So. The Date. Between the speed dating event where we met, and the actual day of the date we exchanged a few emails and texts. If I’m totally honest, there were a tad too many LOLs and smiley faces in there for my liking. But I mustn’t be judgemental at this stage – I’d rather him be jolly and jokey than grim and gormless.
But as the day drew close, excited anticipation turned into turmoil of self-doubt and panic that would have astounded the 25 year-old me. What on earth does a Middle Aged Single, who hasn’t been on a date since forever for some time, wear for such an occasion? I would be meeting him straight from work, so I’d be reasonably well turned out, but not corporate. He works in something to do with finance so will probably be in a suit, so maybe I should corporate it up a bit, or maybe I should……oh, for goodness sake get a grip. After all, we’ve already met so we both know what to expect.
So that’s decided then, it’ll be the jeans-heels-and-a-nice-top combo. That’s a safe enough message isn’t it? Not too desperate, uptight or slutty. Or too fashion-y. I’ve recognised over the years that some men, particularly the suited-and-booted type, can get pretty freaked out by a harem pant/mannish brogue/batwing sleeve/sequins as daywear, and its best not to roll those sorts of items out until at least the 5th date. So I’m opting for stylish-but-safe, comfy favourites. I’d already played my trump card at the speed dating event, having worn my favourite jersey v-neck top with drapey wrap silk front that suggests cleavage but reveals nothing, and allows me to lean forward without having to breathe in as anything likely to collapse into fold mode is hidden behind the drapey bit. So he’s going to get the number two favourite non-cleavage top and the sensible heel shoes, as I need to factor in some comfort to offset the nerves. Good, that’s settled then. The 25 year-old me rolls eyes, points finger at side of head and pulls imaginary trigger.
Outfit sorted, it was just a matter of the hair – up, or down? I had washed and meticulously dried my hair the night before, but obviously the middle-aged subconscious was working overtime during the night and I woke up looking like the love child of Frank Gallagher and Tracey Emin. So, up it would be then.
Anyway, the actual date. It got off to a good start – we recognised each other. The conversation flowed, there were no embarrassing silences and we laughed and chatted easily. All in all, it was a very pleasant evening. But that was it I’m afraid, very pleasant, but no fireworks.
But that’s hardly a riveting story – woman has sartorial meltdown, goes out, meets man, has meal, goes home – or a thrilling outcome. And it’s not quite the end of the story either. Not more than a week later, fuelled by drink disappointment, I went to an event by myself – totally out of character by the way, I’m not a natural solo-socialiser. And there I met the man I’d like to have met at the speed dating event. We had loads in common – we’d even been to the same art college at the same time, although neither of us could remember the other. Comparing life stories, there had been many times our paths could have crossed, it was as if we were meant to have been thrown together.
Of course, life’s not a Helen Fielding novel, so instead of a snowy Jingle Bells scene where he wraps me up in his coat and sweeps me away to MiddleAgedCouple.com he tells me he’s married and asks for my number. For heaven’s sake! Should have seen that one coming.
So, pack your fascinators away girls, its back to business as usual! And just for the record, no I didn’t, no I wouldn’t and no I’ve never.