Saturday. All the men in my life seem have overdosed on stupid pills. On my way to the gym, I get a text from Rugby Player cancelling our long-awaited, pre-planned dinner date for tonight because he’s had some dental work done which has gone horribly wrong and he’s in hospital on an IV drip for the foreseeable future.
Absolutely fucking perfect.
Just what I needed.
Now I’ve been double, or is it triple, dumped.
I text back berating him for cancelling at the last minute. He must have known in advance he was due to have this work done, so why did he commit himself if there was a likelihood of him letting me down?
My rant receives short shrift. Well it would, wouldn't it!
Thanks for the sympathy. I thought you of all people would have been a little more gracious. Let’s draw a line under this. Good luck with all you do
I carry on to Pilates and push myself to the limit which helps up to a point, but I can’t help seeing Saturday night stretching before me like a wet weekend in Weymouth.
As soon as I leave the class, I go straight to my ‘stables’, and organise films tonight with Jeremy Fisher (one of the frogs), confirm tomorrow’s drink with Desperate Dan and just to add a belt to the braces, arrange dinner with Flash Gordon for Monday night. There. That wasn’t so difficult, was it?
Of course I could have been really grown-up and stayed home re-arranging my knicker drawer, or better still, my head, but what on earth would I want to do that for?
Sunday. I text Dan to double confirm the confirmation (so which one of us is the more desperate, would you say?) and thank God he’s still up for it. As it’s cold, I suggest meeting for a drink first and if we don't horrify each other, this could be followed by 'a bowl of soup by the fire back at mine'. We arrange to meet at 7 p.m. at Warwick Avenue Station. Déjà vu Centrale.
I make a big pot of chicken and vegetable broth then go to tea at the home of my mother’s new neighbours, an utterly charming and very well-connected Canadian couple. It occurs to me they may know someone suitable for me, but I don’t know them well enough to ask. And what’s ‘suitable for me’ anyway? I’m buggered if I know.
At 7 p.m. I drive to the station. It’s raining heavily but a young man soon comes out looking this way and that. I flash my headlights and he runs across the road and jumps into my car. We take our first look at each other and he kisses me hallo.
There’s a certain insanity factor in meeting strangers off the internet like this. If I thought for one moment either of my daughters was hanging around tube stations on dark, rainy nights waiting for God-knows-who, I don’t think I’d ever sleep again…
Dan is clean, freshly-shaven and smells nice (douze points) but is only average-looking and slighter than I expected (nul points). A long evening stretches ahead.
We go to the Elgin and he gets the first round: a pint for himself and a Bloody (awful) Mary for me. The staff in there changes with the frequency of Jordan’s breast size and none of them know how to make a decent cocktail.
We fall into an easy conversation and I find him articulate and interesting to talk to. When our glasses are nearly empty, I offer to buy the next round but he won’t let me. I go to the bar with him anyway and show the dozy cow how to prepare a Bloody (good) Mary, which hits the spot like a home run. After another twenty minutes of idle chitchat, I decide it’s safe to take him home.
The vodka goggles make him seem way more attractive than he was when I first set eyes on him and when I ask what he'd like to do next, he answers:
‘Your call...but that soup back at yours sounded good.’
I play the game of pretending to ponder the matter, just to build up the tension a little.
‘It’ll be fine’ he assures me, running a finger up my forearm. ‘You won’t have a problem with me. I’ll head home whenever you want.’
He’s trucked halfway across London to meet me and it’s only 8.40 p.m., plus he’s fairly weedy so I could probably wrestle him to the ground if needs be. That would be to defend myself, not force him down on one knee, in case you were wondering.
We get back to mine and I light the fire, open a bottle of wine and put Madeleine Peyroux on the stereo. I have no wish for this particular person to Dance me to the end of love or anywhere else for that matter, but it’s easy listening and will fill the gap should the conversation wane.
I put some crisps, nuts, crudités and dips out and heat up the soup. We cosy down on the sofa and carry on chatting. My tongue is looser now and I decide to conduct a little experiment based on my falling-out with Cute Face. I steer the conversation towards age and the sort of women he’s looked at on the toyboywarehouse website.
He says at 52, ‘which you don’t look’ (when I first joined the website, I made a typo on the age question...!) I’m at the upper age limit of what he, at 25 (Christ! Is that all he is?) would be prepared to go out with. He’s looked at women up to 55 but really… that’s 30 years older than him and would definitely be off his radar. I nod sagely and wonder whether or not to do what I’m about to. I decide to go for it.
‘I’m going to confess something to you’ I say. ‘Promise me you won’t freak out…you’ve met me now so you can judge for yourself. This is to show you that you should never define people by a number…’
There’s a long pause while he waits for the hammer to fall.
‘I’m 62, not 52’.
Without missing a beat, he lunges forward and kisses me passionately on the lips swirling his tongue around and around in my mouth as if he’s searching for something. The missing ten years, perhaps?
I respond eagerly by pulling him down alongside me on the sofa and we undulate against each other while continuing to kiss. I feel the unmistakable hard-on through his jeans.
‘Not a problem then?’ I giggle as we come up for breath.
By way of an answer, he tugs my top and bra aside and lunges at my nipple.