It’s true, my first date in four months and I have high hopes for this one! We were matched on Tinder and he didn’t ignore me when I messaged ‘Hey Rich, how’s it going?’ unlike Peter, Patrick, Fil (yes spelt with an F dear God), and Ethan. He also replied in a gentlemanly like fashion with a nice ‘Grand thanks, and yourself?’ as opposed to the ‘DTF’ response Bebo (really?), Greg, Stephen, and John gave. I didn’t know what that acronym meant either Mum but know that it’s straight to the point and very rude.
Rich has two photos, one that makes him look like Andrew Garfield’s slightly fitter older brother and one that makes him look, well, makes him look like Neanderthal man. My mate Trish has a rule about Tinder photographs; you should always base your opinion on the worst one to avoid awkward disappointment. I’ve opted for a more generous (desperate) approach with my fingers tightly crossed that he’s Rich Garfield but willing to open my mind (settle) at the prospect of meeting Rich Troglodyte.
I discover when we meet in a pub on the South Bank that he is in fact somewhere in between, which is good enough for me (seriously I’m going to have to start applying moth balls to that area if this drought continues.) He loves puns and Kung Fu movies and our conversation is going surprisingly well considering I’m so nervous I look like I’ve got the DTs. At one point I laugh so hard that it’s actually aggressive. I could have boomed afterwards to no one in particular, “THIS MAN IS A FUNNY MAN.” Luckily for me I don’t think Rich notices since he asks if I want another drink (good sign) and a relief because I really need to fart and waft and I can only do that while he’s at the bar.
Just as I think I’ve scared the fart away, out it comes and I am filled with intense relief – still time to waft before Rich gets back. But then I realise, oh God, I realise with damp clarity that I’ve followed through. How can this be happening to me?! I, Scarlett – a grown woman, have shat myself. Actually I believe it’s called a shart. (That’s when you fart and some poo comes out Mum, sorry). I let out a strangled high pitch groan. I am disgusting. Think brain think! I need to escape to the bathroom but I can’t leave Rich’s coat and my stuff here. ARGH! Have I got time to grab our things, run to the loo, implement Project Damage Control and get back before he does? Oh God I smell.
I decide to risk it. I shove my coat on, grab my bag, grab his coat and walk in a clenched, sped up waddle to the loo all the while repeating the same mantra, ‘Pleasedon’thavecomethroughmytrouserspleasedon’thavecomethroughmytrousers. To answer that, let me just say that I am pleased I wore my knee length parka. People can wear coats inside without their dates thinking they did a doodie in their underpants right? I AM VILE! Stop panicking!!! I have two choices 1) Dive out the window and never see Rich again. 2) Sort myself out, get back down there and attempt to have some sexy time. So, I clean up as best I can, which takes a little longer than I thought since there’s only a decrepit old hand dryer available. I decide to take my trousers off and dry them in my underpants, which basically means dashing in and out of a cubicle when the coast is clear. Aware of how long I’ve now been here (Rich will probably think I’m doing a number two, oh the irony) I give up, put my damp trousers back on, spray myself with Glade air freshener, and go out to meet him. We’re English, we’ll simply ignore how long I’ve been in there and conversation will move swiftly on, back into the semi comfortable jovial area it was in before I defiled myself.
Back in the bar I see Rich having a heated conversation with the manager. Hurrah! I can sneak back to the table before Rich even notices I haven’t been there! Except that the manager spots me and starts pointing angrily. Rich doesn’t look too impressed either. How could they possibly know?! And why are they angry about it?! No it can’t be the shart. It just fucking can’t be.
It isn’t. Rich asks where I’ve been – it turns out I was gone closer to fifteen minutes rather than five and the manager was about to call the police suspecting me of having taken Rich’s jacket with his iphone inside it. Handing him his coat back, I explain simply that I was in the toilet. Rich looks relieved, then as if sniffing the air (no doubt smelling the delightful pot pourri scent, thank you Glade) he pauses and looks at me awkwardly. I can see what’s happening, all thoughts of sex are quickly, insidiously being replaced with thoughts of me doing a number two. Then mild disgust as thoughts of me thinking that it’s okay to do a number two during a first (or any) date. Shit. Shit. Shit. Have to break the new thought cycle! Quick brain, think! Panicked, I shout out “PERIOD!” which is immediately followed with silence. Rich looks at me. The manager looks at me. Then like a terrible terrible period-centric tourettes I just go into thesaurus mode whilst miming a sort of gushing motion from my crotch. “You know, the crimson wave? Disaster fountain? The blob? It’s like a plague down there!” Yep. That’s definitely better. Not pooey, plaguey. I tell myself out loud to shut up and that at least finally puts a stop to the ongoing miming. The manager sucks in air through pursed lips before turning on his heel and walking away clearly satisfied that I’m not a thief and more than satisfied that I’m not right in the brain. Rich saves me by being utterly,beautifully British; he changes the subject immediately by gesturing to the drinks he bought at the bar and believe it or not the date carries on.
The conversation between us flows effortlessly from the usual favourite films to how many siblings and I finally stop shaking (maybe I did have the DTs, must google that later). I begin to tell actual jokes that he finds hilarious whilst having those delicious secret first date delusions in which we get married and tell this hilarious first date story to our children. At some point around the last orders call (and at least three large glasses of wine later) I realise that any possible troglodyte aspects of Rich’s face have been miraculously erased. Move over Garfield and hello Gosling, well, almost Gosling. We’re giving each other that pissed hazy, horny look and I’ve already decided on what we’re going name our three beautiful Gosling children and the café we’re going to run by the sea. It’s called “Riches.” I know. Awesome.
Time at the bar has been called so Rich Gosling and I wander out into the chilly London evening and stroll along the South Bank arm in arm til we get to Waterloo. I bat my eyelashes coyly, he looks concerned and asks if I’ve got some grit in my eye. I laugh it off and ask him if he wants to come back to my place. He smiles then suddenly looks a little perplexed. I wonder if he’s heard me properly so I smile and whisper the letters S, E, X in his ear partly because I’m pissed and partly because I have the sexual intelligence of a thirteen year old. His perplexed look is being replaced with that of disgust as he says he’s not into having sex when I’m on my period. I laugh out loud, shaking my head at the genius of my ruse before reassuring him that I’m not on my period, “I just said it to cover up the shart!” I guffaw! Then I explain what a shart is to Rich who now looks like his head might implode from the sheer scale of foul that he’s trying to process. This expression remains as he backs away slowly towards the safety of the tube stiles and down the escalator and out of my life forever. I go home where I have a wank and try not to cry.
Thanks for reading campers! Look forward to seeing you all next week and please feel free to invite your mates if you think they’re into this funny kind of nonsense.