than a sausage dog’s ball sack have really held me back in the search for Mrs Right. However it became a bit of a Monday morning in joke when asked if I’d pulled over the weekend to sometimes be able to reply “nearly”. One occasion I even got to upgrade it to “almost”. I haven’t had a date since 2013 so here’s some anecdotes about that night and the times beforehand. I’ve left most names out but if I hadn’t they’d have been changed to protect the horrified.
Sometimes When We Talk.
When I’ve worked at Walsall Beer Festival in the past I’ve been on the stall that sells wine, so plenty of female custom. And for some reason when I’m the other side of the bar I can speak. Lots. Of course it helps that the ladies have to order their booze but hey it’s nice for the ice to be broken easily. And in those instances I’m like Tom Cruise in Cocktail. Okay, I’ve never seen that film but I assume he speaks to the ladies.
Another time working a beer fest was at the Walsall Arms. Two lasses walk in and one introduces herself and her friend. I get talking to the one who did the introductions and after a couple of witty replies she says “you’re so funny”. Do I follow up with another good line? No I suddenly go all Jarvis Cocker and think “yeah but I can’t see anyone else smiling in here”. A few minutes later she asks if I’m due a break and do I want to join her outside for a cigarette? “No, I don’t smoke” was my response. Apparently this mean I was in. Sometimes I need things spelling out in flashing neon lights. She didn’t come back in.
Sometimes When We Text.
In 2006 my mate Dave gave my number to a lass and we began texting each other. One text shocked me a bit. “Oh my God, she’s watching Television X” I exclaimed a bit too loudly in a quiet pub. My mate Gareth took the phone for a look. “No, she’s watching television and the x is a kiss”. I’m now a bit more clued up to the concept of kisses at the end of a text message.
Sometimes When We Touch.
Yeah, let me join Tinder and I’ll come back to you on this one.
I don’t really do Valentines Day. I’d be all over it if in a relationship as I like to think I’m romantic. One time when I was in a relationship and I bought the missus a little locket in the shape of heart. She said “oh I didn’t think to get you anything”. Well we had only been going out a month. I did however get an epic meal of faggots and chips off her mom while she got something less exciting so I couldn’t complain.
I don’t send many Valentines cards out but they tend to go down like a lead balloon with an anchor attached for good measure, when I do. But the money saved on cards can be spent on fish fingers. I have seen on my Facebook feed this week a Valentines card which says “you make my knob throb”. I’ve bought 50 for next year.
I got my first Valentines Card when I was 14, a time when I had more hair and less weight. I remember it clearly (well you wouldn’t forget this) it said “I want to suck your willy and go to Walsall games with you”. I never found out who sent it but it left a thirst for knowledge that the aforementioned Jarvis’s missus could only aspire too.
Need For Speed Dating.
I once went to a singles night at The New Art Gallery. Not a success. The only lady who spoke to me actually worked there and told me off for taking a bottle of Becks into a gallery. Plus there was salsa dancing. All the men in a line and the ladies would move along to dance with each bloke. Typically I was next to the instructor. He nailed the dance and could talk as well. I couldn’t manage either but it doesn’t help when the lady dances with an expert, then comes to me. I can dance nowadays but it has to have been taught by an excellent choreographer.
So I explored speed dating, and was delighted when one such event was announced at The Light Cinema. I mentioned this in the pub and my mate Mase offered to play some female characters to help me practice. It was a bit awkward to start with but we got into it and had a laugh. My favourite character of his was the clearly hard work, uninterested Accountant Kirsty. When the conversation dried up I asked “what’s your favourite sum?” Well it broke the ice and I’ve pledged to ask on my next date the same question regardless of her profession. The cinema cancelled the night by the way, but I’ll always have the memories of Kirsty. The worlds best sum if you’re interested is 11 x 4. Not too exciting but it generates my favourite number and respects my limitations as I got an E in GCSE maths. Probably wouldn’t impress Rachel Riley but I don’t think she’s going to be banging my door down for a date in the immediate future.
Dave fixed up a date for me with a cracking lass in 1999. I couldn’t believe my luck and thought all my Chrstmasses and St George’s Days had come at once. However shyness got to me, I was so overawed and I couldn’t speak. The sentences just wouldn’t form. Fortunately we had gone bowling so we had that to distract from the long silences. Didn’t help when I attempted a swig from my pint, missed my mouth and spilled it down my shirt. I then hit my leg with a bowling ball. A colleague the following Monday commented “poor lass must have thought she was being fixed up with Frank Spencer”. Yeah I didn’t cover myself in glory that night but it’s hard to lay down the charms when you are wearing pumps that other people’s feet have been in. There was no second date.
So my last date was 2013 and like it’s predecessors it wasn’t a success. It didn’t help that this was at a time when a former housemate was 3 months into his “I don’t fancy paying you any rent” run, so I turned up that night not exactly flush. As I came back from the toilet I bumped into the rose seller so I opted to buy one but haggled the price down by a quid. The lady couldn’t be arsed to hold it though and gave it me back. So I took it home with me. The bouncers took the piss as I left clutching it so I had a laugh with them. I still have the rose and may take it on my next date to save me a couple of quid.
Double O Ar, Licenced To Be Late.
Dave also arranged a date for me around 2004. I had to meet the lass in The Starting Gate but for some reason she had to go at 7 so he told me to come straight from work. Sorry but no. I’m going home to freshen up. Never turn down the chance to freshen up when it doesn’t cost you a quid. So I got home, washed, changed and put me coat on. Then there was a knock at the door. The tv licence detector man. This is the only visit of my life of this kind of person and he picks now. “I’m not here to fine you, I’m here to help” he says. “I’ve got a licence” I reply. “Well I need to see it”. Great. Sometimes I struggle to find my trousers in the morning, never mind a document delivered months earlier. It would have been easier and quicker to have eaten the tv like on The Young Ones. After 10 minutes of frantic hunting and basically destroying the Living Room he pipes up “Oh I’ve found you on the system. Sorry”. So I made the date, somewhat late, stressed and sweaty. She was nice but it wasn’t meant to be.
My best “on the pull” outfit.
No Point Crying Over Spilt Carling.
While we’re on about The Starting Gate I was heading past after a day of drinking with just £3 left to my name which was earmarked for goodness from Sunny’s Fish Bar in Caldmore. A lass I’d got to know a bit better the previous month was outside the pub and asked if I was having a pint. I wasn’t, I was having kebab meat and chips. I explained my shortage of cash. “Well you’ve got enough for a pint, and I’m only having one more”, so I agreed. We got drinks and just started to natter. Then the conversation stopped, our heads moved closer, as did our lips. Like you see on Eastenders. Just as we were about to kiss for some reason she raised her hand and manged to knock my (full) pint, all over me. Not a drop went on her, she couldn’t have been dryer. It looked like I’d pissed myself and got it all up my shirt too. Needless to say I didn’t make excuses, and left. Not seen her since and I think that was my last visit to the pub.
Thank you to all the ladies who helped make this blog happen, and apologies to the ones whose interactions with me weren’t interesting enough or too successful to make the cut. All I ask now is that you delete your memories of this blog as some of the stories appear in my novels which I’m hoping to launch as e-books later in the year. Finally if you know a single lady, ask her if she wants a date. Yesterday I saw on Twitter a tweet about a butchers in Otley that does a personalised pork pie for Valentines Day, and I really fancy receiving one of those next year.