The Three-Way Date
Scott and the man who has been with him through bitter and sweet. Part Two.
[Missed what happened? Catch up here.]
When you go out on a date, you dress to impress. The hair is done, the clothes are carefully chosen and the cologne is sprayed just right. You prepare yourself to put your best foot forward, and you aim to make the best impression you can, without not being yourself.
When you’re given thirty seconds to get your game face on, you’re not really going to have much of an advantage.
My friend – the one who had been flirting with me for weeks before randomly announcing that he wanted to play matchmaker – had summoned his friend over to the café we were sitting in. I didn’t have time to protest, and even if I did, I was too stunned to move.
“Don’t worry,” my friend assured me, “he’s a lovely guy and you’re both nerds, so you’ll be perfect.”
That label could’ve been insulting if I didn’t know him better. What he called a ‘nerd’ was anyone who didn’t place as much importance as he did on Rihanna’s new album, or who did what on The X Factor. If you had interests that didn’t fall into pop culture, you were a nerd in his eyes. Ignoring his comment, I had another look at his friend’s profile picture on Facebook to see what I was getting myself in for. In fairness, there’s only so much you can tell about someone from a photo online, but I was about to be proved right in my instincts. For once.
As I turned my head towards the door, who comes in but Mister Blind Date himself. With only a foot in the door, I gave him a nod and a friendly smile as our eyes met. Just then, my entire body shivered with a horrible realisation. Well done you idiot, my inner voice screamed at me, you’ve just enthusiastically acknowledged someone who has never met you before! I cringed, realising that he’d think I was either insane or desperate for male attention. Both are probably true, but I didn’t need to be so obvious about it.
He sat down opposite me, beside our mutual friend who introduced us properly. I could feel the blood pump around my cheeks from my premature greeting, and wondered how much he was in on our friend’s plan from the start. After some small talk, Blind Date got up to order himself a coffee. We both smiled as he got up, keeping a pleasant demeanour until he was out of earshot.
“Not a chance,” I snapped at my friend.
“Why not,” he whined. “He’s a lovely guy and you two would be lovely as a couple!”
“I’d break him.”
“So, he’s a bit gentle, so what?”
I looked at him with a raised eyebrow, knowing he had no idea what I like in a man.
“Just try it!” I sighed, resigning to the fact that I couldn’t leave straight away.
Blind Date returned with a lattè after a short while and sat down with a big smile on his face. He was tall, which is always a plus for me, but thin enough to be eligible for the next round of Ireland’s Next Top Famine Victim. His receding hairline made me certain that he’d enter a mid-life crisis by thirty-five, and his somewhat pretentious accent meant that I was in no way attracted to this guy. If attraction and sexiness is gauged by heat, this guy was hotting me up like summer on Pluto.
The chat flowed evenly enough for a while, though it was rarely between him and I, as the two friends were catching up too. They hadn’t seen each other in a few weeks, and the mutual friend was moaning about his boyfriend being out of the country for a while. Soon enough, the first date questions starting flying about, while our friend enjoyed the car-crash show. He worked for a major international company, and was flush with cash by the way he mentioned holidays and upcoming travel plans. I was a wannbe full-time writer, and that choice of career didn’t seem to fit his high-flying lifestyle, if his facial expressions were anything to go by. This guy wore Prada, and I had no problem showing off the odd bit of Primark. Down to earth was not his style.
The three-way date lasted no longer than about half an hour, which had already gone twenty-nine minutes into extra time. The two were intending to go for drinks for the evening, but alcohol could’ve made a bad situation much worse, so I gracefully bowed out. I made my goodbyes to the non-date and our friend, and sighed a massive sigh of relief, knowing I had no intentions of seeing Blind Date again.
I now have a new favourite café whose staff don’t flirt. Just in case.
‘Scottie’ Illustrations by Stephen Charlick