Today (Sunday) was the day I had a date with someone I DIDN’T meet on Tinder!
That’s right, I met him on a drunken hen do last night instead. Much better. Me drunk hen, You bartender slash barber slash another job I can’t remember. In fact if I’m completely honest I don’t remember a great deal of last night or him except that I ended up blocking the maid of honour’s debit card by typing my pin number into the payment machine by mistake. Three times. In front of the sober bartender. The second time her card was declined, I was eyeing him suspiciously as if he had somehow caused this to happen with his evil mind powers. He didn’t, as I say – her card, my pin. Me drunk hen.
I don’t actually remember how he got my number either but when he texted this morning I was in the throws of the dreaded post boozing horrors or as my sister likes to call it, I was suffering major Loser Complex, so I was grateful for any bone anyone was willing to throw me. He even asked how my head was doing. I think I was still pissed – that tired grimy half cut dizzy feeling was apparent although I was definitely doing much better now I had the validation that even when horribly drunk I was still hot, or at least hot enough for him to be curious to meet me sober, winning! I replied with a big fat lie along the lines of, ‘Fine thanks, just been for a jog.’ Why did I say that? Because I wanted to put last night’s embarrassments in the face of Mr Sober behind me. Let’s move on already! And move on we did. He texted:
Wow, I’m surprised you’re awake, wanna meet for coffee?
I wasn’t awake until my phone woke me up with a text from him actually but moving on. I reply:
Now? Lol (laughs out loud not the other one obvs)
I was hoping he was going to suggest a coffee in approximately three days when my hangover would cease to haunt me, when I would be able to make clear sentences that don’t start with a Neolithic grunt.
Yeah why not?
Fuckity bollocks. I mean really? It’s what eleven-no-half-one actually. Okay, reasonable. Shit. Where to meet. Pick somewhere cool. Walthamstow? Is that cool? It isn’t that cool it’s just really near my house. Shit just pick somewhere!
Nude espresso on Brick Lane? That’s the name of a café not a come on. Hehe
Yes I have wanted to put that in a text ever since that place opened. I am hilarious to myself.
Sounds great. Can be there in an hour 😉
Great! See you there.
I love that about texts, you can fake all kinds of enthusiasm with a mere exclamation mark, or a winky smiley face – who actually winks these days? I think I might bring it back. Yes I will single handedly bring back Terry Thomas style winking along with the sadly missed elevenses. Who doesn’t like cake and or biscuits with tea and or coffee at eleven A.M?!
Anyway, after a detailed inspection of my somewhat haggard looking face (why couldn’t we meet at night in a poorly lit area like regular people?!) I managed to shower through my dizziness, not vomit, put some half decent clothes and even a bit of make-up on before leaving the warm safety of my flat. Boy was that a tough goodbye. I love you flat. I love you bed.
Getting off the tube at Liverpool Street I frustratedly weaved my way through the tourists who were milling along at a pace I can only put somewhere between a shuffle and an undead amble all the while biting back the urge to scream WHY DO YOU HAVE TO EXIST TODAY?! Finally I get to the grail of coffee shops and dive in, spilling myself on the floor begging for caffeine. I didn’t really, I winked at the trendy staff who suitably ignored me and went and sat down. This could be the best way to date actually, too tired to get nervous, too ill to want to eat, and still working off enough booze to find most things funny, mainly myself.
Alright, one teeny tiny drawback: It was only after about a minute that I realised I couldn’t remember what Mr Bartender looks like. Blonde hair? White hair? Definitely that ballpark although that could have been that weird strobe lighting that makes my eyes hurt. What to do? Chances are he’d recognise me before I recognise him so rather than looking into the eyes of various patrons like a nutter looking into their souls I opted for staring at the table. That got pretty boring so I was in the process of staring at the ceiling when I got a tap on my shoulder. Mr Bartender! Sorry, his actual name is Mike. And he’s a brunette. Can a guy be a brunette? My inner monologue wonderings were rudely interrupted by Mike saying a little too loudly if you ask me, “Haha you couldn’t remember what I look like could you! Pisshead” Suddenly nothing about myself was remotely funny and Loser Complex came back with a vengeance. While I died of shame inside I managed what I hoped was a coy girly smile and a lie, “What? Of course I remember what you look like, there you are!” He laughed a little too loudly and went to get us some coffee while I wondered where my personality had gone. Then I remembered – he’s attractive and saw me at possibly my worst and therefore I had a lot to make up for. At least he’s attractive though, my drunken decision had clearly paid off and I still couldn’t remember anything about the night before so it was almost a blind date really, or so I told myself. ‘Keep the coy girlishness going Scarlett, it’ll throw him off the drunken hen scent. God I hope I’m wearing enough deodorant.’ I thought to myself.
By the time Mike returned I was prepared with questions that would definitely move us far away from the night before. “So, how long have you lived in London?” Oh yes, and the prize for dullest opening question goes to… He smiled. I smiled, and then he said, “You already asked me that.” Pause. Was I living the true life version of 20 First Dates? If so, it is terrifying! He clocked my unnerved expression and responded, “You asked me last night.” I laughed albeit a little shrilly, “So what’s the answer?” “Wow you were wasted!” A little memory bomb goes off in my head. Suddenly I can remember vividly leaning (or maybe leching is more appropriate) over the bar asking him for another round of shots and attempting a flirtation by slurring “You look pretty exotic how do you live in Londonland?” And with a flash I was brought back to the present where my hands had instinctively covered my face. Through my hand prison I managed to say, “So you grew up in Acton, right?” He laughs again and says, “So you do remember! Sorry, sorry this is terrible for you.” I admitted that “Yes, yes it is. Was I really awful?” “You couldn’t have been that awful, I’m here aren’t I?” This is possibly the weakest compliment I’ve ever received but I did perhaps think I deserved it.
By some miracle conversation moves on and we chat about work, how many siblings the usual when out of frickin’ nowhere he says, “Yeah I think my favourite part of last night was when you tried to write your number on my-“ “I don’t want to know!” I say, a little too loudly. I’m getting a little desperate here. This is so much worse than having the memory bombs dropping like napalm when you’re alone under your duvet. Because I wasn’t alone and I wasn’t under my duvet. I wanted very much to be under my duvet, not on a date. Was this even a date? It felt more like a slow and torturous death of my character. Maybe the maid of honour put him up to it as some form of punishment for the card situation?
Ah the major horrors were in full swing and for the first time in a long time whilst suffering a hangover of this magnitude I was actually considering vodka. Mike on the other hand was having a grand old time, at least I finally know how he got my number. I tried to write it on his chest backwards because (and I do remember this bit) that’s how he’d be able to read it in a mirror. That’s Scarlett logic. Boom. Trish who was also there and witnessed this, tried to explain that writing it from right to left didn’t make it more visible in a mirror, then made me write it on a piece of paper. When I got it wrong for the second time, she then wrote it for me. Honestly, jaegerbombs are the devil’s work. That is all. So there I sit pretending to find all of this HILARIOUS, letting him tell me stories involving me wearing my underwear over my trousers, dancing like someone having an epileptic fit, then actually being asked if I was having an epileptic fit and by the end I am seriously considering AA while Mike is practically wheezing.
In my mortified horror fuelled LC mood I forget that this guy, cute though he may be, is being a total dick. And here I am, desperately trying to impress this ungallant goon by taking this on the chin and why? It’s revelation time for Scarlett Tate right there in Nude Espresso. I begin to think to myself, I do this shit all the time. Trish calls it ‘The Stunned Pokemon’. You remember that yellow rabbit thing called Pikachu right? Imagine that with a slightly open mouth and huge stunned eyes turning on slowly on its axis and that is pretty much what happens to me when there’s a mutual attraction going on. Except this time all notions of attraction have disappeared with my flat white (yep I’m a wanker who drinks poncey coffee and I LOVE IT) and all I have left are ravenous thoughts of eating an entire roast chicken ‘So why am I taking this shit on my hangover day?’ I thought to myself agnrily.
In fact so caught up was I in my revelation and roast chicken devouring I completely zoned out of what Mike was talking about so I zone back in, “-and then you-“ I finally flipped. I really wanted chicken. “Shut up! Just shut. Up.” Mike freezes, “What?” My voice is now rising “You heard me.” I tell him. “Shut up and listen. I don’t know what you think you’re going to be getting out of this date but if you think awkward and embarrassed somehow equals super horny it doesn’t. Telling me all the hideous things I did the night before while you’re all-” At this point I put on an American cartoon bear voice, “-‘Hey I’m Mr Sober, I mean not all guys would like the way you acted but, me I’m BLLUUURRRRGGG’-” And back to normal voice, still loud and ranty, “-Doesn’t make me want to fuck you and I, Scarlett Tate will not be Pikachued!”
He looked at me blankly as did a lot of the patrons actually, before asking “Is that some kind of sex move?” I didn’t know what to say next and I really still wanted to smash a chicken in my face so badly, so I stood up and walked to the door. As I opened it I turned and looked at Mike straight in the eye and said it one more time like it’s one of those affirmations you get in self-help books. “I will not be Pikachued.” I was definitely still drunk. I should definitely check out AA but I won’t because tomorrow I will be LC and Pikachu free.
Note from Scarlett Thursday evening:
Thanks for reading everybody, I know it’s a little late in arriving but it has taken this long for the horrors to subside. You’ll be pleased to know that I did eat a whole roast chicken. I hope you enjoyed it and see you next week.