Hello and Happy Monday! Thanks for coming back, even after all this time, you shall be rewarded with finally finding out what happens when one encounters, wait for it, Potential Pitfall Number THREE!
What is Potential Pitfall Number Three I hear you cry (or just reluctantly mutter like a child forced to entertain their socially awkward uncle as he tries and fails to tell a knock knock joke) ???! Let me put it like this, I was meeting the guy who’s photographs are consistent. As in they’re consistently five years younger and thirty pounds lighter. Look I’m not a fattist or an ageist guys but I just want the Eddie from the Happn pictures! As advertised! This Eddie looks like he’s eaten Eddie, or by the way he’s stroking his portly gut he could be pregnant with Eddie. That readers, is the weird lingering thought I have when Eddie spies me and we salute with our beverages. This PP3 is tricky because it isn’t one you can predict and the only immediate cure is turning on your heel and leaving the bar, which of course I can’t do because not only has he seen me I also try really hard in day to day life not to be a dick. Although I think I could sue for false advertising if this an American tv show, which sadly it isn’t.
“Hi,” I say, trying not to look at his rather limp, much thinner looking hair, and double chin, rather instead focusing on his eyes. His beady little, deep set, lying eyes. Stop it Scarlett! The first thing Eddie says in a broad New Zealand accent whilst eyeing my large glass of sauvignon blanc is, “Ah sorted yourself out I see. If you’d have come over first I would have bought it for ya. Eddie’s dates don’t pay.” I don’t think it’s the fact that he’s talking about himself in the third person that bothers me most about that statement, I think it’s more that he’s referring to women as ‘dates’, and women plural that bothers me. I wonder if he listens to P.I.M.P when he’s getting ready. I bet he’s got a dance. There again, I’ve got a dance so it’s definitely a pot and kettle situation there. Chiding myself inwardly, I outwardly over compensate by saying, “Oh that’s okay, thanks, you can get the next round then haha!” Cocks. There’ll be another round. I’m not being funny but that stomach doesn’t look real, it looks more like he’s stuffed a balloon down his shirt.
(Incidentally, I tried to find a funny picture of a female pimp to place here but I just found real life female pimps that made me feel sad inside so here’s a picture of a kitten in a tiara instead).
Right, back to the date. I’m currently trying to talk myself down from the ledge with the following thought. Maybe, just maybe this guy is amazing oh shallow fatty hating ageist Scarlett and you’re going to write him off for what? Trying to improve his chances of getting a lady in a room? And Scarlett, I say to myself, you’re not exactly Kate bloody Moss either! Stern inner monologue over, I decide to put my disappointment to one side and throw myself into this situation, by asking Eddie what he does for a living. I know right? First it was ‘Hi’ and now job questions? I am on a roll. It turns out he owns an I.T company, “Yeah, except I know absolutely fuck all about I.T. but I’m really charismatic so it doesn’t matter.” Oh my god this guy IS funny because he has to be joking, right? Right?? Yeah he’s joking. We both laugh and he carries on talking. And talking, which I find I don’t mind. He’s engaging enough and I’m afforded the time to really look at him. I notice the smile lines on the side of his eyes and the permanent jolly grin and I manage to convince myself that this person ain’t too bad afterall, when my eye is drawn back to his hand, which has started rubbing that paunch again like he can feel something kicking. Would it be inappropriate to ask if I can touch it? Yes Scarlett because Eddie isn’t actually pregnant.
I don’t even realise I’m staring at it until Eddie brings me out of my reverie by saying, “Ah yeah, you noticed the gut. Had a bit of a big year last year, ending in a seriously boozy festive season. I’m surprised I don’t have gout! I was going to try and lose it but frankly it keeps me warm in winter.” I laugh then I feel bad for looking so I mumble something like, “I wasn’t staring, or I didn’t mean to, I wasn’t.” “Nah it’s alright, you may have noticed I’m a bit thinner in my photos, probably got a bit more hair and less wrinkles too!” He laughs and winks at me like it’s an in-joke we have at which point he tells me he’s actually 41 not 35 AND on top of that he’s using 33 year old Eddie’s pictures! He must be fucking with me a bit, 41?! What am I doing here? What the hell is he doing?! And he seems very jolly about it too. By the way, I’ve never heard anyone describe a thin person as jolly, why is that? Christ, I feel like I’m in Punk’d. Instead of spluttering random words like false advertising I guzzle the rest of my wine instead whilst Eddie looks on. Fuck the second round am I a dick if I leave now? Can I leave?? Before I have time to make a decision on that Eddie’s up and on his way to the bar at which point he turns and shouts across the pub, “Wow I hope you don’t get too sloshed, don’t want you hammered when we’re making love later.”
Did he actually just say that, I think to myself as my mouth falls to the floor and stays there long enough for Eddie to turn around and say, “I know you’re eager but save that for later.” This cannot be real. I’m absolutely being Punk’d because no one says these things on a first date, or you know, ever!!!
That does it, I can definitely leave except that he’s just paid for the next round. Oh cocking cocks, I should just throw in the towel and face the reality that I’ll have an awkward exit from this situation like a regular normal grown up person but I’m not a regular normal grown up person, I’m a bloody great coward so instead of leaving I nip into the toilet and call Trish. I won’t lie readers, I’m also kind of enthralled, what is Eddie going to do next? Who can say?! So I tell Trish all of the above but without the space between words. This is because I can’t bear the thought of Eddie making a loud joke about what I might be doing in here when I go back out there. This is Trish’s response:
Trish: “He’s fucking with you.”
Me: “So you think it’s a fat suit?”
Trish: “Couldn’t say without taking a look up close but the other stuff? Yeah he’s totally fucking with you. It’s probably a test to see how easily you can be fucked with and based on that assessment you’ll either get a second date or not. I do it all the time.”
Me: “That doesn’t make any sense. It’s kind of fucked up.”
Trish: “And that’s why you’re always the fuckee and not the fucker.”
Me: “I don’t want to be a fucker!”
Trish: “But would you rather be a fuckee?”
I think on this for a moment as I sneak a peak at Eddie through the toilet door window wondering if it is indeed a fat suit.
Me: “I don’t want to be a fuckee.”
Trish: “You’ve only got one choice.”
Trish cackles and hangs up. I wish my best friend wasn’t quite so insane and borderline sociopathic sometimes. Not sure of how I’m going to play this but knowing I’m not going to leave, I take a breath and go back out there.
Eddie thankfully doesn’t make any poo jokes thankfully but instead launches into the story of his family who are (in his words) ‘rich stock’ apparently. And they’re really old. As in the family line is really old, not Eddie’s whole family, like Cocoon or something. He carries on about his lineage and talks with great affection about his grandfather who by all accounts was a complete slag who systemically cheated on his wife throughout their marriage and fathered at least two illegitimate kids who according to Eddie, “Didn’t get shit.” I laugh and try out being a fucker, “Damn straight!” I think that went well because Eddie chinks my drink in agreement. He’s obviously a seasoned fucker. This is very funny I think to myself, I can see why Trish does this, because we’re all joking and it’s fine because we’re joking! Eddie pauses and looks at me considering something. Deciding he’s going to go for it he takes a deep breath and tells me he’s going to share with me his grandfather’s wisdom. When Eddie was a young lad his grandfather took him to one side and apparently he offered up this little nugget…
“So Eddie my boy, there’s a young bull and an old bull standing at the top of this mountain looking down on to a field of cows. The young bull says to the old bull, ‘Hey pop let’s run down and fuck a cow.’ To which the old bull replies, ‘No son. Let us walk down the mountain and fuck all the cows.’”
Yes that is an impression of my current facial expression as told by a cow. Story told, Eddie smiles broadly and leans back in his chair, nodding. Recover your composure Scarlett! I need to up my game, I’m going to blow the fucking roof off this fucker fuckee business. Now Scarlett, it’s time to think of the most offensive diabolical thing you could say to this guy. A thought is forming, yes, it’s good, oh yeah, see what you think of this bomb Edward. I smile contentedly as if recalling a happy memory, “Well, that’s interesting, because the wisest thing my grandmother ever said to me was, ‘Never trust a Kiwi Scarlett, they’re all a bunch of sheep shaggers.’” I lean back in my chair with my own reflective triumphant grin, whilst Eddie’s seems to be fading fast.
“Well your grandmother sounds like a fucking racist. Pig ignorant too.” Racist pronounced ‘race-ust’ And pig pronounced ‘pug,’ which confuses me for a second as it dawns on me that Eddie actually hasn’t been a fucker this entire time but is simply a fucker all the time. And I have unwittingly become a fucker too or at least my fake race-ust grandmother has but fake or not I feel the need to defend her. “She isn’t a racist she’s just xenophobic!” That isn’t better. “And I was joking!” “Well it wasn’t very funny Scarlett, it’s just fucking offinsuve.” I should really leave but I’ll be damned if I’m the most offinsuve person in this room. “What about your joke?! I’m a bloody cow in that analogy!” “Who said anything about a joke? I was sharing an intimate moment I had with my grandfather.” “So I am a bloody cow am I?” “Uh-oh I think we’ve got a femunust on our hands! I hope you’re not this fiesty when we’re making love later!” Aaaand I’m done. What am I still doing here?! Flogging an old dead bull apparently! So I down the rest of my wine and stand up dramatically, trying not to burp. Confused he asks, “Where are you going?” Really? I actually need to say it? Apparently so. “Home. I’m going home Eddie.” Because ladies and gentlemen if my past history is to be factored in too, I’m also terrified that if I do have another drink with Eddie out of sheer cowardice I might end up getting pissed and having sex with him anyway just so I can tell Trish I shagged a pregnant guy. I leave the bar with Eddie’s impotent last words echoing behind me, “Well don’t expect me to walk you to the tube you bloody race-ust!”
Stepping out into the street I take a deep breath and let it out with an incredible sense of relief, and a tiny little burp.
I get home and take stock. I’ve been so caught up with attacking this dating game exactly like a game, based on winning and losing that I’ve lost the reasoning behind it. It’s not about a last race to get laid, or married for that matter although obviously I would like sex at some point before I’m eighty but I’m me and not Trish. I’m not a fucker and if that makes me a fuckee then that’s just fine with me. I make a cup of tea and curl up on the couch relishing being alone or at least not still with Eddie as I turn on my television. Hello Outlander. Hello Jamie’s knees. Oh the knees! I’m singing along to the opening titles of Series 2 Sex Extravaganza when my phone beeps. Oh God it can’t be, it can’t be Eddie. It’s Eddie.
Eddie: “So do you want to meet up again?”
Really? I mean he was there this evening right? REALLY?? So I reply politely.
Me: “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
I put my phone down hoping it’s done and press play on the telly when my phone beeps again. I groan and look at it hoping against hope for anyone else. Nope. It’s Eddie. Why do you smite me phone god?!
Eddie: “I’ll still have sex with you if you drop the racist stuff.”
Unbelievable. It’s at this point I decide to block Eddie. And I do, I delete our conversation and block Eddie from Whatsapp and Tinder. Harsh but honestly, I think it’s fair. Breathing my second sigh of relief for the evening I put my phone down and try to lose myself in Scottish accents and knees. My phone beeps again. How is he doing this?! Oh fuckity shit he’s still got my number! HE CAN STILL TEXT! WHY DO WE HAVE SO MANY OPTIONS ON ONE DEVICE?! “Fuck off Eddie!!” I shout even as I’m picking it up to look. It isn’t Eddie! It ISN’T Eddie! I can’t believe it, it’s actually Ken! Oh beautiful sexy Ken! For those readers who don’t know who Ken is because they didn’t read part one or did so, so long ago that they can’t remember, Ken is actually called Sven but he looks like a Ken doll so I sent what I thought was a pithy message a couple of weeks ago asking him if he wanted to defy the Gods by going for a drink with me instead of Barbie. He did not reply. Silence can truly be deafening when a joke falls flat so I’m on tenterhooks as I read the following.
Ken: Hey Scarlett, sorry for the silence, I was waiting for Barbie’s divorce papers to come through. It’s official, you’re a home wrecker. When are you free?’
And then I smile that stupid giddy smile, eyes glazed over and idly think, with this expression maybe I could be a Barbie, or better still a Scarlett. And that’s when I block Eddie from my phone, just to be on the safe side.
***Not a true rendering of Scarlett Tate because the above is a seal. Just to be clear.