Ah pubs. Having worked in them for a long time I know how well they lend themselves to people watching activity. All those booze soaked people interacting, inhibitions to the wind, completely unaware anyone is watching. You get to see some interesting things, that’s for sure. These days I get to be the other side of the bar, but I still like to partake in a little people watching. It’s a pastime I’m very fond of in fact. I like to tell myself it’s because I have a deep rooted interest in social interaction and psychology, but it’s probably more to do with my being a nosey cow. Imagine my joy, then, when down in London a couple of weeks ago, I had the luck of finding myself sat opposite a first date, of all things! Well, I couldn’t be certain it was a first date, but it definitely had all the hallmarks – two people who didn’t appear to know each other very well and some cringe-worthy conversation topics. I could have happily cracked open a bag of popcorn and settled in for the night!
Hot Chick turned up first. I’m calling her Hot Chick because, well, she was one Hot Chick. Seriously, I don’t know how well these guys were acquainted with each other before this evening, whether it was a Tinder hook up or they’d met before, but if you were turning up to a blind date you would be counting your lucky stars to see this girl sat waiting for you. She looked to be of Japanese origins, cute and petite, with perfect milky skin and shiny black hair. A real stunner. And then in walks First Date Hipster, late, with greasy hair, a scruffy plaid shirt undone over some obscure band T-Shirt, wide rimmed glasses and a beard that would have put Brian Blessed’s to shame. It’s not that he was unattractive exactly – if you could see his face underneath that fur he might have been perfectly lovely looking. But dude, you could have made an effort! I’m not a formal person – by all means dress it down on a first date, particularly if you’re meeting in one of London’s typical ‘cushions and candles’ pubs. But at least look like you’ve washed. That’s like First Date 101. Wash. Some girls like the rugged look. Few like the hobo look.
The next big mistake First Date Hipster made, was to then spend the next couple of hours talking. Not partaking in gentle chit chat, you understand, every girl who has ever been on a date will tell you they welcome a guy who can make conversation. This wasn’t conversation though. This was a guy who non stopped talked about himself for about 2 hours straight. I’m not sure I even remember her interjecting once. He literally just went on and on and on. It became pretty apparent that this guy was worse for wear. Maybe this was dutch courage, maybe it was the reason he was late, who knows, but either way, poor Hot Chick couldn’t get a word in edgeways. Weirdly, for all his persistent yammering, I don’t recall much of what he actually said, apart from one thing – at one point he actually said the words ‘I have to look good for my job….’ This, the guy that had turned up looking like he’d slept in his clothes. I thought ‘This is what you consider looking good?’ Or maybe he didn’t. Maybe this was his way of sticking up two fingers to the establishment, dressing like a slob on his off days just because he can.
I didn’t have much time to ponder this, because a waitress turned up with a chilli dog, whom he greeted (the waitress, not the chilli dog) with the kind of loud, over-exaggerated excitement you usually reserve for someone under the age of 5. Cringe. The waitress shuffled off embarrassedly and I was left wondering, has this guy seriously just ordered himself some food on a first date and not get her any?? Like, have you not heard of a sharing platter for the love of God?? In fairness, he offered her a bite a couple of times. Funnily enough, she politely declined.
I genuinely wish I could have stayed to watch the rest of the evening unfold, but sadly we had a light festival to attend. Still to this day I wonder if Hot Chick and First Date Hipster found true love, but I’m guessing not. She really didn’t look like the type who would be overly impressed by a guy who turns up in yesterday’s clothes, drunk and proceeds to talk directly at her while trying to soak up the booze with the least romantic and sharing appropriate food known to man. But then again, who knows? There is someone out there for everyone, after all!
If they are together now though? First Date Hipster – you are punching. Like, seriously. Marry her!