Monday, 27 July 2009

Hospitality Man - a tale of woe.

I'm really not sure where to start. Friday seems a long time ago and I have had a weekend of friends and godchildren to try and forget the hideousness of the big date(thank the lord). However a promise is a promise, so I shall relive the experience of the last of the cybermen for your edification.

Friday morning saw me rather frantically getting ready for my much anticipated date. You know what it is like when you are in a rush? Suddenly there are a million and one things to do, none of which are things you actually want to do. Somehow, in between client phone calls, I dug up some clean clothes and found my makeup which I remembered to apply. I even located my hairbrush and was in the car and on my way in good time.

I looked ok, as good as I could hope for and as I drove to our meeting place my stomach churned queasily at the prospect ahead of me. Was this going to be another disaster or, more frightening still, somebody sane and normal and interested? I really wasn't sure which prospect made me more nervous.

I arrived a little early and headed for the pub to find that it was closed. Oops. Crossing my fingers that I hadn't made a hideous error and suggested a meeting place that wouldn't open at all, I waited outside the front door. There was no sign of HM (hospitality man) but I found myself scanning the faces of everyone who passed by wondering if they might be him. Absorbed in this entertaining pasttime I was pulled out of my reverie by a voice shouting my name from an upstairs window. It was Andy, my friend who runs the pub.

He came downstairs and let me in through the staff door and ensconsed me at the bar. I instantly told him that I was there on a blind date and filled him in on all we knew. He promised to duck out of the way as soon as HM arrived and we moved onto chatting about other things. Soon enough the pub opened for business and early lunch guests started turning up. The bar was still quiet though so I couldn't help but notice when a lone man came up and stood just round the corner of the bar from me.

He wasn't exactly like his photo, but then nobody ever is, so I decided to take the plunge and turning to him said 'Hospitality Man?' in what I would think is a friendly tone. He turned. He stared at me blankly with no recognition whatsover. He turned again and stared at the bar before turning back to look at me once more. I started to feel a blush rise across my face. How mortifying. I had obviously just accosted a stranger and he couldn't work out how to tell me so. Aaaaargh. He turned back to the bar and ordered a drink and I turned back to Andy to wince and carry on our interrupted conversation. But it didn't feel right. I was sure the man next to me was HM. I turned back again and there he was, staring at me. He put out his hand and I, not wanting to be rude, took it. He shook it without speaking then said 'Hospitality Man,'.

I was rather flustered by this and must have had an interesting expression on my face. A combination of relief that I hadn't been mistaken, and horror that I hadn't been mistaken. This was him. The man that had been e mailing nearly non stop all week. He wasn't a horror to look at or anything but neither did my heart go 'pit a pat' or my knees go week. (I wasn't really thinking either of those things would happen but a girl can hope). Still, it was early days and we had both made it to the assignation. Who knew what lay ahead of us? He still seemed incapable of saying anything so I suggested we move from the bar to a table. Since he seemed unable to do anything but stare at this point, I led the way and found a table round the corner where we both sat down. Bear in mind that he still hadn't really said anything other than his name at this point.

Once we sat down, he put out his hand and said once more 'Hospitality Man'. Being British, and unfailingly polite, I shook his hand and introduced myself again. He gazed speechlessly at me and I carefully removed my hand from his grasp. To break the silence I asked whether he had found the pub without any problems. He stared at the wall ahead of him and took several deep breaths. I wondered nervously if asking him if he found the pub was an offensive opening bid. Finally he spoke. "Do you think we can sit outside?" he said. I'm pretty sure he said that anyway. It turned out that he spoke with a south african accent and in a mumbling tone that you would expect from someone wearing ill fitting false teeth. "Certainly" I said. Up we got from our table and went outside and found a new table. Once we had sat down he again proferred his hand. I again took it. He shook it, again. He introduced himself, again.

At this point we have spent five minutes together and I am already feeling desperate. However, this is obviously his first 'blind date' so I decide that I had better try to get the ball rolling and say 'So, this would be your first blind date then'. He looks away from me and stares across the river. He draws a breath, as though he is going to speak and I look at him expectantly. He lets it out. He draws another. Finally he says 'so you have done this before?'. Relieved to have got a complete sentence that didn't involve an introduction out of him, I reply that I have and add that they are always awkward to start with. He starts several sentences but never finishes them. This makes having a conversation quite awkward. I decide to try a new tack. This has the same result.

We are now ten minutes in and I am already wondering whether throwing myself into the river might look desperate. Suddenly HM lurches into action. "Would you" he asks "be a good mother?" WHAT? That's his first question??? Seriously? I answer that I would be ok I supposed but that I didn't long for babies. He offers nothing back himself on this topic but after some more staring and failed sentences he suddenly says: "our eyes are the same colour". I agree that they are similar, though it is difficult to compare them as I don't have a mirror handy. Facetious I know but I couldn't help it. He then seizes the conversation once more and says: "what kind of wedding would you have?" The direction the conversation is going in is a little alarming but at least he is actually talking. Each answer I give involves him sucking my words up like a hoover and, with lips pursed (a personal hatred of mine) he would stare into space. If I asked him a question he simple couldn't answer it. It didn't matter what avenue I tried. Each one ended the same, with an awkward silence which he ignored by staring into space or staring at me in what I can only describe as wonderment.

He then asks why I live in Wales. I answer. Three minutes later, he asks why I live in Wales. I point out that I have just answered this question but he seems to think that it is not the same question if you ask it twice so I answered, again. At this point I have drained my drink and am wondering if it is too early for a triple vodka and tonic but he shows no sign of noticing that I have an empty glass and I am uncertain of how to excuse myself so early in the conversation. Luckily nature comes to my rescue and it starts to rain. I suggest we move back in (he seemed oblivious to the fact that we were getting drenched). As we pass the bar I realise that if I get myself another drink I'll have to stay longer. I decide death by dehydration would be better and we find another table to sit at.

I then struggle to find things to talk about. How was his interview? How long has he been in his last job? How did he like living in South Africa? None of these questions generate answers longer than a sentence so I start running out of gambits all too quickly. Every answer involves him starting into space for a disconcertingly long time, heaving in deep breaths as though he is going to answer, then letting them out without saying another word. Occasionally I try to prompt him but it is useless. He seems oblivious to the awkwardness of the whole thing. Indeed one of the complete sentences he gives me is how amazing it is to meet me and how he is struggling to come to terms with the idea of us. I am now worried.

Even worse, he would suddenly fire a question at me. This would be unrelated to anything else we might be trying to talk about at that moment. An example of this would be when he said to me 'Girl or Boy?' I looked blankly at him. Was this some kind of a test? Was he not sure what I was? which direction my sexual orientation was? I went with the first option and said 'Girl'. For once he wasn't lost for words and said 'Why'. I was bewildered but tried to help out by pointing out that I knew I was a girl because I didn't have the necessary anatomy to make me a boy. Seeing his expression I suddenly realise he was still on the baby / motherhood question and wanted to know which I would like, a girl or a boy.

Vexed I answered that is was a pointless question as you can't control what you get so wishing for one or the other is a sure road to disappointment. At this point I realise I can't keep going for much longer. I make up an appointment with the accountants and explain that I will need to leave.

He looks crestfallen and says that he was hoping to take me out for lunch (possibly on to a registry office afterwards?). I gently point out that I had only agreed to a drink and that I don't have time for lunch. He then eagerly says that he can meet me again on Saturday. Having already told him that I have friends staying for the weekend I am surprised at this. I remind him of the houseguests and he says 'are they not the sort of friends who would like to meet me?'. I firmly squash this and reply that we are going to be busy all weekend and he can't see me at anypoint in the weekend. 'Well' he says, 'when can I see you again?' Resisting the urge to say 'never' I say I will e mail him but that I am VERY busy for the next six years or so, and for the fourth, and hopefully last time, I shake his hand and leave him in the pub. Still staring at the wall and gaping like a fish. He was probably mid sentence but I didn't have the time to stay and find out.

Despite the fact that I had shopping I needed to do in order to feed my friends at the weekend, I fled the town. I arrived home and without further ado wrote my first 'Dear John' e mail. I very much hope that that will be the last I ever see or hear of him. Thinking of him now makes me go 'eeeeurgh' and shudder.

I officially give up on internet dating. Cybermen are all nutters and I can't put myself through this anymore. The Loyal Hound and I will have to grow old together and I shall start wearing purple and hats and banging my stick along the railings. It has to be a better way to live....

24 comments:

dragondays said...

Horrific ... poor you! He had obviously worked out your future life together in his head ...
Fancy not knowing if you wanted a boy or a girl - naughty!

Cal said...

Oh my. Them's be serious social skill difficulties he be having. And him so full of language by written communication and all....

So sorry it didn't work out. Internet dating is horrid.

justme said...

OMG!!!! How horrific! AM amazed that you stayed as long as you did.
What a relief it must have been to get away from him. He doesn't know where you live does he????
Glad you had a lovely weekend with friends to take the taste away.
There are worse things than wearing purple and hitting railings with sticks!
xx

cynicalscribble said...

My friends keep suggesting to me that I should try internet dating. This is the reason I don't!

Sorry it didn't work out, this one was worse than the last and he took some beating! I bet he already had baby names at the ready too.

Home Office Mum said...

I am South African. There is a reason I'm married to a Brit...

It sounds to me as though he was angling for a spousal visa. Nightmare. I wish I had a suitcase full of eligible, gorgeous, filthy rich young men to foist upon you. But I don't.

However, I do have a friend who is a single mum and her dating agency of choice is the 7.10am train from Milton Keynes to London. She travels it daily and has managed to meet two very promising blokes on it. Perhaps try train travel as an alternative. It can't be worse than the internet right?

Cathy said...

I bow at your feet for being such a polite person while under such strain. How did you do it?! What a creeper! He can't tract you down can he? He sounds absolutely nuts! I'd have gone nuts just trying to talk to him. There's alot to be said for dogs as bed warmers. You've probably had better conversations with Loyal Hound too.
Sorry Sweetie!

elizabethm said...

Oh no. He is maybe going to be hard to shake off. Hope you haven't let him have your address. You were so polite - I am amazed. Really sorry it turned out so weird. Stick with the loyal hound for now!

pitpony said...

Oh, Welsh Girl, I'm so sorry this internet date turned out to be such a nightmare. I've also given up internet dating for good. Reading about your experience has just reminded me why!
Cyberhugs and a cyber-cwtch to the Loyal Hound.

screamish said...

aaagh! you poor thing. that poor man. what do you think was WRONG with him???? just incredibly shy. but "would you be a good mother" as an opening quaestion??? WHAT IS THAT????????

workinggirl said...

Hello,

I just discovered your blog today and it will turn out quite addictive I guess, and so recognizable :-).
And yes, I guess internet dating is just consuming tons of energy, but it produces good blog posts though.
Take care!

Mud in the City said...

Oh wow - how utterly hideous! I only dipped my toe in the internet dating world but did come to the same conclusion as you.

I am convinced though that a normal man would have a whale of a time with cyberwomen - after all there are quite a few of us semi (cough) normal ones out there, and almost anyone can be a better date than such a nutter!

Good luck and can I borrow the Loyal Hound for a date when I get home?
x

Liberty London Girl said...

I meet nutters consistently - & I live in NYC with a huge pool of online men...you are very brave. LLGxx

Annette said...

Welsh girl , So sorry that the date was horrible. I too think your very brave for just trying internet dating. I wouldn't do it, even though friends have tried to talk me into it.
Nice to know you survived. I have been waiting all week-end to find out how it went.
BTW I found your blog a few months back and have not left a comment till now, I couldn't stop myself

Welsh Girl said...

Dragondays - I know - who plans that far ahead with someone they have never even met!
Cal - I think this went beyond social skills and into downright odd. It is strange that he should have been so fluent by e mail but that is often the case. I think there are a lot of Cyrano de Bergerac's out there...
Just me - Oddly, it felt that it would have been rude to leave any earlier! I was on a strange high all afternoon though having escaped! I hope he doesn't know where I live. That's a worrying thought.
Cynical Scribble - the only thing is that I suspect the girls on internet dating are normal (I'm normal (ish) after all). I think you SHOULD do it just so I can find out if it is as crazy for the boys as it is for the girls....
Home Office Mum - I hadn't even thought of the visa thing. That casts an entirely new light on the whole thing. If there was public transport up here, I would instantly start using it as a dating alternative...
Cathy - If in doubt, resort to being polite!! (It was either that or run screaming which might have put off the other customers at the pub!)
Elizabeth - The Loyal Hound is definitely the better bet. I too am sorry that yet again it was a lunatic. Are there no decent men out there?
Pitpony - Thanks for the cyberhug and I'm glad I'm not the only one who has found it such a disaster (internet dating that is). Strangely comforting that others have had the same problem.
Screamish - I know! In what world is that a normal question when talking to, essentially, a stranger???
Workinggirl - hello! Thanks for coming by to listen to my tales of woe!! Hope you come back soon though I'm not sure there will be any more cybermen tales since I may lose the will to live if I have to do internet dating again....
Mud - The Loyal Hound would be a perfect date. Interested in everything you do and say, doesn't snore and thinks anything you cook is delicious....
LLG - are your nutters as bad as the English ones or should I start thinking about going dating in NY???
Annette - how nice to hear from you. The difficulty I have is that if I don't date the cybermen then I don't date ANYONE. Men that you meet in the course of everyday life simply don't ask you out on an old fashioned date anymore. How do you get around that dilemma????

Rebekah said...

OY vey!! "Would you make a good mother?" Has the man never heard of social skills. He obviously still lives with his!!

bevchen said...

Aarrgghh, that's awful! And I thought I was awkward around strangers. WOuld you make a good mother?!? Who even ASKS that kind of question? Like ever, never mind as the first question on a first date.

Surely there must be some normal cybermen?!

Anonymous said...

Well, thank god that you had your car with you. Foot on the accelerator and out of there pronto. You were politeness itself and it's such a shame these awful blokes have put you off. Thank goodness your visitors could take your mind off it at the weekend.
Wendy (Wales)

katyboo1 said...

Dear God. I don't blame you. That sounds terrible. But very funny when you didn't have to be there.
Poor you.xx

Annette said...

Welsh Girl... I have the exact same dilemma here in the States! Men that I do become acquainted with do not ask for dates, or maybe it's they do not ask ME for dates. I am told that in this day and age women do the asking; however I can not attempt it myself. Well that it not entirely true, I did try to tell a rather nice intelligent, successful and totally scrumptious man that I liked him and would be available for dates, however what I really said was that I knew he had a lot of people depending on him and hoped he had someone he could depend on. Of course I didn’t volunteer to be that someone. And of course I left as soon as the idiotic words left my mouth. Shoot! My girlfriends have taken pity on me, they suggested the online dating. So to that end I have created a very short profile which of course is hidden, so I can see what is available,,, It was enlightening to read the profiles, 95% want women who are slim, slender or athletic, which certainly is not my current status. So out of the remaining 5% there is an amazing amount of men that skydive, ride Harleys, grab the bull by the horns and go for the Gusto! And all I wanted was to date. It is ironic that the one profile I read that totally interested me, showing forethought and a deep understanding of relationships belongs to none other than Scrumptious! Heaven help me.

notSupermum said...

Oh. My. God.

Please tell me he doesn't know where you live or has your home phone number? I hope you manage to shake him off, he sounds just plain weird.

onely said...

Holy Sh&t. That is the worst blind date story I have ever heard. What a freaking lunatic. I too am shuddering and I didn't even have to sit at a table with him breathing his exhalations. ARGH. Go shower girl, quick quick!

And I'm amazed how often guys will sit there like a lump and not talk and yet somehow think at the end of the date that you want to get together with them again.
Christina
P.S. Despite my horror, I was also laughing out loud as he kept reintroducing himself. Drugs?

Welsh Girl said...

Rebekah - If he does still live with his mother I feel very sorry for her. I wonder if he introduces himself to her on a regular basis??
Bevchen - sadly, I think there are no normal cybermen. I think they are all crazed, demented lunatics who enjoy hunting me down and torturing me!
Wendy - There is nothing like a 2 and 4 year old for taking your mind off everything! A nice white wine helps as well....
Katyboo - I really should take a secret camera to these things shouldn't I!
Annette - I think I'm disappointed. I always thought American men were a much better dating prospect and now my dreams are crushed! Then again, Scrumptious man sounds very lovely. E mail him, please! Let there be others than me searching for an actual nice man on the ether and maybe even finding one! Let me know what happens.
Not Supermum - I think weird is being too nice. Freakish, bizarre, downright odd. Luckily he seems to have taken the 'dear john' e mail to heart and I have not heard from him again. Hope he isn't tormenting some other poor girl now.
Christina - I wish drugs were the answer but I suspect personality lobotomy might be to blame....

The Singlutionary said...

You've trumped me. I never ever ever had one this bad. Was this man bred to speak english? Was this man brought up at all? Did he have a mother? All he sees a woman as is a breeder. And he is in love with you. I love how, despite what you say, he is hearing something totally different which is that you are also in love with him and want to have his babies.

Trust me, Welsh Girl, you are far better off being a crazy old dog lady than going through another one of THOSE episodes.

Monika said...

what a horror date, how horrible!!!! But do not give up or we won't have these very entertaining stories, at the very least ;)

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