After extensive e-flirtage with ‘Smiley Guy’ from last week’s column, he ruins it all be insisting that we meet somewhere ‘we won’t bump into anyone we know’. Instantly, I conjure up nightmare-ish visions of being battered over the head in my local pub with the handbag of some poor, deceived secret girlfriend. So Smiley Guy was relegated to my ever-growing reject pile.
I am, however, contacted by a man who has absolutely no skeletons in his proverbial closet, as evidenced by his keenness to inform me that he’s divorced. Funnily enough, divorce puts me off much less than poutiness/pretention/general idiocy so I agree to meet him a couple of days later.
Divorcee Man isn’t my usual type. There isn’t anything puke-makingly hideous about him, but there’s nothing I can cease upon as being particularly attractive either. When we meet, he’s wearing a black leather jacket (which I always associate with Dads trying to be cool) and completely mismatched brown suede boots. I console myself with the thought that at least he’s not completed the ensemble with leather trousers, like Ross from Friends.
His first words to me are bellowed in a slightly maniacal fashion – “oh my God I’m so relieved!” I sort-of don’t want to ask why but I find my curiosity cannot be sated – ‘before you turned up, this girl walked towards me like she was going to say hello, well…’ The anguish on his face is palpable as he tries to find a gentlemanly way to say ‘she was a minger’. After a while he gives up and settles for ‘she wasn’t as nice as you’. After that I’m left with little option but to grant him a little ‘flirt laugh’ (head thrown back, hand strategically placed on arm), after all it was nearly a lovely compliment, and a girl has to take those where she finds them.
That was, sadly, the highlight. No sooner have our bottoms touched the respective seats of our bar stools, than I begin hearing about The Ex Wife. He monologues extensively about her ‘blatant’ attempts to rile him, game playing and how she thinks he has an anger problem (which of course makes me think ‘ok, so you have an anger problem’). Despite his impassioned attempts to make her sound like the Devil Incarnate, I find myself taking her side. It might be the inherent laws of sisterhood taking me over in a primal manner, or it might be because he’s beginning to irritate me and I’ve only known him half an hour.
I make a completely transparent excuse about ‘having to go to the 24 hour Tesco for a late night shopping emergency’ and leg it out of there. As I walk home I find myself thinking surely there must be something in between Smiley Guy, who practically wanted to meet me in an underground bunker, use a secret handshake and communicate in Morse Code, and Divorcee Guy, who has told me his entire emotional history within the space of one, very brief, date? Next fortnight’s column sees me continue my search.