Thursday, 2 April 2009

My date with the Burger Baron

My first date with Senor Boldon was a disaster. It happened two years ago. I met him online and although on paper we seemed to have nothing in common we developed a rather sweet and intimate email relationship. We 'talked' about most things: families, relationships, work. He was keen to meet, I was terrified at the prospect. I had been in a dreadful off/ on relationship with Son of Satan for many years.

Son of Satan was a cunt. I never saw it. The clues were all there. Not cryptic or difficult. The fact that he got a German girl pregnant whilst he was with me should have told me all I needed to know. But, I struggled on, forgiving everything and blaming myself. I couldn't imagine myself with anyone else, so as much as I liked the sound of Senor Boldon I didn't think anything would come of it.

One of the things I loved about Senor Boldon from the start was how terse and concise his emails were. I was used to intense, passionate, flowery and romantic communication from Son of Satan. In retrospect I think all those florid declarations of love from SOS were actually a smokescreen, to distract from his compulsive 'johnny foreigner' fanny ratting.

Senor Boldon, by comparison, seemed comfortingly normal and dependable. He had a proper job (SOS was a perpetual student, studying for a PhD in 'Contemporary History', an oxymoron if ever I heard one). The Satanic One's burning ambition was to become a Tweedy Fuckwit (sorry, university academic). This was curious, as when I met him he was an electrician. I think I preferred him when a night in involved tinkering with toasters, rather than engaging in intellectual wanking with his bearded, be-sandaled professor friends. A man who can rewire a house is much more useful than one whose only talent is to use the word 'discourse' on a regular basis.

At the time of my virtual romance with Senor Boldon I was finishing my Postgraduate teaching course. It was Easter. I liked him very much, and felt strangely close to him (despite having never met the cove). But I just couldn't imagine going on a date with him. However, after several weeks of emailing I began to realise that I could procrastinate no longer. One grey morning I awoke and decided that the time had come. I texted him and we arranged to meet that afternoon at a pub.

By the time the alloted hour arrived it was raining, and I made a terrible decision. We had chosen a local pub, so that I could walk there and gently sink into the date with a few large gins. The murky drizzle made me fear Leo Sayer hair-frizz, so I chose to drive. I don't think I can actually remember a time I have felt more frightened, I was physically trembling.

Senor Boldon was lurking in the darkest, dingiest corner of the pub. I would love to say we hit it off immediately, that there was instant chemistry and attraction. In fact, it was terribly strained and awkward. Silences seemed to stretch on for decades, only interrupted by his constant work phone calls about bap emergencies and nugget crises. Every topic of conversation we started seemed to wither and die, like a draught-stricken rose. It was awful. He couldn't even bring himself to look at me, which made me think he found me terribly repulsive. After two hours he asked if I wanted another drink, when I said 'No.' he leapt to his feet, grabbed his coat and said 'Right then, been nice meeting you.' We headed for the door, I was heartbroken that there was no real connection between us.

We walked outside into the cool freshness of the March evening and the strangest thing happened. I turned to look at him, and it felt like for the first time he was looking at me, intensely. I remember feeling quite breathless and overwhelmed with emotion and being suddenly hugely attracted to him.

Later, when we 'discussed' the awfulness of the date via email, we both mentioned the queer and intense moment outside the pub. I was astounded to discover he felt it too. We decided to try the whole thing again, the next time, with alcohol.

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